Well this week has not been my usual sort of week by a long shot. Much busier, in fact. The adult basic education classes started again, so I’m back to studying algebra two times a week. I’m in a weird space between easily picking up something new like the Pythagorean Theorem and then having my brain melt when faced with calculating slope if it involved negative integers. Like with fractions, I found myself having to go back and learn something from elementary level math so that I could progress in algebra.
I saw my therapist Tuesday morning, and went over things like moving into my own tiny bedroom, how the kids are handling the news of the impending divorce, and my parenting practices and philosophy past and present, etc. I also went over my discovery about how my compulsive honesty and TMI nature were trauma responses rather than an intrinsic part of my personality. At the end of the session, my therapist said that he admired me and was proud of me, and it brought tears to my eyes but I also felt skeptical. Surely he was just saying that because affirming clients is part of his job.
When I talked about my skepticism in the group chat with A, J & M, A pointed out that J worked in the social health field and was probably grateful for the occasional client that would actually work on their problems and make effective changes, so it wouldn’t be unrealistic to assume my therapist felt the same way. J agreed.
After returning from therapy on Tuesday I managed to get past my anxiety long enough to check my email, and sent an apologetic message to the woman overseeing the volunteer research project I’d signed on for. December proved to be all about survival and I had accomplished very little research in that time. We’re supposed to meet again on the 17th but I offered to turn over what I’d found so far to another volunteer if my pace has been too slow. I’m still waiting to hear back.
I also found an email sent in the second half of December with a response to the application I’d submitted for the first volunteer opportunity I’d pursued. They had reviewed my application and wanted me to come in for an interview. They’d sent me two different weeks with interview times, and the last available week… was this week! I emailed apologizing for not having seen the email and said what times I had available if they still wanted me to come in. The person in charge responded that they still wanted to see me, and confirmed a time for Thursday (later today now). They also said that I would need to come prepared with a 5 minute spiel on the topic of my choice.
My heart sank. I hadn’t volunteered to be a docent, but it seemed they wanted me to interview to be a docent. People make me nervous. I have issues with social anxiety. I only have a day to pick a topic and prepare a 5 minute spiel! I can’t wear make-up right now because of how sensitive my skin is to anything, even moisturizer. I messaged A, freaking out, and then almost instantly calm settled in. The interview would be good practice for a real job interview, after all.
Besides, I’m getting divorced, need to reenter the workforce after almost 16 years so I can support myself and move out, and I’m in love with one of my best friends and likely to get rejected when I’m finally free to say something. What is interviewing for a docent position compared to all of that, really? How can the experience possibly be worse than my life in general right now? -flails vaguely-
I had a topic come to mind pretty quickly Tuesday, and by around 3pm yesterday afternoon had a spiel close to 5 minutes written up. They’re just going to have to forgive me for the fact that it falls about 10 seconds short because I was done. Done. I’m still working on getting it memorized, but the interview isn’t until 1pm today so I have some time.
I gave myself a break for the next couple of hours as I still had algebra last night. By the end of class I discovered I’d made progress with negative integers and most of my slope calculations were correct this time, which was a good feeling.
After class, I headed to Walmart, because nothing tops off a night of fun and excitement learning algebra like a trip to a store you don’t enjoy shopping at. In this case, though, I needed a pair of flats or loafers for my interview, a thing I didn’t have on hand yet. Just to make things extra fun for me, almost the entire store had been rearranged. It took me 40 minutes to find 6 items and go through the self checkout.
On the plus side, Walmart is selling inexpensive shoes in wide sizes again. Unfortunately most of the styles that looked decent rather than tacky were out in my size, so that definitely ate a chunk of my time as I tried to track down a pair of flats that could be worn to an interview. I finally found a pair, though. I realized after getting home (naturally) that I’d forgotten a 7th item – a stick of concealer. Even though my skin is very sensitive and I’m not going to wear make-up, it would have been nice to have at least hidden a couple of small spots. I might run to my local drugstore later and grab one.
I’m also meeting 5 strangers tonight to see if we mesh well for starting a D&D game together. I’ve been keeping an eye out and have had everything seem to fall into place in the luckiest way – someone posted on reddit about wanting to join a game. Someone that wanted to DM responded, a 2nd person that wanted to play responded – so I jumped in and responded, too, as did a couple of other redditors. I checked people’s comments and people seemed pretty normal. At least one of those redditors was a woman. After the OP set up a groupme chat for us, I discovered that it will be 3 men and 3 women (including myself in the latter), which definitely makes me feel safer, too.
I really hope this works out. I have missed tabletop RPGs and a regular social life. I know I can’t sit around waiting for another D&D-playing extrovert to fall into my lap and bring me into their social group. It happened once, it was awesome, but at my age I’ve got to suck it up and handle setting up a social life for myself.
I’m also going to visit M (Indy) tomorrow, which isn’t stressful but does add to the busy feeling of the week.
On top of all of that, I’ve been stressed out dealing with a situation with someone I’ve been referring to as ‘single dude’ when I discuss him in the group chat with A & H. He slid into my DMs within 24 hours of announcing my divorce to friends & family on Facebook. It seemed apparent his interest was more than friendly. (Two other single guys that I don’t normally chat with also messaged me in that time period. Sigh.) My first reaction was to be amused, but it became apparent he was definitely going to be trying to build rapport, which, no. I’m not interested in casual hookups, I’m not even interested in trying for another relationship just yet, even with the person I’m interested in, and I’m definitely not interested in this dude.
After a few days I checked messenger and found that single dude and I hadn’t chatted since 2014. I’d utterly forgotten we’d chatted back then, and looking over the log it seemed that he’d probably been trying to hit on me back then, too. I think I’d been oblivious to his efforts because I’d just assumed knowing I was married with kids would mean I was no longer an object of interest to single male friends. (I know, I know, but I think I’m a little less naive now.)
I decided to craft something to send him to hopefully put him on notice and get him to back off. I ran it past A & H and made it a little more strongly worded based on H’s recommendation. Well, H’s recommendation was to be blunt to the point of insulting and then block the dude if he responded badly, so this was a compromise. I have mutuals with single dude and prefer not to have to deal with extra drama right now. I don’t know him well and didn’t know how he’d handle rejection.
Single dude was quick to assure me that he wasn’t interested in anything but friendship. He travels a lot and likes to see his friends and he still would have wanted to visit my husband and I even if we weren’t getting divorced. As it happens, I know he’s not even friends with my husband on FB, so that made me roll my eyes a little. But whatever. I told him I wasn’t sure my husband would be up for visitors and that single dude should probably contact him directly and left it at that.
Single dude can’t take a hint to leave well enough alone. He just has to send another message later once again trying to assure me he’s just looking to be friends, but in the message also states that he’d definitely be sexually available for the asking.
If you haven’t seen a woman in person in 17 years, didn’t talk to her for 11 years, then had an over 5 year gap between the current conversation and the last conversation… don’t assume you have the kind of relationship in which you can offer yourself sexually less than 2 weeks after she announces she’s divorcing. Well I mean I guess dudes can assume what they want, and maybe sometimes they luck into a woman that doesn’t care because she’s horny and willing to hop on any available dick.
I care, though. Just because I grew up in a repressed conservative religious culture does not mean I reacted by becoming casual about sex and relationships in my personal life. It doesn’t mean I’m secretly a freak looking to let loose. It doesn’t mean I’m turning my divorce into an excuse for messy indulgence. (Please note, I support people making healthy, happy choices that work for them as an individual, and don’t expect other people’s choices about their sexuality to look anything like mine – I have sometimes felt disgruntled and wished that healthy casual sex was something I could be interested in.)
Anyway, my point was that this dude doesn’t know me well enough, not by a long shot, to be declaring himself sexually available to me for the asking. I messaged him and told him we didn’t, and don’t, have the kind of friendship that would make that okay. I could tell he was apologizing but didn’t bother to open the messages. I ignored him in favor of accomplishing things I needed to accomplish. Last night, he sent another apology. This morning I messaged him briefly saying I didn’t have time to address it but thanks for the apology. I guess I probably should have gone with H’s original strategy. 🤣
Wish me luck finishing memorizing my 5 minute spiel in the next 4ish hours!