Got a super sweet card from a community member at work

Got a cute 'Hi Tillie' pic from Kay's family

Hugged the Tiny Femmes and had a 'friend-zone' interaction with the ex.

So far shaping up pretty well.
It's hard, breaking up with someone who you love and have had an intense dynamic with.

It's hard, trying to shift that dynamic, through a hard experience, into something healthier.

It's hard, working full-time when you're often ill, including a severe infection.

It's hard, dealing with major changes in your work team in the 6 months you've started a job.

It's hard, trying to eat healthy and cheaply.

It's hard, trying to save and reduce debt and be on top of money things.

It's hard, trying to be emotionally present and supportive for a partner who is moving and is going through a major surgery soon.

It's hard, doing all of these things.

I keep trying to think if there's something easy I can do, to reduce my stress and let go. I know that the first two items are done/going to just take time.

I am so tired.

Soon, I'll be on vacation.
I am a both a hard woman, and a deeply loving one.

And it is not my fault if people do not keep both aspects in mind.

8 years.

Sep. 13th, 2012 10:43 pm
My father died 8 years ago today. In some ways it was sudden. In some ways, it was after a decade of waiting.

Grief is holographic - it feels like each loss builds on each other, strike any edge and the tone echos through the whole structure.

Grief has been stalking me a lot the past couple of years. I lost Guin, I feel like I've witnesses and held space for many losses, tho I could not call them to mind readily. I worked in the senior's residence, and we lost a couple folks while I lived there. My co-worker, who I feel I'm developing a friendship with, is still in an acute (tho hidden) stage of grief. There are so many memorial posters around my work, for folks who pass in the DTES.

I wonder, what is it about loss that I need to explore more? Why is this dogging me?

My birth siblings are both moving far away - my little sister to Montreal, my big brother to Ft. St. John.

Yesterday I realized that the relationship I just ended - 2.5 years long - is significantly longer than any of the other relationships I'd been in - and ended - in 7 years.

I have more to say, but not about this. Maybe I just need to sit with this - I am a woman who no longer has a father, who has not had a father for a long time. I am a woman who has more shifting ties to friends than she does her biological family. I am a woman who lives with grief and loss, and moves on through the world. However, I feel that there's a piece I still need to learn.
It's so strange, this balancing act between grief about a 2.5 passionate secondary relationship, and the slow and steady unfolding of a sweet, fulfilling, hot primary relationship.

Things with Kay are building towards sharing our lives - I help with househunting for Kay's short-term living situation before we move in together. They come over and let me sleep in while they make coffee and breakfast. They decide to contribute to my breakfast groceries, cuz we mostly sleep at my house. We order meat together, at their suggestion. I am so rusty and lost in the world of trying to have a partnership, I realise that they could be my default date for family events, weddings, well...life in general. My partner.

At the same time, I'm still awash in sadness about leaving Roni. I know I will miss her, which will grow slowly, as we were less and less a part of each other's daily lives. The things that always worked, the dates and eating food and sex and lying around talking about our lives - those I miss already and I'm sure will be more apparent as time goes on.

The topic of the girls, her Tiny Femmes, those kids I love in a way I haven't let myself love kids in a long time, brings tears easier than anything else. I've already had a hard time this year, seeing them so rarely. If anything breaks my heart, it will be permanent separation from them. I try to tell myself that this is really about other things. And it may be. But I consider them part of my family, and I am just letting myself feel that now.
I'm not crossposting this to LJ. The person I just broke up with reads there about twice a year and I don't want them seeing this yet.

I just broke up with R, who I dated for 2.5 years. We've had issues for a while - she's not able to really support me cuz of her previous commitments. She has trouble putting the maintenance work into a relationship where she doesn't see the person regularly. She has very little time for me, and that's gotten less and less.

It sucks. I feel like I haven't had time to process this, what with work being really busy and having lost a tooth last week and being on many rounds of anti-biotics, and being broke and saving up to visit relatives back east and support K during surgery.

We had a D/s relationship. I had a relationship with her kids. I used to spend Christmas morning with her family. She told me she wanted us to never breakup, she actively encouraged me to buy into it.

I can't sustain a relationship tho, where my needs got whittled down to the bare minimum, and I got treated like I was an asshole for having them.

The last 3 weeks, I had a hard time reconciling the stressed out, blamey, ranty communications I was getting with the person I had loved and been loved by for years. It really sucked.

And I ended it. Cuz this is what I do when things get bad. I end them because I'm worth more.

I just hate that I need to learn this over and over.
Boss comes in:
Ok, so you're finishing up X work. We need to get Y work done by the end of the week (her deadline.) What do we need to get started on that?

Me: I need your approval for these pieces, and your directions on those pieces.

Her: OK, right, I put those aside next week. So what do we need?

Me: I just need those pieces and I can get started.

Her: Ok, I have meetings to go to now, do you have enough to do while I'm gone.

Me: Yes, I'm finishing X work and then I have some usual deadlines to work through.

Her: OK, so you have enough to do.

Me: Oh, YES.
*I've re-strained the tendon in my left arm. Instead of chronic tendonitis, I seem to have acute reoccurring tendonitis. This means I'll be fine fine fine then have terrible arm pain and need to rest it for a couple weeks. I need to start doing my physio shoulder-strengthening exercizes, in between flare ups.

*I'm part of an ASL club. My downstairs neighbour is profoundly Deaf. (She's also a gorgeous, queer, possibly poly, geeky artist.) She's started a series of 12-week classes for folks to gain a rudimentary level of ASL to be able to have non-written conversations with her. I'm really enjoying the class, and I'm hoping to get to know her better, too.

*I really like ASL - it's extremely expressive, really embodied and lots of fun.

*Work is going great. I'm really enjoying getting to know the residents well, and helping them out when I can, and I have lots of time to embroider or write, or just watch TV to relax.

*I'm trying to budget and pay back debts but it's very tempting to just SPEND SPEND SPEND SPEND moneeeyyyyy.

*K, my new sweetie and I are becoming slowly yet increasingly attached. We see each other about once a week but both want to work towards seeing each other more. My heart is slowly unfolding towards them, and it feels good and smart and right.

*I realise I have an increasing capacity for relationships right now - not just my "I need sex and affection once a week", but more is obviously nice for me and I think I have room for even more.

*Not being chronically stressed is REALLY AWESOME.

*Life is good.
I want to remember last night and this morning, because it was a good time made of simple things.

Last night I had a date with Roni. Due to my new evening-shift job, our date pattern has changed: She comes to my house sometime in the evening and gets to have a nice nap, I come home around midnight, wake her up and make her a cup of special tea. We have some 'date time' for a couple hours, then fall asleep together and wake up together, have breakfast and more 'date time' (unless we sleep in) and then I go to work. It's not our preferred arrangement, but it works well with us. One nice effect is that we've noticed that the weird "beginning of date" tension doesn't happen anymore - I'm usually just happy to come home to her, and she's happy to wake up to a happy me and have date time.

In any case, last night it began snowing lightly - I walked home in what I think of as "fancy rain" - when the snow falls and melts instantly (a Vancouver phenomenon.) I got home to a sleepy Roni, made her her tea. She was feeling a bit under the weather so we pulled up the blinds and watched snow fall. One of the great things about my bedroom is I have a large, paned, picture-window that faces the street - and a streetlamp. For years, one of my favorite things in the world is watching snow fall under streetlamps - it's so calming, magical and beautiful. Last night I got to lie in a warm bed with my love, watching snow fall under a streetlamp, while reading and discussing one of my favorite books. Perfect.

I woke up, and there was a bit of some of my favorite date activities with Roni. Then we had breakfast and I headed to The Purple Thistle to do a workshop. The Purple Thistle is a youth-run queer centre which has lots of arts stuff (mostly FREE) and workshops. They've been having a Good Touch series on consent and sex, and Kay (my new sweetie) but me in touch with one of the organizers and we agreed I could present BDSM 101 there.

The workshop was fairly well attended - we had about 12-15 folks, and a variety of background and experienced. There was a lot of good, smart talk, some delving into touchy, but really juicy and important topics, and good group dynamics. We took up about 2 hours! And it felt like we could talk more! I'm optimistic that we'll be working together on more workshops. Also, Kay has dropped in on their break to drop off coffee for me and give me a few kisses. And then Ben came with coffee, too, because I'm damned spoiled in many wonderful ways.

Two things aspects that were really great:
*I got really re-invested in workshops. I'm always somewhat invested, however lately I've felt a bit less passionate. Facilitating a workshops where I got to use some of my more facilitatey skills (as opposed to lecturing skills) was really wonderful, and felt great. Also I felt like I was really meeting a need, which fulfills me in an incredible way. I also felt capable and thrilled about the workshop participants and their processes. SO GOOD.
*Ben is totally, totally, totally coming into his own as someone who started out attending workshops, then providing support for mine, and now I think can probably facilitate on his own. (Yes, he knows I've been grooming him.) I'm excited because he's agreed to co-present Queering Sex with me at Westward Bound in February. HEH.

I often record troubles and worries and crisis and concerns and issues I'm working through. My life though, is composed of so many wonderful things, it's important to remember and remark upon and inscribe.
I feel like I need to be more of a seperatist. There's a point where I don't feel like I need to - or "should" if one is to use a moral term - optionally interact with sexist, classist, racist, homophobic, transphobic (etc etc etc) bullshit.

Especially when it feels like I'm having a conversation with this website:

http://www.derailingfordummies.com/
This year.

In some ways, it's been a great chance at growth. I submitted to two art shows, got into one. I submitted my writing to Salacious Magazine, and am being published in the new year. Not bad for someone who abandoned their arts career for 10 years. In fact, pretty damned impressive.

There's also been: serious mental health breakdowns, new medications, poverty, massive housing uncertainty for 4 months, bed bugs...

I survived though. I always do, I'm a fairly pliant and resilient human. I learn and adjust and grow. My housing situation has probably improved, in that I found an agreeable human with compatible living styles.

I'm adjusting into the idea of STAYING in my home. Of rooting down. Of STAYING in my job, or using it as a launch pad. Of slowly and steadily building an artistic and presenting profile. My relationship with R is steady - no longer growing but in some ways deepening. I'm not great at handling conflict or limitations, of learning to be away and independent then trust again. She's steady, tho, and it gives me an anchor to steady me while I experiment with this 'commitment' thing.

I haven't achieved all I wished for in 2011, but what I did do was pretty damned good.

Pretty damned good is often not just enough, but lovely.

Today, L and I went to a gun range together. We've developed a friendship of sorts, which is nice. It seemed appropriate to try my hand at firearms, a dangerous tool, with her. We shot off 100 .22 caliber rounds. Some I breathed deep an focused as I fired: on my fear of homelessness, bedbugs, stress, helplessness, mental illness. On my friend suffered a family tragedy - he got 10 whole rounds to himself. I blew away the 4 months of stress so intense I could barely keep track of the days of the week.

I learned two things:
-firing a handgun is easy. Very, shockingly, frighteningly so.
-I respond better to heavier guns - the weight and responsibility focuses me more.
I'm trying hard not to feel sorry for myself right now. I've got a job that pays decently, and is permanent. My boss seems to want me to stick around a bit.

I've got friends who love and support me and plans for Christmas and New Year's Eve. I'm in a much better place mentally and physically than I am most winters.

It's hard tho - this week I'm really feeling the crux of trying to prioritize my free time in a way that honours where I am. And sometimes I'm not sure where I am. Over the years my friends have become more important and more of a solid foundation for my life. Relationships, though, still call to me. And I often have a feeling that I have come to frame as a desire to build a closer, day-to-day family.

A strange conflict - what do I really want, and am I building towards it?

In the meantime, there are anti-inflammatories and stretching. Groceries and cooking. Crafting and emailing. All the little things that build a bigger life.

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