The end of May 2017, I bought a Betta on a whim. I stuck him in a tiny (horrifyingly so) “tank” for a couple days before someone brought me to my senses and I ordered a 2.5g for him.
A couple months later, I’ve got a 3.5g, and a 5.5g, each with a Betta in it, and 5 amano shrimp in the 2.5. I still have 2 of those shrimp.
Then I got a 10g, which I stupidly put two goldfish and a common pleco in. The pleco died almost immediately (I still didn’t know about cycling) and one goldfish followed. The other goldfish ended up covered in ulcers that wouldn’t heal and I euthanized it.
I finally found Reddit. I started reading. I realized I was a fish killing idiot and this all could have been avoided if I had been educated a little.
At this point, I have two bettas, and 3 surviving amano shrimp. One Betta moves into the 10g and the other into the 5.5.
I still haven’t learned that much. One Betta dies. I bring home 3 male guppies to put into the 5.5g. When I get home, I discover the 5.5g is leaking at an alarming rate. I put them in the 10g with the female Betta. She hates them.
Now I have an angry Betta and 3 traumatized guppies and 3 shrimp.
I’m starting to wise up that the guppies are not going to live peaceably with the Betta in such a small tank. I rush to PetCo and but a 29g which I hastily set up.
My guppies, female Betta, and shrimp go in the tank. The tank (luckily because I’ve killed enough creatures) is pretty much instantly cycled when I move the filters from the 10g into it. There’s a lot of plants too because I had a few in two of the small tanks, and quite a few in the third.
Over the next month or so, I add some zebra danios, black neon tetras, and what turn out to be dwarf pencilfish. I keep adding plants. I do semi regular water changes. I add a couple mystery snails. I invest in a water test kit.
I keep almost everyone in the 29g alive and healthy for over a year. I keep reading, I learn a lot. I find some other fishy folk and build community. The 29g gains a bristlenose pleco and I start transitioning over to mostly platties. They’re successfully breeding and pretty soon I’ll be giving them away.
My mystery snails suddenly go from about 5 to about 75. I collect as many small ones as I can find and take them to Petco. I vow to remove every egg cluster I see from now on.
I make a contact on Reddit and purchase a bunch of red riili shrimp from them. A few days later, there’s a snow storm and we lose power for a few days. I’m unprepared and I lose a few fish. Amazingly most of the shrimp survive. I buy battery powered air pumps, batteries, and mylar blankets.
About 6 weeks ago, I decide to start another tank. I really, really want goldfish. I join r/goldfish and I read everything. I ask questions. I buy a 36g and instant cycle it with my second filter from the 29g. I buy sand substrate after reading some Goldfish will try to eat rocks. I keep feeding the cycle because the tank is empty except for a few mystery snails.
I discover King Koi and Goldfish. I plan on ordering 2 goldfish but I lose control and order 3.
The goldfish arrive, healthy and beautiful. They are acclimated to the tank and are soon thriving. My mom is in love with them. But my tank is somewhat overstocked and will be very overstocked when they grow out a little. I do lots of water changes. I buy a Python which is the best fishy purchase I’ve made.
I start watching the online marketplaces. A few days ago, I come across a 75g that’s only a few miles away. I make an offer on it, considerably less than they were asking, for the tank, stand, and lids. In the meantime, I’ve got a large box in my craft room that has filters, decor, everything I can buy for this unknown future tank.
Friday night, my mom takes me in her truck to pick up the tank. It’s huge. Are they this big in the store? It’s obviously grown since they bought it… Lol. We get it home and get it in place in the house.
I add substrate, decor, and flood the tank. Tonight I ordered lighting and and on Wednesday I’ll finish setup, pulling a filter from the 36g to get the cycle going.
Hopefully by this weekend, the goldfish will be installed in their new tank. I need to order more plants but will move some of the marimos from the 36g to the 75g.
Twice this week I’ve caught myself looking at the King Koi and the Goldfish Island websites.
In these three years I have learned so, so much and while I was a horrible fish keeper at the beginning, I’ve become capable to taking care of these guys and keeping them happy and stress free.
If you’ve read this far, thank you for staying with me, for offering me advice and occasionally a kick in the head, and most of all for being an amazing community that I could learn from. Because of you, my dream of having a goldfish tank is actually real, and they’re thriving.
Now I need to get some sleep so I can wake up tomorrow and do water changes before I spend half my day doing homework.
I’m done with my Nutrition class, and even if I only get a 75 including the extra credit on the final, I’ll still get an A in the class. So that’s awesome. I’m super happy about that, and it was a great class.
I made this for my instructor as well and she loved it.
Poli-sci…. I wish I could be so confident but I’m most likely getting a C. I’ve got an 80.49% right now, the last week’s work still has to be done, and unless I do really well on both the final and the video assignment, there’s not even a chance of getting a B. But a C is passing so I mean if that’s what it comes down to, I’ll take it.
Planning on knocking out a few of the assignments tonight so I have less to do last minute.
I also went to the bookstore today and got my books for spring, which starts on Monday, my parking permit has been ordered, and my paperwork from disabled student services is ready to distribute to my instructors.
I’m tired. I walked all over campus to get things done and while yay! It’s all done, my legs are sore from all the extra hills.
Yesterday I met with the nice lady at the Department of Rehabilitation and we got things moving. She put in a referral for me with Foster’s, who will put me through the ringer in a few weeks to help find out just what I would be good at. It’s 5 full days of testing, interviews, questions… To check out every aspect of my work ethic, abilities, stamina, and beyond. I’m excited, but I also terrified because Omg what if I curl up and die midway through the testing?
But I’m trying not to dwell on that. In a couple weeks, it’ll happen, and it’s going to hopefully go smoothly.
She also gave me a few leads to follow up on on my own. One is the aerospace program at AVC and I also going to look into what it takes to become a professional piercer.
After that, I went by my therapist’s office to sign some papers, and I agreed to become a member of the advisory committee for the Department of Mental Health. Eek! If it’s too much for me or I hate it, I can always drop out, and it’s only once a month.
Tonight, after everyone was asleep, I took a shower. And while I was in there, I realized showering is recently a much more complex affair then it was two months ago. I have antibacterial soap to cleanse my numerous new piercings. I have facial cleanser to wash away the day’s makeup. I have body wash for the rest of my skin. I have an expensive tar shampoo to wash my hair and soothe my scalp. And after I get out, I have a fancy, delicious smelling coconut oil conditioner to work into my hair to make it smooth and shiny and soft. And that’s not even counting if I’m shaving – then there’s soap and razors. Maybe baby oil to rub over my skin afterwards.
Makeup. The day’s makeup. I went literally years without a touch of it on my face and now I’m wearing it almost every day because I feel beautiful with it on. My new piercings. 6 total in the last ten weeks because they make me feel pretty with more planned.
I’ve purchased jewelry that I’m actually wearing. I signed up for Ipsy. I bought nail polish twice in recent weeks and I’ve done my nails 3 times in the last week. My hair is currently in curling rods in the hopes of having fabulous cascading curls tomorrow when I wake up.
My next body mod will be a small tattoo that will be a reminder that I have value and I am worthy of so many things – love, good health, friendship, family, good things in my life. This is a thing I have a problem with and I often forget but I’m working on it with my therapist and all these things above are signs of progress. I feel good about myself for the first time in at least 6 years. I feel WORTHY of self – care for the first time in longer than I can remember.
Depression is a mother fucking bitch. You lose track of what’s important (yourself) and you stop believing in your WORTH. Even with medication, my environment was still a big determiner of how I felt about myself. Getting away from my ex was the best thing I could have done for myself and I only regret not doing it sooner.
I woke up Thursday and I was excited. I was going to call Adam, the piercer I was going to use, make an appointment, and get my nipples pierced.
But I wasn’t able to reach Adam so I called the shop. They told me he was out of the country until the 9th. Annoying because he never mentioned this to me when we were supposedly making plans to pierce me.
I ended up calling around and going to the piercer at Hottie Body instead. Stephanie was fast, gentle, and professional.
She had me lie down on the table and pull my shirt and bra up. Then as she prepped me, she told me everything she was doing. I was so nervous I was literally kind of numb.
She cleaned my nipple, and told me to take a deep breath. Right as I was about to exhale, she did the piercing, and slipped in the bar. I yelled “shit fuck ow!” but then it was over.
She moved around to my other side, repeated the process, and it was done before I could really process it. I was more prepared for the pain the second time, so I just kind of whimpered “owie” on that one.
But it’s done and today, I’m sore, but its not awful. And the whole thing was actually less painful than I was expecting it to be.
Now I just have to wait for them to heal.
I’m not really angry anymore, but I am contemplating unfriending Mattie on Facebook, and his mom too. My curiosity got the better of me, and I went trolling back to his posts when he announced our breakup. There was rather a lot of shit talking, which amounted to me being a crazy bitch, a terrible cook (his mother agreed on this even though she’s never eaten my cooking?), and there were comments about how at least I wouldn’t be trying to poison him any longer. Granted, I said some things here, but I did not post things like that where he was likely to see them nor did I encourage my friends to badmouth him. I asked him on Saturday for space- and he hasn’t respected that at all so far because he’s still sending me messages and chattering away at me just like nothing had happened. He’s refusing to respect my “no” and that’s not okay.
At the urging of a friend, I joined FetLife, which is a rather interesting place. Basically its Facebook for fetistists/kinksters. Creating my profile was interesting, as has been browsing the site in general. I found a few people I know right off, which honestly, while nice, was not a surprise. Some of the people I found I’m quite fond of, while others… well, I won’t be communicating with them there, either. But such is social networking, right?
I think I’ve lost a few pounds over these last few weeks, though not because I was trying. If I’ve been out of the house, I’ve eaten once per day, and at home, maybe twice, and half the time its been salad. I just don’t have an appetite most days. Am I depressed? I’m honestly not sure. On the surface I feel pretty good- I’m free of the confines of the unhappiness of my last relationship, and I can do what I want now. I can focus on making myself happy, instead of someone who can’t be happy no matter what I did. I’m free to branch out, meet new people, pursue what I like, and say no to what I don’t. But at the same time, I’m unhappy at having to have had to move back to my mom’s. This is not my home. I honestly don’t know where home is at this point and I feel somewhat unmoored.
I saw my psychologist yesterday and I requested a refill on my Klonopin Rx. I still have several left, but I like having it just in case. I took one every night the week we broke up, but haven’t touched them since. And I’ve been working off of the same 30 tablets for over a year so its not like I just take them all the time.
Today I was supposed to meet with County Mental Health’s Employment Specialist, but I cancelled and rescheduled my appointment for after the first. I messed up my finances pretty badly this month and I don’t have gas money to make trips I absolutely don’t have to into town. I sold some stuff at the beginning of the month, and I had less expenses, but between paying off some small debts and eating in town a lot, I managed to overspend for the month and now I’m counting pennies until next month’s money comes in. Next month will be better though. I just need to track my spending better and stick to my budget. I can do this.
I also saw Princess yesterday and we hung out for a little while. It was nice to see her and nicer to see she’d gotten rid of her husband. Seems to be a lot of that going around. She’s looking fabulous though and the kids- OMG! The girl is 14 now and beautiful, and the oldest boy is 6 foot and trying to learn to play guitar. I was like damn it. I feel so old seeing them as closer to adulthood then babyhood.
I did get most of my stuff tucked away into the spare room, so I can say most of my belongings have been put up. There’s still a few things laying around the house, but its still progress made. And my mom is making an effort (finally) to clean up the rest of the house. She’s sent me into town with 4 kitchen trash bags full of stuff to be donated, and thrown away a bunch more. Of course there’s still a ton to go through but any progress is good. I still need to get her to take in the old electronics to the drop off and that would clear out a lot of space in the house. But baby steps….
And I got rid of almost half of my yarn! Stuff I wasn’t completely in love with I sold, with a few more still to go. It made a big difference in getting things put away.
I’ve apparently reached the post-break-up ranty/angry stage. Is this a thing? I honestly don’t know.
I’ve been sitting here and all I can think about is all the shit I have dealt with over the last 8 years…. culminated by the fact he couldn’t even tell me the full truth during the “let’s break up” talk.
Did I tell you all what he told me was the reason he wanted to split up? Because his friends say he’s no fun with me around. Ironic because since we’ve split up, he asked me to finish handling the final buyout invoice submission on the security system fiasco (yes, some of you might remember that?), I had to make the phone calls and find a vet who would help us let Lucy go yesterday morning, and after that he asked me to fix the vacuum because it was making a funny noise. My friend said “Oh so he wants to be friends with benefits, where the benefit is you keep handling his shit.”… ironic because he wants to use me now to avoid adulting… when I made him no fun for expecting him to act like an adult.
And now I’m just like why did I stay? If I had friends over and they weren’t his friends/there to amuse him, he was downright rude about them being there. He was volatile- at home he was either sullen and brooding, or flying into rages over the tiniest thing, screaming, yelling, and throwing things. I was afraid to get up to pee half the time it because it might cause a distraction from whatever he was using and make him angry. He threw full blown tantrums in public.
I was expected to keep the house spotless, provide him with meals, and remain silent and unseen except for when called upon. He never lifted a finger to help me with anything because he had a job, so I was being ridiculous to expect him to do anything around the house too.
I spent 8 years with the most strict vanilla sex with no variation and this is me, who needs a little (more than a little?) kink. He couldn’t figure out how to pull hair, spank, and anything other then straight PnV sex in missionary or me on top was out of the question. Foreplay was a foreign language he couldn’t bother to learn. Toys freaked him out and he was upset by the idea I might masturbate. And he was almost always in and done before I was really ready, so I can’t even remember the last time I orgasmed with him. And that dull, soulless sex was maybe once a month… He never once made out with me. Kissing seems to be on his “this is gross” list.
I’m angry now because I let myself become closed off from my friends and I stopped looking after my needs to cater to him even though it was not good for me. I’m angry because I wasted 8 years on a man-child who couldn’t look past his own narcissistic personality to actually treat me with respect and love. I’m angry because a million reasons and I can;t even articulate them. I’m just angry.
In the last few weeks, I’ve thrown away or donated roughly half of my possessions. I took my desk out of my room and got the TV stand from Mattie’s bedroom to take its place. It takes up a lot less room and ofers still more storage then I need. I got my uke stand into my room, with all my ukes and my uke bass on it, save for the little green one that I am giving to Ashley and Rowan on Tuesday. I’m trying to encourage my mom to throw things away, get rid of clutter, and in general clean up the house. I need to look up where the electronics recycling place is so we can take all kinda of stuff in and get rid of it for good- she is basically hoarding broken electronics because she thinks it costs money to dispose of them. Nope. Its free. Just gotta take them in. I’ve listed several of my books for sale that I’m just not going to use. I’m trying to sell about 50 skeins of yarn I’m just not in love with. There’s just so much stuff that I/we don’t need.
I’ve got a super busy week next week and I hope getting out will be good for me. But I’m so tired from holding my shit together and trying to be productive and I miss having a body next to me at night when I’m sleeping. I miss my dog. I miss Mattie. This shit is hard. I know its for the best, but fuck.