Monthly Archives: May 2021

A half dozen days since the chickens died

The eggs live on after the chickens. Included are the last feathers from Edna (top left, all white), Betty ( second row, brown and white), and Nutmeg (far right, brown and white).

On Chickens

Edna and Nutmeg were 4 year old hens born in Duvall WA. They lived a life typical of hens living in the city after growing up in the countryside. They’d wake up around 7am every day, climb down their house and wait to be let out into the yard. Every day, they’d dutifully do their jobs as chickens: laying eggs, searching for bugs to eat, dig in the dirt when warm for a dirt bath, perch on objects to be in a patch of sunlight, eat the food my mother bought them. Each time my mother or me was outside, they follow us as we walked to the alley, often squawking to us as hello. I’d greet them each time with a “Hello girls” or by name. Betty was independent, kinda crazy, and at the top of the pecking order from day 1. Nutmeg was a typical groupie and usually at the bottom of it. Nice but a pushover to the other chickens.

I helped, but the Chickens were my mom’s thing. She did the dirty work of cleaning their coop and taking care of them whenever the chickens had treatable ailments. She found them dead. Apparently it happened like an hour before I got home from work, as mom worked from home today.

To say the two chickens died, is a gentle way of saying viciously murdered.

There wasn’t a noisy ruckus by Edna or Nutmeg, or a sign something was wrong.

The chickens could be quite noisy when they wanted to. They’d squawk every day while laying eggs, in that classic chicken way. It wouldn’t take much for them to alert someone in the house.

This crime happened so fast, the victims never had a chance.

No sign of forced entry. The exterior and interior fences undisturbed.

No witnesses.

Inside was a gruesome murder scene.

Decapitations with further gore.

There was clear signs of struggle. Bloody feathers, and occasional blood spots.

Mom found them. Later said that she let out some loud explicit words. In shocked agony of these murders.

Her guess is that a “raptor bird” or other predatory bird swooped in and killed the chickens. Which do live in the area. We’ve spotted hawks, falcons, owls, and bald eagles from the backyard before. Not that surprising considering Seward Park is close. (Which is a large wooded park with the nests of many birds including bald eagles)

(All I can imagine are flying velociraptors from Jurassic Park when she said raptors did it. )

( I guess nature is far more brutal. )

(Further, that I as a privileged person in the modern world…am privileged to have chickens as pets, and that we didn’t have to eat them.)

By the time I went in the coop to inspect, mom had already buried the chickens. It felt odd stepping in their fenced area as that portion of the backyard had been theirs for 5+ years for this generation and the last. Sure enough they really were gone.

The only evidence was fluffy white feathers from Edna, and orange-brown and white feathers from Nutmeg strewn about.

Hard to believe that they’re gone.

I’ve been looking to the coop, for the chickens out of habit through the kitchen window above the sink. A habit developed these past 5 years. They always had something going on, a project or task throughout the day. Each evening they’d march into their coop to perch on a branch at the top to sleep. The hens would huddle right next to another.

Mom doesn’t want to get new chickens and I don’t either, so this will likely be the last time I have chickens as a pet. It’s the only time I’ve had birds as a pet.

I’ll have to buy eggs at the store from now on…

Rest in peace: Nutmeg, Edna, and Betty.


I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been focused on work. It’s been massive life adjustment. Going from unemployed at home all day back to a 40 hour a week job in a new location is a complete change. I’ve been tired after work Also the whole lifestyle change outside of work. I’m handling it well, and doing well at my job. Another 6 weeks or so, and I’ll have energy to do activities during the week. Self care has been first priority.

Thanks for reading!

Beginnings, Middles, Ends…


Beginnings

For my entire adult life until like April of this year, I was ashamed at my sparse dating experience. I felt my shame was obvious to everyone else, despite me never telling anyone in person. I felt safe to in the anonymous false comfort of Reddit and other message boards. Now, I think: Fuck it. It is what it is. I’ve come to terms with it. I can’t change the past, and I’m not starting from zero. I do have experience, and knowledge about relationships and dating. The few times I have been in the dating pool, I’ve learned each time. In the past year, I’ve grown so much, it’s like I got a college degree in that stuff.

But ultimately a degree is an ending and a starting point. The whole point of learning anything is to use that information in the world. Though I’ve changed for the better, I’m still afraid. Afraid of rejection. I’m afraid I’m not enough. Last month, I paid for a month of Tinder and Bumble and not much luck. I’ve gotten a handful of matches, but only one conversation went somewhere with a real person. Fucking catfish.

Which, when I told her that met someone (the catfish before I figured it out), and wished her luck. I got an amazing response back, which was heartwarming. I’m not sure I want to reconnect yet… My heart needs to rest.

To be fair, I feel my dating profile might need improvement. Therefore, I have room to improve as a person, as a man. Thanks to stuff easing up, I can go out and do activities in person with vaccinated people. Online dating is ruthless with men because we outnumber women by a ratio of 2-3 to 1… So you really need to stand out to get noticed. Finally I can have fun and get pictures. By living life for the sake of it.

I have a day left on Tinder premium and it feels like all the women are blending into the same person… Highly active who lives outdoors outside of work, drinks, doesn’t want a hookup while having multiple pictures with cleavage or lingerie , has a blank profile, lists their instagram, their dog is their baby (To be clear, I like dogs. but the obsession and pictures they choose with their dogs is unsettling.). The worst is when they match after I like them then never respond.

Technically I’m in the middle of my dating journey and that’s enough. I guess I assumed I would have this stuff figured out by now at 35…

Everyone starts somewhere. I’m in the process of figuring it out.


Middles

I feel I’ve entered a transition period in my life. As of last week, I’m fully vaccinated, been at my job for a month and thriving, and things are starting to open up again. While the CDC lifted the mask mandate for vaccinated people, I’m going to continue to wear a mask until 80% of the US population is vaccinated. This year has taught me that you can’t trust people to do the right thing in America. The pandemic isn’t over folks. Be safe, for the children who are waiting to be vaccinated, and those who are medically vulnerable. Please, Get the covid 19 vaccine folks.

It feels strange emerging into the post pandemic world as a privileged vaccinated person. I do want to see friends again, but still paranoid of getting covid-19 from other people. Even if we’re both vaccinated. While I’m treated for the virus, I haven’t recovered from the side effects of the PTSD from the pandemic. I can thank my past recovery from PTSD for this. Without that, I’m not in the dark and can work through each stage of the grief.

I’ve had trouble writing posts for the blog as I’ve adjusted to my job. Thankfully, it has a consistent schedule, I am good at the work, I know what to expect every day, and I like my coworkers, but it takes time to adjust to new routines. Sorry for the missed posts and random post times. Things should get back on track soon. It’s been a big adjustment from being unemployed and having time whenever to write, to working full-time again.

I’ve been thinking of trying something different with the blog. In the about me page, I said that I want to write fiction, to publish a novel and/or a screenplay, and recipes. So far posts have been heavy on my life, and I feel I need to write about something different. Those things were put aside in 2020 because I felt the need to work through the difficult things going on in my life. In this new stable period of life, it feels like the right time to work on those again. Which seems to be a theme in life right now.


Endings

I had my final therapy appointment this week, meeting my therapist for the first time, for the last time, in person. All of the therapy appointments for the past year plus have been over zoom. On my desktop screen for a good part of the pandemic 2020, then on zoom through my cellphone screen. 14 months working together, during the pandemic over the internet.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, connect me to zoom. I have therapy in 5 minutes…
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.com

We met at a park after work. It was warm and sunny, and it many people were out on the large path. It was the first time I’ve walked along that park, and it was lovely. Most people were still wearing masks, and it felt like I was baring cleavage by not wearing a mask, despite being vaccinated. Having an outside therapy appointment was a little weird but okay for a final meeting. It was a review of our time together, how far I’ve come, and where each of us are going from here. It was nice to be able to hug her as we met, and as we left to go our own ways. I said “Thank You” one last time. I’ll forever be grateful to her. Thanks to her I was able to trust therapists. I was able to experience for myself that therapy does work. I was able to not be terrified that she would leave out of the blue. Unlike doctors or any other specialists, you can’t change them often. You need to be able to trust that your therapist will be with you working on your issues for a long period of time. Often several months for each thing, after you’ve built trust.

I’m slowly realizing that our time working together is over. All this happened at a good time. It felt like a natural transition. We were in a spot where I was figuring out what to work on next in therapy.

I am in a really great place in life because I chose to continue on. and gave therapy one more try… Despite being letdown or heartbroken in my quest to get it. I’m not used to feeling proud of myself. I still feel weird expressing myself and who I am. I have things to work on, and will work on for the rest of my life like everyone does.

I may have been unemployed, and looking for employment, but my actual job last year was as a person in therapy showing up and doing the work. I didn’t waste the precious time I had last year.

It was a bittersweet end. Once again I’m without a therapist. I’m so grateful that I had her help during this time. I hit rock bottom last year, and the pandemic made recovery worse. I’m here today better than I’ve been in years because of therapy. That said, I feel I have quite a bit to work on myself.

This sucks because I feel isolated again. As an introvert, I am comfortable being by myself and doing things. But I do need connection with others. I don’t feel like there is anyone I can talk to emotional things about. Because of the pandemic, it feels like all my friends are online. I’m limited what I can share with my family. Not everyone is safe to share emotional or personal things with. Or it’s a spectrum and maybe the things that are bothering are things they don’t have the professional training to help with. I kinda trust myself and working on this. It takes me a long time to trust people. By default I don’t trust people.

It comes to me that writing this is ironic because I’m being vulnerable as I write this.

I’m in insurance limbo again. While I’ll have health insurance with my job, I don’t know what the plan covers. I’ll likely have to pay for meds and appointments with the plan, because it’s a private plan. Worse than WA Applecare. Then I have to find a therapist who offers appointments after or before work, then, a therapist I click with. 🙄 Man I hate American healthcare.

Maybe not the final therapy appointment with my (previous 🙁) therapist, but this is an ending.


Betty

Betty the chicken died in the night on May 9th. She was 6 years old.

I wrote on Facebook:

Looks like Betty the chicken doesn’t have much longer. I had to pick her up from the run outside the coop, and place her inside for the night. The younger chickens were perched inside ready to sleep. Poor old girl couldn’t make it. I think she knows too from the look in her eyes.

I said goodbye that night. Told her she was a good chicken, and I liked living with her.

Betty would hang out with us outside whenever my mother or me would sit outside on the deck. Or the chickens would follow me inside as I took out the trash and recycling. Chickens are a nice companion. Rest in peace Betty.

Mom buried her in the dirt in the coop area. She asked if I wanted to be there, but I declined. I had my time with her the previous night.


Epilogue:

I’m looking forward to getting a haircut and makeover. My hair and beard are out of control 😅. It’ll feel good to get a professional cut.

I wonder if I over share with these posts… Or the right amount to find people to connect with?

My healing journey from now moves from the mental space to the physical space.

Catfished

Photo by Denise H. on Pexels.com . The catfish gets a bad rap for this terrible behavior by humans.

Catfished. Ugh.

God damnit. I feel so used. Heart slowly breaking. Angry, hurt, seething, confused sad, empty. Ugh.

The song of the post can only be: Who are you by The Who.

The catfish followed me on instagram, and messaged me. I thought it was genuine interest and she was hot. I was a target and fell for it because the female attention, validation, and ego stroke felt so good. Because I’ve been starved for romance, love, and dating for so long. After being lost in the dating desert, I saw an oasis and dove in for water. For a couple days, I ate my fill, the madness of “love”. I felt my love tank, filling. A tank I haven’t felt filled much before. It feels like something I can only get from other people.

I’ve learned from past encounters with catfish to be wary of anyone online. So I used the reverse image search function on google photos. Then I used: http://imgops.com/upload which is another tool suggested by the catfish subreddit.

I found a match on twitter for someone with a different name, identical photo. 🚩. So I looked that name up on Facebook and found like 20 clone accounts with different photos of that person.

Turns out it was the woman mentioned in this article by vice… An instagram model/porn star:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3dm8k/model-sabrina-nichole-catfish-scam-interview

This model’s face, and photos have been used by thousands of catfish scammers. Sometimes for huge amounts of money. Whoever the person who tricked me into a romantic relationship, then tried to ask me to buy gift cards, used her photos. I said goodnight, then reported/blocked on whatsapp. The instagram account that started this, was deleted before I could report it.

Guess it was too good to be true. Online dating is tough because on some level you have to trust the person on the other end is who they say they are. Maybe I was thinking too much with my other head.

So I’m back to the relationship desert. I guess the oasis was a partial illusion because the sand I “drank” had some water. Some nutritional value.

People who trick people like this are the worst scum of humanity. The sick part is that they took time to get to know me.

Maybe it was a placebo. The audiobooks Breakup Triage by Susan Winter, a relationship expert I like, has helped a bit today.

In summary, I didn’t lose a penny. I lost some time, but got to practice being vulnerable. Got to practice expressing loving feelings. I’m pissed off about the situation and loss. Still left bitter and hurt. I think what hurts the most is being upset at myself for falling for this. It’s embarrassing to admit.

I really despise that catfishing is such a problem with online dating.

Therapy helped, even if it was short. I’m so glad my therapist fit me in for an appointment. Sigh, I know this pain will pass, and I’ll be happy to date again. But wtf humanity.


Well, work is going well and I’m doing well according to my bosses. So that’s good. Oh, and my aunt that was hospitalized is okay, so that’s good too. In one more week, I’ll be fully vaccinated so I can resume doing stuff with people.Soon it will be safe to visit friends. Gratitude is bittersweet when hurt like this.

Sorry for being late with the post.