Weekend Coffee Share: Old Times, Hard Times

This week, if we were talking over coffee, I’d tell you that nostalgia has been a major theme in my life of late. Well… if I’m honest, I’ve been going through a great deal of retrospection since the Pirate and I parted ways. Not out of any regret for the way things ended with the Pirate (though it isn’t the way I would have wanted it), but because I was blinded by exactly how many similarities there were with that situation and some of the ones from the past.

Most notably the Boy, but, as we’ve already discussed, it’s the differences in that situation that made the biggest difference to me.

I also feel that I’ve made progress as a human being simply because I was able to walk away with half the self-conflict than I felt during the situation with the Boy.

I suppose it’s that progress, along with the other personal struggles going on right now that have me feeling so nostalgic.

nostalgiadef

Basically, the other crises in my life involve me repeating a mistake that I just keep finding myself in. I think I’m moving forward, things seem to be looking good, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and then, just as it seems like I’m about to walk out into the daylight, just when the light begins to feel brightest, it turns out to be a train instead of a way out.

Usually, it involves money.

Or relationships.

We talk primarily about the relationship angle here, but the money situation comes up every now and then, and right now, that’s the thing that is causing me the most strife.

In order to get the Asperger’s diagnosis confirmed (and because I have been struggling to not shut down, melt down, escape, or whatever you want to call it I really needed to get the Asperger’s diagnosis), I had to take some extended medical leave from work. This has already been discussed, though I didn’t really go into detail about how it was going to affect me. At least I don’t think I did…

Because I took the time that I needed to take in order to actually get the help that I needed, financially things started to fall apart.

They’ve always been a bit precarious. But several times in a row now, I’ve struggled to keep it together because I just keep getting overwhelmed, and I don’t always feel like I have anybody to help me.

help

I don’t just mean a financial bailout, which is how I think some people think I mean. And don’t get me wrong, that would be nice, but what I really need is someone who can help me get my finances into some semblance of order. Someone who is willing to let me lean on them while I get figured out, because, frankly, there are some things going on there that I just don’t understand… like most of it.

I told that to my dad today, and he told me he couldn’t help because he was just learning about finances, too. He “lost” his vacation days because he can’t afford to take them. Even though it’s paid vacation, he is surviving on the overtime he gets, so taking vacation is basically a pay cut.

And I know that my mother is so stressed that she doesn’t need the added problem. Plus, she tends to yell at me because I should know what I’m doing by now, but this is a thing I just can’t seem to wrap my head around.

As best as I can describe it, it’s like the concept of object permanence with little kids. You know, that whole out of sight, out of mind idea. Money is an intangible thing that makes no sense to me, so, when something seems to have disappeared, I forget about it. Or if I can find a temporary solution, I expect it to work itself out some how.

But it never does.

And then when it shows back up, I don’t know how to fix it. It blindsides me so bad that I skip the analysis step and go straight to panic because I have no one to lean on, and I really can’t keep facing things alone…

leanonme

That’s really the big thing for me right now. I think that’s what’s causing my nostalgia.

This latest crisis, my mother told me quite loudly that Houston has been very bad for me, but I don’t think that’s true. The things that are stressing me are the same things that have always stressed me, but I didn’t always tell her how bad it was, or I’d find some sort of short term solution that made sense.

Or I’d move.

Sometimes that’s been the only solution I found. If I move, then I can start over fresh, but it didn’t really solve anything. The things that were wrong wherever I was didn’t go away… it just took them a little bit longer to catch back up to me. And I’ll be okay for a while, and I’ll make friends who don’t know what it is that I’m going through, there might be one or two that are really close and who do get to see it all, even though I don’t always want to show them it all, and I lean on them as much as I can.

Young sweaty couple leaning on each other, portrait of woman

But even then, some part of me knows that it’s not their burden, and that I can’t lean on them completely.

I don’t have a partner, someone that I can 100% depend on to be there for me when things get bad. I don’t have a person like that, who, when it gets so bad I think I’m about to absolutely fall apart, I can bounce ideas off of and who can help me get back on track before I absolutely fall apart.

But that’s what I need.

Someone who cares enough about me that my happiness and wholeness is important enough that they won’t be uncomfortable helping me figure it out. And who is stable enough themselves that they are strong enough to let me lean on them until it’s fixed.

I don’t know anybody like that. I don’t have anybody like that. I haven’t since Abilene. Fourteen years of feeling absolutely alone even when there were people there.

alonetogether

It’s why I was somewhat excited to be in a roommate situation, even though, as the Pirate pointed out rudely on a regular basis, my current situation isn’t entirely healthy for me.

When I would tell the Pirate about some food of mine that would go missing, he would get irate on my behalf. For some reason that is a trigger for him, it seems. And then he would tell me how I needed to get out of this situation as soon as possible. 

And I would counter by telling him that, while yes, it is a thing I find unbelievably rude, they also feed me in return, so it works out. I like feeling like I’m not alone.

Now, I’m telling you that I may have been wrong.

wrong1

Today (and several times in the past), when my roommate’s mother (grandmother, really… it’s complicated) showed up, I was the one to let her in, and she had someone with her… someone new that I wasn’t prepared to meet. So I let them in and then marched right back upstairs to hide in my room.

And then I was summoned to come downstairs and be sociable because she’d made me lunch… even though I just got groceries and made tuna fish last night that is as we speak wasting away in the fridge.

Not only is the whole situation a disruption of my usual Sunday routine, but it takes me a while to mentally and emotionally prepare myself to meet new people and not act like a weirdo. It’s doubly complicated because usually the people she brings over don’t speak English, and my Spanish is less intact than my French… and that is saying something.

Not to mention, she’s great at the grandmother guilt trip. Something that I am very susceptible to. It makes me feel bad when she brings me food (even though I didn’t ask, and half the time I’ve already eaten), and I don’t or can’t eat it. Like a while back, she brought me a fish with the head still on it… I couldn’t eat it. Just couldn’t bring myself to eat something that was staring at me, and with the scales and the bones and all still there.

cookedfish

Today, they yelled up the stairs at me to let me know that lunch was there for me. While I was in the shower. I was shaking by the time I got dressed and went down the stairs because I felt forced.

I ate my Sloppy Joe in silence while they prattled on around me so quickly I couldn’t keep up with the conversation, and her friend, who’s name I never learned, poured my water out so that I could have some of the sickeningly sweet Kool-Aid they brought to go with the sandwiches.

When they left, I was so relieved, and my roommate’s son looked at me and asked me what happened because I must have looked a mess. I know my face felt stressed and I was on the verge of tears.

All because of lunch.

I’d been planning to make myself a grilled mushroom and cheese sandwaich for lunch with sweet potato fries. I was just waiting for everyone to leave so I wouldn’t have to cook for them because I’m on a very tight budget for the next couple of weeks. The hamburger that they got for me last night ended up costing me $5, when they told me it would only be $2 or $3.

So yeah, I now realize that, in that one area, the Pirate was right and this is not a situation that is going to be long lasting.

12867988 woman with clock isolated on white

The owner of the house and I are not friends, just acquaintances, and I’m not exactly comfortable with some things.

Like with my current financial crisis, the first thing that happened was her asking me about the situation in a way that reminded me of how a mother might chastise her child for losing or breaking something and hiding it.

And she did it in front of a stranger, which put me on the defensive, and has led to me hiding in my room out of shame… over something that was a mistake but that will take me possibly 2 weeks to solve!

And since then, I feel like I’m being avoided because they don’t want to get dragged into the solution. That may be the shame talking, but it seems they’ve been absent from the house an awful lot, except for this morning, and a very loud party for the kids.

kidparty

It’s their house; I’m just a tenant, so I don’t begrudge them a party, but we’ve discussed that I’m on the spectrum…

No one seems to understand that that means that sometimes I’m uncomfortable with strangers. The two times I came down stairs during the party, she kept trying to have a conversation with me, while I was on the verge of panic from the sheer loudness… not to mention trying not to trip over kids sprawled out over the stairs.

If lunch with a stranger can cause me to shake with panic, imagine me trying not to panic at a house full of loud preteens and the TV at a volume that shook my room all the way upstairs…

I can think of about eight people from my past that will think that previous statement is ridiculous because they remember me dancing the night away in the club when I was in college.

And that’s true. I used to go to the club every Saturday night, and it was never quiet, but it was mostly the music that was loud. There were quiet places (sort of) for conversation. And it was a gay bar, so there weren’t a lot of people trying to dance with me and rub all over me, like happens at a straight club.

That’s a thing that makes sense now. I’ve never liked going to straight clubs because I don’t like dancing with people. I’ve never been able to really explain why it makes me so uncomfortable. My gay guys, I don’t care how they rub up on me or where they grab me… but I’m comfortable with them. When drunk, straight men try to dance with me, and try to grind, it has always made me uncomfortable.

grind

I love to dance, but not if it means touching someone else, unless they are someone I’m very very comfortable with.

Now I know why: Asperger’s Syndrome.

But enough of all that. Let’s calm it down with something a little uplifting for this Sunday. It’s meant to be a day of worship, and now that I’m by myself again, I’m just about calm.

I found this awesome version of this song on Facebook, done by the husband and wife duo known as Yonina. They haven’t uploaded the version I found on their YouTube channel yet, but it is definitely worth listening to.

I have to admit it adds to my feelings of nostalgia, since I found Matisyahu before I came to Houston, and it is one of a very few spiritual songs that makes me feel in tune with a higher power. It always give me goose bumps. That and his song “King Without a Crown.”

Hope your week has been less stressful than mine! I’m going to chill with Matisyahu in my ears while I cook dinner. Thanks for sticking with me!

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