Confused and Confounded

I am making one of the biggest changes of my adult-grown-out-of-school life. A new job. It’s a celebration. It’s awesome! It’s incredible! I am bouncing off the walls excited for Monday morning.

Everyone who ever sent a “hang in there” message as I struggled with my old job; who congratulated me on getting my new job; and who rejoiced with me on my last horrible day, you are all amazing and wonderful and I love you.

When I’ve crawled into bed these last few days, I’ve just felt like even thought things are going so well and moving in the right direction for the first time in ages, something’s missing.

Someone.

I really want someone to share this with me.

My friends and family have been incredibly proud and happy for me and we’ve celebrated but what I need now is still missing.

It funny because of the last year I’ve wished for some one by my side many times, mostly to help shoulder the immensity of my illness. Someone to hold my hand when I get bad news or take care of me when I’m sick but this is the first time I can think of that I want someone by my side to share in this overwhelming happiness.

So right now, I’m so happy I’m sad. Truthfully, I’m just lonely. It’s the big things that remind you, you’re by yourself.

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In Four Dates Or Less

One of these days I’ll figure out this dating thing but that time was not over the last three weeks – sadly.

I met someone online like one does these days. Not expecting anything but being pleasantly surprised after our first afternoon of sausages, dirty duck fat fries and a movie. He was funny in an off beat way; polite; gentlemanly; and all the things a girl can hope for the first time she meets a guy. Later that evening both of us revealed we’d wanted to extend that first date but didn’t really know how. Good start.

Daily texts and an invite later I found myself at a church (if you know me, that says something. No it was not a service let’s not get crazy!) but I got to see a side of him that I’d heard about but has to be seen to truly understand the passion he has for it. Drinks with some of his friends afterwards then the fateful goodnight. Screwed that up. No kiss. I wanted to be kissed and he wanted to kiss me but apparently once again we couldn’t make that happen. Mixed signals.

On our do over the next night we had a kinda forced kiss right outside my apartment. I never told him but he looks pretty damn sexy in his motorcycle jacket and glasses. It got better as the night went on. Private jokes were made. Silly conversations were had and really good sex.

Then last Friday we had our best and last date. Full of lust, and dinner, and a nice walk by the river. Dare I say it might even been a tad bit romantic even if we were having some absurd conversations and threatening to throw to throw each other in the water (ok I threatened him). The night ended and I went to sleep with a thoroughly satisfied look on my face. Woke up the same way.

A few quick texts in the morning and on with our respective days.

I spent the day with The Film Guy having brunch, discussing the mess that is his life and watching the worst Brendan Fraser movie ever made. Truly. As I was leaving I checked my phone and there were a few texts about the previous night and then he asked if he it was alright if he went on a date with someone else.

Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? I have so I can attest that’s pretty much like what reading that text felt like.

Backing up to when we’d started dating we’d talked about dating other people. I’d agreed it was fine. I’d actually been thinking all day how I wanted to talk to him about maybe taking other people off the table but I never brought it up and now here was that text. Slapping me in the face.

What happened next is what not to do when two stubborn people with different emotional baggage (me with abandonment and trust issues and him with emotional commitment issues) run into a problem. Passive-aggressiveness is never the way to go and yet the two of us were backed into our corners taking swings.

I said let’s end it and go on the date – after all you can’t hurt me if we aren’t together (though I was already hurt). Then as he said I kept trying to negotiate back from there. The last thing I really wanted to do was break up with him but I got scared and all defences went up and that’s how I reacted. I think we both thought we were trying to talk it out but I swear everything I said or didn’t say made it worse. I told some ugly truths about myself, which he construed as me trying to explain away all the issues he had with me and what I’d done. We tried that for two days and then he said he just couldn’t. We shouldn’t date he said and that was mostly that.

It came down to him believing that I would never trust him – he has a busy schedule, etc. – and that somehow I’d be crazy about this thinking he’s always with someone else. Now I won’t pretend I don’t get jealous – we all do – but I have never kept tabs on anyone that I’ve dated or slept with. I’ve never been that girl. Don’t want to be her and if someone made me feel like I had to LoJack them I probably need to break up with them. The other issue as he saw it was that he couldn’t trust what I was saying. After all I’d changed what I wanted from our relationship in the space of a week.

I couldn’t/can’t see his issues as things we couldn’t get past if we’d wanted to but the way we beat each other up for two days took a lot of the shiny niceness away from what I thought we had. And I guess ultimately when he said he was already looking elsewhere so what chance did we have…that was pretty much the nail in that coffin.

So I’ve learned that I can end a relationship in four dates or less.

Four dates is now the record I have to break with my next relationship.

Always err on the side of caution because you never know if you’re going to really like someone in a week. Better to seem kinda clingy and insecure from the get go than leave the possibility open because that ladies and gentlemen will come to bite you in the ass.

I realize there were a few mistakes I made, some that were thrown at me in our two day text war, but some that I just realized on my own and it made me wonder how do people ever get dating right? I mean really? Is it easier if it’s the right person? Is there some secret that no one has shared with me? At this point I’ll pay for dating lessons.

I’m far from perfect. I come with a European travel set full of baggage. I think I have a handle on most of it but there are some things, some actions and reactions that just bring out every single fear I have and send up all defences.

I ain’t even mad – I’m more disappointed. I don’t really like people all that often and things never should ended up the way they did. C’est la vie I guess.

Hopes for 2013

This is where I was last year…

I can’t help but laugh because if I don’t laugh, I will cry and I may not stop.

Once again it’s another new year. Another chance to make a change and to get control over my life. What this year has taught me is that you can plan and want and need changes to be made but sometimes those things are beyond your control. Sometimes all you can do is be dragged along for the ride.

2012 was the year I was diagnosed with RA. Nothing and no one can prepare you for that.

My hopes for this year are simple:

~ A pain-free day. 24 hours where I do not have any pain – not a headache, or a stomach-ache or sore feet or knees or ankles or hips or hands or shoulders. I just want one in the next 365 days. Surely that’s not too much to ask.

~ I hope I can let go of all the anger I feel. I am stuck between anger and depression on the Kübler-Ross model and sometimes angry depression.

~ I hope this is the year I get a new job. The lack of understanding, compassion and challenges in my current role are making me unhappy.

~ I hope I will have the resources to move to a better place, one I can call home. The space I’m currently in still feels transitory after 2 years here.

~ I hope I can get a puppy.

~ I hope I can meet some of my favourite online people in real life.

~ I hope that I finally figure out what makes me happy.

None of these things are impossible and none of these things are guaranteed. I will do my best.

Bringing (My) Sexy Back

Finding my way back hasn’t happened overnight. There have been stages…oh so many stages:

Revulsion/Disgust
Emotional distress
Anger
Fear
Force
Denial
Avoidance
Desire

And that’s where I’ll start. Just over a month ago I was texting with a Twitter friend and suddenly the conversation became a lot more flirtatious and quickly became sexual. For the first time in months my brain wasn’t freaking out. There was no adverse reaction. My body was aroused and I enjoyed myself.

My friend didn’t know (well he will if he reads this) that night helped bring back my desire. Something stirred in me that I was relatively certain was never coming back.

The next day I called Paul and we had phone sex for the first time in months. Before my rape, we’d been trying to get time together to consummate the flirting and driving each other crazy that had been happening for years. That came to a grinding halt last September. To say he was pleasantly surprised was an understatement, as was I.

I realise now that sexting and phone sex were safe ways to start exploring my sexuality again. I could be aroused in a safe way. No one was touching me. No one could force me into anything. The distance with my “partners” made these modes of sexual expression ideal as a way back to sex.

Still while enjoying other people’s words and fantasies through my phone is lovely, I want more.

On my second date (which I need to write about) I made out with a real live person. He was practically a stranger to me but we were in public and he asked me very politely if he could kiss me before he did. Asking for my consent before he kissed me or touched me in any way went a long way to making me comfortable with what happened that night.

So my desire is back. I want to be physical with someone again I’m just terrified about putting myself in the position where I might actually have sex with someone. That day is getting closer and there is a possibility it could happen in the near future. I want to be ready for it but I’m not sure I’ll ever feel fully prepared for it.

OkCupid Diaries: The British Guy

When I went back to therapy a few months ago now I heard myself saying words I didn’t know I had in me:

I want to get back my life. I want to get back my sexuality. I want to get back my ability to trust.

Even as I was saying it, I knew it was true. I’d given my rapist too many months of my life, living in fear of meeting new people, of venturing outside my apartment and beyond work.

I’d lost so much that night.

Deciding to date was a big step.

First up the British Guy. I remember wanting to throw up as I was getting ready. I was worried I was going to send myself into a panic attack because I was getting so wound up. After quite a few deep breaths (and reassuring and supportive tweets, texts and emails) I made my way to the cute little French bistro we’d agreed on.

I was early, as always, and as I sat waiting for him to show up, I thought about leaving. Just going home and calling the whole thing off. I didn’t. He showed up, looking quite attractive and I’ll admit I was wooed by his accent. *swoons*

I normally don’t drink on first dates for all the obvious reasons but this time, I shared a bottle of wine with BG. It was delicious and it helped to loosen me up. I was far more relaxed after the first glass…and then it was all good from there.

He was quite eager to talk about himself and I have the uncanny ability to listen and sometimes even talk without revealing anything about me. This was one of those nights. It wasn’t until dessert was ordered that he actually stopped talking and pointed out that he didn’t know anything about me. I asked what he wanted to know. He decided to start with the one thing I wasn’t really prepared to answer – why I hadn’t dated in months. I could have said anything at that point but since he had just launched into his, “I’m-never-getting-married-again-don’t-know-if-I-want-to-make-space-for-anyone-in-my-life” speech, I told the truth. I said I’d had a bad experience where someone I dated took advantage of me. For the next 10 minutes he kept saying, “oh dear”. That was awkward and I realised I’d said too much. It was an unfortunate way to end the evening but over all it was a win.

We left the restaurant. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, which didn’t cause me to meltdown or freak out. It was actually lovely.

I went out, with a relative stranger, and it was ok. I was ok. I was safe and secure. It allowed me to gain more confidence and to try again. So while we haven’t seen or really spoken to each other since then BG has played a big part in my trying to be social again.

IBS and Me

Just over three weeks ago now I completely overhauled my food intake and my diet. I wish I could say that this was simply about vanity or the need to lose weight but really it’s so I never almost poop myself again in public. Let me explain:

Back in October the Gay BF and I were taking a road trip to Montréal. Everything seemed hunk-dory. We were on the 401 in the middle of no where when I said it, “I have to go to the bathroom NOW!” We had recently passed a rest stop and another one was at least 45 minutes away. The nearest exit was 20 km from us. I started to panic considering that my lower intestinal track was indicating that I did *not* have 20 km before this situation was going to get disastrous. I tensed every muscle in my body, I started to sweat, my head was pounding and I couldn’t speak (I was terrified to take my focus off not soiling myself & the car seat). I began to worry that I would soon be pooping in the ditch beside the 401 (keep in mind I don’t camp and I’ve never even peed outside before). The Gay BF was chuckling at first, I’m sure I was quite a sight but when I informed him the potential existed for me to sully his car, it stopped being so funny. Finally there was an exit and the promise of a Parks Canada park a few kilometres away from the highway. We stopped at the first place we saw, a motel with a store. I walked up and almost cried when I read the sign that said no public washroom but I went it to try to beg anyway. The owner wasn’t having it. She did direct us to the park just down the road. By this time I am visibly shaking, my muscles are screaming from the tension and I am fully convinced I am going to poop my pants. We get to the park and I leap from the car before it stops dashing towards the washrooms when two men standing by a sewage truck inform me they have just closed the washrooms. I was *this* close to just letting go in front of them. Tears are in my eyes and the one man tells me there is a washroom just up a trail. So I speed walk, too afraid of what running might do at this point. I get to the icky, bug covered outhouse and I start to paper the seat but I didn’t have time. Crying, shaking and pooping on that dirty, cold and wet outhouse toilet – I lost it. My entire body was heaving and contracting. 20 minutes later I emerged. Still crying. Shaken. My insides feeling raw and unsettled. While that was the worst of it, I also blessed the kinda gross bathroom’s at Smoke Meat Pete’s with a visit before we made it into the city proper. All in all. That road trip was disastrous.

I tell you that story so you can understand how and why I’ve made all these changes. That day was the line in the sand for me. I’ve had IBS-D  at least since my early 20s, maybe earlier but in the last few years it has become so problematic and disruptive to my life. I’ve grown use to eating something and heading to the bathroom 20 minutes later. It’s just the way of my life. Earlier this year my doctor gave me medication which is supposed to slow down my spastic colon so I don’t have the urgent feelings. It helped but still it wasn’t enough. After that road trip I knew I needed to do something more. This is where Google saved me. Looking up IBS diet lead me to the FO(O)DMAPS diet.

FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs is an acronym for

Fermentable
Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galactans)
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose)Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose)
and
Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt) (1)

I read that and said, “huh?”

But the more I read, the more I came to understand that perhaps there were a lot more factors influencing my IBS than I thought.

Then I found a list of foods and it started to make more sense. Going gluten-free and lactose free seemed difficult at first but I was also amazed to find out that my tummy wasn’t a fan of foods that are *supposed* to be good for you.

FODMAPs Checklist 

So after getting through the holidays, I bit the bullet and emptied out my kitchen. All the gluten, all the lactose, all the fruits, veggies and prepackaged crap was either given away or thrown away. So for over 3 weeks now I’ve been baking my own gluten free muffins and bread. I’ve been eating much cleaner. Trying to stick to acceptable foods (there are more than what’s on that list). I ordered 3 cookbooks. I’ve been cooking. nothing fancy but satisfying and tasty meals. It’s been a costly endeavour but my Tummy and improved in a way I could never have imagined before.Yes, I still get a little discomfort now and again – it’s not perfect – but if I eat something, I’m not immediately looking for the nearest washroom anymore.Relief.

(1) http://shepherdworks.com.au/disease-information/low-fodmap-diet

Good Days

Note: I actually wrote most of this post the first weekend in November, while riding a bus on my way to the Playground conference. Between extreme laziness and not feeling connected to what I’m about to post here, I just didn’t get around to putting in on my blog. For the most part it’s no less true today than it was when I wrote it. 

This post has been a long time coming.

I have lost track of how many “good days” I’ve had. I was keeping track on Twitter for a while back but I lost count. I. Me. The girl who suffers from chronic depression; who has so few real life friends; who spends her time alone; who was raped a few months ago; who has faced job uncertainty; who decided to tackle her financial situation head on and yet somehow through all that, and more, I have been having good days!

I’ve been seeing my therapist and made a lot of progress in dealing with my guilt and shame surrounding my rape. I am still wrestling with self-forgiveness and channelling my anger towards my rapist (I have actually given up on trying to be angry with him. I have difficulty feeling and expressing anger with others.) I’m still working on me and getting myself to a place where I can cope with my feelings.

On the job front, after my year-long contract expired and my boss looked me in the eyes and offered me nothing but another six months. I lost it, in a manner of speaking. The next day I dragged myself into work and did nothing. My work ethic generally forbids that kind of behaviour but I spent the day organizing my inbox, tweeting, chatting and generally not working. I was a giant black cloud of frustration. So I talked to my boss. I was teary and emotional. I explained that after busting my ass for the last year for her and the company I was more than disappointed that no one saw fit to reward me in any way. Then I asked for the rest of the week off. My boss, the Director of HR is generally unflappable but she was shaken by our conversation and my desire for time off. I know the decision about me didn’t lie with her but I was voicing my displeasure loud a clear through my actions. I’ve known since last March that my boss wants me to stay, that she sees a future for me in the company’s HR department going forward but so many other factors were making it difficult to convince the higher-ups that making me permanent was necessary. So I left work Tuesday night not really knowing if I’d just shot myself in the foot or what my next step would be. I spent the rest of the week at home indulging in self-care. Now I didn’t do this as some kind of stunt that’s just not who I am. I was emotionally unable to handle that situation and go to work and pretend that my work and my worth to the company hadn’t been undervalued. I called my boss on Thursday to let her know that I would be in on Monday and that I would take the six month contract extension. In my mind, I was fixing up my resume and getting ready to make an exit from the company at a moment’s notice. Much to my surprise on Monday morning by boss offered me a full-time permanent position with a slight raise and benefits. I was elated I love my job and my co-workers (the exception being my counterpart who has returned from maternity leave but that’s another post).

So while I’ve been struggling and having moments of hurt and frustration I feel calm, in control and strong these days. I can’t explain why but I’m much more sure of myself.

Am I Polyamorous?

I guess from the outside looking in – I must be. But I’m not sure I embrace polyamory at least not the way it’s assumed by most people.

I’ve read The Ethical Slut and I’m rereading Opening Up. Both wonderfully educational and if you haven’t read them, you probably should. I follow blogs written by swingers, people in open marriages and other forms of polyamory. I know the lingo; I understand the concepts; and I respect people’s right to create the kind of relationships they want to have and what works for them.

Recently, I was having a conversation with someone I’m starting to get to know and I realised that he’d made the assumption I must be polyamorous. I guess in a way I am. I am Daddy’s secondary partner and looking for a primary partner so by definition I am polyamorous. But I am not sure that it really describes what I am or what I want in my relationships.

I made the statement that I feel like I’m going about this all backwards: shouldn’t you have a primary relationship first and then think about opening it up to secondary partners?

That statement perplexed the person I was talking to who has been poly for so long that contemplating things from the other side seems odd to him. And truthfully, what he said in response perplexed me just as much.

I understand being open to and not limiting yourself to one partner. Obviously, I am doing that too. But my polyamory and openness has limits. I have limits. And right now that limit is two. I’m not looking to accumulate people I’m dating or sleeping with or that I’m loving. I’m not like that in any other part or my life, I have no intention of being that way in my relationships. To be clear, this is not a judgement of those who are open to more than two partners in the least, it’s not for me. I know that. I am clear on that right now. Could this change? Absolutely.

I see the value in having multiple partners. I understand the ways in which various people could enrich your life at the same time. And the truth is, right now I like what I have with Daddy and I hope I can find someone who can respect what we have and not feel threatened by it. I also operate under the assumption that I may have to let that relationship go at some point. (This is not something I like to dwell on but something we’ve spoken about and that we silently understand.)

This past week I stumbled onto Mollena’s post, …monoflexible? and it caused me to pause and think about who I am and what I want.

I realise that as I dip my toes in the dating waters seriously for the first time in years, that I need to be clear about what I want, what I need, and what I expect from any potential partners.

I’m fully aware that I carry with me some baggage that makes a relationship of any kind, let alone an open, polyamorous one,  more difficult. Trust, abandonment and security are all things I struggle with in every friendship, every relationship, intimate or otherwise, that I’ve had since I was a child. Throwing poly on top of those things seems to aggravate them a little more.

Something Mollena wrote touches on exactly what my concerns are as a head into any new relationship and in particular with someone who is poly:

This is my second mono / poly relationship since becoming involved in the community. The first time, I approached it from the “Well, he is the dominant, this is how he is, and if I want to be with him I have to live the way he dictates.” That worked for longer than one might expect, and our relationship lasted two years. However, I felt like a disposable piece of a never-to-be-solved puzzle as he was always looking for new partners, took little time to solidify our relationship as others came and went, and I wasn’t able to feel secure in my place.  (emphasis mine)

I want to feel secure in whatever relationship I get involved in. No, this doesn’t mean I’m ready to hunker down with the next man who comes into my life, I’m a little too jaded to believe it will happen just like that. But I think I am worthy enough of some quality time to at least determine what comes next. Time to figure out what we might mean to each other before continuing our relationship, before continuing to look for others who either of us might be interested in (though as I said, I’m not really looking for more than two partners right now). I struggle with how I could possibly feel secure in my place in someone’s life if I don’t get that time.

I am fully aware to those that are poly, asking that is probably contrary to the very nature of the thing. Why limit yourself? Why not explore what else is available to you? Why not keep as many options open as possible? If you have it in you to be open to various intimate relationships, why would you stop for a moment to explore just one?

And the truth is, a poly person wouldn’t and shouldn’t have to stop for a moment, which is why I think I don’t quite identify with the label. I want to feel like a point a focus, not just another girl amongst many. I don’t want to feel like I’m competing for someone’s time and affection. I fully acknowledge that my most recent monogamous relationship left me feeling like this over and over again so it is a sore spot and perhaps I’m trying to overcompensate for the way I was treated previously but that’s something I’m working on.

I know that I have a certain perspective and I’m carrying certain notions. I know, going back to my post from the other day, I don’t have it in me to maintain multiple relationships at once. The thought exhausts me. But even logistically I struggle with people who are juggling multiple relationships – where do you find the time? How can you ensure that all your partners can feel safe, reassured and cared for when you are spreading yourself thin?

I know it can be done. I just don’t know if I can do it.

Begin at the beginning…

I have been hiding this relationship for many, many reasons but mostly because I needed to know it’s real before I let prying eyes and judgmental mouths near it.

You see I have a Daddy but like most things in life there are complications around our relationship that I won’t discuss in detail.

I should back up and mention how we met, it was through my old, now defunct blog. He sent me an email one day, he started commenting on my ramblings and it took off from there. We got to know each other pretty well through lengthy emails and chats, talking about everything and our relationship evolved into a mentor/mentee situation. But I was bratty and tested him constantly, I didn’t respond to him as a mentee should so after a particularly rough patch for us, he said we would remain friends but that our mentorship had to end – after all, I didn’t really need it. At first this made me feel lost and confused but true to his word we’ve remained friends.

Over a year after we started communicating we had breakfast together. And it was like our words come to life over french toast and fruit. It was slightly awkward to know someone the way we knew each other and to be meeting for the first time. It was an interesting conversation to say the least. I blushed, rolled my eyes, laughed and eventually felt more at ease, which doesn’t always happen when I meet someone new.

Our lives puttered along. We maintained our friendship while doing our own things.

Yes, there have been moments where he’s hit on me and I would blush a million shades of red. Yes, there was even a time or two where a line was crossed and it became too intense for me but I always pulled back. I didn’t want to complicate his situation or mine and I was of the firm belief that my heart only held room for one person at a time.

Time marched on and I had a few experiences last summer that caused me to reevaluate my perspective on monogamy and my understanding of how I can or might want to maintain various relationships at once. How various relationships can provide me with different elements that I need to grow, to feel nurtured and to feel loved.

This relationship with my Daddy doesn’t make me love The (Ex) Boyfriend any less or any differently. Actually, Daddy has supported me through my trials and tribulations with him only wanting me to be happy. Even cheering on our dates and hook-ups. In the same way that I support him in his other relationships. We talk about me dating (maybe sometime in the future), my desires to have the things in life that he already has. We are in many ways compartmentalizing what “we” are from the rest of our lives even though it’s never entirely separate.

Though outwardly, I’m not sure we could be any more different, we are in many ways made of similar character and mind. It’s amusing to me how much this freaks him out. You see, I have had the advantage of knowing we’re similar for a long time, it’s only recently I’ve begun to reveal to him and to make him understand just how much it’s true. There is a level of understanding that exists between us that neither of us have experienced before. We’re wired similarly. Often one of us will express something and the other will have thought/felt/acted the same way. Or lately, though we are apart we are thinking the same thing and one of us will email just as the other goes to mention it. Once is a coincidence but repeatedly? On varying random topics? Synchronicity.

April 1st we were bantering back and forth, teasing and talking around things. Basically, it was each of us saying, “no, you go first”, until finally I typed, “agree”. And with that little word our relationship changed. We stepped out of simply being friends and added to our dynamic. He is my Daddy and I am his little girl (though he has other nicknames for me but that’s another post). I am, well we are, still trying to figure out our dynamic but it is one that is incredibly comfortable and loving.

I have always felt he occupied a very fatherly space in my life, offering guidance and support but I didn’t immediately assume he would be my Daddy. Truthfully, I thought that before we’d discussed it that he’d think it was silly. So when I proposed that I call him Daddy, I thought he’d laugh. Actually he was overjoyed! And from there, we’ve fallen quite nicely into our Daddy/little girl dynamic. It’s a soft, gentle domination coupled with a quiet, easy submission that renders me impossibly small at times. Don’t misunderstand, he has used, beaten, bitten and choked me but I am also kissed, held, stroked, caressed, spoiled and loved.

The two of us are positively mushy for each other. I bring out the Daddy in him and he brings out the little girl in me.

Whirlwind

Last weekend was supposed to be about exciting new changes, fun and spending time being with the one I love. Instead it bordered on being one of the worst weekends ever.

The apartment I was supposed to see and was really hoping to rent was rented before I had a chance to see it. What followed was a scramble to find other possible places. Believe you me where I want to live, with my budgetary constraints pickins are slim. I arranged a few more appointments for that afternoon.

Disastrous.

No other word can describe it. I was shown an apartment where people were in the process of being evicted. It was beyond filthy. Amidst their piles of crap/junk/waste were not one but two litter boxes. The stove was pulled out and covered in various foods. The bathroom looked like it had never been clean and that no amount of bleach or fire could make it so again.

I politely declined that apartment and went to see another one of their properties. The apartment was much nicer though the fridge stank when she opened it but the neighbourhood and the building itself were questionable.

With my anxiety visibly rising and tears in my eyes The Gay Boyfriend and I decided to drive to Starbucks near where I work. We ordered our drinks. And I wasn’t ready to get back in the car. I needed some air. I needed moment to process what would happen in a little over two weeks if I didn’t find a new place. Homelessness is not a state I’d like to ever revisit in my life. As we were walking down the street I saw an apartment for rent. I called and we saw it right away.

Now it’s tiny compared to the 1 bedroom I live in now and it’s more expensive too but it’s clean, close to work, on the bus routes I would need. It’s not ideal but I can work with it.

I’ve since secured the apartment, movers and I’m getting used to the idea of living in this new place.

BUT

I had a complete breakdown on the way home from seeing that apartment. Full on tears. Sobbing. Trying to speak and blubbering instead. It was the first time I said out loud that I was scared for this move. I was scared to be leaving my comfort zone; scared that my best friend won’t be on the same block anymore; scared that I will be alone out there in my new life. He gently reminded me that I’d be closer to the boyfriend so surely we’d see each other more often. With that thought in mind I felt a little better.

Sunday I had a date with the Boyfriend but it just never happened. Later in the evening he told me to give up on him.

I am hanging by the thinnest of threads right now.

Work is pulling me in a thousand different directions at once; I’m moving; it’s the holiday season; I have 2 exams on Saturday; my boyfriend walked away…

Today I had to will every single action out of me – breathing, walking, not bursting into uncontrollable tears. I feel like I can barely keep going but stopping just isn’t possible.

I need to keep going but I’m not sure how long I can keep this up.