At support on Tuesday I spoke with a fifth of the attendees of the event. Three people got little jokes from me which is something. Said hello to a few other people. Had good conversations with the event's host, my friend from Egg Harbor City, and two others.
The host and I caught up with each other and it was fairly easygoing. Earlier in the night I thought I had made a few stumbles, for example a Wordle clone game had their surname come up as the solution and a moment after I showed it I felt I had made a terrible mistake. The other faux pas I don't recall but I was feeling a bit weird about it which is par for the course. Yet later on the host came by, explained how they're a social butterfly because it's how they manage social anxiety by not being stuck with people they don't know or may not particularly like as people. Fair enough. The host remarked upon the fact that it seems that I've grown and developed as a person since the first time I attended one of the meetings. One thing stood out to me, and I didn't dare mention it, but at one point their face bore a striking resemblence to facial recreations of Lucy the australopithecus. Probably because they weren't wearing glasses for once. Of especial note is how I talked about a potential avenue of revenue and the host didn't get bored by my blue streak. They were genuinely interested and I realized how I'm still gun-shy about 'nerding out' about stuff because Leah would always seem to shut me down because she'd get bored by my stumbling down various rabbit holes catching my fancy.

My friend from Egg Harbor City was there and occupied in their small circle. I lent some support as there appeared to be drama brewing based upon misunderstandings between everyone involved, and I felt good having offered sound advice to prevent any unravelling of that nascent network for my friend from Egg Harbor City.

One of the regulars came over and started up a random chat, asking me about what I do for a living and it turns out they also worked in the title searching field. Not as a searcher, but administrative support by typing out metes and bounds and coordinating jobs to maximize productivity.

A potential friend came over twice, we had a bit of an awkward chat but I messaged them on the support group's site and mentioned how I'm still coming out of my shell. To which they responded how they aren't the best at socializing either and there will be other meetings coming up.

Earlier in the day my therapist sent me a link from Psychology Today concerning gaslighting. What struck me about the article is Kristin Meekhof's mentioning of people who are being gaslighted feeling the need to record everything, ensure there are witnesses, etc. because victims of gaslighting feel dimished because the gaslighter will write off the victim's point of view as being irrelevant and a complete lie.
Jeez. That was totally me.
The rest of the article was the regular advice of seek therapy, keep a journal, remember you're not to blame, among other important bullet points. Even though I am no longer in a gaslighting situation, I am grateful my therapist thought of me and sent me the link. I texted my therapist back with how I am now among healthier people, like my friends at support, and how they accept me for who I am rather than who they expect me to be. Warts and all. Then I tooted my own horn at my ability to distance myself from potentially toxic situations without making those involved feel like I hold them in low esteem. Of course I wanted to respond with how I'm still recovering from being gaslit, how human memory is fallible and malleable, and maybe Leah's not all to blame. To her credit Leah is quieter in my presence and listens instead of trying to solve whatever issue I'm bringing up. Sometimes I talk just to vent and get it out, not because I want someone to help me. Fucking hell I've been in serious therapy since 2014 with a magnificent professional and I reckon I have most of the tools to tackle challenges. One thing I won't really have is someone to listen to me.
She texted me back with how she's glad I am recognizing my boundaries and what feels good vs. what does not feel safe, healing from past trauma, and by recognizing how I feel and when things don't feel right means I'm taking care of myself.

I did mention my support group, how it's a safe space, and everyone is accepted regardless of their flaws.

On the other side of the coin, I learned high-boy chairs are not ideal for me. All night my right foot was hurting, but it appears now my left foot is hurting me. It's not bad. Just walking slower and more deliberately but hopefully after a weekend of rest the discomfort will go away. Maybe it wasn't the chair so much as when I pushed the chair back to the bar and stood at the table so my legs weren't dangling nor being perched weird on the chair. I could've moved, and I probably should have, but everything is a-okay for now.

Rounding out my night were thoughts on Disco Elysium. Anyone who has had their heart broken can sympathize with Harry, the protagonist. Disco Elysium is a study in the contrasts of the bleak desolation of heartbreak versus the epiphany there is still love and people who care in the world.
One person can be someone's whole world, e.g. Dora from the game, but they are a mere shadow cast by the light of the living and loving heart of the true world. To apprehend such a light and feeling is profound and humbling, followed by learning one still has something to give in the wake of loss.
In fact love is a miracle. One receives love and suddenly the recipient has more love to give. Love violates entropy. Even then the love one gives isn't just one's own personal love but it's tinged with the love from another person. People radiate love like a rainbow to each other, forging connections even if those connections never meet. But the mere fact a person loves another person makes an individual part of a greater whole.

That's about it.

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