a tome about baby steps

So, today was a day like so many of the others that came before it, with one exception: I did not cry today. I barely teared up today and that means, I believe, that the new meds are working and MAYBE I’m coming out of this dark period. Finally.

When you visit the doctor and you don’t see your regular doctor and they suggest the very quick taper of a medication you’ve been on for nearly four years, don’t do it. Doing just that landed me in the wretched place I’ve existed for the last nearly two months. Rather than going the traditional route to get off the nastiness that is Effexor in the recommended 6 to 8 months, I decided to taper off in three weeks.

What in the literal fuck?

Yeah, so it’s been rough since December 3, 2019. That was the day that I finally heard from “Richard”, who claimed to have been shot in a carjacking in Stockholm and only then gained access to the internet to talk with me. That was also day 10 of my last Effexor and my brain didn’t have a leg to stand on. The emotional upheaval that came with the man I “love” having been alive! and yet I had this strange sense of foreboding that I couldn’t seem to shake off.

The story “Richard” continued to tell was fantastic. He had been shot and removed by force from his rental car by three armed thugs, one of whom had fired a shot through the window and into “Richard’s” leg.

Why in the fuck do I keep putting his name in quotes? Makes no sense.

Anyway, so Richard had surgery and was in the hospital. I have no idea which hospital it was because Richard never saw a point in telling me. That’s not telling at all. This was Wednesday, 3 December 2019 and he was due to be released the following Wednesday after having been taken to the hospital by a good samaritan and had surgery. That’s 10 days. Ok. Ten days in the hospital for a bullet wound that missed any important stuff and just went through the muscle. That didn’t seem right to me; it seemed a bloody long time for something that wasn’t remotely life-threatening listening to Richard tell it.

It then went into how his documents had been stolen and other things had happened and he was basically “stuck” in Sweden. Of all the crap places to be stranded, Stockholm isn’t one such place! I was the only way he would be allowed to leave the country, which meant he needed money. This time it wasn’t for plane tickets and to pay off the rental car. This time it was to pay the hospital bill and the hotel he’d been staying at before this shooting, and would remain today. Oh, and to buy a ticket out of the Hell that Stockholm was, at least to Richard.

I wanted to send that money, I really did. May! Did I want to sent the money, but I didn’t. I’d sent money to Richard the previous 4 months and my little family suffered. Food was scarce for my son and me and sometimes there was none. We made it though and I get paid again in two days. 🙂

I’ve had so many ups and down since 3 December. Richard was dead! Richard was alive and he still loved me! He wouldn’t be “home” with me for Christmas and we likely wouldn’t be married before Christmas, but he was coming to me. Or was he? Something, after hearing the tale about the event and then being supplied with the information that even more money was needed, I was irritated. I don’t really know the word I’d use to describe the emotions I felt, probably because I was depressed and then the Effexor finally wore off and I was literally free-falling into a dark ass place.

Each time we’d talk on the phone or messaged each other, I’d be cruel, I’d spew vitriol. I voiced my rising doubts about his situation. He didn’t deserve that and I was being so mean. Then something occurred to me: he never got mad or yelled on the phone or anything. I started to remember past relationships and how those men got angry, they yelled, they walked away. Richard never did that and it was weird. When I’d ask him about it he said that I ‘hurt’ him with my actions and that I’d been “messing with my emotions, Mary”.

We spoke less and less frequently and I’d told him weeks prior, as it was now 10 January 2020, or thereabouts, that I was really low. I cried every damn day from 3 December on and nothing helped. What was bad was I was getting worse. I was put on a new medication, Wellbutrin, and told it could take three weeks to start working.

That was two weeks ago now and today is the first fucking day I haven’t cried. Did I get sad today? Oh yes, but I managed to keep my control in place, my emotions in check. I did have quite a bit of anxiety today at the thought of going home to an empty house. My son, Ian – who is the absolutely best human being I have had the privilege to know – recently began his first job and he wouldn’t be home until 10:30 or so. Shit! That was like 5 hours to be home, alone, in the cold. This place, Barrow, is so fucking cold! It was -30F today and skin can freeze in minutes if exposed to the cold. Barrow is a sad, sad place. There is a longstanding distrustful relationship between the native population and the white explorers who disrupted the native’s way of life.

I’m a white teacher here and, for the most part, the people are very warm, friendly, outgoing, and engaging. There are some, however, who glare at me as they drive past, or as I pass them in the grocery store. I’ve never been “the minority” before and I can certainly better understand how People of Color often feel when they are viewed through a racial lens.

Anyway, I’ll talk more about this place in a later post. I invited a friend over to play Skyrim this evening at my place. I just didn’t want to be alone. I recently picked up a smoking habit again after having quit 13 years ago. I told my friend he could come play Xbox if he’d bring me a pack of smokes. Truth be told I don’t really want them but I have to have them right now. I need to know they are there or my anxiety will start to ramp up. I really hope that this anxiety isn’t because of the Prozac and I’m not sure it could be at this early stage. I began Prozac yesterday. I’m anxious today. I doubt it’s related but I’ll talk to my doc again on Friday.

So, I’ve been crying, daily since early December. I’m amazed I’m not completely dehydrated because I would cry, several times, each day. But I didn’t today. I made it through today and that is what I needed – a single baby step to let me know that I will be ok. Am I ok now? No but I will get there.

Now my focus is on next school year and where I want to be, not on Richard’s cruel machinations. I cannot stay in Barrow for another year because Ian will be leaving, and if I were to stay, I would die. I would actually die. I need to be around people, be able to go see a movie if I want to, to while away some time in a Starbucks, visit a park, go to a mall just because it’s there, and go to a job each day that I don’t dread.

My eyes are set on the United Kingdom or the European Union. I’ve been applying for positions, mostly in the UK because I have a site I use to find potential positions. I will start applying in the EU in a week or so as finding access to job listings is somewhat more challenging. I have run into some roadblocks and want to thank someone who, in a short time, has become a good friend. This man has found links to jobs and websites for me to apply to. When I was told that I needed to meet a number of criteria in order to teach in England, unless I taught physics or Mandarin, this man called the government for me and found out some great information for me. I only recently started conversing with this man and in a letter on an app he said that, when I was ready, he wanted to show me that I could trust a man again, I could trust him. I’m so blessed that I found this man because even though he is a long way away, he is doing so much for me, to help me accomplish my goal and I am so very appreciative to him.

He is helping me because he is a “take charge” kind of man, an alpha. I trust him because he is kind. He said to me, just today, that raising my child alone meant I was “never lonely but severely alone”. He then stated what was actually the truth – “Never alone but extremely lonely”. Yeah, that’s it. I’m very lonely and it’s crushing my soul and Richard took that from me, promised me he’d be there, we’d have this wonderful life. This friend I speak of asked me the other day if I thought my chances of being less lonely were better here than anywhere else. I laughed because this place is adding to the loneliness. So, ANYWHERE would be better. 🙂 Great insight this man has. (Wow, on a side note, Yoda could have said that right there!)

So, ok, I’m crying now. I weep when I think of the good people in my life and when I stop and look around me there are many such people. I’ve mentioned two of them herein, but there are more and none of them are named “Richard” and that’s a wonderful thing. I hope that along with all of the exciting new changes set to become my life that I am able to not make like Pavlov’s dog and cringe every time I hear the name “Richard”. It’s either going to be acceptance or I’ll need to bring Ian’s copper pipe along for the ride.

Baby steps Jane. Baby steps

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