A Change of Plans

I haven’t been a Bold Betty for long, but what I do know is that being a Bold Betty has already started to change my life and me significantly. I wanted to talk a little bit about using the borrowed strength of being a Bold Betty and how it got me through a weekend that a few years ago would have felt like an utter catastrophe that would have ended in tears, fear, and the loss of adventure. This weekend there were still tears, and there was still fear, but it was accompanied with accomplishment and pride.

I want to first start off by saying that I used to not have the ability to say no, and no ability to set my own bounds on things. I never traveled alone, or even considered the idea, and forget doing something if any of the plans changed. Nope, may as well cancel everything!

This weekend started off with the arrival of a male guest that I’ve been waiting to see for a little over a month now. Tall, well educated, a teacher from Jackson WY, into skiing and for all intensive purposes seemed like an upstanding gentleman. Some of our texts had been flirty, others had been very real and down to earth and me explaining some of the issues I deal with regarding both anxiety, depression and a host of other issues including Disassociative Identity Disorder (mean’s I have multiple me’s in the head, this used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder.) PTSD, and Bipolar 2. Most days are a struggle, and some feel insurmountable. So when this man said he was coming over, after our conversations, I had the impression that he understood a little of what it was like to be around me. I was wrong.

The night before his arrival I had let him know my anxiety was really high, and he said no worries, no expectations, just two people hanging out. But that turned out to be not at all what he meant. After a dinner that felt somewhat forced we went back to my place where he changed plans for the end of our trip. Now I was to fly back from Seattle rather than drive back with him. This was a big change and I started to try to wrap my mental processes around it. Meanwhile instead of helping he passed out on my bed. Ok. Thanks for the emotional support when I was clearly out of sorts…not.

I go over to lay on my bed, and am soon engulfed in what I can only describe as a humping hug… Now girls, I don’t know about you, but generally there are some steps involved in Woo’ing a girl to the point that you might get to some bump n grind. But immediately humping my leg without anything so much as a kiss or hand holding or putting his arm around me at some point prior to the night? This wasn’t ok. So, I did the “polite” thing and wiggled away. When that didn’t stop him from coming over and doing it again I did a mini spazz of angry jazz hands and said, “Ok, no really enough.” I was met with a bit of a grumble and the notion that why shouldn’t this be ok? Other than the fact that I wasn’t in the mood. At this point I offered to make him up a bed in another room or the couch. Both of which were refused and he rolled over. I scooted a little further away and started to doze.

Minutes later the humping hug was back and now I was furious. “Look, I asked you to stop, it’s too hot and I’m not in the mood. I can make you another bed if you’d like.” Again, all I was met with was grumbles about how it’s not all that hot. As if my not being in the mood or not wanting of attentions wasn’t valid. It also proved that there was little to no regard for respect of personal space and that I should have been available for whatever he wanted.

The next morning I thankfully found him out on the couch after he finally left my bed allowing me to rest. I should have just asked him to leave but ‘felt bad’ and didn’t know where he’d stay. Girls, put yourself first. Own your space. The hassle isn’t worth it.

Feeling decently bad, as women often do, because clearly everything is our fault, I offered coffee, breakfast, and the use of a shower. He took up on the shower, I think somewhat begrudgingly. I showered thereafter while he said he needed to run a few errands. I expected him to disappear at that point.

When I got out of the shower and he got back, I made a last ditch effort in saying that since we were headed west, there were plenty of other REI’s to visit should we need anything. I was instead met with cash being handed to me for the plane ticket I was supposed to be taking in two days, “About that, I’m not going, gonna go hang out with a friend in Portland cause, well this clearly, anyway. You get it.” Taking the cash I raised an eyebrow, “two people can’t just go on a roadtrip?” The look I was met with, was clear that this was about sex, and that he didn’t get any. “yah you should go anyway though.” My jaw almost dropped to the floor.

It took all I had to be polite, and see him out the door without saying, “don’t let it hit you in the ass,” or anything else. I wouldn’t stoop to that level. Though maybe I should have. For all his talk in the end all he wanted me for was my body. And while I don’t mind hook ups if that’s what both parties are looking for I felt a bit betrayed. There had been so much talking and build up. Then I felt a bit angry, he had only ultimately wanted my body and didn’t care about moving around my plans (though he did thankfully pay me back for the now useless plane ticket, I’ll give him that.) and then just ditching me the morning of the trip.

After he was gone I called one of my best friends and we had brunch and discussed the hilarity, awkwardness, and rudeness of the humping hug, and it helped me get the courage to keep going. Then, getting in my car I looked at the back of my phone and saw my Bold Betties sticker. BOLD. I was being BOLD. I told myself that this weekend I was going to live the truth of those words and that group. Bold Betties didn’t just sit and stay at home.

Driving long distances can be daunting, especially when you have not but just your own voice and internal dialog, and a radio. Luckily I made it out to Raleigh OR in just about three hours and pushed onto Glass Buttes, where I gave myself an hour, three water bottles, and a small bag to go gather Obsidian in. Walking up to the dig sight I unearthed a half buried pick ax, who I promptly named Bruno. Digging and hefting rocks I found a nice collection, and almost exactly one hour later walked out sweaty, a little dehydrated, and proud of myself for carrying out a backpack full of stones. Then it was onto Bend!

Bend OR is at a gorgeous altitude somewhere between high desert and forest and is definitely somewhere I will go to again. I even made time to stop at their REI and thought loudly to the universe that I’d maybe like to get a job there someday before heading back out on the road to Bagby Hotsprings.

The last leg of that drive was another three hours and some change away though a windy forest service road full of old growth forest. I pulled into Bagby Hot springs right as the sun was setting behind the mountains and tucked into camp spot #4. Paying the fee’s at the parking lot I grabbed my headlamp, hoody, and bag with towel and bikini and headed out into the dark. On the way in I ran into another couple who also had headlamps, and a dog, I love dogs. I asked if I could walk in with them, overcoming the moment of fear that I had in asking. They said of course and we made our way into the springs. When we got there it was a solid mess. The small hot springs, which pumps 2 lbs of water pressure to fill VERY large tubs, that number around 8, were currently in the process of refilling and there was some 22 people waiting to use the pools, with what sounded like decently unpleasant individuals trying to enjoy the hot springs amongst the complaining of the 22.

The sound of everyone after a long day in the car drove my anxiety through the roof. I wanted to go back to the car, but didn’t want to travel there alone. I’d driven all this day and felt like everyone else voicing their opinion, I wanted to soak in the hotsprings too. I looked up to the sky and the stars and took a deep breath. I wasn’t here to let my anxiety rule me. I remembered my promise to myself to be a BOLD Betty. Walking quietly down and away from the group of people and over to where the “public” four pools were that all had residence I raised a hand and politely asked if anyone had space for a small, plus one.

A group that wound up being from the “Rainbow Family,” invited me over and allowed me to join their group. Everyone had nicknames instead of actual first names, so I gave them one of my own nicknames as well, which also allowed me to ‘switch’ to a personality that could be comfortable around people and live within that nickname. Sometimes DiD has it’s benefits…

About an hour and a half later we’d had a few more people join us from the Rainbow family that turned out to be a majority of the folks waiting, and I’d made friends with a few of them. Enough so that when it was time to leave I was able to ask for a couple of friends to walk me back and have that happen. Even though we go someplace alone doesn’t mean we have to stay alone. This adventure had been shaping up nicely since the awkward one had left! Everything I did seemed to reinforce that this was apparently supposed to be a “ME” trip. I wouldn’t have likely or otherwise met any of the new friends that I had.

The next big stop on the trip was Mt Rainier after a BBQ in Lacey, WA with some of my wonderful extended family. They listened to my stories of all that had happened thus far and we all caught up as family does.

Mt Rainier and the climb up to Camp Muir was incredible. It took us four hours to get up and nearly another 2 coming back down. The incline was nearly 45 degrees plus in spots and the air is definitely thinner. I started having issues really controlling my breathing right around 200 meters from the summit. Bold Betties, if you ever have a chance to do this hike, I 100% suggest doing it. The views are incredible, the elation you get from finally getting up to the camp is amazing and the sense of  strength and accomplishment is something that takes days to sink in, in some regards.

On the way up I almost gave up twice, frustrated that I was taking 4-6 inch steps to make progress, which really feels like nothing. It’s like being stuck on a stair stepper machine that you can’t get off of. It’s steep, the snow when we went up was slushy and mush and hard to dig traction into. I was certainly glad for my LaSportiva mountain ascent boots. I wouldn’t recommend anything less for footwear. The sun was hot and beat down making everything beautiful and basting me maybe a bit too much. Overall, 10 out of 10 would do again.

The final leg of my trip was another 8+ hour drive back to Boise from Lacey on a more southern route so I could avoid the crazy mountain passes. I had 0 energy after that hike to dedicate to anything.

This weekend taught me so much about being Bold, about taking action in my own personal space and starting to learn how to really put my foot down when it comes to what I want to do. Being a Bold Betty to me has become more than a group of women I occasionally meet up with. Seeing all the events build, all the gatherings and adventures happening, it makes me want to strive to do more in my own life as well. It’s helping me come out of a shell that I crawled into years ago where I at one point couldn’t have dreamed of making random friends along a road trip.

So to any Bold Betties out there reading this, if your plans change, go anyway. If you’re not sure, turn back and try again with friends. If you think you can’t, try anyway, you’ll never know what mountains you might summit!


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