Today I did something that doesn't make sense. I've been thinking about this for a long time. I can't remember how the idea first entered my mind, but once it was there I turned it over and tried to approach it from different angles. I wanted to give one of the guys I worked with some money. Sometimes I get ideas and once they're in my head, I have a very hard time letting them go. Whenever I have a decision to make I try to ask myself if this is the right thing at the right time with the right person? Initially my answer was no. Everything about the combination was wrong. That was easy, I kept the money for myself instead of giving it to him. Time passed and I felt like things had changed. I'm sure part of it is one of the women I work with, this is difficult for me too. There is guilt by association, but the opposite can also be true. I felt better about him since she was being so nice to me. I didn't understand her, but I couldn't see how she was getting any benefit out of being friends with two rival parties who were not on good terms since conflict bothers her as an empath.
I wanted to get along better with him for several reasons. In general I am a peaceful person despite appearances to the contrary. I have extremely high standards and I think that confuses people. I don't know how to deal with people who seem to lack the kind of standards I have. I don't view this as actively generating conflict, but I can see how it would seem that way to others. I like to come in, work hard, go home, and rest and relax. Since I had PT on Tuesday I picked up a shift on Wednesday. I wanted to give him the money then, but the timing didn't seem right. I wrote about my friend coming in and that conversation, I left early, went home, and felt proud of myself for holding off on the gift that hadn't felt right. I had it in my bag that day, that felt like a huge victory to me since I like the idea of delayed gratification. I was released from the psych ward and entered an outpatient program back in December of 2015. Now every December is a reminder of that time and the place where I stayed. This may not make sense to some, but he got the money for several reasons.
First: I have a December birthday and feel for anyone else who does. His birthday happens to be on the same day as a niece of mine, coincidentally another niece of mine was born on the same day that my unicorn friend was. Secondly: I am a nice person. I felt bad about the past couple of months and I was searching for a way to say, hey, let's leave the past in the past and find a way to move forward. Third: I'm still very grateful for the words of wisdom that he passed along when we were still friends. I think that people at work treat him poorly and that he is very misunderstood. That bothers me in a big way. Fourth: I'm proud of him. He has come a long way since he first started. Growth can be a very painful process and I thought that he had earned some long overdue recognition. Fifth: He is special to me in a way I can't really explain or define. His mind fascinates me. Maybe that's all there is to it. Sixth: I still remember being much more depressed than I am now. His mood seems better than it was which is encouraging, but I don't work closely with him or know him well so this is an observation from afar. Seventh: Sometimes I just have to follow my inner voice. The time, the gift, and the person felt right. If he's upset about it, I take full responsibility for my actions.
Part of me feels like it was a mistake. Another part of me doesn't regret it. I think he would really enjoy a job like I have. I still haven't figured out what I want to do when I grow up, this job is temporary and it's a stepping stone. I'm fortunate to have access to the information and people that I do. He would learn a ton working in my department. In a way I feel guilty that I have this opportunity and he doesn't since I feel like he could use this type of a job more than I can at this point in time. It's been an incredible journey and I'm sure I have no idea how much I've learned or how far I've come since I was hired last July. To have a friend who makes me feel like I can handle my emotions, explore them, to be able to write anything like this is just crazy to me. I really don't care if I get fired, I felt like the gift was timely and appropriate so I went ahead with it. I don't feel like he owes me anything in return, he can do whatever he wants with the money, he can take the whole thing into management and present it to them as evidence that I broke the rules, I don't care. I have an inner peace I didn't before. Like I know who I am and can handle whatever the consequences of my actions may be.
Maybe going back to PT and seeing how that guy that my friend likes treats me now that things went south between her and him helped me more than I realize. I'm not nearly as afraid of things as I was in the past. I don't know if this process is unique to me or not, but the way I view people's looks changes as I get to know them. I have friends that some may think are not very attractive that I believe are truly beautiful. Sometimes people become better looking, other times they become uglier, usually it's a matter of observing how they treat others. One thing I really like about this guy, and I've written about this before, is how he treats women. I feel like that alone should get him recognition and credit he never seems to receive. Even though him going to management was hurtful to me personally, it didn't seem cruel or heartless, it seemed logical and reactionary. Today I had a chance to talk to another woman at work about the guy that scares me. She doesn't get a good vibe from him either which is not to say that we couldn't both be very wrong about him.
Someone doing something hurtful to me is not the same as someone creating a psychologically or physically unsafe work environment for me and other women. It really bothers me that my friend with the crush told me to stop being mean to the guy who scares me. I'm not mean to him. If there is a work related reason I need to speak with him, then I will and I will be gracious to him. But we are not friends and I will never pretend that I'm cool with someone when that's not the case. For many years I lived an increasingly isolated life. I stopped having people over, I quit going places. I was obsessed with trying to figure out what was wrong with me and food was just item on my list. I needed support and didn't get enough. That's still a problem in my life. I wanted a partner and had the person I should have been able to count on for that type of encouragement and safety been there for me things would have been better. He actively worked against me and that's still a major issue, just like it's a problem between me and my mother. She shouldn't undermine my authority as a parent and neither should he.
I feel like I've reached a tipping point. The scales felt weighed in his favor. Giving him the money felt like I had paid off a debt and that was a great feeling. My motivation and intentions were good and I hope that comes through regardless of whatever else happens. I wasn't trying to get anything out of him, gifts should be freely given and not create any sense of obligation in the recipient. My friend said she hopes he appreciates what a good friend I am, but I don't know that we really are or ever were friends. I've had trouble with other people before, but not really like this. It's a new and very confusing experience for me. On some level he makes sense to me. I don't make sense to myself and I don't like that. I like it when things make sense. Even if it isn't what I would do, I like it when I can understand where someone else is coming from. It seems that no matter what I do or don't do is the wrong thing so I might as well stop trying to do things that I think will please others and just do whatever my intuition tells me may be a path to get to where I want to go. Where do I want to go? I'm not really sure about that. Right now I'm relationship repair mode. If the gift did that, I wasn't planning on that, but if it did, great. If not, oh well.
And now it's time for Jessica to get a plan together: I have some areas where I would like to improve. Going back to PT was a smart move and I'm going to give myself credit for that. I'm going to ask my new guy if he will help me put together an exercise plan that will target weaker areas and make them stronger. I think he will help me and even if I end up having to pay him out of pocket, this is the only body I have and I need to start taking better care of it. I need to figure out sleep. Taking a nap helped, there are other things I do like limit the lateness of the hours my daughter works so I don't have to stay up or wake up to go get her. My job is problematic. On one hand part of me loves it and what I do. On the other, I've outgrown my current role and I think boredom at work is why I'm getting into trouble there. Going to PT reminded me that I could have fun while working hard. I love it when I can come in and feel like I'm making a difference in the lives of others. This is a job, I want a calling. I want a career where I will make more money although money isn't specifically what motivates me.
Right now I don't want to go out with anybody. I'm too scared and I'm not even sure what would lessen my fear other than going out with someone and maybe that is what needs to happen. I'll be interested to hear what my therapist says when I see her. I love her, she's tough love, and I'm still smarting from the sting I got last time I went in and I feel like this next appointment is going to be ugly as well, but I know she is on my side and only saying things that she thinks I need to be hearing. Ultimately her job is to show me how my thought patterns are contributing to the types of problems I have so this is actually a good thing and usually we have a great time talking to each other. I tend to be a very anxious person. I want lower anxiety and decreased stress levels. Exercise and better hydration will help. I need the girls to start contributing more around my place. I want to move eventually, meals as a family would be a goal as well. Food is an issue and I need some help, but I'm not sure what kind or who to talk to about this.
The other night a friend of mine called and we sat on the phone for a while which was nice since I haven't seen him since we took the trip to Cedarburg together. We talked about taking some day trips together and I think this will be fun to do. I haven't heard back from Jill and Jane's dad, perhaps he won't approve although I can't see any reason why he wouldn't. I need more fun in my life. I love going to small towns and getting to know them better. There's so much to do here in Wisconsin and northern Illinois that it seems silly to plan a big excursion elsewhere. I like the idea of smaller and shorter trips, getting into that kind of a routine would be good for us I think. I want better relationships with Jill and Jane. This is an area where I feel like I have made significant progress, yet there is still much to be done before it is healthier and less dysfunctional. The idea of small steps is appealing, but I think I'm more of a radical lifestyle change person. I want fast immediate results and I don't mind shaking things up to get them.
Sometimes I wish I had better relationships with some of the people at work, but I also know that sometimes, you just have to let things go and do your own thing. If I've tried to understand people and I think I'm pretty good at giving people the benefit of the doubt until I have solid and concrete proof that the allegations against them are true, if they continually use and abuse me, I'm not going to put myself out there anymore. I feel bad that things aren't the way that they were as far as us getting along goes, but I also realize now what I didn't before, my manager was right about the underlying issues. I was naive and now that I can see some of what she did, I have more respect than ever for her even if I don't always like or agree with the way she handles things. Work sent out a survey and I am not filling that thing out no matter how many reminders we get. They claim our replies are anonymous, but the company is small and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to match an email address with a completed survey.
I have some amazing friends. People who care, people who are loving and forgiving even when I do foolish things that they warned me about. I think I'm a good friend and that's a nice feeling. Maybe I get hung up on providing value in friendships, I tend to view alliances as strategic and one of the down sides of working in sales is that leftover feeling that I have to continually buy things or do things for other people to avoid feeling like the relationship is lopsided. Sometimes I don't understand my own value. I tell others that they have intrisic worth and don't need to say or do anything to prove it to anyone else. Sometimes I like studying selfish people because I want to be a little bit better about taking care of myself and I can see how they get what they want because they are more focused on themselves than they are other people. There's a balance here, I just have to find it. I'm tired and mellow even though my stomach and ankle hurt. Work was tough for that reason alone.
I ran into a woman who started tearing up in the aisle when I was talking to her. Compared to where she was when I last saw her she has made remarkable progress. I saw her sister not long ago, she gave me a big hug, it's really nice to be rewarded and appreciated like that. She said she almost called me and I told her next time not to hesitate. A family came in and I took a picture of them because the mother and daughter had matching sweaters and it was too cute. That's the kind of customer interactions that make it all worth my time and effort. To see that little girl smiling and to know that her parents are still together despite the stress of work, children, marriage, and whatever else they have going on, a lot of people shop there because of health issues and I think I remember her saying something about some of hers. I just love her. I once gave her a bottle of lotion I had been given, it was a nice gift that I could have kept for myself and I know that she really appreciated it. She used to intimidate me, now we're friends. I like that.
Until next time,
P.S. It's really cool when you start liking yourself more as a person. It's like gaining a new friend while losing an old enemy. I'm excited and pray that this trend continues.
Me: "I gave him money for his birthday. Maybe I shouldn't have done that."
Her: "You did it because you wanted him to feel that someone cares." She said more after that, but I couldn't hear her. No matter what I tell her she comes up with a way to spin it in a positive way. I just love that about her.
Her: "I was hoping you would be here. My sister and I wondered if you had quit. I almost called you, I have your number..." She starts crying and waves her hands slightly while we're standing in the aisle together.
Me: "You have come a long way. Healing is a process and it takes time. I'm proud of you and how far you have come. Next time call, I would love to hear from you, we should get together some time and hang out."
Her (dabbing at her eyes): "Thank you Jessica. You really helped me. That oil you recommended is the only thing that helps my skin feel better."
Me (laughing, but almost crying myself): "I don't even remember which oil that was, but I'm glad it helped. Someday you will be the person others are coming to and then you'll know why you went through what you are today. I work here because I've been there. You're on the right track, keep going." I gave her a hug and took her to see the allergy free cookies.
Her: "He has issues. That is not normal behavior."
Me: "I agree. I think he's very cautious and guarded. He doesn't trust people easily and she played some games with him. They weren't honest with each other. She has issues too."
Her: "Her mom will never let her go. Instead of encouraging her to go out and hang out with people her own age she hangs onto her. It's really sad. Thank you for being her friend and showing her there's more to life." Suddenly I feel very small and don't know what to say next.
Him: "He is lower risk (like me). Fine for bouncing ideas and friendship. Not fine for hot in bed or adventures or romance. I don't think he could drive a sports car like you (nor could I for that matter)."
Me: "You have that guy totally wrong there. He has an extremely high tolerance for physical risk in my opinion. He isn't the fine wine type, but he could get down and dirty in bed. I wonder if he has a bit of kink in him. I prefer the virtuosos, but I can definitely appreciate the red blooded type who shove you up against a wall and take you like the animal they're unleashing in you. When I say that he wouldn't be good in bed what I mean is he isn't what I want. He is not subtle or playful and I want both. I don't see him as a friendly bounce ideas off of him type either. He is an action guy. Giddy up pardner."
Me: "Would you be open to family counseling? You can take some time to think about it. Your girlfriend can come too."
Her: "My mom used to tell me that things always seem to feel worse at night. That's when the worry creeps in, just turn it over to God and let him take your worry."
Her: "Are things better at work for you?"
Me (feeling torn between telling her everything and avoiding a difficult conversation, then deciding to reflect for a moment): "Yes. They are much better. Thanks for asking." This is the truth and I'm glad I led with that although I did end up giving her a short version of some things I've been dealing with lately.
Her: "It's never easy when strong emotions are involved." I have the best friends.