July 29: I've been keeping up with daily posting which is a BIG deal for me. And while I'm still very stressed, I have realized that a lot of my ambient stress is worry about Topaz, who has endured more crises in a quarter century than most people live through in 50 years, and a lot of it has been in the past year. Since realizing that I've started trying to be more careful about how "fixit" I get. Apparently I'm not actually any better at taking on responsibility for other people's happiness, I've just figured out some workarounds (like a minimum amount of alone time) and I lucked into a relationship with someone who actively desires for me to NOT take on their suffering. I'm feeling a little annoyed at myself for not having gotten better at resisting the urge to throw my entire self into caretaking for the entire time the person is in crisis, but at least I have workarounds. I need to keep this in mind and stay firm about my alone time and at-home time. I keep feeling guilty about not helping more and I'm not really sure what to do with that except try to ignore it.
Had a great conversation with Allison last week and I feel like our friendship is becoming solid. I have felt increasing closeness for a while but always felt like it was tentative and might disappear. I guess I wasn't sure if they were invested enough to maintain indefinitely, and I have old habits (from high school! Allison has known me the longest) that kept me from even thinking of asking about their intentions, like I would with people I'd met in the last decade. But yeah, thinking about it now I feel like we've moved to a new level. And they said that their person genuinely likes my tribe, which is awesome for lots of reasons. They'd said something like it before but I didn't take it seriously, I guess because I felt worried they were just trying to be nice. But when Allison explained the specific things they like, I could tell it was sincere and that made me feel really happy.
Aug 10: So disappointed that I broke my daily writing streak! I was so pleased with myself :-<
This weekend Topaz and I were supposed to go visit Kat and one of Topaz' friends but the money escaped us (well, escaped Topaz, and I don't have transportation that can handle more than a 2-hour trip nor would I have the money for gas - I was pretty much along for the ride). But it was good to have some days off for Topaz, as their job is frankly abusive. And it was happy for me to have some time with them where they were neither exhausted nor heavy with dread about going back. We didn't do a whole lot, overall, because it was mostly recovery time. But we had a lot of really good talks about stuff OTHER than stresses, which had gotten pretty rare lately because it takes a certain level of energy to have those talks.
We spent an evening with their family, where I was much more relaxed than usual because there were fewer people and none of them that would be bothered by me wearing something comfortable (which with my body, means that my boobs are going to be pretty noticeable). I think that was the first time I was around Topaz' mom where they seemed to genuinely relax around me. We all played a game that's like a spectrum from taboo to charades, and I enjoyed it -- the only games I like are ones where people are being expressive or are practicing reading each other in some way.
Yesterday Topaz and I went to a coffeeshop on a river and spent a few hours there. I hadn't realized how long it had been since we did something so relaxed (even when we have gone to nature it has been with a time limit that made it a little stressful). This felt really nourishing and I could feel their happiness and contentment at putting their feet in the river, which I'm just now realizing is the first time in months I've felt that coming from them, the poor creature. I had planned to meet someone else there earlier but they had to reschedule, so I asked Topaz if they would go with me, and I am so glad I did. It feels like a very serendipitous plan change, because setting that up and it getting changed at the last minute is the only way we would have ended up doing that.