The List

I had a nightmare last night. It was a completely different scenario than my breakup, but it felt exactly the same. I woke up terrified. I felt betrayed by my subconscious for making me relive that again. Of course, I know it’s my guilt making me suffer. The nightmares never seem to stop, just another day waking up twisted up in my pjs, sweating, and with heart pounding.

From bed I messaged a few of my closest friends. Instantly they made it better. Laura made the best suggestion.

“Just take a few minutes and think about how you’re not there now and write a list of 10 things you’re thankful for in your life since then.”

  1. My friends – The first thing that came to mind was about 6 or 8 names of friends and family who have helped me through this, in small to massive ways. I am so grateful that I had so many people I could message and say help. And that they all did. From a year ago when I could barely speak about what was wrong, all the way to today where I’ve been heard and encouraged as I recover.
  2. My new home – My roommate makes the first bullet point too, but it’s also about a home, not just an apartment to exist in, I feel alive here. I love all the light, the sound of the trains at night, it’s nearness to a park where I run, it’s nearness to school so my morning commute is no longer a nightmare, the tiny garden I’m allowed to play in, the stoop I can people watch  from. Everything about it that makes it home.
  3. That it’s spring – Its beautiful every day, even when it’s Pittsburgh gloomy as I drive or walk or run around. It’s iris time and I am distracted in the best way. My tomatoes will mostly survive the last frost and I talk to the plants as often as I can.
  4. Upcoming vacations – I need an adventure and it’s heading my way swiftly.
  5. Being a soldier – It adds to my purpose.
  6. Music – Sometimes I forget how much I love music, but it doesn’t seem to mind. I rock out every day, dancing like an idiot as I make breakfast or encouraging my mad driving.
  7. Working out – Honestly its the most under appreciated anti depressant and helps keep my back from aching.
  8. Writing –  There is a rotted out picnic table in my backyard and on sunny days I head there, laden down with coffee, food, a cigar, my computer, and my music and just write my feelings or whatever is in my heart.
  9. Social media – Yeah I know it’s an odd one, but with people I care about all over the world, it makes the distance less painful.
  10. That I am whole – Not the mantra I was planning for this year, but I embrace it. Broken but whole.

 

The horror of the dream made me forget until I’d compiled my list that there was more to my dream. Like a shy promise, there was someone there in my dream, faceless and nameless, but I felt her like a bright sun warming my back, soothing the agony of the dream. I will take this hope as I heal and undo and focus on living with love.

Best Sentences of the Day

In 4th place – You have internal organs in there that are squishy.

In 3rd place – Will you smell this dirt on my calf, I’m not sure if it’s dirt or dog sh*t

In 2nd place – I really need to reread that book series again, I’ve yet to read it in English

And in 1st place – I need to microwave the cat litter I keep inside of my bagpipes

 

I have wonderful and unusual friends

Undoing

“i am undoing you

from my skin”

pg 112 milk and honey

Rupi Kaur

When you’re with someone a long time, they become raveled up in who you are. I’ve been looking for a word for it, this unraveling, but that just sounds like a sweater and I am whole. I’m not destroyed, just needing to start over. A little broken, but getting better. Unfucking our lives has come to mind a few times, but still not right. Pulling apart is all wrong. Separating sounds to clinical.

I’m gonna go with undoing. It sounds like a bed that needs remade with different sheets. She is still there in my skin, its fading, but sometimes I still feel it. I feel sad when I say it, but I am, I am undoing her from my skin, one day at a time. I feel better, like it’s easier to breath with each passing day.

Sad

“Ma’am!” It wasn’t a shout exactly, but it was loud enough for me and everyone else in line to hear. “Head over to lane 6 please.”

But there was no kindness in the please. Startled I made my way over, thinking maybe the cashier was about to go on break. The line she had directed me to was twice as long. Once there another gentleman oddly offered me his spot in line but I wasn’t in any hurry so I waved him on with my thanks. Kindness should always be thanked.

Now having lots of time I looked back at the original cashier, watching for her to turn her register light off, but it did t happen. More people got in her line which cycled through twice before I got to the front of mine.

Meanwhile, my cashier was disgusted. He knew what was happening and was quick to apologize. Only then did I look at her; mid fifties and unpleasant disposition.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been discriminated against, and now that’s twice in 2 days. Yesterday a woman at a restaurant shook her head at me and said “so mannish”. I guess the haircut is doing what I feared it would do, it’s like a neon light for those close minded enough to look saying LESBIAN. People don’t have to guess or find out the fun way anymore, they just know.

I could get angry, tell her manager, tell all my friends to avoid that store. But she looks like a grandmother and her sour expression speaks of rough times. I could blame Trump for creating a culture where it is social acceptable and encouraged to discriminate against minorities.

Instead I am just sad. What if instead of me she had done this to a teenager? A young girl with low self esteem who finally found a haircut and look that made her feel comfortable in her skin, only to be discriminated against in such an obvious and public manner. Instead I’m a 34 year old lesbian with slightly better self esteem who is just sad. Sad for the woman and any damage she has or will end up doing to the people around her who are struggling just as she is.

A Few Questions

Someone wanted to ask me a few questions about being a soldier so I figured I’d share my answers. Thanks again Amber for the chat.

1. what made you choose to become a soldier?
I guess an overdeveloped superhero complex 🙂 always wanted to be one as a kid, I wore all cammo for years and owned a million GI Joe’s. My mom talked me out of it, but at 26 I was sick of being broke, never getting my college education, and never traveling. I saw an article that said “get a college education and help your community” I was signed up in a week.
2. Do you miss your family?
Every day. I write my blog 3 months out so I’m actually back in the states right now. After a week getting settled, I immediately went to visit friends and family. Thankfully, technology is at a place that from Jordan and Kuwait I’ve been able to Facebook messenger and call my family this entire time. Obviously it’s a bandaid, but it made it a lot easier this deployment
3. What was your best experience?
I’ve had so many. My grandfather telling me the stories of his father and of himself and my father (4 generations to carry the name into the US military) and their experiences. Once I had to call a bank to help a fellow soldier get a house. Or when soldiers call me outside of drill for help or with questions. Of course it was pretty awesome when I made the rank of E-6 staff sergeant.
4. When you saw someone dead, what did it make you feel?
I’ve been lucky enough not to be in any combat situations as of yet. The only death I’ve seen was a dying boy in basic training who died of dehydration. I felt helpless and angry. I still think of him and vow to do better for my own Joe’s. His name was Morales and he was 18 years old.
5. How many times a year do you visit friends & family?
I’m in the national guard so I live at home. This deployment we weren’t given any leave so it was a solid 10.5 months without seeing anyone.
6. If you didnt join the army what else would you like to be doing now?
Probably out of shape, miserable, not in school, still trying to make it in retail.
7. Are you proud to be a soldier?
I’m proud to serve my country, to follow in my family’s footsteps, to be a part of something so much bigger than myself, so yes
8. What branch are you in?
Army National Guard out of Pennsylvania
9. Are you still inactive? Where have you deployed before?
I have deployed to Kuwait and Jordan and spent one week in Iraq
10. Do you ever get letters from people you don’t know? How do you feel?
Well I’m an introvert so any kind of attention from strangers makes me uncomfortable, but it’s a part of the job. Schools, churches, etc will send us letters and care packages while we’re overseas which is nice since my last post only had a tiny shop that would run out of stuff.
Interesting questions! I’m always open to talk about my experiences.

Lesbian Dating: Rebound

Once a very long time ago, I broke up with a woman. It’s hard to tell (even in retrospect) what was worse, the 8 month relationship in which we merged way too fast and crashed and burned shortly after or the hideousness of the breakup. I discovered my dark side that time. Desperate for fun I went out and found some. Of course, I failed to see the signs and allowed what really, really should have been just a rebound, become a dating thing… Which lasted… 10 months?! And then crashed and burned hideously.

Sadly, that is not the only time in my history I wasn’t paying attention and I tried to make a rebound into something more. I assume my reasons for that are loneliness and guilt over the thought of using someone as I get better. Earlier I was rereading older posts and I came across Like Voldemort and to me that guilt is more than just of using someone, but of also about losing a piece of myself before I’m even more healed from my last heartbreak. I want the be ready and open for when the real thing comes along.

Because it’s that real thing that I actually want, what I can’t stop thinking about.

But I am completely aware that I am damaged goods. Even now as I get hit on and try not to think about my crush, the idea of a relationship again, of trusting someone again, of being vulnerable with someone after that was a mocked thing before. It’s terrifying. I know I’m not ready, but I want to be.

And here I am again, faced with the debate of to rebound or not to rebound so I can heal properly. Am I risking fucking up true love because I didn’t clear my head and go crazy for a while? All of my friends seem to think so.

So my question is, is the whole concept of a rebound absolute bullshit used to justify being crazy after a breakup, or is it a real thing? Do we need simple attention to clear our heads and the marks the previous person left upon us? Should we just grow up and take time to focus on ourselves? Maybe taking our time would eliminate the need for a rebound? Or maybe we just deserve to feel good for a little while as a celebration of the next step of life.

Overheard in Hottopic

“Dad! Dad! This is my favorite drag queen!” Said the excited teen.

“Alrighty then.” Said dad slowly as he obviously worked on his 80s upbringing and nodded his head.

I love people, 10 years ago this guy would have had manly and insulting things to say. Now I can see him trying to wrap his mind around this new world he finds himself in!