Friday, May 20, 2011

That Which Does Not Kill Us...

For the record, I'm not sleeping, but I AM eating.  If one more person tells me that I'm getting too thin, I'm going to be annoyed.  I mean, holy shit!  You should have seen me yesterday!

There is nothing better than a big plate of huevos rancheros;
Unless it's huevos rancheros for lunch;
Unless it's huevos rancheros for lunch with my new/old friend Lillian! 

Thanks, Lillian, for hanging out a little! I had fun!

This lunch was respite from a discouraging day.  I think I have to face up to the fact that the next few weeks are going to be bad, no matter how hard I work on my attitude.
Although I don't really know yet what my budget is, I need a place to live.  I have to get out of the house - I can't stay here with Simon any longer. 

I stand sometimes in my living room with its gleaming floors and expensive rugs, and I think, "I never hung out in this room."  I think about the furniture conversation Si and I will have next week.  I ask myself, "What pieces do you really, really want?  What will break your heart to leave?"  Uh... Nothing? I only feel strongly about the antique pieces I brought from Wisconsin after Dad's funeral.  Then, there is a triangular corner-cupboard in the family room that I love....  I would like the deep freeze, because it will help me economize on food. I hate the table and chairs:  I'm going to have to use a card table and borrow a few plastic chairs from Guadalupe for a while. I'd like to keep my bed, but... so would Simon.  Who knows what I will use.  We have loads of sofas in the house and only one of them is really comfortable:  the ratty, holey one with the ill-fitting green cover that is in the family room.  I'm looking for rentals under $900 a month. Under $800 a month would be even better. I would be willing to settle for two bedrooms rather than three.  Problem is there is a good chance that I will be renting for a year before I can get off the current mortgage and apply for another. This makes me reluctant to live somewhere dark and dingy with poor ventilation.  And I hate blinds.  Ick.  I would love to avoid a big apartment complex if I could help it. 

Today made me so sad, though.  The cute house that seemed too good to be true?  Snapped up!  An apartment near the south campus of the community college?  Already leased.  There was a little house in the lower Avenues for $750 a month.  After lunch with Lillian, I went to 2nd Ave., between M and N Streets, to look at it. I had the number for the landlord, so I could call him immediately if it was a good find.  I was excited as I pulled up.  A little blue stucco, over 100 years old. But as I walked up to it, my heart sank.  Broken windows.  Trash in the yard.  All the screens were busted out.  There was ancient mail piled in the letter box.  All the blinds were pulled down; but the front door had a little window.  There was this plastic glazing over it but, since it was chipped and scratched, I was able to scratch it little more with my fingernail and peer in. All I could see was a dirty wall.  If it were for sale, I would be interested.  But this place screams, "Landlord doesn't care.  Landlord won't do anything."  I would spend the next year fighting with the landlord.  This made me feel discouraged. Finding a place is going to be a full-time job, and the last time I checked I already HAD a full time job. 

My counsellor seems to find me amusing.  I suppose I am:  I go in there with a lot of pent up stuff and talk about 100 miles an hour.  This saves me from having to over-burden my friends.  Often, I am able to tell her things I have figured out - like ditching the "good mom / bad mom" stuff.  She agreed:  there is no good or bad mothering.  There is just a series of situations that you respond to.  She seems dismayed that I have not given up on C.   I told her that I'm worried about the heartbreak that may await me, and how I will manage it.   She simply says that I have to decide not to feel heartbreak.  Uh...  In my opinion, there's a distinction between thoughts and feelings.  She counters that there is no "brain" vs "heart".  It's all brain.  I get it.  But there are parts of the brain from which love emanates, and those parts cannot always be controlled.  Yes they can!  No they can't!  She has not convinced me to drop my emotional responses to the world. If I did, I would have an easier time, but I wouldn't be Kate anymore. 

 We also spent a little time talking about "selfish".  She says that I need to distinguish between "selfish" and "self care".  According to her, I lump everything together and call it all "selfish", which is why I feel guilty and evil.  She wants me to consider this and work on it.  I sat listening to her, feeling truly befuddled.  She's right: I can't tell the difference. 

She called me "brave" today.  She is up in the night.  I try to act like I'm OK, but I am scared shitless. I go around with a stomachache all the time.  My hands shake. I laugh a lot and keep my day moving forward; but sometimes, I can feel myself crumbing.  I have to take a deep breath and just keep stepping forward.  One step at a time until I arrive... somewhere.

When I feel scared, I listen to my old Cat Stevens cassette,  "Footprints in the Dark", which I got when I was a Sophomore in college.  It has gone to many far-away places with me.  I remember vividly that it was new and I had it playing on my Walkman when I left for England.  Cat admonished me:

Don't wear fear/
Or nobody will know you're there.

I had never been out of the USA before.  My plan was to be a Carney for the summer, then study at Oxford for my Junior year.  My parents were OK with the Oxford part, but not with the carnie part.  My mom yelled and shouted; said I wasn't going.  I had already bought my ticket with money from my Domino's Pizza job.  She said she wouldn't take me to the airport (which was about 80 miles away).  Dad finally agreed to take me, to prevent me from hitchhiking.  I clearly remember  pulling out of the driveway with my mom standing there in the puring rain, crying and yelling.  Dad left me at the airport without words of encouragement. It was hard to leave knowing they were mad at me.  I had an an address for my friend Katie, who was living in London.  I had no idea what part.  I had been so determined to show my parents that there was nothing to worry about that I didn't ponder the craziness of my actions until I was on the tarmac at JFK. It was late at night, and pouring rain.  The lights from the terminal were reflected on the pavement, and I remember realizing that I was scared to death. 

Then I though, "Well, what are you going to do? You are on the plane.  You are leaving and not coming home for more than a year.  You are past the point of no return."  I think it's easier to control fear once past the point of no return.  There's nothing to do but surrender. 


  1. I had so much fun at lunch! You made me get out and be social and not just a poster child for social anxiety disorder. Thank you! I think I can even be brave and go camping, too.

    Sorry the perfect little place was snatched up. There will be another one, and you will get to snatch it up.

    Regarding your therapist's advice:
    Don't give up on C. Remember my friend who is too far away to be arm candy? I am waiting hopelessly for the imaginary day in which he decides to walk away from his secure and pleasant life, appear on my doorstep, and claim he cannot live without me for one minute more. It's a lovely fantasy, and I share it with you so that you can see how much better your chances are. Your poor therapist has no idea how much more difficult her job could be with me as a client.

    Also, you are brave, and your own going-to-England story proves it. Bravery is simply moving forward with purpose, despite being scared shitless.

    Also also, she's right about selfish and self-care being different things, and you are right about thoughts and feelings. Now you know.

  2. I agree. Sometimes I deliberately make myself jump off of things just because hesitation means that I might change my mind.

    Better to have just jumped and broken a leg rather then lay in bed wondering if maybe you could have made it without breaking that leg.