Category Archives: personal

Drawing the Line (or Thinking of Me)

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I drew an imaginary line sometime last fall.

Or was it just before that?

No matter.  I drew it, even if it was in my head, and still is.

I drew the line and told myself that on the other side is what my partner Denise wants, BUT must want MORE than me.

Last summer Denise said she wanted bariatric surgery and was going to follow through.  It was her idea.

She wanted to lose all her excess weight and feel better.

She also said she wanted to be more attractive to me.

Looks and weight aren’t what turns me off about her.  It’s attitude and how she treats me and other people.

But back to the line and bariatric surgery.

We attended a seminar put on by the surgeons.  I learned some new things this time, such as diabetes being reversed after many of the successful surgeries and that they absolutely will not operate on a current smoker as the risks are way too high.

The patient must also lose a certain percentage of weight prior to surgery, which requires a pre-surgery diet.  This helps shrink a fatty liver, otherwise they may not be able to do the surgery.

Denise indicated, in her own words, that dieting and losing weight before the surgery is stupid because if she could lose weight on her own she would not need the surgery.

True IF she follows the diet for the rest of her life, but I think she missed the point they were making.

I knew from our first bariatric surgery seminar well over a decade ago that she would have issues with the requirements, mainly the foods she couldn’t eat after the surgery.

She loves her carbs and sugar.

But we still followed the preliminary steps for the surgery.  Meeting with the doctor’s office, dietitian, and the psychiatrist.

I was usually the one setting up the appointments, getting the insurance information, doing dietary research, keeping track of the paperwork, and taking time off so I can be at all the appointments.

The process ended after the second meeting with the psychiatrist, after being told some depression issues that they feel could hinder her success after surgery.  She would have to go to counseling for a while, and she didn’t and still doesn’t want to reopen childhood wounds.

Understandable, but she is also physically miserable.  She is over 300 lbs, has chronic pain, has a very hard time walking, has diabetes and severe stomach pain.

She says she doesn’t want to be fat anymore.

She is also a smoker, still, and most of her diet consists of carbs, with a good percentage of that being sugar.

If she wants to lose weight, or at the very least feel healthier, SHE has to do the work.

And she has to MOTIVATE HERSELF to do the work.

Nagging only pisses her off.

Besides, motivation and doing something just to stop the incessant nagging are NOT the same thing.

After all, I do things I DON’T WANT TO DO (and don’t think I should do) just to stop the incessant nagging.

 

I could have followed my normal pattern.  Denise wants something, and I make it happen.

However, I can’t make her bariatric surgery a success.

Denise has to make it a success.

 

 

She must want this surgery more than I do.

I can’t do that for her.

I can’t follow my normal pattern where I work my ass off to get Denise what she wants.

I realized that, and I drew the line.

Regardless of if Denise has the surgery or not, she is the one that has to decide that she is going to be healthier.

She has to determine how she is going to stop smoking.

She has to determine if she is going to cut down on sweets and start eating healthier.

She has to determine how she is going to handle her depression and feel better about herself.

I can’t do that for her.

She decides her destiny by what she chooses to do.  She has to choose the healthy actions in order to be healthier.

I can’t do that for her.

I can only do that for me.

I have taken online courses, read numerous blogs and articles about healthy eating and living.

I am cutting out sweets and a lot of sugar.  I am making things from scratch and using fresher ingredients for both what I eat and what I use on my body.   I am opting to eat as few processed foods as possible.

Denise is seeing that I am not eating the same things she is.  She knows I am buying better food for myself.

However, she refuses to eat what she considers “crap”, which means she will usually only eat the tried and true meals I cook that we know she likes.

Most of the time, that means unhealthy, carb and processed filled meals.  Papaya salad is one of the healthy exceptions, though.

In the meantime, even after only a few weeks of eating differently, I feel better.  Even without giving up my daily alcoholic beverage.

And if our unreliable scale on our unlevel floors is correct, I’m losing weight.

I’ve gained almost 40 lbs since we’ve been together.

That’s without ever having kids.

While I don’t think fat is necessarily bad–I don’t like having big boobs and a big stomach, so I’d like to lose those at least.

Mostly, though, I want to lose the fatigue and feel better.

While I’m pretty active because I have over 30 animals to care for (including barnyard animals), I still need to be more active.

I don’t make the recommended 10K steps per day, so I can do some more walking.

And so can my dog.

So for now, I am getting ME healthier.

And maybe Denise will follow suit.

After all, if she decides she is going to take action without the nagging , then it means she wants herself to be healthier more than I want her to be healthy.

And that’s the only way she is going to get healthier.

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Fighting Myself or Why I Can’t Write

origin_2965585644“We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it.
Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”  from “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield

I haven’t written much in the past 20 years, and I have been claiming that time is the fall guy.  Sure I’m busy, and having an extremely demanding, and disabled, partner that I care for does not help–not to mention caring for an average of 30+ animals for over a decade while holding down a full time job (with mandatory overtime) and running an animals rescue along with the normal daily duties of a household on a 2 acre hobby farm.  That alone is exhausting.

But I want to write.  I love to write.  Even if a post is very difficult for me takes weeks to complete, like this one.  During the past 20 years writing has only been periodic.  This past January I decided it was time to be a real blogger and blogged most days on at least one of my blogs and then stopped–I got busy and now I’m back to occasional posting.  In April, I participated in CampNaNoWriMo–goal was 10K words of a new novel, I got 2K.  Again, I was “too busy” to write daily.  However, last month I did truly have other much more pressing needs on my time, so I’m still patting myself on the back for getting 2K words of fiction written withing just a number of hours.  After all, I haven’t actually forayed into creating writing for almost 2 decades when I tried poetry and a short story or two.  But in the past, I get on a writing spurt and then stop writing for months or even years.

I do know now that there’s a lot more to it than time.  I hear from other bloggers, self help gurus, and many others that if something really is important to you, then you make the time.  If you aren’t doing something, there’s more reasons than just not having the time.

I’m finally admitting to myself that old cliche is true.

I procrastinate.  I am lazy but also exhausted.  I don’t have the confidence to share with my partner, so I write without telling her what I’m doing.  And I worry about money, constantly.  I have a million things on my mind, along with a million things to do, and am surrounded by negativity.

Mostly, though, I’ve been fighting who I am.  Trying to change myself (or at least give the appearance) to please my partner, or at least to avoid starting fights with her.

When I met my partner almost 20 years ago, I was just starting my journey to be me, show my true self to the outside world.  I was a shy person and wanted to please others, even if I didn’t believe it what they believed.  I hated that.  I hated that I was pretending  I was breaking away from the LDS Church as well, a church I joined with my mom mainly because she joined and most everyone around us was Mormon after my family moved to Utah.  It wasn’t because I believed in religion, but I felt guilty if I didn’t try and believe.  Others said it was true and that you were a “good” person if you had a religion, so I thought it was necessary if you really were a good person.  However, I strongly disagreed with the prejudices of both the people and the religion.  I have a progressive and liberal mind while still holding to the belief of self sufficiency.  Religion was a back and forth struggle for me that I had just broken from when I met her.

Denise seemed to be willing to let me be myself, and even though conversations proved otherwise, I naively thought that lesbians, especially non-white lesbians, would open minded.  My eyes opened after I moved in with her.  She was quick to anger if things weren’t her way.  And with all her talk about discrimination and prejudice, she hated specific groups of people–even with her ethnic diverse background.  I was, and still am, more opened minded than her.  I started trying to do things her way, doing most things she told me to do, and staying silent if she said something I couldn’t verbally agree with.  And she loved to spend money that she did not have, and then be angry that we were poor.

As a result, I learned to revert back to keeping my thoughts and ideas to myself.  I reverted back to pretending or keeping my mouth shut.  Only, I was no longer pretending so I’d be looked at as a good person.  I pretended so I wouldn’t be starting fights with my partner.  I pretended so that I could keep the peace.  If I couldn’t pretend to be with her on a topic, I kept my mouth shut.  I’m working to rectify that, but it’s hard when you have to do it while walking on eggshells.  This made me a bad person, particularly because I had also done some very bad things financially in the past so she can have what she wanted.

As a result, I feel guilty about it all.

For so long I have wanted to express myself, but I feel guilt.  Guilt because I am not living my beliefs, and guilt that I would be writing against my partner.  I used to journal and write letters about my opinions and what I believed in, but now I feel like a fraud if I do that.  How can I write about something when I’m pretending to do or believe the opposite?  How can I write about self sufficiency when we foolishly spend all our money and our house makes us look like aspiring hoarders?  How can I write about responsibility when we constantly bring in more animals in our household than we can realistically support and, again, spend money foolishly?  How can I write about how being positive and lifting others up enriches our lives when I constantly hear is hateful speech and how everyone else is stupid?

I feel inadequate.

Besides my partner, whether inadvertently or not, making me feel like I can’t do anything right, I also feel inadequate because I didn’t have a hard life.  Sure, my family is dysfunctional and my parents were (and are) selfish people and insufficient at parenting, but I was still safe at home.  I didn’t have a traumatic childhood and my early adult life was pretty uneventful.  Typical suburban white upbringing.  The characters in the stories I think up, my heros, though, have overcome troubled and traumatic lives.  They have lived in and traveled to cities I’ve never been.  Can I really write stories about things I haven’t experienced?  Going back to guilt, do I have the right to create characters that are taking others’ painful expderiences and hardships and not my own?

I am overwhelmed

With everything that’s always going on, and having to deal with the the scenarios I’ve written about here–I’m overwhelmed.  I’ve been overwhelmed since I moved in with my partner and there’s no sign of any responsibilities lifting.  While money troubles may partially lift from time to time, we are usually in severe financial trouble.  Our house and yard is also a mess, a constant reminder that I am not keeping up with my “duties.”  Our house, garage, and barn is full of “stuff”, mostly stuff my partner has wanted and I’m supposed to take care of.  I cannot look anywhere without a reminder of bills we can’t pay or something I’m supposed to do but haven’t.

I’m out of touch

I stopped reading and growing.  I was only learning about animal rescue related stuff or how to grow/market a non profit.  I gave up keeping up on issues I cared about because my partner and our animal rescue consume all my time.  No more reading feminist works, LGBT issues, or keeping up on alternative politics and religions, or even just enjoying a new book or mind bending movie that I was interested in.  I also gave up on vegetarianism because it just became too difficult with my partner being a meat eater and a very picky eater at that.

Taking baby steps.

So, 2015 arrived, I had enough of life as it is.  Giving my life up for what?  Nothing?  I had potential for many things before I met my partner, and I know I could have also made a financially secure life while pursuing my dreams had I stayed alone.  But since that isn’t my life, then I just needed to live for the life I wanted.

I don’t know yet if I am going to stay where I’m at or not.  Despite being disabled, my partner has a lot of abilities and can probably manage on her own, but allows herself to use the word “can’t” far too much.  I can’t change that.  She’s used that since I first moved in with her, before she even became disabled.  However, I am not allowed to use the word “can’t.”  That has made me stronger and able to do more things, but I’m now at an impasse.  No matter what I keep trying to convince myself, I keep coming to the conclusion that life will stay as it is if I chose to stay with my partner.  Despite the fact that she says she wants to be a different person and that she follows Buddha, etc, she has not shown any real willingness to change enough to give me a break, to not be constantly demanding of me and let me be me.

So for now, I just write when I can and wonder what I’m going to do from here and how I’m going to get out without feeling guilty for deserting a disabled partner and the animals.  Been wanting my own tiny house on wheels, so maybe I’ll do that and still live on my property.  That probably won’t been seen as acceptable, but it would be a new start for me.  I hope.

Going nowhere, anywhere?

Started this blog 2 1/2 years ago, and spent much time thinking about what I wanted to write since them, but obviously not actually doing it.  Granted, I am usually not in a position to write at the time I’m thinking (since I’m working, driving, cooking, or whatever), but still means I’ve left much unsaid.

What’s basically transpired is . . . nothing.  Just going through the motions, completing the daily routines, not really knowing what else to do.  No growth, and really no desire to keep doing what I’m actually doing.  Well, OK, maybe some growth–realizing that repeatedly doing things I hate doing doesn’t make me like it more or get used to it.  Same as getting a focus on what is important, and finding a lot of things aren’t important and wondering why I am waiting time and money on useless things . . .

What would I like to actually do?  What I think about, or at least write about what I think about.  Guess that’s the purpose of my post.  To at least get writing.  Get my thoughts out of my head, especially since many of my thoughts cannot be shared with others close to me.  Not that I want or seek support or kudos or anything like that, but I just don’t enjoy being told how wrong I am because my thoughts and beliefs are not theirs.  I want to express myself and be heard out whether one agrees with me or not.

Anyhow . . . just having a rambling rant to collect my thoughts . . .

How Did I End Up Here??!

I must admit that I never viewed love as the perfect “happily ever after” depicted in the movies.  Relationships are hard, just as life is hard, and that perfect ending in the movies doesn’t exist.   Doesn’t mean that one can’t be happy, just that there will be good and bad and ups and downs.

With that said, I didn’t expect at age 41 to be both the breadwinner and housewife along with caregiver of my partner (who is 49) for going on 15 years.  My partner became permanently disabled within a year of us entering our relationship and has battled chronic pain, an autoimmune disease, and decreased mobility for most of that time.  More recently, she has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (an Alzheimer’s related disease than can potential end in Alzheimer’s but will hopefully be curbed by meds).   And this week we find she could have early stages of Parkinson’s.  Needless to say, medical problems and hospital visits have long been routine and just a way of life.

As a result, I feel like I lost my voice along the way.  Long days are spend working at my “day job”, taking care of my partner and our menagerie of pets and rescues, taking care of our home, and running our animal welfare group.  When I finally sit at my computer for “me” time, I’m at a loss.  In exhaustion, I can no longer remember my prior thoughts that will express myself.   What, really, are my opinions?  What do I believe?  Am I passionate about anything anymore, or am I just a machine doing the physical tasks that need to be done.

So, here I am, finally beginning to express myself again . . . time to have my voice heard once again.