EMPTINESS…

It´s been 10 days….10 LONG days. Right now, I´m feeling numb … but also incredibly tense and agitated. On October 1, 2018, Nathan and I took Marky to the vet and had him put to sleep. We´d had him since 2007, and he was family! Yes, he´d been ¨failing¨for over a year. I don´t think it had anything to do with Nathan moving to Pittsburgh in September of last year. Marky was old, at least 13, maybe 16. The week beforehand, he´d had 2 seizures which frankly scared the crap out of me…the second one was worse because he woke up and fell onto his side and…..

Anyway, that Monday afternoon, we took him to the vet…and it was heart breaking! I don´t know that it was for the best…all I know is that all joy evaporated. I was numb when we got home. Did all the normal things like throwing out his bedding, bowls, leftover food, etc. I guess I seemed to be handling things pretty well. But that evening and the next day…..there wasn´t a moment when I didn´t look at something or do something and not see Marky there, even when I went to the bathroom!

Yes, things have calmed down somewhat….but….my best friend is gone. He was always there, even when others were not there. He loved me unconditionally! Yet, now that he is gone, I feel as if I´m on a desert island. I barely see anyone, and don´t talk to anyone. Where once my life was full of happiness, and spending time with Marky and with my friends here….well, yeah, that was my own fault, I guess. Still, I feel set adrift, as if no one cares, as if I don´t matter.

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Message to a Lost Friend

I know you won’t read this…but it needs to be written on my part – perhaps for closure, perhaps for cleansing; I don’t know. It’s too painful to hold it in, and there needs to be relief…somehow.

Thank you for sharing your life with me; for sharing your family with me; for sharing your home with me. You have no idea how much your friendship meant to me, and now there won’t be a chance to tell you.

We are all flawed and all of us have baggage, as well as principles and values. I loved you for the person you are: assertive, strong, caring, someone with a great (and sometimes wacky) sense of humor. Yes, you could be inflexible at times….but I don’t have a problem with that. You’ve been “through the wars” and that has made you the person you are. You were never a game player. Neither was I. Yes, I made mistakes, and I own that. I’ve been insecure and introverted, afraid of asking for help….my being “through the wars” was instrumental in creating those habits…habits that are nearly impossible to break. Yes, I’ve been moody, have isolated myself from you and others – basically because I didn’t expect anyone to accept me with my all my baggage, with all my flaws – I feared ridicule. I suppose you would say that I lacked trust. Perhaps I did. I’ve been hurt by people so often over the years that I’ve come to expect people to turn away from me when they see the person I am on the inside.

I NEVER wanted things to get out of hand the way they did. After a couple of weeks, I wanted so badly to bridge the gap….but felt as if I would just be tolerated and not really “wanted”. That paralyzing fear kept me from reaching out the countless times I wanted to do so. And then it snowballed and became an avalanche and I was buried and couldn’t dig my way out.

This was never anything to do with you. I’ve thought about you at least 20 times a day, missing our daily interactions. You’ve taught me so much, and opened new worlds to me, new interests, and I will be forever grateful for that. I considered you one of my dearest friends, and I am so sorry it’s come to this. But I knew you only gave a certain amount of chances to people….and I struck out. So I took the coward’s way out, the weak person’s way out, and just let things go. For that I will always be truly sorry. You will still hold a special place in my heart, my friend.

Insecurities…and…Mistakes

I take full responsibility for what has transpired over the last several weeks. I am flawed, and, yes, that’s all on me. I was the one who isolated myself from others…due to lack of motivation and semi-depression (nothing earth shattering or suicidal, just being “down”). One day led to another….and rather than seeking solace from my close friends, I instead distanced myself from them. Huge mistake!

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my friends! I would do just about anything for them – give them the shirt off my back, walk over hot coals, whatever. But sometimes I feel “alone”. And sometimes I need alone time. Unfortunately, I let time get away from me. And after awhile, I dread to take that first step back to normalcy. I fear I will be ridiculed for my insecurities, my fears, or that I’ll be labeled too needy and therefore not worth the effort.

I’ve broken the bonds of friendship with these two people….and I can’t fix things. I would love to be able to, but……When someone only gives a certain number of chances to another, and you cross that line, what’s the point of trying? And believe me, I fully support people who have principles and who are strong. Sometimes one can be a little too inflexible in their standards, but that’s just them…and I make no judgment on that – because we all have strengths and weaknesses.

My main weakness is my insecurity. At times I feel (probably unnecessarily so) that no one misses me or wants to spend time with me. That fear makes days turn into weeks with no attempt on my part to bridge that gap. I fear that I may just be allowed in but not accepted or wanted or needed. For me, well, I NEED people! I need to know that I am valued by someone I feel close to. Without that sense of value, what’s the point??

I mean, seriously, if you care about someone – even if they’re being a total ass – would you “amputate” out of your life? Wouldn’t you at the very least check up on them once in awhile – to make sure they’re okay? Perhaps they feel unable to ask for help or support….and perhaps you already know that about them….but not one text, not one phone call, nothing. And then it’s like they were never a part of your lives. At least not an important part.

I guess I find it difficult with relationships. I mean, when I care about someone, I let them know (in various ways). They’re important to me…perhaps too important. It’s a terrible thing to be without close friends, without those you enjoyed spending time with, those you depended on to keep you grounded. What hurts the most is that I value my friends more than I feel they value me. And if I don’t feel valued, that just increases my insecurity. It’s a vicious cycle. And it isn’t as if it hasn’t happened before. Too many times to count, in fact.

The thing is that this was never about them, never because I felt wronged or because someone said something to me I didn’t like. It was about me isolating myself so I could get my head screwed back on correctly. And as time went on and no attempt was made on either side to bridge that gap, that’s when the depression (or the moodiness) really kicked in. I’ve struggled through it….more than a month of it….and not a day goes by that I don’t think about these people at least 20 times a day!!! Everything from regret to kicking myself in the ass to wishing I was a strong, well adjusted person with huge self esteem who could just “roll with the punches” or just act as if nothing happened so things could go back to normal. But it can never be normal again.

My main regret is that these people may feel that I don’t value them anymore, that I am the one that doesn’t want to spend time with them. Nothing could be further from the truth! I miss the laughter, the camaraderie, the road trips, the shopping, the meals out, the meals in, the sharing. But it’s now down to just embracing the isolation, the loneliness, and moving on….to what, I’m not sure. Yes, I realized many years ago that I could live without an intimate relationship…..but existing without close friends is something that I will never get used to.

Changes….A good thing or a bad thing?

Throughout life, nothing is constant. We all have to cope with changes – in our lifestyle, our finances, our relationships, etc. Sometimes change is easy, sometimes difficult. Sometimes the changes happen without our even noticing. Other times, they come like a punch in the solar plexus or like a brick wall falling on us! They can be easy to manage….or they can involve gut wrenching, mind boggling, emotionally debilitating soul searching.

At times, whether or not to change, or to embrace change, can mean hours, days, weeks of decision making….of debating on the lesser of two evils. And change can also be healing – even if one is in the midst of sheer panic or fear as to what lies ahead. This is what life is all about. Whether we choose to take that first step into the unknown; whether we value our emotional health, our mental health, our spiritual health…or not.

I’m not one for going boldly where other people have gone before. Yes, I DID move from one country to another, not knowing what lie ahead, with very few emotional resources. Through the years of living in Melbourne, Australia, I was married, then divorced, was employed, changed jobs, had a child…and raised that child on my own with no family or friends to offer emotional or mental support…..and then ultimately moved BACK to the USA (with help from an old friend). At times it’s been a roller coaster ride; at others, simply a “walk in the park” so to speak. But….now……?

Now it’s an entirely new situation. Debating back & forth whether drastic change is necessary. Ultimately, time will tell.

Decisions, Decisions

I’m not really sure where this will all go from here on out. I’ve been on Facebook going through some groups about blogs, and also been on Pinterest….and also been googling information on blogs, niches, sub-niches, etc., etc.  In the beginning, this has just been a blog for me to “journal” my thoughts and feelings during whatever situation or crisis I encountered. I’d like to step it up……SCARY! I don’t even know if I’ll get any readers….but…..I have to DO SOMETHING to change things up! Hopefully it won’t be a complete bust. And hopefully anyone reading any of my posts will find something useful or beneficial that will help them as well.

Consequences & Responsibility

Owning your mistakes is a part of being an adult…and I try to own all of my mistakes.  One of my biggest ones is that I tend to isolate myself from others – sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for things I wrongly perceive.  I also have a strong tendency towards moodiness, and at times depression. Fortunately, at this present moment in time, my depression does not warrant medication or therapy.

When I fall into one of my “moods”, things tend to look magnified & out of proportion….and at times don’t even exist. Most of the time I can snap myself out of it relatively quickly.  It’s the times when I can’t that things spiral out of control.  The past four weeks is such a time.  I don’t even know what started my need to isolate myself.  Nothing untoward occurred.  One night I was fine (the night that ‘America’s Got Talent’ was one), and the next morning…..well…..

So for a time I was putting it all down to depression.  I cut myself off my friends & neighbors – people I would do anything for, people I care deeply about.  That was my first mistake.  My second mistake was allowing it to go on for so long.  And the longer it went on, the more difficult it became for me to dig my way out of it.  Yes! My fault entirely!  Yes, I knew the daily regimen of meeting for coffee and to watch the game shows at 10 a.m. during the week.  I also knew that my friends expected me to just get my act into gear…..and I should have done that!!!!  Why I didn’t, I have no clue.  But that’s where things go sideways.

Semi important things (like food banks, and the day food stamps are issued) came and went.  And stupid me….I did the whole “passive aggressive” route by posting memes & articles relating to what I was going through —hoping that someone would read between the lines and come save me.  What can I say….yes, I know I tend to be needy at times.  I also hate confrontation.  But the last thing I wanted to do was hurt anyone.  If I did that, then they’ll never know how I sorry I am for that.

But what about me?  I mean, if positions were reversed, and it was one of MY friends isolating themselves, I don’t think I could sit back and wait for them to come to their senses.  At the very least, I would have to contact them to make sure they were okay or find out if they needed anything.  I mean, that’s what friends do, right??!!! But not a word, not a whisper.  Nothing.  It’s as if I’ve ceased to exist….or at the very least, I’ve ceased to matter to others.  And by “others” I mean those that I care about.

But I’ve made my bed and so must lie in it. At least I didn’t make a fool of myself and force my company on anyone only to get the door (figuratively) slammed in my face. Not much consolation (if any).  I keep trying to comfort myself with the fact that I lived over 20 years in Australia (and raised a child on my own) with no family or close friends around. I keep telling myself that if I did it once, I can do it again.  And I suppose I will, eventually. The only problem right now is all I want to do is pack everything up and move somewhere else to start over….somewhere where I’m not constantly bombarded with all that I’ve lost.

Through the Darkness

Okay. It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted anything here…and with everything I’ve been going through for the past several months, I guess it’s long past due that I put my thoughts. Perhaps this will help. To help me…to help anyone who might be reading this. Whatever.

First of all, my son moved out in September of last year (2017) to Pittsburgh with his girlfriend Nikki. For 26 years, it had been only my son and myself – first in Melbourne, Australia and then, after 2003, here in Indiana, PA. And then of course our rescue Marky entered the picture. Yes, at times things were challenging, even downright scary…but we muddled through. Then my son lost his job at Walmart (his first job, I might add). I thought at first this was a gross injustice! But after some time, and great introspection, and realizing that “everything happens for a reason”, I came to see that this was a good thing. Had he not lost his job, he wouldn’t have found his next job, as a bouncer at Culpepper’s…which would’ve meant he would not have met the love of his life! Nikki is such a beautiful person!!! And she has been part of the reason why he has changed so much into the man he has become.

Anyway, I digress. Things weren’t too bad after Nate moved out. Then, in February this year, a one bedroom apartment opened up in the complex where I live – and it was a ground floor!!! Being older, the stairs were becoming a problem, plus I’d had foot surgery back in October, so…..The new place was smaller and felt great! And since Marky was getting older as well, the lack of steps was good for him, too.

I have a couple of close friends here at the complex, Lois and Rosie. We go places, watch game shows on weekday mornings and some TV shows in the evening (I don’t have cable or satellite TV, fyi). Lois introduced me to some awesome films and TV shows — especially the Harry Potter series and Gettysburg! We take a monthly trip up to New York and do grocery shopping and visit antique shops.

In February, shortly after I moved, I went into a kind of funky mood. Let me first say that I have a panic disorder (have had it since about 1980). This led me to be on meds and ultimately on anti-depressants….which led me to suffer from chronic depression. Add to the mix the fact that I had grown up in a dysfunctional home, with a domineering mother well, you’re looking at one woman who has a fucked up self image!!! It takes time and energy to try to overcome the false messages running around in my grey matter!!!!

I’ll continue this later. I’m going grocery shopping with an old friend so have to get motivated to get ready. Be back later. I really do NEED to get all this written down and posted some time today.

Having trouble with posting this. Not sure what’s going on!