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 birdblob, honestly just the worst
bird
 Posted: May 14 2016, 11:34 AM
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had a talk with bf about money last night and hoo boy

the cliff notes version:
  • i told him i need him to start paying rent to me regularly - something i have asked him many times before - and to pitch in for groceries (which he does, but inconsistently). previously when i was making money i told him just to pay for groceries and help with furniture costs because he was on a masters' student salary - below the poverty line here - but this was a mistake, i think, because now he sees paying me as optional. i am 110% comfortable with being the breadwinner in a relationship but it is absurd right now because i don't have a job and he still thinks i can pay for everything.

  • we had a trip planned to japan together later this summer which i have cancelled. why? because i have been paying for my apartment out of my savings, along with food, and i had to do i for another month and then he told me that he couldn't pay me next month either. if i pay for the japan trip (budgeting about $2500 CAD) then i will have eaten into a significant chunk of the money i need for school. and that's not okay! i have no safety net. my parents cannot pay my tuition.

  • the trip is part of several conferences he's signed up for, including one in alabama coming up. this is why he can't pay me rent this month. note his supervisor is paying him for the trip, just that it's a reimbursement rather than an up-front payment. and yeah, i'm not unsympathetic to the fact that students make fucking nothing here but he could have fucking budgeted because he knew this trip was coming. the fact is: i am optional to him. rent is optional to him. going to the conferences isn't optional to him (except it is?)

  • we've lived together for ~2 years of our 3.5-year relationship. he wasn't always such a deadbeat either! we were both students, we were both poor, and we rented a place together that was arguably more expensive than our place here and we made it work. for a while i was on student loans and i paid for a lot of stuff with that loan money - paying off my mom's credit card loans, paying for groceries - but at least i knew my boyfriend would pull his weight. at one point when my loan money started to run out he got a pretty brutal job at an aluminum mill just so he could contribute! one thing i always valued about our relationship was that we took care of each other - that we were both comfortable being the breadwinner at different points in our lives. it upsets me that that's not the case any more, and that i am still expected to field 80-90% of costs when i don't have a job. (i also do most of the cleaning. i did it even when i said "hey clean the apartment and buy groceries and i'll take care of rent". i hate cleaning and i know it's not that he doesn't know how or that he can't because he's done it before.)

  • re: japan - he wants me to go to japan because it's become a Save Our Relationship Thing. he's... not wrong. i'm really disappointed because i love traveling and it's something that i desperately want to do. but i need to be honest with myself: i can't afford it. and one of the reasons i can't afford it is because i have been paying for two for months. he can afford the trip because his airfare and hotel is being paid for by a grant (although previously it wasn't... and i get the feeling i would have paid for that as well).

  • one of the ways out of this is for him to take a Ph.D position at his school and make about $7k CAD more per year- which is tbh not very much, spread out annually, but he seems convinced this is the only rational solution. (this also likely means committing to a very long distance relationship for two or more years which... may mean a breakup). the other is to try and scrape by until he graduates in august and budget more aggressively (and honestly why is this a 'we' solution? my spending is not the problem. it's his) until he finds a job in september such that he can help pay for stuff when i go back to school. the job market for our field is atrocious right now, in fairness.

    tellingly, however, when i brought all this stuff up (and we've had this argument a number of times, to no effect) his first reaction is: "i should just leave"

    like wow you value living with your girlfriend, and your relationship with your girlfriend so little that your first reaction isn't "let's make this work" but "i should just leave" to... where? to a place where you will have to come up with rent money every month? but you can't do it here?

  • anyway we made up, and he promised he'd try harder and oh my god i am such a doormat

    at least this time when he started getting defensive and squirrelly about his fraught relationship with money i said something like "look, this isn't my problem and the ball is in your court. make this work, if living with me is something that's important to you". still, i can't help but feel that i'm too nice and my being nice and emotionally available means that he doesn't think there are real stakes here. i've never raised my voice at him, and he's never yelled at me. that's something i've always valued about this relationship, too.

    but... is that how you get things done in relationships? i mean, it shouldn't be. it should never be. i don't want to be like my mother, or like his mother, what with the yelling and the screaming and the cycle of passive aggression and regular garden variety aggression and the thrown plates -- but then there's that horrible thought of shit, is that what it takes for him to take me seriously?

  • still, he says he's going to make an effort. i guess i trust him on that. he seems sincere. still... the cynical part of me says that he's just waiting for me to break up with him, that he's biding his time and he won't make the first move because this free rent situation is really convenient for him.

    i hate this. i hate thinking about this.

    either way, i guess we'll see.

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bird
 Posted: May 16 2016, 12:29 AM
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And again and again I have to remind myself the whole art of life is to lean on people, to involve oneself with them quite fearlessly and yet — when the props are kicked away — remain leaning, as it were, on empty air. Like levitation.


QUOTE
Tired of doing hurt, and tired of taking it. Tired of the great cartographic project. Isn’t it a little like cartography? Meeting lovely people, mapping them, racing to find their hurts before they can find yours—getting use from them, squeezing them dry, and then striking first, unilaterally and with awful effect, because the alternative is waiting for them to do the same to you. These are the rules, you didn’t make them, they’re not your fault. So you might as well play to win.


QUOTE
Getting out of a scarcity trap first requires formulating a plan, something the scarcity mindset does not easily accommodate. Making a plan is important but not urgent, exactly the sort of thing that tunneling leads us to neglect. Planning requires stepping back, yet juggling keeps us locked into the current situation. Focusing on the ball that is about to drop makes it terribly difficult to see the big picture. You would love to stop playing catch-up, but you have too much to do to figure out how. Right now you must make your rent payment. Right now you must meet that project deadline. Long-term planning clearly falls outside the tunnel.


QUOTE
First exhaustion, then shame, then callous cynicism. Then collapse. But I'm not there yet, I'm not past cynicism. I still want to help.








okay that's enough of sadblogging

happier shit soon i swear
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bird
 Posted: May 25 2016, 12:22 AM
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HAHAHA I LIED MORE SADBLOGGING
jesus christ bm i am so sorry you have to read this shit

  


it strikes me now how many of my coping mechanisms are actually pretty maladaptive, when you come to think about it

i mean you can say "yes, bird, sure, anything taken to an extreme is bad" and "yeah duh mental illnesses never go away" but man it's a weird realization to know that nothing will fix you, and that the things you do to try and adapt better into society - the healthy things, the things that your therapist or your friends or your self-help book tell you - may help you get healthier but they will not make you healthy

like, my depression will always be here, i know that. it'll get better and worse with time and right now it's worse. and yes, my old eating disorder isn't acute any more at all but i know that that tendency is still there. similarly, my attention issues will never go away. these things are chronic; they tell you as much. they are things to be managed. i am very good at managing.

what they don't tell you is to be wary of your own coping mechanisms. here's an example: exercise is one of the most reliable ways for me to combat my depression. and i like exercise a lot - i love sports, i love lifting weights, i love carrying shit around and working with my hands and being in the woods and all that. the way i got into sports, though, was back when i was in high school i was pretty depressed and i hated being in a support group - baby bird hated talking about feelings just about as much as adult bird does - so i quit the group and joined my school's cross-country team instead. it helped! i became a pretty good runner! i discovered that i really liked being active! i mean, it's solid advice, scientifically backed; exercise boosts mood after all. but the downside was that i learned that being happy was something that was dependent on my body. imagine what happened when i got injured, and was told i couldn't do anything more strenuous than walking. and i did get injured - multiple times, and very badly; i still have to pop my kneecap back into place sometimes. similarly, i was utterly destroyed this year when i got a concussion. imagine how that was amplified each time because my social networks became dependent almost entirely on my athletic life. imagine how easily you could take that message, and turn it into an eating disorder.

imagine being older now, but with two bum knees and trying to shake all of that. imagine reaching into that well because you're depressed and endorphins are supposed to help, right? and what if one day you're working out and it doesn't make you feel better any more?

even now, i get angry at myself for being weak - not just emotionally, but physically. being physically strong is important to me because it's some kind of manifestation of strength in every regard -- if i'm strong enough on the outside, the fallacy goes, the weak squishy insides will follow. after all, isn't every fitness circlejerk all about how it's really all about determination and willpower and so on and so on and so forth? yeah, that's fucking bullshit. tell this to your bros on reddit: being buff or strong or athletic will not make you a better person, and it will not make you more capable. i mean maybe it will if you get some fulfillment out of it on a personal level but there is nothing intrinsic about it that does that. and nobody really cares about these things except for you, because they're too busy working on themselves. but i digress.

here's another maladaptive coping mechanism, maybe: one of the things that your therapist will tell you when you are socially anxious or depressed is to really consider what other people's motivations are, to be empathetic, to never ascribe to malice what you can ascribe to stupidity. they're not out to get you, it's going to be okay, that sort of stuff. solid advice. like, think about these things that this person said -- maybe they were just stressed, maybe they had a bad day, maybe they have a hard time articulating their feelings so they lash out. for a while, this helps. and it's a much better way of living, i think - we could all stand to be kinder to one another. but continue long enough down that rabbit hole, though, and you never really know how to get mad when you need to get mad, or you start excusing all the things that hurt you. if you could only understand why someone is doing this thing, then maybe it would work out. but you can't see inside someone's head, no matter how much you convince yourself, and you can't pin your hopes on there really being no malice in the world. also, often it doesn't matter why someone is doing something. not if it hurts. but try convincing someone like me of that.

or, when depressed, sometimes you'll be told to remember that this feeling isn't forever. to remember that your brain is making you sad, that it isn't real. honestly, it's pretty good advice, especially when things get acute and serious: you can survive this minute. you can survive the next one too. but, then, doesn't it follow: you don't actually have anything to be sad about, do you? your sadness is bad brain chemistry. your situation isn't insurmountable. understand: this is an illness. if you were to take the correct cocktail of self-help advice and SSRIs surely your sadness would disappear.

man, i don't know where i'm going with this. i'm actually not doing too badly, all things considered.

i'm just frustrated. i used to know how to help myself. why can't i help myself?



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bird
 Posted: May 25 2016, 12:26 PM
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ANYWAY


bf update: bf is being preternaturally helpful - making food, cooking, trying to plan nice things again.i am torn between being appreciative - and i am, of course - and being like THIS STILL DOESN'T HELP ME FINANCIALLY

bf is also out of town right now for another week, currently visiting alabama after a long train ride through the south. he's sent a bunch of emails and pictures and -- man. i don't know if it's because i wish i was there with him, or if i just miss seeing all these new things together again the way we used to. that used to be a thing for us - we're geologists, after all. we were mapping partners, academic partners (and rivals) -- we did everything together. we were partners: that's what it felt like. shit, we had adventures together. that was the whole point for me, i think -- going to a beautiful place one day and realizing that it was so much better to discover it with someone else. now he's having all the adventures i wish that i had - that i wish we were doing together. he's just as happy doing them on his own, probably; he never needed me. he was right, too: going to japan probably would have saved our relationship.

right now all i want to do is be anywhere else. i want to sell my shit and buy a bunch of train tickets. i want to put all my shit in a backpack and go somewhere new. i want this more than anything but i know that i can't do it - financially, emotionally, physically. and i know that if i did go alone, it would be the same as being alone here: crippling, numbing and lonely.

i'm also a little jealous, not gonna lie. christ, the bayou is green.
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bird
 Posted: May 26 2016, 02:27 PM
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dear bm blog i am operating on zero sleep so none of this will likely be coherent but i have news

the good news
  • for the first time this week i did Normal Human Things: i bought some food, went outside and spoke to other human beings. i also cleaned my apartment and got organized and talked to an old NYC friend again. i feel so pathetic for being proud of that but no, seriously, this is a big deal for me right now: i am so barely functional these last few days it's actually hilarious. like i can't get out of bed kind of non-functional. so yes, i want a fucking sticker.
  • i also survived a talk with my mom about My Life and My Choices, which is a fucking herculean endeavour. brief synopsis is "BUT MOM WHAT DO I DO?" "I DON'T KNOW HAVE YOU TRIED NOT BEING SELFISH? WHAT IF HE'S YOUR SOULMATE AND YOU REGRET EVERYTHING? I'M GONNA CALL YOUR AUNT BECAUSE SHE'S FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE BECAUSE IT'S CLEARLY BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT BUDGETING YOUR MONEY CORRECTLY" which hahahaha kill me
  • also on the bright side i'm volunteering in a fundraiser trivia competition tomorrow night with a bunch of teachers and adults and high school kids. it is harder than you would think: precocious teens are really fucking good at trivia. last year my team won; the year before that it definitely didn't. in any case i will not let my title of TRIVIA QUEEN be usurped by some little whippersnappers. wish me luck.
  • anyway after MomTalk my aunt called, and was pretty hilarious about it. my aunt by the way is also an accountant, and incredibly fiscally smart, and basically the yin to my mother's yang in almost every way. my aunt is also likely the only reason my family has not gone broke with our wanton terror of OH NO WHAT DO WE DO WITH MONEY. anyway, this was my first year filing taxes as a person above the poverty line and around tax season the software i downloaded kept crashing on my dinosaur of a laptop. so i decided to do it by hand, and my aunt caught wind of it and found this hilarious ("you... realize i can do this in twenty minutes at work, right? just give me the receipts, i'll take care of it"). anyway. so i gave her all my paperwork and all my forms for it. and when my mom, being my mom, let slip my financial stresses to my aunt (and obviously played it up into a greek tragedy), my aunt calls me to laugh about it, check if i was okay, and then casually drops a "oh by the way, when i was filing i noticed that you didn't claim any tuition credits! so i checked and you still had most of them, so i went back and added them back in. just thought i should let you know in case you were worrying!"


    i have never been so glad about doing math wrong

    so if everything goes well my return may actually be much more than i previously expected. like almost an order of magnitude more?? like i might still get to travel this summer and still be able to save a really fat chunk of it kind of more?? even if it's not true my aunt is a fucking hero.
the bad news
  • my aunt is also getting surgery next week on a mass in her breast. it probably isn't malignant but both my mother and i are terrified. in fairness, for many women this is not necessarily even bad news! many women have lumpy breasts and from what i understand this is more a preventative thing. but it's scary because she did have pretty serious breast cancer some years ago that she had to get both chemo and radiation for. it was brutal for her. so i am doing my best not to be my mother and be cheerful and chipper and matter-of-fact pragmatic on the phone because i know that my aunt hates dramatic shit above all else. but... man. she's been through the wringer once. i'm so scared for her. (my aunt, in case you were wondering, went "oh, okay, they don't think it's malignant, i'll just book it on a day off" and my mom left her sixteen voicemails shreaking "HOW DARE YOU DO IT NOW! DO IT RIGHT THIS SECOND!" which... she's not wrong but uh

    the appointment's next week so
    worry clock starts now

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bird
 Posted: Jun 19 2016, 03:26 PM
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my mother is in the hospital and my aunt has cancer again

fuck this.
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bird
 Posted: Jun 20 2016, 11:24 PM
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mom is out of the hospital and recovering and feeling better.

the last appointment with aunt has been good too. prognosis looks significantly better after some of the scans came back. still not out of the woods yet though.

terrifyingly, with my mother out of commission i have become the most responsible person in my family. which is bananas. also fucking CHRIST that's THREE RELATIVES in various states of medical crises since, what, april? i have spent more time in hospitals and emergency waiting rooms and cabs over the last three weeks - and really the last two months - than i have doing just about anything else. it wouldn't be so bad - honestly, i have so little to complain about, all things considered (we got so lucky, i keep thinking) but i'm an only child and unemployed so i am pretty much the only person who has the capacity to do any of this. which, you know. it is the good and right thing to do and i am fine and capable of doing it.

but then there's the other thing. in the midst of this i am somehow magically supposed to figure out a way to navigate the system sans insurance and get treatment for myself -- which, frankly, i don't have energy for. after sitting around for hours with my mom in emerg i can only conclude that attending to my piddly little mood issues is like rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

in the meantime, i can compartmentalize. i can batten down. i can and will fucking deal because fuck sitting around and arguing with my piece of shit GP to prescribe me some medication (which has helped me before) instead of sending me to $200/hr therapy (which hasn't, and i am not covered for). it is not something i have the will or energy or desire to stomach. fuck this 'wallow in your bullshit and talk about it for hours and somehow magically feel better' shit. if i go sit in a room with a stranger and cry about my weak-ass feelings i will feel worse and i will feel guilty and i will feel paralyzed. and also i will feel broke because that will be paid out of pocket.

anger and stubbornness and pragmatism has gotten me everywhere talking about my feelings has not. if serotonin can't help me, rage probably can.

anyway in happier news, mom IS feeling better. she got to go home. going back to work in a couple of days. we still don't know what's wrong but before she was in so much pain all she could do was throw up and not even fucking speak. today she's a little weak but otherwise okay. i went home.

and i fucking decorated:

user posted image


take that piece of shit universe and existential despair
my living room looks fucking dece and there is nothing that you can say about it.
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bird
 Posted: Jul 31 2016, 07:53 AM
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oh bm, bm, where have i been:
  • japan! japan was great. tokyo is fantastic. what a place. what a city. spinning coins with the waitress at the izakaya and telling ridiculous jokes. taking a nap under honeysuckle trellises. the enormous, beady-eyed ravens, and the carp as big as your leg. turning down an alley and finding tiny shrines everywhere. walking down the narrow streets of yanaka, the neighbourhood that time forgot, that survived the firebombing, that survived earthquakes. trying sea urchin for the first time, or eel liver, or drinking shochu at a baseball game and clapping along with the brass bands that the fans just bring along with them in the stands. marveling at how green chiba is as it slips slowly by the shinkansen window. watching flying fish skip over the water, or climbing up to a roof to see the city literally shine from horizon to horizon.

    what i would have written if i had written this entry when i got back: "the only thing i regret about going to japan is going with my boyfriend". then xander mentioned that annoying chick with the cambodia/boyfriend blog and i lol'd and was like HAHA OH GOD WHAT HAVE I BECOME

    but anyway: at the time, it turned out that after i landed? after having to spend nearly 300 bones on getting an emergency passport? he hadn't gotten paid. not his fault - actually a fucking asinine bureaucratic bout of dipshitery - but he had no savings and no credit card. he spent the money i had given him to pay for the hotel, and there i was, in a foreign country, paying for literally everything. wanting to do things and not being able to, or saying "fuck it i'll do it anyway" and paying for everything. in japan. then, the multiple nervous breakdowns -- the "maybe you should just go by yourself" vs. "maybe, but that isn't the point of this trip" arguments.

    asking myself: is that the point of this trip?
    asking myself: is this what it's going to be like?

    (i budgeted for this trip back in january, when i still had a job. i am happy i had the money set aside for it, but i also did not think i'd be paying for two people. in japan. FOR EVERYTHING. hurp durp.)


    anyway. the nice thing about traveling is it gives me a sense of purpose. a clarity, i guess. this is best when solo mapping, out in the woods (which soothes my adhd like nothing else -- there's nothing like juggling the nitty-gritty of map-making and geology and topography and half a dozen other simultaneous streams of information while simultaneously focusing on how to get down that ledge, and how to stay alive, and what's beyond that rise all at once to make the constant static in my brain just fucking shut up) but it works just about anywhere that's new. i like who i am when i travel: i am efficient with my time, happy to seek out happiness, at ease with myself in a way i never am at home, where i sit around and wait for the next responsibility to attend to. at home, when financial bullshit happens - and real talk, it will happen if you are involved with a grad student and/or you are the breadwinner and/or your partner has never had to think about money in his life before - i am accommodating. i say things like, okay, what do you need to get through this? how can i help? meanwhile, bird on a trip? kind of a bitch. but in a way, i was kind of proud of myself. being able to say: listen, i am here to have a good time and i paid a lot of money to be here. i am not going to suffer for your bad decisions. i am going to have fun and you can come with me or not, but you're going to deal with it because i don't have time to.

    yeah, i know. either you're saying "you need to be less of a pushover" or "you need to be less of a bitch". or "that's what you call being a bitch? seriously? you're a grown-ass woman, grow a fucking backbone). i vacillate between all of these constantly, though most of the time i wish i could be a colder and more ruthless person, that i didn't just replace my childhood fear of speaking to people with my adult fear of disappointing them.

    and hey, in tokyo? it worked. i had a really good time. it was a good trip. it weathered three teary-eyed nervous breakdowns (not mine) and we both still came out all smiles.

    and then i got back to toronto, and my aunt had to have her second breast cancer surgery.


  • so yeah, then that happened. things seem okay right now, but we're not out of the woods yet. and it was exactly as terrifying as you would expect, and i will spare you the details of it, because, hey, that shit is completely not about me and probably not the sort of thing i get to complain about or expound on. i just sat in a chair. signed forms. made jokes about the decor. none of that is more noteworthy or important than, you know, actually being operated on.

    i did realize something after that, though. maybe a week or two later. as much as i hate it when my parents dump a bunch of shit into my lap while simultaneously gaslighting me and telling me i can never hack it on my own, as frustrated as i was earlier this summer with a host of shitty friends coming to me with their problems while never being there for me, while i whiled away the summer in at least thirty or forty hospital visits in the past few months alone ... there is value in that, in a way. with my family it feels like a default: "oh, jenny will take care of it', because i have to, because i am already not good enough and so if i do something remotely competent it somehow comes as both an incredible surprise and an unbelievable let-down. my aunt, though? my aunt is tougher than whatever carbon tube wonder-substance the material scientists will think of next, and when she calls me up and says "hey, can you please come" instead of her husband, as i later find out (her husband is a shit) -- that has a kind of value too, i think.

    when friends i haven't spoken to in years suddenly break their silence just to dump a recent heartbreak or mental health crisis in my lap, that has a kind of value. i don't know how i give people the impression that i am their best friend, and that i can handle it, no matter what it is -- but i do, somehow. my visiting friend informs me that i just "have that kind of face". someone else tells me in a complete non-sequiturt this week: "look, i know we aren't close but... if i needed to bury a body, i'd come to you." SUPER

    i don't understand the logic of it but, somehow, i guess there are people in life that will always get the free drinks, and there are people in life who just always end up settling the tab, or with dumping a few drunk asses in a cab, or talking down the ornery bro in the corner, or holding hair back while someone vomits. the shitty teenager part of me sometimes screams at this: why the fuck can't i make mistakes sometimes and have someone else pick up the slack for me? who the fuck is going to help me when i am hurt? but hey. that's okay, too. that's not worthless.

    i don't want to make this sound like i have some kind of saviour complex -- i guess it probably does. i hope it doesn't. all i mean is that as shitty as i feel about myself? people trust me with shit, and not the trivial stuff. i wish it was more reciprocal but -- i'm okay with it now, i think. you don't get to choose the way people express their affection, or their respect -- and maybe this is the kind that i get, for some weird fucking reason.

    it's not the worth i want, but it's a kind of worth, anyway.

dance break
  • after point 1 about japan you probably think bf is a major douche and i admit, things are still rocky. however, after we got back dudebro went out, finally got a credit card, finally got his finances in order, started budget tracking, started a TFSA and a sensible saving strategy, and gave me post-dated checks to pay me for both the rent he missed and half of the money i spent while in japan. i have very low expectations for relationships, and men especially. i literally expected none of this.

    i still have reservations: is this what it takes, every time a major change needs to happen? six months and a crisis? but he's trying, and that's actually (maybe sadly) more than any partner has ever done for me. (and i have had a lot of partners.) i am... impressed, in a way. maybe things are going to be okay after all.


  • i still can't write. i have the words in my head and then i type and i feel like my head is full of nothing but static. i still cry if i talk about it too much, as if just talking about it reminds me that i can have emotions about it. i still get exhausted after being around people for too long. but a friend is visiting, and i have spent all week being social with many people. going out and drinking, talking, being a person again. going to the gym even though i've been scared to. it's been long enough that it feels like walking on crutches, but i've had more good days than i've had bad days. and after few long, strained conversations with my mother we're slowly getting back on the same page again.

    usually, i have to be careful not to drink too much in times like this -- not the times i'm depressed, but the times i'm crawling out and learning how to be around people again, because i basically never drink alone out of principle. but that's been okay too.

    and the other night, a cab driver turned a shitty night watching an old friend decay into something uncrecognizeable into a two-person mobile bhangra dance party. racing through downtown, music blasting, windows rolled down. sticking my head out the window when it started raining like a dog or the drunk white girl i am. forgetting to remind myself that i am alive and here for a moment, and somehow still managing to be alive and here.

    it's okay, you know? it's okay.
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bird
 Posted: Jul 31 2016, 03:50 PM
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she's not wrong
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bird
 Posted: Aug 8 2016, 08:51 PM
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today:

a post-operative checkup after my aunt's surgery, which was supposed to be the last surgery ever, at the checkup that was supposed to confirm the positive prognosis we were told about less than a month ago, reveals additional malignant tissue that no one can explain. malignant tissue that wasn't in the CT scans a month ago. to top it off, the doctor managing my aunt's case is increasingly turning out to be kind of incompetent, and the last time my aunt had breast cancer it pretty much destroyed her fucking life.

and here i am. what the fuck am i here for? what the fuck do i possibly have to offer?

optimism can go suck a hairy asshole. i need a drink.
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bird
 Posted: Aug 8 2016, 10:45 PM
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edit: oh hello 2:00am crying jag, you showed up half an hour early today. i sure do love it when water leaks uncontrollably from my face for no discernible reason.


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elliot knows what's up.
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bird
 Posted: Sep 22 2016, 12:26 AM
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bird vanishes again, 2016. or WHAT THE FUCK, BRAIN? pt ?? of ???

man, barbermonger, i really am the worst. i feel like i need to do a blanket round of apologies to everyone i have ghosted on all summer/year. but hey, i'm back? i guess? i was slowly getting better all through july and august. actually i was doing great! interviews and grad school apps and new friends and socializing with old ones. and then somehow a family trip and some family stuff sent me into a tailspin so bad that i am just sort of now crawling out.

which is hilarious to me because, like, why the tailspin??? why??? i don't get it. it's amazing to me how things i don't even perceive as that stressful in the moment fucking wreck me so much. like, even when i'm good sometimes i need a day or two to recharge but this is frankly just ridiculous, and anyway even then i bounce back quickly enough. (and routine helps too, of course. i love routine. i feel so good when i sink myself into a punishing schedule like what i used to be capable of: the early morning practices to late night gym sessions to homework, the work to the three hours in the gym every day. all of that. i keep trying to do that again, now. i feel in control when i manage it, at least until i inevitably crash for a day or a week or so.) but now the crashes get longer and longer, and the stressors that cause the crash get smaller and smaller. (perhaps predictably, the family stuff is the worst.)

what puzzles me is these things should be fun. sometimes they even are. and yet afterwards, after a few weeks of eating well and exercise and social contact, or after a few social engagements ... i end up crashing so completely that basic things like eating or sleeping become next to impossible. i cannot stress how weird and terrifying this can be sometimes, like: conversations seem to happen like they're playing on a tv in another room. basic things i should remember (and shit, i have always had a fucking excellent memory) are just gone, when i reach for them. i sit there looking at words i've written as though i can't entirely remember what language they're in. and sure, everyone needs a netflix day or a day to ignore phone calls but -- fuck, this isn't me.

so: slowly. i have to do it slowly. the krav maga classes help: they're social, and the constant punching and getting punched and exhaustion makes it a little easier to remember basic things like, oh right, i have a body that feels things and has needs -- getting thirsty, sore knuckles. i couldn't do it for a week or so because i was essentially a vegetable but i'm back now. meanwhile, i try to read. i water the plants. i'm eating three meals a day again, when i remember. i'm getting better. i think? i think.

anyway, enough about my stupid brain! it hasn't all been shit. here's the highlight reel: i turned 25 a week and a half ago! that should be exciting and later maybe i'll write up the shitshow that that turned out to be. the guest instructor at my krav maga class this week is a former soldier and military police officer who now trains, like, elite bodyguards and special ops teams, and i have never met a more simultaneously genial and terrifying human being in my life. my aunt is very tentatively cancer-free!!!!! and, as a birthday surprise, my boyfriend helped fix up the balcony.

life is good. it's good, i promise. i just sometimes forget how i connect to it.

but hey, i'll get there.
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bird
 Posted: Dec 4 2016, 09:02 PM
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a russian dad rock interlude
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bird
 Posted: Dec 9 2016, 02:53 AM
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posting this here because i just got home from a bar and i am reminding myself to blog something i guess

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bird
 Posted: Jan 20 2017, 03:48 AM
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how things change. reading back a few months here feels like reading my embarrassing middle school diaries. two months later feels like ten years; i feel older, lighter, braver now, a stone finally dislodged from a kettle in a river, a snake peeling out of its skin.

that comic above is stupid. i did grow after all.




know this ---

there was always a kindness in you that i respected; a kindness you never had to ape or learn, a kindness that came to you as easily as breathing. loving you was like coming home. you were a log cabin with the fireplace roaring (and you would like this analogy; you once spent days dreaming about the type of wood you'd make our future cabinets out of). you were warm and safe through the worst of winter, and it was freezing when i found you. i fell in love. i stayed.

but i stayed too long. over time, i grew to resent the tight quarters and the isolation of the forest roads. i paced frustrated tracks into the floorboards. i daydreamed about other places: exuberant villas, slick city lofts, studios overlooking bustling cafes. when spring came, the warmth became stifling. i grew restless picking your splinters out of my palms.

i left you. i am not coming back. but in leaving, i realize now how much i will always love you, how grateful i always will be for you. how, when i left you, i did not have to set the house on fire around me. how i did not even have to slam the door. how grateful i am that you let me shut it gently, to whisper a farewell over the threshold and touch a kiss to the doorjamb, to leave the key under the mat before trudging out into the snow to face the road unknown again. i could not have done that without you: i never had your grace.

i still have every note you ever wrote me. i don't know how to explain that to my friends, or even to myself, but i promise you that it doesn't hurt to look at them, even though i can understand if you had to tear apart every doodle and love letter i left for you. i don't regret anything, looking at them. all they remind me of is how lucky i was to have been known and loved by you, and how much i hope to always hold that love in my heart.

and i am grateful, too, that i am strong enough to carry it now.

thank you for everything.

i love you.

goodbye.
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