I seem to have reset some. I’m a lot firmer about my own goals and limits, and I feel more at home in my own skin again. Finally.
I needed that.
Now I’m turning my attention to shifting my current circumstances. Once I get one thing in order I’ll be in a position to do everything I need, and I will be myself again. I’m SO looking forward to that. To my own space, my own dishes and silverware, and maintaining things in a fashion that permits me to handle everything by myself.
I’m regaining control of my life. This is good. I feel calmer and happier about it. And I will never again permit anyone to convince me to give it away.
I’m not really certain why going to someplace with several thousand people recharges a known introvert, but it does. Maybe it’s just the ability to blend in, finally. Have conversations with people who get the weird/geeky stuff, like that Tesla never married or even dated (but there was that thing with the pigeon.) Not worry about someone hating me on sight because I’m different, I look different, I react differently.
Still trying to figure out why people keep thinking they can read me, but aren’t always right unless they’ve known me for many many MANY years. There are some who get close, who seem able to figure out general ballpark, but apparently I have a few extra quirks that throw them off. One of these days I might get around to refining the “baseline mood not happiest/computer is on and analyzing or processing data/these two are totally unrelated” expression to something that doesn’t come across as… well, the latest description was “staring someone down.” Maybe it’s that my eyes go lighter when I’m grumpy and that shifts the effect, I don’t know. After nearly four decades you’d think I’d be better at the finer details of this body. Oh well; frankly by this point I’m inclined to just say “deal with it” and go about my business. Folk can believe me or not as to what’s going on in my head.
I can feel myself sliding back into con mode. I’m sliding between people, walking confidently, and turning heads in jeans and a t-shirt even surrounded by the amazing, fantastical, and weird.
It feels good. My confidence is back some, and I’m recharging and smiling and generally feeling several steps closer to Me.
“It’s time for launch, Sally.”
“I know. I’m ready.”
“This is the last one. There’s no return trip. Do you understand?”
“Yes. I’m suited up.”
Hot jets, Dr. Ride. We’ll see you in the stars, presently.
I’m gearing up for con now, and a lot of things are coming back to me. Plotting what to wear, should I bring my own coffeemaker or extra filters and coffee for the room one, how many pairs of boots do I need? Does my flight suit still fit and is it cleaned? (Aaaaand I just figured out a default costume if I want one, yay!)
There’s a certain shift in my day-to-day attitude, as well; I think it’s part of coming back to Me. However, I’d forgotten the effect of unfettered ME on most of the rest of the world. I need a rheostat for it… and a cattle prod. The effect of a tall, outspoken, curvy redhead who likes traditionally “male” pursuits is one that tends to get a certain kind of attention from certain kinds of people who certainly don’t see her as a person. It makes life Interesting, but that seems to be a side effect of just being Me.
I’ve also been thinking lately about what I need. This is actually somewhat unusual for me, since I tend to think about what others need, then want, and THEN maybe what I might need. I’m shifting my thinking; I’m tired of trying to live up to everyone else’s standards. Now I’ll look and see if anyone can live up to mine. It’s not easy. To quote Bonnie Tyler, “I need a hero” — that’s what it’s going to take to match me, and they’re pretty hard to come by.
(This post partly brought to you by being unimpressed by disrespectful gits who are bad at taking “no I’m not going to kiss you just because you like my figure,” “following me to a con and expecting me to drop everything to spend time with you is unrealistic,” and “you’re not even close to the most interesting person chasing the attractive redhead” for answers. Some people’s children, sheesh.)
Something that I have discovered, as I’ve come back to Me.
It used to be that I’d hear of a friend getting married or having a baby and be secretly envious; my congratulations and happiness for them were tainted inside by my own jealousy and wondering why I couldn’t have that.
That… doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. In finding ME again, I look at a good friend who’s getting married in October and I am as happy for her as I would be if it were me. Happier, even; I take delight in the love she and her fiance share, and was only truly at ease over it (she has a rough history and I don’t want her to be hurt again) once I understood the depth of feeling he has for her. I just found out that some close friends are expecting, and I am BEYOND happy for them! I can’t even describe it, but I am utterly thrilled.
I like this Me. I don’t know where the jealousy and envy and sulky “why can’t I have that?!” went, but I’m glad it’s gone. I didn’t like it and I didn’t need it, and I always had some self-hatred because of it. I wonder if it wasn’t an artifact of other people, almost; I can’t describe it, but it may have gone away when I shook off the shadows and projections that others threw on me and tried to make me believe. (Not just my recent ex, but pretty much all my life.) I love being able to take joy in others’ joy; it feels right, like something’s finally clicking where it should be in my psyche.
Part of my heartbreak over Zilla is because I feel like the bond between us was broken sometime in the last couple of years, and it wasn’t fully repaired. I feel the same way about my daughter; we were incredibly close, and during the latter half of my pregnancy it felt like the bond was destroyed and I’m still trying desperately to get it back. Realising this made me take a look at the last few years.
I feel like my bonds with nearly everyone broke, but particularly those closest and dearest to me. I need to do everything I can to restore them, to make amends and reforge them. I lost my dearest companion before I could. I can’t lose anyone else. I’m terrified of losing anyone else. The timing seems to have been when things turned bad, when my ex started telling me that I didn’t deserve affection and that I had no redeeming qualities beyond my high standards for my children. (So, right about when the verbal abuse started.)
I’ve noticed also that, now that I’m being faced with the possibility of new relationships with people who DO think that I deserve affection and that I’m amazing and awesome and perfect, I can’t relax; I can’t just accept things and see where they go when I’m ready. I’m expecting fights, struggles, having to work at things, that nothing will flow easily. And it lit on me that maybe that’s not normal, and if I expect that and stress and tense up and throw effort and work into things that are just easily flowing I’ll destroy those good, peaceful, happy things. I’ll screw up the amazing, awesome, and maybe not perfect but definitely really excellent stuff from these incredible guys and perpetuate the damage I’ve been dealt.
I actually have a way to break this, to reset everything. It’s conditioned into me, in fact, and is probably a large part of why I’m functional in society. Conventions. I grew up going to science fiction/fantasy conventions, and they were the only place I could ever relax and be me. The only place no one would judge me, where social (and later, romantic) interactions weren’t forced, where I could drop all the shields and filters and dampers on ME and just be myself and the overwhelming force that resulted was at least accepted and usually admired. They were where I could be Me, and were my sanity. (When you consider that around the time I was sixteen things went kablooey and by the time I was eighteen there were things going on in my life that started at con that really should have resulted in police reports and prison time for upwards of five people, in retrospect, and cons were STILL my relief and my return to Me it should tell you how strong that is.)
And guess what. There’s a con coming up. Otakon, and it’s near a place I used to live so I know the area, and it’s a huge con, and there are people I know and trust and who have a vested interest in keeping me alive/healthy/sane going so I’ll have touchpoints. A wonderful friend has offered me crash space, and I can just swing registration by the pre-reg deadline. I have a check coming in three days before it starts that will be as big as I let it be (within reason), so I’m okay for money there unless I shift crash space to splitting a room with someone. My daughter will be with her father that weekend, and my son with his father, so I can effectively have the entire weekend to myself with only minimal preparation. When I’m back I’m hoping against hope that I can reforge and repair all that was broken between myself and those I love most. (And maybe I’ll be on the road to being healthy enough to handle the thought of eventually letting someone close to me emotionally again.)
Brace yourselves. I’m going to Con. And I’m going to come back to Me, and once I do I’m older and wiser than I used to be… so anyone trying to tell me to dial it back will be where to go, in detail, and if necessary thrown to the Minions.
I’m not dealing with the death of Zilla very well.
I’ve been trying to distract myself; I’m apparently extremely popular now that I’m officially single and noticing other guys now. I’m a co-founder of a new company; more on that when we get the initial bits into place. I’ve realised that I can put volunteer things, like doing Security for the 2013 MWM Regional Gathering, on my resume and get serious experience credit there. (It had never occurred to me to put things I like doing and that I do for fun/amusement on my resume.) I’ve been trying to be nice to myself.
I’m still snappish, foul-tempered, hypersensitive and generally cranky. I just don’t know how to cope without my little black cat, my companion, the one person who always loved me no matter what, the only one I could love unreservedly until my children came along. She saw me through marriages, divorces, two children, pure Hell that left me scarred mentally and with permanent back problems, three states and several moves, my entire world turning upside down, and thinking I’d found a forever home and then losing it.
She was not “just a cat”, not “a pet”. At least half the time I’m pretty sure she considered me HER pet. She took care of me as surely as I did her. And I have no idea what I’m going to do without her.
I am going to be very, very drunk tonight. I found the body of my companion of sixteen years this afternoon.
(God)Zilla, my little black cat, my companion and partner and the truest friend I ever had, is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. It appears to be old age, probably sometime last night or early this morning. I just got back from taking her body to be cremated and getting alcohol (Snakebites; I considered bourbon but just can’t handle it right now.)
I will miss her, and always love her. She is the truest, best friend I ever had, and I am so heartbroken by her loss that I can’t feel anything right now.
Something happened last night that frightened me quite badly. My only protection is my habit of recording everything, making sure I have a record of everything. I’ve been trained through my entire life to do this, actually, from security to investigation to tech support to assorted aerospace operations; after a lifetime of it, seventeen years of that being paid to do it and do it well, it’s second nature.
My temper was pushed too far, finally, last night and I confronted someone who has been fishing for attention. I was told, coldly and to my face, that I was wrong and imagined it.
I was crushed — afraid that I can’t see what Is anymore, afraid that I have no grip on reality, that I’m too crazy to see anything but what I want to project. I cried for quite a while in fear and upset. I’d finally got a handle on myself again, and it turned out that I’m too crazy to see anything and can only make things up.
Except this morning… I went through logs. And reports. And carefully done detached observations. And checked with witnesses. I wasn’t imagining. I wasn’t projecting. Patterns altered in response to stimuli.
This is called gaslighting — telling someone that what they see isn’t real. This has been going on for the last two years.
It’ll take a few days of work to regain my balance, but I will. I’ve had a taste of Me again, and I need to STAY there.