May 31, 2010

For some reason...

...a growing number of men seem to want to have coffee with me. Is there something about me that screams, "I love coffee?" 'Cause I do.

May 30, 2010

Novacain Stain

Remember her sounds
Remember her smells
Remember her colors
Remember through towns
With fear and fascination
of what was here
And what's replacing 'em now...

May 29, 2010

All the best

I hear you got married.

I actually found out a few days ago, but had to mull over my response before writing this. I'm still not positive what to say. Let me tell you a few things I do know for sure.

I am mad at you for being so selfish and hurting your mother. It did hurt her, you know. Maybe she didn't tell you. Probably she didn't tell you.

I always thought that if I had a major life event like, oh, moving across the country, getting married, having a baby...that I would tell you. You know why I would tell you directly? Because I wouldn't want you to hear it from anyone but me. It seems that you do not feel that obligation, and though it hurts me it seems it is something I have to live with.

At first I was really mad at you for marrying Anna from Canada when you had carried on with her before I was gone; when you had brought her into my apartment; when you had (bizarrely) kept our pictures side by side. I guess she got you over me in short order. I suppose that is good.

And now I am left with all my other thoughts. They vary from anger to bitterness to hurt to resignation, depending on when you ask me. I do wonder this, though: do you ever miss those two kids? The two who were so young and naive that they thought their love could and would overcome anything? The ones who wanted nothing more than to sit beside each other on the bus to Florida? Because that's who I think of when I think of you. I think of the shy, long-haired boy to whom I told all my secrets and for whom I saved the best of myself. I prefer to think of us that way than as two people who grew up and further apart.

I guess everyone has a first love. Someone whom they fall in love with with reckless abandonment because they have never been hurt and don't know any better. I know that I can never get that back again because time and years and pain have made me more cautious, more protective. I still like to think of myself as someone who can love freely and openly and without pretext, but there are places in me that I'm not even sure I have access to anymore. I want to give them to someone else again. I am working on it.

I have plenty of ridiculous, irrational thoughts, too. I wonder if you thought of me on your wedding day. I know that is selfish. I wonder on what points you compare she and I, and on which ones she wins and on which ones I do, if any. I wonder if you ever regret not spending some time alone to find yourself the way I did, or if you're happy you had her before you even lost me. I wonder if it feels strange to you that your family still considers me a part of them.

I guess it is natural to wonder these things about the person who consumed half of your life.

Though you love someone else, and though I love someone else, I imagine that I will never again in this life lay eyes on you, and that is a strange feeling. The face that was once more familiar to me than my own. I imagine it is something you have already successfully come to terms with.

I don't know what else I can tell you except for this: I hope you have found what you are looking for. I hope you are happy. I hope you don't dream about me anymore.

May 25, 2010

1 2 3 I love you

I seem to be developing a nervous disorder. Every now and then I'll be overcome by the irresistable urge to squeeze my eyes shut - as hard as they'll squeeze. I feel so much calmer after I do it, but each time I do it my students seem to flinch a little - like they're wondering if this is the moment when I'm going to choose to snap. I want say "No my pretties. I've snapped a long, long time ago. What you need to fear is the moment when I can no longer mask my turmoil."

"Hello, beautiful!"

Alright. I admit it, okay? I bought a pack of cigarettes today. The stress and transition of last couple of weeks have done my months of hard work in--temporarily, I would like to emphasize--and I broke down. So this morning on my way to work I stopped at the old tobacco shop that I used to frequent in order to purchase them.

Some of you already know part of this story.

There is a 60 year old Indian man (no idea what his name is) who owns the place and--for years now and for unfathomable reasons--has seemed to really like me. I would walk into his shop and he would cry out, "Hello, beautiful!" For a long time I have assumed he does this to many female customers, as he is a bit of a flirt. He would always ask me if I had a boyfriend and why did he never see me with him? Then he started asking me out for coffee.

I had learned bits and pieces about him over my years of visiting his store. He commutes to and from Vacaville, has two college-age sons, likes to play soccer with his friends on the weekends and (are you ready?) is single. His interest in taking me on a date began to get uncomfortable, so when I moved further away from his shop I didn't bother stopping there anymore.

When I came in this morning he was so surprised. He ran out to hug me and kiss my cheek and ask me where I had been? How was I doing? Where was I working now? He renewed his request to take me out for coffee and I laughed to put him off. Getting very serious, he said, "No, really. When are you going to let me take you out?"

Apparently I need to continue to stay away.

If I weren't 99.9% sure that he had romantic intentions, I might consider having coffee with this strange man, but I have no interest in encouraging him further. I can't even begin to imagine what we would talk about. I have a few ideas about where he would like to take the conversation and it creeps me out to think about it.

May 21, 2010

Adventures in psychotherapy

Today two interesting things happened.

1. I was invited for another interview at UCSF (for a different job than the first interview). This is tremendously good news. The interview is Monday. Enough said.

2. I had my first psychotherapy appointment with Dr. J, and she was lovely. Her office was warm and inviting, with a big cushy couch and throw pillows and blankets and windows filled with sunlight.

I always find the first therapy appointment to be a little awkward, because a) you're meeting a stranger for the purpose of telling him/her the most intimate details of your life and thoughts and behaviors, and b) I never know how to begin. Do I start with the junk in my mind today? Do I immediately go way back to the beginning with, "So I was born..." or Do I offer a simple, "I'm fucked in the head. Please help?" I try to be up front about this uncertainty by admitting my discomfort to the therapist. Dr. J. was lovely and guided me by starting with simple and then increasingly deeper questions.

What is it about telling my story that makes me ball like a baby immediately? I mean, I've told it before. I'm years removed from these events. I'm in a safe place in the middle of the day. But I gush like a dam burst in me.

Dr. J. is more spiritual than what I'm used to, and I have to work actively to keep an open mind. I mean, I'm here for the purpose of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, which sounds kooky enough as it is--so I might as well go with the flow. We didn't start any EMDR today, as she said we needed to get to know each other and develop some trust between us first. That makes sense. We spent some time having me connect with different parts of my body mentally and physically, and feeling my "soul space." (I know how it sounds, but I'm willing to try.) I realized from this experience that I'm incredibly out of touch with my body and my mind is way too analytical. I need to relax and loosen up more. I could use some help with that in so many ways.

Whether it was the crying or the compassionate ear or the soul space, I felt relaxed and much more peaceful when I left.

My homework assignments are these:

1. Practice hugging myself. Literally.

2. Rub my chest to take the positive energy out of my heart and then rub my bellybutton to transfer it to the source of my sadness.

3. Brace my hands against the back of my head and feel the force of my inner strength to survive anything I encounter.

4. Do a few sweet things for myself, such as rubbing luxurious cream on my body.

Stop laughing.

May 20, 2010

Know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em

(Know when to walk away, and know when to run...)

I'm cleaning out my office today. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

May 18, 2010

Haves and have nots


- professional clothes
- kick-ass resume
- clean laundry
- ice cream fix
- pocket full o' kryptonite
- 42 exams to grade


- new job
- toilet paper
- batteries


- trip to a tropical destination
- hugs and kisses
- scooter

Incredibly optimistic

I am quite excited about my interview tomorrow--I feel so optimistic. Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself in my head (planning walks to work, searching for recipes for healthy lunches to pack) but I can't help it. I am such a great fit for this position.

Maybe Thursday, May 13 should be known as Amie's Independence Day.

Maybe this is the beginning of great things.

Maybe a little weekend trip is warranted in the near future.

Maybe I am not a lost cause.

Maybe the things I want can happen for me.

May 15, 2010

The theraputic process

A: Oh. Know what else I do?

Dr. T: What's that?

A: I file things in my head for him for later. Sort of like a chest that I store things in that I'll tell him someday. It's like, "Remember that time you were asking me what you stopped and I felt like I couldn't tell you? Well, this is what I meant..." Stuff like that.

Dr. T: So, you mean that you file stuff away that you want to tell him when you allow him to know you?

A: [pauses] Yeah. I guess so. For when I feel more secure that he won't just bail from a simple comment that I make.

Dr. T: But what are you doing in the meantime? Until then?

A: You mean until I let him know me well enough that I can tell him these things?

Dr. T: Yes.

A: I guess...not letting him know me...

Dr. T: And who does that hurt?

A: I don't know. Me. Him. Both of us.

May 13, 2010

Looks like...

...I need to find that new job a lot sooner than I thought.

May 12, 2010

What made my day today.

My friend P. just returned from a hiking trip on top of Mt. Shasta, and today she tentatively knocked on my office door and asked me if I had a second. "Sure," I said, "what's going on?" (I was nervous, you see, because work hasn't exactly been a source of good news lately.) She was cupping something in her hand, and looked a little shy.

She said, "I brought something back from my trip for you because I wanted you to know I was thinking about you. I was thinking about the people that lift me up every day, and I wanted you to know that you do that for me. So, from 10,000 feet up on the mountain, I brought you some snow melt so that you would know I took you with me and I'm grateful for you." She handed me a small, clear vial of water.

My eyes stung immediately. I hugged her and thanked her profusely for thinking of me, because she is someone who lifts me up each day, as well. She made this day a lot brighter.

May 11, 2010

A little rain never hurt no one.

I had a major disappointment today. It crushed me and I cried at work. I knew it was a distinct possibility. I received sweet support from Dave, Ruben, and Tamara and I am so grateful. I'm trying really hard to keep my chin up and stay hopeful.

I have no other choice.

Thus, I am drinking champagne and celebrating small things.

What's the best way?

Counting weeks? Or months?


Today can only get worse if I am bludgeoned to death on my way to the parking lot. I am trying not to spend the day in tears.

May 10, 2010

For the love of god!

Today I messed around briefly on MySpace. I changed my profile picture and updated my status, and immediately got a message from "Moses":

you look so sexy and hella beautiful, sorry but im very curious! do you give head or no?


YOU don't care because you can't remember
But I do
You don't want to hear, but
I'll fill you in on the things she can't or won't
These are the things I go back to
in my mind and
I want you to understand what it's like
to feel worthless until
he gives you permission not to.

A tiny patchwork quilt

I sit and listen and wait in vain
What have I done? (What haven't I done?)
I don't seem to have the courage to ask
But the difference is marked
I can't help but wonder
Is this the point that I'll later look at as
The moment things began to unravel?

May 9, 2010

Jealousy (cubed)

My female parent has been visiting the past few days. While we've had a surprisingly nice visit, I've come to really loathe her boyfriend. He is insecure and jealous and can be rather vicious. He calls while the two of us are hanging around in my apartment and says things like, "Who's there with you? Do you have guys there?" While we were spending Mother's Day in wine country, he would call and text constantly. She wanted to get off the phone so we could continue our day, and he assumed she was in the middle of fucking someone and wanted to finish. The rest of our day was spent getting phone calls and text messages from him saying, "What the hell's going on out there? You've been out there for days. Who are you seeing?"

She defends him at every turn: "He has a good heart." This afternoon I officially got fed up and I'm spending a couple hours in my room so I don't have to listen to her reassure him over and over that she's not fucking anyone while she's here visiting me.

On one hand, I am jealous that she has someone who seems to miss her. But that's exactly where that ends. I am exhausted from dealing with him vicariously through her, and don't know how she can stand his constant accusations. My insistence that she deserves better--someone who can trust her for more than 5 minutes at a time, at least--falls on deaf ears.

May 5, 2010


I love those moments when you're poised on the brink of something, not knowing which way things will go. Sometimes the moments when your life is about to change feel mundane and ordinary, with no clue in sight. At other times they feel heady with meaning.

I guess I'm somewhere in between right now. Of course, it may or may not be about to change.

I feel lucky to have had the recent changes that I've had and, no matter what happens, I will continue to pursue new ones. There are only so many tomorrows. I'm grabbing them.

Hush, hush. (I thought I heard you calling my name...)

Zip, zip, zip!

Quiet, quiet, quiet!

Maybe nothing, maybe something...I don't know...

I do know that 2010 is my year. I already made a new friend and also met my Dave. I hope for many more changes to come...

May 4, 2010

My bodywash smells like hope.

I am abuzz and aflutter. Exciting things. Hopeful things.

I am exhausted and have an alarming amount of work to do in a very short period of time, but I am still quivering with excitement.

May 2, 2010

You didn't.

Thank you for not stopping.

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?


Okay. Let's get this over with fast. While I'm ready.

So my therapist was trying to tease apart all the things that are wrapped up in me, and she said, "This is how I would describe you. You're prone to intensity--attracted to it, in fact, tend to think in black or white, all or nothing, alternate between feelings of closeness with people and feeling abandoned by them, have a lot of self-loathing and struggle with finding your identity internally versus externally."

I cried softly and said, "What is that?"

She gently told me she feels that--mixed up in all that is me--are some traits of borderline. She stressed that it was NOT THE FULL DISORDER, just tendencies and traits. She said it was very common for people with significant early trauma to experience these traits because they'd never had a stable sense of self.

As a result, and in addition to her former recommendation that I seek EMDR therapy, she suggested that I have some dialectical behavioral therapy in conjunction with it in order to seek a more stable sense of self.

That's it. That's all. It was just scary to talk about because there is a lot of stigma associated with borderline.

May 1, 2010

Blitzkreig bop

I am still trying to work up the courage to finish my earlier post, but I'm not sure that I ever will completely be able to.

Tonight I am wide awake, and re-reading old posts that characterized the blitzkrieg of insanity (peppered with bits of clarity) that has been my mental health for awhile now. This one still summarizes it well and still moves me.

After a particularly earth-splitting therapy session today I feel scared but also completely optimistic.

I know I am going to be fine. And I love that.