Getting What You Want

When I finished the second season of the Podcast, “Homecoming,” I played the latest episode of my other favorite Podcast called “Truth + Dare.” The Journey Junkie, who is my favorite online yoga teacher, produces it with one of her best friends. They are both currently live on a boat with their husbands, and I find them to be super inspiring.

Anyway…it was so ironic that the first episode after their break was about Difficult Conversations because I’ve been avoiding a difficult conversation myself. The conversation I’m afraid to have is with my sister, who is a year and a half younger than me, but for some reason, I have a very small backbone when it comes to addressing issues with her. The issue I am having with her right now is how I feel like she completely ignores my girlfriend most of the time. I always give her the benefit of the doubt because 1. I don’t want to confront her and deal with whatever that entails and 2. sometimes it seems like she does acknowledge my girlfriend! But I shouldn’t be like “oh, she said hi to her this time so everything is fine” because she should be showing common courtesy every time, not just when she feels like it.

The negative impact of avoiding a difficult conversation has been manifesting in my relationship with my girlfriend as well as in my overall mental health. My girlfriend and I have been discussing the conversation that I need to have at length, I went to therapy recently to talk about it, and it consumes my mind. I’ve been worrying in the shower that I will never be able to be my authentic self unless I move out of state, away from my family, and rarely talk with them. It’s gotten pretty ridiculous, but it was perfect timing for this podcast to be released!

I didn’t even finish the podcast yet but one of the messages that really resonated with me was a quote that they shared from Elena Brower.

“What you are afraid to say is the doorway to your freedom.”

This isn’t new knowledge for me by any means, especially considering how one of my majors is Women’s and Gender Studies and this theme is critical in our discussions. Plus, this quote closely aligns with my favorite Audre Lorde essay, which is the premise of my blog!

I suppose that being confronted with this specific message again at this time was just because I needed to hear it again. In my WGS seminar yesterday, we talked about how the different contexts for when you’re reading something affects the significance of what you’re reading. For example, if I wasn’t afraid to say anything, then the quote probably wouldn’t have resonated with me as much.

Unfortunately, I am afraid to address my sister and therefore, I am suffering. I must talk to her though because it’s causing so much toxicity in my life that can be avoided. So I’m going to go through one of my DBT worksheets I got from a group therapy session in the summer to think this through. Perhaps this model will be helpful to y’all too.

How to Liberate Yourself By Asking for What You Want

(Based off of DBT handout 5)

 

  1. Describe the situation.

  2. Express your feelings about the situation.

  3. Ask for what you want.

  4. Explain positive effects of getting what you want and/or the consequences of not getting what you want.

1. So…I will describe to my sister how I feel like she is not particularly courteous with my girlfriend.

2. I will say that it makes me feel uncomfortable when we’re all together and by ignoring her, it hurts me because she is very important to me.

3. I will ask my sister to be more courteous toward my girlfriend because everyone deserves that, and if she had a partner or a friend around, I would be considerate of them.

4. Then I will explain that it would make me more comfortable hanging around with her and like I have a more cohesive identity because she takes an interested in the people that I am interested in.

Some arguments that my sister may have may include that she doesn’t like my girlfriend, that she didn’t realize she was being rude, and/or that she is jealous that I spend more time with my girlfriend than I do with her.

I can counter by saying that it’s okay if she doesn’t like my girlfriend (although perhaps she should consider getting to know her more before making that rash judgment), I just want her to be more respectful and courteous. If she says she didn’t realize, I will ask her to please be more conscious of it going forward, because it upsets me. If she says that she is jealous of my girlfriend and that she wants to spend more time with me, I will respond by saying that…I guess this one is the trickiest one. Perhaps I can suggest negotiating this with her more but reaffirming that it is critical that she be more courteous.

I found this exercise to be particularly helpful! I want to ponder the last counterargument a bit more but otherwise, I feel a little more prepared.

xx Vic

Family and Significant Others

How do you navigate this? By this, I mean the title of this post. Specifically when your SO is the same gender as you are.

I worry that I’m not dealing with this appropriately…lemme explain.

My family knows about my girlfriend and they’ve met her. She’s come to the house several times. They don’t seem to have any objections (believe me, if they did, they would make it known) but they also don’t seem particularly excited about her. I can only assume it’s because she is a woman, but honestly, who knows. Reasons I have come to this conclusion though include:

  1. They never ask me about how she is.
  2. They never ask me about how we are.
  3. They don’t get excited when she is around, whereas I would expect them to get excited if she was a guy.
  4. My sister barely acknowledges her when she’s literally next to me. Perhaps she feels shy/uncomfortable though?

constantly worry about how they perceive her, and why they perceive her a certain way. For this reason, I tend to be hesitant to share activities we do together and anything that kids may tell their immediate families about their significant other.

I’m stressed that either 1. they don’t take our relationship seriously and/or 2. they’re just tolerating her because they care about me, but they don’t really like her, or accept her, for whatever reason.

I’ve been considering to bring it up with them but then I don’t want to address it because I’m afraid of instigating a dispute or an intense conversation…I just want them to more openly welcome her and to care about her because I care about her.

Of course, I’ve discussed it with her at length because I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable or bad about anything. She says she fixated on it before but she doesn’t let it get to her anymore…unfortunately it continues to affect me because they are my family.

If anyone has any suggestions for me in regards to how to navigate this, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

xx Vic

over time

first

you will be dumbfounded

your heart will plummet

into the depths of your stomach

as the whole world before you

tumbles

as if the entire universe

was shoved into a dryer

spinning

steady yourself

on someone’s shoulder

first

 

then

when strangers

you haven’t seen

since you were a newborn

all cluster together,

solemnly murmuring

donning dark colors

touching the glossy wood

of the coffin

the magnitude of death

will feel heavy

you will

need to sit

and your aunt

will comfort you

then

 

later

when you call her up

because you start to forget her voice-

but the line has been disconnected

when her seat at the table for the holidays

is vacant

year after year

when her sister

has become an only child

when you get older

and she doesn’t-

the passing of time just means

that she’s been gone longer

you will understand

the finality of death

later

© 2017 Vic Romero – Creative Writing Fall 2017

The Great Depression

I randomly decided to listen to a podcast I used to jam to quite a bit called, Truth + Dare. It’s hosted by two women and they talk about real stuff honestly. The one I started listening to yesterday was about how to overcome setbacks. One of the women talked about how they utilize Netflix as a means of distraction rather than actually dealing and working through the challenge.

And then it hit me: I’ve been distracting myself a lot lately. I’m not watching a ton of TV or crocheting just because it’s fun (although it is) but I’m avoiding stuff.

I spent today thinking about this more and I’m avoiding myself. My feelings. I’m trying different activities to temporarily placate my anguish, but I’m not working through it.

After I had a mediocre job interview the other day and was unnecessarily mean to my sweet parents, my sister confronted me and I had my first real talk toward self-improvement.

Continue reading “The Great Depression”

Angel

On December 22nd, my girlfriend unexpectedly had to put her dog, Angel, down.

I accompanied her to the vet, which was two hours away, and the doctor’s prognosis was that the dog had a large tumor across the front of her neck, and she recommended a veterinary hospital to visit.

The following day, we were able to take her dog to the hospital, which was earlier than the original appointment we had had. When my girlfriend put angel in the backseat beside me, she was in worse shape than the day prior. This time she was drooling a ton and wouldn’t even prop herself up; she just lied beside me. I petted her head for a bit while my girlfriend drove, but then after about fifteen minutes, Angel started coughing a lot and had a seizure. She was gagging on her saliva. The rest of the drive to the hospital was very stressful.

Continue reading “Angel”

Fuck Me Gently with a Chainsaw

I need to work on my confidence. Since my senior year began, it has become more apparent that this is a quality I need to improve. I undermine my capabilities and knowledge, which incites others to do the same. It also leads to me having weak job candidacy and poor interviews.

I feel like my job, which I love, has been contributing significantly to my mood lately cuz it’s been very stressful. We have a new staff and I feel like one new girl is undermining what I’m doing and I’ve been doing this for three years..but yeah it’s hard to rise above things. I feel like I haven’t had to do that in a professional setting before. It’s good practice cuz when it’s my career job, it’s more intense.

But yeah…I’ve been feeling indigo and hard on myself. People have been weird with me too and it’s been affecting my productivity, which is intolerable. I don’t have that kind of time to waste, I’m very busy so I must write it out when things come up so I can release my feelings and move on with my day.

After talking and venting to my girlfriend for a couple of hours yesterday, and then after calling my dad this morning, I feel better. I have support and good advice from people that care about me in my life.

Continue reading “Fuck Me Gently with a Chainsaw”

More Lavender and Tea Tree Oil, Please

Happy September 1st!

Jeez, I can’t believe it’s already September though.  My senior year officially begins on Tuesday, which has caused my anxiety to spike tremendously once again.  Unfortunately, my anxiety triggers cold sores on my lips at least once every season…they’re super painful and because tea tree oil is the only effective remedy to treat them, (tea tree oil, if used as frequently as possible throughout the day, tends to prevent cold sores from going through the whole two-week healing process and reduces it to a week or if you’re lucky to catch it early enough, a mere couple of days), my lips become super dry.  Every year, I feel like I get them more and more easily, which is frustrating.  I used to get them only if I didn’t sleep but now I get them whenever I go from calm to hella anxious and worried.  Anyway….

Yes, I’m anxious because of school.  I’m also anxious because I just came back from the dermatologist…I got a biopsy and now I have to go back in three months.  My mom is currently at the doctor for her cancer…health issues are incredibly anxiety-inducing.

Additionally, it’ll be one year since my cousin passed in two days.  I always think about her, but over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about her more frequently and I have been wanting to talk to her more than I usually do.  Her parents planted a tree for her in the city where she was killed yesterday…I wish they had told us about that because I would’ve liked to go.  It must’ve been a nice ceremony.

Continue reading “More Lavender and Tea Tree Oil, Please”