Sunday, December 25, 2005

Who Am I?

Nike of Samothrace, circa 200BC, Artist Unknown.

This week a person dropped by the site and left me a comment. MC asked a few questions that I’ll attempt to answer now. This is a post I’ve struggled with for months, namely, who am I? Part of the reason I began writing in this space was to find myself again. After I broke up with Mr. Intellectual I woke up to the fact that over the years I had lost myself. I lost touch with who I am and what I really wanted out of this life. It is the over-riding question that drives me- not why am I here, but rather who am I?

I first saw the ‘Nike of Samothrace’ sculpture when I was 14, in a high school art class. Also know as ‘Winged Victory’, it spoke to me in a way that a piece of art had never done before. There was something about the way the fabric strained against her body, her wings in flight against the wind all rendered in marble, that amazed me. So much so, that I didn’t even notice that her arms and head were missing for quite some time. I still find this work to be incredibly beautiful and inspiring. I remember that I photocopied that picture and it remained tacked to my bulletin board for years to serve as an inspiration and muse. After that I took a deeper interest in Art, but it wouldn’t be until University that Art History became a minor passion of mine.

Apart from the depression that runs deep through my life, an appreciation and passion for fine art is a second stream that makes up who I am. I view the world as though it is being framed up for a painting, a photograph or to be rendered as a sculpture. It is so much a part of me, and yet I rarely carry around my camera anymore, or even sketch out pictures. Somewhere along the way, I put aside the artistic side of myself since it didn’t really meet with much approval from Mr. Intellectual. It makes me sad that my adolescent self stopped cultivating the humble art skills I possess simply because the man I loved wasn’t all that interested and didn’t care to learn about it. Instead I cultivated my passion for art by taking an Art History minor in my undergrad. I wasn’t able to get a full double major out of it because it would have meant taking a fifth year, and I was eager to graduate. I'm sad that this is one of the "sacrifices" I believed I had to make for the success of the relationship.

As for the other questions, MC: am I an actual person? Yes, I am. I’m a graduate student who is trying to complete a Master’s degree in Canadian history. Do I have a real job? Well, in the summer I work on contract for the Government, but for various reasons I can’t speak about my job or disclose where exactly I work. Do I work with real people? My winter “job” of the degree is pretty isolating and I rarely see any of my fellow students and colleagues unless I go out of my way to seek out their company. I’d love to talk about my summer coworkers, since there are some really fascinating and colourful characters there, but again that’s off limits if I ever want to return.

As for who I am, I’m not really sure, to be honest. I guess you’ll just have to keep reading if you really want to find that out, since I'm just beginning to figure that out myself. Previously I’ve defined myself by my relationship and my job and now that both of those things have crumbled away I’m having a difficult time figuring out who I really am, stripped bare and all alone. I don’t want to define myself by external forces anymore and yet I am reluctant to completely give them up. Which is why I struggle with my residual feelings for Mr. I, and the possibility that I may never be able to return to my summer job unless I can transfer to another location. What I do know is that I need to find out who the woman that I stare at in the mirror every morning is and be comfortable with that again. In the meantime I’ll continue to strain against the adversity I face, just like the Nike I love so much.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Worth A Rewind

I was watching the movie, Love Actually tonight since it's getting closer to Christmas and I'm not really feeling it yet. So, what better way to get in the mood than to watch a romantic comedy set around the holidays?

Hugh Grant plays the British Prime Minister, and the scene where he dances to the Pointer Sisters', "Jump (For My Love)" through #10 Downing Street really is worth rewinding to watch a second time! Hugh really is too cute for words sometimes. As long as you don't remind me about his mishap with Divine Brown.

Philosophy Lesson's From Miss E

Today has been an introspective day for me. I woke up in silence and I’ll probably spend the entire day without saying a word since I have nowhere to go and I live alone. On days like today I spend a lot of time in my head, which may or may not be a good thing. I’m still grappling with what has happened to me in the past month and trying to make sense of something that makes absolutely no sense. I’m finding it hard to just accept it and move on without satisfactorily answering the why of it all. I will never know why he chose to become obsessed with me to the point where it ended with me hiding in my bedroom closet, in hysterical tears on the phone with a 911 operator, while he pounded on my front door- yelling at me. In situations like this I’m not even sure there is an answer.

It reminds me though of a conversation I had this past summer with my niece. Little Miss E was about two and half years old at this point. We were hanging out at my parent’s house playing with my childhood Fisher Price Little People’s Schoolhouse set and reading books. During a lull in the play she noticed a mosquito bite on my calf that I was itching. I unfortunately have a bad reaction to mosquito bites that result in angry red welts the size of quarters that eventually turn black and blue.

“What’s that?” She asked while pointing at my leg.

“A mosquito bite,” I replied, “But it doesn’t hurt, it’s just a little itchy.”

She sat looking at my bite and pondered this for a moment before responding.

“You’re tough Aunt Jane. Soon it will be better.” She said with a little nod of her head.

I couldn’t help but smile at her stoicism.

Today as I sat mulling over the events of the past month while watching the snow fly out my new front window on a new street that I’m still getting used to, our earlier conversation came to mind. She was right too- I am tough! Soon it will be better…

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


This wasn’t the topic I was going to write about today, but after looking at my statcounter I found a person who stumbled across this blog after doing a search for, “Should I tell my thesis advisor I am depressed?”

To that question I give a resounding, “Yes!” This is especially true if it’s affecting your work performance and ability to perform on a daily basis. However, there are some things you should do prior to disclosing what is going on in your life. I’ve had to disclose my depression at various points in my academic career and it’s always a drag. If your University or College has counseling services or a good medical clinic I suggest going there first and getting a formal note or diagnosis. Having backup proof always helps your cause. Secondly, don’t just spring it on them- set up an appointment to see your advisor and give them a soft opener, usually done through email. A good way that I’ve found to phrase this is to tell them that they might have noticed an uncharacteristic performance out of you as of late and you’d like to speak with them about it. Then when you sit down, have planned out what you’d like to discuss and what aspects of your private life you just don’t want to tell them, or think they don’t need to know. Write it out in bullet points before hand and bring it in with you. It helps to have crib notes so you don’t forget what you want to say if you start to get nervous or emotional.

All academic institutions have a policy to deal with these situations and sadly they’re all too common. Depression and graduate studies seem to go hand in hand for some reason and trust me you’re not the first or even the last student to deal with this. Your advisor needs to know what’s going on in order to help you as best they can, which essentially is their job- they are there to guide you through your degree, not just judge your performance and work.

Another helpful tip is to have a game plan. Certainly let them know what you’ve been dealing with as of late and then outline what you’re doing to rectify the situation, whether it’s therapy, drugs, changing status from full to part time to alleviate stress, or even taking a semester leave of absence. Let them know that you are working to change the situation and not just wallowing in your problems. If you’re not sure what to do ask them for their opinion on what they think might be beneficial to your project or thesis in relation to your personal problems. Admit that you’re not sure how to work with your project and your depression and ask them what’s worked in the past with some of their other students. Either way let them know that you are actively trying to work on this and find a solution.

I just went through this whole process recently when I disclosed not only to my family and friends but my entire thesis committee that I had been dealing with criminal harassment (a stalker). As a result of the fear I was living in, and in the last few weeks of not being able to leave my apartment unless escorted by a friend, my work obviously suffered. It was a hard thing to admit that I had basically pissed away the past 12-week semester and had absolutely nothing to show for my time here. It was a personal failure for me, and embarrassing not to mention emotional for me to get this out in the open. I felt so foolish and yet relieved. My committee has been nothing but supportive and understanding. The chair of the department has reassured me that he’s seen this before in lesser and more severe degrees, which saddens me- that other students had to deal with this too. I feel like I’ve been given a clean slate to once again prove myself next semester and I couldn’t be more pleased with how this turned out all things considered. It really is a relief to get it out in the open.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

...And Counting

I was talking with someone online last night and as the conversation turned to dating I realized that it’s been almost 9 months since I went out on a real date. I had to really think back to when my last date, (where I dressed up, he picked me up and we went somewhere alone to get to know each other), even happened. The number I finally came to actually surprised me since I hadn’t really thought about it before. I started thinking about a few other significant numbers. Like a year and half, the amount of time since Mr. Intellectual and I called it quits. He has been happily seeing someone for the past six months where as I have had a 9 month drought without even realizing it.

The strange thing is that I have been out more in the past 9 months than I have in years. I’m getting out and doing more group things, meeting up with friends, going to the bar on occasion, hanging out with my hockey team after the game and going out with the siblings to celebrate birthdays and weddings and a number of Stag & Doe’s. I have met a lot of new people in the past 9 months and I have yet to go on a date as a result- but I barely noticed until last night. Part of that has to do with the drama surrounding the Stalkerazzi, but another part of me just doesn’t seem to care.

As I sit here and try to cobble together a more normal life, one where I’m not constantly afraid and looking over my shoulder, I’m slowly awakening to the fact that I miss the companionship that a relationship or even occasional date provides. I’m also very aware of the fact that it would be a mistake to enter into a relationship right now and also grossly unfair to that person because of what I’m trying to come to terms with at the moment. Before I can consider allowing another person into my life in a serious way I need to deal with the demons that have emerged from the criminal harassment and put them to rest.

I need to find my purpose again, I need to reconnect with what drives me and fulfills me. I need to recapture that excitement that my thesis project inspired in me when I began this journey of a masters degree. I need to put aside the mantle of survival mode and start to live life again with a different purpose, one that I’m happy pursuing with or without someone by my side. In short I need to find my confidence again.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Currently Making Me Smile

Upon hearing of my 'situation' with the criminal harassment:

“Just give me a ski-mask, all I need is a ski-mask.”

Monday, November 28, 2005

Life is Officially Different Now

All I want to do right now is cry and yet I’m afraid if I let myself start I won’t be able to stop. So much has happened in the past two weeks and has changed everything. A part of me is hesitant to write about it because that means that this is and has really happened and I can’t turn back now.

Over the last 2 months now the FB has morphed into a stalker when I refused to enter into a committed relationship and tried to break it all off. He has officially become the one who “wont take no for an answer”. It all came to a head two weeks ago after he showed up at my apartment uninvited and unannounced, behaving erratically, and forcing me to call 9-1-1 while hiding in my closet close to hysterics. After that happened my life has been in an uproar.

I was forced to move in a three-day period in conjunction with explaining to my parents and siblings what happened causing them to be both worried for my safety and furious at his actions. Then I had to email my thesis supervisor who is currently battling breast-cancer, to explain my predicament and apologize for my uncharacteristic behaviour this semester and severe lack of work to show for the last few months of researching and writing time. I also lost my summer job over this because we worked together and I can’t go back there because that would open me up to more criminal harassment. Now my ability to support myself without a loan or help from my parents has been compromised and I’m extremely worried about how I’ll be able to afford Grad School. I also have to resign myself to staying in my University town over the summer semester in order to finish up if I have any hope of graduating this year and starting my Ph.D this fall. This also means any hopes and plans I had of traveling to the Netherlands this summer to begin my Ph.D research have been completely cut out.

Ever since he showed up at my apartment and turned my life upside-down I’ve been all keyed up. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder and I’m anxious every time I leave my parents house in my hometown because that’s where he lives and works. He knows my general movements there since I go home every weekend to play in a hockey league. I’m furious that my life has changed so dramatically and all he’s had to suffer is a “broken heart” and some confusion since he doesn’t understand why I acted the way I did. He seemed to believe I was his soul mate despite the fact that I professed not to believe in soul mates and wanted nothing to do with him anymore.

Above all I am furious. I’m furious that the laws in Ontario won’t allow me to arrest and charge him at this point. I’m furious that my future educational plans are in jeopardy. I’m furious that he basically gets off scot-free with no consequences while I’m out a good paying job that I enjoyed and excelled at. I’m furious that I had to leave my beautiful apartment and move into a house with roommates. I’m furious that my family and friends are all worried about my safety. I’m furious that I feel anxious every time the phone rings, or I leave the house or even when I check my email. Most of all I’m furious for how helpless I feel.

Despite all this, I’m grateful for my family who has been nothing less than fantastic through all this. My youngest brother allowed me to hide out in his dorm room for a few days before I could move, my Mom dealt with my landlady because I was too upset, my Dad dropped everything to help me move out of my old place and into my new house all in one day. My oldest brother called up a few of his police buddies to find out exactly what I could do about this and what my rights were. Brother’s 2 and 4 went and spoke to the stalker in a public setting, in an attempt to get him to leave me alone. This happened a week before he showed up here, after he called my parents house in a panic trying to gain information about me through brother #4. At this point I had cut off all contact for 5 days and was refusing to engage him anymore. I’m now living beside brother #3 who is keeping an eye on me and being very supportive, including giving me free internet, which is really a live saver at this point. I don’t know where I’d be right now without the support of my family.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Moment in Time

This morning as I was reading through my daily dose of blogs I came to realize that right now I far more enjoy reading other people’s sites than I do updating my own. There are so many things I have thought about writing and started out putting down and yet they never come to fruition. My time has been pulled in innumerable directions and yet it seems like I never get to finish one thing I’ve started before I’m pulled in yet another direction.

Right now I’m hiding out from marking my students big essay’s and just enjoying some downtime- because really who wants to spend what will probably be one of the last, if not last sunny fall Saturdays marking 80 hideously written first year papers which each go in excess of 8 pages? There’s so much I want to write about like my new hockey league, the philosophical musings of my almost 3-year old niece, my siblings, the new twist my depression has taken, the daily fear I have picked up, the search for an acceptable University to apply for my Ph.D studies which would begin this upcoming September, and my current thesis advisor’s struggle with breast cancer. Yet, all that comes trickling out are half-started posts here and there saved to my hard-drive or softly formed, malleable ideas struggling to take on enough shape in my head to be transposed to the computer.

So, instead I sit and I dream and I watch the wind blowing the leaves through the back yard at my parent’s house while basking in the sun streaming through my window. I wish every day could fill me with this kind of contentment and then I remember that tomorrow afternoon I have to get in my car and drive an hour and a half back to my real life of thick books and due dates, of clambering students and unmarked papers. But for now I think I’ll just enjoy what I have right this minute and deal with the consequences later.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Lotto Dreams

This past Wednesday’s Lotto 6/49 drawing was advertised as a roughly $40 million jackpot. Not bad, eh? When all was said and done the prize came out to around $54 million. It was with some trepidation that I learned that only one ticket, purchased in Alberta, drew the winning numbers. It’s not that I grudge the winner their money, but something about one individual winning that much money all at once brings on certain feelings of uneasiness and a lot of questions about what sort of person the winner is. Not to mention a small amount of a sense of loss, since my $2 ticket isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

I can count the number of lottery tickets I’ve bought in my lifetime on one hand. Yet earlier in the week Mr. Intellectual and I fell for the lotto-fever and it landed us in a convenience store buying snacks and lottery tickets before going to see a movie together. It’s amazing what the possibility of winning that much money can do to a person’s imagination and psyche. Even though the rational side of my brain said that I wouldn’t win anything, the emotional side allowed me to run away in the dream of it all and find a small slice of happiness that I haven’t felt in a long time. It was a small stream of light that pierced through the dark feelings clouding my brain.

I was definitely not the only one buying into the lottery-fever that accompanies the heady dreams that only $40 million can fuel. I spent some quiet time pondering just what I would do with that kind of money, and I had to smile. It’s nice to dream and it’s been a long time since I’ve allowed myself that luxury. Depression doesn’t exactly foster an environment in my head that allows for wild hopes and quiet dreams. Even though I knew I wouldn’t win, it was refreshing to imagine what I would do with the financial freedom it would bring me. It also brought on a sense of emptiness that one of my dreams would never be fulfilled, $40 million or not.

One of my wild dreams was to take a month off and travel through Italy with Mr. I to visit all of the places and art pieces I had studied about in art history classes, classics courses and history classes in undergrad. Since he spent a month and half studying in Rome it would have been ideal, not to mention the fact that his near-photographic memory makes him a wonderful source of history and knowledge that I’ve never been able to use while traveling. We never did go on vacation anywhere or travel together beyond day trips, and its something I regret. However, neither one of us had the money since we were poor students and love alone can’t buy plane tickets. It’s too late now to do that, even as friends since his new girlfriend would never go for it, let alone be comfortable with the idea of us traveling together anywhere.

This morning I read in the paper that 17 employees of a little oil and gas company out of a small town in Alberta held the winning ticket. Each individual will be taking home roughly $3 million each. Learning that the pot was being split amongst 17 hard working, blue-collar individuals made me smile. I was happy for them, they’ve known hardship and adversity I’m sure and they and their families deserve this. I’m just thankful that for an afternoon I tasted happiness and know it’s possible to hope again sometime in the future, even if I can’t right now. Besides, not all of my fantasies are out of reach- one day I will be able to buy my own car, even if it’s not a brand new Chrysler 300.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


A while back Mr. Intellectual told me about this quirky little comic, called White Ninja that he found while surfing the internet for Ninja stuff. Why? I'm not 100% sure, but I think it had something to do with the short film, "A Ninja Pays Half My Rent". Check out the archive for a good laugh. The ninja short is also funny too if you haven't already seen it. White Ninja releases new comics on a fairly regular basis which is one of my little indulgences. It reminds me of this comic which used to be featured in our student news paper, but sadly its creator graduated in my third year and it was discontinued. I still miss that comic and ever since it has been gone I haven't picked up the student newspaper nearly as often as I did back then.

I'm still breathing and here. Which is good- for now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dating Anxiety

Why is it that the mere mention of wanting to date me exclusively is enough to send me into a swirling paroxysm of anxiety right now? Or does that have more to do with the people who have recently expressed their desire to do so?

A couple of weeks ago a really sweet, nice and completely incompatible man that I have worked with for several summers sent me an email pouring out his heart to me, and expressing his strong hope that we could take our friendship, which consisted mainly of friendly email banter at work and the occasional visit between offices, to the next level: dating. I freaked out and disappeared. I haven’t spoken to him since, or emailed him a response to that email, despite the fact that I promised him I would. It’s not that I dislike him, he really is very nice, just extremely not my type. A bit of a social misfit, and awkward around me at best I just couldn’t take him on right now.

I want someone that is at ease with me, and I with him and that would not describe our relationship in person. It’s easy to hide behind email and formulate the perfect witty responses and easy banter that we shared, along with a slightly twisted and sarcastic sense of humour. When we did share the occasional inter-office visit to chat and mutually roll our eyes at work conditions, it was fun but there existed an almost palpable awkwardness between us, and not in the fun way that denotes the beginnings of a new and promising relationship. Think junior high school dances of sweaty palms and dancing with two body lengths between each other.

As much as I tried to put him at ease, he just couldn’t completely relax around me. The simple act of patting me on the shoulder in reassurance was stilted and almost robotic when he attempted it. To make matters worse, he was wildly sensitive and irrationally angry at times about things that I would have just let roll off my back. I weathered the brunt of his hypersensitivity a couple of times through email at work and was less than impressed. This fact alone made me afraid of a closer relationship with him, even as friends. Where I am right now in life I do not want a man who is insecure and in constant need of reassurance and babysitting.

In simple terms, I do not want a “fixer-up” relationship, or one where I need to invest more emotionally than I would be getting out of it. I loved, supported, emotionally built-up and was basically the “strong one” for 6 years with Mr. Intellectual. He was demanding at times and very insecure. I was the one who always had to be the strong one, even when I felt like nothing was farther from the truth and it took it’s toll on me. I wasn’t allowed to show my vulnerabilities completely and to this day he still does not know how serious my depression, suicidal ideations and feelings of self-hate were. He couldn’t have handled it, and when I began to show him more of it, he withdrew from me to the point where I had to end the relationship. A relationship with Office Boy would have been even more disastrous since he appears almost perpetually insecure and needy, a fact I will attribute to his tender age of 21. His age was something else that made me uneasy when considering a relationship with him, even though I am only 24, he is not exactly a mature and self-confident 21.

The other man to press for a serious, monogamous relationship is The Fuck Buddy. TFB for a myriad of reasons became TFB because he was unsuitable as relationship material. He insists on calling himself my boyfriend, calling, emailing, saying “I love you” even though I never respond in kind and never will, and generally making himself a pain in the ass lately. He is far too old for this type of behaviour, and should know better - I’m not even close to being the first woman he’s involved himself with in this manner. That’s why he was an appealing choice for me to become TFB. It was supposed to be fun, undemanding and very casual. He has tried to re-negotiate the terms of the arrangement without consulting me in the very least and has displayed a level of selfish inconsideration that makes me very uneasy. He is quickly becoming a loose cannon that I’m at odds with how to appropriately deal with, having never been in this type of situation before.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I opened up my email this evening and I was greeted with the following line:

“As long as you stay away from the ex I'll be happy.”

Right now I’m slightly perturbed and annoyed. This was his opening line in response to an email I sent earlier today telling him what I had up for the day and that I might not be online later in the evening to chat like he had hoped.

Where does he get off telling me what I can and cannot do? We’re not even dating, and I still enjoy the ex’s company occasionally because of our shared friends and history, plus we just have a lot in common. Mr. Intellectual and I didn’t break up because there was no love left. I called it off because we weren’t on the same page anymore. I’m a big girl and don’t need someone to look after me, or “fix me”. Yes, it’s slightly messed up that MI and I still see each other, all things considered, and occasionally it causes me to be upset, but that’s my call. I know ‘The Fuck-Buddy’ doesn’t understand that though and thinks it’s a problem that needs to be resolved by me never speaking or seeing MI again.

This guy (TFB) and I have been sleeping with each other for the past few weeks. It was supposed to only be sex and a bit of fun. I have no interest whatsoever in seeing him in the real world. I do not want to be his girlfriend, go on any dates or have him come up to my University town for a visit. The sex is fantastic, but a relationship would be crap. He on the other hand has become emotionally attached and is subtly, yet forcefully trying to morph this into a real relationship. For me it was supposed to be a summer thing while I was working in my hometown, and I decided to see how it might work while I was back at school.

This is the first time I’ve tried on a fuck-buddy for size and it’s been a learning experience. I never thought I’d be the type, but a lot has changed about me in the past year since the big break up. He’d never have stood a chance if I weren’t still confused and hurt by aspects of Mr. Intellectual. TFB seems to have forgotten his place with that email though and I’m not impressed. He is quickly becoming more trouble than he’s worth to me.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sweet Nothings

“You’re one of the few women I’ve met that actually looks better without her clothes on,” he whispered in my ear.

I laughed softly in the dark and shook my head at him. The trace of a smile played across my lips.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Going the Distance

Four of the six years of my relationship with Mr. Intellectual were long distance. After two years of dating we had graduated high school and were about to make the transition to University, it was an exciting and nerve wracking time. I had waited for so long to be able to move out of my parent’s house and get out on my own. I was ready for the freedom and responsibility and chose to attend a school an hour and half from my hometown. He was less than ready for the transition and for a host of reasons chose to stay at his parents place and attend the local University. He was more than ready for the educational benefits, and was probably better equipped for it than I was, but he was not emotionally ready to make the leap into adult hood that comes with moving out of your childhood home.

The last night we spent together was so beautiful, but so heartbreaking. I remember slow dancing with him in the dimly lit living room, listening to music, being held in his arms while he softly whispered in my ear how much he loved me and how much he was going to miss me. When he finally dropped me off at my door early in the morning I had a hard time letting him go. After one last kiss and promises to call him as soon as I had moved in the next day he was gone. I’m pretty sure there were tears in both our eyes. He adored me and I knew he was having a hard time with my leaving him. It wouldn’t be until later that I learned just how difficult it would be for him.

He wouldn’t admit it at first but a couple of years later I finally cajoled him into admitting he was angry at me for the first full year, and probably half of the second year, for leaving him. It broke my heart. He spent a lot of time punishing me for going away to school and I can count on one hand how many times he made the hour and half trip up to visit me: three. To this day it still bothers me that the man that professed to love me and would do anything for me could not drive less than 100 miles to visit me. He even had is own car.

Instead I hoped on a bus that first weekend at school and made the trip home in lieu of meeting new people and adjusting myself to living in residence. It was a trip I became all too familiar with over the next two years. I am extremely prone to motion sickness, but I still braved that four hour, rambling bus ride, through every little town and village from my new city back to his city. Almost every other weekend I would spend the money and time to get to his parents house because I was crazy for him. Needless to say I did not do so well that first year academically or emotionally. My average dropped 30% and only the fear of my mother’s wrath prevented me from dropping out or getting kicked out in April.

Around Thanksgiving of second year I stopped getting on that bus. It hurt too much, and he didn’t seem to care how much I put myself out for him. I finally got angry enough about his treatment of me to tell him I wasn’t coming home on the bus to his parent’s house anymore. If I came home at all it would be to my parents house. Around Christmas I also stopped begging him to visit me. I’m not sure if he even noticed because he certainly didn’t comment on it. I was so confused, hurt and feeling extremely abandoned by the man I loved.

In second year my emotional stress finally caught up with me and my depression became full-blown clinical depression- but I was in some serious denial. I remember calling him up in extremely desperate moments for help. I’d try anything and everything to get him to make the drive up to see me. He always found every excuse why he couldn’t. If I didn’t trust him so much I’d say now that he was cheating on me, but I know he wasn’t. I remember being suicidal and calling him. I could never come right out and tell him that I was ready to jump out a window or hang myself, but I needed him to come to me and just hold me and tell me everything would be better soon. After those unsuccessful calls I’d always end up in the fetal position on the floor of my room, crying my heart out because I just didn’t understand why I wasn’t worth going the distance for. To this day I still don’t understand why he wouldn’t visit me.

This is one of the reason’s why we broke up a year ago. As if that wasn't bad enough, last summer after he moved into my University town he joined a baseball league in his hometown. He’d drive home every Thursday night for baseball and then drive back up late Thursday night for work on Friday morning. I was flabbergasted. He’d drive an hour and half for baseball and beer with the boys every week that summer, but he couldn’t make it to visit me even after I had been diagnosed as clinically depressed and almost institutionalized? I still don’t understand it and question what about me wasn’t good enough.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Best Compliment Ever

“Don't take this the wrong way…….” he said.

“......but intelligence can just be plain sexy sometimes.”

This was said in the middle of an everyday conversation after I explained the definition of something slightly obscure, inadvertently revealing my very nerdy self.

The best part: he’s very, very single and we have a lot in common, including our roots.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pieces II

The Hero: Well I am married but not really and not for much longer, I just kinda live here. You've never asked me about it.

Jane Canuck: Not really?

JC: What's that?

TH: But I also am a realist and I know I'm just a distraction and a safe one.

TH: My life at home.

JC: I don't know how "safe" you are...but whatever.

JC: And why is it "not really" married?

TH: Well I don't have a relationship like that with my wife. It’s a long story but she suffers from depression and is an alcoholic. [ Now where have I heard that before?]

JC: Is she getting any help?

TH: After my daughter was born she started acting really weird when her dad would come around and then I finally pushed about it. She had never told anyone her father raped her from when she was 7- 13.

TH: We had a great sex life before that and a good relationship but then she kinda never got through it. She’s been to many counselors.

TH: She is finally in a new session right now for victims.

JC: And?

TH: Well, we'll see but I don't think we can salvage our relationship but I do love her and hope she can at least find some peace and happiness in her life.

JC: How long have you been married?

TH: I mean our sex life is non-existent. She turned all sexual attention into a bad thing and started treating me like a pervert for wanting to have sex with her.

TH: 15 years, not married common law.

JC: But the ring?

TH: Yes.

JC: How long have you been screwing around on her?

TH: The last six or seven years but not very often, I really don’t have much time cause I end up doing most of everything around here.

JC: If it’s so bad, why not just get out?

TH: I like my kids and I couldn’t really leave them with her and I didn’t want to be a weekend dad and I’m a coward. I know that’s what you will say, but I just want things to be okay for them. She has lots of problems but they love her.

JC: Of course they do, she’s their mom…they don’t know all this side stuff.

TH: I did throw her out about 2 months ago. That’s why she’s back in therapy now.

This is like a case of bad Déjà vu. Do they all carry around the same cheat-sheet to make sure they get the story straight? Is this the one that garners the most sympathy and has been known to get the best results? Ugh…

Saturday, August 06, 2005


A Snippet from MSN:

Lunch Date: My ex wife came to me last week, and asked if she could move back in because I’m the only one that can help her.

Jane Canuck: Oh boy... [read: Oh crap…didn't see this coming]

JC: How'd that work out??

LD: Well I drew up a 30 page contract, she signed it, she’s been here about 5 days now, but she hasn’t had a drop of alcohol yet.

JC: Oh wow! So things are going good then?

LD: We’ll see, right now they are.

JC: I'm glad to hear that. [Yeah, right! Ugh…I think I feel sick.]

LD: I didn’t expect her to last this long.

LD: She’s in counseling and on anti-depressants.

JC: That's huge. [But what are *you* doing to improve the situation?]

LD: lol

JC: She's actually *doing* something, instead of just saying things.

LD: So far.

LD: My contract doesn’t allow much leeway, lol.

I have to wonder though, why you’re talking to me if you’re supposedly trying to reconcile with your wife. Why do I let myself get jerked around like this?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Saying Goodbye, Again

About a year ago I made the agonizing decision to leave my six-year relationship with Mr. Intellectual. It was something I had mulled over off and on for about four months prior to actually making it final. I still loved the man; I just couldn’t continue to work on a relationship that he felt needed no work despite our obvious problems. To this day, I still love him, however it’s more residual than a burning passion. He will always hold a special place in my heart because of all the firsts we shared, and all the good times we had together.

After the breakup we remained friends and continued to see each other on a regular basis since we worked on the same project together for a professor at my University- I job I had found for him that summer, since he was entering Grad School here in fall. After the fall semester began contact was less frequent since the job ended, but we shared a class or two together and he would occasionally pick me up on his way to campus. We have common friends and we’d all go out for dinner, or a movie or just to chill after class. Other times it would just be Mr. Intellectual and I.

It felt like pseudo-dating at times since we could enjoy each other’s company again without all the baggage of a six year monogamous relationship. He didn’t have to deal with my depression since I shut him out of that for the most part and put on the “Happy Jane” persona when I was with him, and anytime he started to fall into old behaviours that bothered me I could call it a night without feeling guilty. The relationship was making a relatively smooth, if at times akward transition from lovers and partners to friends with a deep past. I’ll admit, at first it was completely bizarre and had I not already been a relatively patient and easy-going person it wouldn’t have worked.

This summer he met a girl at a friends BBQ and eventually began a new relationship. I was happy for him, excited that he felt comfortable sharing with me, and wondering how this would again subtly change the rules of this still new “friends only” deal we were negotiating. Well, it’s not working. The way I am being treated now is not how a friend you love and respect would expect to be treated. It’s also brought to the surface some issues I had repressed and thought I had made peace with.

It is with a heavy heart that I realize for my own sanity I need to finally make a clean break. The relationship no longer brings anything positive to my life and after every interaction with him I end up either in tears or feeling worse about myself. He seems to have the uncanny ability to plunge me quite quickly into depression, even when I’m having a great day and feeling like I just might have a reason for being here. After knowing me for over 7 years he knows just what to say to hurt me most- the turn of a phrase or the tone of his comment can cut me to the core and leave me reeling.

I’m just wondering now how I can let him know in a way that leaves me with some dignity and feeling good about how I handled the situation. I’m thinking maybe an email? The only problem I have is that he’s still holding some of my stuff hostage, even though it’s been over a year since we’ve broken up and I’ve asked him numerous times about the things I’d appreciate he returned to me. I’ve pretty much given up on everything except for two childhood pictures of myself that I really would like back. They mean a lot to me and I don’t want him to have them anymore, especially knowing the way he feels about me now…

Monday, July 25, 2005

What Happened?

So two weeks ago I met this really intriguing and incredibly nice guy- he’s smart, funny in that sarcastic quirky way I love so much, and attractive. It has been almost two years since a man has made me feel this way. The best part is that he’s into me for who I am beyond my outward appearance. He’s also honest, a quality I’m finding difficult to come by these days.

The problem is that I met him at a very difficult time in his life right now, and I guess it just isn’t going to happen. At least not for a very long time. In a sense I knew this was going to be the eventual outcome, despite the very strong connection we felt together. He recently left his wife whom he found to be cheating on him with his best friend. They’ve been married less than a year. That’s a lot to deal with, without me on the side. He’s in a whole other world of pain and trying to make some sense of a situation that obviously makes no sense. It’s just unfortunate since I’ve become quite smitten with him.

I made the error of letting my heart get away from me on this one and I’m paying for it now. There is so much we share in common, including the heartbreak. It has been almost exactly a year since I moved on from Mr. Intellectual and it still brings me incredible pain. I’ve had to give up on the dream I held for my shared future with him. The constant contact I have with him only brings fresh pain and sleepless nights. I’m still angry and raw with the pain at times, especially when I never seem to get anything positive from our interactions.

Hearing about his new and seemingly ‘perfect’ girl makes it that much harder- especially when I hear little tidbits of information from him about things he’s doing for her that he never did for me. I’m devastated that he made the changes for her that he could never make for me, despite all the sacrifices I made and hard work I put into the relationship to make it work. I wonder why I failed? What was it about me that didn’t seem worth it? Was it some passive-aggressive crap that he pulled to keep in control of the situation? I’m still struggling to define the relationship and wonder if it wasn’t just a tad emotionally abusive- that he’d tear me down and keep me insecure and depressed to make himself feel better, more important, more needed. When I was doing great I think my independence scared him. I’m tired of screaming in the dark over this. I’m tired of feeling less than. If I only had to courage to sever all ties I’m sure I’d be a much happier person, or at least the healing could really begin.

I keep holding out, thinking we can be real friends. I’m just not ready to say good-bye for good yet. He’s the key to so much in my past that I can’t remember because I was so depressed that I’d block out that time from my memory in order to cope. He’s also still holding ransom some of my possessions that I just want back, things that are semi-irreplaceable and I just don’t want him holding onto for the rest of his life. In a sense I’m still not 100% ready to give up on us, as much as I’d like to move on. I still love him and I’m having a hard time letting that go. For many years he was the only good thing in my life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I Like

I like that you work with your hands

I like that you’re a little bit preppy

I like that you dig what I want to do for a living

I like that you know about antiques

I like that you drive a truck

I like that you took time out of work on a Monday to take me to lunch

I like that you have manners

I like that you really listen to what I say and ask questions

I like that you’re a little shy

I like that you share my love of The Tick

I like that you’re interested in me for more than my looks

I like that you stand up for yourself

Saturday, July 09, 2005

New People

I went out tonight with some people to a Stag and Doe. I met someone new and interesting. He's not an academic but he knows an astounding amount about a few historical topics that are near and dear to my heart and my thesis. He's also an amateur collector of WWI & WWII artifacts. From what we discussed he has quite the collection that I'm very intrigued about. He also appears to be smitten with me...although that could just be the influence of the liquor we consumed. Both he and I drink very infrequently so I'm a bit under the influence as I type this.

I went from one of the lowest lows this week, to a relatively calm and serene place at the moment. I actually physically broke down at work a couple of days ago, something that has only happened to me once before and I was a young teen caught between a rock and hard place last time. This time I just couldn't stop the tears and for the remaining 6 hours of my shift I had a rough time from keeping the tears from falling. At one point I was pretty desperate and was looking around at possible places to hang myself at work- which there were none. It was scary. Eerily familiar. Like I had a mental and emotional breakdown. The last time it was like that I was supposed to be hospitalized and refused to be admitted. When this all happened at work on Thursday I was ready to go to a walk in clinic the next morning to get a script for some anti-depressants. Unfortunately I was stranded at home without a car until my next shift at work- so that never happened.

I decided instead to try and re-engage in life and the things that I love and help me understand who I am. My job and the place it puts me in is not healthy. Everyday I feel like I am selling my soul for money and I came close to losing myself completely because of my job. I find it hard to get out of bed, let alone do anything productive and remotely enjoyable. I kind of surprised myself by agreeing to going out in a social situation that normally causes me to withdrawn into myself and creates a fairly high degree of social anxiety, but I knew if I didn't go I'd only retreat further into my mental breakdown. I think I'm learning some degree of coping. I'm glad I long as he actually calls tomorrow to arrange for me to see his collection. Otherwise it's a missed opportunity academically, since he has quite a few good connections in the field I'm breaking into.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Promise

I made a promise. A promise I can’t break. A promise that haunts me, especially on my darkest days. On days like that it becomes a promise that makes me loath him for even getting it out of me. A promise I can’t break, because all I have anymore is my word, my bond. If I can’t keep a promise- what is left of me? That’s one part of my crumbling faith that I cling to. We don’t make oaths or swear on bibles, our word should be good enough. We are an honest and truthful people. Honesty is a virtue I now cherish, especially as I find it hard and harder to come by.

I made that promise one hot summer night, sitting on his back steps. I was all of 17. I lay bowed in his arms, defeated and beat down by the depression. I begged him to let me go, to let me stop the hurt. Through our shared tears he made me promise that I’d never leave him. He extracted that promise that I’d never do anything silly. That I’d never do anything deliberate. He never used the word suicide; it was too scary to say out loud, even in a whisper. What do you know at 17? He didn't know the toll that promise would take on both of us in the future. I wonder if he had been gifted with the power of foresight, would he have still made me promise?

Now at 24, that promise lays on me, like a smooth little pebble in my shoe. It laughs at me now that he’s gone. Why did I ever make such a promise? It’s so much harder to keep alone. And yet, there’s my niece…and now a nephew. Her birth kept me out of an institution. Is their life enough for me to make a new promise? A new reason to look away from the precipice and stick around? A new reason to just be.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I Wonder

I wonder if he writes her poetry…

I wonder if he’ll drive 100 miles to see her on the weekend…

I wonder if he stops when she say’s no…

I wonder if he loves her or just likes her company…

I wonder if he really wanted out, but couldn’t tell me…

I wonder if he likes her more than he loved me, because she’s not damaged goods…

I wonder if we can still be friends, or if I’m past my use to him…

I wonder if he still thinks about me, late at night in the dark, just before he falls asleep…

I wonder what she looks like and how she acts around him…

I wonder if he’ll miss me if I quietly bow out of his life…

I wonder why it bothers me…

Friday, June 24, 2005


I have a fairly strong desire and need to be touched, hugged and generally loved and yet I generally don’t enjoy being touched in any way by just anyone and particularly not by strangers. I guess I just love the touch of those that I love and adore- like the hugs and kisses from my 2 year old niece or a bear-hug from a brother. As a kid I was constantly hugging my parents or climbing into their lap to be held.

One of the things that I miss from my former long-term relationship is the simple touch. A gentle hand on my back, a hand brushing the hair out of my face, falling asleep on the couch in the crook of his arm listening to his heartbeat…I miss being touched by a man without it being sexual.

I hate that he’s found some one new, someone who seems really sweet and genuine. I hate that they have pet names together already, that he sleeps over, that he flirts with her like I wished he had with me in the final months of our relationship. I hate that he makes an effort with her where he couldn’t be bothered with us. I hate that he’s found something normal and I’m left with the abnormal, with the unwanted attentions of a very married man, a boy who’s severely on the rebound after recently moving out of the house he shared with his now ex-fiance, and a middle-aged divorcee who scares the hell out of me and whom I’m afraid to be caught alone by at work in any situation.

I painfully crave a healthy, normal relationship with someone who respects me and can see beyond the exterior. Someone who loves me, not just lusts after me. I can’t even begin to describe how turned off I am right now at any man who looks at me as a tight piece of young ass. Every man who makes inappropriate comments, touches me in unacceptable ways or treats me as less just because I’m blonde draws me further and further into my shell. I become more sarcastic and think less of myself- in my eyes I become devalued and I hate what I am.

Hearing about Mr. Intellectual’s new and happy relationship has pierced my closely guarded heart. Emotions I had repressed and tried to forget about have welled up and welled over, leaving me vulnerable and fragile. When I’m extremely depressed all I want is for someone to hold me and tell me that it’s okay, that I can get through this. That the numbness will pass, the hollow feeling in my heart will go away and I’ll start to feel again. Instead I have a married man at work who grabs at me and makes inappropriate advances. I’m such a wreck that I don’t believe I’m worth more, or worth the effort to get him to leave me alone.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Thunder Rolls

Have you ever seen a summer storm brewing on the horizon? Big black clouds that billow in and swallow up the sun. If you look in front of you it’s blue and cloudless with a blazing sun and behind you is that fast approaching storm, complete with the telltale lighting and menacing thunder telling you it’s going to be trouble. That is what my depression is like at times. If I stop and face the clouds head on, it envelope’s me and surrounds me in a thick inky darkness that chokes. Right now if I stop to think it comes rolling in, but a body can’t stay busy at every given moment. It’s inevitable that I’m going down. There are just too many forces at play for me to stay buoyant.

I received an email yesterday that my thesis advisor has breast cancer or worse. This past winter I was in a class she was teaching and I know she wasn’t feeling well. She also had a biopsy of a suspected cancerous mass on her face back in February or March. I thought it might have been a suspect mole or maybe skin cancer. I’m thankful she had the courtesy to let me know first hand that she will be undergoing treatment for breast cancer instead of leaving me to hear it third or fourth hand through the vicious rumour mill within the department. This just throw’s all my work into limbo as I try to figure out who will be supervising me when I get back in fall and if it jeopardizes my thesis in any way. The last thing I want it to spend an extra year doing my Master’s when all I want is to get to the real work of my Ph.D.

The second blow is this wedding nightmare that’s happening on June 18th. I really wish we had know this woman’s true character before my brother became engaged and decided to plan for his wedding in our hometown. Really it’s not his wedding, it’s her party, as she’ll unabashedly tell you. I never in a million years could have guessed that she’d become such a tyrannical bridezilla. I can’t even repeat what a few of my other brother’s have candidly said about her. I just pray that he has a happy marriage and it doesn’t end in a bitter divorce because he doesn’t deserve that.

The final straw is something that happened last night and I’m still trying to comprehend what the hell happened. I compromised my morals and myself by my actions and now I’m at a loss on how to not only extricate myself but prevent me from becoming part of the nasty gossip at work. The last thing I wanted right now is to get involved with anyone. Especially someone who only sees my value as a sexual, beautiful object and probably couldn’t give two fucks about me as a person. After I stopped seeing the ex I thought I had promised not to waste my time with someone who couldn’t see beyond the exterior- I guess I’m more messed up than I thought.

Right now I could so easily be swept away by the familiar surroundings of my depression. I can’t even express how easily I shift into a suicidal frame of mind. Obviously I don’t handle stress well. Right now I can close my eyes, take a deep breath and feel the pressure of a prickly twisted rope around my neck, cutting off my breath and squeezing the life out of me. For some reason that brings a little relief…the planning and walk through of ending my life somehow makes the coming day a little easier to bear. The fragile hope that if it becomes too much I can just step out on life is sometimes all that can sustain me through a day of faking being happy and carefree.

I really should have gotten a ‘just-in-case’ prescription of anti-depressants from my Doctor before I left school.

Monday, June 06, 2005


I’ve been an absentee blogger, my apologies- but to whom? I don’t have a fan base, and whom am I writing for anyways? There are a few things blocking me from posting regularly, the biggest being the level of self-imposed censoring I feel I need to take. Which in itself is strange, since this is an anonymous blog and I’ve only told one person about it and I doubt he’s checked back here since the first night I gave him the address. So what’s bothering me about posting openly and honestly how I feel and what’s going on in my life?

I think I’m afraid of the eventuality of people, specifically family, finding the site and seeing the real and un-censored me. There’s also that one person I told about the blog: the boyfriend of six years who I ended up leaving. While we are good friends in real life still, there are things about the relationship that I want to write about to get off my chest, but I’m afraid of hurting his feelings and the possibility that what I would write about could end the friendship we still share.

There’s also the natural tendency I harbor to hide away and not share the depth and extent of my depression and suicidal ideations. I cringe at even writing the word suicide. It’s a dirty little word that holds such horror and misunderstanding. In previous entries when I really wanted to write about it, I had edited out that section- just as I would edit out those feelings or thoughts from ‘everyday’ life and conversations. I can guarantee that no one in my life, including the ex- to whom I disclosed a lot of thing that no one else so far has been privy to- would think I’m constantly suicidal and deeply depressed. In fact, if you asked my co-workers, friends or family they’d probably say I’m a pretty happy, even-tempered person, although serious at times, especially about my school. Things couldn’t be further from the truth.

I suppose the purpose of writing this is that I need to cast off those fears and inhibitions to writing an honest and truthful account of who I am and what I’m going through. It’s hard not to put a positive spin on everything and truthfully admit that it’s not all sunshine and roses. I get suicidal. I isolate myself from family, friends and anyone I feel I’m getting too close to when I’m going through a period of major depression. Even now when I’m doing surprisingly well, I’m keeping people at arms-length, particularly men. That’s a topic for another entry though- the men at work do keep it interesting.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I think I'm in Love

I've been spending a lazy Sunday afternoon reading and surfing the net, when I should really be spring cleaning. I think I'm in love with this and it's match . My mother always say's I have expensive tastes. One of my favourite sayings of her brother's is, "champagne tastes on a beer budget."

A girl can dream right?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Family Conclave

I was planning on writing about what happened that brought me to the point where I sought medical help for my problems. However, this weekend had other plans. A family meeting was called after much discusion amongst all the siblings and with my parents in regards to the upcoming wedding of one of my brothers. We've decided after much discussion, that we need to have a heartfelt discussion with the groom as soon as humanly possible to discuss his marriage and the upcoming wedding. The wedding is in a month and we're having some serious concerns about his bride-to-be, her intentions and feelings.

I hope that my brother will be alright, regardless of what he chooses. I also hope that he can listen with an open heart to what we have to say. I love my brother's fiercely and all I want for them is nothing but the best. Either way, what ever happens will be a difficult road to walk down- whether it's the marriage or a seperation. I just wish it didn't have to be this way.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Down Time

Work has been kicking my ass all week. Between the early mornings and shifting over from student life to a highly regimented work schedule I come home so tired in the evenings I can't stay awake through dinner, let alone long enough to produce any sort of quality writing. I was going to write tonight about how I came to be in the doctor's office in this post. However, it's still difficult for me to talk about, and I'm too tired right now to do it justice.

I just remembered that I had written a short essay about my initial experience a few days after I was diagnosed. It was posted on a message board I frequent, but I don't really want to give out where that is. Instead I'll repost my story here:

Tears stung at my eyes as the words formed and tumbled out of my reluctant mouth. I was wading through the overwhelming depths of sticky blackness in my mind, searching for the words to describe what was happening to me. I sat there, pouring out my troubles to a stranger; eyes riveted to the wall, trying to avoid his gaze. The sound of a pen scratching paper interspersed the poignant silences in our hushed conversation. My voice trembled as I ran out of words and came to the end of a very one-sided conversation.

Then it was my turn to sit silently, stunned, while this man proceeded to rip through the fragile threads of my well-constructed denial. Confusion quickly followed, and a whirlwind of explanations and administrations followed. Before I knew it, I was sitting in another sterile white office, again recounting my little dark secret to another stranger- but there was something different in this person. She was smiling, forgiving, and compassionate. The mischievous twinkle in her eye told me that this too would pass. She slipped a little package of tiny bright pink pills and a stiff white note into my hand and made me promise to return in a few days.

I slowly walked out through the glass doors and stepped into the bright sunlight. As the sharp breeze played on my face I mused over the past 24 hours. It hardly seemed like it was the same world I had walked out into that morning. I scowled at the brown, dried and curled leaves that swirled around my angry feet. How could this be possible? How could my life have turned so upside down in the blink of an eye?

That evening I reluctantly swallowed down the little pink pill and hoped for the best. I gazed into the bottom of my empty glass and resolved to understand my situation and embrace the people that would help me find a way out. As I lay in bed feeling drowsy and emotionally exhausted I fell asleep with the thought that tomorrow would bring a new day, with a new start.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

In the Drive-thru

I began my summer job this past Monday. Due to a myriad of confidentiality agreements I signed I can't write about it at all. Which is unfortunate since it's a rather unusal work place and almost everyday, particularily in the summer, there's some sort of action going on that would be blog worthy. Alas, the restrictions.

There is a mandatory four day training session every spring for returning students, regardless of how many summer's you've been there. This is partially due to union stipulations, partially for legal reason's and partially since legislation can change dramatically from year to year and we need to be up on it all, since everything we do is mandated by various pieces of legislation. The training days can be long, boring and mentally exhausting to say the least. This morning I managed to leave myself enough time before the 8 am start to pop into the Tim Horton's drive through and grab myself a coffee. As usual, the drive through was busy and I had to que up with the rest of the early morning commuters.

I noticed the guy in line behind me almost immediately. There was some weird hand actions going on, but because of the slight curve in the drive through I couldn't really see what was going down, but it attracted my attention immediately. I kind of figured the guy was picking his nose, because as every commuter knows- in the safety of the car, you can do anything undetected, regardless of the tinting. Just as I came to this conclusion, the line moved forward a bit and I could get a clear view of what this man was up to. He was vigorously flossing his teeth! It was a performance that went on for several minutes while we all waited for our coffee. He would joyfully alternate between a brisk floss and sucking off the food particles from his dental floss while examining his pearly whites in the rear view mirror. I just wish I had my digital camera to get photographic evidence of the performance. I couldn't help but laugh, since he clearly had no idea we could all see what he was up to. Not to mention the fact that perhaps he might have thought of flossing after his morning coffee, instead of before?

In other news, I turn 24 today. I'm not a huge fan of birthday's and celebrations, not because they represent aging but rather because I like to fly under the radar and keep a low profile. That's kind of hard when you're the reason people are gathering.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Emotional Lockdown

About two and half years ago I went into emotional lockdown, in what I assume was a bid to protect my fragile mental and emotional state. A doctor on campus desperately wanted to send me away to a very nice facility in the area that deals with mental health and addiction issues, and has been doing so for the past 118 years. I on the other hand had other ideas. The birth of my oldest brother's first child, my only niece, was a month away and I had an education to attend to. I used some fancy word magic and somehow she let me out of her office with only a prescription for a few medications and a promise not to do anything untoward to myself over the weekend. I also had to report to her office again on Monday to see how things were going. Thus began a long journey into mental illness and bi-weekly doctor's visits.

It was a traumatic time for me. I had difficulty formally admitting I had serious clinical depression with a touch of situational anxiety and the occasional panic attack. Even now it’s not something I’ve really told anyone about. I can be an intensely private individual and I’m afraid of the repercussions that such a disclosure could have. I think I fear the stigmatization that comes with it- or perhaps the loss of privacy, as my immediate family would become vigilante to my every move and mood. It’s not something I want to deal with in the near future.

Somewhere in this whole process I became numb and started to shut down emotionally for fear of losing control of myself. I have no idea how to snap out of it now, even though I desperately want to. In this whole process I left the six-year relationship with the love of my life, became “that girl” that I never wanted to become, you know the girl with all the baggage, and lost all desire for any kind of a physical relationship. I can’t remember the last time I have wanted to have sex with anyone, let alone someone in particular. That fact alone is depressing. So here I am, emotionally detached from a large section of my life and not knowing how to let myself feel again, without wondering if I'll end up in a doctor's office or worse this time.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Why a Blog?

Why did I start a blog? Well for a number of reasons. I was introduced to blogs through my brother J2, who had several friends with blogs, and started his own for a six month trip through out Europe. I slowly started reading some really great blogs and over the last few months I felt compelled to join the masses. My desire to blog started slowly. I was looking for other women bloggers that I could identify with. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places, but I still haven't found a group of twenty-something, single women either in grad school, or starting out in the working world. What I did find were a lot of Mom's and Dad's, newly-married twenty-somethings, a Merry Widow at 26, and girl who's Bitter with Baggage at 30-something.

While I love reading these blogs and a few others several times a week, or even daily, I still didn't find anyone I closely identified with and could relate to on a regular basis. So here I am. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most witty writer, or even the most interesting anecdotal writer, but what I am is honest. I needed a place where I could finally be completely honest with myself all the time. There's been a lot of upheaval and change in my life in the past year and I'm still sorting through it. It's my hope that through writing I can make some sense of it all, and find out what it is I really want out of this life.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Blogger Issues

I thought I had posted an entry earlier this evening, but apparently blogger did not register it. I'm having issues- and blogger is the least of it tonight.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'm Home

I made it back to my parents place late last Sunday night, completely exhausted. At times it seemed like the weekend that would never end, especially on the drive home when we were a tad lost in the back country. I think I've seen enough cows, corn fields and rocks for one lifetime.

I ate great food, drank very good wine and spent way too much money on things for myself here . It wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it would be.

I had to run back up to school early Tuesday morning to show around my long-lost best friend from highschool who's shopping around on campus for a graduate advisor in horticulture. I stuck around a few extra days to take care of some administrative details surrounding my thesis work and a side project and arrived back at my parents house just in time to help out in the orchard. Not a monumental task, but my father and uncle were cutting down two rows of dwarf cherry trees and needed a quick hand to move brush and pull out some buried irrigation- an experiment that didn't work out for my Dad.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Weekend Adventure

I'll be heading out to Ottawa this weekend for a "surprise" wedding shower for one of my brother's fiance's. I use the word surprise loosely- so loosely in fact that the bride-to-be is more in the know about this shower than my Mother and I. That's about par for the course on this one though. I'm trying to stay positive and look on the bright side- there are bigger things going on in my life than her wedding.

I'm also mulling over how much information is too much information on an 'anonymous' blog. Also, if I can't be honest here, where can I be honest with myself? Ottawa will be great since I'll be able to hang out with an aunt and uncle that I really enjoy. They're extremely well traveled and educated people so the dinner conversation is always interesting. I actually traveled to Japan to visit them for a few weeks about 10 years ago now. What a trip that was!

I tried to figure out linking in a post, as well as including pictures, but I didn't have the patience to figure that out last night. Maybe it'll work for me after I get a full nights sleep?

Basically, the purpose of the post is to say I'll be gone all weekend, and I'll have something to say when I get back.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Digital Camera

I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a digital camera. I will always love my 35mm Canon AE-1, but sometimes it's just not practical to lug a large manual camera to certain events. It just doesn't work for parties and it's certainly not that attractive to carry in a huge camera bag in a sleek evening dress. So, for most events I've just left the big camera at home and not taken any pictures. I had been asking around and checking out some websites for reviews on decent, reliable digital compact's and decided on the Canon Powershot S500.

Well, that all changed once I talked to the very knowledgeable owner of my local independently owned camera store. I trusted the guy since he sold me my 35mm and I couldn't have found a better fit for what I needed at the time. He was very open and upfront and totally sold me on the Canon powershot SD400- even though it was a little more than I had planned on spending, I think it'll be worth it.

The whole reason I decided to make the plunge and buy a digital, is because I got a $600 travel bursary from the department this semester for my thesis. However, I won't be using it to travel for my research since I picked a fairly local topic to work with, and a whole lot of travel just isn't in my future at this point. It's only an MA afterall! I'm saving up my money for some serious travel once I get to my Ph.D in a year and I'm sure I'll appreciate the camera a whole lot then.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

First Post

This is a temporary home until I figure out the more sophisticated aspects of creating a webpage.* Blogger seemed to be a good space to try out in the meantime. There's more to come.

*I actually don't know anything about creating websites, but I'm supposed to be learning all that this summer, with some help. Once I do, I'll probably be moving spaces, unless I completely fall in love with blogger and chose never to leave.