Tuesday, April 21, 2009

If You Don't Like It, Don't Read It

I've had this blog for awhile. And during that time, I've had issues with my words being misread with malicious intent by various parties. I've been tempted to abandon it altogether, and I'm sure any regular readers have thought from time to time that I've done just that. I've yet again had an experience where someone reading what I've written is reading between the lines and finding meaning I never intended. Along with contemplating abandonment, I've also contemplated simply censoring what I have to say to avoid any issues.

However, after each incident I've come to the conclusion that whatever a person decides to take away from what I've written is that person's problem, not mine. I'm not a subtle person, and have a blatant disregard for making myself looking good. I tend to be really honest, and maybe too honest, but that's who I am.

You can't please all the people all of the time, and if you try you'll end up pleasing no one. I am who I am, and I've spent over thirty years making apologies for that to various people. It wasn't until the last few weeks with my sister and my biomom that I really realized just how often I apologize. And, quite frankly, I've decided to save myself the energy.

Here's the deal...What's written here is about me, and maybe in some ways about others, but mostly just about me, my feelings, my thoughts, my interpretations. If you don't like it, don't read it. I am who I am, no more apologies.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

You! Outta My Head!!

So, you've done your post break-up ritual, whatever that may be. You've danced naked around a bonfire of pictures of the two of you, or whatever. You've packed away the things you want to keep, but can't look at right now. THE OTHER PERSON HAS FINALLY GOTTEN THEIR SHIT OUT OF YOUR HOUSE!! You've resisted the urge to call more than once. You've even gone away for the weekend to spend time with your family to take a break from the familiar, so you aren't thinking about them.

But, then...that same family decides to go out to dinner, and despite being in a city that makes your home town look like the Hickville it is, it happens to be a restaurant you last ate at with your ex and her friend, while delivering the baby blanket YOU made for HER friend. And, joy of joys...they don't put you in any of the twelve other dining rooms in the fucking place...no, that would be just too easy. Instead they stick you in the same room as the last visit, and since you were the last person in, you get stuck in the seat directly across from the table you sat at.

No matter how hard you try, there are some things you can't do on your schedule. You can't erase that person from your brain, or somehow magically lock up your memories so they can only be accessed for fun source material when remembering why, exactly, you will never again date a musician. And there is no telling what will bring the memories to the fore, either. Certain sights or smells or sounds can be perfectly safe one day, and send you off the deep end the next. There is no rhyme or reason, no way to safeguard yourself from the unexpected punch in the gut. Just a reminder to yourself that it is okay to cry sometimes, it is okay to get and stay mad. So long as you don't stay mad forever, as long as at some point you can look back and smile.

I'm so not there, yet. I will be one day, I assume. No one actually dies of a broken heart, and plenty of people go through break ups and come out the other side, smiling. I've just never had my heart so completely broken, never lost something I thought that I could never lose. The only other significant break up in my life I knew was inevitable, even when I defended the relationship to every person I knew and told everyone we'd always be together, I knew it was unsustainable. This was different, though, and while I never wanted to get married or say "forever" I also never imagined that there would be a day that we would not be together. And, no, it doesn't necessarily make sense that I could be so wholeheartedly against "forever" and not have foreseen that this day would come. But, what in love does make sense?

Friday, April 17, 2009

At Least I Still Have the Love of My Life

Yup. He's sleeps with me, licks away the tears and only rarely changes the channel when I'm watching something good. He's sweet, and though he doesn't really like little kids, he agrees that Cassidy is pretty amazing. He doesn't lie, and I really don't have to worry that he'll run off with someone else.

He's my Charlie-Man, the little shih tzu/poodle mix that I rescued from the shelter two years ago this August. He's kind of a dork and makes me laugh pretty regularly. It's hard to be sad when he's around.

I took this picture the last time I had all three dogs out and about together. Charlie was having a grand old time running with Cera. He misses her terribly, they're best friends and he's still waiting for her to come home. He really needs to be groomed, but look at all that hair...Isn't he just the perfect match for me?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wait...But You Left Me....

Breaking up is never a simple process. And it's never cut and dried. There is not one person who screwed up, there are almost always two people who screwed up and you can waste hours arguing about who screwed whom more, but it's a waste of time and only serves to cause each other more pain, prolong the anger and slow the process of healing.

However, while two people screw up the relationship, it's rare that two people sit down, look at each other and say, "Hey, even though this isn't working anymore, I don't want to hurt you, so let's do this as rationally as possible." If you're married, then you have lawyers and a court system that decides who gets what and who pays for what and when each parent sees the child. But when you aren't married, there are no "rules" and no real guidelines, you just kind of make it up as you go along.

Unfortunately, since there can be a lot of acrimony in a break up, even in a break up between people who genuinely care about each other, things get out of control. Every word, every tone is examined for malice and even when none is intended, it is often assumed by the other person. This is how people end up hating each other. This is how the ex girlfriend and I are going to end up hating each other. I have all of her things in my house still. I have asked her repeatedly to come get her things, and put what she doesn't have room for in our storage area. It's been a month now, since she finally let me in on the secret that she was done with me, and yet, all her things, minus a few bags of clothes are sitting here...my constant reminder of what I've lost.

I don't have a lot of energy to do things, and I'm at the point where the energy I have should be spent taking care of myself so that I can be a good mom. Those are my biggest jobs at the moment, and yet, I've got this monumental task of boxing things up, loading it in my truck and putting it in storage. I'll be honest...I've had my fantasies of re-enacting that scene from Waiting To Exhale where Angela Basset puts all of his stuff in a car and lights it on fire. I'd never go through with it, but considering that she left me, it's awfully brave of her to just assume I'll take her of her things. Luckily for her, my hurt and anger haven't dulled my sense of right and wrong enough to allow me to do it...but it's tempting from time to time.

So, let this be my admonition to you, gentle reader...If you are ever in a relationship and find yourself in the position of having to leave the other person, do them and yourself a favor...have a plan. Know where you're going, and whether or not your things can go there with you. If they can't...make arrangements for storing them some place, and don't leave it on your ex to do. Your ex should be spending post break up time doing anything but focusing on you. Unless your goal is to hurt your ex as much as you possibly can (which, is wrong regardless of what's happened and will only cause you regret in the long run)be considerate enough to take your things with you, don't leave them in your ex's possession just to rub salt in her wounds.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

An Ending...

Nine and a half years ago, I was blessed with two amazing people in my life. I had just given birth to my mini me, and began a friendship with an amazing woman. Very quickly, that friendship deepened for me. It wasn't long before I noticed that her eyes changed color depending on her mood, or the lighting, that her skin was soft and beautiful, that her smile was slightly crooked, which made it all the more heart stopping...It wasn't long before I needed to be around her, I found excuses to see her. I fell hard, and fast, long before I had any idea of who she really was.

Three months after Cass was born, I "kidnapped" that amazing woman because I had grown to care about her so much and she was going through a rough time, and I was scared for her, and wanted to help her. The next year was alternately giddy and then unsure. We grew closer, and I fell even harder for her. She was such a different person than anyone else I'd ever known. She understood me, and hidden beneath her facade of anger and indifference was the kindest, most loving and generous soul. She was wounded, and understood that I was as well.

There was never an official moment that we decided that we were committed to each other. There was simply a deepening of understanding, a growing trust, a blossoming love. We went on a road trip with a friend to San Diego and shared the most beautiful moments late at night, with the moonlight shining on the ocean.

She became my partner, my friend, my lover. She became my daughter's mother and loved her intensely. We were a family and though it wasn't always easy, it was always worth it.

I have always distrusted "forever." I learned at a very young age, that love or blood or legal paperwork was no guarantee that a person I loved today would still be there tomorrow. Instead of trying to find a way to trust that this amazing woman would be in my life forever, I kept a part of myself at arm's length...swore that I didn't believe in happily ever after, in forever. I promised her that I loved her, but I couldn't bring myself to promise that my love would last. I couldn't bring myself to trust that she would be different, that she would stay when others had left. I hurt her deeply by being unable to move past my fear of being left behind. If I could do it again, I would take back all the times I qualified the love I had for her, the times I refused the level of commitment she offered.

Even though I said I didn't believe that we would be together, the love I had for her was so immense that deep inside, in a place I never let her see, I began to believe in forever. I began to WANT forever...as long as we were together. And no, it wasn't perfect, and it wasn't easy, but then, what in this life is? And every struggle, every obstacle just made me love her even more. I should have told her that I was scared to admit how much I loved her. I should have told her that I kept back that part of myself, not because I didn't love her, but because I didn't trust that I could be enough to keep her. That I could be good enough, that she would never grow tired of me.

When I got sick, I thought...this is it. This is when she'll leave. But, she didn't. She stood by me. Watched with tortured eyes when they poked and prodded and I got sicker. She held our daughter to calm her, to shield her from the pain of my illness. As more and more of my life, of the things we so loved...hiking, camping, being able to just up and go somewhere...slipped away I retreated to a a very dark corner of my mind. I hid from her, from the pain I was causing her, from the disappointment as all the plans we had slowly wilted. Going from doctor to doctor took it's toll on all of us. Instead of reaching out, instead of fighting, I buried myself away...became the illness, and gave up hope.

I can make excuses, and some of them are even valid...but I hurt her, and I scared her and I let her down. I hurt my daughter, and I scared her and I let her down. I let the ugly depression that has been my constant enemy win and I gave up on them. I gave up on me.

I can see now what I did, I can take responsibility and I'm learning to stand on my own two painful feet. I'm learning to fight again, and it's hard. All the more so because I am doing it without her. We've hurt each other so much, and it's hard to understand how two people who loved each other the way we did can end up where we are. I may have learned it too late, but I've learned that in this life, when you are given the chance at happiness, when someone reaches out to you and says..."You...I love you even though you aren't perfect I will be here." that not trusting them is in essence throwing away the greatest gift one person can ever give another. I've learned that if you spend all your time lamenting what was, and refusing to let go of the past, letting it imprison your present, you will lose everything that is precious to you. It's a painful lesson, and it comes too late, but it's a lesson I'll never forget.

To that amazing woman: As much as I'm hurting now, I wouldn't trade what we had for anything. I learned so much from you. I can never thank you properly for all that you have given me. I'm so, so sorry that I couldn't give you what we both needed. I will always love you. I will always carry you in my heart. I hope that your future is as beautiful as you are, that you find what you need and that you can forgive my failure to love you as completely as I could. Be happy...Be well...I love you.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Things I Had Forgotten About Being Single...

I've been in a relationship all of my adult life, with the exception of a three month span right after my mini me was born. And since I spent those three months crying, breastfeeding and trying to figure out whether to throw myself off a bridge or drink a gallon of vodka with a bottle of sleeping pills, it's not a time in my life I like to think about very often.

Needless to say, being single has been an ADJUSTMENT. There is the fact that there is no one to wake up in the middle of the night when you have that dream that you've had since you were six about people trying to kill you in various exciting ways. There is no one else to put gas in the car, to pick up milk or spend hours at night dissecting people we know just for the fun of feeling all superior and intellectual. On the other hand...there is also no one to open the last cold Coke in the house, take three fucking drinks and leave it on the counter as if to mock me. There is also no one to fight for control of the remote, the phone or the computer. There is no one to steal all the covers and wake you up out of a sound sleep with requests having to do with the location of a dog that isn't bothering you.

Getting over this break up is odd. There are moments of optimism and moments of bleakest despair. There is laughter through tears and quiet, unending loneliness. There is the refiguring of a life I thought was pretty well mapped-out. But biggest of all, there is that change from we to me. Decisions that used to involve two people just involve me, which is both a blessing and a curse. While it means I always get my way, it also means there is no one to blame if the wrong decision is made. I don't have to check with someone before I commit to whatever plans I may commit to, since I'm only committing myself. I know I'll get through this...I'm sure that some day I'll be able to breathe normally again, go a whole twenty-four hours without crying again, start to think about trusting someone again...but it's hard to wait for some day. It's hard to let myself just deal with this. I want it done. I want it to be months from now when I'm heading into something resembling okay.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I'm Fucking Fantastic, Thanks So Much For Asking

I feel nearly positive that I've discussed my feelings about the question "How are you?" as it pertains to my physical health. However, as annoying as it is, it's nowhere near as annoying as when you are going through something hard and some well meaning person asks you "How are you?" in the most syrupy voice they can muster. I know it's well-intentioned, and that people genuinely want to know, but nine times out of ten, I'm trying to hold it together anyway, and all that sympathy just starts the tears.

Now let me tell you something about me. I don't mind crying when I'm alone or even with a select person and I'm sort of in the eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's and wallow mind set. However, when I'm functioning and trying to go about my day, crying pretty much derails that sort of thing, not to mention that it embarrasses the hell out of me. I'm not one of those girls who can cry in public...I make weird monkey faces and the oddest sounds come out of me. And then, as if all that wasn't enough, I get all blotchy and my eyes turn red. Not exactly my best look.

Well, and what's the best thing you can say when you're trying to turn your world right side up again? That you're hanging in there? Basically, if I'm up and dressed or not just laying in bed all day...I'm hanging in there. I'm not going to be okay today or tomorrow, but I will be at some point.

So, yeah...enough with the sympathy. Being single sucks. Losing your dog sucks. Being sick sucks. Try combining all three and see how you feel. The sympathy just brings it all to the front. Tell me a joke instead or something. I've got enough tears...let's shoot for some laughter.