backyard crowing


work concerns / laughs / man strife

I think that when I'm exhausted and stressed out, I'm sometimes less likely to stand up for myself.

I find that at work, I actually ask for less help if I've got a pile of shit to do. It's that the task of asking for help requires more energy than just doing the thing myself. What will they think? Will they help? Will I have made a fool of myself?

And it goes for normal life operations sometimes, too.

But I get into a particular zone at work, when I'm sorting activity kits for the kids. I'm focused, one track minded. MUST. ORGANIZE. READING TOYS. Heh.

Anyway, it's something to watch out for.

And to compare myself a little, I'll turn to my co-worker Amanda, who is my age, degreed, and engaged. She's very confident and to the point. You can tell she doesn't take shit from anyone. And still, I sense that her feelings can be hurt, too.

That is the case for everyone, but I sense that she's particularly sensitive about her weight. I really like her personality, and I'm not sure she knows. I worry she might see me as a very squishable and one dimensional person, because I can be that squealy overpolite do-it-all type when I'm in the zone. I admire her forcefulness at work. She's smart, savvy, and sophisticated in her own way. A true prize of a lady.


The other day my boss (W) walked into our comptroller's office to talk to her.

The comptroller is D, and she's an older, straight-laced lady with a daughter. She's very formal, crunches numbers all day, and needs things done tout de suite. She's nice, but it seems she has trouble with niceness. It's the way her face looks when she exudes the nice that makes me think this way.

She has complimented me on my clothes, saying, "Very professional," and honestly, it offended me a bit. She said it like I was a child... of COURSE I dress professionally, this is work. How else would I dress?

Anyway, she likes Stevie Wonder and she's Jewish, so she has 2 automatic "cool old lady" cards in my book. There's no point in workplace strife, especially with someone who so firmly believes they're your supervisor. She matronizes me a bit. But hey--this job has nothing to do with my career.

My boss W is five years my junior, at 23, and he's a handsome gay guy from the southern tip of the state. He lives with his boyfriend, loves anal (retentiveness), and is probably the best supervisor I've ever had. He's cool, y'all. He also works at the gap.

So, for the story: W goes in to D's office, across the hall. He asks her something, and she holds up a sign saying "GO AWAY." He laughs, thinking it's a joke, but she continues to hold the sign up, so he leaves.

Not the most professional, to be sure, but certainly funny if you know D.

What struck me about my boss W is that he confronted her later, when she dropped by his desk to see what he had needed. She asked him, "Sorry, what did you need?" And he said, "Oh, nothing, it's resolved now." She started to walk away, and he said something like, "That thing from earlier, it was ...a little much. I just think in the future, maybe there could be an email that said 'from 2-4pm, I'll be busy,' or something similar, so I don't bother you."

She sort of backed out, said she was busy and etc., and again he called her on it: "I understand that, I know you're busy, I just think next time an email would work better."

At this point in the conversation, I was actively trying to move to places in the office where I wouldn't hear them or be in their way. I was the only human remotely near them.

They seemed to resolve it, because as she walked away a few minutes later, they were talking about something entirely different, and in a normal tone.

I'm really proud of W's behavior, he seems to be pretty fully himself. He expressed where his toes were stepped on, and when she dismissed her actions as not that bad, he didn't back off. She apologized I'm sure, and they continued with their day. Impressive.


Other things have been happening in my life, but I almost don't want to get into them, they're tough.

Ugh, here goes the tough. I may never reread this. I don't even really want to write it. But writers are supposed to write on struggle, right? That's part of why writing is so difficult.

A few days ago I was using R's computer and for some reason felt compelled to look through his pictures. There was a group of photos from 6-9-12, exactly two weeks before I met him. They were of a girl he dated briefly, who I've mentioned here many times. Her name was Kristal, and she was an alcoholic. I met her around the same time I met him, when she was dating Tobey, R's cousin and roommate.

R and Kristal both told me that he'd dated other girls between she and I, but I can't really believe he had much action in 2 weeks, so I'm sure that's a lie.

R also says that one of those "girls in between" got jealous of Kristal, and caused him problems. And that, he claims, is why he didn't tell me about their history. Unfortunately, that has never and will never be okay with me.

Anyway, I found pictures of them at what I'll call "Local Swiminghole" on his laptop. Some normal ones, some of her in a bikini, some of her asleep, and up the crotch photos. She was fully clothed, but they were still sexual. I was disgusted, obviously, and proceeded to delete them whether they were offensive or not, and deleted them from the trash bin. R meanwhile was gaming on his desktop, in the same room. I didn't mention anything until the next day, because I didn't know what to do with myself. I was distraught.

The next day when he came home from work, he told me about how an amazing high school had contacted him asking for an interview. I was excited for him, showed it, and we were happy for a little while. But I kept going over the findings in my mind, how I was going to approach the situation, and if I should.

So I started by curling up next to him, cuddling, then crying. It's not in my nature to hide this kind of pain from him, and I wanted him to know that this matters, I give a shit. He asks what's wrong, I deny him, and later suggests going for a walk, because I'm on my period. No, no, no. This will not be solved by any amount of exercise, I think to myself.

So I tell him, he's not mad, and we're not arguing. He says he didn't realize they were on there. I ask him to delete those sorts of photos from any other devices he has, and he agrees to it. It was a tough conversation, and he even teared up. I made it clear the photos were inappropriate, I was hurt, asked him why he still had the photos. He said he didn't look at them, and that as a general rule, he doesn't delete anything. We both apologized to each other, and I felt relieved. I do wish we hadn't been laying down during that conversation. It made me feel like I was being too easy on him.

It's painful too because we've taken very few naughty pictures in our three years together. None of him, and very few of myself. Not that I want to take them--I don't, I don't have a body I really want photographed like that right now. But the fact that he had these photos, several of her, and so few of me, hurt. The two of them only dated for about 2 weeks...or so they say. God, what a nightmare it was when I found out.

The next day while he was at work, I went to his place to take a shower, because mine wasn't working. I felt tempted, and I looked at his desktop, which was worse.

Turns out he had a second copy of the same photos on there, so I deleted them all permanently. He hadn't done what he'd promised to do, evidently.

Then I went to the recycling bin and found photos that were older yet of the two of them, but these contained images of her topless, not just in a bikini or up the skirt with clothes on. They were deleted photos, like I said, but not permanently, so I changed that. There were also two photos in the recycling bin from a long time ago (before we met) of some redhead, which were probably porn rather than someone he dated. Deleted those too, of course. That, and a sexualized anime screenshot.

At this point I was shaking as I went through his stuff, and having what felt like hot and cold flashes. I wanted so much not to find something, but I knew if I did, we might be breaking up. And yet I couldn't seem to stop. I wanted no stone left unturned. I'm type that would rather know than wonder.

It's amazing what mental strife can do on a person's physiology. I calmed myself down and told myself out loud that it was going to be okay, no matter what, even if we did break it off.

I confronted him again, having reeled all day alone in my car. I'm shivering now just thinking about it. Gerry Rafferty's "Right Down the Line" was in my head, and it was making me feel sick. I had to remind myself to drink water and get something to eat that day, things I never forget. I even made a pro/con list about the situation, and threw it away once we'd talked.

So I went to his house, and I can't remember if I confronted him right away or not. I asked him, "So, did you delete those photos?" He said yes. I said he obviously didn't, and he said, "What do you mean?" So I told him I looked on his desktop and found the bikini/upskirt photos. He seemed a little angry, but wasn't really voicing it. In both confrontations, it was definitely a "we're both in trouble" sort of situations -- he shouldn't have had those photos, and I shouldn't have looked.

Apparently this is one of my weaknesses, and I've been working on it, but I've got a ways to go. It hurts so much to see images like that, I feel like I can't unsee them.

But back to the story. I told him I'd found the topless photos in the recycling bin, and he said he'd deleted those a LONG time ago, which was comforting. I didn't right click on them to verify that he was telling the truth, they'd been deleted, but I'm choosing to believe him on that point. I still wish they'd been permanently deleted.

At one point, he sort of laughed at the whole thing, probably trying to make light of it, to move on. I told him they were painful to look at, and he tried comforting me. So I just told him my deepest fear about the whole situation: that he was saving those images and masturbating to them, while dating me. I told him that I didn't think he was cheating on me, but that I was afraid he used these photos for pleasure, etc. He kind of laughed and said something like, "No, not at all, I didn't even know these were on there." It was a genuine reaction, not meant to be insensitive, and I think he's being honest about it.

He actually said "I'm glad you deleted them." And also (paraphrased,) "if you feel like having those photos is living in the past, then I understand." These were some of his most comforting words.

I did ask, "So in the last three years, you've NEVER run across these photos, not ever?" He said he had, but he thought the swimming photos were "pretty innocuous." That's where he's completely wrong of course. I corrected him -- that photo set included the up the skirt photo, and the bikini photos. And while bikinis are publicly acceptable, having photos of an ex stretched out horizontally in a bikini is NOT. Fuck that noise.

What bothers me still is that he said he'd deleted stuff, but the same stuff *I* deleted he did NOT delete. He knew which photos I'd deleted from his laptop, so he should have deleted them from his desktop. I think he was probably lying about having attempted to delete stuff, but maybe not. It's hard to say.

On Dec. 14th, 2014 his browser history says he was looking for engagement rings. Nothing on fb indicates he's cheating on me.

One thing was horrific though: in 2012 (I think?) he wrote a girl, "I've got a place, a gf, still a bachelor." So clearly, he was still playing the field at that point. Disgusting. The upside of this was that she replied saying she had a bf. But still, he shouldn't have been playing at all at that point. I have crushes, but I do NOTHING about them. I write entries on here, and I make sure and not associate too much with any crush.

It took me awhile too to decide I wanted to be serious with only R -- about 2-3 weeks, but once we were officially in a relationship, I was not peeping at anyone else. Or if I was, I certainly wasn't contacting them in any way. There's looking, and then there are fb messages.

I was a little surprised at how much dating he did or tried to do, based on the fb messages. He's a bit like I was when I was single, I made sure to date a wide range of men before figuring out who I could live with. So we're both picky. That's one positive.

Whew. I'm glad writing about that is over. What a shitty story.

As an afterthought: during my panic, I called my university's crisis hotline. Usually they just take your school ID number and then you start talking to a counselor.

My cell phone had poor reception, and the counselor wanted to know my first and last name, and phone number. She didn't care about my school ID at all. It was strange, I felt uncomfortable, so I apologized and explained, then hung up. I gave her my first and last names, because she said she didn't want to call me by and ID number, but I denied her my phone number. Surely they have caller ID? It really made me wonder, did she think I was going to go do something extreme? Angry as I was, I was not about to physically hurt anyone. It was a strange feeling...but perhaps she just wanted to call me back on a better phone. She asked if I'd seen a counselor at the center before, and I told her yes, I had.

I guess I felt criminalized for my insecurities and actions stemming from them, when I was not about to start assaulting anyone! I'm not like that! Ugh.

I think I'm over the photos at this point, which is part of why I didn't really want to drudge up the story.

Now I'm more concerned because he has this awesome job at the awesome high school, so he's moving to his southern apartment and completely out of his northern one. This means he's moving in with Tobey, his alcoholic cousin and roommate, who sells illegal dried green plants. There was drama before, and I want no part of whatever might go on there. I want to move in with R, and only R, and the sooner the better. The further away from Tobey, the better. I want no part of his lifestyle or drama or manipulation or lies or, or, or... any of that. I don't think he's a good influence at all on R.

We'll see how the next few months pan out. R will have to come to ME, now. Speaking of which, I'm really tired of always driving to go see him. This change of me not travelling to him would have happened regardless of his moving south.

I'm still not really comfortable giving him a key to my place. Not when I have an attractive roommate I don't know too well. My mind has dark places in it. I don't like feeling like this, being suspicious and wary and untrusting.

Part of the solution will be improv. Tomorrow I get paid, the next day I get finaid release, and then I'll enroll again. I miss the stage, and the trust, the bond between improvisers. It's a kind of support I've never experienced elsewhere. And when R isn't supportive of my dreams/goals/etc., I stop and I remember that there are people who are, who do, who will.

Maybe that's fucked up, but it's comforting. I know that in the end, I don't need him, if it doesn't work out.

1:39 am - Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015


lovesounds - futuresex


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