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So I finally hit upon another job. Another warehouse job at full time hours. Minimum pay is 522 a week. AND I'm a direct hire, which means I'll have a little more time and room to learn the job before they fire me. Cross my T's, dot my I's, smile, ask questions, chit-chat with coworkers, don't stop moving. These are the essentials I'm learning for "real world work".

This means if I'm sick, really sick, I still go in. This means if one of the cats die, I still go in. This means informing them right off the bat that Elizabeth, while in exceptional health for 85, might pass anytime, and then reassuring them that the only time I'd take off for that is the day of learning of her death and then her funeral.

I've given Pamela, Pat's mom, all of the information needed to make a final post here. I've also informed her of the post death requests I wish to be carried out. This is in case something awful happens and Pat and I get taken out at the same time, like a car crash or a fire or something. I am profoundly honored that she accepted the position of finishing out what death would prevent me from doing. (Like, anything, cuz dead people can't do shit, what with the whole "being dead" part.) I cc'd Pat, too, since he is the original executor of my final wishes.

I've got things like cross posting information here and on FB explained to her. What music and videos I'd like shown, who gets what of my items, my wishes for a living will, where I'd like donations to go to, etc. I've got a list of service related requests to her.

What are other post-death details do you guys think I should be considering???

I did tell her that if at all possible, to NOT LET JIM PUT HIS HANDS ON AUDREY OR JULIEN. I don't care if he is "comforting" them. DO NOT WANT. As Audrey and Julien are both aware of the fact that he sexually abused their mother and I, I told her it's okay to repeat that as my reasoning. I don't know how the hell one would actually enforce this wish, but that wish of mine is REALLY SUPER IMPORTANT.

Hell, I'd like to find a way to disallow my mother and stepfather from even attending the funeral, but I don't think that's possible. I did let Pamela know that even if they say offensive or awful things about me, to just let it go. Everyone already knows they are the assholes anyways. A funeral is not the place to make a scene.

Unless, of course, Jim tries to get all "comforting" with the kids. AW HELL NO.

I really need to get a legal will drawn up. My father had sent me some paperwork to that end a few years ago. I'd put it off while I was with David, as he'd gotten really offended that I was not making him the executor of my will. Jesse is not offended. This is a relief.

Thank you, Dani, for that netnanny recommendation. I'm going to check that out ASAP.

Cinema, you're also right about the whole forgiving myself to let go of David. I thought about that, thinking of what could be the possible single thing I need to forgive myself forWhich, of course, gets long and way too wordy )

Cinema, your words are worth far more than a dollar and thirty-seven cents. I hope you know that.
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I will not have access to a therapist come the end of next month. The clinic's free services are routed through interns, who are only available during the school year. While I agree with my therapist's statement that I am doing worlds better since I began work with him, I will be sad to see him go. I hadn't connected with a therapist so well in easily over a decade.

Maybe when I get insurance someday, I can procure his services in whatever practice he ends up working at.

We discussed the letter I was supposed to write towards my 27 year old, the one I was supposed to write about leaving Pat but instead turned into a diatribe of self-loathing. He asked what I thought I needed to move past being so angry at myself for it. I paused for a moment and then said "Time. I think I just need more time."

Time as in perhaps another two years or three years or five years. Time enough to be look back at that time and see it for what it was - youth and stupidity combined with a nasty spike in a then-undiagnosed mental illness. Time is what gave me the greatest freedom from self-hatred concerning my junkie days. Time is what gave me the greatest freedom from my traumatic history.

Time will be what gives me the freedom to walk away from the half hour I walked away from Pat. Time will be what gives me the perspective on how I left, without wanting to destroy and all the work I've done since then.

It is the one thing that I know I will receive, regardless of any setbacks or progress I make in the meantime. Time. Beyond Death, Time is one of the few human constants, one of the universal experiences.

So I'll wait for it and in the meantime, continuing building a life in which I'll never leave someone in the way I left Pat. That is all I can do. That is the best thing I can do.

I'll wait. What else is there to do?
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Gonzo's therapist had spoken about the idea of not judging our past selves by the merit of our current, usually wiser, selves. I brought up Gonzo's therapists concept up to my therapist. He was equally intrigued and suggested that I find a time in my past in which I still judge myself harshly for. He suggested writing a letter to my past self. Being a writer, and dumb, and an obvious glutton for pain, I said "Sure."

For me, the one self that is hard to not judge is 27 year old me. April 18th, 2009. 7 PM. The half hour when I told Pat I wanted a divorce.

I thought I was ready to write this entry. But that's a time in my life I've since studiously worked very hard in not remembering. It's taking some work to get back there. And it does hurt. Do I pull from an old bag of tricks and listen to music from that time? Yes, and become nearly paralyzed by the wave of emotion of what those songs used to mean.

Is that okay? Normal people say not to listen to music that reminds you of painful times. Normal people also don't have trauma in their history that requires them to go back in all its gory detail. Was that moment traumatic for me? Yes, and to this day I feel some shame about that. Surely I was the one doing the hurting. Surely I was the one acting out of insanity and lust and love.

How does one allow yourself to hurt when you're the one who hurt others? How is this even a question, six years later? Have I done something wrong by refusing to look at this simple 30 minutes in my life?

Stupid therapy.

For years I believed that I was dangerous to people, that the only thing that could possibly come of others loving me would be heartbreak. That day did not disprove that. Does some part of me still feel so? Am I coward if I say yes?

I'm talking all around the thing I need to be talking ABOUT. This is the curse of being a writer. We are so oft prone to describing the scenery that we forget to talk about where we are going.

It took me two years to tell Livejournal and then Pat that I left because I was having an affair. That I left because I'd fallen in love, a terrifying, passionate sort of love, and I did not not have the ability to communicate that. I felt as if I'd failed as a wife and the best way to avoid hurting him was to leave him. The nonsense things we convince ourselves of when we feel backed into a corner.....

It took those two years for me to become stable on a treatment plan, as it turns out I was bipolar and living in an extended manic episode. No one had ever said the word "bipolar" to me before. So that's my fallback. I was manic. I was in love, making a mess of the rest of the year that followed leaving Pat.

And I still can't talk about that damn half hour I told him I was leaving. Or if I do...he cried. He wept. I didn't. I wanted to, but the noise inside my head was too loud for me to release anything but small words. That and the sound the wedding ring made as it hit the table, as I'd slid it off, looked directly at him, and dropped it. I could hear the sobbing turn into something like a scream as I walked out the door.

You know what? Fuck it, I can't do this right now. Can I? What the fuck am I supposed to be doing here? Writing out some kind of compassion for that woman who fucking dropped the wedding ring right in front of him? What, was I running low on dramatic punctuation?

Okay, this is not what I was supposed to be doing with this entry. There's supposed to be compassion and me not judging me because I didn't know I was bipolar and I didn't know I'd fall in love and all that other shit that just honest to god still sounds like a bunch of excuses and not anything to be compassionate towards.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that this is not what he asked for. Well, it's all I've got right now. Imma gonna go lkisten to some ridiculously upbeat techno now. Thanks for listening to me whine.
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My mind is in a strange place. Nebula had shared some incredible things with me today. A particular post of hers she'd posted....

She says she sees so much of herself, what she wrote in the years with HER ex. And in sharing a little of what she wrote, she was right. And it was....shocking. A little scary. Absolutely vindicating.

These are all things I've already written about, things I knew about myself, about what happened. But seeing someone else write it - the words there - it DOES something. It makes it REAL somehow. Valid. Outside of myself and yet so like an arrow that cuts through bone and marrow.

If my heart could limp, it would be doing so.


However, you know that emotional cheating stuff? Well, yeah, that would bother me. If there was something going on sexually, without the big drama of emotion, I'd be a lot more forgiving. But if this is who he's been wanting to spend all his time with... yeah, I'd be pissed about that.

The fact that JB has an ego boost out of it (and he's already told me he does) makes me think he won't know the boundaries.

I'm more concerned with the fact that our sex life is has been nasty for a long time....Why am I worried? Because he wouldn't commit to the idea that he couldn't be with her. He was using my bisexuality against me. Trying to get me to agree to a threesome.

That's the root cause of my anger. That he seemed to have no intention of letting her go. Even as he tells me I'm the one he'd pick, hands down, no matter what.

Every word of that is what happened with me. David did not EXPRESSLY try to get me to have sex with The Other Woman - at the time it came out, at least. Before that...

When we talked about adding more people into our sex life, early on in the relationship, SHE was the one he wanted. The one he KNEW had a hopeless crush on him.

The ego boost. Then and when things came to a head years later. Later, when he kept bringing her memory into bed with us, and when it came out that he think he loved her...

No intention of letting her go, even as he told me over and over that he wanted to be with me.

Why does this hurt so much still? I mean, for fuck's sake, did I not do something incredibly similar to Pat?! I DID. I know I did. I DID THE SAME THING.

So I shouldn't be hurting as much over this, right? Shouldn't I just be like "Welp, yeah, deserved that one, Teressa"?

Except I DID NOT DO the same thing. Yes, I cheated. Yes, I had an affair.

No, I did not run back to Pat in a morass of self-hatred expecting him to make me feel better. No, I did not crawl back to Pat telling him how much I hated myself and to please fix it. No, I did not tell Pat I loved him but I wasn't going to give up this other man.

No, I did not act in manipulative ways designed to make Pat comfort me instead of allowing him to feel his pain. I did not act in ways that made him feel like he had to absolve me of responsibility lest I injure myself. I DID NOT DO THAT.

I had an affair, manic and insane, fell in love in a way that I had never known before, and rather than drag my husband of ten years through that minefield, I simply turned tail and ran. I did not make Patrick suffer through that heartbreak.

Though, as it turns out, what I put him through was another hell all the same.

Pat and I have talked about this now that David and I have split. I can't say which is worse - being treated like that and then left (like I did with Pat), or being treated like that and then staying (like I did with David.)

Several of you have asked why I stayed after that, especially after the "Default" comment (I won by "default". That's what he said, after the mess came out. I won "by default").

That's how I stayed. I thought perhaps I deserved it. Does a person get better if they do not feel the sting and cut of what they have done to others? Self-flagellation and love - how it all got mixed up!

Maybe it's just stupid pride that makes me want to draw a line of distinction. But I keep telling myself that if I do not draw those lines, I will forever be 'paying' for past mistakes by allowing others to hurt me the way I hurt others.

And I will never grow if I do that.

This came out more confessional than I thought it would. I thought I would just be raging about David. And I do. There is rage, there.

How do I separate what is legitimate anger against David and what might just be me raging against myself? Am I allowed to feel both???

Damnit. That fucking writing thing. That whole "I don't always know what I need to say until I fucking say it."

Not Broken

Nov. 23rd, 2013 08:28 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
An email I just wrote to WG, that suddenly makes things make sense. Finally, after months, something worth having written.

.....It's important - or seems so at this moment. Time. My mind isn't so good at putting things in order. It's why I write everything down. Everything. People think I'm being attentive, but in truth, I'm circumventing my own mind and its terrible habit of letting the slides get mixed up in the folder. So I write it out.

That's the not the point of this. The point is the year - the space - the time between 2010 and 2009.

I've told you before, 2009 is when I left Patrick. April 18th. Roughly 7 PM. That half-hour where I told him this - I avoid thinking about it. No, not so much *avoid*, but just....steer the thoughts away when it comes up. It hurts more than any other memory I currently have. Almost five years later, sometimes I can poke at the edges of that memory. This is progress.

Someday I'm going to be brave enough to write it out. Write it out the same way I write everything else out, shape the memory onto page. I TALKED about it in my creative writing class - or at least about the reason for leaving him. I want to be brave like that again.

That's not today, though.

In the shower today, I slipped and almost busted my head on the shower ledge. Scary. I have a thing about accidents in the shower. They scare me. Accidents in the shower claim lives. This is SERIOUS business to me. But when I'd righted myself, profusely grateful that I hadn't been shaving when I slipped, I realized that the shower I slipped in was mine.

My shower. Mine. Paid for by me. I looked at the shower curtains (replaced recently due to David complaining about my "girly" purple ones). Those are mine. Got out of the shower, toweled off with my stained towel (hair dye, man - that shit never comes out), grabbed the hair brush, and saw myself in my bathroom mirror.

WG- I am 32 years old. And this is MY life. I don't know why it hadn't occured to me before. But everything in my home is mine. I work for it, I pay for it, I care for it, I clean for it. And everything that I love and fear and become exasperated with and trip over and slip on - that's all mine, too.

It's mine....and I like that. I have things that I didn't have in 2009, when I left Patrick. Not just the shower, not just the stained towel or my cats, but.....me. I have ME.

I have this whole life that I never would have had if I hadn't left him. This completely divergent life that sprung up out of what I thought would kill me. Not even the life experiences, the people I've met, the school I've gone to or the treatment I've gained that I KNOW I wouldn't have had if I'd stayed, but....

Who I am is different. Who am I today would not have been possible without the last nearly five years away from him.

And WG? Something I didn't think would be possible happened. Something that I didn't realize until I damn nearly brained myself in the shower today.

I like who I am because of that. Not only that, but I wouldn't want to go back and change any of it.

When I left him, I was not well. I was manic, though undiagnosed. For a very long time, I thought that meant I made a mistake. That I'd somehow irreparably damaged myself and my chances at being a good and full human being.

I'm no stranger to making mistakes, nor am I a stranger to finding beautiful things out of those mistakes. But this is the first time I think I would go back and do the same thing because for the first time since April 19th, 2009 -

I don't believe I made a mistake. I believe I made a decision. I made a decision and the consequences were hard. So much harder than I thought they would be.

And the beauty of my life today is not because of the harshness of what came after.

It's because I am who I am today, and part of that is because of that decision. No diamond in the rough story to have to be gleaned from it. No great strength to have to be ripped from the horrible confusion it was.

There's just me. Just me and the girl who was staring back at me in the mirror this afternoon. The girl who was wondering if her shin would be bruised (so far, not bruised. Yay!).

There is yet grieving for me to do about that time. And that memory of actually telling him this - one of these days I will have to face it. But for today, even realizing this, it is astounding.

When I look back at the stupid or reckless things I've done in my life, I am often grateful for the lessons that came of those. For the strength and grace in learning how to fix those things, or for learning how to live with the resulting scars. There is great beauty in that.

It is me. It is me and it is a me that would not have been possible otherwise.

I don't know why this surprises me so much. I also don't know why it came out right after I nearly concussed myself. That's actually pretty funny. But it's been kicking in my head all day and I wanted to share this. I'll put it onto Livejournal eventually, but I somehow thought that you might understand this.

Maybe I'm always going to be crazy. Maybe I'm always going to be coming to things only after I bruise myself. Maybe that's true physically as well as metaphorically. But, after five years of thinking maybe I'd done something that would irreparably damage me....

WG, I'm not broken. I forget that. But if I was really broken, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be able to know that I didn't make a mistake.

I'm not broken. And even if some memories inside of me are....I'm not.
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Thank you all so much for your replies to the last entry. Hearing your responses gives me a better idea of what to say if she ever asks ME about her husband. I'm really glad I'm not the only one who would tell a beautiful lie.

Molly the Kitty is getting braver and wanders about the house with aplomb. She hangs out in the main areas now and sleeps on the bed.

I always talk about my divorce tag being full of the crazy. But this morning, looking through those entries, I'm seeing less crazy and just more.....confusion. Not to say there wasn't crazy (and fucktons of it), but the pain is easier to see through. I'm not as bowled over by the turn of events anymore.

There are still specific moments that I try very hard not to think about. But overall, it is less of a tangled ball of holyfuckthathurt and more of....just what happened. What I was feeling.

I think that's a good thing.
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If someone had told me, upon opening this journal in 2004, that 9 years later I would have a very padded, very well filled out tag called "A ten year ending - the divorce", I would have laughed.

But sometimes I go through it. I don't really know why - it's not as if I wasn't there during all of it. It's not someone else's story I'm reading.

I wasn't all there at the time. We know this. But it was also real - the moments, the relationships, the words I put down - that was so real.

I feel worlds away from the horror that was my fear during that time. I always said it takes about half the time of the relationship to really move past it. That would be 5 years, as Pat's and I's relationship spanned 10.

It has been four years.

Almost there.
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I just realized that two days from now will mark 4 years, to the day, since I left Patrick.

It feels as if it's been decades. So much strange - beautiful and awful - lived in that time.

Four years.
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Thursdays are when I spend time with Patrick. We get together, he inevitably pays for dinner (I am always so broke) and watch movies or tv together. Sometimes we play a video game. In the winter, when I am depressed, we usually just do dinner. It's all the time I can stand to be out of the house before the paranoia overwhelms me. He is patient and understands this. In the summer, though, we hang out for hours and I enjoy his company. His presence, fifteen years later after meeting him, is still comforting.

And I miss him during the week. We text nearly every day, and during the periods when I cannot sleep at night, we chat over Google Talk. But I still look forward to our Thursdays together. He is often the only social outlet I am comfortable with.

And sometimes, as I'm driving away from his house (our house...the house that I used to live in), I am sad. I am not always sure why. Sometimes I miss him. Sometimes I miss the life we had together. Sometimes I'm not able to pinpoint anything - only that our continued deep and regular friendship even after the divorce fulfills something in me that I think I would die without.

I am grateful for it. He turned 33 years old last week and I realized it has been him and I since he was 17. That is a long, long time.

And some days, I want to cry for it, and I am not always sure why. The obvious is easy - sadness over the divorce, over what happened, over what could have been. But sometimes there is something deeper and it hurts.

I don't know. I think I'm still struggling with the divorce, three years after. The reconciliation of who I was before versus who I am now. These are important issues, but sometimes I feel as if my journal has been nothing but scrawls of insanity and instability ever since. I want to find out that is not true. I fear it is.

I have a headache. I'm going to try to go to bed.
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Which explains my silence. Not so much that I have been busy studying, but that my energy for writing much of anything has given out. The fact that I no longer get internet in my own home has something to do with it, too.

A monumental thing: After 17 years, I wrote my kid brother a letter on FB. He received it well and was excited to finally be speaking to me. It came of a momentary whim, but it felt right. I left home when he was 3 years old and due to the horrors of my parents, never felt comfortable trying to have a relationship with him. Last week, out of nowhere, I realized that it's time to at least try. He is 17 now, that helps.

We will see what happens with that. From what Cassie tells me, my mother has not tried to step in and dissuade him from talking to me.

I hope that trend continues.

Things between Patrick and I have loosened and I know I made the right decision. A side effect that seemed odd until I thought about it: It also loosened the wall that holds the memories of 2009. That year, that summer, all of it, the decision to leave Pat, the way I left, what resulted - all of it - is tumbling out. And it's beginning to make sense. The pieces are starting to fit together into this cohesive picture, into a full memory, into rhyme and reason.

Out of nowhere it seems, but when I think about it, it makes perfect sense that the admittance of the affair to Pat would be what allowed the fog of confusion to lift. I can see the skyline clearly now, or at least clearer than I ever have before.

There is still sorting to be done - years of it - but it feels as the fear is finally beginning to ebb away. That objectivity that time brings that I want so badly? Turns out it's not just time that does that, and with this, I feel another piece of the puzzle has been set in place.

Thanks to this, I have also been sleeping better. Finally.

Cassie is doing so well and I am so proud of her. She has her apartment, is working two jobs, staying clean, going to meetings, going to therapy - she's really working her recovery. I cannot describe in words how that lifts my soul, how healing that is for me. She is now even able to have her kids for entire weekends, unsupervised, at home.

On a more serious (and far more confusing) point, they have found lumps in my mother's breast. I am worried.

Cassie had asked me if I would be willing to speak with my mother if it was cancer, perhaps with her there as a mediator. I'd said if she was there, probably - alone, more than likely not. But that night, as I was falling asleep, I realized I can't ask Cassie to mediate between my mother and I. It would not be fair. It's not her job, nor is the broken relationship hers to have to repair. I don't want to put her in that position.

It is over two years worth of a habit that I not speak with my mother, under any circumstances, for any reason, at all.

I wonder what would be worth breaking that habit and I wonder about what would happen if that decision, in the possibility of her dying suddenly, were made for me.

I suppose we will see.

As always, we will see.

I love you all and thank you so much for listening.
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You know how some entries practically write themselves?

This is not one of those entries.

I skipped school today, unable to focus on anything but the conversation that loomed ahead. And while the conversation between Pat and I went well - so well, as a matter of fact, that I'm totally thrown for a loop and a little wierded out - suddenly putting it down here seems fraught with danger. As if I might lose friends. Lose respect. Lose love.

But I'm trying to remember that I'm not the first person to have done this and I will not be the last. And life will go on - I have over two years proof of this, as does Patrick. After all that, what could be so bad? And yet, I'm afraid. But I was afraid this morning and I still did the right thing and so I can do it here.

Why do I feel compelled to tell all of you the truth? But I do. I think the fact that so many of you have been with me here for years; and those of you who are now joining me for the next several years - all of you are part of this hurting and healing that has been my life - that deserves to be honored. I find it so odd and yet wildly comforting at the same time that I consider this is a necessary step for our friendships.

(I'm less nervous, oddly enough, about putting it publicly, as 99.99% of my posts are. The internet is so big. You guys are what counts.)

After all that? The opening statement?

I was having an affair.

I began crying when those words came out to Patrick. I could not look him in the face. I could barely breathe. I was having an affair.

He did not get angry. He only asked "Why?"

And the whole story began to spill out. I told him that the door had been opened with the advent of us deciding to add multiple partners to our sex life, I told him that from that came an emotional connection that I did not expect. That somewhere with that emotional connection came panic, terror, horror.

I was so scared.

Scared that if I had told Patrick, he would have told me no, told me to stop. I was scared that by developing this emotional connection with someone other than my husband, I had no right to be married. Scared of myself, thinking in panic that I was over this years ago. I was scared that I could hurt Patrick so horribly that the only way I could protect him was to leave him.

And so I left. It was not that I left him for someone else, I tried to explain, but that I did not see any other way out of what I had done.

I couldn't let him go on thinking that our relationship was anything, anything, anything like what I had to escape with from my family. And that is when I broke down sobbing, because I was so scared that nothing I could say could convince him of that. That he would forever still doubt himself - his hate, I wept, I could take - just please, please, please do not blame yourself.

I have spent the last two and a half years terrified of these facts. I told Patrick that I was so sorry that I did not tell him sooner, but that I'd been hiding from my own confusion, and that when the confusion lifted, I could not face it.

"Confusion is easier," I said, "because you can't see the truth. But I'm not as confused anymore and I can't hide from it anymore."

I had an affair. And I cannot hide from it, nor can I hide it from anyone else anymore, either.

I don't want to use the word "affair". I want to say "infidelity" or "cheating" or something else, the poet in me wants to make it pretty. But it's not pretty and I don't have the right to dress it up into something beautiful.

The discussion was long and Patrick, through it all, remained calm. He said that he had always suspected but never had evidence, and he thanked me for finally telling him the truth. He also said that he was grateful I waited this long to tell him, because it is now, he says, that he can hear it with compassion.

He says that he is not angry, or even really shocked, and he says that now he can put to rest the fear that he did something wrong.

That made me cry, too, because it meant I had done the right thing in telling him. We made plans to get together next week and watch some Twin Peaks. He reassured me that after all this time, after everything between us, that he does not want to end the friendship, and in some strange way, he said, feels as if this is the piece that will allow us to truly put the past behind us and continue on as friends. We discussed some of the more concrete pieces of the last two years for us, how for both of us, as difficult as it has been, there has been good that has come out of it.

It was immensely relieving to hear him echo that statement about his own life as well, for it means that I had not destroyed his ability to grow.

There is more, but I am still processing. I'd come home and fallen into bed into a near comatose state for two hours after we talked, exhausted from the crying and the emotional effort. I am still exhausted. There were several new revelations that came while were discussing, pieces of my life that had never made sense before but suddenly clicked right in the middle of talking.

But for now, I have said what I think I have the energy to say. Perhaps tonight, tonight I will be able to truly sleep.

I have been reading your comments and thinking of them, discussing them with other people in my life. I know I don't respond near enough to what each of you say, but it is received with immense gratitude and great attention. I talk about all of you by name to my loved ones. Each of you is a piece of my heart and my life.

I cannot make any of this up to him or even myself. But I can start by being accountable, by taking the shame and fear and start rebuilding the trust.

I love you all and thank you so, so, so much for listening.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I feel….better. Or at least calmer. A good meal and a full night’s worth of sleep goes a long way. (Sometimes I forget to check my HALT’s – am I: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired)

I’d tried to talk some of it with David over dinner and only wound up making it worse. It came out (as it always does when I’m in that state) as one big, tangled ball of crazy and outside of my frustration, nothing was very clear.

To compound things, it turns out the divorce was on Pat’s mind as well yesterday as he shared some of his feelings about it on text last night. He had said something so succinctly that I felt crushed beneath its weight.

“My thinking is that without other explanation, the only thing that makes sense for you leaving is that you panicked and ran. So it sort of feels like life with me was so bad that you could only escape the same way you escaped your family.”

He did not say it to hurt my feelings. He said it because that is honestly how he feels, and when I take even a cursory glance, that is exactly how it looks. He just happened to inadvertently (and absolutely perfectly) phrase it in a way that reached me.

Because I have never told him differently and this is where I have failed. The conclusions he has drawn in my silence are wreaking such damage and I am responsible for it.
I have told him that I was not in love with him, or that I had outgrown the relationship, but looking back, I can see that both of those things – while true – were not what was really going on. In looking at the way things are in the present, I can also see where these explanations, these conclusions, are not enough for Patrick to heal. And as his friend, I owe him something more honest than mere platitudes.

I owe him the truth.

There are exactly five of you who know the truth of what was going on during that time. I can say now, two years later, that the fear of disclosing it is not the online ramifications, or even the fear of what Patrick might say, but the pain of having it spelled out - word for word, black and white, forever immortalized - here in front of me. Once it is written, I cannot unwrite it. I cannot delete it. (Well, I could, but my respect for the written word is such that I could not, morally, delete the post.) It will be here and every time I breeze through these entries, I will see it.

It is a terrifying prospect for me. And excluding my flair for the theatrics (can we say “build-up”?) I am realizing that it is time to consider the truth.

I don’t know if the truth is going to set me free, set Patrick free, destroy our relationship, or else be nothing but a ripple in the pond that has been the last 15 years between us. I don’t know if it will make things better or worse, or even if the motivations behind it are merely an attempt to make things quieter in my head.

I just know that it is time. It is time and I have an obligation to let him know the truth, to dispel the idea that our relationship was, in any way, similar to what I had to run away from with my family. Knowing this doesn’t help the fear – the fear that I may be doing more damage; the fear that I am actually being selfish, cruel, anything but noble, the fear that I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. But it does calm it some, and if I am wise, I will listen to that feeling.

And by committing myself to this in print, I have committed myself to it in real life. That’s part of why I am writing this. I have always considered writing a way to make myself accountable and this is no different.

I will be seeing him tomorrow. And consequently, I will probably spend the next week (and possibly years) writing about what comes of that conversation.

As it is written, so shall it be.

I love you all and thank you so much for listening.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I want a grown up.

Well, and a steak. No, seriously, I'm hungry and steak, with a nice baked potato, loaded down with sour cream and cheese, sounds delicious.

The weather has been driving me absolutely mad - and that's not as metaphorical (is that a word?) as I'd like it to be. I have been up and down and left and right (following the temperatures and the freakishly sunny then black skies) and it's getting to where David is asking me if I'm taking my meds.

But to reiterate - I want a grown up. I have all these....feelings about my life right now and I don't have anyone to talk it out with. The difference is: I don't have anyone who isn't A) my boss or B) a romantic entanglement, past or present, in which to discuss these thoughts going through my head. And I don't want a professional's opinion, I want someone who knows me, I want that comfort that we get from speaking to someone who is older and cares....

Problem: The only grown-up I ever had was Pamela (my ex mother in law, for the more recent folks). And some of what's going through my mind - I can't share that with her.

I think part of what's going on the last few months is that the last two years are finally getting unstuck in my head. Leaving Patrick. The mess that followed. What being divorced actually means, and what it has actually entailed. I want to talk to someone about that. Someone to talk about the frustration about being frustrated.

(Isn't it odd, the way that humans can get tired of themselves and their own emotions? Why not just let them be? Spend themselves until something else comes along? But that's not how it works...)

And I'm thirty fucking years old. I shouldn't be feeling this way. I shouldn't need a grown up because I am the grown up.

And then I roll that over in my mind because when it comes to feeling, there is no "should" or "shouldn't", it is merely what we DO with those things that enter that realm. Right?

And if I say it - if I say exactly what I think has been causing all of this for the last few months, then I'm not as good of a person as I thought I was.

But if this is what not saying it is causing, then what the fuck have I got to lose by saying it? But what if I don't feel better? What if I just feel worse? What if other people agree with me?

I've always prided myself on saying the scary things, so I'm going to say it, even knowing that it's not so much bravery at this point as it is desperation.

I really want things to start smoothing out.

So here it is.

I think, sometimes, that I made a mistake in leaving Patrick. A big mistake. The biggest mistake I have ever made in my life.

Why else would life have gotten this hard, physically, mentally, emotionally?

If you do the right thing, right things happen. Well, I've been living a lot of wrong the last few years, at least in my head. Sometimes I can't tell if I'm unhappy or just frustrated or if it's normal or not and when I look back at what was different before -

it wasn't because we were so in love. But the relationship did work, in it's own way, and would have for life - if it hadn't been for me walking out on April 18th, 2009.

What did I do?

And why am I only now being willing to consider that question?

Okay. I'm going to go cry now. Hopefully I'll feel better soon.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
But I don't think it will for some time.

Whose whining, you ask? My own. My own frustrated, bull-headed, continual hands-hitting-the-wall-as-hard-as-they-can-just-to-make-some-noise whining. This spinning my wheels for two years whining. This...this....

I really ought to not read my own Livejournal's archives. It makes me remember places that may not have been real, or places that were so much more real than today.

But it wasn't, and they weren't, because where I am today is truly the only thing that's real.

(I swear I'm not going crazy.)

To be literal: Time is time and there just isn't enough of it behind me. When I was younger and the hard years came, I fought it out and despaired at feeling as if it would never make sense. Now that I am older, I fight less and know more that it - will. eventually. make. sense. - it just takes time.

I want it now. I want that understanding, that perspective, that easy knowing that comes with looking back and seeing things that you couldn't then. I want that solidity that comes with living long enough to accept what happened and what happened after what happened happened (and yes, that sentence makes perfect sense if you read it correctly.)

My abused childhood makes sense. My using years make sense. My recovery from those years make sense. Why do they make sense? Because enough time has passed for me to look back and really see what happened, to integrate events and emotions into a whole picture. I've done enough work on healing from those horrors to know that healing does eventually come.

I don't have that yet for 2009, 2010, for now. And it drives me absolutely crazy because I know it will come, I just have to wait.

I'd mused to David the other day that I don't think my feet touched the ground the entire summer of 2009. This is true, from what I can remember. And the year after that. It's only been in the last six months or so that ANY of what happened has clicked in any way at all.

I used to write so....freely. There was this openness, this rawness, this sense of being in the middle of a miracle. That doesn't exist anymore. But why? Why doesn't it exist anymore? What is missing?

Time. Time is what is missing. I didn't look back at my using days and feel anything but horror until I had enough time to be able to look back and be grateful. Time! The time must pass - and yet -

it is also the enemy here! Or at least, some days, that's what it feels like. What's changed between now and the journal entries from years ago when I had power, when I had inspiration? Time! If more time passes, will I lose more?

The most astounding part of all this is that I have this sinking feeling that I am being utterly ridiculous about it all. Time takes time, things happen on their own, I am growing up, etc, etc, etc. I know all of this. But I'm still bouncing around it, unable to set down about it, unable to quell the building hysteria.

And I know, I just know that in five years, I will look at this and wonder what in the hell I was so excited about. That is what makes this so goddamn maddening. I've done this enough times to know that it will ease, it'll pass, it'll turn into something just as good and just as livable. (That's part of the problem, that I know this! It makes the impatience even more urgent.)

How is it I can be both terrified of time passing and yet want nothing more in the world?


*sidenote: My silence hasn't all been about this. The person we steal our internet from moved out. Now we have to wait for some other technologically un-savvy fool to move in close to us....fun.

*sidenote #2: I am sick of my smiley picture. Time to hunt down another picture of myself.

sidenote #3: stupid waffling between pics....maybe it'll be easier once I go have a smoke....Ok, so I'm still smiling. But it fits the mood. Damn good capture, Michael.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
The conversation with Patrick still rolls about in my head and while nothing bad has come of it, I'm fairly certain that part of the spaciness of the last few days has been due to that. It winds in slowly at first, not overwhelming. And it doesn't get overwhelming, it just stays on the perimeter - just enough to remind me it's there.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. So despite not having it all figured out - and the resulting spaciness - I'm going to write out some of it here.

I finally shared one of my biggest fears concerning the split, and that was the fear that I ended the relationship in a manic binge. (I would say manic panic because that fits, but that sounds funny. It is also the brand-name of a hair dye. Not quite the intended association I want for the words.)

One does not walk out on a ten year relationship when they are in a well state of mind. All of the signs pointing to a major mania were there. Overspending. Insomnia. Over socializing. Hypersexuality. The time and actions leading up to me walking out all point to mania. All accounted for in the biggest sorts of ways that they had been in years. I'd been avoiding saying that - especially to him - because I've been scared that if I admit it, then everyone will think that I made a mistake and I will be expected to somehow "fix" it. That the reasons I can, discernibly, point to weren't real and that I was wrong somehow.

I've been holding onto that fear for almost two years now, refusing to let it slide past my lips. It's been half-formed but never directly said. It felt good to finally spit it out.

But what does that mean? Does it mean I shouldn't have left? Does that mean I was sick, way way sicker than I'd ever imagined? Does it mean that I'm a bad person? Does it mean that my other reasons - reasons that I feel are valid - really weren't? What will people think about my life now if I'm having all of these questions? Isn't this self-doubt a sign of something bad? What does it say about my life today?

I have no desire to repair the romantic relationship with Pat - even if I was "wrong" and that means quite a bit in pointing towards the fact that what I did was the right move, even if I did it the wrong way. And we are still very good friends, so that means that something was okay about the break-up.

And all of this wondering about whether or not I was (am) right or wrong - does that even play a part? Does one need to be right or wrong in this situation? I get the feeling that you don't, but I'm not sure. I worry about sharing all of this with David, worried that he will think this questioning means that I don't love him, or that I don't want to be with him.

I worry quite a bit about all of this sometimes.

Patrick's side of the conversation did help. He'd shared that he doesn't really resent me for the actions leading up to it, nor even the way I left.

"The mania is just how you operate. I knew that, and I knew you'd be over it eventually. You've always been that way, I can't hold it against you. And the way you left....that is also how you operate. You've always been a 'cut and run' person when confronted with stress that leads you feeling trapped. This is just something really big that you cut and run from. But I know that's how you work."

I marvel - and tell him so - that he can be so understanding when I was so clearly the heartless bitch in all of this. He says that while other people will be closer to us in our lives, we will always be each other's oldest friend. And that's going to mean that we know each other very well, he says. With that knowing comes understanding and that, he said, makes it easier.

It made sense. It was also relieving to hear, though very confusing. I don't quite know how someone resolves "that's the way you work" with "needing to take responsibility" (i.e - doesn't one cancel the other out?) but he has managed to do it.

How do those two work together?

Having all of these very basic questions sometimes makes me feel a little (or a lot) ridiculous, but never having been in this situation before, they are there and they are prominent. I'm adult enough to realize that my actions have changed lives permanently - not always for the better, nor always for the worse - and yet I'm still childish enough to ask why things feel the way they do. The dissonance gets to me sometimes.

And yet, there they are, and here I am, writing them out because it is how I understand the questions and eventually get them answered.

I love you all and thank you so much for listening.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
The brightness of my computer screen always surprises me in the mornings.

Class was not so bad, outside of having to drag myself into paying attention. I doubt I'll be bored in either of my classes here in a few weeks - especially the math class. But the study hall class connected to the math class looks interesting, it has a very "touchy-feely" approach (focusing on attitude and mental approaches to math), which is right up my alley.

The math class itself will prove to be work. I have trouble with basic fractions, fer crying out loud. But the teacher seems patient, kind, and funny - this will help.

We get to read May Sarton in my poetry class. This makes me giddy with joy - she is one of my favorite authors and to see her name on the reading list reassures me that she is not an obscure writer. The first few weeks of my poetry class focus on "how to read poetry" which will bore the hell out of me. Thankfully, we have to journal for this class - overall, the homework is reaction based. Very touchy-feely as well, which will be a boon for me.

Last night Patrick shared some of his break-up music with me. Poets of the Fall, which happens to be one of both of our favorite artists. In the car, I tried not to be overwhelmed with the guilt, the sadness that I have wreaked, but this morning, it is harder to avoid it. The simple fact is that I hurt him - deeply - and it will take years for him to completely move on. I try to reassure myself that it is the same way for me - I was past the grief of him relatively quickly. Moving on from the life we had together is a much longer process, one that I am still in.

It has been nearly two years since I left him - I wish the process were easier. And it has gotten easier, but is still there. I suppose after 10 years this is normal. I always say it takes about half the time of the relationship's span to be completely over it, so I have roughly three more years to go. It seems like a life-time, even as the last two years have passed quickly.

That's another thing that gets to me - how quickly two years will have come and gone. That seems significant to me concerning this. How or why, I'm not entirely sure. But it is. It had been 10 years - a full decade - of being known as "Teressa and Pat", two years does not erase that. But it does distance it in the strangest manner.

We still talk and hang out weekly. I often wonder what it will be like when the day comes that we do not need each other as much. For him, for me, for us. As it stands, we've been a part of each other's lives for nearly 15 of my 30 years lived in full - half my life. That alone stands as a monument to be respected - and I do respect it. We are still finding ourselves and the other is an important piece of that journey. I am both comforted and slightly saddened by that fact. I do not know if that is normal or not. Healthy or not. But it is what it is.

But I wonder when it will start to drift, as it inevitably will. What it that be like? Something I cannot yet know, having spent so much of our lives together.

But I do wonder. Lately, I wonder quite a bit.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I wonder what would happen if I just told myself, in the morning during those early quiet hours, that I was going to have a good day...? Over and over again? Would it help?

I'm going to try that today.

The Huffington Post had an interesting editorial about divorce yesterday, written by a 26 year old divorcee. He talked about how, in the beginning, he felt compelled to tell everyone he was divorced. Not so much because it signified his own availability, he said, but because he was having a hard time getting used to the label himself. As time went on, he realized that it was unnecessary to tell people he was divorced because, overall, people didn't really care. Even though most of the divorcee's he met were older, even the younger folks didn't haven't an opinion on his marital status.

And it made me think. I still find myself telling people early on in conversations that I am recently divorced. Being young and divorced, while not terribly uncommon, does feel odd. At an age where most of the people I meet have either never been married or else are married, it feels an anomaly to be divorced. But I've found my experience matches with that young man's - that people really don't mind one way or the other. I left a comment thanking him for writing the article.

I never had the thought that once you get married, that's it, always and forever and ever, amen. Patrick and I had both intellectually discussed the idea of divorce many times over the years, agreeing that should we find ourselves growing too far apart to mend the relationship, we'd split amicably. And we did so, quite amicably.

It's just not something I thought I'd do so young.

Ah well. It's not a depressing thought (and I'm going to have a good day anyways), but it is an interesting thought.

I love you all, and thank you for listening.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Eating all that candy (cuz let's face it, that's a huge part of the draw in handing out candy - snacking between trick or treaters) may not have been such a great idea. Body, please stop reminding me that we are not 16 anymore....

Michael, I have to get caught up on your voice posts. But I promise I'll get to them soon! It'll be nice to hear your voice.

For the angsty (always plenty of that), I realized it's a good thing that my first thought upon viewing my wedding pictures is always "Oh my god, I was so fat." It staves off the sadness for a few moments. I don't look at them often - this is the second time in the entire year and a half I've looked at them. (Odd. Spellcheck wants to put an apostrophe in the word "staves." I do not want an apostrophe there. What's the correct spelling of that?)

It's the picture of The Kiss that gets me the most. Understandable. What I thought was the pinnacle of love and devotion turned out to be just a really well-taken picture. And it was my inability to see it that brought the whole marriage down.

I remember talking so much on Livejournal about how natural getting married felt, but Pamela remembers it differently. She says she remembers me constantly asking how a person knows - really really knows - when they're ready to get married.

Now, she muses, she wonders if I was really asking for permission not to get married. "I was your grown-up", she says. "I should have seen that." And I tell her that it was not her responsibility to see it, if that's really what it was. I was an adult, the decision was mine. She has no fault in this.

I wish I could pass it off as a folly of youth, but I was twenty-six when I tied the knot. That is hardly the age of fool-hardy infatuation. David pointed out that Patrick and I were young when we made the decision to stay together forever, however, (around 22) and perhaps that was it. Maybe. It makes some kind of sense, looking at it that way.

I dislike the phrase "You just weren't ready to get married", as if marriage were a sign of adulthood and "not being ready" for it simply means you aren't adult enough. But as much as I dislike that phrase, it makes me wonder if part of the problem was that I simply wasn't grown up enough about it. And it makes me wonder if I will ever be grown-up enough for it, and if I don't remarry, that it will mean I'm not a grown-up. And that bothers me. That bothers me a lot.

The whole thing sincerely dampens my enthusiasm for ever remarrying. I do get excited when thinking about a dress I'd wear, but that's more due to the fact that I love any excuse to get dolled up. And I'm smart enough to know that saying never only sets you up for repeat business concerning whatever it is you are talking about - but still.....

I think the worry that the first marriage was a mistake - and led to heartache for so many people - would forever follow me into any other marriages. That I'd always wonder if I would find out, a short time later, that I'd made a huge mistake and no easy extraction was in sight.

(Question: In the above paragraph, I'm talking about a future event in the past tense. Problematic, I know. But does the last phrase read correctly as stands, or should it be "no easy extraction were in sight"?)

(Also, in academic writing, the punctuation for a parentheses goes outside of the last paraphrases. Is that how it goes in regular writing? Damn you, Advanced Composition!)

It's a big thing to make a mistake about. Marriage isn't something I believe should be taken lightly, which is pretty damn sorry, really, considering my own history with the subject. A young girl in my Digital Narratives class (she is 20) was casually talking about getting married, and my immediate response was a flurry of motherly overreaction, admonishing her that she was too young to get married. While I later laughed at my reaction, it also saddened me.

I've become that guy when it comes to marriage. I've become that guy when it comes to commitment. It took forever for me to finally admit that David's and I's relationship was an exclusive commitment and as the time passes, I know the "When are you getting married?" noises are going to start coming from his family. Possibly even him, eventually.

And I can't decide if any reluctance to do so would be a result of well thought out logic or else fear.

I know, I know, I can't try to live all of the big decisions years before they come, and I know I can't tell what Life will bring and that time takes time and all that jazz.

But it is still something I think about.

Well, after thinking about how a strapless dress might not have been the best choice for as heavy as I was, at least.

(EDIT: Having received answers for my English questions - THANK YOU SEIGEOFANGELS!!!! - I have now gone back and corrected said mistakes. AWESOME LEARNING IS AWESOME!)


Oct. 3rd, 2010 06:32 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Why did it have to happen that way?

I'm asking this not with angst, or bitterness, but an honest-to-God curiosity about it. Why did the two most traumatic events of my entire adult life happen at once? Together? At the exact same time?

Cassie began dying, and I had left Patrick. Either one of those would have been hard. But they both happened at the same time. I was dealing with the loss of a ten year relationship as well as the last of my family doing everything she could to kill herself.

I was going through old entries and it struck me just how insane that time was, in my head, in everyone else's heads......And it all happened at once.

quirkytizzy: (Default)
"I never meant to hurt you but
knew I someday would
It's like I built a cabin with
matches between the wood
I know the aftermath is harder than it seems....
" -OAR "Fallout"

I know I'm stronger than what I think I am sometimes. I know I'm not as selfish as I think I am sometimes. I know my carelessness comes from truly not knowing how to be careful, and I know that the issues that cause the problems are long and valid and not without consideration when others think of me.

And I know I did the right thing even if I did it the wrong way, and I know that he is strong and I am strong and that does not change no matter the history.

But it does remind me, so very clearly, of my own nature, and of how it seems all collisions with me wind up in flames. Not because of them - but because of me. It reminds me of the fact that I always seem to find a way to start a fire, and I carry no extinguishers.

I'm so tired today.


quirkytizzy: (Default)

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