Live Action Sexual Harassment

Dear Internet,
It started out innocently enough.
I was standing outside of a karaoke bar with some friends, when an obviously drunk guy invades my personal space, got into my face and said, “Can I ask you a question?” I said sure and he asked how I liked his football jersey. I replied I had no comment on it. He said he liked my shirt and wanted to know if I would take it off for him. I said no. He said how much would it take for me to take it off. I replied a million dollars. He said he didn’t have that much and wouldn’t I just want to take it off for him? Again I said no, and as I was speaking started inching closer to a male friend of mine who was near me. A girlfriend who was also with me interjected and said I wouldn’t have anything to wear if I took off my shirt. Drunk guy gestured to his jersey and said I could have his jersey in trade if I wanted. I again replied in the negative while by this time, standing so close to my male friend I could feel the fabric of his clothes on my bare arms. Mr. Drunk got distracted for a brief moment and I took this as my opportunity to get the fuck inside. Bouncers figured out what was going on and started steering the guy into a waiting cab.
This all took place under the span of five minutes. Probably even less.
I’m in California for a conference; presenting on sexual harassment with the emphasis on being a woman in technology, a primarily male dominated profession. The irony of the exchange above is not lost on me.
The rest of the evening took a dark turn in my head. I’ve been in a really great space for a few weeks now and I’ve been enjoying this conference immensely. While this is the first conference I’ve attended in a long time solo, meaning I had no obvious conference buddy or TheHusband with me, I’ve not been alone. I’m seeing a lot of old friends while meeting new. I am pissed that out of all the obvious places for this could have happened, it had to be here.
Getting sexually harassed is not a new thing to me and I would argue it’s not a new thing for any woman. But in that scant amount of time, this jerkoffs attitude towards me stripped me emotionally naked and for that I am angry. I was made to feel like an object of someone’s whim, someone who could have hurt me, someone who felt I could have been bought for a few dollars. Someone who took away my power as a person.
In the beginning of the evening, the hours had flown by but now, the rest of the evening slowed to a crawl. Several of us were game on closing the bar down but all I wanted was to get back to my hotel room and protect myself. I tried to shake off the fact perhaps I was overreacting – I continued with the facade of happy go lucky: Guinness was still consumed, I still sang at karaoke, and to the world it seemed like nothing had happened but internally, I no longer felt like me but a piece of meat being appraised, valued, and reappraised again. To Mr. Drunk, who will have forgotten it by the morning, it was probably nothing. He was drunk. He didn’t mean it. He was not that type of person. He’s a married man.
Excuses will be made, by him. By me.
Once I made it safely to my room, I stripped down and took the hottest shower possible. I scrubbed myself several times over and brushed my teeth so hard, my gums were almost bleeding. When I get back to Michigan, I’ll probably throw the shirt away.
Being overly self-aware, this stripping of power by Mr. Drunk has accelerated the feeling of fragility. I’m clawing to not feel anxious, to not feel exposed, to not feel sub-human. He obviously doesn’t know my story – because why would he? I was just a random woman who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But I know my back story, I know how I struggle with my own emotional boundaries, and all of the protection I have worked so hard has now been weakened, my borders are compromised. I start to question how even my most benign of clothing choices became the object of his attention, his needs, his wants.
Some are going to read this and think,”What’s the big fucking deal? You were at a bar, some drunk asshole was a dick, you weren’t hurt physically. Get over it.” But that’s my fucking point, it IS a big deal. This has NOT been the only instance of sexual harassment that’s happened since I’ve been here. Shortly after I presented on my panel, I was out with a group of people, many who were at my panel. Without fucking fail, several of those in our group spent longer than necessary staring at my rack. Yes, I do have a nice rack. It’s pretty apparent I have a nice rack. But when I’m sitting there having a conversation with you and I’m watching your eyes flick from my tits to my face and back again CONSTANTLY as we’re talking; when it becomes clear you’re not really paying attention to “me” but the aforementioned nice rack, then any respect I’ve ever had happened for you has been stripped.
As it was, so it will be; this will be fodder for future panels, for examples and illustration purposes. The cycle continues.
xoxo,
Lisa

Of broken bricks and forgotten combs

 

My view of the ocean from the Monterey Marriott.

Dear Internet,
Despite all the scrupulous packing (and re-packing) and organizing, I discovered upon my arrival in Monterrey I had forgotten a comb. Now granted my hair is short and doesn’t really need a good brushing, but as the gods willed, if you forget something that may not have been that big of deal now it becomes a massive big deal later. Thankfully I was able to make my way to Walgreens before my world collapsed from 3″ strands of hair not being properly sorted out, which could have proved disasterous.
I’m in Monterrey, sitting in a Starbucks around the corner from my hotel on my one day off this week. Tomorrow kicks off the conference in full gear, and I wanted this day to be one of me time and relaxation as I knew as the week wore on, the conference would wear me down. While my energy levels have reappeared since I came off the lithium, I’m more conscious of personal space and needing to escape into my own world for awhile before any major social interactions are going to occur, even more importantly when there are large groups of people I do not know.
I arrived in Monterey after a very full day of traveling, which started at 8AM EDT and ended at 5PM PDT, which mainly included my hopscotching my way around the US.  As I was checking in and getting sorted, I ran into one the panelists who will be presenting with me, and his partner, both whom graciously invited me out to dinner.  After the hopscotching around various airports, I was delighted to get a chance to get a bit of a stretch around the area before heading to bed. We had dinner on the wharf and I was so determined to have my bit of vodka and Guinness, which I made happen, before anything else occurred. By the time the evening wore down, combined with jet lag, travel lag, and other wordly lags, I was hoping to fall asleep when I got back to the hotel and make it a fairly early night.
But nothing is ever really that easy as the fates again decided I had not sacrificed the correct amount of virgins to satiate them as not only was I not able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, I was wide eye awake starting at 7AM local time despite the alcohol consumed the night before and coupled with jet lag meant I was running on 5-6 hours of sleep.
I laid in bed most of the morning, pondering what I was going to do for the day while watching terrible reality television that I seem to only care about when I’m not at home. I caught  an episode of SECRET PRINCES, which turned out to be the pilot of the second season. Later, I gleefully regaled my breakfast companions the background stories of four unlucky in love royals who came to America, Austin specifically, to find love while undercover from their true identities. The whole show is a bit daft, of course, but there is some kind of glee about these bumbling fish out of water experiences that I can view like Margaret Mead, except all virtual and not with binoculars in the grass.
The rest of the day has been lazy, walking around the downtown core and grabbing coffee to keep the energy going. The weather, and as one must always talk about the weather when travelling, turned for the worse, I ended up back in the hotel earlier than anticipated because sitting in a coffee shop with my back against the drafty window is neither noble or smart and the outcast seemed to huddle on rain for the rest of the day. It was like I had never left home.
I decided to use the rest of my time to work on personal and work projects, only to discover my charging brick for my MacBook Air is dead, which explained why some of my other devices were not charged this morning when I grabbed them on the go. Here I thought the problem was with the room outlets but that is turned out to not be the case. Even with next day shipping, I missed the window to get a new brick to me via Amazon tomorrow as it won’t show up until Tuesday and I’m leaving ungodly early (4:30AM) Thrusday morning fot the airport.  Thankfully I brought along my iPad, so the laptop will only get used in extreme emergancies while I mainlined everything else elsewhere.
I had some cause of worry for this trip, not of the conference or the people I was going to see, but the worry of my own behavior the further I get from my last dose of lithium. The same week I was first drug free, I was hit with PMS enough to cripple me and the mood swings enough to remind of all the 100s of reasons I wanted to be on mood stablizing drugs. Once that was over, and my inner world was smooth again, I’m finding myself feeling much more of myself than ever before.
I am desperate to not let this be a manic episode stemming from coming off the drugs, but it’s difficult when I’m only sleeping on 4-6 hours a night, I don’t get catch up sleep when I can sleep in, and I seem to exist on zoom the entire day with very little caffeine. The crash will come, there is almost always the certainy with that, but I’m praying to whatever will listen to not let it be so terrible that it is crippling and more importantly, I can have the forsight to be self-aware of it as it happens. It seems like a lot to ask, but if the drugs are not helping then I need something to guide me through the uncharted spaces to get me back on track again.
x0x0,
Lisa
 

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: October 26, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
 
Dear Internet,

Writing

Ephemera – Prose Companion to The Lisa Chronicles

Short Fiction

  • in stereo

Watching

Weekly watching: AtlantisHomelandMasters of SexElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivorDownton AbbeyBoardwalk Empire, Doc Martin, QIPeaky BlindersThe Newsroom, Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries

Links

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010

 

Indy, Chicago, Chicago, and Chicago: The Packing Lists

Chicago, October 2013.
Chicago, October 2013.

Dear Internet,
I’ve been remiss in keeping up with my packing lists for various travels this summer and for that, I apologize. As I’m flying to a conference in California this week, it seemed like a good idea to get you updated on how my minimalist packing project is going. I’m pretty pleased on my accomplishment so far as I can make it work for a weeks worth of clothes solo in the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. The goal is to get it to two weeks.
In April, I went to Indianapolis by car and Chicago by train, both for conferences. In June I was back in Chicago for another conference (travel by train) and earlier this month, TheHusband and I went away for a long weekend to Chicago (also by train). Whether alone or packing for two, my Tom Bihn Aeronaut has been a damned champ!  While we had splurged for the extra duty cross body strap, I found that I really liked the backpack straps when I’m flying about stations and terminals. I keep the cross body strap inside the bag just in case.
The one change I did make was swapping out the Tom Bihn Imago with a Rickshaw Medium Zero messenger bag. I needed something slightly bigger and with inside pockets. Luckily for me, Rickshaw had a 50% off flash sale on the Zero so I splurged on getting the coveted bag along with two modular zipper pockets. I was also able to get, at no extra cost, a longer cross body strap (I need something roughly 50″ or longer due to my tallness; most cross body bags run between 42-46″). I love this bag to pieces!
When TheHusband and I went to Chicago a few weeks ago, we were gone for four days/three nights. I packed the Aeronaut for both of us, and I also brought my Rickshaw bag to hold electronics, books, etc as well as a purse for me.
Here’s what I was able to get into the Aeronaut (this does not include what we we were wearing on our person):

  • Three pairs of jeans (two for me, one for TheHusband)
  • Cardigan (me)
  • Two hoodies (one for me, one for TheHusband)
  • Four pairs of underwear each
  • 2 pairs of socks (me)
  • Bra (me)
  • One pair of shoes (me)
  • Pajama bottoms (me)
  • Skirt (me)
  • Button down (me)
  • Eight t-shirts (roughly half for each)
  • Toiletries

When all was said and done, we had enough clothes between the two of us to mix/match for five or six days and with toiletries to boot.  Back when I had long hair, the number of actual toiletries to bring was significantly less than what I carry with me now, which of course makes packing problematic when flying. For my trip to California, I bought solid shampoo, body soap, and lotion to open up some space in my quart bag. It never dawned on me to go solids for a lot of my beauty care, which is actually pretty brilliant since they do not count towards the 3-1-1 rule.
My biggest problem with toiletries is getting the right bottles/jars for the job as sometimes the products marked for travel are too bulky. For example, my regular sized bottle of make-up remover is 2 liquid oz while not technically travel sized is under the 3 oz rule, but I’ll use maybe 1/4 of an oz during the course of one week, so why drag the entire, ill shaped bottle with me? Same with body lotions and other goops. As we don’t have a Container Store in my vicinity, I searched through dollar stores, Target, and other like stores for purchasing various sized travel bottles and jars in small quantity for my trips. As I couldn’t find anything under 3 liquid ozs or at least a variety of sizes under 3 ozs, I went to the internets and found this: a travel bottle and jar set. As I require a lot of goops, creams, and potions to maintain the lifestyle I’m currently living, getting this set will allow me to get more bang out of my space. Experiments with using only one type of lotion for everything or going without something has proven I don’t do well when missing beloved items.
In the accouterments area, I took my Air and my iPad on my most recent trip to Chicago, along with my 3DS, phone, journal, pen case, and a paper book. I also carried a purse with me which proved to be more hindrance than useful, and resorted to using a favorite clutch everywhere we went. The Air was overkill as I had thought I would be getting some work done at the hotel or on the train, but circumstances were not in my favor that weekend. While as a to-go machine, my iPad (along with its leather keyboard case) is pretty durable for doing some work but there are some things that do not translate well and that mainly has to do with how a lot of cloud services and websites handle rendering for a mobile device, even if it has a 10″ screen. But again, as I’ve done for other trips, I tend to over pack in this area with the thought I’ll do X,Y,Z and either do not make time for it or forget to do it or something else.
I’ll be doing a run through pack before my trip on Saturday, and I’ll report back on how that goes.
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003

a drink that gives one courage

Street graffiti, Rome, circa 2005.
Street graffiti, Rome, circa 2005.

 
Dear Internet,
Benadryl is a cruel and demanding mistress.
TheHusband and I dove into chocolate bars last night, rescued from the cabin this past weekend when we cleaned it out for the winter, with the intent of having a late night snack. TheHusband, his will and stomach of pure iron, was fine. I, on the other hand, started going to into allergic sensitivity mode: My throat started closing, I started scratching, and I was trying not to panic.
In hindsight, I SHOULD have used my EpiPen, but I doubled down on the Benadryl and waited for it to kick in before making any formal decisions, my throat started relaxing and I eventually fell asleep.
This is not the first time this has happened to me, but it is becoming more frequent. Some of it is my own stupidity: Eating a milk chocolate bar when the first ingredient is milk fat or having a slice of Chicago style pizza, but others times it seems overly innocuous when eating a candy/spiked water/crackers/chips where milk/whey/lactose are so far down the list and ergo in minute proportions I don’t even think it would be harmful but yet. Yet here come the symptoms and the signs, and the double dosing of Benadryl.
This is the second time in a month I’ve called in sick due to the effects of my stupidity: Eat something I’m not supposed to, start early stages of anaphylaxis, drug up to cure it, and surrender to whatever effects the drugs give, and then fall asleep. I slept 12.5 hours after taking the Benadryl last night, waking up long enough in the morning to email work I wasn’t coming in and then I was back down for the count.
I always feel so off and surreal when the drugs empty out of my system, not quite 100%. Hell, not quite 50%.
Two years ago I revealed my diagnosis of my dairy allergy and for the better part of that time, I’ve been mostly good. Lately, I’ve gotten fast and loose on what this allergy means when I’m starving at work, nothing is open except the vending machines, and I want some kind of crunch. Hello Doritos. When there is no repercussions, then, of my indulgences  or if the repercussions are small, I store that bit to remind me it could be okay to eat Doritos/spiked water/whatever again.
According to my allergist, the milk protein is so fragile, that being able to eat pizza makes sense since there is so many processes into making it while eating ice cream, which is hardly processed, sent me into various sick modes. Why eating chocolate cake at a restaurant was fine, while eating bars of chocolate is not.
It would seem most prudent then to stop eating/drinking/using anything that contained milk in any forms or context, which means going back to being strict even with non-food stuffs.
I never want to go through this again, Seymour. Never again.
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 20082008, 2008, 2003

weekenders on our own, it’s such fun

Dear Internet,
It wasn’t until the day was almost over that I realised today was a pretty perfect day.
I was intent on waking up early this morning, hopefully naturally, so I could spread out my day in larger chunks rather than waking up at noon, zombifying it around the house until I realize it’s almost 5PM and then it’s time to get ready for the week.  Nothing ever completed, nothing ever done, not even relaxation. The almost insurmountable stress of trying to do ALL THE THINGS in a short amount of time while feeling strangled with reproach.  There is always some residue guilt of not having done laundry, waxed my ‘stache, vacuumed the house, or the million of other chores. Somehow this week I wasn’t feeling that pressed to get much done chore wise other than swap the sheets on our bed and I felt totally okay with that.
I got my wish for an early rising when one of our smoke alarms started chirping it had a dead battery at 730AM. Not too ungodly early, it seemed, and instead of rolling over and hoping it would magically die on its own, I woke up and got ready for the day. And by getting ready for the day, I mean put on my glasses, yoga pants, and stealing one of TheHusband’s hoodies when I took the dog out for a walk in the drizzly mess outside and not taking it off when I came back into the house.
TheHusband, who was grumpily complaining he did not want to wake up at some inhumane hour while the alarm continued to annoyingly chirp, was fixing the broken alarm when I came back from the dog’s morning constitutional. We foraged for breakfast, which was simple since we had thrown boxes of Yummy Mummy and Count Chocula into our grocery basket last night. Coffee percolated, bossa nova on the home stereo, some kind of vanilla concoction candle lit, and I settled on the couch to read the New York Times.
Four hours of near vapid article reading later, coffee was consumed, toast nibbled, and paper tossed into the recycle bin, and it wasn’t even noon.
With my afternoon free, I opted to do some organizing on the site and work on some back-end work, which I did while catching up on podcasts. When was the last time I sat down and really listened to a podcast, more importantly, for longer than say 30 minutes? Months maybe, if not years. I was able to plow through five or six of the BBC History podcasts, putting me firmly now in July 2013.
I had no plan on mind rather thinking I’d start cleaning up some of the broken links, several consisting of near full nude of pics of me from the past when I was getting photographed for my earlier tattoo work and a NSFW pic of my very spanked behind. The images are not going to be easy to find — the content of the pages, tags or titles doesn’t lend itself to the images at hand. Consider them easter eggs linked somewhere in the nearly 700 pages on this site. Happy hunting.
(I remember the spank picture, hysterically so, for it was taken with an analog camera on a roll of film that had everything from pictures of flowers to sexy time pics. The boyfriend at the time was near lunatic thinking the processing place was going to turn in the images for their content or refuse to print them. Neither of course happened and I have both the images, complete with very vivid date stamp, and the negatives still on hand. Ah, the momentary discretions of youth.)
TheHusband had started slow roasting a roast beef dinner this morning (which ended with smashed sweet potato/squash and amazing green beans for sides), which was filling up the house with delicious smells. For the rest of the afternoon until dinner, I plugged away at cleaning up broken links, adding new to the site content, and whatever other miscellany the rabbit hole took me. Including a link to TheHusband’s 1997 Geocities site.
It is becoming increasingly clear I need to set up a plan of what work I’ve got up and how it is formatted as well as a more concrete path. I came across a folder today I had forgotten about, while cleaning the broken links, containing works written for the web but were not blog pieces but more prose and flash fiction. I ended up scrapping a few of these that were already up as blog entries, turning them into pages to make the work consistent, and viola! A new section, Ephemera was born. Stylized as the prose companion to The Lisa Chronicles, this contains pieces that were written as mainly non-fiction creative prose rather than a diary entry as well as some earlier flash fiction I had written for contests and the like. Most of this stuff hasn’t been up for a decade, and a list of the works added will be on this weeks Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes, so please do keep your eye there.
Dinner rolled around, which was delicious as almost always (the one incident of TheHusband adding corn to chili has kept me on guard on his cooking for the last few years), and by 6PM, I was back to finagling some more back-end work on the site and mulling over other ideas.
I did have plans on doing some fiction writing today, but I got so wrapped up on getting the site back-end cleaned,  but time just slipped by.  And for once I do not feel guilty about losing that time, for finding that trove of written work I had forgotten about was a brilliant replacement. Now the question is – what to do with it?
The day meandered slow and steady, there was no rush, no plan, no agenda. TheHusband and I, and of course the hate-pooping dog, just went our own ways, meeting up in the hallway or in one of our offices for stolen kisses. Neither of us bathed, brushed our teeth, and the bed was only made because I changed the sheets. My desire to treasure the day, even if the day glossed over with the seemingly mundane and the wink of a cliché, was a success.
x0x0,
Lisa
 

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010, 2003, 2003

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: October 19, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Dear Internet,

Writing

The Lisa Chronicles

Watching

  • Vicious
    An ITV series starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a gay couple who have been together for nearly 50 years and enjoy a love/hate relationship with each other. A short series, only six episodes and each episode 30 minutes long, I knocked this out in no time. Campy? Yes. Predictable? Yes. But the banter between McKellen and Jacobi is glorious. Thrilled to find out this has been renewed for a second season planned for 2014.

Weekly watching: AtlantisHomelandMasters of SexElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivorDownton AbbeyBoardwalk Empire, Doc Martin, QIPeaky BlindersProject RunwayThe Newsroom, Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries

Links

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003, 2003

Subscriptions now working

Ladies/Gents:
If you have subscribed to either of my blogs (exitpursuedbyabear.net or lisa.rabey.net) via email OR have left me a comment via the contact form anytime since MARCH (I know, crazy) — you were not subscribed AND I did not get the comment. Turned out there was a bug in one of the plugins which wasn’t sending people subscribe emails or me the comments. It’s now been fixed! Go forth and subscribe/comment away!

in the forever now

Dear Internet,
This morning, in between telling TheHusband to continue smacking the snooze button so I didn’t have to quite get up, I watched the sun rise from our bed. Half propped up on pillows, for about 45 minutes I just watched the sky change from brilliant red to a deep orange to a medium pink and finally fading into lemonade yellow. I thought of nothing as I watched but I was also struggling between being fully awake and the call of dreamland and our fantastically cozy bed. When I was close to being 100% lucid, I enjoyed the spectacular sight that was ever changing in my window until I had to absolutely, positively had to get out of bed.
Ages ago when I was hopping on and off Weight Watchers, I remember in the beginning one of the section leaders giving a lecture about personal love. Not just sexually, but remembering as we struggle with our challenges, regardless of what they are, to always do something for ourselves which can be as tiny as reading in a hot bath with favorite scent in the water to buying a new THING or could be on a much grander scale, like a trip or a large purchase.
The point being is to always remember to love you.
A few years later when I started dialectical behavioral therapy, much of the same concept applied — you need to create a room, a space, a THING to soothe you to bring you back from the edge of whatever it was you were feeling frantic about. This is kind of the underlying architecture of DBT, with the idea of changing one little thing and creating a safe haven for yourself can create a whole new world.
This is something I think everyone struggles with regardless of the state of their mental health; the ability to actually say to themselves in the mirror, “I love you.” And mean it.

——————–

The weekend had a potential, much potential, which at least gave me some breath of hope. I’m now on day 4 of no Lithium and so far, I feel okay. The worst of the side effects, with the Lithium and the tapering off, have passed. I don’t feel like I’m floating, face up, under water as much as I have been. Even if the days are not extraordinary, the more the drugs are emptied from me, the more hope for them to become extraordinary increases.
I’ve started collecting moments of the day to create touchstones to reach back to when things start getting rough. Watching the sun rise in bed, smiling randomly at a stranger, a particular outfit that works well, or writing a random note to someone just because. If I create a fortress  of these touchstones, then nothing can stop me as I battle this disease, this taker of life.
And I will win.
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010, 2008

we were all waving flags

Street words on the side of a church delivery door.
Street words on the side of a church delivery door.

Dear Internet,
This morning I cried because I couldn’t put on a pair of shoes.
The inability to put shoes on is not an uncommon thing, but it is a frustrating one. Over a year since my first surgery and six months after the second, I still unable to fit anything beyond flip-flops or Chucks on my feet, with the occasional foray into a ballet flat. This is made even more difficult as my right foot post-surgery is now an 11.5W while my left is a 10.5B.
I’ve been piecing out my shoe wardrobe to keeping only what fits or I absolutely positively love rather than keep everything. While I was never really a heel girl, even the ones I own and loved are almost useless to me at this point and into the pile they go. A recently purchased and rather expensive pair of flats I got at 75% off, talked into buying them via a beloved shoe courtier who silkily promised they most assuredly would fit, turned out to be a “thank fuck I did not buy these at full price” mistake. Several wearings indoors per their instruction and then the eventual public airing of the shoe found they were, after an hour or two, almost unbearable. How a pair of flats could cause so much issue with my feet is beyond me. I do not blame the shoe courtier for the pressure because they do fit at slip-on and comfortably so at that; I blame my feet for their rebeling at being fashionable.
My current obsession is finding a pair of dress boots that are flat heeled (more due to height than comfort) and can accommodate my tennis calves and odd feet. Boxes have been arriving from various vendors for me to try on — funny how I never thought of the shipping of shoes from Zappos and the like to Throbbing Manor to be similar to the receiving of gifts from my subjects but there you are — and again, the frustration at mismarking and advertising of wrong sizes and widths is causing more stress. Last winter, after the first surgery, TheHusband counted I had purchased and returned a dozen pairs of everyday boots before finally finding a pair by happenstance at the mall.
The crying this morning was not simply over the fact my shoes don’t fit, but more about this bottom of this often never ending and seemingly black oil pit I find myself in. Yes, it sucks I couldn’t wear my walking shoes to go on a walk and had to opt for flip-flops, but it’s not the end of the world. Yet to me, it was and also rather symbolic of everything going on in my life.
As I continue the tapering down of Lithium, in fact today is the first day I’ve been Lithium free, my moods have started shifting like a radiograph, even more rapidly in the last week. I started bawling yesterday reading Facebook and then proceeded to go into a several hour depression that quickly, and shockingly, emptied me of life. The black clouds descend so quickly and with such force, I felt powerless. TheHusband spent a couple of hours walking me through my feelings, which continue to be a catalog of everything I feel are to be truths:

  • Nobody loves me
  • Everybody hates me
  • I will never be happy
  • Everyone leaves me
  • I will not amount to anything
  • I will have never accomplished X,Y,Z
  • I will never have the kind of life as seen by X,Y,Z
  • I am too old
  • I am too young

This has been the same laundry list since I could remember keeping track of all of my demons.
TheHusband got me calmed and by bedtime I felt relatively able to sleep with peace. This morning however, when I woke, the black cloud was back and circling with a vengeance. Since we woke at mid-morning, the sun had been up for several hours and our bedroom was bathed in light which was even more depressing.  This blinding happiness depressed me more as the idea of staying shut in all day while the day glowed like the summer. Toss up: Stay indoors and become more depressed because everyone is seemingly having some kind of life, the world looks shiny and new OR go outside, even against your will, to at least experience what it feels like. Which will hurt more?
TheHusband made the executive decision we were going to walk Wednesday and then talk a walk ourselves. Chop-chop, wash your face, put on a sports bra and let’s go. He tempted me with treats from a local bakery conveniently located around the corner from our house if we did at least a quick jaunt around the neighborhood. Instead, we found ourselves roaming farther and longer, and the quick jaunt turned into a four mile walk in flip-flops, which ended with breakfast at a local place and some Gerbera daisies for the dining room.
We made half-heartedly plans for the afternoon, but found ourselves hiding in our offices while I read and wrote and TheHusband played video games. I was also opposed to the idea of having to put on pants for some reason, but that is not a black cloud thing, that is more of a sensibilities thing. Because, well, pants.
On occasion there will be days where I’ll get a glimpse of happiness, where I know that even at the darkest hour there will be a snap and things will become stable again. That as is before, as in the future, and as is the now, I will climb out of this slick pit of despair and change something. It’s hard to remember the positive in your life, when you’ve gotten so used to the idea that happiness is fleeting. HOW DARE YOU NORMAL PEOPLE HAVE HAPPY LIVES? Which is why I cry at Facebook. And stalk some people’s lives online because I find it so fucking hard to believe someone could legitimately be happy. SURELY, they must be faking it. Or projecting it. Or something. The world is unreal, ergo, what I am seeing is also unreal.
It’s hard to remember not everyone is like me, that feelings are felt and gone so fast, their tail is often the only reminder they are there. It’s hard to remember often what I’m seeing in other people is really a projection or a sum of their life, I don’t know everything going on in their world. All I do know, their happiness reinforces my lack of having any. It’s hard to remember a trigger by something sending me into a spiral, should not be reinforced by swimming in that sea.
And even harder to remember, no matter how prickly I may be, I am not unloved.

x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003