Posts tagged with "Heather"

wake me up when October ends

I was doing well in terms of stick­ing to my bi-week­ly writ­ing sched­ule. Putting my mind to some­thing and being respon­si­ble to myself became a nur­tur­ing rou­tine. Then October came and I lost the plot.

pretty girl with bangs

It can’t just be love, right? I can’t be the only one who thinks she’s beau­ti­ful. Her gen­tle smile has me con­vinced it’s an objec­tive fact.

It’s the appoint­ments: den­tists, gas­tros, perios, shrinks. They all hap­pen to fall with­in a few weeks, some of them up to three times. I know they’re all there to help me, but I’ve had a frus­trat­ing and dif­fi­cult his­to­ry with most med­ical pro­fes­sion­als. At this point, I sim­ply would­n’t have the patience to sit in a wait­ing room if it weren’t for Heather there to sup­port me every time. At least I found a com­pe­tent psy­chi­a­trist; the first one who’s ever tru­ly lis­tened to me before pre­scrib­ing any med­ica­tion1.

Continue read­ing “wake me up when October ends”…

  1. One of the most impor­tant ques­tions he asked was whether or not the hos­pi­tal fol­lowed up with me after my sui­cide attempt. The answer, of course, being a resound­ing NOPE. []

semi-poly

I hope I’m not belabour­ing the point when I say I’ve suf­fered a lone­ly exis­tence. For much of my life, I’ve kept those clos­est to me at arms-length, out of a sub­con­scious fear that they’d hurt me. I could nev­er turn to my par­ents for any kind of sup­port, cause they were more con­cerned about how I made them appear than how I felt; I had no sib­lings with which to form an alliance when they became my great­est ene­my. The best friend I car­ried into adult­hood was a per­son who nev­er tru­ly under­stood me, and my best friend after that aban­doned me at the first sign of dif­fi­cul­ty.

Managing my rela­tion­ship needs has been a life­long strug­gle. Much of the grow­ing I’ve done (or been forced to do) is inter­twined with the soli­tude I’ve faced; being able to change myself gives me a small sense of con­trol in what would oth­er­wise be a messy and chaot­ic exis­tence. An added dif­fi­cul­ty is that I keep evolv­ing, and my social needs evolve in turn. It takes years to devel­op the kinds of rela­tion­ships that nur­ture me. I’m in the mid­dle of a tran­si­tion, and my sup­port net­work is the small­est it’s ever been.

Living with a part­ner has helped, but at some point my attach­ment to Heather grew unhealthy. It’s not fair for me to put so much pres­sure on her to be my lover, friend, ther­a­pist, care­tak­er, gam­ing bud­dy…every­thing. When I start to resent her for my needs going unmet, I know I’m in a bad place and need to check myself.

Continue read­ing “semi-poly”…

not choosing fear

Stepping out of my com­fort zone late­ly means let­ting some­one hear my mate­r­i­al before it’s ready, say­ing I love you with­out the expec­ta­tion of hear­ing it back, post­ing pic­tures of myself I find unflat­ter­ing, being an atten­tive lis­ten­er dur­ing dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions, wor­ry­ing that spous­es will know my secrets but telling friends any­way, lis­ten­ing to songs that remind me of her, hold­ing impor­tant peo­ple account­able for hurt­ing me, ask­ing for help before I need it, accept­ing the fact that no one can be every­thing I need all the time, lov­ing some­one from a dis­tance, let­ting boys hold me when I’m upset,

girl kissing boy

dar­ing to dream that things will be okay,

putting myself first in the destruc­tive rela­tion­ships I can’t escape, say­ing no instead of find­ing excus­es, mak­ing love with­out some kind of reas­sur­ance about my looks first, let­ting myself miss the peo­ple I no longer like, being first to call after exchang­ing num­bers, not know­ing when I’ll be home and going out any­way, hop­ing I’m not judged every time I ask her to do that thing I like, giv­ing myself space from peo­ple who adore me but don’t nur­ture me, not try­ing to please every­one all the time, play­ing even though I have a decent chance of los­ing, not cut­ting some­one out after they’ve wronged me, rec­on­cil­ing with old lovers, empathiz­ing with peo­ple I hate, going out when I’m not high, spend­ing time around peo­ple I find dif­fi­cult, say­ing sor­ry and mean­ing it, try­ing to hit chord tones in gen­res I nev­er lis­ten to, and pay­ing atten­tion to the friends who call me on my shit.

Princess Dolly, 2003–2018

Dolores was more than a pet. She was capa­ble of pro­found love (or burn­ing hatred), and that loy­al­ty made her feel more like a lit­tle per­son than a com­pan­ion. With the abil­i­ty to rec­og­nize peo­ple through win­dows, I’d often find her sit­ting on the sill at the front of the house, wait­ing to greet me with a cho­rus of raspy meows when I came home from work; a rit­u­al only spe­cial guests may be privy to, if they’ve pre­sent­ed the princess with enough presents.

I adopt­ed her in uni­ver­si­ty, and she was a con­stant pres­ence through many res­i­dences, house­mates, girl­friends — we even shared our space with oth­er cats for years at a time. When find­ing me after a few moments apart, she’d come lean against me with an arched back, invit­ing me to scoop her up, and I’d make a point of spend­ing a bit of time to cradling her like a baby, even if I was just pass­ing through. Sometimes we’d lie in the blan­kets and stare into each oth­er’s eyes; there was as much com­fort to be found in her purring as my warmth and atten­tion.

I could tell our bond was spe­cial from the start, and being fear­ful that I’d nev­er share any­thing like it with anoth­er cat again, always made sure to cher­ish every sec­ond.

Continue read­ing “Princess Dolly, 2003–2018”…

keeping the rage tender

Fall has fall­en, and I was ready. I was wait­ing. I was trapped for months on end, when my body would­n’t coop­er­ate or anx­i­ety got the bet­ter of me. Even hear­ing Townes Van Zandt sing to me about snow in Raton was enough to make me miss win­ter again. I’d live vic­ar­i­ous­ly in any form of visu­al media I could find, just to remem­ber what it was like to feel the tin­gle of sun on my skin.

Now I can go out, but on my own terms and for the sake of it, not just ther­a­py or a doc­tor’s appoint­ment. It’s giv­en Heather and I a chance to date — to dress up for each oth­er, to trade secret glances about peo­ple who might be the oth­er’s type, to hold hands and show each oth­er off — instead of all the cop­ing we were left doing after falling into the rela­tion­ship so sud­den­ly.

portrait of Heather and Jeff

Rachel Weisz has noth­ing on dem brows.

Ever since she began her career, I found it dif­fi­cult to deal with how lit­tle we saw each oth­er. It felt like we were bare­ly con­nect­ing or hav­ing mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ences when we had such lim­it­ed time. Now that she has a bet­ter shift and a car­pool, we have an extra hour and a half togeth­er on week­days. Combined with Jesse com­mit­ting to hang­outs twice a month to play games or jam, it’s made a huge dif­fer­ence in the way I approach my goals and plan my time.

They’re small steps, but after so much regres­sion, I tend to be hap­py with any move­ment in the right direc­tion. Still, I won­der if I’ll ever find a bal­ance that won’t leave me fran­tic, one that’s con­ducive to get­ting my intro­vert needs met while let­ting me feel secure in my rela­tion­ships.

Continue read­ing “keep­ing the rage ten­der”…