Acceptance After Being Ghosted

The other day I posted about the other four stages of grief after being ghosted by someone in a close dating relationship. There were a few times I felt I had come to the acceptance stage, but I was alternating between all of the stages randomly. I would think to myself, I’m over it; he’s a jerk, and then something would toss me right back to a different stage. I’d be angry at the fact that he’s meeting other women and dating and having fun, but I was left standing alone without answers to my heartbreak and had a miserable dating life. (I was also angry when one of his family members suggested that I must not have ever had anyone break up with me before, since I had these feelings. I corrected them by reminding them I was ghosted without answers.) I have come to some other realizations about this person that have helped me to enter the stage of acceptance.

It’s always helpful to get over someone by dating another person, however, the options I had been presented were pretty grim. Prior to meeting OC, a close friend had unexpectedly passed away, and during my mourning period (which lasted about a year), I jumped into a two-month toxic relationship with someone 18 years younger. I met OC about three or four months after that relationship ended. I was looking to date, but only looking for friends and activity partners, so what I felt with him was completely unexpected. Looking back, I feel that I was probably still vulnerable to opening myself up to injured souls, because I was also one of them.

Taking accountability for myself, I probably ignored a lot of red flags – the first of which was that OC’s online dating profile stated he was single. However, he was still technically a married man (verified separated for two years at that point) and still living in the same house with his wife. I broke my own rule by continuing a relationship with him, because my rule is to date someone that has been single (not separated) for at least a year, preferably longer. When I initially met him, he’d told me about another woman he’d been on a few dates with and was texting him… but according to him, he was ignoring her. I’d informed him that I only date one person at a time, and I expect the same in a partner and that he needs to tell this woman that he’s seeing someone else, to not just ignore her. I don’t know what he did, but now I suspect he ghosted her as well. Or perhaps he ghosts women, then shows up randomly when he thinks it’s okay and allow him back into their lives again… the same way he did to me six months later when he unblocked me and liked my social media posts – and still continues to this day!

I specifically remember a couple of times him mentioning things to me that seemed off. For example, even though he still claimed to be getting divorced, he was adamant about staying in their home and was building a separate entrance for himself. I later learned that during the time they supposedly separated, they’d purchased the house together, which didn’t fit the divorce story he was giving me. He would spend the night at my house most nights and head home first thing in the morning; we never spent any mornings together – just afternoons and nights. I had suspected he’d been hiding something or bending the truth, but I never actually found out. He also had a tattoo of a ball and chain along with his wife’s name on the front of his hip. When I asked if he was planning to cover it up, he became flustered as if I’d asked him to chop off his balls. He replied,  “Why? No one will see it.” Seriously? I told him I see it, and if he dates other women, they’re going to see it as well. I suspect he never covered it up, and he probably never will. (I wonder what his new girlfriend thinks of his wife’s name when she’s giving him a blowjob?) He’d say random things that didn’t make sense to me at the time. For example, one time he told me he was selfish and immature, but I hadn’t seen that side of him, so I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. What he’d presented to me in his actions was opposite of what he said in so many ways.

Something wasn’t right, but I blamed it on my own insecurities. I developed a lot of anxiety when I didn’t hear from him, especially that last week prior to him ghosting me. Perhaps he was lying to me, perhaps it was something else, but I ignored my gut feelings. The problem I have with myself is I am determined to get to the bottom of things, to find out the truth, and when I can’t pinpoint what isn’t right, I continue with a relationship until I do find out. He claimed to be “so busy” with his work, but right after he ghosted me, he’d pass me at the beach every single day, so I felt he was using that as an excuse.

Knowing OC’s history of 30+ years being raised in and then leaving a cult religion whose manipulative members suddenly cut off their own children for not being followers, I am aware that this has been ingrained into his system since he was a child, so it is probably easy for him to act this way without any regard for my feelings. Not that it’s right by any means, but what else can I tell myself when I have no other explanation? I also realize, no matter how sweet he was to me while we were together, he is a very wounded and disturbed soul that may not feel anything at all. He lied to me and broke promises, especially when he knew I was recovering after a divorce and promised me he wouldn’t break my heart.  I tell myself he was fake and manipulated my feelings and trust for his own selfish purposes, and everything about the relationship was as fake as Dirty John, because genuine people do not develop close intense relationships only to treat others with such disdain. I wish I could have moved on when it all went down; I wanted nothing more than those awful feelings to go away. I look at him now and think I can do so much better than him.

The stage of acceptance is the beginning of my healing process, because I am ready to meet my next long-term relationship.

Working Through Grief After Being Ghosted

First, I want to say that I am tired (and I know my friends are, too) of talking about this person, and I want it out of my brain once and for all. I wish I could say this is my last time talking about it, but I’m not sure I can say everything in one sitting.

If anyone could flip a switch to turn off anxiety, depression, or symptoms of grief or trauma, you bet your ass they would! So when someone says to “get over it,” they are clueless as to what you’re going through. There have been times when I don’t even understand why I feel the way I do, so I don’t expect others to be helpful, but insensitive comments are not appreciated.

Grief is a peculiar thing, and the five stages don’t always go in order. I am just now discovering this about OC, the guy that ghosted me two and a half years ago. About six months ago, I became angry about the situation. I am not a hateful person, and I cannot remember the last time I felt hate towards anyone, so why would these feelings suddenly emerge?

In case you’re not a regular follower, here’s a recap: We met on a dating app, dated intensely for 3 months (together 4-5 nights a week and weekends), fell head over heels for him, met some of his family, led me to believe we’d be together in the future (he spoke of plans for months ahead), said things to me like “it would take a lot to leave you.” I went to visit my family for a week, I even invited him to come along, he said he missed me, then he became uncommunicative (around this time my gut cringed), then he sent me a confusing text three days later telling me he had to take care of some work and financial stuff and that he didn’t mean to hurt me. He never actually said he didn’t want to see me anymore; I thought at the very least we’d remain friends. Then he never spoke to me or texted me again and blocked me from social media. We ran into each other all of the time, but he refused to look at me or speak to me, and at times he’d either hide or leave the place we were at. However, six months later, he unblocked me from Instagram and started liking my posts. I sent him several messages (usually after drinking, oops!), asking him why he did what he did and that I deserved an explanation, then eventually I told him how much he’d hurt me. He would read all of my messages yet fail to answer. About three months after that (this would be nearly a year since I’d met him), he matched with me again on a dating site… but never said a word. One of his family members was also following me on Instagram and liking my posts but would not allow me to follow his private account but would speak to me in public, another family member told me OC said that I was a “cool chick.” Total mindfuck! So, you can see how this would drive anyone batshit crazy that was still going through the stages of grief from this horrible un-breakup. It would have been easier and more forgivable to deal with an actual death.

Viewing the stages of grief this morning, I think the first stage I experienced was denial. I thought something happened and he was just dealing with it in his own way and I’d hear from him eventually. I mean, no one that spends so much time together and appears to be so close and honest just ups and leaves, right? Wrong! Plus, we’re in our 40s and he was so sweet to me, so there’s no way a man this age would do that, right? Wrong! I remember hearing a truck down my street thinking it was him coming over to talk to me. Wrong! (It was my neighbor’s truck.)

First, I think I was in the bargaining stage. I asked myself what happened? What did I do wrong? I blamed myself for doing something that I wasn’t aware that I did. It took me a long time to realize I did nothing wrong at all. I had just dated a cowardly asshole that couldn’t face the truth.

Depression was the stage that hit me immediately and didn’t go away for nearly two years. (I had been depressed about other things, but specifically this situation was different.) Again, I blamed myself. I didn’t eat for four months. I didn’t lose weight, either, because I did plenty of drinking during that time. Every time I saw him, I felt anxious to the point of a near-panic attack, then depressed, almost obsessive about it. I wanted nothing more than for him to speak to me, because I felt horrible. It didn’t help that he was liking my shit on social media, which I did eventually block him at some point.

Then came the anger. I didn’t think it was possible for me to be as angry as I’ve been for as long as I’ve been. (Perhaps middle age has something to do with it?) When I get mad about something, I stay mad for a bit, and then I’m over it. Maybe after having dates with multiple douchebags triggered something? Or maybe it’s just the stage I need to be in so that I can continue to heal?

One last incident: On New Year’s Eve, I went out with a friend to watch a band play. OC was there. The place wasn’t that crowded, and my friend and I both noticed him walking the long way around so that he passed by our table. Twice. He could have gone a shorter way away from us, but he didn’t. I’m so glad that my friend was there as a witness, because people think I make this shit up. She asked if he was trying to antagonize me. I replied, “I don’t know what he’s doing, but it’s weird!” Was he trying to get me to notice him? Fuck him. He doesn’t deserve it. The entire night I pretended I didn’t see him and kept a far distance, kept my back at him, even went to the opposite end of the bar to order drinks. And that’s when I realized I can do so much better than him.

Tomorrow I will write about the other stage of grief – acceptance.

Facebook Dating: Another Online Fail

Maybe my friends and frenemies are tired of seeing me without a significant other that makes me as unhappy as they are. Who knows, but someone talked me into trying Facebook dating, claiming it’s “better than the other sites,” and that I needed to be more open-minded. Whatever. I already know what dating sites are about, which is why I swore off of them a year ago. My synopsis is that most of the people on those sites are hiding who they really are, super desperate, super flawed, newly out of a relationship, trolls, and/or players. I want none of the above. So I tried Facebook dating and found it to be a complete waste of time, not to mention adding more to my life’s aggravation.

The first guy I matched with, “Joe”, was cool to talk to and responsive, looked normal in his photos (although I did give him shit about the bathroom mirror selfie). Responsive is something I appreciate, because if I’m going to take the time out to be on a stupid dating app, I don’t want to wait four days for a reply to “where are you from originally?” And another week for another reply. Joe isn’t from my area originally, which I prefer, but moved to Florida about a year ago. After chatting enough with Joe, I asked if he’d like to meet. That’s when he informed me he did not have transportation. Say what?! Yep, Joe’s story started to make a lot more sense after that bit of information. He’d left a long-term relationship and his children in another state a year prior, but doesn’t talk much about that. He’s “building a business” but working for someone else, relying on his boss to drive him around, left all of his crap (vehicle included) in the other state. I informed Joe that I wasn’t looking for a penpal, and what was he expecting by not having a vehicle? Seriously, dude, wtf??? Joe danced around his words and said he would figure it out. Sorry, Joe Schmoe, get your shit together if you’re over 40 want to date a decent woman! If I wanted to dodge bullets, I’d have stayed in the army! Delete.

Next guy that “liked me” is someone I met and went on a very brief one-time-only date about six years ago when I was newly separated. Six years ago, “Harry” was a firefighter and too touchy-feely for someone I had just met. He had a 5-o’clock-shadow as hard as boar bristle, and he tried sticking his tongue in my mouth, and just… eww. I was sooo not into him. He got offended when I told him to slow it down, that we’d just met. Then a few days later, he actually got mad at me for not being into him, as if I should fall in love before I even file for divorce. Dumbass. Anyway, when I saw that Harry liked me again, I sent him a message reminding him we’d already dated, and didn’t he remember me? He said he remembered that I liked his roommate better. I don’t recall that, maybe I thought the roommate would save me from boar-bristle, tongue-jabbing Harry. I wasn’t about to argue with Harry, so I deleted him.

I matched with a few other guys that were mostly unresponsive, and I’m not chasing after any man, especially if they show no interest. But then there was “Max,” claiming to be “an extremely bashful old soul.”

I really liked what Max had to say in his profile, has been single for nearly as long as I have (which is unheard of), and he was good looking. But I found it difficult to communicate with Max. He was also working a lot “building his business”. I asked him why he’s on a dating site if he’s too busy to date. I should have given up on him after this comment, but he said he’s hoping that he will find a woman that sticks around and understands he has to work a lot, and later she will reap the rewards. Say what?! What kind of fucking fantasy are these men living in? I told him that if he expects he’s going to find a woman to sit back and wait around for him, he’s certainly missing the point of dating, and what is he really expecting, because people have emotional needs? You can’t get to know someone that’s never around, and if he isn’t around, a woman will find someone that is. I was brutally honest with him, because of his claim of being single for so long. I mean, someone has to tell him, right?

Max finally started messaging me a little more consistently. After two weeks of this, I said, “Hey, I don’t want a penpal, and I want to delete this app soon. Do you want to meet?” He mentioned on Wednesday something about getting sushi on Saturday night. It wasn’t a set date, but a suggestion… and it appeased me for the moment.

And then I didn’t hear from Max.

Saturday rolled around, still no messages from Max. However, Max had enough time to post new photos and update his profile. Really… I said, “I see you updated your photos,” and I reminded him I was about to delete my profile in case he still wanted to meet. He replied that he was “bored at work” adding more pics and info, but never replied to my other message about meeting. Why I bothered to give him a chance after that, I don’t know, but I said, “I see you didn’t reply to my other message. I get it, but if you’re not interested in meeting, why would you match with me? Good luck with your search.” I gave him ample time to reply with something, anything… even a “good luck” back. Crickets.

No reply = fuck you, Max! Fuck you for wasting my time and giving me a glimmer of hope for conversation and sushi on a Saturday night. Game-playing asshole!

I gladly deleted my profile the next morning. I prefer to meet people organically so that I can pick up on their vibes and bullshit immediately before wasting time messaging those who are “too busy” for anything. Facebook dating is a fail, just like all of the others!

PTSD Triggers and Losing My Sh*t

I have never been kicked out of a place before, but  that changed the other night, and I am not the type of person to lose my shit like that. I will leave a place before I lose my cool, so I am surprised at myself, actually. It wasn’t expected, but there were three things going on all at once that triggered PTSD.

Here’s a little backstory on something that happened recently: I had seen OC out a couple of times with the woman he’s dating. I didn’t think it bothered me; perhaps I suppressed my feelings, but my feelings weren’t towards them. My feelings were about how I felt when he ghosted me, and for whatever reason, those feelings came back in full force, as if it had happened all over again. I didn’t eat or sleep well for about a week, and I had that same knot like I’d been kicked in the stomach that I had two and a half years ago. I don’t understand why I had these feelings except maybe the stress and depression around the holidays also triggered something else that I have yet to deal with.

OC’s girlfriend happens to be a bartender at a place I sometimes go. I think she’s a nice person, and I never have problems with anyone. I happened to be there when she was working, and there were cute puppy videos on the tv we were watching. She then showed me a pic of her dog and said something about her boyfriend of six months (surprised he lasted that long with anyone). Then we got onto the subject of the boyfriend (OC). I told her I had dated him, wish I’d never met him, said I think he’s sneaky and a liar and filled her in on my side of the story. I don’t think she knew he and I dated. I told her I hope she breaks his heart. I wish nothing bad on her whatsoever, but perhaps she is also avoiding the red flags and warning signs that I had.

In the meantime, someone else walked into that bar that I hadn’t seen in quite some time, and it set off another trigger. I don’t know what happened, but my mind just shut down at some point. I was still talking to the bartender when someone else that knows nothing about me piped in and started talking shit to me about me. First of all, I’m not going to let anyone talk shit to me, especially when they don’t even know me enough to attend my funeral. This is a person that has zero room to talk, but I suspect she gets her information about me from a frenemy, so that’s when I lost my shit. I told her to fuck off, told her to shut the fuck up, called her a stupid fucking cunt, and at some point I don’t remember what else I said. I must have been blackout angry by that point. Actually, I was yelling, which is something I never do unless I have just had enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve yelled at anyone. Maybe it’s what I needed before I exploded inside.

Between PTSD triggers, anger, and alcohol, that was it for me. I was told to leave the bar, which I was attempting to do at that point anyway, and I was getting up to leave and gathering my things. I think they thought I was going to physically attack her (I’m not a fighter), so I was grabbed and pushed out. Not a loss, actually, because it’s the place that I feel a lot of the douchebags I’ve written about here hang out; I just like the music there.

I have never dealt with certain things that have happened to me, because I find it difficult to talk about and blame myself for a lot of it. Now that I’ve identified a trigger or three, maybe I can begin to work with it in my next counseling session.

What Are You Settling For?

Settling. I see people around me doing it all the time. Settling in relationships, settling in jobs, settling in circumstances within their control. But I can’t do that. I refuse to waste even small moments of my life settling for something that’s not making me happy. I‘ve done it before, and it’s a big time waster. Time is money, and time can’t ever be replaced. But some people can.

I have witnessed so many of my friends and exes and others around me settling with the first person that comes along. Been there, done that, and it never works. At least not for me anyway. Well, maybe not the first person, but for someone because I’m tired of being alone. (Then in the end, realizing I’m better off alone.)

I’ve seen people stay in relationships “for the kids” or for whatever reason they happen to use, and most of the time, these people are really fucking miserable. When I see a couple that seems to be happy, then see either of them out alone happier without the other, that’s a problem. If men flirt with me when they’re not with their significant others, it makes me glad I’m not settled into some bullshit that someone else has. No thank you!! (And the men that do this are despicable!)

And then there are those settling into jobs for whatever reason. Yes, we all have to pay bills, but at this point in my life I want to do something I actually like, not something I have to do to get by. I’ve done all of this miserable shit before; I just can’t do it anymore. Yes, sometimes we work jobs specifically just for our shitty American health care. I’ve done all of that – and I’m over every bit of it, especially when the job itself literally made me ill. Lesson learned.

Life is too short to wake up in the morning dreading what you have to do each day… and this is why I live minimally. I refuse to be a slave to material things. (I wanted to live minimally when I was married, but it’s not what he wanted.) I live in a 500-square-foot garage apartment, and I drive a 15-year-old car. I no longer use credit cards. I barter things, such as salon services. I attempt to eat as healthy as I possibly as I can, which is a challenge if I want to buy organic foods. If I do go out, I try to organize it with ladies-day specials so I’m not paying full price… or sometimes my friends decide to pick up the tab (or on the very rare occasion I actually go out on a date), which is super cool. (However, I’ll probably be dead before student loans will ever be paid off.)

With that being said, people really get on my fucking nerves constantly asking what I’m doing for work, as if it defines who I am or as if it’s any of their business. For now, I’m just making it being self-employed doing product reviews and miscellaneous projects, picking up random things along the way to get by. I’ve explained it over and over again. These same people don’t understand that just because I don’t always physically have to be somewhere at certain times (traditional job), that I don’t work at all (as if money appears out of the sky – I wish!) – and actually tell other people that! It’s fucking annoying. But that’s because these people have settled. Settled into shitty jobs with shitty pay. Been there, done that, and it cost me my health. Not worth it for one minute!

I will work a job until it no longer serves ME, not the other way around. I refuse to be a slave to a corporation. I refuse to continue doing work that doesn’t make me happy in some way. And I refuse to sit in traffic for hours on end to a job I hate and wear clothes that aren’t comfortable to sit at a desk to do work that I despise. It’s no way to live life when you realize it could end at anytime without warning.

Working Thru PTSD and Being Emotionally Unavailable

Sometimes things happen that will forever change a person’s life. Forever change who that person is. Some things have forever changed me, and even though I pretend to be strong, these things have weakened me in many ways. Just when I started working through the PTSD, something else came along and set me right back. In the past month, I have felt pretty good for only one day – both physically and mentally. That’s not enough for me.

I’ve been doing a lot of introspection over the past few months, going thru my old writings, and realizing that I have completely lost myself. I don’t even write the same. I stopped working out. Nothing interests me at all. I lost who I am, I lost my enthusiasm for life, my motivation to do anything I used to enjoy, my spark. Why? Because I spent too much time focused on giving myself to those that didn’t value me. And now I feel I have nothing left to give to anyone else except myself.

What the fuck was I thinking giving my time and energy to those unworthy assholes??! I suppose it’s because it’s the way I was conditioned since childhood, as many women are. It’s really hard to break a pattern that’s been going on for over 40 years, especially without guidance or cheerleaders. I feel as if I’m constantly searching for something that works, for people that believe in me. I guess no one else will if I don’t believe in myself, but how do you even begin to believe in yourself? 

This struggle has to stop. Over the past few months I realize that I have spent too much time and energy on relationships that were doomed from the beginning instead of focusing my energy on things that would build me up and make me happy. I honestly have no desire to date; I can only be friends with a man, and if he can’t be just friends, then he can go fuck himself. I just want to write, create things, be one with nature, and heal. For now, I am the one that’s emotionally unavailable. And I am okay with that.

A lot of this has to do with so many of the fucktards I’ve dated and keep running into in this small town. How did I not notice what pieces of shit these men are? I only chose to find the good things in people instead of seeing head on the narcissistic, selfish assholes that cared absolutely nothing about me. Even men that I didn’t date – those I trusted as friends – men that did things to me that will forever change who I am and the way I feel about men in general. I believe it’s probably even changed my DNA. No wonder I feel like shit all the time. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t met or dated ANY of the men I’ve written about. Not one of them has added anything positive to my life (probably why it’s easy to write about them). Even OC – the one that I loved and hurt me the most.

I’ve run into OC a couple of times in the past few months. He literally hid behind his hat in one instance (I pretended I didn’t see him), and in another, he literally ran out of the place when he saw me. Seriously… what a fucking coward! It’s been two whole years, and he’s still acting this way? WTF?

About a month ago, a mutual acquaintance (more on that later) mentioned to me that OC “has commitment issues”. Instantly, those words helped me to gain clarity – I realized at that exact moment I’m not the only one OC has done this to, and all of this time I had been blaming myself, thinking I’m the one that did something wrong. And to think that there are women in this town that have also probably been burned by him really angers me. How dare he think it’s okay to use women, feign a friendship, and throw them away! What a fucking piece of shit! Instead of feeling hurt from him now, I feel anger and disgust. (Also pissed off at myself for being a fool.) I don’t normally feel hatred towards people, but now I have this hatred towards him for wasting my time and lying to me and using me and hurting me without a single apology. I was blinded by his charm and his pretending to like me, because I wasn’t used to men being nice to me. How fucking pathetic am I?

On the note of men being nice to me – that’s how I ended up married. I had a horrible dating streak in my 20s and early 30s. I was a single mom, and at the time, being a single mom wasn’t a huge thing like it is now. No one wanted to date me, no one wanted to date anyone with kids – or they wanted their own kids, and I was done having them. I was rarely taken out on “real dates” and treated like a woman. All I met were losers or men that were too old for me to date. I honestly didn’t even know what dating was supposed to be about, because my life at that time were mainly friends with benefits and hookups. I didn’t know what it was like to have a real boyfriend. I also didn’t meet anyone that I wanted in my life longterm, because when you’re a single mom, the guy has to be the entire package.

So when I met my now ex-husband, he was super sweet to me and took me out on real dates, called me when he said he would, and all of those good things that women should get out of a man she’s dating. Plus, he accepted my child. I wasn’t used to be treated well at all, which is why I stuck with him and married him. We had some things in common, but not enough to keep the marriage alive. We grew apart. I realize now I was settling for someone just because he was nice to me, and I didn’t think anyone else could or would love me. How fucked up is that? I don’t want to fall into that trap again.

Recently, an acquaintance introduced me to a man that I’m now very good friends with. It’s a new friendship, so the trust is still building. To set the record straight, I’ve already told him that I’m emotionally, financially, and sexually unavailable – and he’s okay with that. It’s nice to find someone that can be a friend without expecting anything in return, like the men in my experience have.

I always feel like I owe him something when he helps me move furniture or takes me out to eat – because there has always been a price to pay when men “help”. But he says he doesn’t expect anything in return, and I sit and wonder how long this attitude will last.

My friend treats me very well, but he does remind me a lot of my ex-husband (the good parts), and I realize we don’t have that much in common. And this is what gets me – friends saying that if he treats me well, I should date him. But I don’t see it that way, since I have been there/done that, got bored and moved on. I know exactly what I want, but I have to keep reminding myself that just because this person treats me well doesn’t mean I should be in a relationship with him. Besides, I am emotionally unavailable. I just need to find other people that know how to treat other people well.

Spring Cleaning My Mind

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a lot more lately, but I’ve had some issues to deal with before I have allowed myself to actually sit. I started redecorating my place after my landlord did some improvements to my bathroom, so for two or three weeks I was painting and cleaning and getting rid of what no longer serves me. For instance, some prints of Key West that were given to me while I was married that I have outgrown, two bags of clothing that either didn’t fit me or I wonder why the hell I bought it in the first place, things I’d saved as “art supplies” but never used, and even my living room rug that I had while I was married. I just want things that are mine to begin with, not a reminder of the past that I had with someone else. Plus, I’m preparing for surgery next week and want my home in order so I have nothing to worry about. I enjoy living minimally with only the quality things that I need and things that keep me occupied.

Another thing I’ve done is take a risk to focus more on freelance work and other projects rather than slaving for someone else, especially since the wages in my area are horrible and barely worth getting out of bed. Besides, the amount of appointments and surgery/recovery time I have would not sit well with any employer. I may have less income coming in, but I’m happier, less stressed, and flexibility is important to me. Plus, my health is my number one priority at the moment, of which most employers seem to be so flippant.

With that previous statement in mind, I recently met a woman that had worked for a large corporation for many years and was let go without any warning, and it changed her entire life. She is now self-employed and less stressed, yet also lower in income. It’s a double-edged sword, but happiness is more important. We discussed how so many employers no longer truly care about their employees; employees are replaceable and unappreciated. It reminded me of the last company I worked for that didn’t even give its employees a Christmas/holiday party, not even a “thank you” at the end of the year. That was a tell-tale sign for me to run from the place, and I did two months later. Why on earth would I get up in the morning to make someone else rich that could care less if I was hit by a bus?

With all of this going on, I have noticed an internal change in myself as well. While I painted for days, I listened to a lot of podcasts and got into a zen mode. I didn’t feel like being around other people. I wasn’t thinking about the actual work I was doing; I was just being, which is a huge step for me, because I have a tendency to think and overthink all too often. Although at times my mind did wander, and I did do a lot of thinking about the things going on in my life… and the people that have affected me in all sorts of ways.

I was invited out a few times by friends in town and another one going away, so it was a nice change to have some girl time. (Since most of my friends are boyfriended up, it’s rare to have girl time anymore.) While I realize I don’t exactly fit in to any group, I have a variety of friends of all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds. There are some people that, once they get boyfriended up, stop being friends until they have an issue. Or my one friend, that when we do finally get together, ends up constantly on her phone with the boyfriend texting and calling nonstop. It’s the most annoying fucking thing in the world, not to mention rude. I also realize that I’m the one initiating getting together with some friends almost 100% of the time. So I stopped doing it. And I haven’t heard a word from any of them. I often feel like people only contact me when they need something or when they’re bored and no one else is around. No one wants to feel this way.

I have distanced myself from dating again. While I’m open to meet new people, the whole “dating” and trying to find “the one” thing seems to be useless. Men are either too preoccupied pursuing multiple women or “work too much” or have small children or otherwise emotionally unavailable. Either be in it or GTFO, because I value my time, and people who waste it are the epitome of ass. And then there’s the other side of the spectrum – after one date they think they’re going to marry me. It’s not happening. None of it.

And while I’m sitting here typing this, I’m watching a millipede crawl across the floor. I am a big person on signs from the Universe… and the symbolism of the millipede, according to Ted Andrews:

“Damp environments are symbolic of creative, psychic, and emotional areas. For those to whom the millipede is a messenger, it’s important to find an environment supportive to their creative and psychic sensibilities, necessary for their health and well-being. Centipedes and millipedes often remind us to be careful of what we say and how we say it. They alert us to new psychic environments and connections and to new and previously unrecognized psychic relationships. They also appear to alert us to any possible pitfalls within those relationships. Theirs is the energy of quiet protection in psychic exploration.” (Ted Andrews Animal-Wise.)

Seems to be quite fitting.