First the dreams: I am with another person, perhaps a sibling. We are in the place where we live, only there isn't a lot of furniture, it feels like an abandoned factory without any machinery. Something happens and there's a lot of blood everywhere. We get the large adult male figure out and down the stairs. There's a small body of water near. The man with the hole in his chest plunges into the dark depths, whoever shot him is pursuing us, me and this other person don't know why or what exactly is going on, I lose the person I'm with, I'm shaking with cold and fear as the paramedics arrive and ask me to help them try to locate the injured man. Fortunately they rescue him. I'm left standing by the clear black expanse of the water, but at least I'm safe and alive. I think I had a second dream, but now the details elude me. In my third dream I'm in a building with a bunch of other people. We're in small groups and then assemble into a larger one. We're getting ready for an event, some sort of celebration. There are bored children and adults gather to murmur.
I end up talking to these other women about a collection of cosmetics. The only thing I want is a certain lipstick, but it can't be purchased separately. Someone asks me what I'm doing and I show them the items. When I meet up with the women one of them applies a sheer coat of bright red gloss to her lips. I start to see her as a painting instead of a person. The women around me are talking about the various cosmetics and their applications. The conversation is surreal, I'm listening to what they're saying, watching them, but instead of reaching for the item I want I watch it laying there. Someone sorts out who wants what, there's a pile of things that nobody wants. This seems significant to me. I gather enough courage to ask about the lipstick. Nobody answers me. I suddenly realize that we are gathered for an event, but it's more likely to be a funeral rather than a wedding or other joyous event. The last thing I remember is the stark black of the cosmetics that have been abandoned. Nobody has given me any money for what they took. The collection was expensive, I can't return it because some of the pieces are missing. I search for the lipstick I wanted, it's gone. I try to pick up the things others have left behind and have a great deal of trouble assembling them. They fall through my fingers repeatedly. In the background I hear laughter.
Rarely do I have three dreams and remember them. Last night I woke up around two. I went back to sleep and dreamt that I was at work, only it wasn't the place where I work now. Some of the people I work with were there, I was getting ready to leave for the day, a friend of mine who works at the front desk in real life told me she would pull a car around, she had a different vehicle in my dream than the one she drives in real life, I waved to her and then went in back, there were some guys there, one of them had a sign, he talked to me, but I don't remember what he said. Another woman came up to me, she told me something I already knew and even in my dream this rang true because that's what she does when I'm really at work. I was in this large back lot that was fenced in on three sides and opened to a building on the side that was to the left of me. I had to drive a forklift over to its parking spot, but before I could get there I was flagged down by someone else who wanted to use it to load something. There was a collection of pallets near where I stopped, I got down onto those, and my impression was that I was going to go hang out with my friend before I woke up and the dream ended.
Today I started my day off with a couple of pages in my Manage More by Doing Less book. I've had it for years and I just love it which makes it hard for me to understand why I have yet to finish it. The author is Raymond O. Loen, and if you love well organized and written books by experts in their field, than consider this strongly recommended. I have nothing against new books, but some older publications have stunning grammar and impeccable logic. It isn't difficult to read, but the information is dense so I take a lot of breaks while I try to see the broader real life applications. It's already given me some ideas for work. Yesterday I was talking to a woman I work with about cross training and education. She did her usual - that would be nice, but it's not realistic - and once again I marveled at how tightly people cling to perceived obstacles. Yesterday I asked one of the people who was helping me if he would take two tags and two products up to the register. At first he didn't think he needed all four items, I explained why he did and then it made sense to him. He brought back the right items, I put in for a new tag, and we solved a current problem and prevented a future waste of time since going forward the shelf tags will be accurate.
I have a tendency to obsess about problems until I either dismiss them as unresolvable at the current moment, or I arrive at a solution that makes sense to me. Sometimes I have frozen scenes in my head that I go back to and review. I can press rewind or play and then I can see things from different perspectives. In my current freeze it's me talking to my PT before I became his patient. My friend who has a crush on him is there. She's at the desk and when we're done interacting, we turn toward her. Either he likes her, or he doesn't. My theory is that he does. I can't imagine anyone investing that kind of time and energy in someone they didn't like, that just doesn't make sense to me. If she likes him, and he likes her, why did they drift apart instead of moving forward? My previous theory was that they were too different, and I liked that for a while, but I think it didn't go far enough. I love this guy. I'm not in love with him and don't think I ever will be. Very few people make sense to me the way that he does. The other day my middle sister sent me a text and I think I have a new piece of the puzzle that I didn't before. She retook the MBTI test and received an INFJ label. I had read up on it before, and now I'm wondering if there's a lot of this type in my family.
Maybe I was wrong about this guy, maybe he is an INFJ and he and my friend are too much alike. When my friend took the test she was INFP, I don't buy that. I would bet money that she is an S type and I can explain why. The other people in my life that I would group her with are one or two guys at work, my mom, and my chiropractor friend who can't keep his hands to himself. I would buy ISFP for her. She has flashes of intuition, but it seems poorly developed. I'm not sure about one of the guys at work, but I think he is an I/S type. I think the other guy is an N type, I think he is INTP with a well developed S, and I can see two people who share both I and P getting along and sharing similar characteristics some of the time. An aunt of mine is INFP, she says her N is weak and I would buy that. The letters are an axis and someone can be closer to the middle than either of the ends. There's also a degree of error in these. I once read that the INFJ is too emotional for the rationals and too logical for the feelers and I would buy that as well.
My friend said that this guy would stare at her and mirror her emotions. I think he did know how she felt, and he either sensed or knew that beneath the surface laughter and bubbly persona there is a layer of deep hurt and insecurity. She sensed that about him, they were both trying to make the other person feel better, but it was a case of someone else having the same problems you do without anyone having the tools to help themselves or the other person out of the burning building. Both of their hearts were on fire and they walked further into the flames to try and rescue someone they thought that they loved and cared about. I'm still thinking about this, but it makes more sense to me than some of the other ideas people are advancing. Nobody is going to convince me that he didn't like her and I don't buy the theory that he's gay either. He could be, but there was too much sexual tension between them for me to subscribe to that theory. Unless or until I hear that from him, I'm going to say that this guy is straight no matter what people who don't know him try to tell me. I could be wrong, but they could be too.
A lot of the time I want to change things. I'm going to try and be more accepting of myself and others. I have a tendency to want to try and save and salvage relationships instead of just letting them rise or sink to the level that they would naturally. This was the first year that I purposely didn't attend any Christmas celebrations and even though I had some sad and lonely moments, on the whole it felt like the right decision. Several people in my family tried to talk to me about this, for the most part they were diplomatic and or amusing, I listened, but they didn't have much luck in changing my mind or my feelings. My mom is a dangerous person in my life. She doesn't understand me and I don't get her. I've tried building bridges in the past and keep getting met with resistance. I want things she can't give and I'm done trying to win her approval, get her help, or spend time with her just because we happen to be related. I actually don't even feel bad about this because I feel it is a decision I'm making for my own health and welfare. That doesn't make it any easier unfortunately. She has good qualities and I see them, but I want to observe her from afar.
I do not want to go to her house, I don't really want her at mine. Restaurants are typically out, she doesn't come to my work and I rarely go to hers although in the past I have stopped by. My mother is an extremely hard worker. She is very loyal to the company she works for, she started when I was almost done with grade school and she'll probably retire from there whenever she's ready. She started in a secretarial role when the company was a couple of rooms in a small downtown building. Today she's the VP of Finance and the company has government contracts across the Southern region of the United States, mainly concentrated in Florida and Texas. The company does for profit what others try to do in the nonprofit sector. Her job is to make sure that money is being spent in accordance with these contracts and whenever the government is involved there are layers and layers of red tape and other ridiculousness. She's not a morning person, she walks to and from work unless there are extreme weather conditions, she likes to garden and has a beautiful yard that hardly resembles the vast expanse of green that was there when she moved.
My mother is the ultimate list maker. Even when I was a kid I could remember her sitting down and writing out what she wanted to accomplish and if there was something on her list, then it was going to get done no matter what she had to do to accomplish it. She has a tendency to hyper focus and will often snap when she's interrupted, although not always. She has a lot of trouble sitting still and gets annoyed by people who want to eat or sleep at times that she views as unconventional. Suck it up is her motto, she pushes through headaches, hunger, lack of sleep, illness, she's almost robotic when it comes to finishing her tasks, she's even told me she's addicted to closure which is why I find it pretty hilarious that she married someone who has a deserved reputation for bringing projects close to the end without actually doing whatever would get them off of the to do list. My mom is one of the least intuitive people I know. She'll ask how you are and then not believe you. If I tell her I'm tired or hungry or in a bad mood she'll try and tell me I'm not really any of those things and give me reasons why. This could be why I rarely tell her anything.
I can't stand it when people are fake or inauthentic, sometimes people lie to themselves. My mom does this and it drives me batty. Here is an example: I invited the family over for a Halloween gathering at our place. We were roasting marshmallows by the fire pit when my middle sister asked what was going on with my mom and the guy she had been seen with recently. My mom insisted that they were just friends and most of us rolled our eyes at this because we knew it was a lie. When my sister challenged my mom she was even firmer in her assertion and I think she really thought she was telling the truth. My parents were intolerant of liars and I'm pretty much the same. Lie to me and you will find yourself being distanced. That was the end of October, at Thanksgiving she tells the family that she's going to get married. Now it's entirely possible that two people who were just friends on October 31 fell in love and decided to get married less than four weeks later, however I went to the theater with them in the middle of November and had to sit at a table where they were holding hands beneath it. I told her she didn't have to call it dating if she didn't want to, but that's what it was.
I was at my aunt's place when my mom called with the news. My aunt asked if my mom had told me and she said that she had. My mom is notorious for rewriting history. She has five children, most of us have very good memories, and she will sit and argue about something even when she's four or five, to her one. I don't remember everything, but I'm fairly certain I would remember if my mom had told me she was getting married. She lied to my aunt and then she tried to lie to me. The infamous closet conversation took place not long after when we were shopping together at Sam's Club and I doubt I will ever forget it either. We were standing in line when I informed her that she could marry who she liked, but lying to people wasn't the best way to win over a child who didn't like the guy or her behavior around him. My mom had told me that she didn't want to go out to lunch with me because she hated going out to eat. That had been true for as long as I had been alive, suddenly she was going out to eat all the time and when I challenged that my mom told me she didn't like going out to eat, but it was different because she and this guy shared a meal as if there was no possibility that we too could share. It was a lie and I called her on it.
When she realized that she was caught in the lunch lie she told me she would go out to lunch with me and I should let her know some dates and times that were convenient for me. This was what I wanted in theory, but by this time it was much too little and way too late. I was livid when she gave a ticket she had promised me to him, once again instead of just admitting she had screwed up she tried to tell others that I had been unclear about wanting to go. I denied that because I had very much wanted to attend that performance, I love that musical and I know most of the words to most of the songs. All she had to do was apologize and try to make it up to me and she couldn't do either. The fights went on, I told her I was done and that's when she stood in the line and asked who was going to come over and help her clean out her closets? It was probably one of the worst things she could have chosen to say to me. We were in a public place and she was my ride, I looked at her with a smirk and told her that I was sure her and her new husband would be much too busy going out to eat to worry about things like increased closet functionality. I could have handled it better, I was deeply hurt and still am. It sucks when your mom lies to you.
The flip side of this is it has made me more honest than I probably should be at times. I do not typically shy away from difficult discussions that involve information I think that people need to know. I automatically and instinctively reject anything that feels conniving, sneaky, underhanded, sly, manipulative, or conveys a partial truth. This is why I have so much trouble with two of the woman I work with and why I love my boss unconditionally. I withheld something from her once and I will never do that again. My children have heard my opinions on a lot of different issues. I have probably exposed them to things that another parent wouldn't have, their dad is a lot like this too, neither of us has a lot of tolerance for social niceties and it has gotten us into trouble on more than one occasion. We would rather talk about things as they are or as we perceive them to be than pretend that something isn't awkward when everyone knows that it is. I run into trouble with this kind of thing quite a bit, the other day my friend asked a woman at work how she was doing, right away she launched into needing time off to get her driver's license renewed. I looked at her schedule and magically found time for her to do it, but she went to HR anyways. Was it really the license, or did she want or need time off for another reason? Either way, I'm skeptical.
I hate it when people ask how I am and now I'm thinking about this whole greeting thing, I don't want to be asked how I am unless the person authentically cares and I do not want the stock answers of 'fine' or 'okay' unless someone really is fine or okay. It's okay to not be okay, nobody owes me their life story or anything like that, but as soon as someone tells me one thing, but I sense another, they feel inauthentic to me and I really hate that. I will steer clear of anyone I think is in a low mood because they have the power to bring me down with them. I'm a good friend and I will sit and listen to people who want to talk. I will do this for hours at a time and I will listen to the same people say the same things over and over again because I believe that some of us need that type of processing time. I do this and I want people to listen to me so I do this for them, but the problem is sometimes I'm consistently the listener without others really taking the time to hear what I'm saying. My children rarely talk to me about any of their problems, I don't know if this is a good thing, a bad thing, or just the way that it is, sometimes I feel bad about it, other times I think I need to back off, chill out, and just accept how things are.
To get back to yesterday, this is one thing I'm very good at when I'm at work. I think that customer told me all of those things because she needed some validation. This is easy for me to give to others. I told her she was doing a good job and affirmed her intentions to get back on track as far as her diet goes. I really wanted to tell her to get into therapy because her relationship with her partner is on the rocks, but that would be crossing a line that probably shouldn't be crossed at work. Sometimes I feel so strongly about these types of things that I do say it regardless of the consequences, this has gotten me into plenty of trouble in the past, but I never seem to learn my lessons there. The other day I read that certain people can see two layers of others. They can see the outer layer that they present to the world - clothes, hair, facial expressions - and then there are others who can see that inner layer, the lack of confidence, the fear, the larger looming questions, the unmet needs, the secret wants, hopes, dreams, and desires. Most of the time I don't care enough to dive into the second layer even though I know it exists.
Last night I was talking to one of the guys at work about some of the other people at work. Someone had called in sick so I offered to help him out, I didn't do much, I think he appreciated the offer regardless, we got to talking about who was in what role and we both agreed that we would rather work short handed by ourselves than with people who were going to be more of a liability than an asset at work. I have some mixed feelings about this guy. Sometimes I like him and we get along. He once said something that really scared me, later on we talked about it, he apologized and we moved forward. He doesn't want people seeing that inner layer so I don't go there with him, I suspect he's another intuitive based on his observations and the fact that he makes sense to me. I wouldn't ever go out with him and I'm still kind of annoyed that my friend suggested he consider me as a romantic interest. There's no spark between us and even if there was, no, just no. I don't know how I can get certain people to realize that I don't need another sports addict in my life. I have many interests beyond baseball and I'm not even the fan that some of my friends are. I want someone who will help balance me out, not drive me further into an obsession.
The other day a friend of mine and I were talking about going back to school. He's going to be meeting with people at his work about changing his schedule. I want and probably need to go back to school, but at the same time I'm scared of it. I worry about how I'm going to pay for it. I know it will be an additional layer of stress and I'm already stressed out. I think about parking, food, and a lot of other petty annoyances like having to schedule work, school, and home life. I worry that I will spend money like I have in the past, on fields that interest me, but don't lead to an actual job. I worry that I'm going to end up like my dad, with a head full of all sorts of knowledge that didn't really do me any practical good or help me pay any of my bills much less pave the way for retirement. I also know that I'm bored, I would be good at some of the jobs I could get if I had more or different education. My therapist is great and I know that if she says I would be a good therapist that this is true and probably more true than I realize. Another friend has told me I would be a good life coach, and another friend has told me footwear is a passion and I should get back into that, but he also agrees with my therapist.
I think I can break down some of the fears and overcome them. The last time I went to school I was confused about what I was good at, while I aced the theoretical concepts, I did not enjoy much of the hands on portion and now that I think about it, I probably would enjoy part time work at a dental lab because it merges the areas where I'm both practical and artistic. Functional art is beautiful to me. Smiles are living art, this is why so many of my characters are dentists or in related fields. The other day my PT told me how much he saved buying books. I like to read and I know I could get books ahead of time and get a jump on what was expected of me. School is an environment where I tend to do well even though I often feel misunderstood by other students. I feel misunderstood by many so that's really nothing new. I'm unclear about what I want and where I want to go, I think once I get clear on that, a clear path will emerge. This is another topic for my therapist, this poor woman is going to flee her office when I come in with my list, but it's a mental list not a physical one so she won't be able to see it right away.
I'm thinking about reaching out to someone that I think likes me even though my natural inclination is to shut this kind of thing down before it goes any further. I like people who are different than I am because sometimes I need their help. He's offered to come out and install a filter on my shower head. This is the kind of thing that I could do myself, but I don't have the height and leverage that I need. While I cherish my independence and scoff at the people who think women can't figure out how to use tools, I can see what needs to be done, but even I know that standing on a dicey ankle while trying to turn a wrench away from myself is probably not the most intelligent idea I've ever had. This kind of thing infuriates me, I could do it if I had the ladder I lost when I got divorced, I'm still mad that I wasn't able to keep that thing because it came in handy often enough that I miss it. Very few things are the right height for me, this guy has offered, it came up in conversation, he's handy, and I need handy people in my life. I could ask the maintenance people at the complex, but I've met them and I know that they wouldn't be as meticulous as he would. I can see some potential dangers here, I have to think about this more, but think I will take him up on his offer since I'd like to run other ideas past him and see if maybe I could pay him to do things I want done if he agrees with my ideas for improvement.
It makes me nervous when I think that people like me. I'm a cool person, I have a lot to offer, but I don't want anyone getting too close which is what relationships are all about and probably why I have a lot of trouble with them. I'll tell you anything you want to know, but you have to be willing to ask me first. Last night the topic of trust came up in conversation, I tend to trust people to a certain extent. I'm not really afraid of someone spilling my dark and dirty secrets, you want to know the ugly truths about me? Ask and ye shall receive. I'm more likely to tell you that than some of the things that make me cry. I can be very deep and very emotional, those are the things I don't like to talk about. This guy is the right person for this job and I'm going to be brave and ask him for his help since he offered it. This is super scary to me, I may eventually talk myself out of it, but I may surprise myself and go ahead anyways. He already likes me, shoving people away is a poor strategy and I don't do it unless people make me so uncomfortable that I decide I can't handle having them in my life. I feel bad for people who are trying to figure me out. I'm simpler and more complex than most people realize. The mystery is that there is no mystery.
Today I feel like I can't access something that I want to write about and I hate it when that happens. There's some emotion that I'm feeling that I have to get to the bottom of, I thought it involved my mom, but I wrote about her and nothing appeared. I thought it could be one of the girls, I didn't want to write about that guy, but I did, I feel stuck and I don't know how to figure out what's bothering me or who it involves. It feels like I'm going to get into a big fight with someone and I have no way of knowing what the trigger is or who the catalyst will be. I'm not really angry, it's an odd feeling. Like the proverbial tip of an iceberg before the Titanic sinks. Calls of distress went out and were reportedly ignored. Last night I saw Jill and Jane's dad when I went to pick up Jill from work. I told him it was better that both parents showed up instead of neither of us being there when she was done for the night. I once read that often people don't value those who keep lines of communication open, people have different styles of communicating, some get so hung up on their particular style that they don't see how others are trying in their own way.
I feel incredibly sad right now. I'm sure part of it is the music I'm listening to, but I know there's something much deeper than that and the music is just tapping into that. I keep listening to the same song on repeat because I feel like it might have some clues for me. I feel like my character I wrote about last night. After he makes the decision to pursue a career in minor league baseball he meets a stunningly beautiful woman who is a better athlete than he is, and at first he can't believe that his life is falling together the way that it is. He knows he will have to work hard, this woman is out of his reach and he can't get behind her walls which makes him want her more. What he fails to realize is she has the same personality type that his brother does, and this is why the relationship ends with him standing on a bridge in Seattle that represents a one way ticket to an afterlife he's not sure he believes in anymore. He thought that baseball and marriage were the answer when neither of those things were him believing in and loving himself. He goes off the literal, spiritual, and emotional deep end, shutting down more and more of himself while becoming worse and worse at everything he thought he was good at before.
Getting divorced feels like another failure but it was also a form of freedom and suddenly pitchers who had him figured out last season can't get a break. He's never been a power hitter, teams love his glove, but this season he's hitting more home runs than he has previously which sounds great, but robs him of the opportunity to steal bases which is what he valued most about his offensive production. People can't understand why he's upset when he's doing so well and he can't explain it to anyone other than his neighbor who moves in with him after her condo is flooded. She's been a White Sox fan since birth, theirs is an unlikely partnership, but she gives him the pep talks he needs and he helps her as best he can given his limited time. Things go along well until the Fourth of July. She goes into labor prematurely and he trips over a piece of fishing line that his uncle strung across a set of stairs that he knew his nephew would go down. The flight robs him of his color vision, his family doesn't know that at the time, he has a traumatic brain injury, his career is over right when it was taking off, he married his girlfriend on July 1, didn't tell anyone, and all of a sudden she has a husband in a medically induced coma while she's still recovering from the birth of her first child.
- Remember that trip? You told me things
- I didn't know about myself, it was dusty,
- we were driving in the desert, not a real
- desert, an emotional desert, where all
- of a sudden the only thing we had
- between us were the misconceptions
- we had about each other. One of us
- wanted to talk, the other craved
- silence. Lost and confused, we were
- speaking different languages, maybe
- we still are. Neither of us likes drama,
- we're both scared, scarred, I don't
- think we have anything left to give
- each other. Do me a favor, let's be
- proactive about this, you go your way
- I'll go mine. And if by chance our
- paths ever cross again, you'll know
- what to do when the time is right.
- I don't want to be writing this and
- I'm sure you would rather not be
- reading it, but I have to apologize.
- I wanted your help, I missed you
- I could have reached out in other
- ways, but that path seemed blocked
- so I took another angle. I just
- want to tell you how incredibly
- sorry I am for the ways that I
- have interfered in your life.
- I have a great deal of respect and
- admiration for you, I've learned
- from you, and I'm sorry I wasn't
- up front about this sooner. There
- were things I didn't know about
- you back then. I did to you what
- others do to me. I can only go
- forward, you don't have to
- worry, once I'm done, I'll be
- gone, and you'll be free, at last.
I didn't expect to start the New Year like this, but it feels like progress of a painful sort...