I spent Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon with Chris at his house. We spent most of the time asleep. When I would wake up, sometimes I would play Pokémon Go or I would read things on Twitter.

Other times I would turn over and act like Edward Cullen. No, I’m not saying I wanted to eat him because he smells so awesome. (Generally speaking I always want to do other things because he smells so awesome.) I would just look at him and think how pretty he is, which I ended up telling him when he woke up while I was less inhibited due to my nighttime medication. (That may also be part of why I’m okay writing this.)

But he is so pretty.

And if you’re thinking that’s emasculating, fuck you. Pretty isn’t feminine or masculine. It’s just pretty. That’s what it is, and that’s what he is.

He is also handsome and sexy and gorgeous and adorable and I just want to look at him forever. And watch him change clothes. And smell his pillow when he’s in the bathroom. And listen to him say just about anything ever.

He’s pretty and perfect and his eyes are magical and I love him so much. This weekend was far from the first time I’ve thought these things. Another time was when we were on the flight to California and he was holding my hand across the aisle because I am fucking terrified of flying and I knew that I was safe because I was with him. I knew that I never wanted to not hold his hand because I am home when I hold it. I know that I am touching my other half. (Not in a The Divinyls or Britney sort of way.)

And, on the way back, when he was helping me not die from exposure to peanuts—thanks, Spirit—I felt secure. Also, I liked having a chance to rest my head on his shoulder for four hours. Just being able to touch some part of him—I know some of y’all went to Perv City on that—anchors me. Though my “love language” for expressing love may be gifts, I think receiving involves physical touch. Or it is with him, since my haphephobia is still there with most people.

I miss him right now, but I know I’ll see him again in a day and a half, and I’ll be there overnight. So I guess I just get to dream and daydream about his prettiness until then.

For years—nay decades, I have had this strange issue of my mental health imploding on a 3 year cycle. Little things become big. Everything becomes too much. I feel like I’m losing it.

2001: Suicidal depression, regular self injury

2004: Same, plus Adderall induced psychosis

2007: Same, plus trauma of being kicked out of my major

2010: Same, without the Adderall but with the joy of having an autoimmune disease that I associated with my grandmother’s death

2013: Actually didn’t have anything happen this year besides Shingles

2016: Genuinely considered self-destructive behaviors over the election results

2019: Dad’s dementia led to a physical assault that resulted in a call to the police. I cut myself repeatedly after that.

2022: Cycling between self-injurious impulses, severe depression, hypersexual impulses, severe body image issues, and normalcy.

I just have to make it a few more months and things will probably be better. But I fucking hate this cycle.

I have to get back into the hang of blogging and I know eventually I will. I know I used to disappear for days and weeks and months on end, but I don’t want to be like that anymore. I want to be more reliable.

Christmas was pretty good, though it was a bit scary at one point when we found out that Chris’s son had COVID-19. He was in California at the time, so we were helpless and heartbroken. I may have also been extra bitchy towards people during that time because I was upset. O is fine now, which ended up being the only thing I really wanted this Christmas. (Though if you want to get something for my birthday, I wouldn’t be opposed to that.)

The dessert table at my aunt’s house on Christmas Day.
Our dessert table on Christmas

I spent Christmas Day with my mom’s side of the family, and Chris spent it with his mom’s side. We waited until the day before New Years Eve to wrap presents for O, which were unwrapped within an hour of O getting to Chris’s house on New Years Eve. He seemed to enjoy his presents, which I’m so glad. You watch enough Charlotte Dobre videos and you start to worry about how kids will react to presents; though I never really have to worry about with O because he’s a good kid.

Chris and I went to a “party” before Christmas at our friend Elenya’s house. (It’s also Colin’s house, but he wasn’t there that night.) It was really just a Writers’ Club meeting with Christmas themed prompts (by Rhiana) and desserts & hot chocolate. I wrote this, which is only available on my Patreon.

So that’s what happened over my holiday break. And now I’m sitting in my living room listening to rain and sleet as part of the winter storm that’s going on right now. Fun times.

A redheaded woman in a shirt that reads “Not a Lot Going On at the Moment”
My T. Swift shirt on New Years Eve. Please ignore the toilet in the background.

On the way to celebrate Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house on Thursday, my mom told me that she and my dad had had a conversation recently about me. She told me that she told him that I would be happier and easier to get along with if I was on mood stabilizers. I was horrified.

My first response was, “what?” That was followed by my pointing out that I had tried every mood stabilizer and that I had adverse reactions to a large chunk of them (lithium, antipsychotics, and several anticonvulsants) and a zombie on most of them. My mom told me that I hadn’t. (I have taken all but two FDA-approved and off-label mood stabilizers.)

I’m actually much happier and feel relatively stable off of them. Being happier is why I’m not at home as much. In fact, the goal of my mental health care over the last decade or so has been to increase my ability to leave the house with the hope that one day I could actually live separately from my parents. And my treatment plans have had to accommodate my inability to use mood stabilizers.

When I told him what she’d said, Chris said it sounded like she wanted me to be compliant and stay home all the time. Unfortunately that was what I thought too. I haven’t told him all of the times she has said she wants to be my representative payee or have me placed in a program through Social Security that would eliminate my access to a bank account & remove my ability to run my shop. It would keep me without true resources.

It makes all of her talk through the years about my lack of control & my inability to live without continued assistance of my parents seem all the more sinister. Not to mention how it colors my view on her wanting access to my accident settlement (she wants it in her bank account) and how she wants to raid my cash box for the festivals I’ve sold art & jewelry at. I’m fairly certain she’s been repaid most of the change she thinks I owe her on that. Then again, this is a woman who has threatened to sell or throw out my belongings before, so who knows what she thinks about that money?

It makes me want to make sure I definitely get a studio out of this house so that I can definitely gain independence. It also makes me want to stay out of my house all the time. I don’t feel like she views me as a person.

Some of the gifts for O arrived today, which has me kind of worried because I don’t remember how to properly wrap presents. Also, I have no wrapping paper, bows, tape, or tags for O’s gifts.

I bought special paper for Chris’s presents that I could use on O’s, but I don’t know if I should. I may just get O his own paper too. I know blue is his favorite color, so I may run with that.

Or I could do gift bags.

Again.

I don’t get why wrapping gifts has to be so difficult for me, besides my clumsiness amplifying my issues with cutting and folding in straight lines. Also, tape hates me. Oh, wait. I’m starting to figure out why it’s difficult.

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I haven’t added my old posts back yet, but I do plan to do that. I guess I should mention what’s been going on in my life.

I am an exhibiting artist at Huntsville Art League, and have been since last year. For a while I was the Education VP there, but now I’m the President. I was also teaching there and at Michael’s, but then a little thing called COVID interrupted that.

I have published two books of poetry—The Dark Lady and Ambition. I have sold precisely two copies of those books, which was honestly more than I expected to sell. Publishing them also led to my creation of my Goodreads Author page.

I finally had to get another iron infusion last week. My hematologist had told me last year that this would definitely be the year for it, and he was right. My ferritin had been steadily dropping since 2013—when I had my last infusion. This year it actually slowed down on that descent and only got to 21, but my iron saturation went from 35% to 16.7% and my platelets had already started going up. With my risk of clots, that last part was a bit more concerning. So I got an INFeD infusion to help get that under control.

Oh, and I have the most amazing boyfriend ever. His name is Chris. He’s my age and has a 13-year-old son. Chris is funny, sweet, smart, and I am so in love with him. We have been together since May 17, 2020. We didn’t meet in person until September 2020 though because of COVID. I met his son in May 2021.

Photo of a couple with the words “Date Idea: COVID-19 Boosters”
Chris and I took this selfie when we got our third COVID shot last month.

He and I are actually going on our first trip together this weekend. We’ll be going to California for his best friend’s wedding. I haven’t been on a plane since 1999 and I’m a tad nervous, but I’m sure he’ll find a way to calm me or get my mind off of the anxiety.