Poor Me

This is a Really Real Pity Party Post.

Sometimes my financial situation gets to me. Tonight, I was doing the dishes, listening to a podcast that happened to be about plus size fashion, and it hit me.

I’m never going to be able to afford those kinds of clothes!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful to be where I’m at compared to where I was. Three years ago I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pay the rent each month and I never knew whether I could keep the lights on. Three years before that I was living in a homeless shelter. But even now, I’m getting help to stay afloat. I mostly wonder if I’ll ever be financially independent.

I’m afraid I’ll never be.

But today that wasn’t what bothered me.

I want more than the bare minimum. I want to be that person who can afford to do shit without worrying about it. Today I’m feeling greedy and I’m honestly in tears because I know that even if I get a degree and get a job and get off disability I’m never going to be “wealthy”. I’m always going to struggle. I will be lucky to ever reach middle class.

I’m in a better place than I was, but I still send a frantic text message asking for money when mobility leaves me and I have to take a Lyft, because that $30 just wasn’t in the budget this month.

I’m lucky to have family that helps me out that way, I appreciate that I have the help, but damnit. I don’t want to need the help. I want to be the person in a good enough position that I can hand out help and not think twice about it. I want to be the person with a house and cars and the ability to travel around the world. I want to be able to see places and do things.

I want to be spontaneous in really big ways and not worry that I won’t be able to buy food at the end of the month because of it.

I want more than poverty and for just this moment, I want even more than middle class.

I want more than I’ll ever have, and tonight, I’m having a really hard time with it. Life really dealt me a shitty set of cards and I played them to the best of my ability, but that doesn’t change where I’m at.

Normally I don’t care about money, so I’m not sure why I’m so upset about it tonight. I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal right now.

It would be nice to live that life though.

And it would have been even nicer to have a life that would have allowed me to get there.

Defining Myself

This is a Really Real . . .

Well, I’m not sure how to categorize it actually.

It’s maybe a Really Real Dating Post and kind of a Really Real Identity Crisis Post.

Wonder Woman and I are polyamorus (simply put, we can openly and separately date other people) even though we’ve been functionally monogamous for the majority of our relationship.

This isn’t really about that, but it’s about defining myself for a dating profile and I figured I’d mention the whole polyamory thing before someone thinks we’re either breaking up or that I’m cheating in a very strange out in the open way. Neither of which is happening here.

Online dating means having a profile.

Which means I need to define myself.

Which is fucking hard.

I go to the gym almost daily, but I’m not really all that into fitness.

I write almost daily, but I don’t really know anything about writing.

I love coffee, but can’t really discuss any of the finer details or even explain what I like (Starbucks is fine, thank you very much).

I love cooking, but couldn’t tell you my favorite meal.

I enjoy officiating with derby, but don’t really do derby.

I’m a widow and that changed my life in HUGE ways, but I’m not only a dead woman’s wife.

I can have long conversations about weekly doctors appointments and DBT classes and therapy, and what’s it’s like to survive with not enough money and too much trauma.

I can’t keep up with politics or anything else in the news. I don’t read or watch TV or follow any current pop culture. I’m not big into board games or even video games. I can fake my way through conversations about music but mostly have no idea who sang which songs but I might know a few of the lyrics.

And all of this seems like a really negative way to describe myself but every time I think about who I am as a whole, that’s all I see.

All the things I’m not.

So, even though I don’t believe one person can meet all of my needs and I wouldn’t want her to even if she could.  And even though I strongly believe in polyamory as the right choice for me. I still haven’t really put much effort into dating, partially because I can’t figure out how to put myself out there authentically.

I can’t really figure out who I am.

And it makes me sad.

Wonder Woman obviously sees something in me. I have friends who obviously want to spend time around me so I obviously have good qualities. But being a good friend, a good listener, a kind person, those things aren’t really who I am and what I like to do.

Those things aren’t the kinds of things you use to describe yourself to another person.

Dating is hard!

Oh No, All Alone.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today is one of those days where the only thing on my calendar is my date with gym.

Side note: Gym sure is a lucky person, they get to see me almost every day but I’m not quite sure I enjoy our dates. I’ve considered breaking up with them because sometimes I feel like the relationship is causing me pain, but I guess there are benefits in the long run.

Anyway, as I was saying. Today the only thing I have going on is a trip to the gym in a few minutes (yay for best friends who are also gym buddies and the accountability that goes along with that).  After the gym I have a long day of nothing except school work.

Lots of sitting around the house.

Lots of quiet.

Lots of time for my brain to get wrapped up in this depression.

This is the prime time for a problem.

I hate that being still and alone becomes such a problem for my brain.

And it’ll be worse later this week.

Wonder Woman is going out of town for a long weekend and as much as I’d love to say I’m a strong independent woman, I’m also scared of where my brain is going to go during my time alone. I have a whole four day weekend with no real plans, no real desire to make plans, every desire to hibernate, and every bit of knowledge that sitting still will let my brain wander into dangerous territory.

It’s too easy to let suicidal thoughts take hold when I’m alone and still.

But I’m always reminded of the days that I needed a babysitter because Parker was leaving town. I hate feeling like I’m still like that. I hate feeling like nothing has changed.

Maybe this time will be different. Maybe I’ll be just fine. Maybe I’ll suddenly be interested in everything around the house and I won’t have a problem.

Not likely.

I’ve grown so much but yet sometimes I feel like nothing has changed.

I’m a strong, independent, scared-to-be-alone, woman.

Brains are dumb.

Before and After

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Today is that day.

The day that’s on the death certificate.

The day my new normal began.

For me, the 7th is always the hardest.  The 7th is the day the fight happened, the day she went to bed angry, the day I heard her take her meds, the day I went to bed on the couch. In my head, the 7th will always be the day she died.

The 8th is a day of quiet reflection.

In my head I see my house filling with paramedics and police. It plays out like a sick silent movie in front of me. I see their lips moving but there are no words.

The 8th is calm.

The 8th is when my new normal began.

I never would have chosen this.

I thought Parker was my Always and Forever, Forever and Always.

I never would have chosen this.

But I’m happy in my new normal, and as much as I want her back in this world, the best thing I can do for her is continue to live my best life.

Today Wonder Woman and I were going to go to the beach. It’s what we did last year and it was kind of perfect. The beach is my safe space.

But it’s a weekend and it’s beautiful out, which means everyone else is going to be at the beach, and I’m just not feeling that.

Today is a day of quiet reflection.

Instead we did some shopping for a few projects I’m working on, and I bought stuff to make a new recipe for dinner and we’re spending time together quietly around the house.

This is my new normal.

This morning when Wonder Woman took our pup out, she found a firefly sitting on a package that she was about to bring upstairs. She sent me a picture and let me know that Parker was trying to get inside.

While we were at the craft store she picked out a lantern and said I should make a firefly decal for the side and put a candle in it.

I love that she leaves space for Parker in our relationship. I don’t have to hide my grief. I don’t have to hide the love that didn’t die when Parker did.

This is my new normal.

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years while at the same time I can’t believe it’s only been 3 years. An eternity and an instant.

Today is that day.

I miss you my firefly.

Is That You?

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Dear Parker,

Just typing those words brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last heard your voice.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last saw you breathing.

You’ve missed too much.

Kidlet’s grown up now. He moved out to Seattle and lives with his girlfriend. You would be SO Fucking proud of the man he has become. He’s doing so much better than we ever did and I can only see him going further.

I’ve been fighting harder than we ever did when you were alive. That’s the one thing you gave to me by leaving. The will to go on. I realized what was at stake and I gave it everything. I’ve gotten so much healthier mentally and physically. As my favorite niece on your side would put it, I’ve pulled so many damn weeds and I’ve grown a lot of flowers in their place.

Speaking of my favorite niece on your side, you should see her now. She’s doing so well, but I’m sure she writes you her own letters. She’s such an amazing writer and her voice  . . oh, her voice. I can’t wait to attend her first major concert. She’s done so much work on herself since you’ve been gone.

There’s a firefly that’s been hanging out on my porch pretty much around the clock for the past week. Is that you? I don’t even know if I believe it could be you but the thing seems to be there every morning and every night when I take Siah out and it just won’t leave me alone, so maybe, just maybe . . .

I’m sorry that our last words were so hurtful. I’m sorry I was so angry. I’m sorry we went through so much and didn’t have any outlet except for each other. I wish I could take it all back.

And I wish you could have seen that it would get better. I wish you could be here to see the other side. I wish you wouldn’t have lost your battle with this soul sucking bullshit.

But I get it, I really do.

Sometimes I’m not sure how I keep going either.

I miss you, and I love you.

Time moves slowly

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Tick-tock-tick-tock.

This week is moving so slowly.

Friday and Saturday will be three years but the time leading up to it drags forever. I just want to get to Sunday so Parker’s Deathday can pass and I can get on with living.

Last night I was so angry, and I know it was partially related to grief and widow bullshit and it wanted to direct itself at Sarah Jane even though she did nothing wrong. I felt the need to be a total bitch so I completely withdrew.

Eventually I sent her a message telling her why, but I still felt like shit for avoiding her all night.

And today I’m replaying my last day with Parker over and over in my head. It doesn’t help that I woke up thinking today was the 7th.

I wish it was so I could get that day over with.

When I relive that last day I’m reminded why I’m so afraid to get angry with people. So afraid to want help, so afraid to need someone to do more than they naturally want to do.

I just needed more help around the house but I didn’t know how to ask for it without it turning into a fight. And no matter how much I try to tell myself that the fight didn’t kill her, I will always feel like it did. I will always feel like my need for more is what pushed her over the edge.

I’m seeing the house the way it was set up on that final day.  Seeing her in her spot on the old couch. Seeing her on her ankle scooter wheeling away from me. Hearing the last few angry words we said to each other before I came out to sleep on the couch.

And then I’m feeling the absolute silence when I went into bed a few hours later. The silence I didn’t recognize until I tried to wake her up the next morning.

It’s replaying over and over again in my mind. I can see all of the spots that I could have done something differently, something that would have saved her. I’ve thought about them a million other times.

But I also know nothing will bring her back. It is as it is meant to be.

But I can’t help wondering.

I wish it was Sunday already so this would go away.

Well Played . . .

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

I took the dog out tonight and the yard was filled with fireflies.

Normally it’s a big deal being that Parker was my firefly and all.

But tonight, it was meh. They were just fireflies.

No Big Deal.

It’s kind of where I am with a lot of my grief. Things that meant a lot are no longer as big of a deal. I’m moving forward. It doesn’t mean I’m leaving her behind, it just means the pain is fading. Unfortunately the memories are fading too.

It’s not all good.

But I stood there and watched while the dog was doing the thing that dogs need to do in the front yard. Trying to look in the right spot while one blinked. Catching them just out of the corner of my eye.

And I realized one was getting closer.

And it landed on the door jam right beside me.

And I smiled.

Well played, Parker.

Well played.

Was It Ever Different

This is a Really Real . . .Something? . . . Post.

Maybe Relationship.

Maybe Widow.

But no matter what the subject is, it’s Really Real.

You should all know by now that I check Facebook memories and Timehop every single day, without fail. It lets me see how far I’ve come, lets me see the amazing things I’ve done with Wonder Woman and Kidlet and Batwoman, and before that it shows me little gifts in the forms of messages left behind on my wall to and from Parker.

A year ago I was in a partial hospitalization program. I was in a severe mixed mood episode, was both suicidal and manic. Wonder Woman had been staying with me for 2 months but was officially moving her stuff in.

Now, a year later, I’m reading those posts and remembering when we first moved Wonder Woman’s bed into the house and got rid of mine. Remembering all of my stress over the moving happening too fast and not fast enough. Wanting her stuff here now but holy shit her stuff is invading my space and changing the way I live.

It all feels like it’s from another lifetime.

It’s only been a year but it feels like she’s been here forever.

I can’t imagine this house without her shoes (so many shoes) all over the floor in the living room.

I can’t imagine not knowing the recipes I’ve learned to cook because it’s food she likes.

I can’t imagine coming home and not seeing Trillian (her sweet kitty) in the tub.

I can’t imagine waking up or going to bed without cuddles, almost every single time. 

So many cuddles.

But at the same time, I absolutely can imagine the day that this all goes away.

I have, almost the benefit, of knowing that life can change in an instant.

Sorry friends, this is where the sweet sappy post gets grim and dark.

I still check her breathing, I still panic when she’s late, I still wonder who I would call, I still wonder if they would know to call me if she wasn’t home.

I almost can’t imagine a day that she wasn’t here but at the same time I’m constantly aware that any day this could all be taken away.

But I try, so hard, not to live like I know, while always living like I know.

The benefit to widowhood is that I appreciate all of those little things that I mentioned before. I even appreciate things that would have annoyed me in life before death.

I wish everyone could learn the lessons without the loss.

What can you be more appreciative of?

Craft a Happier Day

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m having one of those chicken and egg moments. Which came first?

Am I feeling better because I started crafting?

Or was I able to start crafting because I was feeling better?

It’s hard to tell.

Sometime late yesterday evening I pulled myself out of bed and started playing around with the vinyl cutter.  I’ve made quite a few things since then and now I want to make more, more, more!

Eventually I’ll run out of ideas and then maybe I’ll be bummed again, or maybe I’ll pick up one of my other crafts.

I have plenty of supplies but only so many projects. It’s frustrating that I love to craft but have no interest in selling (it takes the joy out of it).  I can only store so many bracelets, vinyl projects, etc and I don’t always feel competent enough to give it away as gifts most of the time.

Anyway, back to the chicken and egg problem.

When I’m depressed, I can’t make myself get involved in this stuff. I can’t even come up with ideas of what to work on. I just have no interest.

Eventually I can force it, and then I can normally run with it.

Maybe that’s because I’m already pulling out of it, and the crafting just helps me come the rest of the way out.

I’m the same way with any activity. When I’m depressed nothing seems interesting, but once I can get something to take hold, it helps me pull my way out.

The gym definitely helped keep me going this past week. I went 6 days out of 7 and feel like I’m back in the groove of that. Batwoman and I sat down today and scheduled this week out as well.

For now I feel like I may be on stable ground, and I hope I can stay here over the next two weeks. This time of year is so, so hard and honestly, I think I’m handling it really well.

Time to go craft a happier day.

 

Question of the Day: On a Boat

Today’s question is:

What would you name your boat if you had one?

First I did some research on the web, what exactly goes into a boat name.

I consulted this article from esurance.

Apparently it can be almost as complicated as naming your kid! You have to consider safety for ease in relaying the information to the authorities, what the name says about you, and also the gender of the name (boats are generally considered to be female).

So, what would I name my boat.

I think I’d go with something in memory of Parker, honestly.  Maybe, Remembering Her.

I’ll have to think on this one more.

How about you?

What would you name your boat if you had one?