balivatn: multicolored lily in a vase (lily)
( Dec. 23rd, 2011 09:02 am)
My winter holiday wish list is probably too demanding. I do have some material things I'd want/could use, but honestly there's a lot more non-material stuff I'd like.

I'd like to not feel disposable.
I'd like for the people I love to care about me.
I'd like an apology backed up by action.
I'd like to have someone that used to fuck me act like they gave a shit about me after the fucking stopped.
I'd like to have a day where I don't miss them anymore.
I'd like all this to stop hurting.
I'd like to have friends/lovers I could talk to and trust and show weakness to without it being held or used against me.
I'd like those silly little reminders that people think about me beyond when I'm in their face.
I'd like help from friends in keeping me present and connected to the love that is around me.
balivatn: woman with hands bound in front of her (blue rope)
( Dec. 17th, 2011 05:37 am)
Have had several good experiences this month. My brain, my heart, and my body, however, are quarreling.

I still miss A and C. Even with all the crap they put me through. And I can't speak to them. I don't think they WANT me dead, but I don't think they'd be terribly upset if I was. So I get frustrated with myself for loving people who were and are so obviously disinterested in my well-being.

I'm nervous about the future. D and I might have a great opportunity, but it's going to be risky and expensive. He got offered a GREAT job that pays very well in North Carolina. But the company can't cover his relocation, and it's about 4000 dollars to move. Which we quite simply don't have. We're trying to figure out options, but it's scary. I'm frustrated I could only find a job that pays so little and can't contribute more.

And there's relationship stuff. I love D, and I'm not planning on leaving him. But I'm not monogamous. Sometimes I wish I was, because he seems to be the only person that is willing to admit he's with me. But I miss other people. I want people who love me. I want people to whom I'm more than an experiment or a sometimes fuck. I want people who will take care of me if needed and let me take care of them. I want people who will sometimes post little love notes on our Facebooks or whatever. I want people I can be goofy with, who I can just hang out with, who aren't afraid of me, who can find me attractive, who will consider the shit I've gone through, think of how they'd like to be treated, and then act accordingly. I want people who aren't afraid to admit they screwed up and have the guts to apologize and work through shit. I want people who are active in their affection for me, who don't make me have to do all the work.
balivatn: animated icon of bunny wiggling nose and blinking (bunny)
( Nov. 11th, 2011 09:17 am)
It's been a very snake-oriented week this week. It started on Tuesday, when I went to my last class of the session at one of my schools. I had brought our big lizards: an iguana, a tegu, and a savannah monitor. I was putting the lizards back when I happened to notice that there were a fairly large number of flies in the reptile room. I was worried that something had died, so I started checking all the cages. In the corner, there's a large tank that has our Dumeril's boa in it. He was curled up in the corner and looked like he had been in an accident. He was all raw and bloody and was staying very very still. I was worried he was dead, but then I saw him breathe. His cage was a mess, his hidey log flipped up, and his water dish was full of blood. It turns out the caretaker had fucked up majorly - she had given him a rat to eat, but a) hadn't taken him out of the tank, b) hadn't watched him eat the rat and c) hadn't taken the rat back out (she thought she had, and she has been torn a new asshole and is very repentant). So at some point between Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon, the rat had struck back. He had chewed the snake's back down to the fat, leaving a raw white patch down most of his back, cut him near the eye, and chewed the crap out of his tail. The tail was the worst patch - it's almost down to the bone. And you can tell it hurts - the snake flinches and hisses when you touch the tail.

Fortunately we were able to get the snake looked at, and it's been recommended that we keep his cage extra extra clean, and give him a bath in betadine solution every day. After the bath, we cover his wounds with antibiotic cream. We also are keeping his cage towards the higher end of his temperature gradient. So the bathing and dressing of the snake, and keeping his cage extra clean, is my job until his healing is done. He's going to have a white patch on his back, and his tail is always going to look funky, but as long as we can keep his injury from getting infected, he should be fine.

Apparently the caretaker has had trouble getting our reptiles to eat dead prey. I think this injury to one of our most attractive snakes may provide the motivation to have someone help her with that task. I'm willing to do what I can.

And speaking of feeding snakes, I went from giving our work snake his bath and medicine to the shelter for my medical shift. Wednesday afternoons are very different than Friday mornings. There are more people there, and it's a different vet on shift. The Wednesday vet is trained for exotics, and used to work at the LA zoo. She still helps out there from time to time, but her full time job is now at the shelter. She's an EXCELLENT surgeon, and she does the normal spays and neuters, and any more complicated surgeries are also hers.

When I got to the shelter, I found out that someone had dropped off two gorgeous corn snakes. But other than the vet, all the people there were kind of freaked out by them. I went over to check them out, and found out one had just finished shedding. He kept turning to my hand whenever I went to touch him, and I figured he'd be hungry after his shed. Fortunately, someone had dropped off a bunch of frozen mice. So I set out a frozen mouse to thaw (checking with the vet just to make sure it was a good size), and then took care of some of the other animals while it warmed up. I eventually found a spare tank with a lid, and stuck Pretty Red Snake in it. I warmed his mouse up a bit more with some hot water (we don't have great options for warming mice, and I knew I didn't want to microwave it), and then grabbed some tongs and jiggled the mouse for him. He grabbed it pretty quickly, but then took about 20 minutes to figure out exactly which end he wanted to start with. But he was full of tasty mouse by the time I left. I didn't get to feed his cage mate, because that one was still shedding and had buried most of his body under the bedding.

Fortunately, they found someone that can take the pretty snakes home to take good care of them. If I had the capability, I would be tempted to adopt them. But the foster bunnies and our kitties are enough for now. We don't really have a good place for a good tank and heating system. But the one that I fed was a gorgeous red/albino mix. The volunteers and vet staff were happy I was comfortable with the slitheries - they LIKE the animals, but our shelter mainly handles cats and dogs and rabbits. So not too many of them are used to reptiles.

Tomorrow is another bath day for work snake, and then Saturday I'm volunteering at our vaccination clinic. The vet I work with Friday and the volunteer coordinator both seemed pleased that I was going to make it. I figure all of this will be good experience for my vet tech training.

I am worried about my foster bunnies. I've been taking care of them since April, and I've had only a few inquiries about adopting them. I wonder if I should take them back to the shelter and see if they have better luck getting them a good home, but then part of me gets very sad about them no longer being here, no longer having their big cage to play in, and being taken care of but not played with or handled very much. Fiance and I aren't sure that adopting them is feasible, considering there's a big thing going on that may affect our living arrangement soon. But they are sweet, and they deserve a good home with someone that won't just toss them in an outside hutch and forget about them. I've got these fluffers trained to a harness (I only use it to let them hop around the apartment and not chew things I don't need chewed) - I don't want all this work to go to waste, and I don't want them to not have them cheated out of love and quality of life by people not thinking of rabbits as housepets.
balivatn: multicolored lily in a vase (lily)


( Sep. 20th, 2011 09:27 am)
Looking at pictures of a recent event. Noticing that one of the key players looks particularly unhappy in most of the shots (the few they're in). I wonder if the people who were there noticed (I wasn't there). Somehow, I doubt it. Or if they did notice, I doubt they care.

It's interesting and kind of sad what people don't mind losing.

Also rather sad to realize that the person I loved pretty much no longer exists. And wondering if they noticed that that person seems to have vanished.
balivatn: (pic#587585)
( Sep. 5th, 2011 09:55 pm)
There are two dogs at my boss' house. One is a 14 year old mastiff named Winston, and the other is a 12 year old mini shepherd mix named Aimee. Winston used to go to classes for dog day, but he got too wound up and nearly bit a student. So he stays home now. He lives in the back yard with Aimee and the two wolves.

14 years is very very old for a mastiff. He can see, but he can't think very well. He gets very touchy if you try to grab his collar and will lunge at you with a mouthful of not very sharp teeth if you do so (which is still scary, even though his teeth are a lot duller than they used to be). He's big and strong, but mostly just wants attention. Which he gets by leaning into you hard enough to knock you off balance. Winston has a big sore on his leg that no one can seem to fix. It's been bandaged, he's been medicated, it still hasn't gone away. It hasn't gotten infected or spread, either. But the sore and his size and his unpredictable temper - and his appearance, especially when compared with the younger wolf and Aimee - mean that people don't really like him that much. He tends to get shoved to the side so people can pay attention to the wolves and to Aimee. He's frequently found laying in the little area between the paddock with the barn animals and the main yard - my boss is doing some construction around her place, and he needs to be confined while strangers are there. There have been some people that say it would just be better if he would give up and die already, but he shows every intention of lasting for at least another year or so.

Winston isn't the easiest dog to deal with, but I feel bad for him - maybe because I'm empathizing with him a bit much. I'm also big and ungainly. I'm friends with people who are much more outgoing and prettier than I am (Aimee is a FANTASTIC dog - she's very happy and friendly and playful and obedient. I love her to pieces). I sometimes have unpredictable reactions to things, and I react when I'm uncomfortable, which has tended to scare people. I don't have any open sores on my body, but I have lots of scars on my skin, and - as melodramatic as it sounds - I still have a big bleeding wound in my heart and on my soul which isn't healing, but at least isn't infected. People tolerate me because I know other people they want to know. Dan is much more like Aimee - he's popular with a lot more people, and people will generally be over to visit him. The people I interact with the most outside my coworkers are his girlfriends/partners/friends with benefits. It's not that I think they only talk to me because they want him, but it's just... hard.

At least I don't get locked up when people are around. Although there are some people who wouldn't exactly be sad if I keeled over. Unfortunately, I seem more inclined to stick around for another few years.
balivatn: multicolored lily in a vase (lily)
( Sep. 4th, 2011 12:29 pm)
Work is tiring - and I'm not looking forward to starting to teach at one school. They've always been high maintenance, but now they're saying they don't want me to bring the wolves - ever - and they want a list of animals so they can pre-approve what I bring. I'm trying to be understanding, but it also feels like they're just setting things up so if anything DOES go wrong they can kick us out. And I'd rather not deal with them at all, but my boss doesn't feel the same way. So that's rather annoying.

Classes at the community college progress. I didn't get into the math or bio class I wanted, so my semester is mostly gen ed stuff (my previous classes were too old to transfer). An odd feeling, being at the low level undergrad again.

Personal stuff continues to suck. Not going to get into details yet, but the next week is going to be very rough on me emotionally - especially because any overtures I've made have been rebuffed, and there's no progress to be made anywhere. And I've become very tired of the phrase "take care of yourself." I've heard it way too many times as a milquetoast placebo from people who fucked up and it always feels like they're trying to say "I'm a good person, but you're not worth the energy it would take to help you, so you have to do it all on your own." Which is fucked-up and uncool.
I didn't really cry from ages of 6 until I was about 16. Apparently I'm making up for it now. Some days the duration of the crying is shorter than others, but there hasn't really been a day I can remember in the past few years where it hasn't happened.

It's going to be worse for the next few weeks, and I hate that fact.
( Aug. 16th, 2011 11:54 pm)
Have a lot of negative emotions recently. Would write about it, but... it's rather pointless, in the long run. Feeling lonely, rejected, abandoned, and worthless. Tired of pretty words.
Not having a good night. Abandoment pretty much finalized - too much other more fun stuff to focus on. Worried about new things, since the wounds from the old are still raw and apparently wanting consideration is actually wanting to be treated like glass. I thought there was a difference, apparently I'm wrong. Not surprising, seems to be what everyone thinks anyway.
balivatn: woman with hands bound in front of her (blue rope)
( Jul. 29th, 2011 06:52 pm)
Tonight the local BDSM club is having what they're calling a Femme Fatale party, with a class beforehand about making floggers. I feel a bit weird going, because of the whole gender thing. But one of the people I've been talking to is going, so I'll at least know someone. And a lot of others have recommended trying out this smaller event before any of the larger ones, so there's that. And most of the people who have broken my heart recently have been men, so maybe the different energy here will be good for me. I looked at the attending list, and there's some people who identified as men going and some people who identify as genderqueer, so maybe it'll be OK.

Most of my old club clothes don't fit - not a surprise, since it's been a few years. Trying a different look tonight - I found my black dress vest, so I'm wearing that with no shirt underneath - leaving my arms bare and a good portion of the top of my chest. I'm not indecent, but I'd probably get a few looks from people outside the club. Wearing my black pinstripe suit pants - which is a bit of a shift for me, clubwear wise, but feels pretty good. Is also comfortable.

Need to stop and get some money to afford the cover charge.
( Jul. 8th, 2011 04:08 pm)
I get it, universe. I'm disposable. Thanks for the reminder.
balivatn: animated icon of bunny wiggling nose and blinking (bunny)
( Jul. 5th, 2011 07:39 pm)
It's very odd thinking that you might have insight into some questions that people have been asking, but actually voicing those insights will be met poorly because they won't believe you. Or won't want to, which sometimes amounts to the same thing.
balivatn: multicolored lily in a vase (lily)
( Jul. 5th, 2011 04:41 am)
Stupid brain. Today was one of those days when the depression really didn't want me to do much other than sleep. So I went to bed around 2 AM on Monday, slept until 10 or so, was awake for about an hour, then took about a three-hour nap, then woke up for another hour, then slept for another 3 hours. This means that when I actually tried to sleep at a "normal" time, because I have to work tomorrow, that's... so not happening.

All my dreams have been of the strongly realistic types - at least they haven't been flashbacks or re-livings of stuff that's happened, which I guess is good. One dream allowed me to talk to Colin, which is more than is probably going to happen in real life. Although even in my dreams, I had to basically trap him in a room he couldn't leave from, and make him look at me. That's... probably a fairly realistic depiction of how that would go right now. Another involved work stuff - my boss has been through a lot these past couple of years, and relies on me more than a boss should rely on an employee. Don't get me wrong, I really like my job, but it's not a career job. There's no benefits, no stability. If I don't teach, I don't get paid. I have no health insurance. I can't stay there for a long term thing - and that's ignoring some of the basic issues I have with how the animals are kept and cared for. None of them are horribly neglected, but there's a lot that should be done to have the healthiest animals - which would make them better to take around and introduce to random kids. But it's a small company, and the economy sucks - so they get food and water and all that stuff, but none of us really have time to do tons of socializing, or anything like that. We socialize when we can, but... there's just not enough of us. And not enough money to hire more people to do that.

Plus school will start in August. I'm of mixed feelings about that. I used to be a good student, but my degrees are all from very different fields than this, so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to handle. I used to be really good at biology and science, and the vet I work with at the animal shelter seems to think I'm not an idiot, so maybe I can pull it off. But once I finish, I'll want a more career type job - at the zoo, at a clinic, hell, maybe the shelter will be hiring at that point.

I also have a lot of brainspace devoted to something else - I'm not going to go into details until I have a better idea of how I'm going to respond. It's very confusing, and I'm really not sure how the other party involved wants me to respond, if they're even in a place where they can handle a response, and what they're willing to listen to and believe.
balivatn: (pic#587613)
( Jun. 19th, 2011 02:08 am)
Could I have one night where my head isn't throbbing. I've done the shot once already this week, I don't really want to do it again. I've used up all my headache packs and my Excedrin. The head pounding means I don't sleep, which is also probably not helping with the head pounding.
balivatn: animated icon of bunny wiggling nose and blinking (bunny)
( Jun. 15th, 2011 09:44 pm)
I'm having one of those periods where there's a lot of ups and downs. At least they're not huge peaks and valleys, more like a closely knit jagged line.

The peaks normally involve stuff like my new partners, the critters, moments with Dan where I remember why I've been with him for 14 years, stuff like that. I tried making chain mail again for the first time in quite a few years - it was a box weave chain, that I gave to my new love. He likes it a lot, which makes me feel good. I've ordered some stuff from the Ring Lord to try out some different projects with. Maybe at some point this month I can get my Artfire site up and running - that'd be a good thing, since my job is winding down for the summer, and money is going to be a bit snug.

That would be one of the lows - financial issues. My job pays... well enough. It works out to just over minimum wage when we do a breakdown. But it's not particularly consistent - I've had five classes a week that I teach during the school year, but they're ending. And we really don't have anything for the summer, unless someone books a party or petting zoo. So I've been applying for jobs, but as I'm sure most people know, the economy sucks tremendous amounts of ass, and I haven't landed anything.

With money would come a better apartment. With Dan's other girlfriends and now me having another relationship, a two-bedroom apartment would be a lot better. I would also like to get rid of the giant beanbag Colin gave me - too many memories. And really, a comfy couch would probably be useful for other people as well - you can sleep on the beanbag, but as we get older, people tend to wake up really stiff.

Went to a munch for the first time in almost three years. My new guy is interested in using kink to sort of explore his own psychology, and that's an area I'm really not familiar with - or feel confident enough to do, due to my own mental issues. So I went looking for other resources, and there's a group/club called Threshold that meets every so often. So I went Monday night - basically to see if I could hold out and if I started panicking. Munches are probably the least threatening arena for this, since it's basically a group dinner in a public place.

Got a decent vibe from the people there - no one really skeezy (unlike the munches I went to in Pittsburgh). So that's encouraging. Especially if I want to bring new love to anything - he'll need me to anchor himself to in some ways, which means I need to be comfortable around these people to help him. They have discussion groups and classes, and I'll probably attend those before I attempt any sort of play party. They did say that it was fine to just go to a play party and watch, and no one would bother us (beyond "Hi are you new?"). So that's encouraging. I'm still nervous about it, but at least I got a decent first impression from the group.

And then.... there's my ex and his current. I've referred to them both as "my exes" but... she and I were never really together, so I guess that's probably not the most accurate label. I really want to talk to them, but I'm not sure how. Emails I've sent have gone unanswered, I don't know if the phone numbers I have are valid, and if they're on IM, I don't want to interuppt things, which won't help any sort of productive conversation if I'm trying to talk about serious things while Ash is trying to write essays or Colin is trying to finish a project. They don't have many warm fuzzy feelings for me, and constantly interuppting their lives will certainly not help that.

There's also the point that Colin pretty much won't discuss any of the issues, where Ash will interpret just about anything I say as saying that she did things wrong, that she was the bad guy, that I want her to take the "blame." Which... is simply not right. But it seems next to impossible to convince her otherwise. The problems I have with Ash's behavior have very little to do with my relationship with Colin ending. But if I even mention how some of the things Colin was part of hurt, then she (understandably) gets defensive about her love, and... yeah. It goes round and round and doesn't get anywhere. The counselor I used to go to moved to their area (which is funny), and when I mentioned the possibility of maybe having him help with some discussions, Colin said he didn't have the energy. And to the best of my knowledge, he's pretty much either broken off contact with anyone who knew we were dating, or has forbidden the topic in conversation. Not that I want someone else to talk for me, but I really just want some way of getting through to him.

Of course, there's part of me that wonders why I'm bothering. You'd figure the continued silence would pretty much be my answer, yeah? Why I miss them, why I want to reach a resolution or understanding... those are hard questions to answer with words. Dan mentioned that missing them has pretty much been most of my relationship life, since most of our relationship (even the non-romantic one with Ash), has been carried out over a distance. So missing them was just part of the package, really.

While I do miss both Colin and Ash, I will admit that I did focus more on Colin. He was the person I knew longest, had been in love with longest. I loved/love Ash, but never really got a chance to know her - which leads to a different feel to missing her. I won't say I miss her less, but I miss her... differently. Maybe because she tried a few more times to try and talk to me than he did, so it's not... quite as gaping a wound.

But with Colin... with him and Dan, I had a home. And considering I've never really had a home... that was a pretty big deal. And I was willing and hoping to have a home with Ash as well. So I've been fairly homeless since he cut me off. There's also just the part that really wanted all the promises that were made. That I'd have a home, that he'd be there for me, that he wanted me, that we'd get to go places and do things and I wouldn't have to rush right back out again, or hide while his family was around. And I never really got to do those, so that wound is taking a long time to heal.

As I've said to other people (and may have used here), it feels like when he cut me off, I lost my left arm. I'm right handed, so I'm not totally incapicated, but... there's still phantom pain. There's still things I can't do. And my new guy is NOT a replacement - even if things get really serious between us, it won't be the same. They're not the same people, and I'm not going to try and use him to "replace" Colin, and I'm not going to use his girlfriend to "replace" Ash. That's not fair to anyone, as that would be impossible.
My mental illness has caused me more shame than anything else because my physical issues are only hard on me. My brain makes things hard for others, like my husband. I have self-medicated when I knew it was counter-productive. I have said and done things in the course of trying to make a dark time end that I cringe when I remember it all. To be unable to regulate my emotions makes me feel ashamed because it deprives me of being able to do that which others do effortlessly. I cannot eat properly, sleep becomes impossible, even showering seems beyond me. The shame that comes from not even knowing if one has the physical and emotional resources to engage in the most basic elements of self-care, like eating and showering, humbles you and diminishes you. It also makes me full of dread because many sunny days are clouded by the fact that I know a dark day will come again. It’s hard. But again, I work through it. Some days are horrible. Some days are wonderful.

From here:

Her entry eventually is hopeful, and I'm not quite to that point yet. But this paragraph is a very apt description.
balivatn: woman with hands bound in front of her (blue rope)
( Jun. 12th, 2011 01:30 pm)
My new guy and his girlfriend have gone on vacation. They left Friday for parts unknown (they didn't have a vacation plan). Today he texts me just to let me know he's thinking about me and he loves me (as well as giving me a little rundown on what they've been up to so far).

It's a pleasant change. I had asked him to text/email/whatever if he had a chance, and not being treated like I was putting some sort of restriction on his activities is novel.
balivatn: multicolored lily in a vase (lily)


( Jun. 7th, 2011 02:46 pm)
This is the explanation for how suicide sometimes sounds like a viable option, not just to me, but to a lot of others:

""When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right; it is not a defect of character; it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources."

I've never claimed my ideations or thoughts to try and "get back" at anyone, because I'm looking for pity, or any of the other reasons that have ever been assigned to me by those who were pissed at me... the only time I've mentioned them has been when I'm trying to talk about how much I hurt, and how little it felt like I had any other options.

Quote from