Making it through

I guess. It’s still terrifying every day and I wish my former friend cared at all about the situation I’m in. Oh well.

I started talking about it at dinner and Chloe (respectfully) cut me off. She said there’s no use in beating myself up for what is already done. She said there may be a point where I get paid back but if I don’t it says a whole lot of bad about my friend but nothing bad about me.

I figure that a big part of parenting my kids and ensuring that they’re good people is talking about this stuff and being honest with them. Trust me that they’re learning valuable lessons about whom to trust and who not to—but they’re also learning about me, too.

I have continued to be generous with others even though I got so badly burned by my friend. Obviously I’m not as generous with anyone else but I still do my best.

I’ve almost entirely got my office set up and my dressers switched over. I can actually see the end in sight of this massive project I’ve undertaken and it feels really good. I really feel like I’m accomplishing something major.

I still don’t know what the future holds at all but I’m trying to believe that I’ll be okay.

The blahs

I’m making it through, I guess.

I’m still waiting to find out if Chloe got the job. She’s waiting to hear back on her background check to find out if she got the job or not.

Dyl is taking the time off work to learn coding skills but he hasn’t been able to work on that yet, which worries me a lot.

I wrote at Medium about my relationship with my mother-in-law, just to try to process it. My mom thinks that no good can come of it because I’m still letting my MIL live in my head but she also doesn’t seem to understand how hard it is for me to stop letting her do so.

The woman was part of my life for almost 30 years, you know? She may have decided that’s it, we’re done now, but I can’t necessarily shut it off that easily.

But I did realize after writing that she deals with a lot of conflicts this way. She just decides that someone is now dead to her and that’s the end of it.

I am not like that, though. Ending a relationship of any sort is usually a big deal to me.

I also realized that even though my friend said she would start paying me in September, the month is almost over and I haven’t seen any money from her, nor even gotten an email about it.

I think it’s most likely that she will never pay me back and will probably never say another word to me. Whether it’s what she intended all along or not, it certainly does leave the strong impression that she really was using me the whole time and played me for a sucker. After all, if she wasn’t, she would surely say so.

Realizing that my supposed “best friend” came into my life after J died and got a whole bunch of money from me still makes me feel sick inside. I know it’s her karma and not mine. But I also just see my money running out and that I’m not getting jobs I apply for and Chloe is also having a hard time finding work, too, and I don’t know what else to do. I am freaking the fuck out.

I don’t know if I’m going to have to move back home to Michigan or not. J always warned me against that because he felt strongly that doing so would lead to an early death for me. I don’t even completely disagree but it just feels increasingly unsustainable to stay here right now and I don’t know how to fix it.

I just feel so beaten down and hopeless. I need to do something to change my situation but I don’t even know how.

Tiny victories

Dyl made it back home from New Mexico today and I felt a lot better just seeing him again.

I went out and mailed some returns and I got a massage that I had bought with a Groupon and it was about to expire, so I’m glad I did it.

However, I’m very sore today afterward and am trying to drink a lot of water. I might have to take a muscle relaxer though.

My secret shame is that I started vaping when J got diagnosed with cancer. Amy did it and she told me it was a much better alternative to smoking. I’m not so sure of that but I have noticed that it seems to be contributing to my fatigue and sleepiness.

So I threw away all my vaping supplies the other day as I was cleaning up. I do still have a disposable pen for when I get desperate but I just want to be done with it.

I also made a lot more progress on cleaning up my bedroom and office. Maybe I’ll have everything looking like I want it to within just a couple of days. That gives me some hope.

I still don’t know what I’m going to do regarding a job or earning money but I’m being patient for now and letting whatever is meant to come to me do so at the right time.

Trying to rush past it isn’t helping at all so I might as well stop fighting it and just trust that everything will work out okay.

But man, I still just can’t really believe that J’s really gone. It blows my mind every day and I can’t get used to it yet. I’m not sure if I ever will.

Just been thinking

I’ve spent the past couple of days just thinking about stuff.

Dyl’s been gone in New Mexico with his girlfriend and her dad. It’s been strangely quiet around here.

I set a goal to get my new dresser in place, which I did tonight, but the room still needs more cleaning and I will need Dyl to help me hang up the mirror I bought. But the end is in sight now, which feels really good.

I also needed to clean out my office so I can set up my new desktop computer. Again, I’m about 80 percent of the way done on that goal, too.

Cat called me yesterday and we kind of had a decompression or deconstruction kind of thing, just reviewing what went wrong. The good thing about that is that I think we’ll still be able to be friends. We both felt like seeing each other so often was really stressful for both of us.

I also got a “save the date” for my nephew’s wedding next spring. For one thing, I was so overwhelmingly touched by the amount of inclusion they showed in addressing the invite to us, as it specifically said “Misses Amy and Chloe” then our last name.

The wedding is in California (where the bride is originally from) and I think I may actually go. I’ve never been to California and I have always really wanted to go.

I messaged my nephew yesterday and said that I was thinking of attending but I wanted to make sure my presence would be welcome, since everything on that side of the family is still kind of fragile.

He said that two of his groomsmen are gay and (how did he put it?) anyone who might be “grumpy” about that will be advised to stay away and that he’ll enforce it.

God, I just love him so much. He and his fiancée appear to be taking up the role that J and I always played in his extended family, only my nephew gives no fucks about trying to win over his grandparents (J’s mom and stepdad.) J always argued with his mom, up until the end when he got too tired to fight.

But I am so, so happy to see a younger generation in the same family standing up for what is right and refusing to tolerate discrimination. J always tried to be nice, even though he would firmly express his beliefs.

My nephew is just very matter of fact. This is how it is and if you don’t like it you know where the door is. I admire that greatly about him and am trying to adopt some of that attitude myself.

At least there’s still one member of J’s family who is alright. (And actually more, because I’ve been in contact with J’s half sister since his death, too, and she’s also great.)

I just feel like the truth is winning out and I’m grateful to have the supporters that I do.

Exhaustion wins

I got a whole crap load of stuff done yesterday.

That’s mainly because I didn’t really sleep last night because Dyl was leaving for New Mexico with his girlfriend and her dad at 6:30 yesterday morning. I tried to go to sleep early last night but my “mom sense” kicked in and I lay there barely resting until I heard him leave.

Also early yesterday morning I really got onto Chloe’s case because there were two days worth of dishes piled up in the kitchen. I told her that paying reduced rent is contingent on doing those chores in a more timely manner than that.

She responded “geez fine, I was going to get them after dinner tonight but I guess I can do it now.” Umm, yeah?!?

Apparently, she was only chatting with a friend online so it’s not like she had much more important stuff to do. She reacted like I was being a real hard ass and 1) I don’t think I was at all (especially because I got all the dishes rinsed off for her) and 2) really?!?!

She often drags her feet a whole lot even about things like this that are for her benefit. I let her know that paying reduced rent was a privilege contingent on doing the dishes and she could always opt out if she wanted.

I’m sorry but that kind of shit just won’t fly, especially when I have so much work to do.

However, she did have an interview yesterday and she may (crossing my fingers so hard) finally have a job. God, I hope so. This process has really dragged on for way too long.

Then I had therapy, which was good, and I was already ready to leave the house right afterwards.

I mailed some returns and my dad’s birthday card and bought stamps and returned stuff to the mall. And then I came home and cleaned a whole bunch.

My bedroom and office aren’t completely clean or set up yet but I think they will be very soon.

Oh yeah, and I called the vet because Dyl thinks Batsu has worms and I also called two other places I needed to. And I broke down a bunch of boxes and took out the trash and recycling.

It’s no wonder that I’m actually tired at an earlier time. It’s kind of a good thing.

The great reset

Yesterday, I got a tattoo on the side of my arm that says “believe in yourself.”

Part of that is that I am making an intentional effort to have all of my tattoos be symmetrical and I have text on the side of my other arm. That one is in J’s handwriting and it says “love is stronger than death.”

But then something interesting happened. I came home from the tattoo appointment and immediately took a nap, because the appointment was early and I hadn’t slept really at all the night before.

When I woke up from the nap, I was suddenly invigorated with this very new energy. At first, I decided that I would go back to volunteering with the Trevor Project. I had stepped away from it in late July, saying that I was not in a good place where my mental health would allow me to do it.

At the time, they said that they respected me for paying attention to my own needs and that they would welcome me back, whether as a volunteer or an employee.

They have had open positions for full-time counselors on evening and overnight shifts and I mentioned that it was my goal to try to get one of those permanent positions, although I also acknowledged that I would have to complete my training and prove myself first.

After my nap, I realized that I could try to go back to pursuing that work, with the eventual goal of getting a permanent job with them.

They have good salaries and absolutely excellent health insurance coverage, including for gender confirming surgeries. Since at least Chloe wants to get surgery and had a lot of money saved towards it (which she’s had to spend a lot of to help her get by while she’s out of work) it would be amazing if I could get a job with really good insurance that would cover it.

Suddenly I just started to realize that it is within my reach to possibly provide good health insurance for the kids and myself.

Honestly, I think I was just feeling so defeated before. I didn’t think that I would be able to ever have good insurance again, let alone provide it for my kids. I thought that because I need to work nights or on third shift, I would never be able to find any kind of job that would work with me.

But maybe I could actually get this job someday and it would make me feel like I was making a difference. I could still use my counseling skills without having to get a masters degree and licensing. I wanted to work with LGBTQ young people when I got my counseling degree anyway.

My greater sense of motivation extended beyond that, though. I walked at a 4.5 mph pace on my treadmill last night. I cleaned up a bunch of stuff, although I still have a lot more to clean. My pretty new purple iMac was delivered the other day and I’m going to set it up in my office. And I’ve almost got my new dresser ready to put in place. (One of them is already in place, so I’m halfway there already.)

I finally have a feeling of hope again. And I don’t feel a need to find a new relationship any time soon because I have more than enough to do on my own.

I don’t know if all of this is the result of just putting some simple words on my arm in the form of a tattoo or if it’s completely unexplainable but either way, the result is the same and I’m ready to attack the world again.

The great reset

Yesterday, I got a tattoo on the side of my arm that says “believe in yourself.”

Part of that is that I am making an intentional effort to have all of my tattoos be symmetrical and I have text on the side of my other arm. That one is in J’s handwriting and it says “love is stronger than death.”

But then something interesting happened. I came home from the tattoo appointment and immediately took a nap, because the appointment was early and I hadn’t slept really at all the night before.

When I woke up from the nap, I was suddenly invigorated with this very new energy. At first, I decided that I would go back to volunteering with the Trevor Project. I had stepped away from it in late July, saying that I was not in a good place where my mental health would allow me to do it at the time.

At the time, they said that they respected me for paying attention to my own needs and that they would welcome me back, whether as a volunteer or an employee.

They have had open positions for full-time counselors on evening and overnight shifts and I mentioned that it was my goal to try to get one of those permanent positions, although I also acknowledged that I would have to complete my training and prove myself first.

After my nap, I realized that I could try to go back to pursuing that work, with the eventual goal of getting a permanent job with them.

They have good salaries and absolutely excellent health insurance coverage, including for gender confirming surgeries. Since at least Chloe wants to get surgery and had a lot of money saved towards it (which she’s had to spend a lot of to help her get by while she’s out of work) it would be amazing if I could get a job with really good insurance that would cover it.

Suddenly I just started to realize that it is within my reach to possibly provide good health insurance for the kids and myself.

Honestly, I think I was just feeling so defeated before. I didn’t think that I would be able to ever have good insurance again, let alone provide it for my kids. I thought that because I need to work nights or on third shift, I would never be able to find any kind of job that would work with me.

But maybe I could actually get this job someday and it would make me feel like I was making a difference. I could still use my counseling skills without having to get a masters degree and licensing. I wanted to work with LGBTQ young people when I got my counseling degree anyway.

My greater sense of motivation extended beyond that, though. I walked at a 4.5 mph pace on my treadmill last night. I cleaned up a bunch of stuff, although I still have a lot more to clean. My pretty new purple iMac was delivered the other day and I’m going to set it up in my office. And I’ve almost got my new dresser ready to put in place. (One of them is already in place, so I’m halfway there already.)

I finally have a feeling of hope again. And I don’t feel a need to find a new relationship any time soon because I have more than enough to do on my own.

I don’t know if all of this is the result of just putting some simple words on my arm in the form of a tattoo or if it’s completely unexplainable but either way, the result is the same and I’m ready to attack the world again.

Strange happenings

So last night I saw J again. I asked him where his deck of Yu-gi-oh cards is because Amy really wants to find it. And he told me that he didn’t know but I might want to check in the attic, now that the daytime temperature is starting to cool down.

He also told me a lot of things that frankly don’t make any sense at all, because they were so specific.

He told me that my former friend probably will not pay me back but that I will get back every cent I loaned her and quite a bit more. He didn’t say where or how I would be getting this, just that it would be coming to me.

He also told me that I am going to be given a car. That it will just be given to me outright. He even told me what kind of car it would be and even the color and the model year.

That’s so unbelievably specific that I am now starting to have doubts. Also, I don’t particularly want a new car; I really love the current car I’m driving. Though I suppose that if what he told me is the truth, I would either offer to sell my car and split the proceeds between Dyl and Amy because I wasn’t able to get them cars (although Amy would almost certainly turn me down) or give my car to Dyl or I guess just sell it outright.

My car is surprisingly worth a decent amount of money. I bought it in 2017 (it’s a 2015) with the intention that it was a good investment because Toyotas tend to hold their value well.

I just really don’t understand this particular prediction of J’s and I’m looking for all kinds of reasons to disbelieve it. But at the same time, I don’t want to disbelieve it so hard that I block it if it’s coming to me, if that makes any sense.

I’m also feeling strangely more drawn towards Nash, which is also unexpected and weird. But he’s so calm and being around him is so calming for me.

Yesterday, he gave me a couple of really long hugs and they were the kind of hugs where someone hugs you for long enough that it just makes all your stress melt away and you totally relax. Honestly, I haven’t experienced that since J died.

At the same time, I’m being really cautious not to get carried away, although that’s also difficult. I don’t want to have sex with him too soon because that tends to ruin relationships.

But on the other hand, I also feel like we’re a pretty good match. Our astrological signs are even a great match; he’s an Aries and I’m an Aquarius. We’re both stimulated by intellectual conversations. J and I were also a good match according to astrology; he was a Sagittarius. But that’s all assuming that anything can be explained by astrology, which I’m not so sure about.

I don’t remember if he wants kids or not but I’m inclined to think not. Since I’m apparently probably in menopause right now, that would be a dealbreaker.

But why am I even thinking about whether or not he wants kids? It’s not like we’re anywhere close to that. At the same time, though, I also have a connection to him that I’ve only experienced a couple of times in my life.

Maybe it will be like my relationship was with Cat, where I was just supposed to learn from her that I’m still sexually desirable and what it feels like to have sexual chemistry with someone. And even though I don’t really believe that much in astrology, we were a bad match in that sense, too.

I guess for right now I’m just going to enjoy hanging out with Nash and learning what he has to teach me. He has a lot to teach me about trusting in the universe to provide for me, which I definitely need.

Newer friends

I finally got a chance to meet up with Nash again last night. He’s the guy I met on the dating app a few months ago.

If you’ll remember, he’s a lot younger than me. He’s also pretty successful and he’s an Indian immigrant. He’s actually a great person to talk to when I start feeling too down on living in the US because he sees things from a different perspective.

Anyway, we hadn’t gotten together for a variety of reasons, mostly mine. My mental health hasn’t been great in the past month or so. But unlike Cat, he doesn’t ever pressure me to try to be more available than I am and he’s really patient. It’s actually really refreshing that when he tells me that he wants me to feel better, I know that he genuinely means it and is concerned about me.

Last night, we met for dinner at a Mexican restaurant I really like called Torchy’s. It turns out that he was already familiar with it and liked it but I got him to try their green chile queso, which is pretty famous because it’s so good.

After that, we left and met up at his new place. (Did I mention that he drives a Tesla? I can’t lie; I was impressed.) He has been doing this certain type of meditation that he says has been really helpful for him and I asked him to teach it to me.

I trust my gut always and my gut knew I would be safe to go to his house (but I still messaged Chloe with the address, just in case.) And it was really good. He taught me the meditation technique and then we got to talking a bit.

I told him my shameful, embarrassing secret about how I foolishly wasted some of my life insurance money on my former friend. And I also told him that I had sent her a letter recently, telling her that I wasn’t going to take her to court, even though I contacted legal aid and they said I do have a valid case and could sue her.

I told him what I told her, just to see if it sounded crazy to him, and it didn’t at all. I told her (and him) that I believe in the universal laws of money and karma and I will always be taken care of because I’m generous and I meet my obligations. I said it was up to her whether or not she took those laws seriously but it was out of my hands now.

I talked to her a lot about those universal laws and at the time, she said she believed in them. She was convincing to me but who knows if that was all part of an act to scam me out of money.

Nash told me that I’m a good person and I will indeed always be taken care of but I have to keep believing in myself. I can’t lie down and assume that everything is going to suck for me forever (which I admit I have kinda been doing that lately.)

He also told me that I didn’t want to believe that my friend intentionally took advantage of me and he didn’t express an opinion on that one way or the other. But he said that the fact that I’m still willing to believe that maybe it wasn’t intentional is just proof that I’m a really good person and I shouldn’t change that. (Although to be sure, I’ve learned a very hard lesson from all of this and I wouldn’t do it again if I could go back in time.)

He also said that I have to have an attitude of openness towards the universe and amazing things will happen for me. I’ve experienced that before, both when I moved down here and then again when we found this house to rent.

He himself recently had something similar happen. He was living in an apartment with a roommate but he really wasn’t happy with the situation. So he put that thought out into the universe that he wanted a better place to live.

What he got was the opportunity to stay in a family friends’ house. The house is big and beautiful and was currently unoccupied. They even purchased furniture for him, which was all really nice. They’re even going to have a charging station installed for his Tesla. And the best part is that he doesn’t have to pay rent until January.

He asked me, as he often does, if there’s anything he can do to help me. And I was very honest with him and I told him that seeing how well he was doing tempted me to ask for financial help but I was choosing not to do that. (I even paid for my own dinner at Torchy’s.) I was very cautious about not taking advantage of him.

He’s a genuinely nice guy and if I asked for money, he’d probably give it to me. But I don’t want to be that kind of person.

But he did get me thinking about how to be in that mindset to receive blessings from the universe. I think I’m going to be working on that.

Today was just a day fading into another

Can anyone guess the song from the title? It’s actually one of the most depressing songs of all time because it speaks to depression so well.

But I’m not actually that depressed, I’m just blah.

I was a good mom today, so I guess that counts for something. Dyl lost his wallet and still can’t find it, which may become a problem in the coming days. But he wanted to get a Starbucks drink at Kroger on his break in honor of his last day and had no access to cash. But I sent him a gift card for a drink so he could still get one with his phone.

He thanked me, of course. But what he doesn’t know is how truly scared I am about him quitting his job. I’ve expressed my concerns but I also certainly understand why he wants some time off to study.

I just feel like I’m constantly on the precipice where things could go either way and that makes me really uneasy.

I also had the extremely delayed reaction to J’s death today, 8.5 months after it happened. I just suddenly realized that he’s not coming home, not ever. And I don’t know how to cope with that at all.

It’s like half of me just isn’t here anymore. And that sucks so much. I just want him back, dammit. Life is not the same without him at all. He was a part of my life for so long.

I want to write more about my MIL and how she has destroyed my relationship with J’s sister. But I know that neither my MIL or my SIL are ready or willing to change anything, so it would just be like screaming into the void.

I guess the one bit of good news today is that I got my treadmill working again, so that’s a relief.

However, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trying to move to income-restricted apartments in Denton. Since my rent is going up a lot and our utilities are much, much higher here than they are in the city of Denton, it just really makes sense from a financial perspective. I would easily save $500+ a month, which I really need to do.

I don’t look forward to cutting back on my possessions enough to fit into half the square footage and I don’t remember apartment life fondly, but it’s probably what I need to do and the only question is when.

It would help Dyl to be closer to the university there too and he might not even need a car.

But I would have to go through all of J’s things to be able to move and I can’t even move his coffee cup from the table he sat by in his final days. I don’t know how or when I’ll be ready to throw things out or give them away. Hell, I’m just now starting to grasp that he’s actually gone.