Workout

I have recently started taking a Livestrong class for cancer survivors to rebuild strength after treatment at the YMCA. A group of ten of us, I am the youngest by a decade, workout twice a week with a half-a-dozen trainers. Normally, I get there and jump on an elliptical machine for twenty minutes, do some weights, and end with the group in a small classroom to do exercises to strengthen the core. Today was different.

We were gathered and sent to the small classroom to sample a class. Shareese, a beautiful black woman in her late 30s or early 40s, was going to lead a class of Bowka. I guess it is a group fitness class with South African roots where you spell out letters with your steps, less about dance moves. As Shareese describes the format, she takes off her bigger black t-shirt to reveal a tight hot pink tank top over a black sports bra, which stops right above her bum wrapped in tight black yoga pants.

On the first day of class six weeks ago, I felt myself completely intimidated by Shareese. She is short, about 5’6”, but she looks like she could take on anyone. She is super thick, plus size by any fashion industry standard, but she is incredibly toned and muscular. She has a huge chest suppressed by a couple of sports bras and tight shirts on top of that. Her butt is huge and round. Her thighs look like they could crush walnuts. She radiates strength and power.

I find it hard to take my attention off of her. I didn’t even realize how much attention I was paying her until I recounted a story to the boys about how she asked me what I was listening to while I was doing my cardio the previous week. I was afraid to tell her. Oh my god, I am at the YMCA. I am pretty convinced all those old men are preachers in between sermons. Nonetheless, against my better judgement, I tell her that I like to listen to Abraham Hicks. “It is like the law of attraction,” I stumble. “Have you ever listened to The Secret?” She quickly told me that she loves listening to that kind of stuff, and I turned red as a tomato.

She ended that workout by showing us how, in a downward dog type position, she could swing her leg up to be perpendicular with the ceiling, swing her leg back around until her knee was to her chest, and kick it back to the floor. I, and the rest of the class, were stunned at the display of athleticism.

Within the first few moves, I knew this was going to be one hell of a workout. As I saw sweat begin to bead up on her perfectly toned shoulders, I knew I was going to be in more than just physical pain. Immediately, I felt like I had to do well in order to not be perceived as an idiot by her. I am the largest person in class by around 100 pounds. I still thought I could put in a good show.

She begins teaching us combinations, and I immediately kick off the shoes and watch them bounce off the wall behind me. The pain running up my calves and inside my inner arch was excruciating. I tell myself to fight through the pain. I quickly pick up the moves and keep watching her.

What kind of underwear is she wearing? I see no panty lines? Do you think she is wearing a thong? What thick sister in the middle of a workout is going to wear a thong? How does that seam line run perfectly down her crack. Oh my god, stop staring! She is going to realize that you are staring.

When she tells us to add a noise, I abid. If we were instructed to add some flare, I added flare. I picked up the steps quickly, even if I had to take a break every few minutes to try and soften up my cramped calves that are refusing to cooperate. She acknowledges me at some point and I turn beet red and crumple up a little.

I would see her get frustrated with an old guy who was only doing this to support his wife. He clearly had no rhythm. She wouldn’t quit until she saw him do it right at least once. Her face would show her frustration, but she kept at it until she felt satisfied. Even breaking a smile. Her brown eyes were so dark and delightful. I loved her dark cafe colored skin next to her eyes. Her hair was natural and up in a frizzy little puff of a bun. I would imagine that she would have the cutest kids.

I continued giving it my all, well beyond my usual level of exertion. I would be distracted by watching her shape move, than going through all the reasons why I would never have a chance. I watched my tall frame in the big mirror. The weight lifting was making my décolletage look great. My curly mass of unruly hair was trapped underneath a brown and white patterned train conductor’s cap. I had a good chest, but my belly. God, what a miserable belly! Besides that, I am a smoker. I am fat and a relative cousin to the beauty of Fortune Feimster. I don’t even know if she is gay, is married, has kids, etc.

After an hour of this torture, she quickly hands over the group to another instructor to lead us through some core exercises. I miss her absence as I am trying to hold my 340lb frame in a plank off my knees. I can’t even contemplate some of the other moves and find myself laying flat on the floor, cursing my inability to even raise my knee to my chest for a stretch.

We are released and I start to pick up my gym bag and shoes. Shareese smiles at me and complements me on my good energy. I barely could pull it together to thank her and smile back before I start to bust out of the door. I am so embarrassed. Just as I hit the entrance, another trainer catches me to tell me how great a dancer I was. I thank them, just as shyly, and run to my car.

I can see my pink face in the rear view mirror and feel the excitement and horror of being “seen” coursing through my veins. I completely don’t know what to do with myself, tearing up because I feel so foolish. I vow to stop and get a cupcake on the way home.

Resistance

It is important to maintain a positive attitude, especially when you are recovering from a thing like cancer. Listening to Abraham Hicks and believing in the Law of Attraction, you learn that you are solely responsible for how you feel and what you think about. The more negativity you radiate, the more negative things happen to you; the more positive and hopeful you are, the more you attract positive things.

Throughout this experience I have experienced both. Before my actual diagnose, I lived years in the dark. I feared everything. I cut myself off from love. I was anxious about anything. I actually was able to flip the switch at some point. I started to rise out of my depression. I became more vulnerable and opened myself up more. Right after my hysterectomy, I felt this incredible feeling of well being. I was flying high on the highest disc I had ever been on.

My energy has fluctuated since then. I have never really gotten to a pre-diagnosis low during most of my treatment. I surround myself with things that keep me positive. Positve people, positive music, positive television and movies. For the most part, it has been working. What is frustrating is when you slip back to a person you remember being and not knowing how to bounce back.

Then on Thursday, I went over to Max and Alex’s. It was a normal night, nothing new. We were going to get some dinner. As they began to prepare, Alex hovered over me. He has been very physically playful which is an energy I am not used to. I had a meltdown about this no more than a month before. I am a person who isn’t touched very often, and I am already super sensitive to it. One day he wouldn’t stop, and I just had a meltdown. I walled up, couldn’t speak. He felt bad about it and promised to leave me alone. I knew in his mind that he would like me to be more playful. I know in some ways his pushing has been helpful, but in many ways it hits a chord that he knows is touchy for me.

Well, on Thursday he full body hugged me. I had my arms crossed over my chest. I knew that he wouldn’t stop, so I just tried to relax and wait for it to be over. When he stood up, he commented that I was blocking my heart chakra. I believe he was trying to say that I couldn’t receive the full benefit of his hug because I was blocking it. He started asking me why I was doing it. I paused to think about it, I knew he was right about it. As I was trying to think through why I might be doing it, he unleashed another bit of commentary that was pointed.

“You know, you always hug me at the end of the night even at times I don’t feel like it. You are aggressive too,” Alex said. Than Max chimed in agreement. They continued to chatter and my heart immediately plummeted. I have been making it a point to hug each of them before I go every night. I do this because I want them to know how much I love them. I do it because I know I won’t be here forever and I don’t want them to feel like they missed one hug from me or have any doubts that I love them. I do it because living as a single person, it is the one form of physical contact that I could rely on, made me feel safe, and felt good.

Totally shut down, I could see their mouths flap but I couldn’t hear words. Tears poured from my face. My blood sugar was crashing. Max made me a shake and we tried to go to dinner. I was silent. We got to the restaurant and asked for a moment to be alone before they went in; they refused to go in without me. We got some hamburgers from McDonald’s and tried to eat them in the car. They kept poking me. “Use your words. Describe what is wrong.”

I tried to tell them that I was upset that my hugs were so annoying, and tried to communicate that I am obviously upset because they mean something to me and Max got frustrated and just told Alex, “go home because she obviously doesn’t understand.” Feeling cut off, instead of listened to, I left for my car and just took off.

I climbed a hill behind a parking lot and was trying to figure how to get home on foot. Alex was yelling to me from the car. I wanted to bolt, but just climbing the hill got me out of breath and I was so exhausted. I got back in the car and we came back to their house. I felt attacked, hurt, and completely shut down. Alex comments hinted at him being hurt that I didn’t receive his affection more openly. He then tried to talk to me, but I was in no place to hear it. Finally he said, “why don’t you just leave and we can talk about this on Monday.

Nearly two days have passed, and I don’t know how I brought this on myself. I was just sitting there. Alex approached me. He knows I am sensitive about touch, and he did it anyway. I didn’t think the interaction was all that bad, but he started to feel hurt and tried to suggest that even though I don’t like you giving me hugs I deal with it…so I am as bad as you. Well, no. If you told me no, I wouldn’t do it. When he attacked the hugs, it hit a chord. I look forward to my hugs; I try to give them with the deepest part of my being. Knowing that it didn’t translate as such hurt deeply. Add to that a fear of never being touched again. This is a girl who has had to live without touch in her life. I could count the years that my mother never hugged me. Falling back into that void hurt.

I know that my sensitivity toward touch may be annoying, or unfun. But that is how my body reacts! It is in my core. I can’t just break it like that. It is like you know that is a sore subject for me; you poked me in the same spot you knew hurt and got the same reaction you normally get. Why do you keep hurting me? Is it for your own amusement? Then, you know I am shut down…stop talking. Stop expecting me to make sense.

Needless to say, I began spiraling out of despair. I got some sort of apology text, but the next day I haven’t heard anything from them. I can’t get out of bed. I can’t stop crying. I feel violated and hurt and I have no one to talk to about it. The old tapes are playing again, and I can feel the negative emotion ripping at my health. My last chemo is this week. If we aren’t patched up, how I will get there and back is in question. My father can’t come because of Maundy Thursday services, my siblings are all working. Part of me is like great, sit in your shit for 8 hours…alone…just like you will always be.

I know I am not in a healthy place. I don’t know how to get out of it. So, I am just going back to sleep. Peace out world.

A Love Letter to the Sun

This winter has been unusually cold, snowy, and long. My butt has fallen on the ice in my driveway at least a half dozen times already. Each fall makes you more timid. Last night, I looked at my trash can and had a mini panic attack thinking about taking it to the end of my driveway. Eventually, taking small enough steps, I managed to get it set out.

I always harbor a small amount of anxiety about falling. I am scared to death of breaking bones, even though I have never broken one. Sure, I have twisted ankles and bruised other parts of my body pretty bad…but the fear is the most limiting part. Some people enjoy others confronting their fears. Max loves to watch me fall and try to get up. Yes, if I was really hurt he would come and help…but sometimes you need to watch someone confront their fear and get over it as an extension of their growth. I imagine parents have a horrible time giving their children enough space to make mistakes in order to grow.

I have been growing a lot these days. Fear can be a horrible fixture when you are confronting disease. I was scared to death when I was diagnosed with cancer, but I knew that I couldn’t just spend all of my waking hours worrying. Thoughts about your mortality are always in the mix. My father in his seventies is always contemplating his inevitable exit. My aunt did the same when she was his age. It is not normal to do it in your 30s, but anyone who has cancer and doesn’t tell you that their mind is sometimes burdened by these crazy thoughts is lying.

As someone who has been really into the Law of Attraction, I often worry when these thoughts show up. I don’t want more of them. I don’t want to attract suffering. Unfortunately, my panic about these thoughts always leads to more. That is why you really need to get focused on something else.

I am in the last third of my treatment. Even though this is the time the doctors tell you that you might be at your weakest, I have decided to take on some stuff to get me ready for life after disease. I started teaching an English class at my local community college. I even auditioned and am rehearsing for a small cabaret show. Compared to my recent activities, this is a lot.

Not only am I managing my time and energy to do them, I am using them as a safe space to really relax into my new state of being. I usually hate processes and “the journey.” I often am pounding things out to get to the end result. Life is all about the journey. The more comfortable you are during it, finding ways to enjoy the process, the more you get out of everything.

I think being in the middle of the process was so difficult for me because I like things black and white. Tell me what you want and I’ll do it. This might be great in an employee, but it isn’t great when you are trying to find out what you really want. With my cancer treatment, I can no longer ignore my body. If I am exhausted, hungry, or hurting…I have to honor it and forget about what anyone else thinks.

Last week, I had my first infusion of my second round of chemo. I appreciated the time off from radiation. Still, I did have some anxiety coming back. I had handled the chemo well before, but there are always unknowns. This round I get a Neblasta shot 24 hours after each infusion. It is designed to make more blood cells to fight infection, but it magnifies the boney pain. Surprisingly, the boney pain hasn’t been too bad. My energy level is a different issue. I went to rehearsal on Monday and made it through two hours of choreography. I wanted to leave as soon as it started. My bones ached and I felt light, but I sat through the pain and made it through.

Yesterday, I saw a doctor for a radiation follow-up. She asked me about exercise and when I told her what I was doing, she was impressed. “You should be exhausted,” she said. I was, but there is a part of me that is always pushing though the pain. Even after a nap, I didn’t really have much energy. I eventually missed rehearsal. I felt guilty, but a little rest on this end will preserve me for the future of the production.

Knowing when to push and when not to is an extension of being able to listen to yourself, trusting the information you are receiving. Discovering my identity as a lesbian made me realize how much I had been trained to deny huge aspects of my personhood. This all comes from self-hatred and low self-worth. As I have been opening myself up, I am able to hear and feel more of my intuition. I still question it, but I am kinder and more open to myself.

Nonetheless, sometimes a person who has been so out of tune with themselves needs help. Every self-help book talks about the need for accountability partners or a support system. As I have grown older, I was focused on being independent. I kept so many of my thoughts and feelings to myself. I thought I was shielding others from my burdens, but I was only hurting myself. Plus, those people that you really do love and want to be close to really ache when you do this. Max and Alex are always asking me to dig deeper, tell them more, and be more vulnerable. It isn’t easy. I would rather get two IVs sometimes than to share certain thoughts.

Assertiveness can have a bad connotation to it. Who wants to be a bitch? Still, sometimes you have to say what is on your mind. One day this past week, I was playing a pool game on my new phone. I finally won a game and let out a huge yell. Max and Alex were taken back. According to them, my yell was a little “manish,” which was contrary to my normal self. Max stated, with some confusion, frustration, and anger, “I feel like sometimes I don’t even know who you are.”

Immediately, I felt a dagger through my heart. On one hand, I got it. It is hard to see someone you thought you knew change so much. It wasn’t in the contract. That is why family members often are enemies to those on a diet. Couples break up because one of them changes more than the other can handle. In reality, I am not really that different. The context has changed and I am trying super hard to get more comfortable with who I am.

Still, there is no one that wouldn’t have been hurt if their best friend had said the same thing. It was in this moment that I immediately clammed up and could no longer speak. Rationally, I had already forgiven him because I understood, but I needed to give voice to the hurt. It took me two days to finally say it.

I have taught lessons on conflict management and being more assertive. I know that one needs to communicate. The problem is feeling enough worth and confidence to just give voice to it. I can now feel the physical closing of my throat. I have red flags shoot off in my head that I need to say something now. Unfortunately, low blood sugar can flood emotions through your body and make you feel so unworthy that you just shut down. Embarrassment or lack of confidence can make you second-guess every word. You can imagine how ridiculous you must look or sound, and the last thing you want to do is be seen.

I treat myself as if I am doing something wrong when in reality, you know that a boundary has been crossed and you just want to acknowledge it. Concern for others’ feelings becomes more important than your health and security. In the end, the lack of action is more a slap in the face to yourself than anyone else.

Watching someone go through this might be as funny as watching someone fall and try to get up in their driveway, but it is as lethal as cancer. How many people don’t tell their doctors the full truth because they are embarrassed or afraid? I am guilty. How many people stay in an unhealthy situation at work or in a relationship because they are too afraid to speak up? Again, I am guilty.

Once you recognize the problem, you can work on it. But, it isn’t super simple. The old adage that if you make a mistake, you have to do it right 7 times in order to learn it the right way applies. Being aware is only one step. You have to exercise this assertiveness muscle over and over again in order to gain any sort of ease in doing it.

You are not an island. You will have to get loved ones involved. Hopefully, there are a few people in your life that you feel you can trust enough to work on this with. If you don’t have someone you can trust, you are going to have to take a leap of faith and go find someone. I no longer believe that I can keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Writing helps. It can open up someone who is really closed up, but you have to develop connections with other living breathing human beings.

Of course, humans are not perfect. Sometimes you are going to take a chance and be vulnerable, and the other person is going to disappoint you, maybe even hurt your feelings. Hopefully, you are working with people who have earned the right to hear your business and have even proven themselves as friends and not foes. If this is the case, you have to continue the dialogue. Feelings are mucky. They are uncomfortable. When people are learning, or even when they are not at their best, you have to be willing to forgive them and move on. The real reason for this is because you so desperately want them to forgive you when you mess up, which you are going to do.

By building this resource, it is easier to confront fear. Fear is a dark room. The second you let in some light, you will be able to see. Fear can’t survive the light; it exists in shadows. All one has to do is flip the switch. Flipping the switch just entails softening the resistance, releasing a muscle, relaxing and just letting the truth flow instead of being pinched off.

_______________________________________________________________________

At my next infusion, I noticed an older woman getting an infusion next to me. She was crabby to herself. She had no one with her, and she held a wall of invincibility around her. She called to have her lunch delivered and handled the human interaction like a business transaction. There was an impenetrable wall around her. I can understand wanting to prevent the bad/sad energy of a cancer center from invading you, but this was deep. I saw the old me in her and wanted to give her a hug. Cancer cells spend a lifetime isolating themselves from the community of the body. They only absorb the supplies they need (or more than they need) and don’t give anything back, like the Universe owes them nothing.

When she left, a lovely older black woman took her place. She was warm and funny. She loved to make her neighbors laugh. She showed concern for another patient who had a bathroom issue. The entire time she was getting her infusion, she had a six-month baby girl on her lap. You could tell that she loved this little one and I was in awe of how much the baby girl just melted into her. She felt safe and loved. There was no other place that she would have rather been. This grandma and her granddaughter were the most beautiful thing in the room. The energy radiated from them was warm, soft, and comforting. Like a flame, you’re just drawn to them.

I want to burn as a brighter flame. I want to radiate love and warmth.

So, today, the sun shines. I feel the light and the warmth. I know it is going to go away soon, but I am making my vitamin D and am storing the glorious energy and goodwill. I feel lighter. I feel fuller, and I feel ready to continue to be brave and carry on with courage.

You Are Not an Island

I have to admit, I have been living alone for almost 20 years now. As an independent lady, I feel like I have worked hard to be able to accomplish things on my own. I buy my own cars, bought my own house, and when I make plans…it is usually for myself. It is not like I always want to be alone, but I figure that I can’t trust that someone else is going to be around so I better figure out how to do it on my own.

This thinking process has been with me forever. Because my parents worked a ton, my siblings and myself were often asked to fend for ourselves. We were total latch key kids living in the middle of nowhere. Although our hometown was about 20 minutes away, it felt like eternity without a car.

I realized quickly that if I wanted to do anything, I had to take the initiative. If I wanted to do an after school activity, I had to come up with the funds and figure out the transportation.

When I first went to college, I remember hoping to find someone special. I would decorate things thinking about having company over…but it didn’t really happen. I have never had a Valentine sweetheart or even someone special during the holidays. To get over feeling like a dork, I just shut it out. If I couldn’t fix the relationship part of my life, then I would focus on anything else but it.

Obviously, it hasn’t been working.

When my boys moved back into the area, I finally felt like I had my family. They are my brothers. They are who I have fun with, who consoles me, and who makes me a better person.

This year I have taken so many steps to grow and be a better, more fulfilled person. I have beaten back depression, discovered with a little more clarity who I am, and am working on making myself healthier. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Still, as far as I have progressed, there is so much more work to be done. In talking with Alex and Max this week, they discussed that I could let them even further into my life. We have worked on me disclosing more about what I am thinking and feeling. At first, I didn’t trust that they would be able to hear me without judgment, but they proved me wrong.

In some areas, I guess they feel like they barely know me. Who am I attracted to? Where do I really want to eat? What music do I listen to that we don’t mutually listen to?

It sounds like it should be so easy. Sometimes I do censor myself. If I am talking to someone and they have disclosed that they don’t like something that I do, I just don’t talk about it out of politeness. When it comes to talking about people I am attracted to, I feel super embarrassed and slightly prudish.

I don’t know where the hesitation comes from. Am I afraid that if people really knew what I thought, they wouldn’t like me? Do I feel like my liking of it is not as valid as someone else’s opinion?

For a long time, I didn’t know what my true opinion was on a variety of topics. I would often listen to what others thought and if I could live with it, I just went with the crowd. It seemed easier than having an argument over right or wrong. If I did voice a contrary opinion and was the target of some sort of criticism over it, I wouldn’t know how to verbally defend myself and just cave in to whatever someone else thought.

I guess the reason why that might have happened was that I wasn’t as forthright about why I viewed things the way that I did or how long I had thought that way. If I voiced a contrary opinion and you had no idea I felt that way, it would seem disingenuous, especially if I flipped flopped shortly there after. My memory is not that good either, so if I had not fully disclosed something or went around with the crowd, I might have forgotten about it shortly there after. Latter, if I referenced it….the other party would be left confused about where these thoughts or opinions came from.

Growing up in my household, my parents were pretty explosive if you had an opinion that didn’t match theirs. If it was an honest criticism, they would take it personally and blow up on you. There were so many Saturdays that I watched my parents blow up and ruin the whole weekend that I just decided to be as appeasing as possible. It worked. I eventually survived long enough to get the hell out of dodge.

When I see people with relationships where they feel they can tell their parent anything, I am completely jealous. I begin to think that my opinion just didn’t matter. In conversations with others, I skirted around issues that I thought might be divisive. I often didn’t assert myself on anything that I thought really mattered. There were other times where I did have a firm opinion and if I felt it wasn’t welcomed, I would just slip away from the relationship instead of confronting the other person.

Most of the day, I am alone. I can’t stand being in the house by myself all the time, so I will run out and go window-shopping or just drive around. When I go to visit the boys latter in the day and they asked me what I have been up to, I often didn’t mention what I did earlier because 1) it wasn’t really important enough to share 2) I might think that they wouldn’t approve 3) I may be embarrassed about it.

Since the boys and I have been really working on vulnerability this year, I have learned to be more forthcoming. I have tried hard to include them in my thoughts and in my world. I have learned that when I fell verclempt about something, I should error on the side of sharing it. I feel closer to them than I ever have, and I have noticed that they share more with me as well.

I love the fact that when I am with them that I can be myself. I know that they are there for me unconditionally. Even if they disagree with me, and we may even have a heated dialogue about it, I can still stand by my opinion and they will accept it.

As much as I trust them with my own life, I still have moments where I fall back into my old ways. I have moments where I feel like I have to do things myself. I still feel on occasion that I have to assert my independence. It is like I trust them so much, but just in case anything happens…I want to be prepared. I always feel like I have to be able to fend for myself. A person shouldn’t have to rely on anyone else to survive. The best way to survive is to have that wall up so people can’t readily get to that vulnerable center. Even those with a key, who have proven themselves worthy of entering, should be monitored and I should still be able to revoke access if the shit hits the fan.

I realize even as I am writing this that my self-protection mode is the only thing really getting in between me and the relationships I want to have with people. As much as I have shaken off this self-protective non-sense, it still can creep up.

Since my hair has been gone, I have been wearing a lot of knitted hats. At first, it was because of the bumps and irritation on my head. I have worn a couple of wigs on occasion, but I have felt like they are too heavy or cumbersome to wear for extreme lengths of time. I have wanted to buy a shorter wig for a while.

At first, I told the boys this and they didn’t think I should spend the money on another wig because I haven’t worn the ones that I have. I tried to go on with life, but noticed that the desire to do it grew. I brought it up again and explained in detail all the reasons why I wanted to. They finally agreed and decided that we should go to the wig store together, but after we ate they didn’t feel like going out to do it. I wanted to get the new wig before Thanksgiving, but they suggested that I wait til Friday for a certain sale. Finally, Friday came and I stopped by to see if said sale was going on. They didn’t have one, but the owner told me he would give me a buy one, get the other half off deal for me. I was ecstatic, and had asked if I could leave and bring my friends back, and they said yes.

I left and called Alex and left him a voicemail. It was earlier in the day, so there was a chance that he might have been asleep. I waited an hour but began worrying that I might miss out. I wanted a new wig so bad. I felt ugly and like I stick out like a sore thumb with my hats. I just wanted some hair so I felt normal again. Plus, aren’t I supposed to be able to make my own decisions? If I couldn’t pick out hair on my own, what could I do on my own? Did I always need to be a slave to what others thought?

I couldn’t take it anymore. I went in. I knew what I wanted. I felt bad that my buddies weren’t with me. I haven’t been in the store without them ever, and I had not bought a wig there without them before. Still, I could do this. I should be able to do this.

I selected two wigs and was pleased with my purchase. When I got home, I decided that I didn’t like one wig as much as I thought I did, but the other one seemed perfect. I put it on my head and wore it all day. When the boys invited me over latter, I wore it to surprise them. I walked in the house and they both looked at me. Alex than began to tell me how much he hated the wig and how ugly it looked on my head. My heart completely sank. All I wanted to do was sob. Great! I wasted $70 on wigs that I obviously would never be able to wear in front of them. Alex continued about how I looked like the lead singer from Counting Crows. I grabbed my coat and headed out to the car.

All I wanted to do was drive away. I didn’t want to see them or talk to them again. But, I also knew that I didn’t want to spend the evening alone starring at my cat and sobbing my eyes out. I sat in the car for 10 minutes. Eventually, I reemerged into the house, took off my wig, and placed the hat I had with me on. I felt destroyed.

Alex and Max then began to tell me that they were pissed that I went there by myself. I told them that I had called, but Alex said that no voicemail was recorded. Why hadn’t I called Max or come over if it was so important to me? I said that I didn’t want to bother them and than get yelled at for being over bearing and needy. They said that I put in the least amount of effort to notify them and if I had waited they would have been happy to go with me latter in the day. I told them that it didn’t matter, it was done and I was out of the money anyway. I didn’t need to hear them go on about it for eternity.

Alex than stated, “you are not an island.” We are here and we want to be apart of these decisions. I wasn’t allowed to buy wigs on my own because my history suggests that I am not good at it. He has Max help him make decisions on things because he knows that he needs a second opinion sometimes. I said, “that is great, but you always have each other to bounce ideas off of, I don’t.”

They looked at each other and said, “yes, you do.” They stated that I am over there every day and that they were there for me. I need to rely on them more. Have more patience. Trust that they will come through. It is insulting that I still don’t believe that they are going to be there for me.

“You are not alone. Stop living like it.” Alex said.

Alex than went into his drag supplies and brought out the wig that he knew I was trying to match. I put it on and it did look better than the one I had bought. At the end of the day, I just wanted a wig so I could feel a little more normal and this one did.

I know I still am having a problem letting my guard down. I have trouble trusting others to come through for me. This thought pattern is what prevents others from being with me. I am the only one getting in the way of having the deeper relationships I desire. The answer is as easy as just relaxing and surrendering. I don’t know why I feel like I have to fight it and go alone.

The eternal fight seems almost life threatening at times. Like, if I succumb to this new world order that I am in danger of completely losing myself. Maybe that is exactly what I need to do.