Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I need more rocks.

I have had the clarity.

I know what's coming. I have been feeling okay, but I think I was numb.

It's hitting me now.

And everybody thinks I'm so kickass and I can do this by myself. And I know I can. And I know I should. And... Well... I know I will.

But sometimes boys are fucking stupid. (except for the two reading this, of course!)

And I don't think its completely out of line for me to wish I had a fucking handrail.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grief is a Domino.

Yesterday was a tough day. I knew it would be. But I didn't know just how bad it would be.

I made plans to do something good, something hard, first thing in the morning. And I did it. Ten miles in the rain. And it was good. And it was hard. And there were moments when I found myself laughing. And others when I found myself sobbing.

There I was, thinking I was grieving one thing, and then it turned out I was grieving a whole lot more. It's almost like a domino effect. I start crying about one thing, then realize I've got something else to cry about, which, of course, leads to something entirely different to cry about.

I didn't make as big a deal about yesterday as I have in years past. I kind of wanted to go it alone. I kind of wanted to just... Be.

But the night before, I was overcome with certainty: I would hear from Eric. Because he knew what the day would be and he would care enough to contact me. I was also just as certain that I wouldn't hear from the husband.

While I was running, I found myself really reflecting upon what the therapist said last week. And the assignment we have to complete before our next session. And I realized that what he's doing is helping us see compatibility. Because that's what premarital counseling is about, right? Making a decision about whether or not you SHOULD get married. Whether or not it would last.

And it hit me that I know what those lists will show. That other than our son, we really don't have all that much in common. And while differences can really add to a relationship, they can only do that if both parties are willing to learn from the other.

And that's not really true in our case.

On Thursday, the husband and I had made tentative plans to meet for coffee in the morning before I went to work. And it didn't work out. He gave me all the reasons why it wasn't his fault, and said that he was really bummed about it, but I realized that there was one thing he could have done to ensure he was able to follow through with me, and he didn't do that one thing. It didn't even occur to him.

Because his family of origin is more important than the one he chose to create with me.

I remember how up until about 8 years ago, the husband always kissed the back of my hand when he was saying goodbye to me. He's the only one who ever made that gesture. And I loved it. And I missed it. And, yes, I mentioned it a few times in the last several years, and sometimes he would pull that out, but rarely. It no longer occurred to him.

And as I ran, I remembered how on Thursday night, when Eric picked me up for dinner, he got out of the car to greet me and open my door. The husband used to do that all the time. And he hasn't in years.

Sure, a lot of that is woo-ing. And some romantic gestures get swept away when real life steps in. But I'm willing to bet money that Eric still held doors for his wife even 20 years into their relationship. He's that kind of a man.

And now you're thinking, "What the fuck? She went to dinner with Eric?"

It was as friends. His new girlfriend doesn't eat sushi. I do. We went for sushi. As friends. And as friends, he opened up to me and I got pissed off at him. And that was good, right? Haha.

But then Saturday came. And he did contact me. And that was kind. And so many friends contacted me.

But what I really needed was a hug. A good one. One that would allow me to just let go. I needed to cry.

And nobody was around to do that for me.

Including the husband. Who is a mile away.

I called him to figure out the transition. Sure, he asked how my run went. But he didn't ask me how I was feeling. Or if I needed anything. So, we made our arrangements and I went to sob it out in the shower.

And then he changed the transition plan on me.

And when they arrived, he walked into my apartment without touching me. He played with the kidlet for quite awhile before leaving. Only then did he hug me, and quickly invited the kidlet in for a "family hug".

Yes, family is so important to me. Important enough for me to try to get past the pain of everything that came before and try to put our family back together.

But I am not a woman who can live the rest of her life with a man who simply doesn't believe it's important to show his wife that she matters to him.

And I know that in a long-term relationship, there's an ebb and flow to affection. I do understand that.

But I'm basically asking him to want to spend time with me.

And no matter what I do or say or think, I can't get him to change how he feels about what "family" means.

Shit, I remember when I scored us free tickets to a concert ten years ago. And we were so excited about going on a date. Dinner, drinks, the concert. It would be amazing. Between the time we'd planned the date and the concert, we got a puppy.

And as the concert got closer, he was no longer willing to go to dinner. Just the concert. He didn't want to leave the puppy for that long.

I should have known then that dating his wife wasn't going to be important forever.

And I know I'm not supposed to compare, but it's impossible, so here goes:

Eric was still dating his wife at the end. And I'm willing to bet that when they went out with their friends a month after she left him that he was still opening doors for her. In fact, I know that he was planning a weekend getaway for a week or so after she dropped her bombshell. He fucked up in a lot of ways in that relationship, but dating his wife was not one of them.

And I know plenty of men who have been married for years who make it a point to spend time with their wives. So, I don't think I'm being unreasonable when I'm insisting upon this.

And, yes, part of what I'm feeling now is that I know Eric is taking his girlfriend on a trip. A trip he'd asked me to go on. A trip that we won't take.

And I can't even comfort myself with the knowledge that I'll still take it. Because if I get back together with my husband, I won't take that trip. Sure, I'll take it with my son at some point. Or maybe with friends.

But I'll never get to stand in that city with a man who loves me.

And I don't know if I can commit to that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The kidlet loves the scene in Ramona where she yells "Guts" because it's the worst word she can think of to say.

When referring to me, most people refer to "guts" as "balls". In some circles, they might call it "sass", "spunk", "chutzpah".

But your guts is where you sense stuff.

And while I'm very much on the "five steps forward and three steps back" path, one thing I'd thought I'd gotten better about was listening to my instincts. Following my gut.

Did I mention I bought myself a ring? It's an Endorphin Warrior ring. There's a word stamped on it. FEARLESS. But it's customized. So, the letters aren't totally straight. And when I chose it, I didn't read it as FEARLESS, meaning without fear. I read it as... FEAR LESS. And to me, that means being afraid, but not allowing that fear to rule me.

It seemed fitting to me, especially as I embarked on this "trying to reconcile with my husband" journey. Because I'm actually terrified. He says he's afraid that we'll get back together and in a year, I'll decide it's not what I want and I'll leave. I'm afraid that he'll do the work to get us back together, but that once I'm back, he'll stop putting in that effort. Which, of course, WOULD cause me to leave. And I can't do that to my child. I won't. So, yeah. I'm scared. But that fear won't stop me from giving this all I've got.

And last week... With the disconnectedness... I'd come straight home one night when I was feeling restless. Because I knew that I could find some trouble. But I chose not to. And I was okay.

I've been following my instincts at work. And, holy wow, has it been effective! The teacher with whom I share students says that one class is the worst she's ever had. And while they are challenging, sure, I've followed my gut and am reaching these kids. Today, one of the tougher boys said, "Yes!" all excited when I told him we would be practicing integer subtraction. Who does that? This kid. Because I reached him. And maybe I'm unconventional in some of my methods, but they're trusting me and they're learning with me. It works in our room.

And then this weekend... My instincts screamed at me to cancel my plans. When he got lost on his way to my house, something told me to call it off. But I didn't. And it ended very, very badly. I didn't follow my instincts, and I found myself in a horrible position, angry at myself for allowing myself to be there, disgusted, but ironwilled in my resolve to ensure I never speak to him again. Thankful that he lives many, many miles away.

And while I was initially confused when Eric followed his instincts and emailed me over the weekend, I became very grateful for that later. Because if he hadn't, I wouldn't have turned to him that night. And just being able to finally talk to him made me feel safe enough to sleep that night. And I was finally left with a sense of peace about him. No longer angry. No longer torn up over it. Just grateful, grateful, grateful.

Four months ago, as I was scrolling through my cell phone, I came across a number I hadn't used in five years. I glanced at the calendar and realized it was Rae's birthday. I'd skipped the last four, but something told me to send a text. So, I did. She had been my closest friend for 7 years, and it had a beautiful friendship. She was there to help out when my mom died, she was there the day my son was born. But as seasons change, so did our friendship. And about five years ago, Rae and I were done. There were a couple of emails breaking up, and we only saw each other once after that. But that day, something told me that while I was wishing her a happy birthday in my heart, I should actually tell her this time. And two weeks later, she responded, saying we should get together for lunch sometime. A few weeks after that, we did.

Not long after that, the kidlet asked me if I would ever be friends with Ari again. He was happily reading with a stuffed animal she'd given him on his lap. And I smiled when I made the connection that I had thought I would never see Rae again, but that when we did, we were happy to see each other and fill each other in on our lives. We related to one another as grownups, and while we have not made the effort to repeat the gesture, I know it's simply because we are both adults with very full lives. But we both know that if'/when we do see each other again, we will hug and be glad. So, I told him that I didn't know if I would be friends with Ari again. A month earlier, I might have said, "no", but this time, I said, "I don't know." But at that time, I knew with certainty that I held no ill will toward her at all. I've, apparently, forgiven Ari.

Time really does heal.

I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. For the second day in a row. I'm not beating myself up over the bad decision I made on Sunday. I've been sending so much Light and Love that it's truly been coming back to me in strange, yet beautiful, ways.

I remember when CoffeeLady reminded me that if someone was popping into my consciousness that there was a reason for it. And that I should follow my instincts. And I'm learning to go with my guts and not second-guess what someone's reaction will be. Because I learned a long time ago that I can't control the behavior of others. I can only control how I react to those behaviors. And I'm learning to remember that I can't control others' reactions to me.

But if my intentions are true, and my heart is pure, going with my instincts will never be wrong. And if it blows up in my face, well, I'll grieve it and move on... Eventually. Haha.

Wait. I said it would never be wrong. And I don't actually want to delete that and re-write it. Because I want to make the distinction, that yes, my instincts might be wrong, but I won't allow myself to regret them if I acted in a way that was true to who I am.

So, when Ari's birthday rolled around and I found myself thinking of her with joy in my heart, remembering some wonderful experiences we shared, I did not stop myself from letting her know. And if she chooses to take that in any way other than how I meant it, then that's really her choice. Because I felt truly free when I sent it.

And that joy stayed with me and touched those around me. And I sent a different message to someone else... Someone who responded in a way that had me surprised, and so damned grateful. I felt understood. And I was given words that I want to keep. Words that I hope I'll be allowed to "steal" for my next novel. Because they are poetry.

And then we went to the new therapist. And the dude is OLD. And deaf. And the husband and I had to act as translators for each other a few times when he spoke.

But, holy shit.

Did he nail our situation on the head in the first 45 minutes?

He said his job in the first session is usually to determine whether or not he's doing marital counseling or divorce counseling. He said that with us, though, it's pre-marital counseling. Because, sure, we're married, but on paper only. He drew a diagram that illustrated our lack of a union. And it made so much sense I cried when I saw it. He said that even when we lived together, we were both single parents. And he put a time frame on our situation. One with which the husband didn't quite agree. But the moment he said it, I was hit over the head with the proverbial clarity stick.

And it made me realize that everything that has happened since was inevitable.

Granted, my methods may have been faulty. I'll admit that. But I will regret none of it. Because there are gifts that have come from all of the pain.

And it all comes back to trusting my guts. Because two months ago, my instincts told me to issue an ultimatum. I'd never issued an ultimatum before in my life. And it was hard and it was scary. But it was also RIGHT.

So, maybe this week is about instincts and guts and going with it. But it's also, apparently, about forgiveness. And not just forgiveness of others. I think I'm going to forgive myself today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cleaning House.

I'm de-cluttering. Big-time.

From May: "I like grownup dating. I like doing my own thing, seeing [someone] when I can. Because I can truly appreciate those moments when we're together... I like my realities, meeting [someone] for 5 minutes at the coffee shop, sitting quietly together... Marriage is finding those moments within "real life" to connect... I love [getting away], but I love my life here too... We deserve those special moments outside of reality, but we deserve to appreciate the ones while we're in it."

From July: "...continue to plan for the future while we take it one day at a time."

I had an amazing day today at work. Utterly amazing. Wonderful. Fantastic.

But as the weekend approaches, I find myself thinking about my husband.

And how the thing I probably loved most about Eric is that I never wondered if he was thinking about me. Because he truly made an effort to show me that he was always thinking about me. With the emails, phone calls, visits, surprises left on my doorstep, etc.

I haven't seen my husband in three days. We've spoken briefly, but not about anything of consequence. And this afternoon on my way home, I found myself pondering the situation with him. I feel incredibly disconnected from him. I called him out on Tuesday (kindly, don't worry!) about his lack of courtesy over the weekend when I was so sick. (He'd promised to call and stop by and did neither, and then said, "You could have called me." Argh. On a thousand levels, argh!) We did have a decent conversation that evening, but I guess I just feel like maybe he's just going through the motions right now. Going to therapy and spending time together as a family, but not really trying to make an effort with me on a more intimate level. Maybe I'm just feeling this way because of Eric's unexpected return (brief! And not in person!) to my world.

But this morning, I found an incredible deal for a getaway. And I sent the information to a friend who would probably jump at the chance to share it with his wife. I didn't even mention it to my husband. And then I deleted the information.

It's like I'm not very hopeful anymore about us.

I'm hoping this is just a mood. I'll be seeing him in 20 minutes, and he did call me an hour ago to check and make sure we were still on for tonight.

And I look around my apartment and I don't want him here on a more permanent basis. And then I find myself wondering if I would miss my life here if/when we move back in together. Obviously, the joys of being with my son every night would far outweigh any missing of this life I could possibly do. And I want to take some of this life with me when I do go back.

But I'm scared. Because I feel these glimmers inside of myself. I know that I could very easily fall in love with him again. And that is something I know from experience is hard to get over. Well, over...Ish.

All it would take is the smallest bit of effort on his part.

So, I'm going to be grateful for him NOT taking that step with me right now. Because I'm afraid that with the smallest bit from him that I would be all in.

And I need more. I deserve more.

It's going to be an interesting weekend.

Monday, October 11, 2010

And then it was done.

It was the flu talking.

I'm over it.

Onward and upward, Groceries.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pity? Party of One?

OMG, I am throwing a huge one right now.

I'm sick. I've been sick for days. And not, like, pop two Day-Quil and make it through sick. Like, sleep for 16 hours straight sick. Wake up and do a couple of things and go back to sleep sick.

I haven't been this sick in a long time.

And, of course, being sick makes me think stupid things. And do stupid things.

After last weekend, I felt like I owed Eric a conversation. I'm not proud of how I ended things with him. Over the phone? Never giving him a chance to say goodbye? That was somewhat (okay, extraordinarily!) bitchy of me. Not who I wanted to be. But I'd decided upon my goal, and I needed to go after that. And not look back.

Enter flu. Which gives me too much time to look back.

When Eric blew me off last weekend, I thought, "Well, whatever. I tried. If he can't take five minutes for me to explain, then he'll discover what I did and be hurt, but that's not my fault. I would have talked to him. I wanted to try to do the kind thing."

He couldn't talk because he was getting divorced. Like, for real.

But then... He called again. And I'd just popped some Nyquil and was downing my hot toddy, heavy on the whiskey. I opened with, "I shouldn't be talking to you. I'm on Nyquil AND whiskey..."

So, Eric has a girlfriend. They've been together for several weeks already. Guess he didn't really mean it when he said it would take a long time to get over me. Went on to tell me that she's a single mom with two young kids. Must be his "type". Ugh. I hate being a "type". Went on to tell me that he took her and a friend to my coffee shop. Which explains why the owner was all sympathetic at me last weekend. "But it wasn't like a DATE. I just met them for coffee. I didn't hug her or anything in there!" Is he really that thick? Does he REALLY think that the incredibly astute owner of the coffee shop isn't going to put 2 and 2 together? When the only people he's ever been there with before were his kids or me? OMG.

And there was DM, telling me that Eric and 23 could have this little "We can't get over RetroMama" club. Right. Eric's obviously over me. Which is what I wanted, I guess.

But I guess it's somewhat of a shock. Especially when he made it out to be such a big deal for him to tell me he loved me since that wasn't something he took lightly. Guess maybe he took it lighter than I'd thought.

At least I found all of this out the night after the Husband and I had a fairly good evening together. Oh, did I mention we may have fired our therapist? I don't know what was wrong with her, but we walked out of her office mid-sentence the other night. It was brutal.

And all I could think was that we were finally at a place where we were working on things and now we can't go back to her... Where does that leave us? And that's a scary place to be.

But then the next night, we sat together and relaxed. And he finally hugged me. A really real hug. And he kissed the top of my head. And it felt like it had been so long since I'd been hugged. And it felt so good. And then he texted me when he got home to tell me he'd enjoyed our time together that night. Holy making an effort!!

So, that's where I was when I finally spoke to Eric. For the first time in more than two months. And the day after THAT conversation, Eric emailed me to tell me how much better he felt after our conversation. Well, goody for him. Because I don't. I was finding myself feeling completely unimportant. Like maybe I was lying to myself that whole time. Because I couldn't have meant that much if he got over me so quickly, right?

And he didn't even get why I was so mad about him not telling me his dad was okay. "I thought I wasn't supposed to be talking to you." ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??? You've been hearing from me every couple of days, checking in on you, and you think you're not allowed to tell me that your dad is alive? What the fuck is that about? Well, I guess I know what that's about. NOF told me when I found out that I wasn't high enough on the priority list to tell. And she was right. Silly me.

And then in my Morning after NyQuil and Whiskey Part II fog, I began obsessing. Eric's now divorced. And he had told a friend months ago that he and I would be engaged the week after his divorce. So, I found myself wondering if he's engaged to his new girlfriend. AND, in further stupidity, I called to ask. (shut up, you two. I'm too weak right now to be able to dodge the many things you're throwing at me right now.) And he laughed at me. Said, "of course, I'm not engaged!" And when I said, "But you told your friend you would be, months ago..." And he doesn't even fucking remember that. Again, hello, Reminder that I Never Really Mattered.

And the Husband was so great the other day. Offered to take the kidlet so that I could just sleep all weekend... I'm a very lucky "single mom" that gets to sleep when she's sick. But when I feel this bad, this lonely, this bored, I can't seem to focus on that.

I find myself focusing on how great Eric was when I was sick earlier this year. Bringing me soup. Snuggling with me.

And the Husband didn't even call until 3 today.

And then Eric texts me with some lame excuse as to why he's not calling me tonight like he'd said he would. So, I texted him back and told him to forget it.

The only reason why I even talked to him was because my defenses were down. But my eyes are open (for the moment. Haha. A little "I sleep a lot these days" humor.) to the truth.

I didn't matter to Eric. I don't matter all that much to the Husband either at the moment. I matter more than I did a week ago, but we're so not there yet.

I need more whiskey and more sleep.

And anybody who wants to tell me that, "Of course, you mattered to Eric at one time" is going to get a huge FUCK YOU from me. So, don't even try it.

I'm not always like this, am I? This is just the flu talking, right? Because I am just so not feeling good right now.

And I'm remembering the first time I got a cold when I was in the dorms in college. And I really missed my mom. And one of my suitemates gave me a little package of kleenex and signed it "from mom".

And maybe this is really what this is all about. Maybe I am just really missing my mom. Or maybe I'm just missing anybody and anything that would take care of me. Because being alone and sick is just not fun. I don't like taking care of myself. I want someone else to do it. I want someone else to WANT to.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reason, Season, Lifetime. Again.

I keep forgetting that I can also be a Reason.

I guess I don't give myself enough credit for that. Maybe I'm friends with someone because I'm supposed to connect them to someone else and then I'm supposed to MOVE ON.

But that doesn't stop the hurting.

And it doesn't stop me from feeling stupid when I realize that someone in my world truly does NOT have my best interests at heart. Not that they all should. Because everybody really should be looking out for him/herself. Doing what makes them happy. But I have this expectation that people around me err on the side of kindness.

And I think I'm sick of people choosing to be kinder to someone who, supposedly, doesn't matter. Especially when I'm the one sitting here trying to do the right thing. Trying to err on the side of kindness. Standing up for my friends. Fiercely.

That makes it hurt even more when I realize that all of those things I said in her defense were wrong. Wait. That's not true. She is loyal. Just not to me.


This isn't the first time I've dealt with this. And like before, I'll just change my own boundaries. I don't have to go through a big breakup over this. I just need to change how I behave when I'm around this person. And I certainly need to remind myself not to count on her anymore. 'Cause she certainly doesn't have my back.

I just really hate that I had to pull up the BGPs and do something that I swore two months ago that I wouldn't. Because now someone else gets to get hurt, unnecessarily. But I have to look out for myself and my family and my friends. And I will err on the side of kindness for THEM. And not the one who doesn't really matter that much anymore.

So, this marriage counseling stuff sucks. I pretty much cried for 14 hours after the last session. Not kidding. Barely slept. Woke up crying every time I turned over. Sucked. Hard.

But the very next day, baby steps were taken.

I don't know if my husband and I will end up back together. And I've been asked if this agony will be worth it if we don't.

And the answer is, without a doubt...


TG reminded me that I have been through a lot without him. Job loss. Deaths of loved ones. Shit, I beat cancer without him.

I know I can survive without him.

And, obviously, if we manage to work things out and learn to be happy together, this excruciating process will all be worth it.

But it will also be worth it if we don't work out.

Because only through this will I know that I really, really, really tried this time.