Monthly Archives: August 2011

success!

i made another skirt!  i made it with my new sewing machine!  yeah christine and katie!  i can totally ignore nursing homework and sew now!  i am so excited!  exclamation point!

this is me, with my machine, at the stitch lab with my final product!

first_creation_skirt

here i am wearing my creation!

skelton_country_skirt

and here is a close-up of the print!  they’re skeletons!

skeleton_country_skirt_close-up

it was a busy day that ended (mostly) on completing the skirt!  i always feel so worthy and competent when i create something at the stitch lab.  i could ignore nursing homework for months!  but i won’t.  fall term starts on monday.  the main focus of the term is families and children.  i really have no interest in pedi.  but homework is homework.  it is going to be a tough semester is only because of the schedule. 4 days of classes.  my goal this term, besides getting grades more like summer term and not spring term, is to exercise.  it will help.  i just need to plan for it.

man i am tired.

my therapist suggested to me that i need to show my friends/partners that i do need support, sometimes, early on in the relationship.  she said, “it may be 90%/10%, you supporting them vs them supporting you, but you need your 10%.”  she then explained that perhaps the reason i find it so hard to get the support i need is because people just get too used to me being the supporter.  they don’t know what to do when suddenly i need some support.  makes sense.  but how do you show you need support sometimes too, when you don’t actually need it at the moment?

things are mellowing out and coming together.  i may just make it out of this alive!  or at least, without having to go on meds.  which would be nice.

why would i trust anyone?

i believed what you told me.
i jumped on a plane because you needed the support.
i gave up my free time to help you.
i’ve bent over backwards to do whatever i could to help you.  you didn’t even have to ask.  i was just there.  i tried!

and now, it all just hurts so much.

psych!

got As in both my psych courses. lecture AND clinical. and i really love the topic. i wonder if the aspects of psych nursing would be interesting enough for me. you don’t do a lot of med surg stuff, but you don’t do a lot of therapy related stuff unless you get an advanced degree. i wouldn’t mind being a nurse practitioner in psych, but i am sort of sick of school. and school loans. perhaps i could go into community health. work at a planned parenthood or something. then i could do both med surg and counseling. oh course, infomatics is going to be the most lucrative. decisions, decisions.  i am just proud that i did so well.  i worked really hard.

getting As in psych certainly improved my week.  i am still pretty sad though.  if things don’t mellow out when school starts (i realize that sound counter-intuitive, but there have been lots of changes this summer that will be finalized in a couple of weeks) i may consider meds.  i still function fine (got As!) but i have started to burst into tears frequently.  if i avoid certain subjects, i can keep from crying, but my mind won’t always stay clear.  i feel like anti-anxieties might be better than anti-depressants.  i am angry-sad, and really keyed up.  but i can’t really function on a nursing floor while on an ativan.  can i take them in lecture?  not if i am driving.  i dunno.  i am working REALLY hard to try and feel better.  but i can’t believe the cortisol my body must be producing, as a result of all this stress, isn’t having a worse effect on my body.  even my tummy is fine.  anyhow, i want to be happy.  i want not to feel physical pain when i see things or hear about things.  i am trying really hard.

yeah me.

i help people. i’ve helped a lot of people this weekend.  it has felt really good. don’t get me wrong, i love being able to offer myself and make a difference.  you can think about it as a selfish thing e.g., i hate to see people struggle or be miserable, so to make my own anxiety go away, i lend a hand whenever i can.  but why not help?  sure, i have a lot of balls in the air right now, but i am pretty good at managing time too.  and some things, just take precedence.  period.

at the same time, as i mentioned in my previous post, being awesome doesn’t really do me and my needs a lot of good.  i am a strong female who can generally take care of herself.  but that doesn’t mean i don’t have needs.  mine just aren’t typical.  i need to feel wanted.  and the way i feel wanted is by people being curious as to my life.  asking me, before i share with them, how my test went, how school is, if the planning for the next party is going well.  and sometimes, when i am blue, cause my life is pretty stressful right now, saying to me “hey, how about we lay on the bed and i’ll hold on to you and tell you a story?” (i REALLY like bedtime stories.  that is one of the things i still really miss about patrick, his awesome kitty-cat gruff stories).  that’s it, that’s all i need.  because it makes me feel wanted.  sure, taking me to dinner, asking me to attend events with you, is obviously done because you want to do it with me, but they aren’t “me” focused.  they are us focused.  and sometimes i want to know it is about me.  funny, huh?  seems very out of character for a strong and independent female like me, right?  but see, being strong and independent doesn’t make me an island.  it is like morrissey sings in the song tattooed on my arm, “i am human and i need to be loved”.  it is just that what i see as love tends to be more subtle than what it is for most people.  or so it seems.  and i am conflicted by “you have to tell your partner what you want” vs “it doesn’t count if i tell you to bring me flowers”.  patrick bought me daisies for valentine’s day when we were at chico.  it was great in many ways.  they are my favorite flower.  it was valentine’s day.  and finally, and most greatly, he didn’t stress himself out to do it, so when he brought them too me, they were given with totally love. he had ordered them days earlier, and on valentine’s day, when there was a line out the door of guys that had waited until the last minute, he walked in, to the front of the line and the florist just smiled and handed them to him.  (i bet the florist appreciated patrick that day too!) it was that he offered me this expression of his love without duress or angst.  he did it because he wanted to. i want my partner to extend love gestures to me, because he wants to.  sure, i understand that finding someone that experiences love exactly like me is sort of unreasonable.  but it doesn’t have to be that.  i can simply be that they know this is how i feel loved so they do it.  cause they love me.

i was jealous this weekend.  i was jealous of how ross was caring for audrey.  kind of embarrassing to admit, but whatever. and sure, she was hurt in an accident so she needed assistance.  anyone would have done that.  but it was something else. there was a tenderness that ross exhibited that i would love to see pointed at me by someone.  is that not possible because i don’t exude any need?  which isn’t to say that audrey is some pathetic girl that can’t take care of herself.  audrey has seen life and gets it done.  but she did reveal a need and ross stood up to provide it.  because he wanted to.  because she deserved it.  i’d like someone to feel that about me.  both ross and audrey went on and on about how awesome i was/am, after showing up to the scene of the accident and being shuttle service, all without question (because it should be without question!)  and yet, i spent saturday night alone again.  oh sure, i could get a date, i could get laid if i wanted to.  but i don’t seem to be able to find someone that wants to express their love for me by being curious.  i am awesome.  seriously, i am. but i don’t seem to connect and i can’t figure out why.

i am awesome

and it doesn’t fucking matter.

Mo’s going away party was nice. not without a few hiccups. got a call from my friend ross that he and my friend audrey had been in a car accident. the party was ready to go, so i jumped in the car to meet him. audrey was at the e-room with, what turned out to be a broken wrist. (for the record, even if the party hadn’t quite been ready, i would have still jumped in the car). did some post e-room driving around and then we all went to the party. everyone loved my coffee cake. the decorations were to die for. i’ll get some pictures tomorrow.

two interesting light bulbs

i had 2 interesting light bulb moments this week.  both were in conjunction with therapy appointments.  the first appointment was with my regular therapist, elizabeth.  the second was with a friend of Katie’s that practices hypnotism (he has a degree from st ed’s in neurolinguistics), his name is jaime.

at elizabeth’s we talked about the things that have been making me sad recently.  i even brought my blogs with me.  the conclusion to the conversion (and hour and a half session, as i had requested more time) was a few of things.

1) different people are at different social levels. if you are at a different social level than someone you are in a relationship with (friendship or intimate partner), you may not be able to get your needs met at all.  everyone has different levels of everything.  i may be further along in growth on one topic but further back on another.  my growth area is abandonment/attachment.  i am a bit further than most people on a few other things.  how do you work through an inequality with a friend/partner?  one where you are further along in your growth?  you can’t really.  it is their growth.  this leaves me at a loss regarding a path forward for some of my relationships right now.

2) connections ARE made by showing up.  you get thought of, more enmeshed with a group, when you share more experiences.  the important part is the sharing, not so much the experience (though i am sure surviving a plane crash is one of those “it’s the experience” things).  elizabeth and i used the example of olive garden.  my nursing buddies like the olive garden.  i don’t.  i don’t like it because it is a soulless chain, it is expensive for what you get (food quality) and most of the food makes me sick (lots of preservatives and processing…i sure wish i could eat like a teenager, but i can’t anymore).  but my classmates like it.  which makes total sense.  i mean, preference is preference.  my disliking olive garden doesn’t mean there is something wrong with their liking it. anyhow…when i talked about feeling forgotten by the first group of women i have ever felt a connection with, felt pushed to the fringe by them, and used the lunch invitation as the example, it basically came down to this point…”you are doing something with your friends”, not, “you are doing something you don’t like”. me and the girls really have no interests in common.  we don’t listen to the same music.  we don’t feel the same way about god.  we don’t enjoy the same activities at the weekend.  most of them have kids.  all have a serious partner.  neither of which i have.  so it is highly unlikely that the group will do things “i like to do”.  no dancing at elysium.  no shopping.  no scooter rides.  etc.  so my chances to connect with them are going to have to be things they like to do.  like eating at olive garden.  whereas i have always thought of it as “doing something i don’t like to do”, what i am really doing is “spending time connecting with friends”.  after the lightbulb went off, i felt sort of stupid in its obviousness.  but i have always been one of those people that said what she thought and did what she wanted.  and people tell me they admire me for that.  i don’t follow the crowd, i lead.  a lot of the time though, no one is following.  and i am lonely.  and i miss having connections.  elizabeth said “you may go through every item on the menu and discover that the only thing you can stand is the antipasti platter, but then, you go with them and eat that.”  the concept of “it is the sharing, not the experience” is not totally foreign to me. i generally find scooter rallies boring.  same people, having the same conversations, same music, same activities, same people winning the awards (of course, rolf always deserves it!).  but i would go to them because patrick liked them.  he got something different from them (more on a technical level).  when i told him, just before i moved to austin, that i hated rallies, he was surprised.  he said, “then why do you go?”.  and i replied, “because you like them. to be with you.”  of course, i would really like a partner that likes to go dancing at elysium with me, but i understand if it isn’t their thing and they’d rather do something else.  we can meet up after.  sure, there are some events that i want them to attend anyway (like smiths night, for instance) but they are kinda rare.  which makes me different it seems.  so now i know how it is supposed to work, i need to practice it.  i need to change my frame of mind from “i don’t like this” to “i like being with you”.  cause if i do it anyway, but don’t change my perspective, then i will be there but unhappy, and that doesn’t help anyone.  i am still a bit perplexed by this, cause i don’t want my friends/partners to do things they don’t want to do, but i am going to see whether i can get this to fit.

3) the process of getting over the hurt i feel from andreas is not a process.  it is just talking about it and time.  for some people it might be not talking about it and time.  my point is, there is nothing i can DO to make it feel better sooner.  there is nothing i can DO to make it not hurt when i see him grinning at me like “ha ha, see how happy i am without you!”  memory studies have shown that we break the neuronal connections when we access a memory.  so the memory gets altered each time.  a friend i had dinner with last night said, ” perhaps when the therapist asks you about it again and again, you are breaking down old painful memories and rebuilding ones that aren’t as painful”. that made sense to me.  but it sucks to be in this position right now.  i feel my life is very restricted right now (which is my choice, not andreas’) because i have to protect myself as i rewire these painful memories.  that means i avoid a lot of places andreas is likely to me.  but i have a lot of homework, so it work out, really.

those were the lightbulbs i had with elizabeth.  we also established the direction of dealing with my abandonment/attachment issues.  i know exactly where it stems from, my mom, so hopefully that will mean i have a leg up on the normal process, cause i already know the source.  that is probably good for a 2-month head start, right?

i said to someone last night, though andreas and i were struggling when we were together, though it was tough and painful, at least i had hope. since he broke up with me, i just have the pain, and no hope.  seems like that is the “worse” part of leaving a painful relationship. maybe that is why people stay so long.  and sure, hope will come back.  i’ll eventually meet someone new and the pain will be gone.  but for now i have pain and hopelessness.  not better.

the discovery i made with the hypnosis guy, jaime, was about forgiveness.  i forgive in only very special circumstances.  that being said, i also have less events where i feel i need someone to ask forgiveness.  i understand/accept people’s trips why more than the average person, i think.  for instance, i asked a classmate this week if i could join her commute group.  she said she would have to think about it.  then called me back over and explained that she and her commute buddy use that time to talk about some serious things going on in their lives. i replied that i totally understood that.  cause i do.  it is a bummer to have to do the drive myself, but i can completely understand their desire to keep it just them.  i think most people would be annoyed.  maybe they wouldn’t expect the person to ask for forgiveness, but you know what i mean.  of course, when someone does something that really hurts me, i am very reluctant to give forgiveness.  this whole, “you have to let go and forgive them to feel better yourself. you can only control how you feel about something, not their actions.” is a load of crap, in my book.  if they are liable to do it to me again, forgiving them would be leaving myself vulnerable.  anyhow, the therapist asked me to think of an instance where i forgave someone.  i had a hard time thinking of anything.  then i came up with one, and she was in the room with us!  when katie started dating randy, she blew me off and i called her on it.  we use to spend most days together.  then she was gone.  our interaction, during the week, was mostly companionship because i had to focus on work.  but on sundays, we use to have breakfast at magnolia.  all the waiters even knew who we were.  they expected us.  i would go out saturday night, sleep until i woke up sunday morning, then call her and we would meet at magnolia.  and that was a pure hanging out and talking event.  but she started dating randy and announced that she now had D&D (which she didn’t even like playing) at some hour that meant we had to have breakfast at 9 or 10 each sunday.  and if i couldn’t do that, we couldn’t have breakfast.  this seriously pissed me off.  and i told her.  and then i didn’t see/hear from her for months.  then one day she called.  she said, “you were right.  i blew you off and that wasn’t fair.  i don’t need to spend every waking moment with my boyfriend.  i am sorry (the i won’t do it again version of i am sorry).  will you forgive me? i really want to be your friend.”  so i forgave her.  but i forgave her because she admitted that she was wrong, and i was right, and i believed that she would never do it again.  so it that the only way i can forgive people?  if they admit that i was right?  because only then am i going to trust them. in the absence of admitting i am right, what is the point of forgiving, since i am never going to trust that person again?  let’s them off the hook, but what do i get?  this concept of “letting go”?  what does that do?  if i have to leave them in the “must protect myself from them” category, what does the letting go do?  i find this issue fascinating and something i need to understand about myself.  i need to be able to explain to friends/partners what forgiveness means to me and how it might impact our relationship.  so that was the second lightbulb.

as far as the hypnosis part went, that was very interesting.  i filled jaime in on what i have been dealing with and feeling.  he picked an event and said he had an idea of something to do about it.  he had me think of the first time i felt a *physical* pain when someone said something that hurt me (most recent is every time i see andreas).  i went back to my boyfriend michael in san francisco.    when michael dumped me for a girl who only wanted FWB but insisted he be monogamous (seriously?). anyhow, jaime said, hold on to that image, feel that pain again.  then he asked me to rate the pain on a scale of 1-10.  it was a 7.  he then had me follow his finger while concentrating on the memory and feeling.  it was hard.  it was very hard to keep the image/feeling in my head and track his finger back and forth and up and down.  when we were done he asked me to focus on the memory/feeling again and rate the pain on a scale of 1-10.  now it was a 3.  it was pretty amazing.  the idea is that you use the limbic system (the primitive animal brain) to create new paths to a less painful place in the amygdala (the amygdala performs primary roles in the formation and storage of memories associated with emotional events, like fear or emotional pain for instance).  so now, instead of my memory of that pain going to the door “hurts at 7 on the scale” it goes to the door “hurts at 3 on the scale”.  i was impressed.  will the pain come back to 7 if i see andreas in public again?  maybe.  but my anxiety did go down.  and i appreciated that a lot.

so it was a weekend full of discovery.  i have some things i can work on to make my life better.  which i totally appreciate.  hopelessness is the worst for me.  this week’s experiences gave me hope and a plan.  i had a number of good chats with friends too.  i’ll try and find time to comment on those conversations soon.  suffice to say, they made me feel better about my connections than i have in a very long time.

can't catch a break

i didn’t get the job with AMD.  the boss told me that he would keep me in mind for other jobs.  but isn’t that what they all say?  even if i decided to stick with nursing school and didn’t take it, it sure would have been nice to be wanted.  the unemployment rate for those with a college degree or better is 4.4% supposedly.  that makes me feel like an even bigger loser in that i haven’t found anything.  ok, i haven’t applied for anything in the last 12 months.  but still.  talk about making someone feel unwanted.

my mother has wanted me to go on anti-depressants for years.  i have always resisted, because like i told her, i don’t burst into tears in public, so i think i am doing just fine keeping it together.  could i be doing better?  hell yeah.  should i be doing better?  i would say yes to that too.  but it is hard doing it alone.  i have friends that love me, but i am really not sure what that means.  katie has been stellar.  fantastic advice, the right timing and tone.  and everyone that has read about my sadness has been really verbally supportive.  but is that enough?  should that be enough?  should i be ok with simply knowing the improv community are my friends, event though they don’t reach out to me personally at this time when i can’t stand the sight of andreas?  if i can’t be ok with that,  is that an appropriate response?  i think this takes me back to that conversation i never finished with my mom.  what does your love mean?  if you won’t help me when i need you the most, when I ask for your help, what does your love mean?  it just dawned on me that my mother seems to think about helping a loved one like andreas does.  that you can’t always help them.  you just can’t.  but i believe differently.  i believe you can always do SOMETHING.  it may not be exactly what they are asking for, but it would be something that means you haven’t just failed or given up on them.  it says that you care.  i BELIEVE that with all my soul.  this world isn’t worth inhabiting if we can’t help each other somehow.  but i have strayed from the subject…it seems a bit like the welfare system.  we only catch people when they have lost almost everything.  we don’t help them before it all falls apart or once they start putting it back together. (this isn’t everyone, though it is the welfare system).  if i am on food stamps and housing subsidies and i get a job at mcd’s, i am cut off from help.  i can’t make enough money at mcd’s to live, but now my help is gone.  so i lose my job, start to slide down the ladder.  when do my friends DO something to help me?  (i am not saying i expect all my friends to call me tomorrow and offer me free room and board or anything…but what about pimping me to their finance departments? to be fair, andreas offered to let me move into his house right after i lost my job.  i know he was just trying to help, and i appreciate that, but it was also sort of insulting.  he offered to help with health ins too.  but never followed through on that, ultimately.)  maybe my problem is i have moved around too much and don’t have deep enough roots.  i can respect that.  it’s hard though.  i want someone to draw up a list of what my expectations should be.  how people will respond to my expression of need.  that would make this a lot easer.  back to antidepressants…well, i now do burst into tears randomly.  it has only been a couple of days, but it is really hard and really embarrassing.  i don’t think people know what to do when i cry.  everyone sees me as so strong, that can’t believe i would cry.  maybe that is my problem, i am normally just too good at taking care of myself.  how does one change that exactly?