January 2013

Beautiful piece. In many ways it reflects my own current life-thrown tomatoes. In some ways, I’m not there yet. “She has been trying to pull her worth from him for so long.” Just wow.

Coco J. Ginger Says

She has been trying to pull her worth from him for so long. She has been trying   to   extract   her   beauty   from   his   skin. She has been dying to be loved by him again…
….but he will   always  leave her empty.

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I’m still having trouble processing. I’m so angry. I skipped hurt, skipped crying, all of it. He came, knocked on the door. Gave me back a pair of socks, and the parking pass for my building. Commented that the new couch looked nice.

“Well, I wanted to clarify a few things.”

“There’s nothing left to clarify.”

“Well, there is, for me.”

He told me I was looking for answers where there were none, nothing more to say. It was totally useless. Besides confirming what I figured I knew. That he’s incapable of putting anyone else first, of communicating. Just kept saying we weren’t working out anyway. Said I was always second-guessing him. I asked about the government comment, he said it was mostly about the area. I pointed out he knew, from day one, where I wanted to be, why’d you string me along for 2 years? He sighed like I was getting this all wrong (but of course, wouldn’t actually give me anything else to go on), said he didn’t want to stay in the area. That I was trying to blame him (but..wouldn’t tell me exactly what I was doing wrong, at least that I could learn for next time) or find a reason, or be pissed at him (obviously? because I so love being pissed at exes)?  That he liked it down in NC (oh, if you don’t remember, that’s the other time we very nearly broke up). I asked him why he didn’t bring that up at all, that maybe I’d consider moving, and he just repeated we weren’t working out (but he likes spending time with me, which I wish I could count as a win). Which got us onto what I’d previously pointed out, that he made the choice not to spend time with me, this whole “stronger” BS. He was so agitated.

I said, so because you don’t like the government, you won’t support me. He said it was more to do with the area, he doesn’t want to live here. I said, so, because of that, you basically won’t support my dreams even though I would support any of yours. He said, yeah, I guess. It actually still took me aback. “Wow,” I said. “You’re a real jerk.”

Since this was getting nowhere except getting me more angry – he barely had any comment on the using thing – I gave him his box of stuff and opened the door. He got really annoyed then, asking what I was giving back. He said he couldn’t possibly have this much stuff here. I shrugged, told him there was a note.

“No, tell me what’s in here.”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s yours. Nothing matters.”


I was actually a little surprised he didn’t open it in the hallway and come back all angry. This is what I wrote in the note, over a week ago. So less anger, more hurt:

The things I want to give back to you, you may not accept. I included my two outfits, one I used at the Renaissance Festival and on Halloween, and the other is the Revolutionary War era one I was going to wear to the Mid Winter Ball. The one you all so wonderfully chipped in on. But I can’t bear to look at them now. Knowing what they were meant for, that I could only use them with you. They are so related. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. The one of us at the festival, the one Gary posted, that became my favorite of us. I printed one and taped it to my desk. I had to take it down, shove it in some drawer. I can’t bear it, I can’t.

Another item is the marble rolling pin you bought me for Christmas. I know you meant it, but I can never use it now. It’s too hard, too much of a reminder. A reminder of you. And right now I can’t take it I can’t. I can’t. I cant. Were you already thinking of breaking up with me then?

Also in there is the spray can you gave me a long time ago, and the down wash, and the mug I bought you, the one you left here so you could have tea in your very own mug. I never drank out of it. Besides, you can always use more mugs. Some DVDs “we” had. The down wash, since you’ll use it more than me. Also your ice cream bowl; that really is yours. Or, I guess I would have. I guess you took it already, I didn’t notice. Now I wonder when. Did you take it the night you left me, or the week before? Was it a warning, should I have noticed? God.

All of you saying, “I told you so,” stop. It’s true, I now have nothing else. Nothing solved, nothing answered. But I know that now. And so now, I can start working past the anger. It will take time. At this point it feels as though the anger has dissipated the hurt. We’ll see.

Look. I’ve been getting a lot of people telling me I shouldn’t see him again, asking why I even want to. What will it change, what will it matter. And to be honest I’m fed up with it. All I’ve gotten is discouragement, minus 1-2 wonderful friends. And, look, I know you all mean well. Seeing someone hurting and not being able to do anything about it – it hurts, too. I know. I’ve been there, too. But I’ve had my mind made up for awhile now, and to have so many people respond so negatively, to see a sudden lack of support – that also hurts.

I need some more answers. I need reasons, not excuses. And I think some of the “reasons” I got for the breakup are excuses. And maybe the only thing I get from this is a confirmation of that. I’m not an idiot – I’m well aware how much it will hurt. That I’ll probably cry just like I did when he broke up with me. I know. But I also might get some closure out of it. And I’m doing it. End of story. Will it change the outcome? No, and I don’t want it to. I don’t want him back. But it will matter. It matters to me. So please, just let it. Let it matter to me. I’ve had enough of you breathing down my back about it to rethink it and rethink it and rethink it. The decision is still yes. And you know what, he’s kind enough to do it. I was kind enough to do it for my last ex. And after this, I will be done. If I get real answers, I do. If not, I don’t. But then I know, and then I’m done. Yes, this has hit me really hard. But I know I’m strong. I wouldn’t still be here if I wasn’t. I wouldn’t be going to work everyday, making plans to see friends, joining Meetup groups, going to writers’ clubs. But I need this, just as much as I need time to get through the healing process. This is part of my healing process, for this relationship, for him.

Please trust me.

You know them. The social cues ingrained in our heads.

“How are you?”


The truth is I am so far from good, so horribly far, but no one wants to hear that. You’re not supposed to say that. You say “okay” or “good” or “fine” so that the other person can continue on with their day.

I am shitty. I am hurt. I am angry. I am lonely. I am sad. I am things I haven’t been, all at once, in a very long time. I don’t even know if I can recall one, actually. Something to compare.

I can’t sleep, I barely eat. 2am has become my new bedtime, except I still have work in the morning. I watch TV episodes on my iPad until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Sometimes I get some juice, just to get something to mollify my growling stomach. I have what feels like endless food in my fridge, thanks to my parents, but I’ve barely touched it all week.

My opinion of my now-ex boyfriend has dropped like a rock in the past two weeks. And I never wanted that, I never want it for anyone. It’s part of the reason I’m seeing him again, to talk, one last time. And it’s part of the reason I’m terrified to see him again. Because, maybe, he really is that terrible. If he is, I doubt he’s aware of that fact. I desperately don’t want him to be, I desperately want some other reason, some trigger he didn’t mention when he broke up with me. Because I call bullshit. I could deal with feeling used for two weeks. Not two years.

When we went on our first date, he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without dropping a beat, I said, “I want to break codes for the government.” And he smiled, said that’s great. Nodded, maybe. I hardly remember, I was giddy sitting next to this boy. I’ve shifted the job role (math’s not my strong suit, apparently it’s helpful when breaking codes) but not the destination. I haven’t in three or four years. Once, maybe a year ago? Less? He asked again if that was still what I was thinking. I said, yes. I said, I’m being patient. Work really hard here, make something, prove I can, and then reapply in a few years. I’m that determined.

So when he gives a big reason for leaving me as “I really don’t like the federal government,” I call BS. How is it a fucking dealbreaker now, all of a sudden? It’s not news. He’s literally known from day one. So why string me along for two years? He might as well have said “I won’t support your dreams.” Well fuck you, too. I would have supported him in anything. Anything. He wanted to make a business building a castle, then park/adventure camp, then hotel to fund it all. And I told him to do it. Go for it. We talked about it, tried to assess feasibility. He stared at me. “Are you being serious?” “Yes,” I told him. “I think you could do it.” It was a nifty idea. It would take a lot of investment, a lot of persuading. But I thought he could.

Oh! But let’s not forget. He’s decided to quit teaching. At the end of the year “probably.” He doesn’t know what he’ll do, at least that’s what he told me. So obviously that was a factor in breaking up with me. As was, what was it, moving out of the area. This is the man I thought would live and die in Maryland (it was a wrench for him to leave it for this job anyway) and haunt it. If he believed in ghosts. Do normal couples not ever bring things like this up before saying “screw it, I’m out, seeya”? In an email after the breakup, he wrote, “I don’t really plan to stay here, even if I do like the area.” WTF? And he’s given his whole life to teaching. Got his master’s, then certificate, then another one. I thought it might have been the only thing he ever actually loved. And the week before the breakup, we were talking about his path, which grades next year, the one after. Then getting a national certificate, then eventually going for his doctorate. So a week later, giving up everything? What the hell happened? And why was he unable to tell me about any of it? I asked him how long he’d been thinking about it, he said “awhile.”

God. He’s too independent to be in a relationship with anyone. Like he’s some higher being, striving for god knows what, while us mere mortals strive for love. Like that’s one of the dumber ideas humans ever came up with.

He said we weren’t getting any stronger. I guess I wasn’t worth the time and effort, then. Not to him. You care about someone, you try. He couldn’t be bothered to see me more than one day a week. He saw me less often when he moved closer to me. Maybe I’m just not good at reading the warning signs. Like reconnecting with his past ex on Facebook right around Christmas. You know, the one I spent with him and his family. After telling me, late this summer, that she’d (Girl A) sent him this long message about how she was removing him from Facebook and didn’t care about him anymore and blah blah, I never read it and never cared. I asked him about it – she’s the one he goes back to, from what he’s told me. With Girl A for five years on and off, left her, found Girl B, stayed with Girl B for 6 months, then said he wanted something more familiar, and went back to Girl A. Realized it wouldn’t work, left Girl A again. Found me. So I asked him about the timing. Christmas. I didn’t even see it until after he left me, for good. A few weeks later and I’m out of his life? He said it was purely coincidence. That “I haven’t talked to her since she sent me the facebook friend thing. Nothing rekindled.” So…what, Facebook magically made you friends again?

I hate thinking like this. More than anything. I hate thinking he could do this, he could use me, he could just not care enough or at all. That I wasn’t worth it. Two years later.

Breakups really suck. And I will be giving him back his stuff.

Today, I went to a testing location to take my Security+ exam. I’ve been studying out of a textbook for two months to prepare for it. So what the heck is it?

Security+ is a certification by CompTIA – the Computing Technology Industry Association. They’re a non-profit that basically advocates for IT around the world, helping people to get vendor-neutral certifications and advance the workforce. Cool. They support a number of certifications, one of which is Security+. Security+ is aimed at understanding and implementing network security controls. There are a lot of aspects to this – many of which I would not have thought of at all before preparing for the exam.

Direct from the website:

CompTIA Security+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that demonstrates competency in:

  • Network security
  • Compliance and operational security
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Application, data and host security
  • Access control and identity management
  • Cryptography

CompTIA Security+ not only ensures that candidates will apply knowledge of security concepts, tools, and procedures to react to security incidents, it ensures that security personnel are anticipating security risks and guarding against them.

It’s quite extensive. And ever-changing. My textbook, though written in 2012, was already outdated (in very few things, but the point still stands). For example, there are new algorithms for encrypting communications and sending them over the Internet. These adapt and update frequently, since attackers discover vulnerabilities they can exploit to gain confidential information, take down servers, and in general create havoc. I learned how to determine if an attack is occurring and the steps to mitigate it and then preserve computer forensic evidence. It was fascinating, if very difficult. More importantly, how to do my best to make sure such an attack has a low chance of occurring. Because no risk can ever be eliminated.

I was relieved, mostly, when I learned I passed today. Focusing on studying and memorizing was really hard when my mind kept wandering to why my boyfriend broke up with me last week. What I wanted to say to him, to ask, to ponder. Healing, dealing with the fact that it was over. This morning, I meant to meditate (my new year’s resolutions have gone out the window since the breakup, but I hope to recover in February). I slept in instead, running out the door to get a little more cramming in at the office before catching a bus to the testing center. I caught the right bus, but missed my stop, so when I got out, I had to run back several blocks, knowing I had just a few minutes before the starting time. It was incredibly cold out; my lungs did not thank me for running outside like that. Once I got there and signed in, they gave me a smile and let me thaw/catch my breath before taking me upstairs to the test room.

The test was hard. I think the hardest I’ve ever done, to this point. That includes my test to become an EMT – though, I guess, to be fair I had an intense semester with lots of coaching for that. I reviewed several of my questions, and finally took the plunge to click “submit.” Then! Then they wouldn’t give me my score until after I took a demographic survey. Finally, I read the small print on the screen – I got a 784, and you need a 750 to pass. Whew!! That means I got the equivalent of 87%. I think I sat there staring at it for a minute until it processed. Then I bundled up and headed back to the office, a giant grin on my face. I did it. Without applied experience, I still managed to pass.

Things will be okay. It may take awhile for me to truly be okay, but hey – I can still accomplish things, broken heart and all!

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile now. My boyfriend of nearly two years (save about a week) broke up with me a little over a week ago. I can’t go into all of it right now, because I have a big exam to take tomorrow and if I go too deep, I’ll never pass it. I can’t turn into a wreck – not until after tomorrow. Another reason I asked to see him, one more time, after the test and not before.

This is what has been rolling around my head for the past couple of days:

You knew what my dream was when we met. Now, you give one of the reasons for leaving me as, essentially, my dream. Tell me how I’m not supposed to feel used. So utterly, utterly used. For two years. Because right now, that’s where I’m at. And it really, really hurts.

Also, you were right. I think we could have worked, but you needed to actually try. I guess I wasn’t worth the bother. I wouldn’t take you back even if by some strange turn of the universe you wanted me.

Filed under things you’ll never see – but maybe I’ll bring up. In person. If I pass this test – if that’s even possible right now.

Tracking how I’m doing on those resolutions…

Jan 1: Woke up, stayed up for awhile, fell asleep for an hour, then woke up for good. Had a day off from work so this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Managed to meditate twice, and made crepes and pasta for meals. Check.

Jan 2: Woke up at my alarm, meditated, used most of remaining crepe batter for breakfast. I’d prepared homemade lunch last night and put it in the fridge. This is a big step up from my usual of eating out, fast-food, or ramen in the office. Began hour of writing…and discovered that somehow Dropbox had not saved my latest version of my novel. A chapter and a half (of pretty good writing, mind you) were suddenly gone. Heart dropped to stomach. This is pure horror. I figured I’d do a desperate check – I’d written those words on my old computer, which I still have. Maybe Dropbox failed? So, I booted that up and went to the file – the same one I’d just opened on my new computer – and somehow that chapter and a half appeared. If you’ve ever written a long piece you’ve been working on for months…you might have some sense of the utter relief I felt. Quickly, I emailed this version to myself and re-opened it, saving the new chapter to my current work-in-progress. Phew. After work, I made dinner. Stayed up late (hardest habit to break). Then, I decided to sync my novel to my iPad and maybe bring it to my favorite breakfast place and write for an hour before work, without lugging my laptop. Confused about why it was not “taking” my morning’s additions, I booted up my laptop and checked there – no additions. Why? Why? It was like the horror from the morning, but worse, since it seemed there was no way to fix it. I submitted a trouble ticket to the software company, but doubt there’s anything they can do. This is perhaps not a good start to my writing-time resolution. Meditated before bed….which wound up being at 2am.

Jan 3: The being up until 2am thing really screwed with me. Since I couldn’t really write anyway, I wound up resetting my alarm over and over until 2 hours later. This resulted in a 5-minute shower, grabbing my bag, and running out the door. No meditating, no breakfast, and since I had planned on rolling my burritos in the morning, no lunch. Well, lunch became ramen at work. I grabbed a bagel and iced tea before work. Then “dinner” became the happy hour for work (definitely falls under the bad-for-you category). Once home, I tried all the steps the software company suggested but to no avail. That chapter’s gone. I meditated, set my alarm, and fell asleep.

Jan 4: After hours and hours of sleep, woke up (late), meditated, showered, and got distracted by my computer. Tried eating Toaster Strudels; couldn’t do it. Ugh. Finally ate rice for lunch. Dinner was pizza as usual, before dancing. Did not meditate before bed.

Jan 5: Meditated in the morning! Ate cereal for breakfast, then out for some Shakespeare and Chinese. Didn’t meditate, just bed. :-/

Jan 6: Oops, slept in a little more. But ate breakfast, then meditated. Made pasta for dinner, and more burritos for lunch Monday. Meditated before bed.

Jan 7: I’d stayed up late again, and so slept in again. Bah. Meditated anyway, ate breakfast, ran out the door. Will meditate before bed – weekdays that’s pretty much a guarantee.


Meditation: 11/14 times – not bad.

Writing: 1/5 – eek.

Eating breakfast: 5/7 times (rushed bagel doesn’t count; not part of routine)

Making food: significantly improved over 2012!