Partners in Crime and Romance: Or, Me and My Dork

Surprisingly, I’ve ended up in a relationship. Even more surprisingly, we’re planning on making it permanent, once I’m back in the states (I’m currently studying abroad). He’s my best friend, and I can’t wait.

I met him while working at a scout camp. I was nineteen and he was seventeen. I thought he was cool, but so not my type, because he was younger, a redhead, my height, always happy, and he talked A LOT. I was pretty sure I wanted a tall, dark, and brooding type, after all.

Two years later, we meet again, back at the same camp. He’s my buddy, so I run right up to him, shouting his name, and give him a big hug. As you do. Honestly, I think the change might have started with that hug. But I was too dim to realize it, when I was a girl barely past her teens who’d come out the other side of a domestic violence case, a manipulative Friend With Benefits, and working at a call center. And we were just friends, as I kept telling myself every time we worked together. I kept my head down, and did my work.

What really made me realize I was falling for him was the dumbest thing ever. I overheard him and a couple other people talking about the best way to get to know a girl. And then they changed the subject once they realized I was there. My suspicious mind went into overdrive, wondering if this meant one of these dear boys had caught a case of feelings for me. The naturally following question was, “If they did, which one would you prefer?” One was only barely eighteen, another was too much of a doormat, and then there was the redheaded goof who talked too much. 

My brain had a horrible “Oh no” moment. I did not want to fall for another guy. It only ended badly. I was a mess, and nobody wanted to deal with that. Besides, two years age difference. Even if he was hilarious, cute, immensely likeable, and he had good taste in music. I was determined not to go through that again. 

As the very smart girl I was, I tried to ignore it. I thought about it as little as possible, keeping my distance from him, refusing to mention his name even in my mind. I was sure I could make this awful little crush go away with sheer willpower. Because I was smart like that.

Maybe a week later, a group of us went out stargazing. Somehow in the dark, he and I ended up lying right next to each other. His arm was touching mine, and my nerves were going crazy. Maybe it’s ridiculous and cliche, but I completely forgot about my plan to make it go away.

However, I was still determined not to act on it. Because he was a nice guy, really friendly to everyone, and there was nothing else in it. We hung out, took long hikes, and listened to music together. One of our friends told us we should date. I looked at the ground and didn’t say anything. While on a hike, we were sitting right next to each other. He tried to point something out to me, I couldn’t see it, and he leaned in closer to show me. I wanted so badly to just kiss him, but I didn’t. I wasn’t going to make an idiot of myself. We stayed up late listening to music, and took a walk in the full moonlight out to a hill overlooking the camp, talking about everything and nothing, eventually cuddling up together for warmth. Just for warmth. Nothing else in that. Completely platonic (I am dense). In fact, I didn’t have any clue that we were thinking anywhere along the same lines until he kissed my forehead, and told me he was dumb because he’d never kissed a girl. And, grinning like an idiot, I smoothly offered to rectify that.

First kiss on a moonlit night in the mountains, complete with a fantastic view. I’d say that was a pretty good way to do it.

It wasn’t a real thing, though. Over the course of the summer, we kissed a few more times, went on a couple dates, had one amazing makeout session, and that was it. I was craving more, with my depression hitting me so hard. I was addicted to him. He was a crutch. We lived on opposite sides of the state. It wasn’t right. And when he started acting distant, I decided that I wasn’t going to beg. It wasn’t so much heartbreak as it was a slow dissolve, but that didn’t mean it hurt any less.

I moved on. Went on a few other dates, got diagnosed, started both antidepressants and therapy. I was still crazy about him, and really didn’t want anyone else, but he obviously wasn’t interested, and I needed to be better. For me, not for him. I started dealing with my depression and the self-esteem issues I have in relationships. I started college. I applied to my school’s study abroad program. I was still hurt that things ended the way they did, and I really wanted to ask him why, and what was wrong with me, but I knew better.

Fast forward three years, and out of the blue, he starts messaging me on Facebook, talking about the new Avenged Sevenfold album, and how I needed to listen to it. We started talking again, and I was quickly getting right back where I started. Especially when we got started in a battle of classic rock puns. Plus, I was planning on moving closer to him already (again, not for him), so I figured the timing was getting better. And then he told me he was going back to camp. I’d been ready to trade up camp, finally, for a higher paying job, especially as I was getting ready to leave the country. But, I realized, this could be my last chance to figure out why. And maybe–just maybe–I could work it out, this time. Because I didn’t want anyone else.

I was moving out of my apartment that summer, so, the first weekend, I headed down the mountain to start on that. Then I got a text from home, saying to let him know if I needed help (turned out he was in the same city, staying at his friend’s for the weekend). After much second-guessing and agonizing over it with my roommate, I invited him out to dinner and ice cream with us. Throughout the evening, I couldn’t stop laughing, and he and I talked all night long, before falling asleep cuddled up on my couch. 

This was quickly becoming like the summer three years ago, but I realized I could live with that. Now, I was more mature, had years of therapy behind me, and I would be living near him after I got back from studying abroad. I could work with that.

The next weekend, I was going to a play my sister was in, and I invited him to come. Somewhere during the play, we ended up holding hands, and continued afterward, when we went to Denny’s with the cast, some of whom were friends of mine. Awkward questions about how long we’d been together abounded. Especially with my dad introducing James as my “not-boyfriend.” 

As I was finally driving him home, very early in the morning, still holding hands, we talked a lot more. And then, after three years of waiting, he asked me to be his girlfriend. (And as it turns out, the reason he’d stopped talking to me so long ago was because, for various reasons, he thought he wasn’t good enough for me. That was something I never would have guessed.)

This redheaded goof who talks too much, is two years younger than me, and is my height is everything important that I’ve ever wanted in a guy. He’s honest with me, goes to concerts and on random adventures with me, and he makes me smile so much my face hurts, and then he laughs at me for it. Being around him always makes the world a little brighter. He takes my abrasive sense of humor in stride, and is always there to support me when things go to hell. And, we’ve been apart for months, and our relationship is still strong. I’m crazily in love with him, though I’ll never admit it to most people.

I’m leaving Europe in less than a week. Maybe I should be sad to be leaving that dream behind, but it means getting back to my redheaded dork, and on to more adventures. The first on my list is an engagement, as neither of us wants to let the other get away again.

I was pretty sure I was never going to find a guy I could stand long enough to want to marry. Even if I did, I was pretty sure he’d lose interest as soon as he saw what a hellish place my mind is. But he’s always there to assure me that he’s not going anywhere, and that I’m stuck with him as long as I want to be.

To those of you out there who are sure nobody could ever want you, I know that life is hard. Everyone tells you nobody can love you if you don’t love yourself, or conversely that only love can save you from yourself. Don’t listen to either of them. Try to love yourself, definitely. Seek the help you need, and do your best to become a you that you’re happy with. Don’t see your significant other as your knight in shining armor, but as the reliable sidekick who always has your back. Because this is your story, and you’re the hero. You have the power to save yourself.

Thank you for your time, friends. I wish you all the best.

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Hark! An Update!

Hiya, anyone who still reads my blog. After falling off the face of the earth again, I have many updates.

First, I am currently in Greece, studying abroad. Talk about awesome. I’m slowly learning bits of the language, and developing a great appreciation for the food (never before have I liked yogurt or feta cheese).

Second, I am in a committed relationship, and we’re planning to get engaged once I get back (and this guy is none other than he whom I’ve written about before). I never really got over him, and we just so happened to meet up at camp again this summer. This time, we were both a lot more mature, mentally stable, and ready to handle a relationship. He still makes me happy, and makes me feel a lot less crazy, even on the craziest days.

Third, depression is a thing, as always. Which really sucks, when you’re an introvert in a foreign country, and still have to go to school. But I’m dealing with it a lot better.

Fourth, my cat, Moe, is back home in the care of my sister. She’s not doing well. She’s really sick, and being kept at the vet for observation. This has been going on since Thursday.

Fifth, my sister is mad at me and pulling the silent treatment. I thought we’d moved past such childishness, but I guess I was wrong. But at least she’s still taking care of Moe.

Sixth, I really am a lot mentally healthier. Though depression is still a thing, it usually doesn’t rule me, and I have, at the very least, an amazing boyfriend whom I can tell absolutely anything to help bring me back to happy.

Excuse me now, while I go back to pretending to do my homework while, in reality, I’ll probably be drafting more posts.

Peace, friends!

Moving Forward

Hi! I know, it’s been forever since I posted anything. Might as well have fallen off the face of the earth! But nope, I’m still alive and kicking. I’ve started school (as a Creative Writing major), so that’s keeping me busy, and therapy is going well, if I can just get to my appointments on time.

So, life goes on. Depression sucks, but I think things are getting better, if I can just keep myself going.

Peace, friends!

Horrific Thoughts

My current by-myself-project is a horror story, so I’ve been doing a bit of reading up, trying to get some ideas to take it above mere lameness. But how?

I have this obsession with fear, in case you weren’t aware. The simple horror of our everyday lives. What’s hiding under the bed. Always best when combined.

But finding the right combination? Now that’s the tricky part. Ghosts? Haunted houses? Demons? Witches? Abusive monsters?

Today, I stumbled across this lovely post. It really got me thinking. What’s scary to me? Something that won’t make the average person shudder—just me. What does the great Mac fear?

Hm. Well, let’s see. I hate being taken advantage of, for one. (Anyone here not scared of that? Wow. Nobody. What a surprise!) That extends into so many things. I hate being tricked. Lied to. Manipulated.

I hate being helpless. Not being able to do anything. Especially when someone I care about is in trouble. Like when I had to sit and wait and find out whether my friend who might have killed himself was alive or not (he wasn’t). When I had to sit back and let the vet put my cat to sleep. Or when my sister was arrested again, mistreated by the cops, and I was stuck at work.

I’m scared of going back to what I was before. Being forced to go back to my parents’ house. Back under their control. It’s more than a lack of independence, though. It’s a prison of junk. Impassable walls of insanity. Trapped in an endless maze with no exit. Trapped in that life, where I had no idea how to help myself.

Of course, I am also quite insecure, and scared of not being loved. But also scared of it, because I’ve still got the insane maze of my own mind to navigate. Letting someone in? That’s terrifying.

Well, I suppose we also can’t forget finances. I’m so scared of going broke. But that can go back to having to rely on my parents again, back home, and so forth.

And this lovely session of the Rantings, Ramblings, Ravings, and Musings has given me ideas. I hope I can make them work!

Miss Moe

IMG_20131220_194753_090

This is my baby girl, Rinna. Also known as Moe. Or Momo. Himalayan or Ragdoll, she’s a gorgeous little stinker. Also incredibly skittish. I got her for my nineteenth birthday, because there were a lot of mice in our house, and the cats we had were too lazy to go after them. Of course, when I saw her picture, I thought she was adorable. But it wasn’t really until I met her—and saw her cowering in the back of a cage and hissing, that I fell in love. Because she reminded me of myself, and I immediately felt the need to protect her. The first time I held her, she was shaking like a leaf. But she stayed in my lap all the way home, where she proceeded to hide under my bookcase.

I could not think of a name for the little poop to save my life, so I started off calling her Bob, but then it became Moe, after Moe of The Three Stooges. Naturally, that became Momo, because her coloring is like Momo from Avatar The Last Airbender.

See the resemblance?

Anyway, my new kitten had a couple of knots in the fur of her neck. So I pulled her out from under the bookcase, sat her in my lap, and cut them out. Imagine my surprise when she started purring. SO CUTE!

In short, getting Moe to be less scared has been a long journey. She has her safe places, under my bed, on my bed, or under one of my roommates’ beds. And she’s still pretty scared if someone raises their voice too much. But I hope being my cat has been good for her. I know it’s been a good experience for me, because I can’t treat her in the dismissive way I treated cats as a kid. I can’t get in a rage around her. In her own way, she’s making me a better person. And I love her for that.

Besides, look how cute she is!IMG_20131116_173023_466

Musings on Horror (Sinister 2 spoilers abound!)

Did I say spoilers? Yes, yes, I did. Ye be warned.

So,

HOLY HORROR MOVIE EXCELLENCE!

I got to see Sinister 2 tonight with one of my roommates, who also loves horror movies. (Guys, it’s good to have a friend who works at the local theater.)

And I’ve never been so scared by a horror movie, in all honesty.

WHAT? ME?

Yes. I was terrified. And these were the scenes that aren’t the boogeyman and his army of creepy children.

It’s horrific not because of any of that. It’s a woman on the run from her abusive husband, taking her twin boys with her. One of whom was beat up by his father.

AND THE EMOTIONAL COMPLICATIONS!

Dylan, the one who was Daddy’s punching bag, is a quiet, scared kid. His brother Zach is the one who’s more like Daddy, starting so innocently with pushing and name calling. Dylan is the one chosen by the evil army of undead children, but Zach can see them, too, and he’s jealous. Even more, he knows he’s better than his weak brother, so he can’t understand why they picked the “pussy.”

Only one small piece of the horror revolves around Dylan being forced to watch the homemade snuff films with his sadistic new friends, while the evil child-eating thing lurks in the background. The main horror is domestic abuse victims trying to escape the abuser. He hires private detectives to track them down. He drives up to the front door with cops, unaware of Dylan inside, hiding under a bed.

It’s also in Zach, who lets his jealousy get the better of him, and beats up Dylan. Who is far too much his father’s son—Round Two just waiting to happen. He takes up the mantle of “filming” that Dylan doesn’t want.

It’s also in the mother, herself. A woman who finally did something to protect Dylan, but not soon enough. A woman who has no choice but to watch Zach become like his father.

This bastard father regains legal custody of the twins, and their mother has to come along for the ride if she wants to stay with them. That’s the real horror—being forced back into that. Having to wait to eat until Daddy starts eating. Jumping when he shouts.

That dinner scene was the worst of it for me. Seeing that awful silence at the table. And, when Dylan says he isn’t hungry, his father picks up a handful of mashed potatoes and shoves them in his face.

It wasn’t the blood, gore, or violence I flinched away from. It was that one moment. That one moment horrified me more than any horror movie has ever done. It was raw, primal emotion. Breaking me down to the things every horror movie tries to do. I couldn’t help caring about the family, and wanting the best for them. Biting my nails in nervousness that they would be killed.

And also, we have Deputy So and So coming back, getting involved with this family. The perfect adorkable hero. What’s not to love?

In short, I think this movie will sucker punch abuse victims. Personally, I loved it. Almost like cutting, horror makes me feel. During a horror movie, I realize that I’m alive. And I’m grateful for that fact. That I can leave this world of dismal darkness and gray color schemes behind, and go out into vibrant colors and sunshine. But horror isn’t for everyone. Especially not Sinister 2.

But, in Mac’s list, it might just have made the Top 10. Heck, Top 3? Top 1? Just maybe.

My Mom thinks I Sold My Soul for Rock ‘N’ Roll

We all know that rock music is pretty awesome, right? I hope so. If not, you live in a sad, sad world trapped under an entirely different kind of rock. Poor soul.

I went to my first rock concert with my daddy when I was fourteen. Def Leppard. And it was friggin’ sweet. One of the things that was really great was that even though my mom didn’t approve and tried to stop me from going, she didn’t succeed, and I came back with a t-shirt.

The next day, of course, I got lectured about the evils of rock music. Because I was proudly wearing my new shirt (with the Hysteria logo on the front).

Def Leppard: Hysteria

Freaky, right?

We got in quite the argument over my evil music and evil shirt, but this time, I wasn’t about to be sorry. She was the one who let me go. This scuffle got to quite a high point. My mother grabbed me by the collar, pulling me up to her.

Of course, I was terrified, but I wasn’t about to show that. Instead, I just grinned at her. She muttered something about me looking so proud of myself, and walked away.

My first point in the game.

She’s tried to “lose” that shirt in the laundry, but I’ve always made sure to find it again. After all, she already lost my dad’s vintage shirt with the same logo. I wasn’t about to let her lose mine.

And since then, yes, I’ve been to other concerts, slowly getting heavier and heavier, and I’ve gotten t-shirts from most of them. And oh, how I love them! I shove it in the face of my mother and aunt at every opportunity. I am the devil child. I wear black, though it is depressing to those two, band t-shirts, and eyeliner. HORROR!

I went to a rock festival a few months ago, and had the time of my life, bringing my sister who’d never been to a real rock concert before. I like to think it was really good for both of us.

I can’t even begin to describe the feeling a rock concert gives me. Such freedom from the stifling, stuffy childhood I had. Not just that, but everything. It’s nice to just stop worrying, for once, and lose yourself in the energy of the crowd.

When you imagine a typical teenage rebellious stage, you imagine black, piercings and screeching rock, right? Not me. My rebellion was around ten or eleven. It’s called country music. One of the quickest ways to piss off my Daddy.

Most people I meet often find something to like about my taste of music. Particularly my current coworkers, who seem so shocked to hear me listening to classic rock and metal. I tell them the same thing every time—my dad raised me right!