I can do this, I think

•August 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I didn’t think it would be possible for me to have a summer worse than the last one.  For anyone who doesn’t know, last summer my mom had a severe stroke and almost died.  Thankfully she’s doing much better now.

This summer has been really tough.  My depression has been rearing its ugly head again which makes doing anything and everything more difficult.  I don’t enjoy having to admit I’m struggling, mostly because I don’t like being treated differently simply because I have depression.  I’ve haven’t been able to find a job since moving in with Adrienne.  This has been a huge source of my frustration and anxiety.  I’ve only ever looked for work three times in the past, and all three times I got the job I wanted.  I understand that’s probably unusual (or just plain lucky), and that most people aren’t successful right off the bat when job hunting – that doesn’t make it any less stressful.

I also haven’t been able to find a co-op.  I admit this is mostly my fault, as I waited too long in hopes that I could find a paying co-op instead of volunteering, but I really do need to try and have an income.  In any case, I’m still co-op-less, and I’ve applied to have an extension to my co-op completion date based on the difficulties I’m having this summer.  Perhaps I’ve never mentioned it, but I hate having to ask for special treatment in relation to my anxiety and depression.

Late last year my Uncle Brian was diagnosed with liver cancer.  I was given the impression that he had a fairly good chance of recovering as he would be a candidate for a liver transplant, and there are enough willing relatives that finding a match wouldn’t have been too difficult.  At the beginning of this year he began chemotherapy, and again I was under the impression that it was all going well.  At the beginning of July (or thereabouts) my mom told me that the doctor had given my uncle 3 months to live.  He wasn’t going to beat his cancer.  That hit me like a slap in the face, because I always believed he could do it.  My parents kept telling me he didn’t have long, and I visited him on August 1st.  He was so thin.  I had seen him last at the beginning of May at a family barbecue, and while he was obviously ill, he didn’t look like he was on death’s doorstep.  He did this time.  He was in bed the whole time, and was mostly sleeping, but we talked for a bit and he acted like his regular self.  I don’t know if he was doing it on purpose or whether he really was just being himself, but I appreciated it nonetheless.  I talked to my mom last Thursday and she told me how Brian was feeling so much better.  He was up and walking around the house, and he even went to the bank with my other uncle.  My mom sounded upbeat, saying that there was always a chance the doctors would be proved wrong.  I hoped she was right.  Uncle Brian died on Friday, the very next day. His funeral is this Thursday.

The one thing that is weighing on my mind a lot now is my dog, Mable.  I adopted her almost two and half years ago, on April 15, 2010.  She was eight years old at the time and very old for her age.  I knew I wouldn’t have her for long, but I loved her and was willing to make that sacrifice in order for her to live happily ever after.  That ever after ends on Wednesday.  On Wednesday I will be putting Mable to sleep.  It took me a long time to admit I had to make the decision, and even longer to choose a day.  It hit me last week when I was at my parent’s house with Mable.  She slipped on the deck, and couldn’t get her back legs under her, even with my help (she did eventually get back up).  I know better than to let Mable get to the point where she’s completely reliant on me for everything.  She has always had skin problems, and while I did what I could to keep it under control and Mable comfortable, it’s beyond my ability to treat now. Her arthritis is rather bad, and she can’t do stairs anymore unless I’m there to help her.  She can’t hear anything now except for very loud noises, and I don’t enjoy having to yell at my poor old dog just so that she hears me.  She can’t see very well either; in low light and darkness, she’s completely blind.  On top of all that, her mammary tumours have been growing back steadily ever since they were removed (before I adopted her), and when I checked last week the largest one had doubled in size and was quite firm.  I’m only human, and there’s nothing I can do now to make her as comfortable as she deserves, except to be strong and let her go.  I’m already dreading Wednesday, and I hope I can be strong for Mable.

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A moving performance

•March 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In an update from my last post, I have found an apartment with Adrienne, and it’s pet friendly, in a good neighbourhood, and the rent is very reasonable.  It’s got everything we wanted and then some!  We have exclusive use of the (fully fenced) backyard, as well as sole use of the garage.  We’ve got a huge crawlspace for storage, and our own private laundry.

Now I’m just trying to bring myself to pack up my stuff.  I’m procrastinating.  I move this weekend coming up (so basically in 5 days), and I haven’t packed a single thing.  I really hate packing; I moved a lot when I was younger, so often I would pack things up and then not see them again for years.  There are some of my childhood toys I haven’t seen in more than 10 years because they’re still in a box, and I don’t even know where those boxes are.

The whole packing up ordeal has been made even more complicated today by the fact that my older brother apparently stopped by on the weekend and TOOK ALL MY BOXES.

Long story short, we have friends who own a local used bookstore, and they agreed to put some boxes aside for us to have because we’re both moving (me to my new apartment and my brother is finished school).  I went and picked up about 10 boxes for myself, but because I procrastinated I hadn’t put anything in them.

I went to pack up some books today, and they were gone.  My parents hadn’t seen them, and then I had a lightbulb moment and texted my brother to see if he knew their whereabouts.  Of course he admitted to taking them, because who else would want books?  I tried to brush it off by telling my brother not to sweat it, since apparently there are some boxes kicking around in my parent’s storage unit.  His response?  “I’m not worried.  Those boxes were the ones I asked (friend) to put aside for me lol.  He should have more for me as well.”  When I informed him that I had in fact picked those boxes up for myself, he didn’t really care.  Apparently we were supposed to pick the boxes up for him, something he had neglected to tell us.  Now, if this situation had happened where I took my brother’s boxes, he would be in a righteous fury, because that’s how he works.  It’s no big deal if he inconveniences someone else, but God forbid it happens to him.  So now I have to go out again and find more boxes, and hope my brother doesn’t show up again and take them all.

On top of that, my dad is generally being an ass today.  I don’t know what crawled up his ass and died, but whatever it was, it wasn’t pleasant.  He’s having one of those days where he likes to find a topic no one wants to discuss and then beats the living shit out of it (like flogging a dead horse).  He gets annoyed when no one responds, so he talks louder, and then he starts saying thinly disguised insults directed at whoever isn’t listening to him.  These one-sided conversations are like balancing on a tightrope with no safety net – one wrong move and you’re screwed.  First he was ranting about Patrick Chan (the Chinese-Canadian figure skater).  My dad is a closet racist, and would be happy to live a Bible thumping, all-white community.  He kept going on about how Patrick Chan had mentioned that if his family had decided to stay in China, he would be getting a lot more funding and support for his figure skating, which is entirely true.  China does a lot to support its Olympic athletes, and Canada has been lagging behind the rest of the world on this point for years.  But my dad had to take it a step further and make it all about the “fact” (I use the term very loosely) that Chan is Chinese and apparently therefore a whining, money grubbing waste of Canadian space.  In his opinion, if Patrick Chan thinks he can do so much better financially in China, then his whole family should just move back there so we stop hearing about his “complaining”.

Next my dad would not stop talking about the Alberta Wildrose party’s bus.  Basically there’s a picture of the party leader (a woman) on the bus, but the picture was originally posted about the bus’s paired rear wheels, giving the impression that the tires were the woman’s breasts.  Everyone had a good laugh about it, including the party’s leader, and the bus has since been redone to avoid awkward placement.  But my dad would not shut up about it and went on for about 20 minutes on the topic.

The final straw for me was my mentioning that I need to call my new landlord to tell him about my dog.  Adrienne and I neglected to mention her because we didn’t want to get rejected again because I have a large (70lb) dog.  She’s harmless, really; she’s 10, and spends most of her time sleeping.  She doesn’t bark, she doesn’t chew on things, and she’s a good dog.  As mentioned in my previous post, it’s illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant because of their pets.  That means I can’t be evicted because I have a dog.  I would have preferred to be honest and upfront about my dog, but the clock was ticking and we couldn’t risk losing out on another apartment.  I proposed that I would call my landlord tomorrow and gently break the news that I also have a dog, but assure him that she would not be a nuisance.  My dad started on his usual tirade about how “landlords have rights too” and that I shouldn’t tell my landlord until after I moved in.  According to Ontario landlord and tenant laws, a landlord can decline a person for rent if there are allergy sufferers in adjoining units (units that use the same furnace and duct work).  Because Adrienne’s dog has been allowed, that means my dog is technically allowed because obviously allergies are not an issue.  I have already signed the lease, so I am secure in my housing for at least the coming year.  Regardless of the fact that I am well within my rights as a tenant to bring my dog with me, my dad continues to yell at me and insist that I’m wrong.

I’m just so tired of his bullshit.  He refuses to admit that someone else could be right, and gets angry when I point out that I know my rights.

Does anyone have a big cardboard box?

•February 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m so frustrated right now.  My friend Adrienne and I have been trying to find a rental apartment close to Adrienne’s work so that we can finally be roomies (we planned this last year, but it fell through due to family issues on my end).  We’ve been looking and calling around for a month with no luck.  We have to find a place that will let us bring our pets.  Between the two of us we have 2 dogs and 1 cat.  That doesn’t seem like a crazy amount of pets to me, especially considering one of the dogs is less than 20 pounds.  Everywhere we’ve called has either been rented, or isn’t pet friendly.  Some places that claim to be “pet friendly” really only want one cat, or a small non-shedding dog.  Other places have suddenly claimed that there are people in other unit that have allergies.  I can totally understand that people have allergies, but most of the time it’s pretty obvious that it’s just a canned response to the question.  

The most frustrating thing about this whole problem is that our pets are good animals.  The dogs don’t bark, they don’t mess in the house, and the don’t destroy things.  My cat is the same; he’s never had a litterbox accident, he doesn’t spray or mark his territory, and he’s never used anything except his scratching posts to sharpen his claws.  We’ve put so much effort into having well behaved pets, and it still gets up nowhere.  It’s also illegal to discriminate against pet owners in Ontario, but it’s pretty hard to prove that you’ve been discriminated against, and I wouldn’t want to have a landlord who hated me and my pets anyways.  I’ve lost track of how many places we’ve called about.  I just want to find a nice place and be done with it.

Misery is what I feel

•November 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

If I had to sum up my mood right now, I would say that I’m pretty damn depressed.

My doctor had me change medications at the beginning of May, but I haven’t noticed any improvement in my mood.  In fact, it’s probably gotten worse after my mom having a stroke and me moving back in with my parents and away from all my friends.

I just hate living with my parents.  They keep harping at me because I’m grouchy and unhelpful, but they don’t realize how much I hate it here.  Even if they did, my dad wouldn’t say anything, and my mom would just say that I need to see my doctor, it’s up to me to make a change, maybe if I did more I wouldn’t be so unhappy, I just need to get out and make some friends.  Problem is, I’m not very good at making friends.  I’m so painfully shy, and I don’t really have anything in common with my classmates.  Plus, most of my classmates are at least 10 years older than me; most of them are in their 40s-50s.

What’s really frustrating is that I still can’t stop thinking about Khris.  Sometimes I can go a whole day without thinking of him, and then he just pops into my mind and won’t go away.  I’m trying really hard to just move on, since I’ve accepted that a snowball in hell probably has a better chance than I do with Khris.  I just don’t have anything else to think about or do that keeps my mind occupied.  All I can think about is when I go to Georgian in January to get the paperwork signed is if I will run into him.  I literally have a soap opera scene in my mind of how I would expect it to go.  It makes me feel really pathetic.

On a completely different note, when I went to the Royal last weekend, they announced that Hickstead died.  I keep thinking that it’s a dream or something, and it’s not true.  Hickstead was my favourite athlete.  I guess some people would think it’s stupid to get so worked up over a horse, but I assume people would feel the same if their favourite human athlete suddenly died.  I’m really sad that I never got to see Hickstead in person; my mom told me that she saw Eric Lamaze and Hickstead at the Royal two years ago.

I have a working interview on Tuesday for a couple hours.  I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to keep up with the pace of the work.  They’re going to be 11 hour days, and I just don’t know if my knee can handle that, especially going into winter.  I wish I’d never had the skiing accident.  I hate what it’s done to me.

Speaking of injuries, my wrist still aches from when I caught that dog jumping out of the tub at school.  The doctor at the hospital said that it was a tendon injury, and that it should heal if I kept it immobilized for 10 days.  I did that, back in January when it happened, and it’s still bothering me.  Mom says it could be carpal tunnel, and of course I’m wrong when I tell her it’s not, it’s the tendon injury acting up again.  I’m so fucking tired of my mom always having to be right.

I’m stressed about Mable too.  I’ve noticed the past few times when I took her for a walk that she’s starting to trip on flat surfaces.  I also noticed her do it in the hall today, when there was nothing for her to trip over.  I’m worried that her hips are getting worse.  I don’t know what I will do if she loses the ability to walk.  Well, I know what I’d have to do, but I’m not ready to go there yet.

I just want to feel happy again.

Dream a little dream

•October 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Two nights ago I had a dream.  It was one of those dreams where you want to be convinced it was real, but even your unconscious self thinks it might be too good to be true.

I dreamed I was back at school, in the clinic.  My first clue that it was a dream should have been the fact that it didn’t look like the clinic at all, but that’s besides the point.  I was on Animal Care, and most of my friends were there.  Then Khris arrived.  Dr. T started chewing him out for being late, and telling him he should be more responsible and serious about the program.  Then he came over to me and said he had to tell me something.  He apologized for ignoring me for so long, and told me he shared my feelings.  I remember in my dream I stood there, baffled, and then I started crying.  He gave me a hug, and I remember being able to smell his cologne/aftershave/manly scent that he used; I can’t remember what it smells like now that I’m awake.  The rest of the dream was basically me hanging out with Khris and all my vet tech friends, playing with the animals we had at school.  At one point in the dream I turned to my friend Heather, who was also there, and said, “I must be dreaming.  This has to be a dream”, to which she responded that it wasn’t, it was real.  My dream self believed her, and I was so happy and content for the rest of the dream.

When I woke up, it took me a while to realize that it wasn’t real.  I lay awake for most of an hour, crying on and off, crushed because all the things I wanted had happened, and now they weren’t real.

I want it to stop hurting.  I’m trying to move on and get over it, but it’s hard.

Various effects of love

•September 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve got one of my favourite poems stuck in my head.  It’s called “Varios efectos del Amor”, by Lope de Vega (that’s Spanish, fyi).  Translated to English it’s “Various effects of Love”.  Since there aren’t any good translations online, I’ve decided to share the English translation that was given to me by a student teacher when I was taking grade 11 Spanish.  Señorita B gave everyone a Spanish and English copy of this poem as a parting gift, and I cherish it.

Various Effects of Love

To be faint hearted, to be bold, to be raging mad, surly, tender, generous, aloof,

Courageous, near death, dead, alive, loyal, treacherous, cowardly, spirited.

Nor to find, beyond your love, satisfaction or peace.

To look happy, sad, humble, arrogant,

Irate, valiant, self-effacing, satisfied, offended, distrustful.

To turn your face from clear proofs of deceit,

To drink poison as if it were a soothing liquor,

To disregard gain and delight in being injured.

To believe that heaven can lie contained in hell,

To devote your life and soul to being disillusioned;

This is love; whoever had tasted it, knows.

So much for that

•September 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t written anything in a while, but since I don’t have anyone to talk to right now, this is the next best thing.

Mumford and Sons are coming to Toronto to play a show.  ONE SHOW.  It happens to be the day after my birthday.  When I found out about the show, I immediately told my mom that that’s what I wanted to do for my birthday: I wanted to see Mumford and Sons play.  She agreed it sounded like a good idea.  I told her that she should look into getting tickets soon *nudge nudge wink wink* if that’s what I was getting for my birthday.

That was about 2 weeks ago, when the tickets first went on sale.  Now I’ve found out that my mom didn’t bother to look up tickets.  In fact, she had forgotten.  Now the only tickets that are left are “restricted view” or behind the stage altogether.  I’m seriously upset right now.  The only concert I’ve ever been to before was The Black Crows, and I didn’t really like it (I went with a friend, it’s her favourite band).  I was so looking forward to this, especially after my disaster of a birthday last year.