Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shrink tonight.

It was productive, but difficult. I am so frustrated that I have emotional connections to insane stuff like housekeeping. We talked a lot about "keeping house" with Ben as roommate. How it is good practice for me in communication and give and take, etc... I need to learn to be happy with help. For example a couple of days ago Ben cleaned the veggie drawer and got rid of the yucky strawberries and cleaned the rest, etc... It was a GOOD thing, a NICE thing. Instead of feeling grateful , well really I WAS grateful, so I should say in ADDITION to feeling grateful, however, I felt defensive. Like it meant I am wasteful with food, I don't keep the fridge clean enough, like it was some kind of judgment about the way I don't do it right! Really, for God's sake, Hope, he just cleaned out the effing vegetable drawer. Drop all that emotional shit and be happy there are no longer blue, fuzzy strawberries in there!

I have all these blocks that will keep me from being emotionally available in relationships. If I keep my emotions occupied with guilt or resentment or defense....I don't have to worry about forming relationships because all my emotional energy is tied up in the crap. Sigh.... It's amazing that I have such good friendships and even friendships with some men. One thing I think I recognized today however is that in my friendships and also in my relationships with Emily and Michael I am able to be "Lighthearted." - at least the majority of the time. I decided that a lighthearted attitude and behaviors are not that way I act when faced with a potential partner relationship. My relationship with my "Not boyfriend," on the other hand is extremely lighthearted and we can play and tease and have fun. There is no need to work on issues pertaining to potential long-term partnership because we have already determined that is not in our future. So poor Garet, he got the not-lighthearted Hope and in a very stressful time in my life.

When I think about the past year I think...
October Dad had the stroke and fall, I also got a HUGE fee speeding ticket and my license suspended.
November - conflict with Heather over holidays
December - more holidays and with financial stress involved
January - Heather robbed and I absorbed a lot of stress from that.
Computer broke down completely, crippling Michael's schoolwork and my abilities to work on ways to grow the business somewhat. Also had to break from Katie at this time, who has been a dear friend for over 20 years and really grieved that break.
February - March - I think Dad in nursing home, going to Lafayette every week or every other week, dealing with trying to get him home etc... he went home sometime in there
Somewhere in there started dating Garet
April - I think that's when the car broke down and I had to spend a couple hundred dollars, also the first fall and when I ripped my knee open the first time. Orchestra trip to Atlanta which was fun, but hard in many ways, too.
Somewhere in there was major dental work, which is HUGE stress for me. ( still owe bills from it, too)
Still going to Lafayette about every other weekend.
Started to regain the weight...
May -decide to start training with a 5K in mind - second fall, spraining the ankle and ripped open the same knee.
April through May - VERY stressful end of school year Michael taking trips, orchestra trip, Michael having stress behaviors which frightened me.
I thought June would bring relief, then Mom and Dad decided to go ahead and put the house on the market and move to the apartment. More trips to Lafayette, working in a toxic environment, trying to help with applications, paperwork, etc.
July and August - can't think of anything, but started questioning if relationship with Garet was healthy and really what I wanted. Still going to Lafayette on a regular basis and very emotional and physical work getting Mom and Dad moved.
Then the break up...
Then getting Michael the rest of the way ready for school, oh and all along that was going on, with deadlines for forms and copies of financial stuff and teen angst and argh...
And all the time worrying about my health, gaining the weight back, WORK STRESS because all the other stress affected my work behavior, attendance, etc.. AND one person was very difficult to be near on a daily basis AND he was supposed to be gone July 3, but it's not happening until tomorrow (YAY AND THANK GOD/GODDESS OR KARMA OR WHATEVER!).

No freaking wonder I got so off track. I may need a year or more to get BACK ON!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back on track 9- 21-10

Good thing I did: Yesterday I had a sinus headache all day. After work I skipped dancefit class and came home and RESTED. I felt better today. Today I went to class (Bollywood dancefit!), and then came home, ate some food Ben had cooked and lay down to watch Glee. I fell asleep about halfway through. I will have to watch the rest online tomorrow. I think I am still sinusy - it went from 70s and 80s back into the 90s so the pressure must be whacko. I probably still need more rest and sinus meds. I plan to do a few things tonight and try to be in bed by 1:00. After my nap that should give me enough sleep for tomorrow.

After class tonight several of the women commented on my stamina and said I did really well, including the instructor. I know they are being encouraging, but one said, "I bet you used to be an athlete." Well I was never a GREAT athlete, but yes, I agreed it was true. I feel really encouraged that someone recognized the person buried underneath the fat. I know I am still in here - the swimmer me, the ballet class me, the able-to-balance me, the endurance me, the can-carry-a-full-pack me, the learn choreography me - I just need to get me back out. I hope that my emotional blocks can be overcome to let those physical Hopes who are good and healthy and active back out.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Evolution of the website:

Ben's blog.

I was reprimanded at work today for crying at my desk yesterday, even though when I realized not crying anymore was not an option, I checked with my co-workers and manager and traded lunches, left and came home and lay down and got under control and then returned to work, taking a perfectly timed one hour lunch, although earlier than usual. I was reprimanded for unprofessional behavior because it upsets my co-workers. I was not neither bawling nor sobbing, just silently crying and wiping tears and blowing my nose. No customers saw me, and I hardly thought my coworkers noticed because I did my inquiring about trading lunches by email so I didn't have to talk to anybody. I am not feeling the love with this place anymore.

I know that I am different than I used to be, and that perhaps the new me is more difficult to work with . I really felt like I handled my emotional upset well yesterday, however and I am very frustrated by all of it. I need to look for a new job where I can go in with a fresh slate. It's just that around here new jobs with this pay and health insurance don't come easy. I don't make that much, but when you are in a town where it seems like EVERYBODY has a degree in something OR works at Wal-mart or elsewhere in the service industry finding a job that pays above poverty level is hard. I can't afford to go down. I am hardly making it now.

I may end up selling the house to move to a cheap apartment, although I have made certain commitments to Michael should this happen, and also to Ben, because our arrangement is working out so well right now.

I went to a concert tonight that was covers of Pink Floyd. Andy Hollinden is a music professor at IU and leads the band. It was 100% first class musicians and they kicked ass. I have seen Pink Floyd live, but it was in a HUGE arena (Market Square in Indianapolis) and I was a million miles away from the band. This was up close and personal and amazingly well done. There was only ONE song where I didn't like the way it was handled. They even did the "Great Gig in the Sky" and Jenn Christy did the vocals and she nailed it. I've seen her sing before, but mostly her own compositions and she was BETTER tonight than singing her own stuff... or maybe I just like Pink Floyd music better than Jenn Christy music! I also know the saxophonist and I had to tell him I like his playing a thousand times more now that I know his repertoire includes Pink Floyd. I have always seen him play improvisational jazz before - blech. Michael will probably end up taking classes from Andy Hollinden for his Individualized major. Andy is amazingly hot (Also married I think, with twin daughters or something) I will need daily updates when Michael is taking his classes!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


cried at my desk today.

I'm in for a good one, I think.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Saw "Hopeless Crush" again today. I attended a funeral at church. The deceased was the grandfather of the woman I would like Hopeless Crush to fall in love with. When Hopeless Crush and I talked all the time he told me she loved him and had told him so. H.C., however is very frightened of relationships. I hate to say it, but part of it is fucked up Mormonthink. He is afraid if he gets married to somebody in the temple, they are sealed to his son, and then gets divorced or something that something eternally awful will happen to his "claim" on his son. ANY God I could believe in would not let this happen, PLUS it seems insane to me that Jim doesn't recognize in the patriarchal society of the Mormon church HE would have all first claim on the child or any other children they would have. It's such a shame because J. is a beautiful, talented and amazing woman. I have known her since her early teen years and always loved her. Jim should be honored that she loves him and should jump at the chance. Alas, his own family of origin has a history of dysfunction and I am certain that is combining with the Mormonthink to prevent him from having a healthy relationship. So sad for both of them, and for sweet little boy, who could have one of the best moms on earth. I still enjoyed watching Jim during the funeral. I am not above getting my jollies in the midst of grief.

The deceased was one of the kindest, most giving men I have ever known. It was an honor to have had him and his family in parts of my life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back on Track Report 9-14-10

Tonight my body said, "REST!" so I did it. I came home to some lovely roommate-prepared food, ate, then lay in my bed and rested! I felt a little bit guilty about missing the dancefit class tonight, but I could tell I was just, plain tired. Part of "Back on track" is listening and obeying those signals!

I did NOT make a list tonight. This is a pretty big deal. Instead I gave a ride, had a snack, played my Facebook games, polished my coppper-bottomed pans and knitted while I watched Glee.

I feel good about resting when I needed to - I can hit a class tomorrow and I will have more energy and enjoy it more. It's hip-hop dancefit and it's fun because I don't know the music, yet I enjoy it. I don't really listen to "pop" music (although, ironically, I am listening to Christina Aguilera right now, inspired by Glee), so it is new and fun. Maybe I'll get to shake my fat ass to Single Ladies again tomorrow - another song familiar from Glee!

My goal every night is to try to get to bed by midnight (working my way back to 11:00) and I hardly ever do it, but I am damn close tonight and I'll be going soon!

Oh, and knitting is part of Back on Track - I always tried to donate at least 10 hats every year and last year didn't do ANY. I already have a few ready and I am so glad! It's going to be cold before we know it! Getting back to doing volunteer activities for the community, instead of only for my children's extra curricular activities is a good place I want to be.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Laundry List.

I wrote that I wouldn't write a laundry list of the things about Garet that helped me decide to break up with him. I still won't. He thinks it was over one remark he made to which I overreacted (moi?). It was not. A couple of weeks, maybe three weeks prior to the breakup I had made two lists literally, on separate sheets of paper. One was the GREAT GARET list. The other was the QUESTIONABLE GARET list. I had a good shrink session tonight and we talked about what has been keeping me from having a serious or even a series of serious relationships for SEVENTEEN years since I have been divorced. A lot of the issues go back to childhood (of course) and will take a long time and a lot of $$ to figure out.

Some time ago I had made a list of desirable qualities in a partner. I don't know if I did it here or on paper, but I don't know where it is no matter where it was originally. So I am going to start thinking about that again and I am going to start that list tonight. I will admit that many of the items were on the GREAT GARET list. No matter what happened in the end, Garet was good for me. I feel like I learned to appreciate some qualities in a man that I hadn't even realized I wanted. I feel like I learned about the way I deserve and want to be treated. I learned about what I can give and take in a relationship and I learned that I have a lot to work on! I feel bad that Garet thinks I left in anger and I really didn't. It was more hurt and being tired of feeling a little hurt a lot of the time and trying to ignore it. I still really care about him and I want him to be happy. I want to be happy too, and I am sad that I don't think we can make that happiness together.

So here is at least the beginning of the list:
hard worker
politically liberal
good relationships with family and friends
give nice compliments
doesn't want pets
physically active - or at least trying and understands the importance
honest communicator
nice smile that happens a lot!
enjoys many activities
Enjoys and appreciates music (and tolerates my constant singing)
Likes his work
Financially adept
listens well
good sex
Uses small courtesies
accommodates my emotional needs
dances at least a little

And Deb is right -he should be handy and a have a good, full utility belt!

That's a long list, isn't it?

Part of me says I don't deserve somebody that great. Part of me says I deserve that and MORE.

What do I have to offer a man for a partnership? Let me take the same list and see if I can reciprocate. I will "X" in front of the ones I think I can offer.

X:hard worker
X:politically liberal
X: (halfway- working on the family difficulties) good relationships with family and friends
X:give nice compliments
X:doesn't want pets
X:physically active - or at least trying and understands the importance
X: (halfway here too, I think) honest communicator
nice smile that happens a lot!
X:enjoys many activities
X:Enjoys and appreciates music (and tolerates my constant singing) ( I LOVE my singing)
Likes his work
Financially adept
X:listens well
XXX: good sex :)
X:Uses small courtesies
accommodates my emotional needs
X:dances at least a little

So I definitely have some issues to work on to become a partner worthy of somebody as wonderful as myself, right? At least I recognize my shortcomings and I AM trying to work on them. Living with Ben is helping me recognize some of my faults in communicating, using small courtesies and learning about other peoples' emotional needs and how to accommodate without trying to fix everything (or meddle, if that's an acceptable word).

I do want to have a long-term partner someday. I think deep down I know I deserve it. I have somehow put myself in danger of never achieving it by cultivating my anxiety issues and by engaging in relationships with no hope for a future, like my "not boyfriend." I need to figure out how to grow into the kind of person who can conquer fear and engage in healthy, productive relationships with men. My friends who are male are all men with whom there is no attraction of that type. Eric and Pat, with whom I have no fear and totally love, and with whom I have spent the most time, are just not even on the map. Sure, they have lots of qualities on the list, both of them, but somehow it all doesn't add up between us - maybe because I don't have the qualities to be on their "lists," and that's okay.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Isn't it ironic...

dontcha think?

The same day I received my official letter stating that yes, even according to the records of the church I am no longer a member I saw "Hopeless Crush" from two years ago who nursed me lovingly and kindly through the Roma crisis? The dance studio where I have done the Zumba and the bellydance is in the same strip mall as his office. Jim's son was playing with the boy whose parents own the dance studio and Jim came down to pick him up. It's kind of funny because I kept kind of watching Cameron (Jim's son) and thought he looked familiar, but couldn't place him. It should have been easy because he only has part of one arm, but he was running around so much I didn't notice. When Jim came in he looked at me with that "I know you, but I don't remember how" look, which shows what a hopeless and one-sided crush it was, so all is well that ended well. I wouldn't mind being friends because he was so kind, but I think he might be one of those all or nothing kind of guys which is why he is still single!

Tomorrow's early dancefit class is "Bollywood" style dance and I would love to go, but I have a shrink appt. Waahhh... I will have to wait until Wednesday for a class now, which will be Hip-Hop dance fit. I'll have to return and report on that one. So far between Zumba and bellydance I LOVE Zumba the best. I think belly dance will be good for toning my core muscles because I could really feel it the next day, but Zumba was SO fun and and a wonderful allover aerobic workout.

I spent almost every waking hour of today watching consecutive episodes of "Hoarders" on A&E. In some ways it makes me feel better and in some ways it makes me feel like I am heading for disaster. I used a couple of commercial breaks to list some OFFER items on Freecycle to get them out of here! It really makes me want to get the garage under control, and not just so stuff LOOKS organized, but so that stuff I really won't ever use again is GONE.

I also used commercial breaks to eat! I probably consumed about twice as many calories as I used today. Definitely need to get to every dancefit class I can this week!

I've tentatively decided on a trip to Lafayette next weekend, but with BOUNDARIES. Of course I already caught myself trying to change them. My rule is supposed to be TWO hours only spent either with Mom and Dad or working on their stuff and then all other time is only for things I want to do; a hike, a restaurant, time with a friend...whatever. I already caught myself saying, well, I should spend two hours at the apartment and then two hours working on the house. Sigh.... I think this is one occasion where I should not use my "I am completely relaxed and flexible." Before I know it, I could flexible myself into six hours of slave labor and another six weeks of pain!

Speaking of pain, most of it is gone. I had several days last week with either no painkillers or only one dose. I also had a couple of nights where I was able to sleep without sedatives.

Ben and I had our first "fight" Friday night. "Roommate spat" may be a better term. I was extremely upset, however, and I swear the neck pain and the headache began immediately. Just another sure sign that all the physical pain is a psychological issue. I don't anticipate that Ben and I will have any continuing issues as we fully discussed it Saturday morning and I feel like the issues were resolved. I don't want to get deeply into it because it would invade Ben's privacy to talk about the issues here and I want to respect that. We're back to pretty roommate happydom just a couple of days later so I think we're okay.

Michael came home to visit and do laundry yesterday. He also took some additional stuff out of his room, which helps me in my quest to transform it a little. We also went to Fourth Street Festival together and looked at EVERY booth, ate a little food, heard a little music, saw a few friends and generally had a good time. It was a relief to BUY a drink or two from the HYP Orchestra booth instead of selling them!

Well, it's almost midnight and I want to get to bed. I want to put away the last of the dishes. Ben is such an avid dishwasher that it makes me very conscious of leaving dirty dishes because I know he will come and clean up after me! I also had a response to a freecycle offer and I want to set the bounty out on the front porch before I forget. How ghetto will my house look tomorrow with an pedestal sink sitting out on the front porch?!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Last Night's BOT from FB (Cryptic ennogh?)

A reminder of the goals because it has been A While:

1) Learn to balance my goals of movement with learning to listen to my body and STOP when the pain says to stop.
2) Get compulsive eating habits under control and eat more whole foods
3) Develop relationships with balance between helping my friends and family, yet meeting my own needs and requesting and accepting help to do so when necessary.
4) Read more books again
5) Begin to write daily again - even a short minimum
6) Get finances under control and set priorities with specific goals to manage them.
7) Maintain the house, car and gardens at an acceptable level without harming my physical health - require Michael's help to do so.
8) Make a decision about the business and then either do it or DON'T do it.
9) Cleanse my life of unnecessary physical objects - keep only what is treasured, valued, honored, loved and used.
10) Get my social life back to a comfortable point, including hosting parties and other gatherings.

Overall report today:
1) Achieved my goal of movement for August with no falls, pulled muscles or injuries and this was DESPITE severe and constant muscle spasms in my neck (stress related). I saw the dr. when needed and took medication when needed instead of trying to ""tough it out" all the time and I think it helped. I set a higher goal for September and bought a pass at a place that offers, Zumba, belly dance, hip-hop fit, and "Bollywood" dance classes. First class is ZUMBA tomorrow after work.
2) Eating whole foods is easy because of garden. Still having trouble resisting junk when I want it.
3) Still working on this one. I still want to "fix" everybody and everybody's problems. Currently having a "fix resistent" roommate who tells me (figuratively) to fuck off when necessary is providing some growth in this area. I think I am really learning when to back off, but boy is it hard!
4) Am reading , although not as much as in previoous life. Part of that is the invasion of "Family Feud" into my psyche, part of that is that I have also been trying to watch MORE television and movies. I know that sounds odd for a fat woman who is supposed to be trying to get fit, but I am also trying to find out how to relax and that is something I used to enjoy before I got the OCD/guilt/have to be productive all the time thing going on so seriously.
5) Still not writing daily. Maybe I need to set a minimum like the year I did Blog 365 and the minimum was to write at lkeast one thing each day that made me happy.
6) Constant battle - getting Michael off to school hurt financially in some ways yet will help in others - the grocery bill will certainly decrease!
7) Doing okay. It helps to have Michael out of the house and have a roommate who washes dishes. It not only helps that he washes dishes, it makes me aware of when I leave messes because I don't want him to end up cleaning up after me. I haven't been a very dedicated gardener, but we're still getting LOTS of tomatoes and peppers so that's okay.
8) Decision is to get the business active again. Having a FABULOUS website built and will begin sales again, maybe within the month.
9) Still working on this - have purged more books, asking Michael to purge more stuff instead of leaving it here.Watching episodes of "Hoarders" to scare myself!
10) Though (sadly, really) no more "Boyfriend" as such, have been going out and enjoying time with friends both male and female. I have wimped out a couple of times and chosen solitude when it might have been better for me to be out with people, but will achieve the balance. Will host or attend some kind of party probably centered on celebration of Heather and my birthdays which are two weeks apart. That will be good and the weather should be nice!