Done for the Year

My emotions need a break, and I want to do things that are comforting and not the least bit stressful.

I mentioned in therapy yesterday that I am done with 2017. I’m done with work, done with social engagements and all I want to do is sleep in comfy pajamas and bake in between reading books and sipping tea. Really, in two more weeks I can do that, but I don’t want to wait two more weeks. Even a week and a half.

I think a lot of other people are feeling this. We’re done. This year was rough, there has been a LOT of trauma and anxiety and negative energy, and I want to just bubble up and pretend it doesn’t exist for a bit. My emotions need a break, and I want to do things that are comforting and not the least bit stressful. I want to do things that bring me joy and that are gratifying to others. I’ve spent so much energy trying to hold it together this year that I am depleted and in need of rest, rest I haven’t taken the time for because…reasons.

Maybe a re-frame is better. Maybe I’m not done for the year, maybe I’m done expending energy on anxiety for the year. Maybe I’m done expending energy on externalities for the year. Maybe for the rest of the year my energy will go toward positive things that bring me joy rather than black holes of negativity. I think I’ll be in a much better position to give in the new year.

Getting Me Back

Sex and dating have been the last big issues I haven’t really dealt with post-PTSD. I didn’t have to, so I didn’t, and figured I’d deal with it when I had to. Well, now I have to if I want this relationship to continue. Which I do, because Client’s Brother is an incredible surprise, and I’d like to see where we go. He knows I still have a lot of shit to work through, and he’s kind and compassionate about it. Since I have a giant question mark about my reactions to everything (post-assault I am pretty skittish about, well, everything), I have no idea what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not. I have so many negative emotions about sex and dating, and changing that is going to take time and energy that I don’t yet have available for this. He’s walking through this with me, and I couldn’t really ask for more. It’s quite wonderful.

As I’m rolling into the end of the work year and things slow down for about a month, I have some space to step away from the office and focus on myself. It’s time I really need to do this, to get ME back. I need to form different coping habits, need to resolve some background noise and pursue some things that bring me joy, things that I haven’t had the energy to pursue. As much as the recovery process is central to my life, I’m ready to move beyond recovery and be more than the anxiety and scars. I think that identity was ok for a while, and I think it gave me a bit of shelter, but I’m more than the scars and want to be more than the anxiety. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I don’t start things on Mondays and I try to avoid high-expectation change scenarios. I’d rather start something on a Tuesday in April. So no end-of-year or new year plans, just seems like the right time to push myself forward a bit and regain some of what I like about myself.

I Got Dumped…Before I Got Started?

When you ask a guy out, then he makes plans with…mutual friends?

Some friends of mine are playing a house concert this weekend, and I have been looking forward to it since the moment I heard it was happening. They. Are. Good. Soulful, they write their own songs, and the house is an acoustic environment that reverberates with magic. The last time they played this venue was Valentine’s Day, and I went alone. It was a soul-filing experience.

I met Matt through a colleague last year and he introduced me to one of his good friends, Carrie. Carrie and I get on like peas and carrots, and it was a very thoughtful connection on Matt’s part. I also think he is super attractive, so when we were at the same non-profit event a couple of months ago, I had just found out about this gig and invited him, knowing he would appreciate it (Matt and Carrie’s husband play in a really good band that stays pretty booked whenever they want to play). He said he’d put it on the calendar.

This past weekend I saw the whole crew at an event that the band played, and Carrie and I tried to catch up over the volume and the tired crankiness of her kids (I get you, kids!). She told me that they and a few other families with small kids are camping in Matt’s backyard this coming weekend, and she couldn’t make the house concert but I should come by Matt’s. Yeah! So fun!

Except I thought he and I had plans…haha. Yeah, no. But I get it, they’re friends like family, and a backyard camp out sounds so fun. Fun for them. I’m not part of the close group, and I have been looking forward to this house concert as something I am willing to share with people who I think will appreciate it, but I am not missing this for anything, and I am not driving way out of my way to go be an awkward camp crasher.

I got a couple of sweaty hugs from Matt after their set ended, and got him to introduce me to Carrie’s husband since she had already left with the kiddos. Matt had teased me about something, and I headed out when they started packing up their gear on my way to another event. I messaged him later with a further comment on what he had teased me about, just a short lighthearted comment.

No response.

People respond when they want to. They show up when they want to. If they can’t and they want to, and they care, they let you know why. My ex didn’t. A couple guys I’ve sort of not really dated since didn’t (dating with PTSD has been something I’ve pretty much avoided so far). And I have finally learned the lesson. If he was interested, he would make an effort. And he didn’t. And that’s that.

So I’m going to go to listen to musicians pour their souls out over guitars, eat and drink in a kitchen with strangers older than me, and not be sad that Matt chose not to join me. Because I won’t be missing anything, I’ll be right where I want to be.

A Beautiful Evening of Love

…they took in all of the love their friends brought for them and multiplied it into the stars.

I attended a friend’s wedding last night. It was probably the most romantic ceremony and certainly one of the most fun receptions I’ve ever attended. The brides put every bit of themselves into the wedding, and they took in all of the love their friends brought for them and multiplied it into the stars. Love was spoken, love was given and love was accepted. Their vows were so memorable and so meaningful. I have heard the standard church vows so often, heard the nerves, smiled at a little awkwardness. These women brought us all to tears with the sincerity and authenticity of voicing their commitment to each other.

I hope we who were there all hold that moment as a precious experience and a memory to draw on when we’re tempted to respond harshly, when we become angry and when shit just gets too hard. Beauty exists, and it is worth holding onto.

I was so honored to have been invited to share in their joy, and to honor that invitation I am keeping the memory close at hand.