I’m a few hours sleep away from heading out on my vacation.
I was looking forward to it until yesterday. For some reason I have a very uneasy feeling about the whole thing. I’m hoping it’s just my usual travel nerves.
I’m also feeling uneasy about wrapping up my freelance work. My friend looks at it as an opportunity to do new things. I’m trying to see it that way but mostly i’m just scared about having no safety net.
I’m flying from SF to a layover in Houston to Orlando where I will be picked up from the airport by my mom! :)
My little sister LOVED him so much and she texted me at work today to tell me he had died and I was shocked. I called her up on my ten minute break and she was crying so much, just a sobbing mess. She was exactly the kid that Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji and Aladdin were geared towards and she really loved him and I did too. We watched all of those movies together and when we got older, his stand up, Mork and Mindy, and we would always visit the attractions he voiced in Disney as many times as we could squeeze into a visit to the parks.
I think maybe he was another father figure for my sister which is why she’s taking this so hard.
I guess he was living in Tiburon when he died, which is literally across the bay, a 20 minute Ferry ride from SF. I knew he lived in the bay area and I used to imagine sometime maybe running into him in Sea Cliff (where he used to live, I guess) near the beach because it’s all super rich houses around Baker beach.
It’s totally surreal. My dash is just filled with him right now and I feel it’s as it should be. I’m shocked and a bit mad that he’s died. Of course we don’t know the details yet, but I hope that it was not suicide as they are suggesting.
I don’t understand your silence. I don’t get it. I don’t understand why you don’t like to share anything with me, as if I am unworthy of your time. You are silent like a cliff face and just as resolute. I smash myself against you like the ocean, but you do not move. I am the one who breaks.
I retreat like the tide, drawing away from you to recoup, to lick my wounds, to show you. But you are unmoved and before long I will be rushing headlong to greet you and destroy myself once more.
Yesterday, I met up with a classmate from my undergrad, Ras, who was in town on a business trip. I hadn’t seen Ras in 7 years. He knew me from years 18-21, which were not my best years emotionally.
He’s a tall, socially awkward guy who’s smart but also a tad on the angry side. I remember that at one point I had a crush on him, but not because I thought him particularly handsome or even appealing, but because I felt that he was the sort of guy I was worthy of, he was at my “level”. We were both awkward losers. I thought maybe Ras could be the guy that I figured the “adult” thing out with, so that I could stop being a failure as a woman and my mother would stop asking me if I was a lesbian (not because she saw me with women, but because she never saw me with men). I remember, feeling giddy and excited when he would talk to me, even if the things he said were somewhat mean or extremely awkward because a boy is talking to me. The trouble is, I also remember distinctly that he rejected me. He said outright (well, typed via AIM, remember AIM?), “I don’t like you. I am not interested in you,” and implied that he would never be interested. I was crushed, and at the same time completely unsurprised because of course what guy would be interested in me?
But that was at least ten years ago, and actually I feel that he was an awkward bullet that I dodged. We’ve had a handful of exchanges over the years, exclusively via email or facebook.
So when he texted me, I figured why not?
The very first thing he said to me after saying hello and good to see you was, “You’re wearing makeup now.” And I made some joke about “putting my face on” so as not to scare the locals, but I instantly felt bad because either a) I’m wearing too much or b) he remembers that I looked terrible in undergrad. Awesome. Here’s a pro tip guys: Do not talk about a woman’s makeup. Simply say, “You look nice” or don’t comment at all.
And then the next thing he asked me was how many children do I have? He knows I don’t have any. He knows I’m not married. He knows I am a complete failure by society’s standards of women, so obviously this is his attempt at humor. I made some attempt at levity but then I said very plainly that children do not fit into my current lifestyle and he might as well have asked me how many private islands do I own. I actually had to repeat this again during our lunch when he kept harping on the fact that I don’t have kids or look like I’m in a position to have kids.
Over the course of lunch I discovered that he’s given up on art and has a “real job” at a bank. I said, “well, I have a real job too— at the bookstore, when I’m not freelancing.” And he says, “That’s not a real job.”
And I just swallowed it but it made me feel bad because it god damn is a real job. I think about my coworkers and how would they feel if you told them that they don’t work real jobs? Retail has such a stigma in this country.
And then somehow over the course of the lunch, Ras decided that I was shy like he was and spend every night in like nun. He kept asking me “what else do you do?” like he wanted to know the exact number of times I go to bars or out with men. And while I am introverted, I am not shy. I think those are two different things. Lately, I’ve been isolated because I am so busy, but I do go out on occasion. I do not go to bars often. I am much more of a dinner and a movie or coffee and a chat kind of girl. The last bar I was in, some guy used my shoulder as an armrest while he hit on my friends. So, yeah, I don’t like bars.
I was put in this awkward position of trying to defend myself and validate my choices. I left our encounter feeling weird and a bit unsettled.
I keep thinking about why I felt this way. I think that Ras has an old-fashioned way of thinking, especially thinking about women. I am not much bothered by not having kids or being married. The only reason I ever feel bad about these things is because I am alone and being alone is hard, not because I am “failing at society”. I am non-conformist in this respect. I do not do things simply because I am told that I must, like a sheep in a herd.
I guess I’m bothered because I don’t know if Ras simply saw what he wanted to see in me (himself), or if what he saw is actually the truth.
I just left feeling bad about myself and maybe a bit embarrassed by the huge divide between myself and “normal” women.
So my stomach has really been hurting me with anxiety pains for weeks now. It comes and goes. But it hurt me today. So I’m at work and I decided to sit down (we’re not supposed to— we have to stand for the entire shift) since nobody was in the store and I decided to do some writing.
Well, wouldn’t you know it my stomach stopped hurting. I was distracted. I was creating— and it was not until I realized that it stopped and I’m back here on tumblr that it hurts again.
Man. If I didn’t know that my stomach pain was anxiety before this, then I’d have undeniable proof now.
Things have not been great. My stomach really hurts with anxiety, though I can’t say I’m particularly anxious about something specific.
My therapist wants me to be medicated and really pushed me this week, and I’m really, really against it. I was medicated once before and all it did was make me fat and tranquilize me, it did not lessen my anxiety. In fact, I think it made it worse because I could see how it was affecting my ability to function— made me tired and placid like a doped up cow.
I couldn’t do any art while I was medicated because I just didn’t give a shit about anything. I’m someone who is short and used to be 40 pounds overweight and that weight loss IS a hard arduous struggle to maintain, so the idea of being on medication that makes you gain weight is abhorrent to me. I’m not trying to judge overweight people, I KNOW how hard it is (I am still technically overweight for my height). I just will never be comfortable if my weight creeps back up on me.
I think I have to stop seeing her. We made my next appointment for two weeks from now, but I am definitely going to call up and cancel and then I’ll be away the next week, so I can at least hedge a month. I know she’s not stupid and will know what I’m doing, but I don’t care. I don’t want to be medicated, and I’m pretty sure the next step is going to be that she won’t be able to help me anymore anyway if I refuse.
She said that if I was medicated and at a consistent emotional level, then we could begin to treat my issues. But I don’t want to be on medication. I do not trust medication. I don’t want something changing my brain because as broken as it is, I know how to use it. What if it changes the part of me that can do art? Paxil did that to me in 2003 and it was scary as shit. Why would I ever risk that part of me again? The thing is she can’t possibly know how medication is going to affect me, and the risk seems too high to me. I’m trying to make my living as an artist and she wants to fuck with that because it will be easier to treat me if I’m “tranquilized.”
That said, would anyone be willing to share their experience with medication and anxiety? I’d like to learn more before I have to outright refuse. I’m wondering what medication you took and how it affected you? Did you feel it helped you? Would you have rather gone without it? How long did you have to take it? forever?
I should know by now never to call my mother when I am looking for comfort from my anxiety.
I just called her on my walk to work so that I could “talk out” some of this anxiety that’s been in my system since last night, especially since I just had dailies with the Norway gig and it’s definitely OVER on Wednesday. So both of my freelance gigs are ending before the month is out and I’m FREAKING OUT about how I’m going to pay my bills.
No sooner do I call her and tell her all of this and my fears about being able to support myself and she says, “I’ll always support you, just not financially.”
And I’m like… okay, look, we both know that I’m freaking out right now so what I don’t need is for you to fan the flames of my anxiety. She could have just said, “I’ll always support you.” FULL STOP and worry about my asking her for money IF it comes to that. Instead, she decided to take the exact fear I’m having and just add a little extra worry to it.
Yeah, my mother still helps me sometimes with money. It’s tough when you work three jobs and 82 hours a week but you don’t get paid for two of those three jobs until up to six weeks later. Sometimes, she floats me grocery money so that I can eat. I acknowledge that I’m goddamned LUCKY that I have a mother and that I have a mother who will help me sometimes.
But I wasn’t asking for a handout. I was asking for reassurance and comfort.
I just found out that one of my freelance jobs is ending in two weeks. Part if me is like, “good” but the other half is freaking out. What am I going to do for money?
I have such anxiety right now I feel like I could puke. I keep telling myself, it’ll be ok, I’ll find something else, but the realistic part knows that I won’t. These jobs were luck handed to me by the kindness of others.