Friday, January 27, 2006

#548 Long Drive

I'm in central NJ, at Daughter's place. I left home at exactly 3 pm. Traffic was the worst I've ever seen. The trip that ordinarily would take two hours and fifteen minutes took four hours and twenty minutes, and the last three hours worth, there were no convenient rest areas. I thought I'd burst. But, I'm here.

Gas here, by the way, is 30 cents per gallon cheaper. I don't understand why. New York swears it's not a state tax. They claim the difference has to do with port charges. Well, why doesn't New York bring their gas in through the same ports as New Jersey does, and then just truck it into upstate New York? It's not like there are interstate duties.... Somebody's ripping us off!

#547 I Am Jung?

You scored as C.G. Jung.

You are more of a spiritualist than would be immediately apparent. Some of your notions are questioned by the cynical, but deep down you know the human consciousness is more than the flesh and tissue can account for.

You tend to take a scientific observationist look on matters the average person wouldn't even begin to analyze.

You personally are responsible for most of the ideas that are floating around in modern psychologist's/psychic's paltry little skulls. On the down side, you tend to be associated with that asshole Freud.

C.G. Jung 75%
Dante Alighieri 58%
Stephen Hawking 50%
O.J. Simpson 42%
Elvis Presley 33%
Mother Teresa 33%
Friedrich Nietzsche 33%
Sigmund Freud 33%
Jesus Christ 33%
Miyamoto Musashi 25%
Adolf Hitler 25%
Charles Manson 17%
Steven Morrissey 17%
Hugh Hefner 8%

What Pseudo Historical Figure Best Suits You? created with QuizFarm.

#546 Criminals with Gall

In the stupid criminals catagory: The owners of a stolen laptop have found a way to catch the thieves using eBay. Check out this eBay listing (it will be available for three months, unless eBay takes it down sooner, which is possible, it's getting a lot of publicity, and it does break the rules, so look quick). Scroll past the boilerplate to get to the meat, and then further to the emails.

I got up early this morning, planning to go to the spa before heading to NJ, but I've got a serious ache in my right calf, toward the outside front, just above where the nerves are dead. One of the problems with fibromyalgia is that when you have pain somewhere, you don't know for sure whether it's the usual for-no-reason pain, or whether you've injured something. I'm afraid that one of these days I'll drop dead of a ruptured internal something-or-other, and my last thought will be "Gee, this is getting harder and harder to ignore...." (You'll recall that I went to the ER with the exploding gall bladder not because of the pain, but because I was vomiting blood. My cousin Ray/Skippy had a gall bladder problem a few months after mine, and he was able to ignore the pain too long, and it damaged his pancreas, and he died. That's why I was so worried about Roman's mother - she tends to ignore inconvenient pain, too. But she's home now and doing well, so that's over, I guess.)

Therefore, in the interests of safety, and a little bit of lazy "any excuse is a good one", I skipped the spa today.

I'm heading for NJ to visit Daughter this afternoon, returning Sunday. Saturday night we're going to Stomp, at the Orpheum. I thought our seats were in the balcony - they were slightly more expensive, but I figured that with Daughter and I both being so short, if people stood up at all, with the balcony seats on a slope, we'd be still be able to see. But the tickets have arrived, and they're in the orchestra. My memory is confused. But at least they're on the aisle.

Now, pardon me while sell the next lot of Exxon, ignore the clench in my stomach while I do it, and then go pack. (I don't know why I always plan the timing of these trips so that I'm driving through the metro areas at rush hour. Mutter, mutter.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

#545 I Think, Therefore I'm Not

Thursday, 01/26/06

Coffee with Piper yesterday, and he explained why it was a good idea to sell the IBM stock now, and not wait for it to go up. He convinced me, what he said made sense at the time, but durn if I can reproduce his argument now. If I try I just end up back where I started. So - I submitted a sell order for all but the jointly owned shares last night. No turning back now. And no stomach clenching on that one. I even went ahead and sold more than he had recommended.

When I get the checks we'll buy short-term tax-free municipal bonds. The bonds won't grow in principle like stock does, but the interest income will be higher than the stock dividends, and we'll reinvest the excess income. The plan is that over the next three years, I'll be selling old stock, and some will go to bonds, some to indexed mutual finds, and some to individual stocks. He says I should have no more than 8% in any one company, and no more than 15% in any one industry (unlike the 55% I have now in oil!). That way if anything crashes, I don't get hurt too badly.

At the spa today, the last day of my free trial, I signed up for a month-to-month membership. So I'm sorta committed, at least until it warms up and dries up outside and I can walk again. Those machines are making a noticeable difference in tone (my bat-wings are already firming up!), but they don't seem to be helping with the weight loss, not like walking does. I've been very pleased that my pulse rate has been right on target.

You know what's weird? My behind is losing padding and getting firmer - and sitting is actually not as comfortable as before! I have to keep shifting my weight to get comfortable. It's like the chair got harder.

As evidence that my eating habits have changed, I got a handful of potato chips out of the pantry this evening, and they were stale! I'd never tasted a stale potato chip before....

I bought the external hard drive, 200 GB worth. It will probably be next Monday or Tuesday before I can try it.

Roman called last night, very late (yes, Daughter, as per that article you sent me, it does seem to average every two days), and we had an extremely satisfying 90 minute conversation. I don't mind the way things seem to be going now, and I am content with it. I think part of my problem is that the past few months he had seen a bad side of me, what with the jealousy and anger and all, and it seemed very unfair. Now he is seeing a better me, and that kind of makes it all ok. Just so he knows the better me. That's fair.

One of the dumbest things: When I shut down AOL last night, I shut it down under an alternate screen name (id) instead of the main screen name (id). When I connected to the internet this morning (BizOnline), I hadn't started AOL yet, McAfee (which is not supposed to be running at all - even the icon says it's disabled) put up a little window saying that there were updates available. So I answered ok, go get'em, thinking it was just virus definitions. McAfee went to its site, and proceeded to download a whole new McAfee, and it kept addressing me in its messages by the alternate AOL id. Duh?

Now, let me get this straight. McAfee is sitting there mulling the universe, it concludes that the current AOL id has never downloaded McAfee, so it concludes that it itself does not exist? "I think therefore I'm not"?

After that finished, I tried running a scan, just to make sure McAfee was ok, I mean nobody said they were replacing files with the same name or anything (although if they are stored under different AOL id folders, would they notice?) and apparently something must have got doubled, McAfee-1 and McAfee-2 got into a pissing contest, and I lost.

I can't run it from the toolbar icon any more. It hangs the system. But if I click on Start -> Programs -> McAfee, then it runs just fine.

Just more stuff I don't understand. That pile seems to be growing lately.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

#544 Yes! Yes! I Have One!

Wednesday, 01/25/06

At last Thursday's dinner I mentioned that my computer is more than ten years old, probably twelve, since I remember being jealous when we bought both Daughter and Father-in-law new PCs when Daughter was in college, but Jay wanted to keep this one, and I'm so afraid it will overheat some day and I'll have a head crash and lose everything. I have no backup. None.

The guys told me that what I should do is get an external hard drive, and dump everything to it periodically. Sounded good to me, so I went shopping for one this afternoon, after my workout on the spa machines (man, is my left arm sore!)

I found a mature salesman who seemed to know what he was talking about. It seems that an external hard drive will connect only to a USB port. He said that my hardware is old enough that I may not have one, so he showed me what it looked like so I could go home and look. Also, the external hard drive works only with Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) and up. Do I have 98, or 98 SE? I dunno. So I had some homework.

"Now," I asked him, "just in case, if I don't have a USB port, or 98 SE, what can I do?" Apparently not much. I'm beginning to realize that I'm going to have to upgrade soon, or I absolutely won't be able to transfer files at all. So, just in case, what if I buy a new processor? Would I be able to transfer files from the old CPU to the new one?

The answer to that is apparently yes - since that can be done (in many hours) over a parallel connection. He showed me the software that you install and run on both machines, and then it transfers the files, and it will work with parallel and on Windows 98 (non-SE).

Um, but there's still a problem, I said. I already have a good display, keyboard, and mouse, and prefer not to buy new. So how would I go about running that program on both machines at the same time? That stumped him.

When I got home, I got out the flashlight and crawled under the desk, and Yes!! we do have a USB port! The camera is plugged into it. I don't know if it works, though, because the few times I tried to work the camera the code said it was offline, no matter what buttons I pushed on it. But the light on top of it flashes on IPL, so I don't know. It used to work - Jay put it in the front window and took pictures of deer in the front yard, and stop-action streams of sunrises. Well, that's a problem for later. It's enough for now that I do have a place to plug the cable in.

Next I checked the system level, and Yes!!! it IS Windows 98 SE! I'm in business!

If there was anyone standing on my front porch this evening to hear all the "Yes! Yes! Yes!!!"ing, they'd have thought I had finally brought a man into the house.

#543 What I Did on a Break

Wednesday 01/25/06

On a break
I didn't write about it when I did it, because I was embarrassed about having done it, and I didn't know what to think about it, but I've pretty much settled my mind about it, so here goes.

Wednesday of last week, I made an impulsive and unannounced visit to Roman. I knew he would be teaching a morning class in Wappingers that day, and he'd been under so much pressure lately, I was worried about him. I wanted to see for myself how he was. I could meet him outside the building at noon, after class, but then he'd feel forced to make some excuse re lunch (he was headed back to LI that afternoon), so I decided to catch him on the break, which would be around 10:30 am, for maybe 15 minutes. No pressure, and a neat time limit.

I arrived at about 10:15 and sat on the floor in the hall with my book. He called the break at 10:45, and a few students left the room (I think there were three in the class). I walked into the room, and he was sitting in a student chair next to a woman about our age, and talking about his fancy new camera (the one I gave him less than two weeks before "taking a break", the gift he has not offered to return, the cad). He looked up and saw me, and turned beet red. I've never seen anyone, let alone him, so red. I don't know whether he was startled to see me, or whether he was embarrassed to be caught flirting, or to be caught talking about my gift so cavalierly to impress another woman. Whatever. It was actually kind of funny.

We moved to the other side of the room, where he told me the latest about his mother, and I told him he didn't have to worry about me messing him up with the other woman (the one at home, not the one in the classroom, but I didn't say that), and he hugged me, and then we moved out into the hall, where I got several more hugs, the cheek-to-cheek kind, and he even shifted his head a bit once and kissed me in front of my ear, which I wish he hadn't done, that's confusing. So I was satisfied - he looked very good, I could stop worrying about him. I was afraid he'd be all haggard.

I hope he realizes that I won't say anything to "her" about him and me, but by damn, if he picks up with another woman, I WILL tell "her"! At this point I'm sort of on her side, and if he screws around again, it's me and her against him, by damn!

I wonder now if he glances at the doorway every time he calls a break, and I wonder if it's with hope or dread. I really don't know which I'd prefer.

Fur Storage
You're supposed to care for your furs by putting them in a cool slightly humid fur vault over the summer. Then in the winter, you get them out to wear, and they'll be hanging in a closet in your house all winter. That doesn't make any sense to me.

I've got some pretty fox and mink jackets (and one full-length, full skin, fox coat that I can't wear because I look like a walking igloo in it), (and before you get all excited, I bought all of them used, at auctions, so I did not create a market, and I did not pay a lot, about 1/7 their retail value). Two years ago I looked into summer storage for them. Ick! It would cost over $300 for me to store them, and that didn't include the hats. That's when I started thinking about it, and decided the whole arrangement didn't make sense.

Hot dry air is bad for them, right? So in the summer, when your house is air conditioned and a bit humid, you pay to store them? And then in the winter, when your house is full of dry heated air, you hang them in your closet? That doesn't make sense to me. It's exactly backward. Maybe it made sense before air conditioning, but not now.

So I've set up a canvas wardrobe in the basement, and that's where they live all year round. The canvas breathes, it's cool all the time, and it's not exactly humid, but not as dry as upstairs.

So there, Ms. Oppenheimer!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

#542 Limbo (the book....)

Tuesday 01/24/06

I am reading Limbo, subtitled Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams, by Alfred Lubrano. It's about the role of class in American society, specifically about what happens to people from blue collar families when they cross over into a white collar life. Along with the different approach to college, the problems of "fitting in" socially, he points out that children of the working class are taught to "sit down and shut up", more so than children of the middle class. They expect conformity and supervision. In the working class home, there is less conversation, and what there is is more concrete, less about ideas and opinions than in a middle or upper class home. One is expected to "follow the line". This is powerfully reinforced by neighborhood peers.

College often opens their eyes. They go home with all kinds of new ideas and ways of thinking and looking at things, and it often causes them problems with the family.

As adults, people with blue collar roots tend to obey the rules, and rarely buck the system. They "talk straight", and expect straight talk, while in the white collar world, people rarely say what they mean.

I am only about a third of the way through the book, and my head is spinning.

My father was a officer in the Air Force. Through my high school years he was the base commander, which made us the top of the heap. Especially where we lived - on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Heck, when I was younger, he was with the embassy in Canada (he wore suits, not a uniform), and because my mother was intelligent and beautiful and a much admired hostess, I many times ate Sunday lunch at our dining room table with the ambassador, who frequently just "dropped in". So I thought that we were white collar, middle class.

I was wrong. And it explains so much.

Neither of my parents had gone to college. My father got into OTS and flight training school during WWII by scoring highest of the candidates on what was essentially an IQ test. My paternal grandfather was a traveling salesman, and my maternal grandfather was a railroad engineer (as in he drove the train, not designed it). So I come from solidly blue, thoroughly working class, collars, and I never realized it before.

I think a lot of my father's anger and frustration was due to the fact that he didn't fit in socially with the other officers, his peers. He just wasn't smooth enough, just didn't use the same vocabulary and approach. I know he was widely respected for his abilities, he was often sent to problem bases as temporary commander to straighten them out, and he worked on Project Bluebook for a while, and yet his promotions always took that little bit longer to come.

I recognize the resistance to college described by Lubrano. I went only because I won all those scholarships and grants. My parents didn't even consider college until after I won the awards, which meant I applied very late (June, to be exact) and wouldn't have gotten in were it not for my test scores. None of my four siblings went to college, although they were all capable of college work. As is pointed out in the book, a "real job" was considered more important.

I recognize in myself the traits common to what Lubrano calls the Straddlers - those who straddle the blue-white line.

Jay, on the other hand, was pure white collar, middle class. Maybe even upper class without the patrician overtones. He had that sense of entitlement. I am starting to understand now why some of the attitudes and thinking patterns in his family were so confusing and foreign to me.

Because, hey, I think blue collar. Wow. Who'd a thunk it!

#541 Bits & Pieces

Tuesday 01/24/06

Tattoo Photos - Margaret Cho. She's finally done. Snake coiled around her middle, with peonies.

Stock Sale
Strength machines this morning, followed by lunch with Piper. I told him I sold a mess of Exxon Mobile yesterday as he had recommended (not without a lot of stomach clinches, scary scary), and he said the Exxon had jumped and I'm getting a better price than they had figured, so I'd better sell some IBM now to offset the Exxon and lower the capital gains tax. He thinks maybe IBM might rise a bit soon, and I'll want to sell it while it's low to take the loss.

Which I don't understand. Let's say the capital gains tax is 30%. So for every dollar loss on the IBM that I can deduct from the Exxon profits, I save $.30 on taxes. I get that. But let's pretend the IBM rises, and I don't get as big a loss on it. Let's say it goes up a dollar (but is still a loss, just a smaller loss). Doesn't that mean that I maybe don't save the $.30 tax I will have to pay on each dollar of the Exxon profits, but in total cash I'm still $.70 ahead for each of those dollars? Duh? What am I thinking wrong? I'm gonna have to drop in on him again tomorrow, I think. I think it might have to do with jumping brackets, maybe. He and Angel figured it pretty close.

But still, $.70? I don't think the bracket jump is that wide.

Wanted - An Intimate Friend
I found this in an old newspaper in the basement: "But oh, the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearless on any subject, with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." From A Life for a Life, 1866, Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

I want a one o' them. Maybe that's part of the purpose of this journal, to satisfy my need for someone I can talk to without having to keep the governor on the motor. Plus, if folks won't be kind enough to blow away the chaff, I can recant in here a day or two later, and it's right there together, so they can't claim they never heard it.

Mensa World Gathering
I registered yesterday for the Mensa World Gathering in Orlando in August. The gathering is seven days, but I reserved a room at the hotel (Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, near the Animal Kingdom) for ten days, thinking maybe I'll also "do" Disney after the gathering, and visit my siblings. I'm excited. The program is seven months from completion, but look at what they've got scheduled already:
I have to decide whether I want to fly down, or drive. If I drive, it'll be cheaper, and I'll have my own vehicle for visiting, and I can play tourist on the way home, maybe visit some friends in GA and NC. But driving alone, it will probably take me a minimum of two days each way. Miss Thunderfoot won't speak to me when I get home. Gotta think about it.

Online Dating Update
My profile is still up on the online dating site. It's been viewed 118 times. That doesn't mean it turned up in searches 118 times, it means that 118 different people actually clicked on the thumbnail and went to look at the details. And if the viewer is also registered, I can go look at who looked at me.

What a mix! Why on earth would a 35-year-old hottie, who says he's looking for women 25-38, click on the photo of a 61-year-old woman? Doesn't he have anything better to look at? Almost 1/3 of the men who have checked out my profile are under 50, and looking for women their age. So I'm surprised to find them checking out me. Idle curiosity? If they got ME in their search, then they must have got a bazillion others. Shall I be flattered? Or should I be worried.

I have noticed that often when a man says he's looking for a woman about his age or a little younger, he has provided a photo. When he says he's looking for women in a VERY broad age range, he provides no photo. Makes ya wonder....

I've gotten ten or twelve expressions of interest, most from reasonable sounding guys, but almost all have been from too far away. I'm not interested in anything long distance. Even 50 miles is too far. I want somebody nearby that I can talk with and ram around with. I'm not desperate to find someone, anyone, somewhere, anywhere, who is anxious to get married. So I just reply with the distance problem. The few local guys who winked or sent email just didn't interest me, or, like the lawyer, started to smell funny.

Not a Joke
From a radio call-in show. If it were a joke, it would be a bad one, but it made me laugh.
Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Contestant: Holland?
Daryl Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland? Ireland?
Daryl Denham (helpfully): It's a bad line. Did you say
Contestant: No.

Monday, January 23, 2006

#540 But...?

Roman called shortly after I finished the previous entry. He said something that startled me. There's so much backstory he hasn't told me. Gotta think about it for a while.

Then I went out to clear the driveway. It took two hours, because it was very wet and heavy, and when I was about halfway through it started drizzling, which made it harder. But I got it done. So freezing rain tonight won't hurt.

While I was walking up and down behind the machine, I got to thinking about "I love you, but ...." There are a lot of secondary clauses you can tack onto the end of that sentence, like "I love you, but I have to go to work." Or "I love you, but you've GOT to do something about your hair!" The first clause is a statement, and the second clause is also a statement, and rather than the second modifying the first, the first modifies the second. The first is strong. In almost all of the examples I could think of, they didn't have both the same subject (I) and object (you). The second clause veered. The two are not strongly related.

When the second clause is meant to modify the first, having the same subject and object, like "I love you, but I ... you", put almost anything in there, the second lessens the first, and usually negates the first. Negates because there should be no "but"s in love when the listener is expecting the romantic variety of the word. If you've got a "but" modifier in there, you aren't there yet. And it's unlikely you will ever get there.

"And"s are much nicer.

Off to shower. I'd still like to make it to the exercise machines today if I can.

#539 What I Would Say to Her

Monday, 01/23/06

I got up early this morning to go to the spa and work on the machines, and found snow in the driveway. It's already above the floor of the van and still falling, so I guess I'm not going anywhere until it stops and I can clear it.

I got email from Roman last night, about 1:30 am. He has recanted on my sending flowers, says he "doesn't know why" he told me not to. I'm beginning to wonder if he might have some kind of split personality thing going. He so often says or does something, then later he's completely different. Even his face changes. I've often said to him "Is this you, or your twin brother?" Either that or he's reading this journal after he told me he doesn't. I really don't think he is. I don't know. I don't care about that any more. I had offered it to him as a way to "get to know the real me", but he wasn't interested. (Actually, what he said was "Why read it - you always tell me everything that's in it anyway.") If he's reading it now, it's not to know me, but to find out if I'm thinking of retaliation.

I want to stop writing about him and thinking about him, but he's still such a presence. It's just poke, poke, poke. I want some kind of resolution. He's so afraid I will contact "her" and tell her what's been going on. If he thinks that, he doesn't know me at all. I am very tempted to contact her, but not to destroy him. What I would say to her is:

Roman loves you very much.
He's very unhappy.
You have it within your power to make him happy.
He wants to be completely accepted into your life, but you are holding him off.
You are torturing him.
You have him in limbo.
If you love him completely, accept his offer.
If you don't love him completely, turn him loose.
But don't keep him dangling like this.
It's not fair to him.

I could do it. I know where to find her if I want to talk to her. I could write her a note. I could call her. But I probably won't. Not for a while, anyway. Not until after my feelings have changed. I reserve the right to change my mind. But mostly probably I won't.


Because there's three ways it can go. She accepts him fully, she turns him loose, or he eventually realizes she doesn't love him enough (which is my opinion, I think she likes him and finds him convenient, but not more than that) and he gives up on her.

If she accepts him fully, and they move in together and live happily ever after, I can handle that. I keep telling him all I want is for him to be happy, and that is absolutely true. I would be quite content with that result.

If she turns him loose, and if he then turns to me, I would have to reject him. Under those conditions I'd never be anything to him but second choice, and for my own health I can't allow him to do that to me. And that will tear me up.

If he eventually realizes that he can't get what he needs from her, and leaves her of his own accord, then I might consider starting over if he turns to me. Might. I don't know. I need honesty and openness, and I don't know if he's capable of learning that. He seems to me now to be naturally manipulative and duplicious. I don't think he even knows when he's doing it. Sometimes it's like the better part of himself (and there is a lot of "better part" to him) catches himself doing it and backs up, and that's when I see "the twin".

So anyway, there's nothing in it for me in contacting her, since if there was any result at all from what I'd have to say, it would be the first or second, and the second is just too painful for me to contemplate right now. Maybe it would be easier a long time from now, after I've moved on, but not now, not so soon.

So, Roman, if you're reading this, your secret is safe. Always was.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

#538 Comments, and Dreams

Sunday 01/22/06

I got a comment from Patrick, of Patrick's Place, on entry #522, telling me how to find the missing comments. (Wow! Patrick visited my journal? Even if it was just that entry, I'm flattered!) I did as he said, and I found all the lost comments, including the one on #509 from Little Red (thank you for your sympathy), some spam comments, and I few I need to respond to via email. So thank you, Patrick.

There was also a "lost" comment from Gabreael of Gabreael's Mind, Body, & Spirit on entry #518 Scary Dream, wherein she points out that a house usually represents us or our family situation.

Yeah, I knew that. But I've also found that sometimes, where dream interpretation is concerned, you know darn well what it's all about, it should be clear as day, but things will still obstinately hide from you for a while.

When I was waiting for the oil change the other day, there was a young man in the waiting room who was on the cell phone constantly. He was speaking Russian in all the calls he made. I was even able to understand a few things he said from having heard some of the older folks, back when I lived on the mountain in high school. And as I sat there, I realized that the man in the dream in entry #518 was speaking Russian.

I should have recognized it right away in the dream, but I guess I hid it.

Roman had told me his people were from Russia.

The man who was trying to get into my house was smallish and thin and dirty. Roman is not tall, but he's a bit stocky, and he smells good even after getting sweaty and not having had a shower in 36 hours (sigh...). So I think the dream man was not so much Roman himself as the situation we're in - me (small), him (Russian), her (thin), the triangle (disheveled and dirty).

Ever since he had confessed his duplicity in early November, I haven't like the way I'd been feeling. I didn't like the thoughts I had or the way I was acting. I'd never really had any experience with jealousy before, and I didn't know how to handle it. By that first week in January I was beginning to not like me. I was losing respect for myself.

For me, if you know anything about my background or history, losing love or respect for myself is not a momentary problem or a trivial thing, something I can get back easily. There was a period in my life when I had no self respect, when I was sure that there was something horribly wrong with me, that everything that went wrong anywhere around me was obviously my fault, that I was unloveable, and I deserved nothing. It took me a long time, several years of therapy and hard work, to learn that I am not a bad person, that I am important, that it is possible to love me, and that I do deserve love.

I had that dream Sunday night/Monday morning, before the Monday night I last stayed over with him.

That Monday and Tuesday I was with him, several hurtful things happened, and as usual I stood there and took it. Then Tuesday afternoon I had a flashback to a very nasty time of my life, and then and there I realized that if he didn't love and respect me enough to protect me from these hurts, then it was up to me to love and respect and protect me.

That evening as soon as I got home I wrote the email to him suggesting a backing-off, and the next evening he suggested "the break", and I was fine with that. (Well, not fine, but accepting that this is what has to be. Otherwise the me I know and love dies.)

It took me until Tuesday to get to that point, but the dream shows I was already aware that the situation was trying to break into me and harm me, and that I was going to have to do something. The weird thing is, why bother with the dream? I did consciously already know.