I have been in New York for over one year now– and by IN New York, I mean my mail has been arriving here for a year. In that time, I have traveled to 1) Denver three or four times for work; 2) Minneapolis multiple times for family and friend events & one intervention that did not go so well in the moment, but had a decent outcome eventually; 3) San Francisco twice, once for a wedding, once for escape; 4) Charlotte, SC for 2 layovers; 5) Baltimore once for a wedding; 6) Moorhead, MN once for work, but got to see friends; 7) Washington D.C. once when I rode the bus too long and too far (I was supposed to get off earlier, see #5); 8) Dallas once for a layover; 9) Scranton, PA once to support my brother at his powerlifting meet; 10) Paris twice, first when I arrived in Europe, and then again when I departed; 11) Berlin twice, on my way to and from Poland; 12) Wroclaw, Poland for three weeks where I took summer courses and had a little thing called a wedding in the forest. So to say I have been in New York for a year is a bit of a stretch.
Not only have I been traveling, I have been, what I like to call “mobile,” for much of the time I have been in New York. Having never really found an apartment to call my own since arriving, due to lack of finances, my travel schedule and the most bizarre illness and health scare, I have been the recipient of St. Katherine’s charity and housing supplement. This is neither a real thing, nor an actual supplement, but is instead a friend who has allowed me the space to rest when I was uncertain of where to go… which has been much of the time. Sure, I rented a room here and there, but St. Katherine’s Mission for Mobile Souls has really become my refuge.
My first year of graduate school was not an easy one: I struggled with keeping up with the readings, making friends, keeping friends (of which I lost a few), and then dating, which may be too expansive of a topic to explore in one post. Let’s just say I dated extensively, and I had very few second dates. I fell in love numerous times, as I am wont to do, but either the love was of the faux variety, or it was unreciprocated… and then I wonder, have I actually ever been in love? Like, the real love? I doubt it more every day– love is not something that comes easily for a lot of people. But for me, it seems that my heart expands and contracts with the frequency of the F train… so it’s hit and miss. Never on schedule, always running, but rarely when you need it. And then there is my psychotic therapist whom I just fired last week. She turned out to be “too stressed” to be effective in her job– she snapped at me at the beginning of a session regarding my inability to keep my appointment in the previous month and then having to move my most recent appointment to a couple days later because of the blizzard. I get it, schedules are difficult and cancelations create gaps in income… BUT SHE IS THE ONE WHO CANCELED OUR DECEMBER APPOINTMENT! Not me. She “forgot” about that– and then the weather pattern really messed with my ability to fly back into town… I should have tried harder, I guess. So, I hadn’t seen her for two months because she canceled on me in December, and this was my fault, according to her.
“I really care about you, that’s why I can’t do this if you continue to cancel. You had a scary fall with the health issues, etc. So that’s why I am upset…”
She said that. She ACTUALLY said that. Little did I know our sessions were in place to keep her calm about my life. FIRED!
As for the lost friend, I have no idea what I did or IF I did anything. I can’t imagine I did as I never had the opportunity to see her. She has lived in New York for about 15 years. We went to college together. Her name is Rebecca and we bonded quite tightly over some major life events– relationships, death, coming of age, etc. She was that friend who no matter what was there for you. You could pick up where you left off, even if you didn’t speak for years at a time. And sometimes that is how it went. Maybe it turned out that it was not enough for her. I have tried at least a dozen times to get in touch with her over the past year, and she responded once– the first time I reached out. She told me she couldn’t wait to see me and catch up, but since it has been radio silence. I am a person will give until I have nothing left, but am very hesitant to take (trust issues? duh). This just leads me to an isolated existence– I understand that life is about giving AND taking, but I lost the ability to accept graciously somewhere around the age of 4. I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but I do know that I am innately wanted to support those around me, while trying my hardest to never ask for help. I fail in this mission sometimes, and ask for help– but it never feels good. I still feel weak when I ask for help. And when a shitty therapist turns her shit on me in a manipulative, shaming way, it just reinforces this idea– when you ask for help, you have to give up something in return. I thought paying her was enough, but apparently, she needed me to emotionally support her, and that, is unforgivable. I will find a new therapist, and I will find another Rebecca, but I won’t get back the time I spent wondering if I did something wrong, or if they needed something that I missed. But I am leaving them behind. I am also leaving behind some other unmentionables who just disappeared and became unresponsive– why? No clue. But likely, they can’t handle intimacy and friendship. Maybe I am crazy… but I am loyal to the grave.