Accomplishment

This week I have been doing things that I’ve been putting off for a long time.

I cut my hair short (something I do every 1.5 to 2 years or so) but the new part is that I also got purple highlights. I’ve been wanting short purple hair for at least 12 years now but never did it because I thought it would make it harder for me to find a job. And then when I had a job, it was a rather traditional office job and I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be to purple hair. I’ve worked there for 6 years and no one has ever done any non-standard colours in their hair. But, if no one ever starts doing it, it’s never going to be normal. I would bet that I have coworkers who have wanted to do funky things with their hair but didn’t for the same reasons that I didn’t. So I did it.

I also rearranged the living room. I didn’t like the way that it was laid out. I’ve been wanting to move the furniture back the way that it was for at least a year and a half, but kept putting it off. So I did that, too. Today I realized that I prefer this layout for two reasons: I can see out the front windows from my chair, and I can see the tv from the stove when I’m cooking. It’s a lot better than staring at the wall in both cases.

I also cleaned the frog tank. That does happen somewhat regularly, but the part I’d been putting off is cleaning the filter and setting that back up. It’s been a few years since it’s been installed because our house is old and the floor slopes a bit, so the tank is on an angle which makes the filter be on an angle and it wasn’t working right. So, I moved the filter to the other side of the tank where the slope was less pronounced, and I wedged a bottle opener under it to level it off. Now the filter works correctly, and the frogs are super happy. It’s kind of funny, because these frogs are supposed to be bothered by the vibrations from aquarium filters so there’s debate about using them with the frogs, but both of my frogs seem to prefer it.


Questions for Mommy Dearest

Did you ever see me as my own person? Or was I just a toy—an offshoot of yourself that you could play doll and dress up with until I wasn’t fun anymore?

Why the fuck was I padlocked in my room by myself as a toddler?
Why the fuck didn’t we eat breakfasts or have lunches to take to school when we were little?
Why the fuck (once I was old enough to think for myself) was every interaction a fucking game, and a manipulation to make me feel like an ugly stupid failure of a garbage person?
Why teach me to be suspicious of everyone?
Why was asking for a drink of water or a bathroom at someone’s house a fucking obligation?
Why was everything that I did wrong?
Why did I have to be hit and yelled at all of the time for seemingly arbitrary and conflicting reasons?
Why was I never good enough as myself?
Why get rid of my pets and my things at random and with no warning?
Why lock me outside in the middle of winter?
How come every emotion you have is my fault?
Why did I have to be the responsible one? I shouldn’t have been taking care of you. You were supposed to be taking care of me and keeping me safe and teaching me what a protected life is like. Not taking advantage of me and using me.
Why did we only go to the doctor when you felt like it? I was so sick a few times that I couldn’t breathe and almost passed out. I think I had pneumonia and could have died. But that’s cool to ignore. I had a thyroid condition and PCOS that went undiagnosed until I got to university because not taking your kid to the doctor when they can’t gain weight is cool. So is not taking them to the doctor when they gain 60lbs in a few months and have crazy periods or none at all.
Why when I fell out of the tree was it laughed off and ignored?
Why could we never have a normal fucking conversation?
Why was everything I ever told you just verbal ammunition to throw back at me later in some twisted fashion? You were supposed to help me figure life out and be a supportive and caring person in my life. Instead I was fucking terrified all the time.
Why the fuck did you act like I was going to murder you every time I tried to drive? Then when I couldn’t drive like a normal person anymore because I was fucking traumatized, why the fuck did you pick on me for having panic attacks (that you caused)?
Why was everything that I liked twisted to be shit?

I don’t even know who I am most of the time. I’m broken, in pieces; held together with bits of string and old tape that’s frayed and dried out and barely managing to hold me together. I’m sad, and scared. I’m disappointed and fucking angry. I hate you for what you did. I’ve had to mourn more than once for the life that I could have had. For the person I could have been. For the family we could and should have been.

But you’re my mother and I love you. And then I hate myself for it. Because I shouldn’t love someone who could do those things to me. I’m ashamed that I still can love you. And feel guilty because I still care, and have hope that you can change and be a better person–not pretend to be; not fake it in public–but actually be a better person that legit gives a shit about someone else. I don’t even care if you give a shit about me. I want you to actually empathize with people who aren’t just projections of yourself.

If you ever see this, I expect a bunch of excuses and lies about how great you were as a mom. But you know what? You have a chance now to actually be that person. Not by parenting me, because it’s way too late for that. I don’t know if I could ever trust you not to be abusive towards me. But you could become the person that you’ve always wanted to be by working on whatever it is that makes you be this way, so that you can deal with it and grow and learn.

None of us can change the past. What we can change is how we act in the present, so that we can become the person that we want to be in the future. But the only way to get there is by truly seeing who we have been, acknowledging it, and moving forward one small change at a time.


*tap-tap-tap* Is this thing on?

I haven’t posted anything here in years. I stopped because I was applying for jobs and didn’t want potential employers reading my shit. After I got a job I was unsure whether it would be a good idea to post personal things that my boss or my coworkers could read, so I didn’t post anything.

It turns out that having a blog is very helpful for me, and when I don’t use it I bottle things up and make a mess of my mental health. So screw it.


So

My life is pretty much school at this point, much like last year. The only difference is instead of constantly thinking about co-op jobs I’m wondering about full-time employment. I’ve been doing lots of networking all year to make the process easier. I’m not sure if it’s helping but even if it’s not at the moment, the insurance industry in Canada is small so it is a good idea to be friendly with as many people as you can.

I’m finding the classes this semester to be challenging. Not because they are difficult; they are very dry and boring. Bodily Injury is the most interesting since it’s anatomy and treatment of injuries for claims handling. But each chapter bombards you with pages and pages of definitions and a couple paragraphs on potential common injuries and their treatment (always drugs first!). So it’s very heavy on the “X is a …”, “Y is a …” for at least an hour each time we talk about it. Snoozefest, no matter how interesting I find it. My ADD can’t handle that very well.

To mix things up I’ve been tutoring the first-year students since September. Mostly they want advice for the program and how to study for the CIP exams. Especially this semester now that they’ve had their first CIP and have a better idea of what they are in for. Property insurance is understandably freaking them out.


Happiness

Is listening to In the Lap of the Gods while looking at the escarpment and beautiful trees in all their fall splendour from the comfort of the GO bus.

image

It helps that the sky is doing interesting things too. Who doesn’t like watching what the happy little clouds are getting up to?


Think Benny Hill music

That’s what I feel is the background music for my level of anxiety at this point in the semester. Every time, when I get to the last three weeks, I feel like it’s a crazy rushing hither and thither trying to finish all the group assignments and major projects while doing all the normal stuff. Add to that the special hell that are CIP exams right at the end and it’s a struggle to hold it all together and find time for everything without panicking.

At the same time, while I may feel like I’m freaking out and about to lose my mind, I’ve actually got my shit together and am doing fine. Subjectively I thought I’ve been doing poorly this term compared to last, but so far I’m getting 93 and 94 on things most of the time instead of 96 or 97. So it is overall lower but not by so much that a normal person would even notice a difference or care.

I am also in the midst of applying and interviewing for co-op jobs for the summer, some of which will be starting the second week of April after the CIP exams are finished.

So far I interviewed for one job I didn’t get, but was runner-up and the boss said apply next April and he’ll likely hire me on permanently. I had a phone interview for another job but was told they were waiting to hear back from their former co-op student and if she agreed to come on board full time they wouldn’t need me. The next morning it turned out she accepted (or he, I don’t know but prefer female pronouns) and so no job there either. Then yesterday I get a call from the place I really really want to work and I made it past the phone screen so I’m interviewing on Tuesday.

I kicked ass on the Fraud midterm (97% – highest mark in the class) and am still reeling from that since I had no idea I’d done that well. Even better it’s a second-year course and I am keeping up or doing better than the students who should be more experienced at this than I am. That is nice and makes me feel competent at this insurance stuff.


Scary Thursday

In general I had a pretty good day. Thursday is Auto Insurance followed by Property Insurance, and I know I’m in the right program when that amounts to an exciting day. I got my mark back for my Auto midterm (93%, yay!) and property class was fun because we started talking about commercial policies and how they differ from the basic fire policy.

I was in a pretty good mood when it was time to go home, until I realized I couldn’t find my bus pass. It’s a little difficult to get home without that, especially since I’m in the habit of leaving my wallet at home and so had no change to get home.

I retraced my steps, checked the classroom, checked my locker, asked my classmates on Facebook if anyone had seen it. The prof saw me checking the classroom and offered to walk with me to security, and when they didn’t have it offered to drive me to the bus terminal on her way home in case someone turned it in there. Plus that way I could find out what it would take to replace it.

The news wasn’t good. I’d have to buy a new student card from the school and buy a new bus pass entirely, though if I called a specific staff member I could get it pro-rated for the remainder of the semester. Even when I said I’d kept my receipt and could prove I had already purchased the pass, I was told the same thing. So I’d be looking at paying $125 for the card and the sticker. Ouch.

Then when I got home I had to cancel my credit card (and Dean’s) because I’d left it in the holder with my bus pass. I made sure no one else had used it and they canceled it on the spot.

Friday morning I showed up at school a half hour early so I could go over everywhere I’d been again and everything I’d done to try and track the card down.

Again I retraced my steps and checked the classroom and my locker and by then I was pretty desperate. I started wondering if my card had fallen out of my locker and into the one below, and looking for crevices that it could have fallen into. This turned out to be the winning idea because I found my lost bus pass!

It turns it in the front left-hand corner if those lockers there is a gap that isn’t visible when the door is open and the card got wedged in there somehow. I’m sure if there was anyone watching I looked like such a weirdo, feeling around in my empty locker with my eyes closed for cracks.

But I found my bus pass so it was worth it!

Now I need to come up with a better way of keeping track of that thing because it’s too costly to chance it getting lost. I think I’m going to do what I did at Laurier and put it on a lanyard. If it’s attached to me it can’t get lost.


I learned something this week

The reason I have to spend so much time studying instead of sleeping is I actually do all the readings for the non-insurance classes. It turns out no one else does those.

For the last week I tried an experiment and stopped reading all that stuff. I just read for the three insurance courses. It’s a lot more manageable that way and I have more time to devote to learning the insurance material.

The funny thing is I don’t feel behind at all from not doing those readings. They seem to have little bearing on those classes. I’ll have tests I’ll need to read the text for, but I’d read it again when studying for tests if I had read it before anyway.

Basically, it seems I’m going to get a lot more sleep and have a much better handle on this semester from here on out.


I am falling apart

I found a huge bruise on my right calf a few days ago with no idea of how I got it. My right knee hurts and has a bruise on the kneecap. Last night my back started hurting on my lower-right side and this morning it hurt do much more that it woke me up.

Whatever I’m doing, it’s obvious that my right side is not happy right now. My knee and my back and having synchronized waves of pain and it sucks. I need to find my microwaveable bean bag thing and hope that helps.