Tag Archives: loneliness

Should I Work From Home?

investorcatWhen I was a full-time erotic masseuse, my immigration status meant that, for the most part, I was not able to find regular employment. I spent more years than I care to remember giving sensual massages to corporate types during their lunch breaks, or whenever the urge overcame them. During that time, I worked exclusively from home, and I scheduled my own hours. I know that a lot of sex workers love the freedom that sex work gives them, but I, on the other hand, have come to realize how important it is for me to have a regular routine. I might not like going to bed at a reasonable hour, and getting up insanely early to go work for the Man, but, as somebody who suffers from depression and anxiety, I need that grounding. I also like seeing people at the office, and being able to socialize and connect with them. I missed out on all of that when I was an erotic masseuse and, of course, when I actually did meet people, there was an immediate barrier between us because I certainly couldn’t tell them what I did for a living.  My time as a full-time sex worker was a period of immense loneliness, and disconnection.

It has occurred to me recently, however, that there is a huge difference between enjoying seeing my colleagues (because, well, I’m human – and we’re social animals) and actually liking these same people. There are, of course, some nice, decent people in my office, but most people there are either mind-numbingly dull or – much worse!- backstabbing, fucked-up assholes. In fact, I have realized that for all of my self-identification as “somebody with mental health issues”, I am actually a damn sight healthier than many of the so-called healthy people around me. I may have my flaws, but I am at least genuine, sincere and honest. I would never intentionally hurt another person with my words or actions. Despite being thirty-five fucking years old, it still blows my naive mind that there are people out there who would do that in a heartbeat. I just don’t get it.

I have this one colleague, for example, who has a disturbing fetish for anything involving young Japanese women. He has also told me all about his nightly internet activities with online dommes while his wife and kids are sleeping. The fact that he told me this information about himself should probably have alarmed me, but I guess at first I stupidly felt “special” that he had chosen me as his work confidant. And, honestly, there are a lot of people out there with strange sexual quirks but it doesn’t make them bad people. Besides this one happens to be an Irish Catholic heritage-wise, and I pretty much assume that all Catholics are sexually screwed up.

Apart from his odd sexual confessions, there was nothing out-of-the-ordinary about this guy. In fact, I felt comfortable enough around him to open up about my own troubles – the divorce, my mental health problems, the loneliness I sometimes felt. He’s a chubby guy in his mid-forties with a friendly, smiling face who looks like he would be somebody’s favourite uncle so he has an air about him that almost invites you to open up to him. In fact, I’m going to refer to him from now on as “Mr. Avuncular”.

There came a day, though, when I realized that the things he said to me were somewhat passive aggressive and just generally “off”. Not “off” in a sexual way, but “off” in a “oh-fuck-I’m-now-seeing-an-entire-other-side-to-this-person-and-I-don’t-like-it” way. One time he yelled at a colleague and me for laughing at something while he was on the phone with an important customer. That in itself isn’t a big deal – when you work with the same people 8 hours each day, 5 days a week, you are bound to get mad at each other at some point. No, it was that when he yelled at us with such anger and contempt in his face I realized I’d finally seen the true him. The witty, self-deprecating “i’m a friendly chubby guy” act he puts on is exactly that – an act. I think it hides something much, much darker and I do not want to know what that is.

Recently this guy has distanced himself from me for no discernible reason. If I wasn’t codependent, I would probably just have thought “Oh, fuck him” and would have forgotten all about him, but my subconscious reacts badly to any form of rejection or what I perceive as abandonment. By this point, I didn’t care for him anymore, but that didn’t stop me trying to chat with him from time to time via the office chat system. I suppose I did that so I could feel that he still liked me, and that I “matter”.  Two Sundays ago, I was incredibly sleep-deprived, and hungover, and, since it was the week before my divorce was finalized, I was feeling particularly depressed and hopeless. I told him how I was especially upset by the comments a friend had made at the party the night before about how it’s “weird” I have so many cats, and I sorta joked (actually genuinely worried deep-down) that I was going to end up as a crazy cat lady. Here’s what the “kindly” and “helpful” Mr. Avuncular had to say to that via chat after I had expressed very clearly that I was absolutely not going to give up my pets to find a stupid boyfriend:

Mr. Avuncular: I’m sorry. I was hoping to persuade you that if you didn’t want to be alone you could have “giving them up” as an option. But clearly it isn’t one. You’re going to have to find someone very, very special to accept you with all of your cats into their lives.

Petrichor:You’re not really cheering me up here.

Mr. Avuncular: I truly hope you do. You can be cheered up knowing that you’ll always have your cats. They make you happier than a guy would. And that’s alright! If you can accept that, then you can be happy.

Despite my warped, codependent brain, I wasn’t far gone enough not to notice that there was something incredibly weird about that little exchange. He was clearly fucking with me in some sort of strange passive-aggressive, manipulative way – pretending to dispense “advice” and be my friend when really he was trying to hurt me. And I have no idea why. And I find it especially troubling that he would try to hurt somebody he knows was going through a divorce and who freely admits to being depressed. It’s almost sadistic. Maybe you don’t pick up any of that from the chat I posted above but, believe me, all my intuition tells me I am right.

These are the kind of people I work with. I have realized too late that I set myself up for these kind of experiences because I am far too trusting, and let people into my life who have no business being there, and tell them things they have no business knowing. Really there were two very unhealthy people involved in the above chat exchange – Mr. Avuncular, for obvious reasons, and me, for recognizing that people are unsafe but still keeping them nearby because I want them to like me. I also share inappropriate things with inappropriate people. I was beating myself up about that before writing this post (because, c’mon, oversharers are embarrassing!) but, you know what? It’s probably inevitable that I do that given that I am living in a foreign country by myself with no contact with my family. Looking for a connection with other people is intensely human, and intensely normal. I just need to make sure that I spend more time with my real friends outside of work, so that I don’t get lonely, and then end up getting too close to people at work.

My company has started allowing some of its employees to work from home if they want to. I dread the feeling of social isolation I know from my massage days that I would get if I stayed at home all day, but, on the other hand, I hate the fake and meaningless work interactions i have. Why not work from home so, at the very least, my cats and dogs will have me all to themselves?

Have any of you lot ever worked from home? If so, did you like it?


Not Dead

I don’t go to bars much these days. It’s not that I don’t like them; I just don’t have the time. And, also, I don’t like the way I am when I’m drunk, or the hangovers that ruin the next day.

But I felt like going to my local bar after work today to have a nice cold Hefeweizen. I just wanted to see people. Relax for once. I never relax. I don’t know how.

This is the bar where I met Rebound Guy last year and where the debacle of my addiction to him reached its grisly finale. I’ve been back to that bar since we stopped seeing each other, but he wasn’t there, and since he was an alcoholic who practically lived there, I assumed this meant he was (a) dead (b) in rehab or (c) he had moved back to the state he’s from.

But, of course, no such luck! He was there today, and he came up to say hi. I wish he hadn’t. He’s looking much better, and says he only drinks “occasionally” now. Who knows whether that’s true. Like I said, he does look a lot better.

Just to find something to say, I made the mistake of asking him if he still sold weed. He said, yes, and that he now also grows mushrooms. I’ve only taken mushrooms a few times in my life, and I love them. They’re the only drug I’d be interested in taking again. I then made the second mistake of asking him for his number so I could buy mushrooms. He was, like, “um, I’ve got a girl”.

I can’t believe I put myself in a situation where the dude would think that I actually still want to fuck him! God, I am so dumb. Apparently his “girl” knows all about me because she was the one whom he picked up from the airport the morning after we spent all night fucking.

I don’t want Rebound Guy. In fact, I wish I had the presence of mind to tell him that the only reason I ever fucked him was because I was in pain, and needed the drug of sex to numb me.

But I can’t help but feel sad. I *am*, for some crazy reason, really attracted to him, and it was disturbing to be reminded what sexual desire feels like. Not the desire for him….just desire in general. I just remembered that I like sex, and miss sex….but, more than that, I miss feeling connected to another human being. I don’t like being forced to see how lonely I am.

It’s a beautiful day. Sunny, and not too hot yet. It’s the kind of day where it would be bliss to have someone to love…somebody to come home to and cuddle.

But instead (and this is almost hilarious because I am such a cliché!), I will be spending this evening trapping feral cats so I can take them to get spayed and neutered. :-/

This Time I Know It’s For Real

Today I have gone to a very dark place. Yesterday I was so tired from only getting a few hours sleep before my flight that I didn’t really have the ability to process what had happened.

I’m trying not to get caught in an infinite loop of self-destructive and self-hating thoughts, but it’s really hard. You would think that, as a sex worker, I would have some understanding and actually expect my clients to lie to me, wouldn’t you? I am, after all, selling a fantasy, not the truth. I must be the world’s most fucking gullible sex worker. I broke Rule Number One in the sex worker handbook:

Don’t Get Romantically Involved With A Client

And even though I knew it was fucked-up from the get-go to be interested in this guy because he’s a fucking client and because it was so unhealthily intense, I told myself that this time it would be different. This time it would be for real. This was it. This guy would love and understand me. We’d walk off into the sunset together. Even though I knew some things didn’t add up, even though I even found myself wondering “Is he just telling me what I want to hear?”, I refused to listen.

In a way, I feel violated, and exposed. I opened up to this guy because he read me so well, and told me exactly what I needed to hear to open up. I told him far too much about myself. He knew I was really vulnerable, and exploited that. I don’t know why it should still surprise me that there are people out there like this, but it does. I can’t imagine actively exploiting somebody’s else’s obvious weaknesses for my own selfish gain. This is just completely unbelievable, unimaginable behaviour.

I’ve been trying to make myself feel better by telling myself that he is, at the end of the day, the real loser in this situation. He’s a sociopath, and sociopaths have no conscience, and no ability to empathize with anybody. What an impoverished existence he must lead. How must it be to never be able to truly connect with people, or love? But thinking this doesn’t really help me because he can’t miss what he has never known, or never will know. I want him to suffer for what he did to me, and what he’s no doubt done to countless other women.

I hate myself for being so stupid, and it’s this gullibility which has left me feeling the most desperate today. I fucking know I’m a sex and love addict, and that I have horrible boundaries, but I still make the same mistakes over and over again. What good is it to attend Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meetings, and the local zen centre, if I fall at the first hurdle? I feel that I will never get better because I can’t trust myself to fucking remember (just fucking remember!) that I have a serious problem, and that I need help.

I am so alone, and I can’t stand being this way anymore. How can I stop myself from feeling this gut-wrenching void and emptiness inside? I’m scared I’ll never be able to.

This episode has also shown me that I need to get the hell out of the sex industry. The friend I’m visiting is scared for my physical safety, but, honestly, it’s my emotional safety that’s more in danger. Most of the men who use my services are broken in some way, and I just don’t want to be around that. I don’t want to be anywhere near their sickness. I want to meet happy, healthy people or at least people who are working on themselves so they can be that way.

I have painted myself into a corner, though. With so many pets, it would be impossible for me to find a cheaper place to stay, so most of my money goes on rent. My landlady is also cool with my having so many pets, and I would never find somebody like that again. I literally have to do erotic massage to survive and to find a way to save money so I have a little more financial stability. The only solution here would be to get rid of some of my pets, but I can’t do that. They’re like family. But I can’t keep on living the way I’m doing.

I took a train today for the first time in ages since there is not really a rail service where I live currently. I had the passing thought that I could throw myself on the tracks when the train arrived Anna Karenina-style. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to live like this this either.

Petrichor, Interrupted

On Thursday I finished Week 3 of my intensive Dialectical Behaviour Therapy class. Two more fucking weeks of 12 hours of therapy to go. I spent the first two weeks simmering in resentment that I was there, which didn’t make sense at all because it’s not like anybody was forcing me to go. The classes have been useful but it’s pretty hard to get much out of it when you also have to hold down a full-time job, and do overtime on top of it.  The classmates who appear to be making the most improvement are the ones who are currently not working, and so who have the time to think about what we’ve learned inbetween lessons.

The best thing about the classes is the other women. It’s nice knowing that there are women out there with similar issues to my own. The most surprsing thing I’ve learned is that my mother is apparently a secret Asian-American tiger mom. There are, bizarrely, three Asian-American women in the class (a surprisingly high number given there are only six of us in total) and all of them had the clichéd over-involved, smothering, driven Asian mother. I might not be Asian-American but, boy, can I relate. I think I need to write a whole other post about mothers and how they fuck their daughters up. I could be wrong, but it doesn’t seem like fathers fuck up their sons quite so badly.

The woman who runs the group thinks that I have some sort of rapid cycling mood disorder. I don’t think my psychiatrist believes her (I think she still thinks I’ve got Borderline Personality Disorder), but she put me on Seroquel anyway, which is a fucking anti-psychotic (!) used to treat schizophrenia initially but now also bipolar disorder. One of the major side-effects of taking an anti-psychotic is weight gain. I swear to God if I put on so much as a pound I’m coming off that shit. I’d rather be crazy and beautiful than sane and ugly. Yeah, I’m superficial, so sue me.

My life revolves around work and therapy, so there is not much else to write about. I saw RG last weekend. He was four days “sober” at that point, if you can call replacing alcohol with shits loads of weed “sober”. I’ll spare you the details but we didn’t even shag and he still managed to make me feel like a worthless piece of shit. I’m done with him. His number’s erased and, even though I could technically look it up in my AT&T online phone records, I know I won’t. If he contacts me I might respond. Honestly, I just don’t care anymore. I feel that I had to go through a “men phase” and that I’m out of it now. The Chilean-American dude I half-assed dated seemed nice, but even he has issues/baggage, and I can’t be bothered dealing with them.

The main point of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is to teach you the skills to deal with your crazy emotions/moods without fucking up your life and alienating people around you. One of the skills is called “checking the facts”. For example, earlier today I felt so incredibly lonely and I started to imagine that I would feel this way forever.  This is the point when you’re supposed to be, like, “Woah, woah, woah, girl! That’s catastrophic thinking. Snap out of it!”. The only problem for me is that I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been lonely, and it really is hard to imagine that one day I’ll feel whole, happy and connected to people around me. Loneliness has been my constant companion since the age of seven, and it feels like it’s almost a part of me now. How the fuck can I “check the facts” and believe that things will be different when, for almost thirty-five years, they’ve always been the same?

I Lied

You know how I wrote last night that “the loneliness is not killing me”? Well, I Iied.

I come home from work, and I have no fucking idea what to do with myself. I crave human companionship. I check my email constantly, log into my WordPress account to see if anybody has left me a new comment (and, oh, the joy if they have!). I even started an OKCupid account, and I’m not entirely sure why. Numerous guys, who all look like total douchebags or at best complete dullards, have already sent me messages, and I’ve ignored them all except for one guy. I might go out on a date with him, but, really, I can’t be bothered. I find it hard to imagine how anybody could find a meaningful connection with somebody on an online dating site.

Like I said, I have no idea why I filled out a profile on OKCupid. I did it mainly for a laugh, and now it’s as addictive as fucking Facebook. I’m always logging on to see who’s checked out my profile. No good can come of this really. I really do need to get myself to a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting as fast as my little legs can carry me.

I know that there is no way in hell that I am ready for a relationship of any kind. Even just casually dating feels far too much right now. When I was seeing RG, I was pissed off at first that all we ever did was shag; he actually did ask me out on a proper date once, to a restaurant, and I was pleased about it at first. But then I completely freaked out about going on an actual date, and told him I couldn’t go. Even with RG – the one whose affection I longed for –  I couldn’t even handle anything even approximating a real dating relationship.

I need to stay away from men completely… and yet…I crave company, love and affection so much. I feel so empty inside. I have always felt this way, which is why I always end up falling for fucked-up men. They’re the only ones who know what it feels like.  I just don’t get attracted to healthy men. There’s a whole part of me they could never understand. Maybe one day I’ll meet a fabulous man who struggled with his own demons for years, and who is now filled with wisdom and depth. I could love a “formerly fucked-up man”, but I can’t love a man who didn’t look into the darkness at some point. The only trouble with looking into the darkness is that most people are still actively looking into it when I meet them, and this is just no good. But, oh, the excitement and the craziness! So alluring.

I miss RG tonight. Quite a bit actually. I miss the distraction; the intensity; the longing; the sex. I miss it all. But I suppose it’s not really him I miss – it’s just what he represents…..a hint of love dangled tantalizingly in front of me, but being pulled away from me at the last minute. If I’m honest, I keep fantasizing about meeting him again. And, oh, it would be so easy to do. If I went down to our local bar, he’d be there all right, life and soul of the fucking party.

Of course, I am not so undignified that I would seek him out like this, but I have considered getting all my friends together on my birthday (a couple of months off yet) at this bar to do karaoke. 20% of the reason for this is that I’ve been going to this bar for nearly two years, and I don’t want to stay away because of him. I should be able to go back there at some point without worrying that he’s going to think I’m after him.  It’s my bar, goddamit, and I need to reclaim it ! Of course, the other 80% is that I just want to see him. By the time my birthday rolls around, this will probably still  be the case. In fact, I suspect that part of the reason I’ve got over the RG situation so quickly is because I know I could see him again at any point if I wanted to.

I have imagined a little scenario of how it will be the next time RG and I see each other. I imagine that he will see me across the crowded bar, and our eyes will lock. He will come up to me, overjoyed to see me again, telling me how much he misses me and longs for me. Goddammit. Fuck fantasies like this. The second I fantasize about something, I know everything is doomed.

Delirium Tre-*MENS*

MM and I broke up just over two month ago now, and it has been around ten days since I last saw RG. And I have got absolutely no desire to contact either one of them although I do sometimes have pangs when I think about the sex RG and I had. It all seems like such a long, long time ago, though. We were only shagging for about three/four weeks, but it feels like we were “together” for months.

Now that I have no men in my life, and no pain/obsessive thinking caused by men, I guess I’m having my own little version of withdrawal. The Delirum Tre-*MENS*, haha! I’m OK, I’m not freaking out or anything. I’ve just gone back to what I usually do, which is hang about at home all by myself, with my menagerie. It’s a very quiet life. This is a good thing (although mind-numbingly boring). I’m not like RG. I can’t go out night after night, drinking and chain-smoking cigarettes. Every time I saw him, I would need two fucking days to recover from all the booze, weed, cigarettes and up-all-night shagging. And this is not just an age thing; I’ve always had a weak constitution (translation: I’ve always been a wuss).

The loneliness is not killing me, but I am definitely aware of a certain emptiness there. On the bright side, this loneliness and emptiness make me feel more creative. Some of my older readers might have noticed that I wrote a LOT more in my previous blog when I was single. As soon as I met MM, I guess I didn’t have as much need to pour out my every most hidden thought and feelings to strangers on the internet.  Some people might think that this was a good thing, but I didn’t really. I truly felt that I was more creative when I was single, and blogged more regularly.

All the time I was with MM, I felt like he was some sort of painkilling drug – and, hell, not even a good one! I was never deliriously high from being with MM; our relationship just took the edge off things, but I felt that precisely this made me into a dullard. My whole life could have been described with one word: “meh”. And I’m not blaming MM for this, by the way. Ultimately, I just stayed in a bad relationship with the wrong person for too long even though we were both unhappy. Even though I felt all “meh” and fake calm on the surface, I knew there was a lot of agony and pain swirling about underneath, and I lived in fear of what would happen if MM and I ever broke up.

It was bad, but nowhere near as bad as I thought.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the kind of person who will always need a little bit of loneliness and emptiness to feel creative. I hated living with MM. Besides the fact that most men are slobs, and I’m usually the one who does the lion’s share of the housework, I just don’t need to see the same person day-in, day-out. It drains me.

Honestly, my ideal relationship would not involve living together at all. I’m not against getting married again per se, but I am against living together. I can’t imagine having a husband and children living with me in the same house. I don’t want to have  to be emotionally, physically and spiritually present for other human beings 24/7.

I guess this makes me selfish and means that I’m heading for an old-age of crazy cat lady spinsterhood. But, well, not everybody can be cut out for relationships.

A new year, a new decade….and, probably, the same old me.

Well, if, as Williamx said, we will spend the rest of the year doing what we did on New Year’s Eve, I will presumably spend the whole of 2010 watching insufferably boring French surrealist films. God help me.

I did fleetingly consider going out on New Year’s Eve but, hey, why break out of my crazy cat lady mould just for one night? Recently, it has occurred to me that I am spending far too much time on my own – since “MM” left on December 24th (!!!), I have not had any contact with other human beings except for clients! – and I thought to myself that perhaps I should live each day as if it were my last. However, then I thought that, God, I would rather die surrounded by my five cats and two dogs than a bunch of people I don’t really care for who are incapable of making anything other than mind-numbingly boring casual chit-chat.

And so it was that I found myself at home watching Luis Buñuel’s “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”. “MM” finally added me to his Netflix account a couple of weeks ago (which was actually harder than getting him to marry me! I’m not kidding!), so I’ve been playing this little game with myself. I’ve added so many fucking films to my queue (enough to keep me going until 2012!) that I’ve completely forgotten what’s about to be sent to me. Of course, I could just log into Netflix to check but it seems so much more exciting to be surprised. Last night’s film was absolutely fucking dire, though. God, I fucking hate surrealism. It’s my least favourite art form. I’m a social realist kinda gal. The annoying thing was that I soon realized that I’d seen the film before, or at least parts of it (or maybe I’d blocked out the memory because it was so goddamn awful).

How fitting that I should find myself, on New Year’s Eve, doing something I’d done before, and yet completely forgotten about. Is this how 2010 is going to be?

“MM” left the Midwest today to head back home (should arrive late on Saturday night) and he told me that he misses me so much that his heart hurts a little. Wow! I should be so delighted to hear him say that, but it makes little difference to me whether he returns or stays away forever. I feel quite numb. I should probably be depressed that I’ve had no worthwhile human contact for around ten days, but I’m not. I’m post-depressed. Nothing really seems to matter any more.

I feel bad because I’ve been blogging for around three years now, and I don’t seem to change. It’s like I’m stuck. I’m almost scared to post anything because I imagine people must be thinking how dull and boring I am. The one good thing about “MM” coming back is that he will be driving our (yes, our!) new car. I’ve never owned a car before (fuck, I can’t even remember the last time I even drove one…I passed my test in Scotland over fourteen years ago, and have barely driven a day since…I’ll need lessons again), and I’m hoping that having one here will open my life up a little. Living in an extremely car-centric city, and owning only a bike, my life takes place within, maybe, a three-mile radius. I feel stifled and completely oppressed.

Maybe having a car will make 2010 a good year?