Tappa Tappa Tappa

Tappa Tappa Tappa

Most of you probably don’t know much about my more normal growing up activities. I took dance classes at a local studio from age 3-18, and then came back after I graduated from high school as a feature soloist for the next recital (actually it was just the solo I did my senior year since it was the fall of my first year of college and I had already been in classes since July). I’d say the vast majority of my dance “career” (if you want to call it that) was positive. I enjoyed what I was doing, aside from measuring for costumes (the life of a fat kid). Those last few years, I really wanted to quit, but I got a good dose of guilt from my mother. Plus I had a sense of loyalty since there was only one other person still dancing out of our class (we’d been together since age 3).

Earlier in the summer, one of the girls I danced with (not the one above) posted on Facebook that she was having adult tap classes (as well as other classes) at her studio. I mentioned that I’d love to to take it, but I didn’t get out of work until 6:00. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I see another post about the upcoming session and the tap class is scheduled at 6:20. Perfect! I can get there in time. So I joined the class.

I didn’t have shoes for the first class, but I didn’t do too bad “tapping” in tennis shoes. Last week, I finally had my tap shoes and I was giddy to just start fooling around in the studio. Last week went so much better than the first. My muscle memory is coming back, which is amazing since I haven’t danced in 25 years. That old saying “It’s just like riding a bike” was spot on. I actually picked up the choreography faster than I did as a teenager. Funny things like treated depression make a huge impact on your learning ability.

Next week is “bring a friend week”, so I’m inviting any of my Cleveland area readers to come experience Rebecca’s teaching at The Studio. No need for tap shoes. Tennis shoes work. No prior experience needed.



This was the prompt for today.  Sometimes I feel so far apart from other people.  I see it in therapy.  It is issues of trust still.  I’ve worked hard to build trust with Dr. D.  On some levels, I do trust her.  On others, there are some things I’m not ready to tell her.

She has this view that things would get easier if I told my brothers.  We went through this a while ago.  At that time, I did everything I could do to resist her.  Now, it’s not so cut and dry for me.  I think it might help a little.  But I’m not at that point in time yet.  would

I know that they would go strait to the parental unit and ask about it.  I’m not ready to deal with the fall out from that.  I guess I am divided on that idea.

Sometimes I feel so separate from other people.  I feel apart.  I can’t explain it.  Maybe it doesn’t matter.  I would rather read a book than socialize.  I can do the socialization thing, but it’s draining physically and emotionally.

Sometimes I feel divided from other survivors.  Now this I can’t explain.  I don’t know that I want to explain it right now, either.

Signing off for tonight.  I baked cookies and I’m exhausted.  :(


Thanks to the friend who listened to my whine like a baby.  She reminded me there are reasons to go on, especially one little cross-eyed cat.

I can wait until she comes over to Korea to be with me.  I need my bed buddy.

Left Field

It’s been a long time since I had an abuse flavored nightmare.  And for that, I’m thankful.  It made me realize how far I’ve come. What made this one all the more disturbing is that it was conjoined with “memories” of what my best friend’s funeral would have been like.  The whole thing was bizarre.  Besides M, I can only identify one other person, C.  C and M were good friends.  I was friends with C too, more so now since M’s death.

I was at M’s wake in the dream.  Of course, I couldn’t really go because I was in Korea.  If I had had the money, I would have gone in a heartbeat and told my boss to go fuck herself for a week.  I was devastated because I wasn’t there for M.  We talked on the phone and IM, but I wasn’t there for her in person through her cancer battle.  And that I regret.

In my dream the whole wake turned into a three ring circus.  The music was all wrong.  I have a feeling I knew the priest, but I can’t put my finger on who it was.  At the end, I was in a room all by myself crying.  The priest came in and asked if I wanted to talk, so I started talking about M.  I have a feeling the priest was really Father A from Austin, but it didn’t look like him.  All he kept saying was “There’s something else you need to talk about”.  I kept insisting no.  Finally I was screaming at him “I don’t want to talk about my father!”  And then my father walks in.

That’s where I wake up.  I was sweating and shaking, on the verge of tears.  I think deep down I know my therapy really isn’t finished.  I’ll be heading back to Korea soon (I got a job in the city I was working before so I can keep my pdoc and rheumy).  I guess I’ll try to find someone who does therapy.  I won’t be starting work until 1 or so, which gives me time to see docs in the morning.

Even though it’s been hours, I’m still quite upset.  My fibro pain is flaring up so I took a pain pill, which of course is making me sleepy.  I think I’ll put on some mindless TV and maybe fall asleep to it even though it’s on 3:30.  Not that I really want to sleep.  I want my brain to shut the hell up.  Maybe I should have taken some Ativan instead of the pain pill…

Random Pictures

Two good friends married yesterday.  I’m so happy for them both.  Nick is from Pittsburgh (I’ll forgive him for being a Steelers fan) and Ellen is Korean.  She was a beautiful bride and Nick was quite handsome.  His parents flew in and they wore the traditional hanbok.  They’re going to have their honeymoon in the states and have a wedding there for Nick’s friends and family.

Just a few pics.  I was in a bad place to shoot (at the very back and on the side).  Oh yeah, Korean “western” weddings are held (mostly) in wedding halls, which are over the top ballroom type places.  So my friends and I sat at a booth around a table.

Mini Vacation

I have a friend getting married tomorrow in Ulsan.  I’m going to take the train down tonight and stay in a hotel.  The cats have extra food and water just in case I don’t come back until Sunday.

I’m so glad they finished the KTX to Ulsan.  It’s less than half the time by bus and much more comfortable.

I’m looking forward to seeing the old crowd. And I can’t wait to see Ellen and Nick get married.

Quick Note

I’m alive. Life is crazy.

I’m grieving.  My best friend of 20+ years lost her two year battle with cancer.  It breaks my heart that I couldn’t be there to attend her funeral.  I know she would understand.  She lives on in my memories and my teaching.  She was a 12 year elementary school teacher and she taught me much of what I know, including my teacher voice.   I smile a little bit when I have to be stern with my students because that’s M coming out.

Apparently the political situation here isn’t all that great.  Wonderful.  Just wonderful.  I went downtown last weekend and when I came out of Lotte Department Store there was literally 100 cops in riot gear standing there.  I had to walk through them.  That was scary.  I think that’s the first time I’ve ever really been scared over here.

Found myself a p-doc.  He actually speaks good English and happens to be a psychologist as well.  Not that I’m planning to do any sort of therapy with him.  I’m not at a point where I want to tackle that, especially with an older man.  He has me on Lexapro, Nortriptyline and Klonopin.  It’s helping a lot.  I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my mood.  And strangely enough, when I had my thyroid checked, I turned out to be hyperthyroid.  Definitely surprised the GP.  Treating it has made a slight bit of difference in how I feel, but I think treating the depression is having a bigger impact.

That’s all.


Self Worth

So I’ve been thinking about self worth the last week or so.  I think I shocked a coworker when I said something to the effect of “But am I worth it?”.

Let me backtrack and explain things…  I’ve started going to the gym.  There’s a full service gym literally catty-corner from my apartment.  I had to get over the “I’m so fat and people are going to point and laugh” feelings.  Not that kids on the streets here don’t point and laugh…  sadly many parents don’t bat an eye at this behavior.  And I’m not just talking little kids, I’m talking older kids and teenagers.  But that’s beside the point.  I’ve started going to the gym.  Yay for me.  For the most part the trainers there leave me alone to walk on the treadmill.  Two of my coworkers also go.  They’re my motivation right now.  They’ve threatened (semi-jokingly) to drag me by my toes if I don’t go on my own accord.

At first I was planning on paying by the day (about $5.50) because my plan was to go three times a week.  N and D (my coworkes) had other ideas for me.  I’m going to go daily.  I did pretty good last week.  I went four out of five days.  I missed Tuesday because we had a work event to attend.  So at 7000 Won a day, that was going to get expensive pretty fast.  I opted to get a montly membership (about $70).   If I can keep it up, I’ll get a three month membership when my month is up.

That’s the back story.  I said something at work like “I hope it’s worth it.”.  A coworker (Nor) said “Of course it is!  It’s an investment in you!”.  Which I replied.  I hope I’m worth it.  Not only did this shock her, it seemed to offend her.  I haven’t told her about my past.  In fact, I’ve only told N very small bits about my past.  So I can see how Nor doesn’t understand why I’d say something like that.

Anywho, I have to keep reminding myself that I am worth that money.


I have an adorable ball of fuzz.  I’m so excited.  It’s only in the last couple weeks I’ve felt like I’ve completed the grieving process with Sparkler.  I loved her so much.  But, I knew I didn’t want another guinea pig.  I knew I wanted a cat.  Now, you have to understand, Korea is not a cat country.  No serious.  It’s really not.  I went to a dozen places before I found one with a cat for sale.  And dear lord was she expensive.  But she was totally worth every won I spent.  She’s been in my life less than 12 hours and I can’t imagine living without her.

Right now, she’s curled up in (on?) one of my shoes.  Once I coaxed her out from under the bed, she started to play.  She has one of those mice on an elastic string tied to a stick.  She loves it.  She was going crazy.  She’s purrs like no cat I’ve ever heard before.

I’m still working on the name thing.  I know her Korean name will either be 눈(noon) which means snow (and eye) or 구름(goorum) which means cloud.  I’m sort of leaning toward 눈.  I’m just not sure what English name to give her.  I’ll take suggestions.  You’ve helped me name animals in the past.

So here are some pics of my new baby.

Weird Dreams

Sometimes I think it would be easier to handle the nightmares. I don’t understand them, per se. But at least I’m used to them. They distress me, yes. But I’ve gotten better at just letting them go.

Lately, I’ve found myself dreaming of weird stuff. Not nightmare material, just weird. People who I haven’t though about in years show up in my dreams. People I never want to think about again show up in my dreams. Many of them are acquaintances from high school. I’d say friends, but that really isn’t the case. I had only had a handful (three at the most) real friends in high school. Many of them are people I knew from band. Yes, I was a band nerd. You aren’t surprised, are you?

I’m finding these people are mostly folks who’ve contacted me on Facebook. I have no problem adding them as FB friends. It’s kind of nice to see what some of them are up to. I’m guessing the renewed contact with them is why they’re invading my dreams.

But the situations in the dreams are just so damn weird. OK, here’s an example from a few nights ago. For some reason I was going back to college for a degree in physics (holy heavens, I’m not smart enough for that, second term general physics just about killed me the first time around). My academic adviser was a high school “friend” who recently completed her PhD in physics (the gal’s a freaking genius). She scheduled me a bunch of classes. And when I say a bunch, with labs, I ended up being in class 12 hours a day. Now, granted, I took a lot of classes in college at one point (18 credit hours a quarter for a year, and when I factored in labs, it was more like 24 contact hours a week). But never did I go to class for 12 hours in one day. But that’s where the dream ended. It was pretty short, mainly because a car alarm going off outside my apartment woke me up.

Last night I was dreaming about being in a warehouse store type place. Think Sam’s Club or Costco, but pretty much deserted. I was buying a bunch of notebooks for a class. I ended up having lunch in some sort of customer break room. I forgot my purse in there. When I went back, two “friends” from high school where there and wouldn’t give me back my purse (which was clearly mine because they were looking at the ID in my wallet). In this dream, these people were employees. I ended up going to the service desk and trying to file a police report. The person working at the service desk was someone I know from the NAMI group I attended in the US. Whatever the resolution in the dream was (it gets fuzzy and hazy at that point) was weird. We ended up in a jewelery store buying a gold necklace with the police officer (who happened to be one of my professors from graduate school).

I occasionally dream of coworkers, but that often involves some sort of work situation. Thus, those dreams don’t seem quite so weird.

Dear Sweet Jesus, I wish I understood my messed up brain. I’m afraid to use one of those online dream analysis symbolism things because I’m not sure if I want to know what they mean.