Monthly Archives: March 2012


so, i have been trying to learn about boundaries. it’s hard though. on the one hand, people tell me i am too cerebral, too closed but on the other hand, they have boundaries. i can’t just open up to them, cause there are boundaries. but i don’t know how to figure out what they are BEFORE i find out the hard way. for me, i would do just about anything to help a friend. even people that aren’t super-duper friends. they are simply people that need support. if had a friend who was in school, and needed help studying, i would commit myself to helping them. of course, i also realize this is way too much to ask of someone. it is like i treat everyone like my partner. i am willing to put myself out for anyone i consider a friend. now, there is a hierarchy to this. were i asked to attend 2 events on the one night, one for my partner, the other for a friend, i would chose the partner’s event. same with friends, depends on who is the closer friend. but without restraints, i would help anyone that needed it. and yet, this is NOT a realistic expectation of others. and for the most part, i wouldn’t expect it of others. but with some people i test the boundaries. i see how much i can rely on them. how much support i can ask of them. and generally it ends in hurt on my part. at first it seems like i can ask, but then it doesn’t turn out that way. and i both get it and it hurts terribly.

how do you figure out what reasonable boundaries are with people? is this something that people learn naturally when they have “normal” childhoods? i remember telling my therapist the “don’t eat the brownies!” story and her remarking, “wow, there were just no boundaries in your house, were there?” i hadn’t really thought of it like that before, but i guess, the answer is yes. so is this the problem? this boundary thing, along with being strong and not needing support very much?

many people accuse me of seeing the world as black and white. and it may be true. but what i actually think is going on is that i feel REALLY strongly about some things and let lots of other things go. people have apologized to me a million times for things that just really don’t bother me. cause whatever happens makes sense to me. but sometimes, sometimes there things that are hardcore important to me. and i think people are surprised. there are things that are not negotiable. and perhaps i should mention those things earlier. but how do you do that? you are friends with someone, you are sleeping with something, you are dating someone, and you have needs, and they might be kinda specific sometimes. how do you communicate that without it looking like you are over legislating?

i am afraid that if (when) i lose my beauty, no one will love me because my personality is so acidic to people. then again, i am awesome and i have gotten much better at being alone. (for the record, boy toy says that he would date me because of my personality, if we weren’t in such different phases of our lives. which i agree with, we shouldn’t date as we are in very different phases of our lives. of course, he doesn’t know what it is like to date me, so perhaps, history would repeat itself – which is not to doubt him, but me)

perhaps i will change my name to “awesome smith”. cause i regular say “i’m awesome” and i have been wanting to change my last name. “awesome black” seems a bit too stage name.

interview at st david’s tomorrow. got an email that i had made it to the next round in the versant internship process for seton. my resume has been routed to nurse managers to consider interviewing me. i was sent to 4 hospitals in the area. i am delighted to have gotten this far, though it would be quite the coup to get invited to an interview. (because we were told at the open house that ADNs were “second class citizens” and one of our teachers said we would never get a GN position there because it is a magnet hospital and we are merely ADNs from Temple College.) i am actually fearful that my alarm clock won’t go off and i will miss the interview. that is how important this is to me. and i have a tension headache.

so many things are changing

i graduate in 6 weeks. i am moving AGAIN. but this is an exciting move, i think. will fill it in when it is more sure. i shall soon start my career as a nurse. i can go back to riding my scooters everywhere (cause i won’t have textbooks and computers i am lugging around) i will soon be available for real dating!

can’t sleep tonight. too much going on. my rotation this week is hospice and it is way cooler than i thought it would be.

i go to the gym a lot. i feel good when i go several times a week. my body is feeling smoother. it cuts stress. i get to read fiction when i am there!

see, i am sort of babbling, cause so many exciting things are coming up. it is as though my life is starting over, anew.

i really need to fall asleep.

time marches on

roommate is moving out. next week. rather short notice, but what can you do? lots of things up in the air. it all sort of comes together last minute now in the end days of school. i have an interview next friday. st davids. same place i interviewed for the patient tech job. you remember, great GREAT interview, didn’t get the job cause i was too close to graduating. perhaps this is a good sign. hiring event the second week of april. will apply at brownwood in april. that seems a good chance too. so things will change in the short term. life upheaval. living situation. career. boy. i am ready though. ready to move into a more stable place. ah, positive cash flow!

may have lost another friend because of my straight-forwardness. makes me sad, but again, what can you do? it is my double edged sword.

i am ready for the end of the term and graduation. as in, i feel, finally, that i will make it. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU ALL SAY. IT WAS NEVER A DONE DEAL! save your “see heather, of course you made it”s. i had to work my arse off and it was still not a sure thing. i would’t say i got lucky, but things could have turned out differently on a number of occasions. i feel good though. i can do it. i’ll get there. i will be nurse heather.

going to the gym so much makes me hungry.

hell yeah!

got the email from seton today. i am in the pool for the internship. doesn’t mean i am hired, but i made it another step in the weed-out process. good things, good things!

more awesome discoveries!

have i mentioned how awesome my therapist is?  ok, i know, i have. but i learned YET another fabulous thing about myself this week.  something that i think will help me to improve my relationships, both friends and intimate partners.

i say it like i see it.  if you piss me off, i am going to tell you.  at least, i will if you matter to me.  if we have a relationship that i want to maintain.  for example, when i first started seeing andreas, for the first 14 months i dated andreas, i considered him a lover and not a boyfriend.  so there were lots of things i let go and never mentioned.  when i finally admitted we were dating, my perspective changed and i attempted to give feedback.  the importance of the relationship had changed for me.  the expectation of intimacy had changed.  so i started to behave differently.  i started to push back.  my friend brooke posted, on FB recently, that she thought the people who didn’t attend the free NCLEX review course were “stupid” because it was such a great course.  i posted that i did NOT appreciate being called stupid and that i didn’t attend because i had a conflict.  and then i let it go.  i told her how i felt and it was done.  no reason to stay pissed.  if she continues to do stuff like that, i may have to talk with her more in-depth about how these comments impact me, but it would be a LONG time before i decided to write her off.  so basically, what i am saying is, i don’t just ignore things people do that bugs me, but i also don’t hold it against them (unless they are belligerent, of course).

i do NOT appreciate it, nor do i find it particularly effective, when someone let’s something , or things, i do annoy them, but doesn’t say anything.  and then these things build over time and either 1) their behavior towards me changes, and i have no idea why or 2) they suddenly explode at me.  nothing gets solved this way.  no one is happy.  and i don’t learn anything.  i am going to go out on a limb here and say that my method of letting people know where they stand, in the moment. is a better way of communicating with a partner.  andreas let the effects of the stress in my life after losing my job, getting hit by a car, turning 40, going back to school, suddenly not being able to sleep anymore, and generally being concerned about my long-term well-being, change his behavior towards me.  when i called him out on it, he admitted that he had planned just to ignore my stress for 2 years until i was done with school at which time everything would “go back to normal”.  he did also admit, this was probably a naive idea.  patrick never pushed back.  and then i think we got too far and it wasn’t possible to come back.  i don’t think it was fair of him to do that.  i don’t necessarily think there would have been anything he could have done about it, at the time, either.

i am far from perfect.  i have some difficult personality quirks.  but you know what?  no one has ever pushed back.  ok, well, i guess in my performance evals mgmt pushed back.  but the people that took issue with my working style, never attempted to talk to me about it in any other context.  seriously?  so what did they expect?  that i would get some comments in a performance eval and then miraculously realize what was wrong and then suddenly just change my entire personality?  and what about the positive aspects of those personality quirks?  i may be opinionated, but i am also loyal.  i may tell you when i don’t like something you have done, but i also tell you when i super appreciate something or think you have done a great job.  there got to be a point with patrick, i was SO frustrated, all i could do was get angry.  which didn’t help.  but i didn’t know what else to do.  and at least that burned off energy.  but getting mad and demanding things from him, certainly was not a formula for success.  but he never pushed back.  how was i supposed to learn about things i did that hurt him, to learn new better behaviors, if he didn’t communicate with me?  same with andreas?  same with lots and lots of people.

ok, you could say to yourself right now, “well heather, obviously you see the pattern, you know what the problem is, so you should work on changing it yourself.”  and that is a lovely idea, but i have found it doesn’t really work all that well.  i am not going to suddenly see things that i haven’t seen before, when they are happening.  i tend to live in the moment so it is hard to reflect actively.  what i am saying is, i need some help with this.

so, to wrap the two original ideas together, to express my a-ha! moment from therapy today…i need to find people that will communicate with me.  people that will, in a calm manner, push back. people that will say, IN THE MOMENT, “hey heather, that hurt my feelings and here is why” and then work with me to change my behavior.  i am not saying i am just going to stop expressing how i feel.  i am not going to stop being opinionated and arguing my point.  i am not suddenly going to have no needs as an intimate partner.  but i would certainly be happy to change the way i express my needs, ask for what i want, share my opinion.  i don’t even know that i would stop cutting people off.  but i can guarantee that i would respond to someone saying, “please let me finish”.  and i would probably cut them off less over the long-term.  (btw, the definition of a discussion is a series of exchanges where you cut the other person off).

i am 42 years-old.  i am pretty well defined.  and i like me, a lot.  i am awesome.  but i am certainly willing to work with someone, if they communicate with me. and i think that is what i need to look for in life.  i need to look for friends and intimate partners that are going to agree to communicate with me.  it takes 2 to tango, so i am completely cognizant of the fact that my failed friendships are as much about my short-comings as those i was friends with (with a few exceptions.  i mean, we have all known some truly crazy people)  BUT, in trying to figure out how to have more successful relationships, i think i need to be clear with people that i need and expect them to communicate with me, in a constructive and useful manner, when i do something they don’t like.  be clear that letting it bottle up is not going to work with me.  and that it isn’t fair of them to let it bottle up and then either explode at me or just walk away.  why would they want to put energy into a relationship, only to let it implode for lack of trying?  and maybe it is a lot to ask.  and maybe that means i am going to find myself limited in the number of good friends i have.  perhaps it will make finding an intimate partner that much harder, since, generally, men do not communicate as much as women do.  but, i think having made this discovery, i have the chance to improve my relationships in the future.  find what i need and be happier.

perhaps there is hope for me.  even at 42.

(btw, something andreas and i did, after we started seeing the relationship counselor, that i thought was awesome, was we had a debrief mtg once a week.  we set that time aside to talk about things that irked us the previous week.  at first i think we were both afraid it would be explosive, but actually, at least for me, it felt safe and it made the rest of the week better knowing i would have a chance to give me feed back, be heard and hopefully change/fix some things.  definitely going to suggest this with my next boyfriend.  i am getting more and more excited about having a super-awesome next relationship because i have figured out so many of the things that have thwarted me in the past!)

so much

so much to share and just no time to share it.  did neuro today.  felt great until i started talking to others about answers and realized some mistakes.  too bad, too, i had started to feel like i had finally accomplished something to be proud of this term (of course, my clinical rotation is going MUCH better).  mid-cirricular is wednesday.  plan is to accept that for what it is and then study oner spring break.  need to write my paper of spring break too.  once that is done, i think a lot of stress will be gone.  i will only, really , have clinical paperwork and tests to go from there.  i can spend more time trying to find a job.  i estimate i will be completely out of money (no back-ups left) by end of may?  i try not to let it stress me out, but obviously, it is serious.  not sure which i would give up first, my health ins or my debt payments.  obviously, i should give up my debt payments, but that is a very serious point of pride.  not getting my meds though. (no, i am not on meds that make it ok for me to go out in public.  i am on meds that make my body not miserable 24/7 plus sexual freedom…ANYHOW….)

i am 42 years old and i am pretty ok with who i am.  (did i mention that i am going to start lying about my age?  i think 42 is both a reasonable oldness to lie about AND a really cool number!  what do you get for being 43?) perhaps it is time to realize that i am not the really close friend type?  that my expectations just don’t work with anyone?  i can have intense relationships.  and be open for people.  but i just don’t think it works the other way.  the “do until others” just doesn’t actually work that well.  i am terribly strong, really.  but am i strong enough to go it alone?  even if i found a partner.  wouldn’t i have to put on a show?  perhaps my therapist is the answer.  i can expect things of her in the context of the relationship.  i dunno.  i need to ponder this.

tomorrow i am team lead for the freshmen class in the sim lab.  won’t THAT be interesting.  should i bring my riding crop?