Someone rather than no one

When a man wraps his arms around you, pulls you in and drowns you in kisses, after months or years of barrenness....you can't help but want him to be right. Your skin is so starved for touch that his hands feel like the warmest softest electric casmere. Your body and then your soul wants him to be good for you, wants him to be the one to end your lonely nights. You long for him to be the one to give you comfort, love, and affection. You want this because he is the one who is there. Because, you believe someone is better than no one.

But then it becomes a contest between your rationality and your starving desire. Your desire clings to the good things in him and tries to explain away the bad. 'He didn't mean it because...It's not his fault because...' and your tired mind, which just wants someone to love her, gives in. It fills in the explanatory blanks with something acceptable. And the self-deception begins.
Having cranked myself up with caffeine all day today, I am wide awake. There will be no sleep tonight. My body is tired but my brain will have none of it. Because, now that my mind is freed from the fight against itself, I can devote my reasoning skills to my life instead of the uncontrollable horrible thoughts in my head. That renewed capacity and a revealing conversation with another woman has finally broken me out of his spell.

For the last few months, even though I broke up with him, I have not been able to let go. We broke up and then the cat died. So I plunged into grief and instability. And surprisingly, he was still there. He was a voice on the phone still calling me almost every night. Just like before. I needed the caring voice, like a lifeline to reality. Then one night in July we had an intense post-break up smooch session, that also added to my confusion. It felt like we hadn't even broken up. It felt like a long distance relationship because we talked on the phone but almost never saw each other. Because we weren't in a romantic relationship, I didn't have any reason to be frustrated or hurt by him. He was so sweet. He seemed so concerned about my well-being. And he acted like someone who still had feelings for me. Why did he call me from Miami as soon as he got back from South America? That's what a boyfriend does. Why did he call me as soon as he had some exciting news about his work? And why was he still calling me before he went to sleep?

Then I began to doubt what I had done. Maybe I imagined the meanness. Maybe I was delusional with fears about his intentions. Maybe it was all my fault because I didn't know how to communicate with him....etc, etc ,etc. So I decided that if something started up again I'd go with it. When he stopped calling me I started calling him instead. I'd invite him to see a movie with me or to lunch but he always declined. Then when I decided to write him off and started pulling away, he'd do something else to reel me back in. He'd start calling again, giving just enough to keep me around and wondering. Exactly like he did when we dated. Back then, everytime I got convinced that he was only using me, he'd suddenly be all up in my grill. Like he had some supernatural sensors attuned to his fleeting prey. Why does someone with a brain and 13 years of dating experience fall for that game? Because...

It felt so good to be with him. Being in his arms felt like falling into creamy velvet. Maybe it only felt so good because I needed the affection so desperately. But I went with it. I convinced myself that something good was happening. My life did seem better with him in it. So I told myself he was relationship retarded, I needed to explain away things that seemed weird. I believed that he was actually worse at this than I was! He communicated even less than I did. He had greater intimacy issues than my own. And because of this, he would force me to strengthen my weaknesses so I could deal with him. He would be good for me. Ha! HA! HA! HA!!!

Now I know this for the fairy tale it is. Pure fiction. Last week I spoke to our mutual friend Bianca. They dated a few years ago. I suspected they had, but he never told. I asked if they used to go out and he said, "sort of" with a wince to imply that he'd rather not say what they were really doing rather than 'going out.' Fine. So he made it sound like they just had sex but it wasn't serious Ha! Ha! Ha!

She told me they were together for 2 years! Not only that, but Bianca was going to convert to Judaism so they could get married. He wanted to marry her! He wouldn't even call me his girlfriend!! He went overseas to spend a summer with her. He didn't want to come to New Jersey to see me. After the first month they were together, HE was the one who wanted to define the relationship. After 7 months with me, we had no such thing. Of course, she was having sex with him. And we know what a massive difference that makes. harumph.

I also found out his college girlfriend I thought he dated for 3 years, it was 6!

Initially this information made me incensed and ill. Now with a few days to digest it, I'm still incensed. And still a little ill. But the important thing here is that I can finally see what fiction I wove. I wanted to hold on to him emotionally. Because he was someone rather than no one. And I did care about him. He cared about me too but...clearly, he is not relationship retarded nor afraid of commitment. He just didn't want anything serious with me. We weren't in a relationship, we were just messing around so there was no point in actually talking to me about anything. I had to guess that he was in the Army Reserves after 4 months with him. He was beyond stingy with personal information. I thought he might have Asperger's Syndrome. (Which is social autism.) He just didn't want to get too involved with me. I was nothing but his toy. Which he actually told me one night. I thought he was being playful when he said it. *shiver*. No, he really meant it.

I knew all this at the time. I feared it. I never wanted to define the relationship because I knew he didn't want to commit to someone who didn't put out. Because a girlfriend who gives him sex is better than one who doesn't. So it would be irrational to cut himself off from finding a better girlfriend by committing to the worse one. But I didn't want to believe that.

This all vindicates the insecurities I had while we dated. But I wanted it to work so much. I wanted for him to be the one to rescue me from the hell of dating. So I tried not to see what was happening, until my reason won out. Hooray for me. I'm never dating again.

Here's the moral of the story: While complaining about this to my friend, I told her it made me feel like garbage. My friend replied, "Because the only thing different is the girl, right?" I said, "the girl and the fact I wouldn't have sex with him. I know that made a big difference." My friend said, "Yeah but if you had this would have lasted a lot longer and ended the same way only you'd be a lot worse off." When she said it I knew it for truth. Had we been having sex then I would be the one to go through two brutal years and come out damaged instead of bruised. This way, I got out after only 7 months, and the emotional damage is minimal. Hooray for me again.

I return to being my own woman. Knowing I am better off with no one rather than someone like him. I only wish it didn't have to feel so bad.

**I don't feel bad for bad mouthing him because everytime our friend asked if we were dating, more than once, he flatly denied it. What kind of person does that?


Am I in Kansas? ...A Suburban Bawl

No Way! I just noticed that across the street there is a moving reindeer. One of those Christmas light sculptures. I thought all the lights and decorations in the little neighborhood were cute, but this goes too far. What am I doing here? Moving reindeer? Out in the open on the apartment's lawn? I don't belong here. I'm thinking evil thoughts about what should happen to that reindeer. Imagining what fun could be had with the moving antlers, what offensive things could be hung from them....Bad me!

But it is sweet. And everything is so pretty with all the white snow. I love this weather. Going outside in the cold makes me feel alive. Everything looks so clean. The air is cleaner too. It smells like smoke instead of urine. It is beautiful here, on this street overlooking Manhattan. But oh so quiet. So still. I needed this suburban vacation from the ghetto. I needed to reduce the drama in my life. To get away from the tension. It's been heaven in that respect.

However. I'd like to go back when I can afford it. Because I hate that the grocery store is a mile away. That I have to go to Walgreens for my medication when the service is so appalling. As are their prices. I miss my lil ghetto pharmacies where they knew my name and gave me a break on the hundreds of dollars I spent each month. No dry cleaner on my block. The nearest one is a 15 minute walk away. There is no dollar store which means I have to pay full price for regular household items such as light bulbs, dishsoap and trash bags. Unbelievable! And I really miss the Chinese produce stores. They always had fresh veggies for good prices. And we have no diners or little cafes where one can go to grade papers while enjoying some homefries, grits and biscuits.

I can't go back to ghetto life. Those things are not worth exchanging for the gunshots at night, permanent drug dealers in front of the house, men peeing on the front of the house, or the nightclub booming until 4 am. What I hated most was the subway station. The A train does not run very often--that's typical for poor neighborhoods--so usually one must wait 10-30 minutes in the filthy station, with the yellow fluorescent lights, panhandlers, pungent funk, and dirty looks from other patrons. No thank you.

This apartment has been a Godsend. I found a haven from the world. But nothing happens. There is nothing to watch out the window, other than the freaky reindeer. It's funny how sometimes you have to lose something to learn how much you need it. I need the drama. I need the craziness of citylife to diminish the craziness in my head. I need distractions outside to keep from my getting lost inside. So I have learned something valuable this fall, well, two things: The suburbs are not good for me long term and I prefer rude city students to the boring polite suburban ones.

AND I GOT A TICK IN LONG ISLAND last week!!!!! Seriously. Friday in the shower I saw this black bump on my shoulder. Can you imagine the shock of finding a tick in the middle of winter in New York City?? Yuck. I could only have caught it on my walk to the train station in the village out there. They have spots of wilderness and wild animals. A nasty gaggle of geese feeds on the grass in a parking lot I have to cross. One day they scared me to death as I passed them because they all looked at me and then started honking and running towards me. These aren't small birds. When 20 of them chase you with their monstrous noise it is very frightening. I ran. But that's the kind of wildlife I'm dealing with out there. Birds and bloodsucking parasitic bugs.

One day I will return to the concrete paradise.


Dear Anonymous,

Yes, all I do is complain here. The blog has become my emotional garbage can. Which is a shame. I used to tend this blog very tenderly and with much love. I used to do a lot of things. But I'm not looking for sympathy. The fact is that my life does not suck at all. The only thing missing is financial comfort and a lover, but what are ya gonna do? I'm extremely privileged and blessed and lucky. And I'm very aware of that. I'm living my dream. Herein lies the rub, I'm not enjoying it. Before you judge me as having a bad attitude, read below. There is a list of some of the things I have done over the last 13 months to bring on my remission. I have pretended to have fun. I have tried to have fun. I have done fun things. Quite a few. I've gone through the motions over and over.

I tried a new medication. And re-tried an old one. Weaned myself off of xanex and I'm proud to say that I have broken that dependence. It took 13-14 months of ugly withdrawal. I found a not-boyfriend and let myself have feelings for him. I even tried to foster that into a real relationship, though my attempts were feeble due to mutual incompetence. I then extracted myself from that relationship when it become more bad than good--mostly because I was so insecure and becoming delusional.

I nominated myself for student government and now I represent my department and go to meetings once a month. I interviewed for a lay-out job on the school newspaper, I did not get it. I interviewed for a teaching job in the boonies-suburbs and got the job. Total culture shock resulted from my sojourn into that Long Island Village. I've had to develop a whole new teaching style because they don't respond to the same things city kids do. I registered for a class I technically didn't need to take but I thought it would be better for me to do so. Which means I'm sitting through a 2 hour seminar with 15 other people once a week voulntarily. Then at the last minute I signed up to take one of the comprehensive exams--spent a few days studying, took the 4 hour beast and passed.

I went on dates. Went to several parties. I threw myself a birthday party--and thank you to all the lovely people who attended. I moved to a new apartment and got out of the ghetto. The move involved a lot of work on my part and then having to learn a whole new lifestyle because I now live in a more suburban area. I spent some time decorating my new apartment. This summer, I met one or more friends several times a week to do work in the library. Wrote an overdue paper and did research on other overdue papers. Went shopping for fun. Tried to update my wardrobe with new style. Went to movies with friends. I met new people, even went out of my way to meet new people.

I read novels. Learned to cook new food and improved my diet. I've cooked dinner for several friends. I learned new and better habits--now I keep my house fairly clean, and I even have clean underwear in the dresser! I'm more punctual than I used to be. I tried jogging again but was not impressed. I went to Philly for a weekend to see friends. I made plans for a book project with a friend. I started going to church again, to 3 different wards, one of which is in a foreign language. I was faithful to a Yoga routine--up until the break up in June. I hung out with my friends across the hall. I've gone bowling. I've gone out to eat with people. I flirted with the boy who lived downstairs from me and had dinner with him. I soured on him after I heard him and another housemate's loud sex echoing up the stairwell 3 floors. But I was still chatting him up anyway until the day I moved.

I bought theater tickets for me and my best friend who flew up in the spring just to go with me. I entertained my sister for a few days in October. We went shopping and took scenic walks. In April, a friend from Louisiana spent a few days with me and we saw the sights: walked the brooklyn bridge, rode the SI Ferry, did China Town and the village AND attended the singles ward in Manhattan! We were friendly and met several people there. Two weeks ago I joined friends from out of town in Little Italy for dinner. Then I had a friend over for Thanksgiving, we ordered Chinese food and watched movies. I cooked us a pecan pie. It was so good I made myself another pie that weekend. Then I ate it. I'm friendly to the new adjunct in the office, I frequently initiate conversation with him. I talked to him yesterday.

I smile at people and say hello and pretend everything is hunky dory. I also walk an average of 10-12 miles a week from commuting and doing errands and city life. Finally, my lil ghetto kitty thinks she is a dog. She whines at me everyday until I chase her around the apartment or throw balls for her to chase. She also howls at the door until I take her for walks up and down the stairs in the building. So, she's a good therapuetic cat in that she makes me run and she makes me laugh.

Does that sound like the life of a severe depressive? Absolutely not! DESPITE doing all those things, I was never glad I did it. Except for the things where I did things for other people. I'm glad that I could still help other people. And leaving the ghetto made my life better. But it hasn't made any difference on my illness. I can't control the thoughts in my head. I can't control my own emotions. My personality is disappearing. I FEEL LIKE I AM LOSING MY MIND AND THAT HAS BEEN DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! Until now. The new plan is to learn to live with this rather than trying to get better. There is no better. What I can control is my resistence and struggle--not the illness. By eradicating the struggle, I have lessened my burden. I'm going to lose my mind gracefully and in peace. The new plan is already working,life is much easier now.


I was the one worth leaving

Other than my work, and my malfunction, nothing has been happening. No new stories to tell. There have been things I could have pursued. But I've had no interest.

It's all the same now. Going, coming, staying, sitting, walking, sleeping. All the same to me. The torturous thoughts in my head are still gone, thank goodness. I can't write anything when it's there. I asked my brother about it last night. He said he gets those too. He's had them since he was a child. But his medication has kept it under control lately. My brother lives with our mother. He has had severe bi-polar depression and maybe schizophrenia since his youth. In his early twenties he was a lot better off. He could take care of himself. But since then he has not been well, which is heartbreaking. He is a beautiful person, the most Christlike person I know.

Since I have let go of the guilt and the struggle things have been easier. Maybe this is what I need anyway. Maybe I've just needed to stop everything and let myself grieve. I was so afraid the depression would take over that I barely let myself mourn my losses of the last 3 years. I don't have to worry about that anymore.

This may still be a good thing. I have given up control. The Buddhists don't believe we have selves. When we give up that fixation then our problems go away too. A not unfamiliar idea. She who loses her life will take it up again? I don't care what happens to my life anymore. This may be a good thing.

So I lay my broken heart at the foot of the Savior's cross. Let Him do with it what He will. I can not save myself. I am not good enough, not strong enough, not enough. I have run out of ideas, my strength is spent, my pride broken, my plans lay fallow, even my faith has faltered. I am nothing. But if God still loves me, then what's left of me is for Him; heal me or damn me, I offer no resistance. My life, my will is His.*

Even in this state, that is not easy to say. I have clung greedily to my life--determined to squeeze everything out of it. Haughtily assured that I knew what was right for me. I have kept the commandments but set my heart on the world. I selfishly pursued my own goals and ran from the people who needed me. Now my choice is to sink into mad isolation or put my life into God's hands.

*The dishonor of returning a broken gift is not lost on me: "Here God, I'm good for nothing, but I'm all yours!"


Turn around

What a horrible, whiny self-pitying post that last one is.

And then something random happened yesterday. It stopped again. No more of the spinning and incessant thoughts in my mind. The repetitive strain of thought "I'm sorry" went away. It accompanied some memory of something for which I felt ashamed. But I didn't feel bad yesterday for the first time in weeks and weeks. There have still been a few reguritated shameful memories popping up today and last night, but they don't make me feel bad. I even called my mother out of the blue to tell her about the good observation because i knew she'd liked to hear it. I haven't been calling anyone. Least of all her.

I'm afraid to hope that this will last a few weeks, enough to get me through the end of the semester without ruining everything. This looks like a bad month-good month pattern. If I get 4 good weeks from now I can still squeeze by without another incomplete. But I get ahead of myself. Musn't set myself up for disappointment again. Please, please, let this last a few weeks.

Another surprise I found this semester, I prefer my urban kids to the suburban. The suburbies bore me to tears. They have nothing to say. I can't even get them to talk about sex!! I have tried to get discussions going on sex just to wake them up and it falls dead. It is a Catholic school but they can't all be catholic. They also still seem to think they are in high school. A group of them clique together like they're the cool kids. I guess no one told them that no one cares anymore. They'll get quite a shock when they get real jobs.

One kid scares me. I think he may really be a psychopath. He is exactly what I imagined the Unabomber was like at his age. I could write a whole post about that kid so I'll end here. Except for this, yesterday he said he wanted to use his guns to kill the other student who also said he collects guns. The class laughed uproariously like it was a big joke. I'm just glad I live a safe 3 hour distance away from him.



There is a dignity in surrender. Only a fool continues to throw herself against a wall that won't move. Only a fool refuses to quit the game she has lost.

After 13 months of battle, I gave in. I refuse to abuse myself by fighting any longer. I have nothing left to fight with. Every attempt to change, to stem the disorder led only to disappointment, frustration and seething anger. And the waiting. Waiting for the spiral upward to mental health. Nothing worked. Crushing disappointment followed disappointment. Until I couldn't take it anymore. The screaming rages, broken appliances, heaving sobs that resulted from my failed hopes and gargantuan efforts have drained me of the will to continue.

"I am broken." With that acceptance, I have found peace. Now I can relax. Now I can stop judging myself, stop scolding, stop failing. My friend said that I can't quit, that I might as well just shrivel up and die. But the fight was killing me--driving me to madness. It was the frustration that had me bawling in the doctor's bathroom stall for an hour, banging on the door. Surrender has already yielded benefits.

But first, I should explain what led me to this.
Several weeks ago, I was observed while teaching. I did well. Especially compared to last year's fiasco. I let myself hope a little bit. Then I got the report and she said nothing positive. I emailed the woman and asked if she could say something about my rapport with the students because my future employment may depend on her. She said she didn't want to because she couldn't say anything good about it. I made her nervous because I was so obviously nervous. And I seemed afraid of my students. She didn't think it was a serious problem but certainly there was nothing to praise.
I felt crushed. I had tried so hard to improve.

Then I finally went in to discuss the paper I spent 8 months writing. The prof hadn't submitted a grade so I figured it must be so bad he wanted me to rewrite it. That was not the case. He said it was a B+ paper. The arguments were weak and unconvincing. I think I'd have preferred to hear that it was so bad it was unacceptable--that way I could excuse it because of my mental state. Because only someone so irrational could have written something that bad. Nope. My work is mediocre.

That same week, my mind started up again. Over and over it kept saying "I'm sorry." Then filling my head with every memory of everything I have ever done wrong, or failed to do, or didn't do well enough. Then my whole body would flood with shame. Sometimes I found myself saying it out loud, "I'm sorry". That afternoon after it had been going on for a few days already, I had to sing as I walked uptown to campus to keep from saying it out loud. Did it get worse because I was upset over the paper? Probably, but there's no way to know.

Then my sister came to visit. I was actually excited. I look forward to one weekend that I wouldn't spend alone in my apartment. But then she went to Baltimore to see friends for the weekend. I asked her to stay with me. But she didn't. I understood why she went, I would leave myself too if I could. But it still hurt. Then I wasn't invited to my friends' house for Thanksgiving because one of them didn't like the way another friend behaved around me. Again, I completely understood that I had become a killjoy. But it still sucked.

The only way to stop the incessant shame and non-stop mental "I'm sorrys" was to distract myself: read of novel, watch 5 tv shows at once, or see a good movie.
All this occurred in October and brought me to the conclusion that I have failed. I am not good at this. I've lost. Nothing brings pleasure, the best I could hope for was a break from the pain. I have stuck with this grad school thing out of loyalty to the person I used to be, to the person who wanted this so badly. Until the end of October when I knew I was exhausted. No more.

Then a funny thing happened. Because I stopped trying to be a good teacher and stopped caring if I was doing well or not, something changed. My students began to react differently to me. They started to chat with me after class. The ones who always seemed diffident and repulsed by me suddenly seemed to let their barriers down. Then I was observed by someone at the Long Island college. I didn't really prepare and was rather sloppy with my lecture-- I even let class go early because I ran out of material.

But the prof said she was impressed. (!! what?!!) She thoroughly enjoyed class, blah blah .....huh. So the chair said I should start thinking about next fall, they wanted me to come back and one of the full timers would be retiring soon. huh. At one point in that conversation he said, "You have such a good rapport with the students you must really be enjoying yourself, right?" I balked. No. No, I'm not at all. I hate this. But that's not what one is supposed to say. Instead I said, "Yes, yes I am." and managed a feeble smile. Probably most unconvincing.

I spend all my time watching TV, commuting, teaching, and reading novels. And now I don't have to feel guilty about it. I don't have to fear failure because it's already happened. What's next for this weary traveler? Who cares? She may check herself into a hospital when the semester ends. Perhaps in surrender she will find rest.


An Evening on the LIRR

After 3 years living in the city, I appreciate any transportation above the ground. It's nice to see trees and houses through the windows, far better than the dark tunnels that threaten to take the Subway down to hell. Last year, coming up from the A train, I was sometimes surprised to find myself still in New York. So the commute home on the Long Island Railroad is mostly pleasant. Tonight it was interesting: a chance encounter on the train, blustery wind, a plea for attention. He wore a baseball cap and dirty sweats....Read below for my not quite a J.Peterman experience.

It's cold here now. It rained all day. They said we have a 'Noreaster' blowing in. Having grown up in Florida, any storm without an eye fails to impress me. But it made it most unpleasant to walk in the almost freezing rain. So I was glad when the train arrived and I could get out of the weather. I settled down and tried to arrange my fabulous eggplant colored coat to encourage dryness. I didn't feel like reading. I decided to watch the rain fall.

My zen daze got interrupted by some drunken shouts coming from the back of the car. Sounded like the angry yells of a homeless schizophrenic. I thought, 'This ain't no MTA $2 train! My ticket cost $10 so I don't know what kind of homeless person could afford this train.' A few minutes passed and then I heard the tell-tale shuffling and muttering. 'Huh. So there's a homeless man on the train. Smart place to be on a wet day like this.' I remembered when I got stranded in London in late September a few years ago. Having no money for a hostel, I bought a roundtrip bus ticket to Oxford just so I could have a warm place to sit. I couldn't begrudge someone else looking for warmth.

The shuffling grew louder and as he passed so did the urine-must-alcohol au de street smell. He wore baggy sweatpants falling off his waist and a dingy flannel overshirt. He must have been going to the bathroom. I returned to my window. Some minutes later I hear, "Miss did I pass by you?" The man stood on the stairs leading up to the platform level and asked me that strange question. "What?" He repeated himself and then I understood, he was lost. "Yes you did." He nodded and looked at me. I turned away again.

"Manhuhbubbaba?" "Manhubaba?" He was still talking to me? I squinted at him and tried to figure out what his question meant. Oh, am I going to Manhattan, yes. Then he asked me what I did there, what did I do. I told him I teach. He smiled and said "4th grade?" "No. College." "sh---!" He shook his head and then sat down on the stairs in front of me.

What is it about a young woman alone on public transportation that invites the vagabond and inebriate to talk to her? I knew that curse well growing up and riding the trains in Miami. It's been awhile since I've had such an encounter up here. Well, there but for the grace of God go I... really. He was middle aged. With blond hair and glazed blue eyes and a rough lumpy face. He wasn't skinny so he didn't really look homeless.

Then he began. "I've been in Hampton Bays. Two days. Trying to get into rehab. On the stinking drink. That damn vodka! My old lady, I have a good old lady, yes I do. She got fed up. She told me she was fed up. So I came out here. Two days. I stink now." Then he yelled to someone in the middle of the car "Hey is my stuff over there?" Response in good ol Brooklyn accent: "Do I know you? I'm supposed to watch your stuff now?" "Yes! Is my stuff over there, scumbag?" "I don't know."

Then he turned to me and grumbled about the scumbag. Then yelled again, "You're a scumbag! I'm over here talking to the young lady." "Don't bother her." "Hey! Don't be jel! I'm the one talking to the young lady. Chill." He went on some more about the two days and the drink and these scumbags with a gold spoon in their mouths. "We made a lot of money back in the day. At least I did. But we didn't know. We're so smart we got stuck on stupid didn't we? The world is a bad place." I nodded. "Those two days, Hamptons, that one guy he wanted a fight. I can fight. I used to box. But I hit him there, his tooth bit me." He raised his fist to show me a fresh scratch on one of his knuckles. About this time a man walked up the aisle towards the stairs. The drunk man leaned to the side and told the other to go around him. He said, "No. You get up so I can go." "Go around." "I'm not going around, get up." Surprisingly, he stood to let him pass. "I'm just talking to the young lady, we're chit chatting."

The other middle aged man stopped at the top of the stairs to look down at the drunkman and myself. He gave me a sympathetic look. I gave him an amused smile. He looked like a dad. A working man kind of dad that would beat someone down if necessary. He was letting me know that he wouldn't let drunk man hurt me. He stayed up there the rest of the ride keeping an eye on us. And listening. Drunk man started his monologue again. It felt like listening to someone in a sad play. He told me he was 49. He couldn't believe it because he didn't expect to live that long. He lived hard. He and his buddy. "I buried my buddy this summer. He was my best buddy. We were through thick and thin. Thick and thin! We did time together. We were upstate and at Attica. When we got back we met in the cemetary to party out. He told me he'd bury me. But I said No, I'm going to bury you. And that's the way it was too. He bought a bag of dope and that killed him." His face grew red and he looked away from me as he talked.

"Man it tore me up. Losing him. Tore me up. I can't even look at you now. See? Tore me up bad. I cried for 8 days, I did. We were thick and thin." Then his theme shifted as he turned back to look at me again. He examined my face with a look of surprise--and his glassy eyes were searching mine. At this point I felt a bit uncomfortable. I didn't want to encourage him with rapt attention, but I didn't want to insult him either by ignoring him. Drunk or not he was still a human. So I looked at him as he talked to me but I glanced away often. Making only brief eye contact. The conductor came by and told him not to block the path or bother the lady. He didn't take my ticket. Then he disappeared. I imagine he didn't go far and stayed within listening distance.

"Now what I need is to find a good woman. Man, if I had a woman. I would never drink again. I'd give it up sure thing. I make a good living, operate cranes and heavy machinery. I'd take care of her. If I had a woman. I'd even cook dinner for her. Cook chicken and pork chops. I'd do the cooking, I would! I'd be so good to her." Uh-oh, I could see where he was headed now. I almost told him I'm a vegetarian after he described his luscious meat dishes in more detail. But I bit my tongue. Maybe he didn't mean me. "Give me your number." What? Just like that eh? I said 'No' and shook my head without apology or reservation. He said, "Oh, you're too young, right? I'm too old." I said "yes." There was no reason to tell him that the urine on his clothes was reason enough, not his age.

Then he repeated some of the stuff about being 49. There are still some old hippies left. He's one of them. How did he get that old? He showed me his cut again. He pointed to my skirt and said,"beautiful. That green. That's beautiful." "Thank you." Then he gave me his pedigree. "I'm swedish. Nordic. Swedish. Not Irish. And not that Po-lack. I come from good people. That there, (pointing at my skirt again) that's my grandmother. You look strong, like a strong boned woman." "Yes. I am." "Yeah, I can tell." Then he stood and walked back to his seat. Was this the end?

No. He returned with his grocery bag. He showed it to me. Told me he picked apples from Long Island in there. Red and yellow. Don't they look good? I nodded and he sat down again. As he sat he cursed someone in the middle of the car and grumbled about yuppies. "They don't know tough love. I come from tough love. The world is tough. You look like tough love. Yeah. You're tough love. You would whip me into shape. You'd straighten me right up. That's what I need." I didn't tell him that he was mistaken, that I can't even straighten myself up. But I did frown at him apparently. Because then he said, "You know how I can tell? Your frown. I can see it there. (He pointed to his chin.) I can see your frown there. You're tough. Give me your number."

I said no. Our train neared the next stop. A young skinny man now stood above us with the dad-man, watching. The dad man told young guy "He told me to go around him." They snickered. As the train stopped, drunk man stood and asked if my name was Diana. I said No. The dadman yelled down to him, "Come on man. You're here." Drunk man held his hand out to me. He asked if my name was Karen. I looked at his hand. I couldn't do it. Paying the man some attention was one thing--touching him and who knows where his hand has been? Oh no. Quite another thing. I shook my headat him. The Dadman called down more forcefully. "She doesn't want to shake your hand! Leave the lady alone. Come on! Get out of here." Drunk man turned silently and went up the stairs.

I felt a little bad for the hand thing. But really, where has his hand been? I was grateful to the dadman. The conductor came by again after they left. He asked me if I was ok, how bad was it? Did he need to get the police? I shook my head. Then he smiled and moved on. Without clicking my ticket. This was the first time ever in two months of riding this train that no one asked for my ticket. Hmm. Should I say something? He passed me twice. Maybe he thought I deserved a free ride for keeping the rowdy drunk man placated.

Before the train goes underground towards Manhattan, the Empire State Building is visible. It peeks up behind all the box buildings in Queens. Tonight it looked beautiful. The lights were on and the last of the dusk sun, glowing through the rain clouds silhoutted the tower. I was almost home.


What's wrong with this country? What's wrong with me?

Monday I went to see my shrink. It had been about 5 weeks since I'd seen her last. Because she had fired me as her therapy client, wanting to switch to 'medication management' meaning we'd only meet once a month. She said I needed more intense and frequent therapy than she could provide. I explained that seeing her twice a month was already more than I could afford and I hadn't found any cheaper services in the area. She said she would look for me. Right. Whatever, I didn't care because the therapy didn't do much anyway.

But I looked forward to this appointment. I was scared of my emotions and the sudden instability. I wanted to talk about it and maybe suggest that I might be some kind of unusual bi-polar. I had a good 3 or 4 weeks. Then suddenly, everything was bad again. I could trace a pattern of good year-bad year all the way back to the 6th grade. She was unimpressed. She wasn't listening. I said, "I feel crazy. I can't control myself. I'm crying for no reason." She gave me a new medication with a lecture about how this one is dangerous so I can't play around with it. I can't just stop taking it like I have some of my other meds. Blah blah. That's why she hadn't given me the scrip earlier. Wrong, I refused to take a new med before now, but ok.

At that point I gave up. I could tell she wasn't interested. She actually told me there wasn't anything else we could do about the depression, but I should try to stay hopeful because I've pulled out of it before. I tried to explain that it was different this time. (P.S. Don't tell a depressive there's nothing she can do but wait it out!!!) I tried to tell her I was scared. It had never lasted this long before and never made me stop caring about everything like this. She dismissed me. Made another appointment. Gave me the scrip. Now I remember that I was wrong, it lasted this long when I was 19-21.

I don't like to think about that time of my life. Nightmare doesn't begin to describe what happened. The panic attacks became regular events the spring of my freshman year. So I went on the Paxil. It made me pass out in the hallway. And I had to drop my art class because my hands shook so badly I couldn't make the stupid squares straight for my color chart. My sophomore year I barely remember. I had some crazy episodes. One night I ripped all the pages out of the phone book, one at a time and threw them out of my dorm window. I drew a mural over my bed with magic markers. I threw dishes out of the window so I could hear them crash. Alienated my best friend and roommate. I remember stacking all the furniture one night. Gained weight. That summer I stayed in Atlanta instead of going home. I lived in a crappy house with a psycho racist control freak, one friend and one acquaintance. I had 3 jobs, waitressing, legal secretary and record promotions intern. No car. No air conditioning. The first few weeks I slept on the floor. I bought myself one knife, fork and spoon and 2 cups. The Olympics were in town. Life was uncomfortable.

Then I met "Nasty". My first college boyfriend. I had a crush on him because he played amazingly beautiful songs at open mic night at the Red Light Cafe. But he looked like Butthead from the Beavis and Butthead cartoon. He even dressed like Butthead. After 2 weeks he scared me with his 'devotion'. He wanted to fly to Arizona with me, I was going to see my mother. We had dated for 2 weeks! He gave me some dorky present too. A homemade necklace with a crystal, a mix tape of himself, and some other junk--he was 28. I wanted out but didn't know how to do it. He was manipulative and passive aggressive. He didn't have a car either and his hippie friends had B.O. But he gave me attention and affection which was new for me. He wrote me songs. That summer, I went psychotic.

All day long my mind said "You should die." A theme with several variations. For months that thought, like an evil voice in my head abused me. I've gone off track of this story....Anyway. I broke up with Nasty finally and after a few days of psychosis I took all my pills. Made sure no one was home. Turned out the lights and lit some candles. I played a Moby song on repeat. I wanted the things in my head to stop. I wanted peace and quiet. If I didn't wake up in the morning even better. Yadda yadda yadda stomach pumped, ended up in the psych ward against my will for 72 hours.

Fly back to Florida for my brother's wedding, stayed with my father to rest and hide from the mess I made in Georgia. Returned to school in the fall and dropped out in October. Ended up living with my mother in Phoenix where I developed a near catatonic depression. I was too depressed to bother with suicide. That was my first bout with agoraphobia. At the time I thought the eery landscape of Arizona caused it. I had grown used to the forested city of Atlanta. This desert place looked like the moon. The sky felt oppressive and I feared it would obliterate me if I went outside. Crazy. Mom took me to a series of mental health professionals, one made house calls. He meant well but suggested I join a gym. Exercise? It was a good day if I got out of my pajamas. Finally my mother checked me into a hospital out-patient program. (These were the good old days when I was on Pops' health insurance.) They put me on Wellbutrin. I went hypomanic about 3 weeks into it. They declared me better and I drove myself back to school in grandpa's car that I inherited. Just in time for the spring semester. Overnight I was better. I had a great year after that.

But, back to the original story. My shrink rushed me out of her office with nary a tissue for my tears. On my way out, I couldn't stop crying so I went to the bathroom to finish it. Locked myself in a stall and sobbed for an hour. Messy, snotty, coughing, loud sobbing. One woman asked if I was allright and did I want her to get help? I told her I was crazy and she just left without a word. This was in a hospital. I did hope she'd return with someone. She didn't. I got tired of standing and went to a waiting room where I called in sick to cancel my classes. Then I stood outside my shrink's office wondering what to do, still crying. I left. Still crying on the street outside the hospital I called my doc and left a message explaining where I was and that she didn't understand the seriousness of my condition. I filled the new scrip for the anti-convulsant Lamictol.

She called back. She asked if I wanted to go to the hospital because that was all she could do. I said yes. She had to check on space and would call me back. She did. She and her supervisor think I should be hospitalized. But I would have to pay for it. There are social workers though who work with patients to help them get medicaid. I told her I make too much money. She said I might need to reduce my income to qualify but once I did it would apply retroactively. I yelled. "I can barely pay my rent as it is! How can I cut my income?" She said, "You need to figure out what you really need right now. You need insurance." "I need a home! That's crazy!" Blah blah, she just wanted to make sure I knew all this before blah blah did I want her to reserve a bed? You couldn't check in until tomorrow...I asked if this was the cheapest hospital. She didn't know.

I sat on the wall facing 9th Avenue. Still crying and holding my sweater tight against the wind. All of this was too complicated. All I knew was that I felt completely unstable, out of control and terrified. My thoughts ran like this: I should be responsible and find the cheapest place instead of just checking in here--What difference does it make? I can't pay it anyway no matter how much. I might qualify for some aid in Jersey, I should look into that. She asked again if I wanted a bed. It was cold and exhaustion from the sobbing set in. I just wanted to go home. Too many decisions. Too complicated. I told her I was going home. I wandered around Chelsea instead. Eventually made my way to Times Square and the short bus.

So, the more I thought about it, the worse this whole thing smells. Apparently, it's standard practice for people to quit jobs so they can get medicaid. Well if I did that then I suppose I'd qualify for food stamps and maybe Section 8 housing assistance too. I DON'T WANT TO LIVE ON WELFARE. What has become of our country? In order to get the care I need, I have to make my situation worse and even more expensive.

My friend gave me another suggestion. His friend works in a public hospital in Brooklyn. He told him how easily one can avoid hospital bills. All I have to do is check in under a fake name and fake social security number. And I should do it at the end of the month when the regulars check themselves out to pick up their disability checks which they spend on crack only to return to the hospital when the money is gone. Public hospitals get government funding according to their number of patients, so at the end of the month they will take anybody to fill beds. They won't even check my fake SSN. I don't much care for that suggestion either.

Both of those scenarios require cheating and severe violations of my integrity. I may be able to cry all over myself in the street in front of the hot dog man and everybody else but I can't stomach that other mess. So I numbed myself and waded through the rest of the week. Not knowing what else to do.

The new drug makes me very drowsy. I didn't shower today or do anything productive because I felt so crappy. While getting changed for bed I noticed all the new bumps on my legs. The doctor told me if I got a rash from the meds I should go to the emergency room because that could kill me. Nice. But these look like hives more than a rash. There is no redness. I read the warning paper from the pharmacist. It says to go to the hospital if a rash develops. But if one has an allergic reaction, extremely rare, just stop taking it. Hives are listed as signs of allergy. So I didn't take the stuff tonight. I'll tell my doc on Monday.

So that's where I'm at. I'm tired of fighting. I'm not suicidal. I'm not feeling hopeless, just frustrated. But my mind is quiet in that blissful and disturbing way. The break from incessant uncontrollable thoughts is nice. But it's creepy too. I'm empty. I have nothing to say to anyone. There's nothing I want to do. I can't think about anything long enough to make any decisions. It's taken me 5 days to write this post and I'm only typing it now because I can't sleep.

This is life. I'll keep slogging on because that's what we have to do. I know I'll be ok eventually. I'm not so sure about this country. Something is going to break and it will be ugly.


it came back. Friday I was exhausted when I got up in the morning and stayed that way all weekend. I didn't leave the house for 4 days. Wednesday I broke down for no good reason and cried for 2 hours. I've been crying on and off for 3 days. This is not a hormone thing. I can't control this. I want it to stop. The overwhelming emotion floods through and debilitates me.


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It's dead. I killed it. The corpse of my social life rots on the curb. That's where I kicked it sometime in the last year. I've been getting better, so now when the weekends roll around, I actually want to get out of my house. But my list of people I can call is very short. By my own fault. I stopped calling them and no one calls me anymore because I said 'No' so many times.

Then last night I heard something unpleasant. Walking the third to last length of my last commute of my 12 hour Thursday, I was tired. Here's a rundown of my day. In the morning, at 10:30-45ish--filled with the fear that I may miss my train, I ran/walked 4 blocks to catch the bus to the city. I left late and then traffic in the tunnel was really really bad. Not only did I miss the last train to the village in Long Island where I teach, I almost missed the last train to the town within taxi distance to the campus. But I was lucky that I didn't have to wait for the subway or I would have had to cancel class. But after rushing through the underground tunnel, I caught the backup train. Arriving in BFE L.I. some 90 minutes later, I then had to pay $50 for a cab ride; knowing I drew it out of an account that would have a negative balance when my rent check was deposited. But, I had to get to work.

After I gave my 85 minute lecture and dawdled to fill the hour before the train left, I walked the half hour to the station. A walk in the humidity and full sunlight with a very heavy totebag carrying books and a gymbag with my swimming gear and other personal affects that went unused. I found out that day that people are required to take a tour of the athletic center before they can use it. But people are required to make an appointment for a tour. I have one on Tuesday. From there, it's the 90-100 minute train ride, with a change and wait in Jamaica then to Penn Station. And a push through the hundreds of people up the skinny stairs to speedwalk to my school where I will be 10 minutes late for a 2 hour seminar. After those 2 hours, I passed up the chance to go out with classmates because of the negative state of my bank account. Which meant it was time to go home. And walk to the Port Authority because I pay for my subway by the ride now.

I let down my hair because it had become a disaster anyway, it was 8:45 pm and trudged towards the Port Authority. The walk is 3.5 Avenues by 8 blocks, and usually takes 20 minutes when there is no traffic. Worried that I was rude to my friend when she was asking if I would join them, I typed out a text message apologizing. As I concentrated on my phone and walked, I got to 40th and 9th, The Port Authority. Walking along the front, crossing the 41st Street chasm dividing the P.A., I heard a voice echoing.

"There is a girl in desperate need of a man." Well that's not a nice thing to say. I stealthily glanced from side to side and see that I am the only one walking by. Could he mean me? No. That's ridiculous. "I mean, DESPERATELY. Look at her!" Ugh. I think he did mean me. I hit the SEND button on the phone, sighed and pondered the bruising, harsh comment. What about me would make someone say that? First of all, it aint true. I can't even take care of myself, what would I do with a man? Ah, perhaps that's it...am I visibly not taking care of myself now?

So I picture myself in my head to work it out. My hair surely had gone to frizz. It needs a cut. I was wearing Birkinstocks--but femme ones, you would too if you had to walk almost 2 hours that day! My skirt was all rumpled and stretched out. Ok, maybe he had reason. My blouse was a loose one,untucked--I have no waist so I can't tuck shirts in, it makes me look like a freak with boobs sitting on my hips! I know I wasn't smiling. I certainly wasn't excited about going home. I was tired. My make up had melted off hours ago. Does all that equal 'looking like she desperately needs a man'?

Well, anyone who has spent even one hour in Manhattan knows how sickeningly beautiful and put together the women in my age bracket are. They get fancy haircuts with coloring, wear tight and skimpy clothes, jewelry, sexy shoes, cute bags...it's very expensive to look that way! Midtown looks like a real-life fashion magazine. With frumpy tourists and cops thrown in for "authenticity". But the truth is, no Wall Street Suit or Hipster guy will look at a woman who's not a walking ad for Vogue. Except, of course, to pity them.

Regardless, have I let myself go? I thought I looked nice when I left in the morning. I was late because I ironed my skirt. (A VERY new thing, this ironing. It used to be a once a year event.) I put makeup on in the taxi on the way to work. My hair is a wreck. Fabulous. But because I've seen myself looking good I like to carry that image in my head. It helps with confidence. But maybe I'm clinging to that picture while getting slovenly with the reality? Crap. That's not good.

Whatever. I climbed into the short bus to wait for it to fill so we could all go back to Jersey. I found myself wishing I had stopped and confronted the Jerk. Clearly he has issues to be so interested in my "needy" state. Maybe he was attracted to me and then repulsed? We'll never know.

I look forward to the day when such ridiculous things don't even register with me, let alone occupy half an hour of thinking time. One day I'll have real things to worry about. (money isn't worth worrying about because there is nothing I can do until the friggin school distributes our student loans. NJ is way too expensive, I may have to go back to NYC and roommate life.) So, this blog is my Friday night entertainment because I didn't have the energy or the money to do anything else. For which I take full responsibility and expect no sympathy. There's a show about papermaking artists on PBS now. I hate television.


Greetings Earthings!

I come in peace. I know many of you are worried about me because of my recent posts and the lack thereof. I'm fine. The beginning of the semester has been swamping me with work so I haven't wanted to spend valuable writing energy and time on blogging. Thank you for all of your kind thoughts. I just read them today. I had to boycott blogs altogether to make sure I didn't get sucked in as I'm wont to do. Thank you for your prayers as well. I could feel it. I've been carried the last few weeks and staying upright through things.

My last post was an expression of despair and frustration, for months and months I have been working to get better, to get back to being myself. I had another set-back and just crashed. But I seem to have contained the worst of it to the weekends. Which is a very good thing. Things have gotten better, just too slow for my tastes. Teaching seems to be ok this term. I'm slowly getting some confidence back. I'm teaching at a school way out in Long Island where the students are nice and polite which is a refreshing change. I still have two classes in the city but I'm trying everything people have advised me to do. My anxiety is much reduced.

OH! I forgot one of the most important things. I've been on Wellbutrin since 1996. Large amounts of it. It worked well the first year or two. Then not so much and they started me on the cocktail. But, in August the doc put me on Lithium because it has helped me in the past. It made me worse. After two weeks I felt like I did in June when I was afraid to leave the house and my cat was dying. Then I spent a weekend in Philly with some old and dear friends. I felt awful. My best friend got really worried. She said, "You aren't right. You aren't yourself." That's what I've been saying for months.

When I got home I ditched the Lithium. And then I had the idea to get off the Wellbutrin. It is possible that my body doesn't metabolize it the same way it did 9 years ago. Likely even. Maybe I got better, so the drug was just messing me up instead of helping. I looked up side effects online and some of the stories did sound familiar. So I began to reduce my dose, slowly. And I felt better some. I became more conversational and actually talked to people on the phone again. I've cut back to 300mg from 450. The first week of classes I started taking 225mg but had a really bad week--you read the results of that. So I have stayed on 300 mg, been waiting for things to settle down to reduce even more.

My anxiety has gone way down since then. Riding the bus and walking places doesn't fill me with panic anymore, so commuting is no longer torture. I did have a panic attack in Union Square last week which brought me to tears but that was isolated. I'm getting things done. I took my second and hopefully last comprehensive exam on Tuesday. I registered for one class, also hopefully my last. And, I negotiated getting another class in Long Island for the Spring.

It feels like the flood of emotions that has been drowning me for almost a year now has been welled up. When something bad happens, I don't fall apart. I'm able to hold on to my reason. Imagine yourself on the ocean in a life preserver. Through all of this I have felt like I was floating upside down with my head in the water--gasping and kicking for air, and occaisionally coming up for a breath. Now, it feels like I'm right-side up, trying to maintain my position above the swells. It's very different.

I still suspect there is something physically wrong with me. This depression doesn't originate with my thoughts. And everything I learned over the years to battle it doesn't work anymore. It feels different. It doesn't come from sadness, it feels like it comes from the outside in--like my body is half dead. I am 29 and that's the time when serious mental disorders tend to set in. I used to think I was free from that worry because mine hit me early on. But now I'm not sure. There is a long history of mental problems on both sides of my family.

Here is a list of things I have done to get better:
Faithfully take my meds and go to appts.
Began a Yoga routine (i've slacked on it recently)
Changed my eating habits to more healthy ones
Kept up with housecleaning and tried to keep up with other chores
Got out of a relationship I couldn't deal with
I've tried going back to church--it's even lonier when you don't speak the language though and I usually cry through sacrament meeting
I make myself go to the library at school to do work
I'm trying to keep up with my friends
Keeping regular sleeping and waking hours
Made showering a daily necessity
Leave my house on time to eliminate lateness anxiety
Tried to adopt a caretaker attitude towards myself
Planned a book editing project with a friend
and other things

I discovered this summer that the tedious little things are important. I was ashamed of my dirty apartment but didn't think it worth the bother to clean. I changed that attitude, realizing that accomplishing small tasks can give me confidence and reduce negative influences. I also walk at least an hour a day in my commute to classes. I plan to start swimming next week on the Long Island campus. I'm also looking to buy a cello when I get my student loan. I don't play my saxophone because it's too loud and I live in an apartment building. Music has always soothed my soul.

That's the status of things with me. I cried for an hour today but it was a good cry, and rare. I think it came from grief. And the weather is finally turning. The oppressive heat should be gone for the year! YAY! Now I'm off to buy some ice cream, and start my laundry while I watch the movie Videodrome.


Is life supposed to be hell? I'm not sure I would have signed up for this if this is all there is. In fact, I think I prefer hell. Then at least I'd know that I deserved it. And I could stop trying. And stop waiting for things to get better, stop hoping. That sounds like an improvement. This is not fire and brimstone anguish--more the eternal slow drip of corrosive acid on my soul. Each day is a fight to just do this stuff. Endless. Fight fight fight fight. For what? There is no satisfaction. There is no pleasure. There is no contentment. I work and then I escape my thoughts and try to escape my emotions. When I do accomplish something, my reward is a reduction in shame and guilt. But slight. And the gargantuan effort hardly seems worth that but I do it anyway. We do it anyway. Having to wait 45 minutes at the drugstore because the hoochies don't announce when it's ready anymore, reduces me to tears and fury.

My job terrifies me. The only way I can get through it is by pretending it's not real. By not thinking about it at all. I show up, put on my dog and pony show--and try to smile like they told me to then go home and lose myself in assinine television. The worst thing is that I know how wrong I am, I know how disgusting I sound. I am unbelievably privileged and I pee on my life. But if I quit, then I really might kill myself for the shame and self-hatred of it. As it is, I'm NOT suicidal. I'm bored and dissatisfied to the point of rage. I try so hard to make this stop and get better. I live with my drill sergeant in my head, and we hate each other. Because it doesn't work.

I'm living on the cliff of madness. Hanging on with my fingernails to rationality and order. But my fingers are bloody and sore. Why am I still hanging here? The wind bangs me against the cliff bruising me. What's there to make it worth holding on? My best friend in Georgia wants to kill herself and there is nothing I can do from here. I turned in that paper I spent 6 months on and it's bad. They want to talk to me about it. It was all I could do not to sick up on the professor as he told me. Men want to get in my pants and I want to tell them all to go to hell. There's never enough money. I just dropped 150 for medications that may be making me worse for all I know. I killed my parasites and now none of my clothes fit anymore. People in the gulf...

My doctor thinks it is time to check me in somewhere for a week. I told her that was impossible without insurance. She seems to think there are ways around that. I think she is being naive, she just got out of medical school.

Life is moving from one unpleasant ordeal to the next, to wake in the morning to a litnany of fears making me want to stay in bed. The knowledge that I am losing time, wasting it, getting older is a constant undercurrent making me sick. Reality becomes more and more vague as I detach myself in order to continue, more unreal and insignificant compared to sanctuary of my mind. I just don't get the point of this. I'm not getting stronger or better or learning. I deteriorate. I become a worse person. Life is a test? Adversity is for our own good? Obviously I fail. I have 60 more years of this? Is this what I hung on through everything else for? Is this what I have been waiting for and straining for? Well, it sucks.


Ask The Celibate: Is he conflicted or insensitive?

The Celibate mailbag received this email, requesting advice. I already sent her my reply. Admitting that I do NOT know everything, sigh, I post this for my wise readers. Please comment with any sage words. I will post my response tomorrow. (O the suspense!)

All right, here it is. I have a thoroughly extraordinary male friend. He is brilliant, funny, charismatic, handsome and talented. The first year we knew
each other, he was dating someone else. Nonetheless, we always had extraordinary chemistry and a very intense rapport. The friendship became so stressful that I decided to move to another city to take a job.

About two months before I moved, we had a very intense evening during which we confessed our feelings for each other. We both seemed so happy, though he was still with the other person. Half a week later, they had broken up for other reasons. We had two or three wonderful evenings together...and then he disappeared completely until I left town. I thought he was depressed about his break up and terribly conflicted about me as I was leaving.

A couple of months after I left, he got back together with his ex-girlfriend.
This was all very painful for me, but I had moved away. All of the above occurred a couple of years ago, and now I am temporarily in my old city for a couple of months. We've seen each other off and on and been friendly. Here is what happened to me last week:

We find ourselves at the same social gathering. We have a subtextural tiff as part of a larger group conversation about this chick who flew in from out of town to meet him around the time of our strangeness two years ago, and I wander off for a bit. Anyway, he buys me another glass of wine just as the party is breaking up and then it is just him, me and this other guy. He suggests at 1:20 in the morning that we go to out dancing. All three of us go and dance for half an hour or so 'till the place closes. The music ends with a schmaltzy slow song and he pulls me in for a close dance that turns into sort of a hug. The music ends, lights go up and we are still standing there holding onto each other. He won't let go! It is very sweet and intense. Finally I pull away and lead him out the door.
> We get to his house and he says, "This is us." I say, "Well, this is you, anyway." He invites me in for a drink at 2:30 in the morning. We go out on the patio and chat for the next couple of hours about all kinds of fun things. His hands keep brushing mine while we are talking, so I brush his back and then he takes my hand in between both of his and we just hang out like that for a while, holding hands and grinning at each other. He mentions it is late and I get up to go. I ask him to walk to the
sidewalk with me. He does and I say goodbye and then he kisses me on the mouth.
> So there we are making out on his sidewalk for 15 minutes or so at 5am. It is very romantic and emotional. Lots of stroking my cheekbone and kissing my forehead and stuff like that. He asks if I'd like to stay over and I say no. Then I say, "You don't really want that either, do you?" He avers that indeed he does. I tell him I think we deserve better than that. He assures me with one hand halfway down the back of my jeans that it will be "very platonic." I tell him I'll see him again soon because this [chemistry] obviously isn't going anywhere.
> So, we see each other soon thereafter at a party. He is sweet, we talk off and on, and he finds an indirect way to tell me that he and his most recent girlfriend broke up on good terms. He didn't give me any hint of how upset he may or may not be about this. He asks if I am attending something a couple of days later, invites himself and firmly promises to be there. I am apprehensive, of course, but hopeful. If he is single and misses me as much as he appears to, then maybe we can finally spend some time together.
> But, he doesn't show up and I am crestfallen. I text him that evening to ask if he forgot, and I get no answer. In light of recent events and his firm commitment to come, this is really inconsiderate, wouldn't you say? If he didn't feel up to coming, he should have dropped me a line. Unless, of course, he is standing me up deliberately in order to reestablish emotional distance, which sucks. I email him asking for an honest update about what is going on. The next day he chokes out one paragraph about how he had been really tired and just read and napped all evening.
> I write a very sweet and lucid email back explaining that I had been excited to see him, and that he runs so hot and cold on me as to leave me extremely confused. And, can he help me to decide whether to trust signals like the ones I received the evening of the dancing...or the completely different ones I received in the last couple of days? I also told him straightforwardly that if he was actually single, and if he missed me as much as he appeared to last week, that I thought we should spend some time together in some capacity while I am here. (I need to leave again in about a month)

> It's been almost three days now, and I haven't gotten any response. Obviously given our history, he should not have kissed me if he didn't *really* miss me. And, at the time he seemed very serious, like his feeling for me is something that is bottled up inside him most of the time. But if that were true, why would he be ignoring me now? Either he is *really* conflicted or really being insensitive. Of course I would prefer to believe the former. What do you think?

Men. I've heard many stories like this one from friends and acquaintances. The men in our generation seem to hate responsibility and refuse to grow up. And we women are enabling them. My reply to be posted tomorrow.


Is it really so strange?

Bury myself in work! Ha ha ha haha......rotfl. Like that will ever happen.

But I have figured some things out. Firstly, I am abombinal to myself. If someone asked me to take care of their child, I would treat it much better than I treat myself. I realized this because I have taken much better care of my cat the last few months than of my own person. While I neglected my own needs, I bought her the best food, took her to the doctor right away, paid for all the tests and everything with my credit card. But, I was unwilling to pay for tests on my ornery uterus. I justified it because my situation is not life or death. Probably. Still, that is perverse. I loved my cat more than myself. Perverse. I also love other people more than myself. That is sinful too. We are told to love others as we love ourselves. So we are commanded to be just as good to ourselves as we are to others. Most people feel more responsibility when someone else has a stake in their actions. One's work takes on more importance if it affects others. How do we justify being more moral to others and less moral towards ourselves?

Does God love you less than your neighbor? What right have you to treat this person that way? Would you feed someone else's child junk food and let her stay up all night watching garbage on tv? No. Would you let her shirk her responsibilities creating problems and guilt for herself? No. Would you leave her alone to wallow in her grief in front of the tv or a book? No--well, this one I'm not sure of. What do you do for grieving people? My mom made casseroles. I don't want a casserole.

Where did the casserole come from? What a strange food! When i was a kid we had casseroles several times a week. My mom made incredible food, she never served us the mayo-corn flake concoctions I've seen. But I think about all the ingredients, the cutting, the shopping, the prep time. Why??? Why would anyone do that to themselves? Is it a Mormon thing or just a middle America 20th century thing?

My parasites and I are working out our differences--did you know we can have them in our sinuses? *shiver* .... Anyway, Ted the tapeworm and I are working things out, the others have to go. Ted says he'll keep me thin as long as I keep feeding him. I'm taking ParaGone which I saw recommended by a number of people. It's some nasty herbal mix, but it makes dead things exit my body. Apparently, most Americans have parasites. You can get them from fruits and vegetables that aren't washed, the water supply, pets, mosquito bites, or touching something that someone else touched....it's a foul and nasty business. But the grey circles under my eyes are going away. And I've had improvements with the digestive system.

Anyway, I have to figure out how to care for this sad 29 year old. Friday I re-learned that hermitism is not the way for her to go. That day, the best thing that had happened that week: my ex-not-boyfriend put his hand on my back in the library. Woo-Hoo!!!! Oh, and I also got a free piece of pizza from the nice man behind the counter, which was nice. Then I went to the movies in Times Square by myself because I couldn't stand the thought of going home to my apartment where everything is sad. I got there early. But it sold out and there was an empty seat on either side of me. This big guy came up and said, "Is anyone sitting there?" I said 'no'. He said, "Well, could you move over please so I can sit with my girlfriend?" I wanted to say, "If you got here on time you could sit with your girlfriend, why should I move because you're butt was late?" But I didn't. I moved over. Then the guy sat on my drink. So I had to throw out the straw. He asked if everything was ok. I just grumbled and started to cry silently. I thought,'Of course everything is not ok! I'm at the movies by myself on Friday night and you just sat on my 4 dollar coke. The least you could do is get me a new straw. But you just enjoy snuggling your girlfriend, big guy.'

What to do for this woman? I took the antenna off her tv. I did yoga this morning for this first time in two months. I cleaned the kitchen sink which has had rotting spinach in it for two weeks. And answered some email. I'd do her laundry but I don't have quarters. I need to get her social life going, even if she complains and doesn't like it. This staying home alone all the time makes her crazy. I need to keep up this third person care-taker voice, it seems to work.

Here's the plan, I take the love I used to give to my dead cat and give it to me. I have to imagine I have responsibility for the most special person in the world to me.


Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

Like a hermit crab scared into her shell.

Kitty died on Sunday evening. I was with her. She howled in pain a couple of times. On her last howl she gasped. After that she couldn't breathe anymore. I got on the phone to find an oncall vet, so I could have someone put her down. I asked my mother to look online for me and call back. Mina took a few futile gasps and died within minutes. She died the way she wanted to and looked peaceful.

I don't know what I'm going to do now. Emotionally, I have shut down. I spent the month of June avoiding my life and responsibilities. I cried more before her death than I have since. I don't think I've cried for more than 5 minutes, three or four times. I start but then my mind shuts that shop down; distracting me with other thoughts. The last two weeks, maybe more, my mind has worked like a radio scanning the stations. I think about Mina and start to cry then my mind brings up other things to worry about. When I've tried to think of a subject for a post, I can't get past the first line before my mind moves on. Or, it pulls up memories that I'm ashamed of, forcing me to fight them off, thus losing my train of thought.

It's pathetic and sad, but that cat was my source of unconditional love. She gave me comfort. I've alienated myself from all the people in my life, so now their words of condolence don't help much. Plus, they are all far away, hundreds or thousands of miles away. My friend Barbara is here, she wanted to help and was very sweet. But I feel better when alone. I don't have the energy for other people right now. I don't have anything to say to anyone so I don't make phone calls. Seeing people is not worth the effort. It requires a performance of niceties, giving my reluctant smile, concentrating on paying attention to what they say so I can respond. All the while I wait to go home. Anxious. I leave at the first opportunity.

One of my best friends just moved to California. He had a farewell party in early June. I got as far as the Port Authority. Once there, the lights and noises and people made me so nervous I felt sick. That, and the thought of being at a party, even though I'm friends with all the people there. I called him to say I was too sick to go then turned around and went home with much relief.

I've changed a lot in the last year and a half. My bad qualities have grown like cancer and taken over my whole personality. I had hoped it was caused by over consumption of Aspartame in the liter of Diet Coke I drank daily. But the Aspartame is gone. My head is more clear but nothing else got better. I'm killing my yeast and parasites. So I have more physical energy. But the motivation, passion, ambition, competitiveness, humor, and all accompanying social skills have gone the way of the cassette tape. In previous depressions, I kept all those things. That's how I was able to get a B.A. and and M.A. and get into a doctoral program. It got a lot harder to pursue my goals but I always cared.

Working has helped a bit. I have done a few hours of work this week. More than I have done since the fall of 03. I think I should go with the shut down and just try to bury myself in work. It's hard when I can't muster the energy to care. This isn't grocery-store variety Depression. There is something terribly wrong with me. I remember my life two years ago, I remember what I was like when I moved here:excited, loud, very social, flirty...(for me anyway) and I don't understand how this degradation of self has happened. I don't know how to fix it. I have a new doctor who says she is going to change my medication. That's a nightmare I'm not looking forward to. If I had insurance she'd want me to get ECT. (Yes, they still do that. And it's still scary.)

Wow. I just re-read the draft of this post. It clearly shows my fractured mind rushing from one subject to another. No amount of proofing can fix this post. So here it is, as is. Welcome to my confusion.


Believe it or Not: Wonder Kitty

I'm not surprised, but maybe I should be. My cat didn't want to die. She refused to go. I gave her the tranquilizer my vet gave me to put her permanently to sleep. I gave it to her at 1 am last night. Then, she reminded me how much she hates tranquilizers. They make her mad. Years ago, I tried giving her one for a long car trip but it was horrible, her eyes got squinty, she kept meowing and trying to stand in the passanger seat but then she'd fall over. That went on for the few hours the pill was supposed to last. She did the same thing last night.

I gave it to her. Then she growled at me and went to the corner of the living room. Then she got up and stumbled toward the couch. So I put her on the couch. But then she started dragging herself to the edge so I picked her up and brought her to my bedroom. It seemed like she wanted to go under the bed so I put her there. She kicked and dragged her body around under there. I tried helping and she moaned at me. After an hour and a half of this I tried going to bed. I felt so sick.

I thought I had cried enough but I did some more. Then I started feeling guilty. Clearly, this wasn't what she wanted. When I stopped crying, I could hear her thumping around under the bed. She had almost dragged herself out so I put her on my bed. She didn't want that either. First she flopped herself off the pillow. Then she dragged herself to the windowsill. She kept moving around until she finally lunged forward towards the floor. I started to suspect this might not work. Mina is the most willful and stubborn cat I have ever seen. She'll go when she's ready to go and she'll die her own way thank you very much.

My sister calmed me down. That's when it got really pitiful. Kitty pulled her body forward across my bedroom as I talked on the phone. Then she crawled into my study. 15 minutes later I heard a big flop in the litter box. I got up and looked. I saw her curled up with her face in the litter. ohh. She didn't want to relieve herself on the floor. I picked her up so she could stand. When she put her paws on the edge of the box I helped her to the floor where she fell.

This cat doesn't die by the litter box, I put my hands around her middle and pulled her up again. By this time we had a system. We did a wheelbarrow, I held her back end up because it seemed completely paralyzed, while she pulled herself forward with her front paws. That way she could choose which way to go. Back into my bedroom. I put her down on the floor next to my bed. I thought this had to be the end. It was 4 am. I tried to sleep.

I woke this morning with a lovely dream about going SCUBA diving with a bunch of people I know, one girl had magical powers and she showed me how she could make the wind do things to the ocean. The first dive was for couples only. But I didn't know that. So I dragged this sad looking guy out of the dorms to go diving. I forgot my forms. When I heard that it was only for couples, I got scared and ditched the dude. (Totally something I would do in real life.) The phone rang.

I pulled myself to consciousness, "Hi Mom." I told her what happened. I could hear 'I told you so' resounding inside her head, she had told me to spring for the housecall vet instead. Since she got my email, she has gotten better at holding her tongue. But I knew she thought it. When I got off the phone, I looked for her. Under the bed she lay. Looking quite dead. But. I called her name a few times. Her tail flopped up and down. No way! I called her again. Tail wagged. Unbelievable. It totally didn't work. Kitty has willed herself to live.

She's been walking around. Hung out in the kitchen and the living room. Last I checked, she was sitting in the bathroom in her favorite spot, leaning on the toilet. Ok, Kitty has spoken. She can die her own way.

Should I keep giving her the anitbiotics? She's starving herself so should I let the infection take over her body too? Is one better than the other? Unbelievable. I'm exhausted. Honsetly, I was looking forward to the relief of not worrying about her anymore. I'm really sorry I tried to do it.


Goodbye, My Friend

This shadow dwells in our home. It came a few months ago. It landed on you, my dear.

It steals. It started by eating your flesh, slowly. It made you nervous. You didn't like me leaving you upstairs. You'd cry in the hall so the sound would echo down to the kitchen. If I didn't come back soon enough then you'd come down to get me. You're rotund body looked so funny going up and down the stairs, like a roly-poly. You've made me laugh so many times.

But not these days. You've wasted away before my eyes. You tried to get better. A few days ago it stole your purr. When did it steal your restful sleep? You only lie restless, agitated. That's when you stopped eating, I think. Leaving you to lust the food and drink as you sit beside them on the floor. Your sad eyes are tinged yellow with jaundice.

I can't believe my beautiful, dignified friend is inside that pitiful body. Shaved patches mock you under your chin and belly and legs where the doctor took your blood. He left a little bruise. You've been very good at tolerating the weekly vet visits. I know it terrified you. The medicine I've struggled to feed you has caked on your cheeks, chin and feet. It won't wash off even though I have tried.

Death won't wash off either. His hands hold your frail skeletal frame, squeezing. It was too hard to see the inevitable. Because you stopped lying in the closet all day I thought you were getting better. But your bones got more and more pronounced through your dehydrated skin. Even though you sat with me in the living room and purred on the couch. And last week you woke me up in the morning. I'm sorry to have dragged this out and put you through this. I thought there was hope. I know you tried. Thank you.

Friday morning when I saw you drooling like that I panicked. We went to the vet again. He gave you some fluids and told me to make you comfortable. I decided to start giving you the extra antibiotics I hadn't been. And to force-feed you. The vet told me to do it last week but you were eating on your own so I couldn't. Friday after we got home, you didn't leave the carrier because you couldn't walk. I put your favorite blanket under the chair and made myself comfortable to sit with you. I knew that you were dying. I wanted to stay with you.

I told you then that you could leave, you didn't have to stay here for me. But I lied, didn't I? I fed you late at night when you started shivering. Then, when your breathing grew ragged at 3 am, I took you to the hospital. They wanted to put you to sleep. I couldn't do it. I couldn't leave you in a cold hospital with your last memories being forced into a cab, urinating on yourself and having these strangers poke you. I took you there so they could give you something for pain, to make it more comfortable. They told me they couldn't, I should end it instead. I considered it seriously. At 5 am, crying in that little room, I wished I wasn't alone. I couldn't think straight.

I hadn't slept in two days and neither had you. I wasn't prepared to make that decision like that. It felt like throwing you away. Not like that. She tried to talk me into it. She showed me the 'waiting' room. She gave me pamphlets called, 'Goodbye my friend'. I cried and cried and tried to process what she told me. Too many choices: euthanasia, more tests, put you in the oxygen tank, steroids or chemotherapy. Wha? She told me they couldn't fix you. And all I knew for sure was that I didn't want you to die there, like that. I wanted to take you home and get someone to make a housecall.

So they gave you some shots and I brought you home. "Against her medical opinion." You were glad to be here. I knew it was right when you started kneading your afghan. I made a place for you to sleep under the bed but you hopped on top and curled up with me. We slept for the first time in two days. You went back under the bed later. When I woke up that afternoon, I was afraid to look for you. But there you were, still breathing, without struggle. The shot must have helped you.

But now you can barely walk. Your eyes look so sad. Despite it all, Death hasn't stolen your dignity. You still sit with your head proudly displayed, as you should. But you can't do it for long. It's been months and you are still fighting. You poor girl. I wasn't as good to you as I should have been. I couldn't see how bad you were getting because I couldn't bear to face it. I thought you could beat it. You rallied and seemed to improve. But, not this time.

I called your doctor today. I asked him if he thought it was time to put you to sleep because you had gotten worse. He said that was the kindest thing to do. I asked if he was sure you weren't getting better. He said he knew it the first time he saw you, he's just been trying to prolong your life. If I had known that I wouldn't have put you through all this. I'm so sorry I've been forcing you to take the medicine. It made me sick to do it. Twice a day, I have chased you and held you down and forced your mouth open and pushed the pink liquid down your throat. You tried to spit it out. It broke my heart over and over to put you through that torture. But I wanted you to get better.

I'm going to the vet's office today to pick it up. I asked him if we could do it at home and he said he could give me the pills to do it myself. I'm going to put you to sleep, put you out of your wretched misery. Because I love you.

This has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. It must be hell for you. Watching you wither away hurt so much. And then the hope that you were getting better, then the disappointment that you weren't . . . I didn't know if I should keep treating you or let you be. The overwhelming guilt that I wasn't doing enough or I was negligent. And you loved me through it all, your pain and my torture. You've been the best cat ever.

This is the right thing.

Goodbye, my beloved friend.


Bienvenidos Hermana!

I know my posts have been strange lately. I have been in a weird place psychically, trying to recover from a bad year filled with anxiety and failure, a bad relationship which made my weaknesses more prominent and scary. Faced with my age, 29 that is almost 30!!!, and faced with the real consequences of my irresponsibility and slackitude--almost fired, and my new-found psycho-girlfriend traits, I have decided to do something about the mess of my life. This can't continue. So my plan is to get rid of possible physical causes of my problems. Now I am realizing that it is a very real possibility that I have a personality disorder.

I've been in therapy since age 11. I'm still depressed. They started calling me 'treatment resistant' at about age 24. This leads me to believe that my problems go much deeper than a mood-disorder. I should be loving life. I'm trying to figure out what I have to do to achieve that. Already I am seeing some physical changes, I have more energy now than I did before I started the vitamins and changed my eating habits.

Adjusting to life in the suburbs is very strange. And quite annoying at times. The grocery store costs 30% more than city stores. And it is a 20 minute walk to the mega store. I do like having more foods available. The little city bodegas didn't sell much variety. But I miss fresh cheese and herbs. I can't find fresh mozarella! The vegetables are way overpriced and irradiated, I really liked the little chinese produce stores in Harlem and Bed-Stuy. They always had good veggies for cheap prices. I might take the bus into Manhattan for groceries. it's only a 5 minute walk to the bus stop. But it's two dollars each way and would add an extra 20 minutes in travel time.

I've started up with my church attendance again. There are mormon missionaries everywhere. I ran into some who hooked me up with a ride to my ward. I went one time and loved it. One speaker told us how he was raised muslim in Africa and his family cut him off as if he died when he joined the church. The teacher in RS told the story about her conversion. Her son had been killed and she wanted to die too until she joined the church. I really, really liked it.

But I really, really don't like bumming rides to church. Last month, this cute young couple with a baby picked me up and I just felt bad inconveniencing them, so I decided to take the bus home after church. But I couldn't find the bus stop and I was about to pass out from menstrual cramps so I caught a taxi. It was friggin $20!!! So the whole waking up early and walking 10 minutes to catch a bus to church, making the whole commute 45 minutes OR bumming a ride from people is very unappealing. Then I discovered the spanish speaking church that is a 5 minute walk from my house. And they meet in the afternoon like sensible people. I've gone three times now. I could kind of follow the lessons, I had 6 years of spanish classes growing up. They needed a piano player in RS so I played for them.

It's humbling in a good way to attend a church where one is an imbecile. They have to speak slowly to me and repeat themselves. I also think it will keep me more interested if I spend the whole time trying to translate in my head. So, I'm learning spanish. Whipee! This week I didn't have the energy to concentrate on trying to understand so I read scriptures during the talks and went home after sacrament meeting.

So what has happened to this blog? Where are the stories? Well, the thought of sitting down and reliving past dating experiences for a few hours makes me kind of ill. I'm really not in the mood.


The Ice Man Exits

Damn. I've really become pathetic.

"You don't want to end up with me." Like I'm some kind of moron who can't see through your attempt at kindness. Why did you have to insult me with it? What you meant to say was, "I don't want to end up with you." Super. And I don't know where you get off telling me what I do or don't want anyway. You don't have the slightest clue what I want, which is why everything was screwed up. When I was all depressed you thought I wanted you to leave me alone WHICH WAS TOTALLY WRONG. That's why I was so mad at you.

Why did it take you 5 months to tell me that I did something stupid which you have been hanging over my head without my knowledge? No, you left me wondering endlessly what the hell was going on. I tried asking you what the hell was going on and you said, "I don't want to answer that." So fine. I screwed up by doing mean things to you in my sorry attempt to get some reaction out of you and you're apparently incapable of emotion. Great.

The lack of emotion thing was what I liked about you in the first place, being with you was like sleeping on a quiet island in the middle of my hurricane. You gave me rest. Now you give me indigestion. So, we're better off apart. I've gotten the first of my bi-annual heartbreaks out of the way. Perfect timing, halfway through the year. I still have 6 months to get involved with another one and have that fizzle out by Christmas.

I wish someone were here with me, I could use a hug -- He doesn't feel anything. He went home to write his 'after action report' on what he learned from this experience so he can use it for next time. I got on the wrong bus because I can't think straight when I'm upset. I ended up in the wrong town only to find out the only way to get to mine was to walk on the highway over the railroad tracks. But that was after I tried going through the empty lot behind the warehouse. I turned around when I saw the man wearing only his boxers at the other end of the field, under the highway. I'm lucky I didn't get killed. I had to walk home in tears on the overpass--and I just kept thinking that I can't wait until I reach the point in my life when I stop doing things like this. How tired I am of getting lost in the wrong towns. And crying in public places. MOST PEOPLE DON'T LIVE LIKE THIS.

I want to be like him. Happy with his solitary, stable, and miserable life. He is miserable, because it's much easier that way. Because he thinks I'll hate him in 6 months. Why wait so long, eh? And did you have to wait until I got to the bus station? Come on. I thought that's why we went to the coffee shop. I asked you to tell me what was up, but you wanted me to point out the 'fashionistas' on Fashion Ave. You had to wait until I was standing outside my bus. And I still had to ask you to tell me if we were done with this. That is very tacky to have a breakup conversation outside the Port Authority in Times Square. ...ah, but we had the big lion staring down at us.

Why did I give up my lovelife blogging for you? It was not worth it. I also wasted a good leg shave this morning. I hate wasting a shave for nothing! Someone could have been running his hands down these smooth 33" babies. Now, no one gets to touch my smooth legs.

I just wanted one thing to work out. At least for a little while. Enough to give me confidence that I can do the relationship thing. For the first time in my life, I asked someone to commit to caring about me. And he said 'no'. I stood up for myself because I couldn't be his part-time girlfriend of convenience anymore. Either be my full-time boyfriend or go away. He'd rather live without me then have to put any effort into the relationship. Beautiful. I'm not far from becoming a hateful and bitter spinster. Can you blame me? I'm becoming like those crazy desperate women on tv. That's what I most feared and it's happened. I should go find a gay man and move in with him. Completely surrender from this cruel institution.

Where do I find a man who wants crazy? I need a sane man who likes crazy. Do any exist? Of course not. I wouldn't want to end up with me either.

And life goes on.


To My Surrogate Boyfriends

Dearest Ben, and Sweetest Jerry,

How do I thank you for eveything? For the years of faithful devotion and service?
Perhaps I can try.

Thank you for all the pleasure you've given me over the years.
You have never disappointed with a lackluster performance,
Perfection in a package everytime: the sensual way you slide down my tongue, the cool delight of your touch on my anticipating lips, and the feeling of satisfaction you give....

You are always there when I'm blue and need to be cheered.
You never set me aside for more exciting pastures,
You wait until I'm ready for you.
You're never too busy for me.
Your whole life is about satisfying me.
You don't keep secrets from me, you wear your insides on a label that I can read.
I never have to guess what you're made of, or what you want from me.
You have a heart of the purest, creamiest, dreamiest gold. And such variety!
Sometimes with fudge brownies, or heath bars, or the raw cookie dough--you're so silly!

Always there on a lonely Friday night to make life a little sweeter.
And you never leave me--you stay beside me through thick and thick
-- on the side of my thighs you sit in ever-expanding support.
I only have to look down at my widening hips to know how much you love me.
B&J, I love you too.
Kisses! !

Celibate Selections from the blogosphere

I don't often recommend blogs because there are too many good ones to keep up. But I did notice two in particular that I wanted to sugggest my readers visit.

The first blog: Sexless in the City by my dopple-blogger, Anna Broadway. She's also a celibate Christian living in Brooklyn. Though she seems a lot more fun than I am and has a more active love life. In this post she shares an anti-celibacy hate email and her response to such erudition.

The second is: Mission on Mars. It's written by a mormon missionary who keeps the blog secret for fear of retribution. Ever wanted to know what mission life was like? Read it here, the mish is an entertaining writer who has the cover of anonymity. This post describes what it's like to be without woman for 12 months. Missionaries have to stay at arm's length from all women. What does that do to a horney young man? Let him tell you.