Rotten fish

I’m home. I should have stayed home last night but I didn’t.

So, the deal is this. I’ve been seeing someone the last few weeks but I’m always fragile about things I think could work. So, I don’t talk about them. For the purpose of this post, we’ll call him Victor.

The meet-cute:

I was taking a walk. I hardly ever do it. My agoraphobia gets the better of me and I hide inside. There’s a bar across the street from my apartments. I don’t go there a lot and never by myself. Loads of folks from work go there and I try not to get embroiled their drama. So… I’m walking past the bar to the store and I tripped. It’s what I do. One of the guys smoking outside the bar rushed over to help me up. First time that’s happened in a long while. I thanked him and kept walking to the store. I buy some beer and chips and head home. I could see the group heading inside. This fellow lingered and when I passed, asked if I needed help carrying my bag. I politely declined and tried to keep on walking. Then he calls after me, from the edge of the sidewalk. “I can’t keep walking with you because that’s creepy but I’d like to talk about your shirt.”

That’s where he got me. I can talk about my Always Keep Fighting shirt… just always. I told him I’d be back. I tried to be casual as I walked off and tried not to rush back but I congratulated myself on picking up on a social signal… even if it had been triggered by my tripping and a nod to my SPN-but-not-mental-health attire. When I returned, he wanted to go into the bar. I declined. I explained that I worked close by and my underlings were likely inside.

So, he smoked and I chatted about depression and anxiety and Supernatural and he listened and asked questions. He’s a year younger than me, from Brownsville and it was the first time he’d ever been to that bar. We exchanged numbers. That started a texting thing.

We got together once a week. He drove his friend to the bar and we’d go for a walk or go for some coffee. We made it past my awkwardness with intimacy and it seemed fine. We have a lot in common and most of our nerdiness is compatible. He understood when I didn’t want to have him meet my dad when Dad popped into town. Everything seemed to be going fine.

The beginning of the end:

Then came Halloween. We were supposed to go out. I wanted to introduce him to my friends but I haven’t really seen my friends much lately. Poor planning and lack of funds, mostly. Mind you, I still hadn’t mentioned him at all to anyone. ANYONE. Including people at work.

Victor was on edge. Wouldn’t talk about it. Needed some gas money for our outing. I gave him some. We hung out a bit, fooled around and I needed a mini-nap because my work hours make me horrible at late nights. I woke up, I got dressed and I waited. Then I waited. Then I texted. Then I waited. Then I gave up and changed and started drinking and watching The Guest, then Hocus Pocus, then Practical Magic. I had a marathon while telling myself I wasn’t waiting for a man to show up.

I went to work wrecked. Then found I was the only supervisor on duty. I was mightily pissed. I spent the next two days in a state of rage. Then Monday evening, I got a phone call. No apology either.

I’ve heard a lot of reasons why I’m not the person a man thought he was dating… this one was precious. My enthusiastic lovemaking is overwhelming. I had trouble wrapping my head around it.

I’m not a scratcher. I’m not a screamer. Positions are limited due to one of my legs not having full function. SO CONFUSED.

I floated into the bad place. Beyond anger. Beyond sadness. Despair is a strong word but the best one I can come up with.

So, Wednesday afternoon, I got a visitor. I agreed on an overnight visit. For the first time, we went to his place and I’m a bit dead inside but I’m always being told that I don’t give people chances so… I’m giving this guy one. To be terribly honest, I divide guys into catergories: guys I fuck and guys I date. If I’m okay jumping the sack right away, I don’t want that guy around. They’re generally dicks and the terms are clear. We fuck and we split. Never going back for seconds. The guys I date usually have to wait… A WHILE… before I’m comfortable jumping in the sack. Victor was a little bit of both.

So, I’m terrible at being in strange places overnight. I don’t sleep well. I rarely sleep well with a partner in the first place. Basically, we played house. Then we got to talking about shit. I was still, a bit, in a rage. the lower simmering kind. I laid out everything I could think of. I can’t have kids naturally, I have scary depressive episodes, I am prone to anxiety attacks, I like sex, I believe in God but not necessarily in Jesus and also do not attend church. I really wished I’d taken a picture of his face.

So, we had a talk. I busted out the laptop this morning and started writing in every moment we weren’t speaking. I got a lot of writing done but only because distress inspires me.

We learned a lot about each other and ourselves. Most importantly: We are wrong for each other. It’s totally okay that we’re wrong for each other. There are plenty of other people in the world.

I’ve learned that I give off Church-lady vibe. I’m totally judging you but not in the ways a Church-lady does. Most people seem to assume that I am a religious person, attend church regularly and that’s why I’m a kind person. The truth is that while I believe in God and am on the fence about Jesus… I absolutely want nothing to do with church-based religion. In the last decade I’ve only gone to church for weddings and funerals. My pet peeve is “Jesus loves you.” It’s not that I don’t believe Jesus loves me, it’s that people presume to know the mind and heart of a being that is utterly unknowable. For all we know, Jesus only kind of wants to be friends with. You know, how you are with that one woman from work. She’s your friend from work but is NOT your friend.

Victor learned that not all nice people believe in God. I gave him a list of Atheists who are wonderful people. I also gave him a list of God-fearing folk who were terrible people for contrast. He’s never going to forgive me for that.

I learned that some men are not aware of the biological reactions that women go through during sex. Victor, hopefully, learned that a woman who is enjoying herself, experiences a full gamut of physical reactions that she cannot control. Then i was blunt and stated that dry-fucking is terrifying and harmful. Victor’s not a monster, he’s just never fucked someone who enjoys it as much as I do.

Victor learned that nice women aren’t necessarily good cooks. I can fuck up rice. I definitely can fuck up gravy. Victor taught me how to make a good chicken broth rue.

Then a storm rolled in and my place is furthest from the bad stuff so I made him bring me home. I’m very tired. I wrote 3,763 words between talks and staring at the TV like an old married couple.┬áCompatibility has so many layers. I know it couldn’t work if he’s got to have a church-going lady who can birth some babies.

On the way home, I listened to things that were so familiar, I have ceased cringing when I hear the skipping record.

“You’d make a great friend.”

“You’re more like one of the guys.”

“You should think about some different hobbies and go out more.”

“I wish you were more honest about yourself.”

The last one made me whip my head around. I had been waiting for it but it was the first time he’d said it out loud. “I should be more honest about addressing the assumptions you made about me in your head?”

The shade of red he turned was rather satisfying. Kay, I’m mean. I admit it. Freely.

“I don’t pretend to be a nice person. I’m nice until I’m not. I’m mean. I’m vicious. I’m a bitch. All valid facets of being a person and not a card-board cut out. If you want to meet a polite, church-going, lady… meet one at church. We met outside a bar. I was wearing a shirt that proclaimed not only my nerdiness but my social issues as I was on my way to buy beer to drink alone at home.”

I get it. I do. I am… unassuming. When people meet me, they don’t see me. When they do, they are intimidated. Maybe I do need more hobbies and more mingling but people in general suck. Girls are vicious. Boys are oblivious. When strangers do pay attention to me it’s usually to go off on me. Don’t know why. They just do. I don’t speak loudly and ignorantly in the wrong places. I’m fairly quiet and reserve my best jokes for those who will appreciate them. Something about me intrigues and angers people. I wish I knew what it was.

My buddy says I have swagger. I don’t know. My onboarding manager couldn’t put into words what I exude but something along the lines of confidence. She said it’s superattractive.

I don’t know. Victor will probably call once more. Maybe twice. We’ll talk. Then we’ll stop thinking about each other altogether. The rain finally hit my neighborhood. I just want to sleep but my mind is still going.

I always come back to “I just wish you were more honest about yourself.” It’s not the first time I’ve heard it. I’m pretty up front about myself. I don’t dish everything out straight off the bat but if I’m asked a question, I’ll answer it.

“Sure, technically I’m Mexican. It’s complicated. I’m more of a Texan.”

“It’s about mental health. Tons of people struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s kind of my thing.”

“I hate clubs. I don’t like being in crowds of people.”

“I’m not picky. I’ll eat wherever we go.”

Ways that I’m allegedly not honest? Technically I’m anywhere from 50-75% Apache. My father’s mother’s father is the only actual Mexican in my family tree. My father’s father’s grandfather is from Spain and his wife was half-French and half-something that spoke English. My father’s father’s mother is from the same place as all of my mother’s family./ I’m technically undiagnosed but given the nature of my last job’s insurance reportings I couldn’t get diagnosed and keep my job. I haven’t gotten around to it since then because my current job has switched insurance twice and it sucks so bad that I’m just white-knuckling until I can figure out what I can get covered./ There are things I don’t eat but it doesn’t mean I won’t. I’m fat. I’m not going to starve to death if I only order a little something off a mention where most of it is unappealing./ I’m a nerd, just not that kind of nerd. Not liking Dr. Who does not mean I’m not a nerd. I just nerd about other things.\

Well, I’m nigh on 2000 words for this post by itself. I’m just glad to be home and done with my latest drama. I’m joining a cloister as soon as I can find one. Big sea, right?

Still here

The last month has been a trial of patience. I resigned myself to doing my job without hope of change in the way things should change. This meant I had to do what I could to make sure everything was going as it should though everyone was in my way.

I got mad. I got frustrated. I yelled. I screamed.

Nothing changed.

I got despondent. I got obstinate. I despaired.

Then I finally got people to listen.

I wasn’t passive-agressive though I wanted to be. I just got quiet and when asked, I was honest. Brutally. I might have been snarky but I was also factual.

Changes are yet to come but the road is clear and ready to be repaved.

This makes me a happier, if tired human being.

So tired, I can’t seem to find my pants to get a celebratory beer from down the literal street.

I have 105 minutes to get there if I still want it but. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just sit and rest.

Progress not achieved but shackles have been released.

Two more days

So, I’m getting on a plane on Friday. I don’t want to. I hate flying but I don’t have a car and I don’t have any other means that won’t take the entire weekend in transit.

We’re celebrating my father’s birthday… an entire month early. I don’t know why. I wasn’t given much choice. I could have refused, I guess but then that makes me the petty one. I had to fight for my flight time and I have to have a stupid layover on the way back.

I stopped sleeping the other night. I had to get myself back on track. I have to eat. I have to sleep and I have to stop thinking that every bit of change is the end of the world.

I probably won’t get to indulge in my hobbies this year. I’m not going to have a car this year. I’m not going to get roped into the family drama. I moved across an entire state for a reason. That place is not my home. It was never my home and I don’t think they ever understood that.

I love my family but… I never feel myself around them. It hurts me and I think my sisters can feel it. My brother is never sure what I’m about and neither does his wife. My brother-in-law wants to bring me home but knows it would hurt me more than help me. My father… wants me married and with children and I haven’t the strength to break his heart so I just don’t talk about it.

I have a ride to the airport. I have means to get home after the trip. That part is set. It’s the trip. I don’t know what we’re doing and what we’re expected to do and I have pack tomorrow night. Most of the laundry is done.

I want to enjoy the time with my nieces and nephews but I can’t really explain to them why I’m not around except that I live far away. My job is far away.

Part of what brought me here was an opportunity to work where the color of my skin and the tongues I do not speak do not affect my prospects. Sure, you can say that plenty of people in that area don’t speak Spanish and are not required to at their jobs. You can say that plenty of people who share my pigment color have good jobs. The cross-section is different. No one will say it outright but when you look like a Mexican and you don’t talk like a Mexican and live in a border city, life is rough. Strangers will try to shame you. You won’t be “the right fit for this position” even if you are over-qualified.

My attempts to learn the language have been met with frustration and despair. I learned Russian basics faster than I have learned Spanish ones.

There’s also my nerdiness. I have contacts at work where I can plug in and express some of that. At home, I can’t. I can have my interests but I can’t share them. The circles are small and cliquey and if they didn’t know you from kindergarten, they don’t need you. I only have two friends from middle school that I’m in intermittent contact with. I spent 10 years in that city and the fond memories are so few… I can’t even see them.

What I don’t want is a fight about my life. I don’t want to stand accused of being me. My plan is to walk out.

Simply walk out if it comes to it.

I’ve never been good in a fight at defending myself. I will fight for others. I will fight for my life. I will not fight for┬ájust me.

Anymore, I just don’t have the strength for it.

I’ve grown accustomed to people scoffing at my clothes, my music and my interests and blowing past it. I don’t do the same. I don’t like everything but I never go out of my way to tell someone that they suck, or their music sucks or the print on their shirt sucks.

Every time I go home, I’m just mentally bombarded with all that’s wrong that I can’t find what’s right. I don’t want to sink into despair when I get back. The extra long flight home is already causing the dread to build where I have 3 hours instead of 1 to be in a can with people and not hyperventilate. It’s actually why I prefer driving home. I can pull off and have my panic attack and then move on with my life. You can’t do that in an airplane without freaking people out.

I’ll bring my music for the wait to board and for the lay over but I’ve never been able to listen to my music on a plane. They always make me shut off my mp3 player. They always make me put away my Nook. I can bring a paperback, I suppose. It doesn’t shut out the noise of the world.

Hell, these days. I wear headphones for the 8 minute walk to work. It freaks me out when I walk home in the silence of the day.

So, I’m going to keep breathing.

I’m going to keep my calm and I hope to God I’ll be able to endure the flight home in relative peace I don’t have to show up at work Monday exhausted because I had a panic attack and couldn’t sleep.

Grrr.

I’m back on the spiral. It didn’t take much. I vacillate between rage and sadness.

I was invited out by no fewer than 10 people. I arranged a ride, a back up ride, a back up-back up ride and a back up for the back up-back up ride. No one showed. No one called. No one texted.

I’m going to be questioned on why I didn’t show. Someone’s feelings will be hurt that I wasn’t there for the grand send off and I can’t bring myself to call any of those rides to find out why they all ended up at the destination and couldn’t find the energy to let me know they couldn’t swing by for me.

So, I’m doing what I do. I don’t have booze so I’ve arranged a date. Should be here within the next half hour. I’m going to be mean. I’m going to get drunk and laid and then I’m never going to talk to him again. It’s not going to make me feel better. It’s not going to fix anything. I’m going to wake up in the morning and not go to work the way I had planned because I’m too angry and sad.

It shouldn’t be a big deal except that I’ve been dealing with people flaking on me my own life and I’ve hit my limit. I have absolutely no one in my life that I can count on. Maybe I’ve chased them all away. Maybe my expectations are far too high. Maybe I don’t think I deserve to have people in my life. I don’t know. I just know that I’m so done for the night.

I can’t deal with people I know anymore. I’m sick of them. If I had the means, I would pick up and move some place where I don’t know a soul and just get lost.

I am trying to calm down enough that while I’m mean to my date, I’m not vicious. I’m still in that mode. Any word out of my mouth will cut deep and no one deserves that.

Breathing exercises while I fix my face and wait for my escape.

#YesAllWomen

I’ve just read about what happened. I’m saddened, enraged. I’ve done nothing but work and sleep and am barely able to sleep. It will cause another sleepless night:

#YesAllWomen

As a 14 year old student trainer, my breasts were the targets of classmates, football players and other girls, even though I never once wore a revealing garment.

As a 16 year old in my first job, I was cornered while cleaning the men’s restroom. My friendly smile was too inviting, I suppose.

In high school, riding with friends at lunch, I learned how to aim for the solar plexus because I had to.

Because having a good sense of humor and being a modicum of social means I’m a cheating slut.

Because I can’t return a text while I’m at work means I’m a flaky bitch. The stalking in the following days was super-sexy.

Because not feeling right about going away with a man I hardly know makes me a prude with issues.

Because I can’t drive with my window rolled down without being catcalled.

Because I can’t shake a man’s hand more than once in a week or else he thinks I’m a tease.

Because if I turn a man down because I’m not interested or am otherwise engaged, I’m just a fat bitch lucky to get anyone’s attention.

Because if I’m alone at the bar, I’m game for anything and if I say I’m not, then I’m putting out false advertising.

Because my social anxiety precludes regular eye contact and that means I’m submissive and need a good lay to loosen up.

Because I don’t wear make up and that means I hate men, even if I don’t actually but that also means I’m playing a game.

Being told by women that men don’t like smart women, that men don’t like women in glasses or who don’t wear skirts, that being alone with a man is agreeing to advances, and that feminism is man-bashing.

It’s hard to be a woman. It’s hard to be human. We shouldn’t hurt each other to get the things we need. We don’t need to be alone or afraid but trust is harder to come by than it should be.

Still Alive

I’m hanging in there. Today was a lot less pain than has been the usual. Enjoyed that. I have a lot of preparation to do if I’m going to make my life work again.

I’m composing another roommate ad. I’m getting into a routine, which may mean picking up another shift per week at work.

I’m going to really look at the dating thing as an objective thing. It’s not working and there are fairly obvious reasons why.

I need to be more assertive and it’s one of the things I’m really afraid of. I don’t know why. Meek isn’t the right word. People have used push-over. I hate conflict but you get me riled up enough, then enough is enough.

There’s an issue at work where part of your shift duties is to prepare a list of people who will be available at certain times. You pass this on to the next shift so they know what the deal is, they gather the same info on their shift and so on and so forth. The last two weeks, ESPECIALLY, this has been jacked up and affects the way my shift runs and my boss yells at me because it just really looks like I don’t know what’s going on. And I don’t. Because the information is unreliable. So I did what I could. I talked to the people on the list. I gave that info to the next shift and ran over it verbally. Then I came in early and talked to the previously shift and we talked about the discrepancies, then at the end of the shift, I asked at the discrepancies. This was a process I rinsed, lathered and repeated for a solid two weeks and every other shift pointed their finger at another shift.

Then it happened that a day this weekend was particularly fucked because so much information was incorrect. So I outlined my process and what the results were and I emailed it to EVERYONE. Then, this morning, I presented the previous shift info, the actual schedule and how it was inaccurate to my boss. I’m clear. I have done my job and then some. Other shifts are going to hate me but their fuck-ups have affected my ability to do my job for the last time. Two WHOLE weeks of chances to get it the fuck right.

I’m pretty humble, really. I know I’m not the best at my job. I know that there are loads of better people. The difference between me and what I do and what other people do is in the results. Our contacts are nicer to me because I am nice to them, even when they fuck up. I consistently thank people for a job well done and I kindly suggest changes when it isn’t. I don’t want to be yelled at. I don’t want to be bitched at. I don’t want to be accused of doing something I didn’t or conversely of not doing something I should. So I make sure it’s done and it’s done right to the best of my ability.

A lot of the people I work with, this is the hardest job they have ever had. Sometimes, they lord it over me that they have higher numbers or better accuracy or lower deadline busts. When they get to high and mighty, I remind them that I used to do a job similar and then some. By some, I mean I was accounting and manager and supervisor and programmer and designer and marketer and I wrote the rules and I dealt with patients and the families and I covered everyone’s asses at the same time.

This job lets me have a bit of focus. It’s just one avenue. My boss keeps telling me that I could be getting a promotion if things keep improving. Admittedly, that scares the shit out of me. I don’t think there’s much money involved in that but all extra money is welcome. I just left a job where I was the be-all and end-all. I’m not looking forward to having that much responsibility again. But those are the jobs that kind of… find me.

When I was at Whataburger, I wasn’t there long enough to get a promotion but I was there long enough to see some long-term employees get canned. At the Library, I got the entire library on a barcode system. When I worked at DQ, I was the shift manager even though we really didn’t have one of those and there were employees who had been there for years (I was there a year). At the hotel, I was the one who straightened out guest snafus over three other employees who were technically the ones who were supposed to have that job. At the residential care, I was the low man on the totem-pole, timewise, but had all the procurement cards. Then came my last job where I was under-educated and under-qualified but made it my own for five years giving high quality service… when I had the proper tools to do so.

There’s the big thing. Having the tools to do your job is important and so many companies just want you to make do. There are just some things you can’t make do without. There’s where I put my foot down and that’s why I was fired.

My anxiety about it is becoming less. Mostly because I feel comfortable enough to gripe out my cohorts because things they do make other people want to call me on the carpet. So I cover for everyone and light everyone else up. I try to be nice about it. I’m not an ogre.

Sigh.

I hate needing people. It’s just… something I hate doing, it’s also why my relationships don’t last long. I don’t NEED that person. I just barely WANT that person. I’d rather be on my own. I know that everyone needs someone but I haven’t found that person I Want AND Need. I also haven’t been looking very hard.