Tuesday, September 18, 2012

bigmouth strikes again

I go through these phases where I can't seem to stop talking about things.  Mostly complaining.  Sometimes gossiping.  Lots of gossip.  Mostly work shit, mind you.  I hope I don't have eat my words anytime soon. 

I'm not trying to suggest this is part of my pathology or anything.  Just that I seem to go through periods where I'm a bit of a tool.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Changing my situation - part 2

I'm sorry, the picture of the kitchen wouldn't stop being a dick, so it's at the top of the entry.
Guess what, folks?

Master Bedroom

Slave Bedroom, er, Office

Living Room

Picture from the other side of the living room. From left to right: front closet, kitchen entrance, and hallway with bathroom at the end.
I'm really excited about it, but I certainly have a lot to do around here before I go anywhere!  There's much to pack and do!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paired up

I'm the only single person at my workplace.  The partners are as interesting and varied as the people I work with: one is smart and friendly, one is super athletic, one is a librarian, one is flaky, one will bake cookies for the office, one couldn't take three weeks of retirement, so he started working again, and so on. 

I'm jealous.  Not of anyone in particular, but they have found that one person they want to annoy for the rest of their lives.

At social functions (ie, Christmas party or "fun day," which I was able to dodge), I stand with my wine or pop and look awkward while everyone else has an elaborate plan of escape that involves the partner having a meeting in the morning.  What else is a partner for, but to give the impression of a conspiracy.  Even when it's the two of you left alone for a few moments together at the party, and you're not talking (after all, you already know each others' stories), a well placed hand on the small of your back or sideways glance can be quite comforting.  Even when the glance says "next week is my office party and you owe me."

On Monday mornings, I ask my work friends what they did on the weekend, and their answers often start with "we went..." or "we did..."  My answers are usually a variation of "I went and visited friends and family who have also found their counterparts.  I did this by myself."

It sounds like complaining, and it is really*.  However, with the way I've been lately, I really don't have the energy or self-esteem to really look for a partner.  In actuality, I don't even know what's on my shopping list at the moment.  There's a small list of things I don't want (please, don't be an asshole, don't be controlling, and don't take up the bathroom for 1.5 hours in the morning), and a small list of things I do want (please know how to read, please have ears and a nose), but they all seem like obvious ones.   When I think about my past, my most recent favourite man was an engineer, so I think I'd like someone around that education level.  But I also like to think that if I meet a garbageman who's a brilliant painter, I'd be open to that, too.

I'm getting off topic.  Most recently, I've flirted with my potential landlord, who turned out to be 51.  That was disappointing.  When I got home from that little discovery, I checked my email and had received a plenty of fish message from a 20 year old.

Really, universe?  What the fuck?  Is this your hilarious way of saying "not yet" or should I even stop talking to you as a thing that exists?  Twat.

I should write more.  Actual writing, not complaining.  

*This entire blog is kind of a venting point, so I should stop feeling bad about complaining.  I just hope I've made it interesting enough for people to want to read it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Boo to the past week

I had nachos and rum for dinner, if you're wondering how today's counselling session went.  I was going to write about it, but the truth is that I just feel too awful at the moment.  The EMDR seems to have done sweet FA for me with this lady, and I'm not certain that's anyone's fault.  I'm not sure it ever did work.

I've had some terrible days at work recently, and then today we ended up touching on my mommy issues, and I just went to pieces.  I'm thirty and I've been in and out of therapy my entire life.  Mommy issues should be fucking over with.  The stress of douchebags at work, gearing up for a move, lack of sleep, and this terrible dream I had last night (like... major social anxiety involving my boss), just made tonight a pajamas and American Dad night.

So, on that note... here's a clip from American Dad of Roger acting like a psychotherapist:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Hey, body, haaaaave you met my friend Amy?"

In last week's therapy session, M (the therapist) tried to do EMDR with me (for information on EMDR, please go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movement_desensitization_and_reprocessing or http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=emdr-taking-a-closer-look*).  I think I've mentioned previously that I was happy she practiced EMDR, as my previous therapist also used it. 

We started the preliminary work, and as we began, she continued to stress to me that what we needed to accomplish was the clear connection of body and mind.  I continued to stress to her that I understood the exercise.  Eventually, something became glaringly obvious to both of us:  I'm not connected to my body at all.

Now, there are people in this world who know me better than I know myself, and if any of them are reading this, they probably knew this a long time ago.  If you're one of these people, you're excused, as I understand there are other interesting things on the internet you could be reading.

I don't understand where this comes from, and this shouldn't really be much of an epiphany to me.  My body is a vessel I use to consume music, books, and movies and to spew out opinions and facts no one else gives a shit about.  Sometimes, it's a vessel for wine as well.   My body goes where I go, simply because I can't leave here at home.  In retrospect, I've almost treated her as a second-hand car: "I know I'm hard on it, but I don't need the undercoating - you're just trying to scam me out of more money." 

At some point in my life, I focused on my brain, spent a lot of time in there.  Early on, I was told I was quite clever, so I went out and used my body to buy books, and then read them.  I stayed up late, thinking different thoughts.  Fact is, at this point I'm not certain I'm of above average intelligence.  A depressing  thought for someone who has placed all her eggs in one basket.

While not being connected with my body, I still sometimes obsess about it.  I was at the beach last week with a friend, and a couple of larger women walked by and I asked "am I as big as her?" and got the response "what? NO**."  I have no idea what I look like.  I know that my body is about 50 pds heavier than she should be, and takes up more storage space than need be, but after that point, I just have no idea.  It feels almost clinical at times, and the idea of being thought of as attractive seems, well, outside of me.  Sometimes, the thought of trying to make myself seem attractive to the opposite sex (or same sex, depending on the full moon) just seems like a lot of work with little payoff.  Who would I be fooling?  Him?  For a few months, until that moment when I realize he's not the one I want and have to have that awkward conversation.

I wish I had some sort of an answer; some coherent way to end this post.  Maybe I need to spend some quality time with my body? Even that thought feels preposterous to me, as it's here all the damn time (she's even been reading over my shoulder).

*I wish the evidence were better, but yes, EMDR is controversial.  Additionally, it should be noted that I do not suffer from PTSD, and it's been used for me more to deal with stress and depression.

**I'm still not certain that the "NO" reaction was an answer to my question, or her simply telling me not to ask such things.  Immediately after answering me, she went into a speech about how I had great hair, was pretty, funny, and I needed to get myself out there and start meeting people.  It sounds complimentary, but it felt a little more like she was saying STFU.  I can't be sure I wouldn't have done the same had she asked me.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hobbies and art class

I think I'm cheating on my paper jour - holy cow this keyboard is loud!  Alright, change of topic, if only for a moment.  It's a little interesting that people have different limits to what's perfectly acceptable and what will not stand.  I'm at my parents' house at the moment, and working off of their desktop computer.  I've brought my laptop, but the wireless internet doesn't work at their house anymore.  It stopped working and they never felt the need to fix it after I left.   Also, the internet on the desktop computer doesn't work all the time... they keep it unplugged to remove crackly interference on the phone.  I'm so fucking connected all the time, hanging out at my parents' place feels like camping.  I should stop being a goddamn princess.  Also, their soundcard is fucked, so if you do plug the internet in, no music or youtube.

To be fair, I would find this bearable, too, if I had my dad's turntable and record collection.

Back to the topic at hand, I think I'm cheating on my paper journal with this blog.  I love the journal, don't get me wrong, but I can't do this in it:

********Before you click on that, you should know it's a 53 minute video.

Going to the beach the other day reminded me that there are a lot of things I enjoy that I don't do anywhere near as much as I'd like.  I never seem to get to the beach until the end of summer, and I live in an area surrounded by the great lakes, so I'm about 45 minutes away from some form of beach at any given time.

This makes zero sense to me.  And the list of things I love doing, but don't do as much as I'd like, is massive.  Some examples include:

writing (although, clearly, I'm working on it)
listening to quality music

I was about to write "focusing on the arty hobbies," when I realized they're all arty.  I went through a really tough time in university, it's a miracle I left with a degree, to be honest.  I will talk about it more later - I promise, since it's a direct reflection of my mental health - but I have to mention that the time when I felt most balanced at Trent was during the summer between my third and fourth year.  I needed a credit to catch up and the only course available was visual arts.

At first, I really didn't feel like I belonged in that class.  I'm a horrible drawer (as in "holding a pencil and drawing", not "square box with a handle on it that slides into a bigger box"), there was no way I was going to keep up with the other people in the class.  After my first week, the reality was clearly much different.  Truthfully, some of the artists in that class could have run with the best of them, and probably still can.  One in particular was so amazing, I was sad in class the one day, and the teacher said to me "Amy, why are you glum?"  in a fairly cheerful voice.  "B is a better artist than me." I sighed.  "Amy, B is a better artist than me." she replied.  B really was amazing, and I would be heartbroken if I discovered that she was no longer creating in some way.  She was also one of my few genuine same-sex crushes.  I'd have done anything for her, short of coming out.  Sadly, she already had a "good friend."  She was shy and full humility, something I look for in men now that I'm all growed up.

When I really put my heart into my work, it seemed to really fit in and even sit higher than many in the class.  My nights were filled with tea and painting, wine and sketching, scotch and writing, and I was always finding the strings between the art I was working on and the academic texts I'd immersed myself in for the previous three years. 

Of course, I'm not sure how much this reflects my mental health.  I don't think there's one person out there who would dislike having four months to play with their inner self.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Matthew Good

Had a major crush on this man in high school.  After the Matthew Good/Dave Genn split, I lost interest. He's continued with a solo career (I bought the first one after the split, and decided I liked the edge Dave brought into the picture.  I was at an age where I felt I had to choose and decide everything.  No grey area allowed.)  He's crept back into my life recently, with a solid number of solo albums, a successful blog, and now this.   To be completely honest, hearing this story is what precipitated this most recent push to get help and also the creation of this blog.

Employee Assistance Program

I've had three appointments with the therapist thus far.  In most EAP programs, it probably would have been my final, but the one I'm with is really good, so we'll be able to continue for several more.  I've been very clear with M (the therapist), what it is that I'm in search of: eventual diagnosis, action plan for long term mental health - whether that involves just therapy or drugs as well.  She's informed me that she tends to lean more towards not medicating (which I respect.  I think most therapists worth their salt try not to recommend pills unless necessary), and that she's going to try to help me develop a healthy self-esteem before the EAP funds run out.  Here's where it gets murky, and I get nervous again.

Self-esteem is certainly a huge issue for me, especially lately.  However, in the past, when I've done work on my self-esteem, my mood tends to swing aggressively to the other side.  I tend to think I'm invincible (socially, anyway), I'm the hottest woman in the world (right now I feel below average, depending on which part of London I'm standing in at any given time), and everyone wants needs my opinion.   This could make for some hilarious problems, particularly if she just builds me up then dumps me on the side of the road, leaving the world vulnerable to my swollen ego and mania.  If I have any sense in those moments, I'll just go home and smear both my arms and some paper in pastels until 2 am.  If I don't have any sense I'll just go down to Dundas and make sure I buy at least 10 books from every used book shop, making some very superficial friends along the way ("I love her, she's crazy!" I'll overhear).  These are just projections, of course.  It may be only 8 books per store.

I would like to continue working with M so that this issue doesn't come up.  Near the end of the last session, I tried to get a solid answer out of her regarding her fees, and she kept saying "we'll talk about that after the EAP runs out. Let's just focus on your mental health right now."  It didn't bother me at the time, but that's not a fucking answer.  I can't rearrange my budget for a new apartment with that in mind.  Although it's not an answer, I'm now certain she's out of my price range.  It may be rude, but I may have to ask her if she can recommend someone cheaper.  When I first started talking to her, I made it clear that I was trying to build up a network of help.  If my conversations with her don't lead to conversations with others, I know I will be frustrated.

Overall, it seems to me that as long as your not drawing attention to yourself or hurting others, the availability of mental health care isn't all that impressive.  Shouldn't we be working on prevention rather than rescue?

on the title of this blog

From Wikipedia:

Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable norms.[1] It is also known as psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder, and thus those suffering from it are said to be neurotic. The term essentially describes an "invisible injury" and the resulting condition.

I never chose the word Neurosis by just plucking it out of the air.  I chose it for two reasons:

  1. I think it accurately describes the state I've been living in, especially lately; and, 
  2. It's kind of a bullshit term now.
I've had several theories floating in and out of my head about what might be wrong with me (these theories also include the answers "nothing, just suck it up, buttercup!" and "keep on keeping on!").  I don't want to jump to any conclusions at all about what's really going on, and apply a false label.  Given that neurosis isn't really in use anymore (clinically, anyway.  It's still found in slightly more casual use in academia), and that's it's a catchall term that includes personality disorder, I thought it was most appropriate.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Changing my situation

I've been trying to find a new apartment.  I've been casually looking for the past month or so, and more aggressively looking for the past few days.  It's not going overly well. <----- I typed that sentence last night, thinking I was going to write a blog post, but then going and searching for apartments on kijiji.  Bah.   I was put in touch with an agent who handles rentals, and she set me up to view a place on Tuesday.  This place is right across the street from my elementary school, how cool would that have been?  At any rate, I then went to her site and looked at pictures of the apartment, and it's tiny.  Like... not "I'm being a princess" tiny, but "I would have to get rid of more than half my stuff and buy a smaller bed" tiny.  Plus, basement apartment, and I saw ONE window in all the pictures.  That window was about as big as a legal size piece of paper. I cancelled the appointment as soon as I realized.  Not here to waste anyone's time.

A quick search of the internet makes the entire ordeal a little overwhelming.  Last night, while I was attempting to write a blog post, I ended up looking again.  I wrote some quick emails, made a couple of calls.  One of the ads looked like a really great place.  One bedroom with a big deck and an office.  At the bottom of the ad it said "the only kicker is that the apartment is for only one renter".  Fine, whatever, I don't actually have a problem with that, but it didn't quite sit well with me.  So, I asked when I emailed:

>Hi there,
>I'm interested in the 2nd floor apartment.  Is it still available?
> Additionally, when you say "the apartment is for only one renter" does that
> mean I cannot have a friend (or my mother) stay over?  Looks like a great
> place, hope to hear from you.  If not, have a great long weekend.

His reply:
>Yes, you can have your mother or a friend stay over, within reason.
>You can come see it tomorrow, call or email NAME to arrange it XXX-XXX-XXXX

Within reason?  Is this going to be my place or not?  Maybe it's no big deal, but it makes me a little uncomfortable.

Another one that stands out from last night's adventures was a two bedroom that's closer to work than I am now (two bedroom + 5min drive to work? Bonus!).  It was listed as having been posted by a real estate agent, so I called thinking I was going to leave a message.  Someone picked up, and I asked her about it.  "oh, yeah, we're subletting the place." (That doesn't make you an agent, girly.)  I asked if the reason they were leaving was because they had trouble with their landlord.  There was a slight hesitation before she said "no, we just need something bigger."  They're students, though, and she sounded young, so I don't know if trouble with the landlord is actually not really a problem at all (maybe landlord is sick of their crap).  She told me I could come see the place on Tuesday, around 5.  Then never took my name or anything and hung up.  So, that could be interesting.  I'm probably just projecting when it comes to the landlord relations thing, so I'll probably go and see the place.  Depending on how long the sublet is, it could be good.  If I like the place, I'll try to talk to the landlord, too.  Maybe he is a total dick, who knows.

I also have a meeting on Tuesday morning (I'm on vacation at the moment), with a company that has a lot of places that are in old houses, so they're going to show me a handful in my price range.  She then mentioned another unit that wasn't in my price range, and when I protested, she lowered her voice and said they're always open to negotiation, although "I really shouldn't be telling you this".  I appreciate the hint.  Plus, I often forget that a lot of this stuff is open to negotiation, so I need to keep that in my back pocket. 

I need to keep at it when it comes to finding a new place.  I haven't been really looking for all that long, and the place I'm in isn't a bad unit, really.  I've just had some awful experiences with the landlord, and now my parking building has been condemned, so it's quite the trek to my car.  Especially given the car situation, I don't want to be here when the show starts to fly.  But the unit itself is big, and I'm not paying much for it. I really need to suck it up and realize that I may have to fork over more for a place than I was hoping.

Looking at the bigger picture, I really feel that the living situation does not help my moods.  I'm uncomfortable leaving the apartment at night, the people are either frightening or depressing (I had to call 911 on a domestic dispute).  I go back and forth in my mind on staying or going, but I think I need to go.  Shame, I like my balcony.  I think I should get rid of my loveseat.  Sooner rather than later.  This is the crap floating around my head.

Anyways, best be going.  The beach is calling.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  If I need to be bitch-slapped for being unrealistic or all that fun stuff, lemme know.