When My World Ended

Its been more than a year since I did anything with this blog.

In that year, three of my babies have died, including the one that meant the most to me, Sasha.

In that year, my favorite people have moved away, leaving me mostly alone.

In that year, I’ve struggled to be positive, and I’ve mostly failed.

So, here’s what my life has been like, and what it’s like now.

I am not the same person I was. I was already changing this year, as I’ve been changing each year while I learn more about myself as an adult.

In November of 2015, my life took a turn when I had what I guess was an epiphany. I decided that now was the time. Now was the time to travel, to embrace what life has to offer, to go to places I’d always wanted to visit, and to come up with new places I wanted to visit. So, Mom and I took a long weekend to San Francisco and had a blast blowing all sorts of money, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and all the other wonderful things SF had to offer.

Since then, I’ve been to Canada, Alaska, Cincinnati, Seattle, Detroit (Oregon), Boise (Yearly), and am planning trips to Minnesota, New York, Philly, D.C., Scotland, Ireland, and more. Traveling is amazing, builds happiness and confidence, and helps me learn more about the world and spend time with friends.

That stuff is good.

The bad is sometimes my career, which brings me money and steadiness, but also large amounts of stress and hate. Since I posted on this blog, I took management from Kelly, who basically imploded because she was a shitty manager, and that has been an amazing financial blessing, but a huge source of stress and negativity. Petco is mostly concerned about their bottom line, which is there prerogative as a company, but it makes it hard on the peons (though I’m now a management peon). That, and I’m unsure that I’m capable of being in one place for longer than five years. Every part of my life has always had an expiration date – school being the main breaking points. You switch schools periodically, and as you get older you hit certain life points when things change. You start driving, move out (though I skipped that), etc., and life changes. I’ve been with Petco for 6 years, the same store and customers for five of that. Maybe it’s me, but the negativity of the bad customers is getting to me. I think it partially is me, because I have negative personal things combined with stress at work. I just want to run away from the bad, though it’s wrenching for me to consider leaving my good customers, the ones that I love so, so much.

The bad is also my personal life.

You see, around September of last year I gained a deep yearning for a cat. Snow White has been gone for years, and at the time I was down to Maia (my guinea pig), Sasha, and Ozzy (My ferret). I ran into some trouble with this yearning, as my father hates cats. Since I live with him, it seemed reasonable to discuss my desire with my family to add to my furry family.

So, in December, after being stonewalled about my desire to get a cat (a firm no, constantly), I instigated a conversation about why the answer was no. Now, this was seven months ago, so I can’t say verbatim how this argument went. I can tell you what I got from it, however.

What I got from it is that my father didn’t want me to get a cat because he thought I’d be cruel to his dog if he (Dante’) didn’t take to the cat. He doesn’t like animals other than dogs (though he doesn’t mind them existing, he doesn’t want them in him house), and he didn’t want to have to take care of my animals. What I also got from it is that through a degeneration in topic, my father blames me for all of his perceived failures for the two years prior to our discussion – specifically, he told me that he has made no progress in his businesses because he doesn’t feel like he belongs in his own house because I’m so mean to him.

Now, this conversation broke my heart. I am not a person that sets out to hurt others. I am a person who tries almost pathologically to not rock the boat and be invisible so as not to inconvenience others. To have one of the people I loved most in the world lay all of that on my shoulders… I had been cooking dinner at the time I instigated this conversation. After we ate, I left the house, went to see two movies (Trolls and Moana, in case anyone cares), cried all the way through them, and never wanted to go home. If I could have, I would have left and gone so far away as to never come back.

I love my parents. I love their animals. It never occurred to me to ask if I needed to find someone else to take care of my animals because I assumed (you know what they say about assuming) that I didn’t need to. They’ve never really asked me if I minded feeding their dogs, and they (my dad) never said he didn’t want to feed my family while I was gone. I live with my parents as roommates. I’m on the lease, and I essentially rent a room from them. I clean, I do their laundry, I groom their dogs, run errands, and help out as much as I can, with the exception of the dishes and the yard because I hate doing those things. The “conversation” we had about cats and everything that was wrong with my presence had the consequence (among others) of making me feel like I lived with my PARENTS. I put that in caps because I’m 26 years old. At the time, 25. I don’t need a mommy or a daddy to tell me how to run my life. I wanted an adult discussion, and instead I got flattened and told no, because I was a mean person and he didn’t want a cat in his house.

Animals are my heart. Any animal. They are why I breathe, how I make it through my life. At the time, I felt pressure because all of my babies were up in age, and I wanted someone knew to love that I knew would stay for a while, and see me through my beloved dog’s final years. At the time, I had no idea I would lose her in less than 8 months. So, because I made a decision not bring another animal into my life while I lived with my parents, I started planning to move out.

Here’s the problem with that: Portland sucks for living situations. I don’t want to rent a room because I essentially already do that, and well… the devil you know. So, I started plotting to move to somewhere I could afford to live on my own.

As a side note, while all this was happening and percolating, Casey moved from Portland to Cincinnati, and Haley moved back to Minnesota.

I don’t know that I’ll ever feel the close connection with my dad I used to feel, but it got a little better I suppose, after some months and time had passed. I feel a spurt here and there of that old feeling, but it’s hard to be free and feel the love with someone who you wonder if they’re secretly hating you and waiting to tell you about it until it happens to come up during a conversation about a cat.
** I want to note here that while I have some bitterness about trying to have a conversation about wanting a cat because it was important to me and it turning into a conversation about how terrible I am and have been for years, I try not to let that part get to me. I try to just feel the sad, and then acceptance that it’s way past time for me to get the hell out of my parents’ house and out of a negative situation. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bitter at all, but I hate to feel it, and I hate for it to come out in my interactions, though it does sometimes when I just can’t help feeling the bitter.

In the end, making a long story slightly shorter, I decided to move to Minnesota in April 2018. This would give me plenty of time to save and plenty of time to plan, say goodbye, and conclude my life in Portland. I didn’t know what the future would hold in the next year, but I wanted to put my end game in place. I was (and am) unhappy in Portland, with the negativity at work building up and over-powering the good, and my personal life feeling empty and like I was between a rock and a hard place when it came to moving forward and self-correcting myself into happiness. Two of my closest friends moved away, and my anchors here became so shaky I wanted out.

Then May 1, 2017, I had to put my Guinea Pig, Maia, to sleep because she was terminally ill and old enough not to recover. I also landed in the ER that same day through my own clumsiness, spraining the ligaments in my ankle by falling off my porch step.

May 12, 2017, I took a vacation with Sasha, just me and her, as she was getting older and I wanted time with her.

June 23, 2017 Sasha had a stroke. I have no medically defining proof that’s what happened, but that’s what I believe. I got another day and a half with her, and then she crashed. We put her down around 11:30pm, June 24.

So now, she’s gone. In the week since she passed, I’ve run the gamut from being completely devastated, to accepting, to knowing she had as good a life as I could give her, and I always knew time with her was finite.

That doesn’t change the hole she left. That doesn’t heal the absence she left behind. That doesn’t change the disbelief I’m still struggling with, the numbness I feel when I think about her lack of presence by my side. I’ve always been a loner, but I’ve never been lonelier in my life, with my best friend dead, my closest friends scattered across the country. I am sometimes surrounded by people and I still feel so, so alone. I grew up with Sasha. We grew up together. Then she left me here alone to live on without her, and while I know how to do it, I don’t really want to.

So I’m killing two birds with one stone and planning on going overseas for a month (to Scotland, specifically) in January. Then, I’m moving to Minnesota.

I found a website (nomadicmatt.com) that I’m scouring, a book he wrote that I’m doing the same with for my travels to Scotland. The internet is currently my best friend for my research and planning for moving.

I don’t know if I’ll post to this site regularly again. What I do know is that I’m feeling alone and isolated, and I just can’t reach out right now. Everyone has problems, and without them reaching out to me first, I have a hard time doing so because I feel like a burden.

So, I might post again, because I remembered this was here and that not many used to read it. I doubt anyone checks it now because I haven’t posted in so long. If you find it and read it, well, welcome to my personal diary and my pain. Thanks for reading.