Archive | Family RSS feed for this section

Reflections

24 Nov

What a week. I have felt like I was in the middle of a downward-spiraling hurricane of depression and self-pity, with no way to pull myself out. I’m climbing back up. I always do. And as I spend Thanksgiving day alone, I feel the need to reflect out loud about the things that have brought me to this point, and why I know I can move forward.

Yesterday, when I was trying to figure out why I felt like my soul was being crushed into a grey mass of oblivion, I knew part of it was the impending holiday spent alone. I was shutting everyone out, pushing away friends and family, because I didn’t want to be a part of anyone else’s family day. I didn’t want to put on a happy face and go through the motions of someone else’s traditions. I wanted to be alone.  Honestly, holidays for the past few years have been positively hell even with my own family around for them. Either Mr. Smith was about to deploy, or deployed, or back from deployment and making me miserable. Our holidays always sucked.

Then I thought about the last time I was alone on Thanksgiving. It was 1999. I lived in Spain at the time, and I was pregnant from a one-night stand with a married guy. I decided to have an abortion, but since the procedure is illegal in Spain, I had to fly to the States. I had no one to come with me. I flew in on Tuesday, found a hotel near the clinic, and went by myself to have an abortion on Wednesday. I have never felt so stranded in my life. Until the next day, when I sat in a hotel room, in physical and mental anguish, alone on Thanksgiving day. My family knew I was in the States, and my mom was upset that I couldn’t fly to Kansas to spend the day with them. I told her I was there on a temporary work assignment. I flew back to Spain the next day, and I resumed a miserably lonely existence riding out some of the worst months of my life. Which is saying a lot, considering some of my shit.

Back to the present time… yesterday, I opened up and try to relay this bit of history to someone I’ll call Birch who was trying to understand why I was so upset. Mid-story, I got a phone call from Mr. Smith, who had been blowing me up about needing to talk about divorce “stuff”. That turned out to be a subterfuge for a much larger announcement, made even more ironic by my trip down memory lane… he was calling to tell me that his girlfriend (who also happens to be his first ex-wife aka Voldemort #2, for those who aren’t in the know) is pregnant. And they wanted to tell Bug about it, along with the rest of his family on Thanksgiving (all of whom had been inviting me to join them… thank God I didn’t).

End of phone call. *Cue meltdown.*

Birch called back. I told him what I had just learned and started bawling. I don’t know why it hurt me so much. It just hurt. Usually at this point, I would shut down, stop talking to anyone, hang up, go radar silent. For some reason, I can talk to Birch like I’ve never talked to anyone. I still feel like I don’t make sense outside of my head, and that I’m rambling and awkward, but at least I’m talking.

Eventually it started to come out. I was tired of seeing everyone else being happy around while I’m alone. I’m tired of feeling confused and lost. I’m tired of keeping my feelings so closely guarded that I have no outlet for them. And, in this case, my feelings were of fear. Fear that Mr. Smith and Voldemort #2 are starting a family, one that will include my son and will give him something that I can’t… like siblings, and two parents… fear that I will never be happy or in love again. That part of me will always be alone in a hotel room on Thanksgiving, hating myself for the decisions I’ve made. Ugh.

I spent the rest of yesterday in a pretty solid funk. I stayed up late, on my couch, drinking and smoking myself in to oblivion. At least I calmed down a bit, had a couple of good conversations — including one in which I called Bittersweet to tell her the baby news and we shared a good laugh over what an idiot my ex is. I went to bed feeling about a million times better than I had that morning.

When I woke up today (at almost 2 p.m.), it was hard to get out of bed knowing that everyone else I know was probably surrounded by family or friends, eating, sharing, getting on each other’s nerves… but I took a deep breath and got up anyway.

I cooked myself some awesome food, looked up movie times to go see a show, thought about getting in the shower to get ready to get out of the house… and then I proceeded to lay on the couch surrounded by blankets, pillows, my heating pad, and food. I watched a lot of Glee, and ignored “happy Thanksgiving” text messages. I talked to Bug on the phone and tried to not cry when he asked me how my day was.

Maybe that sounds awful and depressing, but it’s an improvement over how I’ve been feeling. Because I need to cut myself some slack and take a day to rest and just… FEEL. Without wallowing in guilt or self-pity for sometimes being down, or having days (hell, weeks) when I don’t get done what I want to get done. I have a past, and some of it is brutal. But I have come so far and learned so much. Now, I have beautiful things in my life that I can appreciate even more because of everything I’ve experienced.

So, today, I am thankful. For being strong enough to be alone. For being able to move forward and open myself up again. For being able to recognize that part of having a lot of good in your life means sometimes having a little bit of pain and darkness. I’m thankful for my past, and even more thankful for all the possibilities of my future.

Advertisements

Peace from Beyond

8 Nov

Last night — well, all day yesterday, really — I was in a total funk. I felt on edge, like any little thing might (and some did) totally set me off. I have spent the last couple of months feeling like I am wandering through my life with little to no direction, almost as if — as one friend put it — I’m watching my life go on around me without any input or control on my part.

After my trip, which in and of itself was wonderful and fulfilling for a lot of reasons, my return to reality has served to further highlight just how shitty I am feeling lately. I’m stressed beyond belief about money, my impending divorce, work (and lack thereof), family, the fact that I get to start paying back my student loans this months and have to register my car and am about to lose my medical insurance and have zero room in my budget (and I use that term loosely) to cover any of this.

When I got home from work around 1 a.m., I avoided dealing with any of this in a mature, responsible manner by passing out on the couch after a little too much bonding time with my bottle of Grey Goose. I slept like crap, but I never worked up the gumption to relocate my drunk ass to my bed.

Upon waking this morning, I laid here on the couch in a post-sleep/hangover haze. I had a surreal feeling, like a dream I had was still with me. In a good way. As my mind wandered back to what had just transpired in my head, I realized I had been dreaming about my grandfather.

My mom’s dad — Grandpa to us kids — passed away when I was 12 years old. Explaining how much he meant to me, to our entire family, would take a whole blog post of its own.  He was a disabled WWII veteran and also talented, charismatic, and intelligent.  I miss him to this very day.

I don’t have dreams about him as often as I used to have. But the ones I have share some of the same characteristics. In them, he is always in good health, with no signs of the fused vertebrae that debilitated him here on earth.  In my dreams, I seem to be the only person who knows he has passed away. It’s like he shows back up and I’m surprised to see him but no one else is.  And I”m afraid to ask any questions about why he’s here or how he is healed, because it might somehow make him go away.

Despite this conundrum, dreaming about my grandpa makes me happy. His presence is so calming and peaceful. Even though it doesn’t make whatever problem I’m having go away, when I wake up I feel like he’s still with me surrounding me with love from somewhere else and letting me know it will all be okay.

Re-evaluating Relativity

27 May

Tonight I got to spend some time with my very good friend Mary Jane. She’s so much fun. Any little bit of time with her just lights up my day. Today she graduated with a teaching certificate in her field so getting to see her was extra special. Plus, watching the latest episode of Glee together definitely helped.

When I got home, I was reflecting on my time in Kansas and how much things have changed. I came here a married, brand-new first-time mom, waiting on her husband to get back from a deployment to Iraq. I am leaving (almost) divorced, a confident mom of an amazing nearly-four-year-old, new college graduate with a kick-ass degree, my own business, and recently out of the closet to everyone… and proud of it.

I mean, hello?! Monumental life changes much?

One of the things I have always embraced in my life is the knowledge that I have NO idea what the next year will bring. I can look back one year from any point in my life. And I never would have imagined what was coming next. I realize that’s a terrifying prospect for some people. Both as it relates to it happening to them, and as it relates to it happening to someone with whom they are in a committed relationship.

I get that. Really.

But it’s not me. I relish the constant reincarnation of self. The major things, like what I listed above, aren’t typical changes for me. The small tweaks of self-realization on a daily basis are the changes that drive the larger cog of my existence.

What’s amazing is seeing how far I’ve come in such a relatively short amount of time (considering the length of the average life span, and taking out of consideration the fact that I still think I’m going to die when I’m 45)… and thinking about how much more I have to see and experience.

It’s all relative to where you’ve been.

On the line of relativity, tonight I also thought about how amazing it has been to make new friends over the past few months, mostly since I’ve come out. I’m finally getting to know people as myself. The closest thing I’ve been to my true self, ever. I don’t have some subconscious lump in the back of my throat, I am more relaxed, I am so much more in the moment now.

Because I can finally just be me.

What Would Jesus Do?

10 Sep

Excerpts from an Ambien text convo between Ninja and me about my marriage, prompted by a drunk text from Mr. Smith during which he tells me to stay away from him when I come home because he has been drinking and is horny. Then he proceeds to tell me his guitar is his only friend… and I should stay away from the house until he’s asleep.

Me: “You know what pisses me off most is that if *I* was the one getting wasted and acting this way, there’d be no end to the amount of shit I’d hear.”

Ninja: “How much longer can you deal with this?”

Me: “I don’t have a choice.”

Ninja: “I figured you’d say that. It makes me sad for you.”

Me: “What am I supposed to say?
Me: “Oh, I’ll just leave Mr. Smith.”

Ninja: “Where did that come from?”
Ninja: “Do you feel like you cheated on Mr. Smith?”

Me: “I feel like I could have been more communicative about what was about to happen and/or slowed things down with Fathead until I double-checked with Mr. Smith.”
Me: “I take full responsibility for under-communicating that part. But I never lied to Mr. Smith, and he always knew what was generally going on.”

Ninja: “Ok. And I never said you should leave Mr. Smith. I was just wondering how it’s possible for someone who doesn’t believe she is guilty of something like this.”

Me: “How someone “not guilty” can put up with this?”
Me. “Well, I’m still guilty for the demise of my relationship. Things I coulda/woulda/shoulda done, right? Hindsight’s 20/20 and all that.”

Ninja: “Okay. And I never said you should leave Mr. Smith. I just was wondering how it’s possible for you to constantly subject yourself to these phases of his. Man, carrying around that load must be getting kinda heavy. These phases of his, that ultimately punish you, when you don’t believe you cheated.”

Me: “I can’t subject myself any longer. That’s the problem.”
Me: “I’ve been trying to play nice, apologize, give him room to have feelings about it all… he thinks I cheated, so what matters other than how he feels? He’s the victim.”

Ninja: “But you said earlier that you don’t get to stop putting up with it. Is there a difference?”

Me: “Fuck that. I’m done.”
Me: “I don’t get to stop if I want things to work.”

Ninja: “Are you willing to sacrifice yourself day in and day out to make it work? I know a lot about martyrdom. It’s been my life. Trying to be Jesus is not a fulfilling life, believe me. The nails really start to hurt after a while and the cross is fucking heavy. Just so you know.”

Me: “I feel like I should not be laughing at that.”

Ninja: “And I’m probably going straight to hell for that one.”

Sometimes

8 Sep

Sometimes I think I’d be better off relegating myself to a life of being single.  Oh, I’d still have intimate relationships.  But they’d be with the understanding that I’m beholden to no one, I don’t share a house with anyone, and you can take me as I am or see yourself out.

Sometimes the things I write in my head never make it to paper or blog.  They die a slow and painful death, expiring in snippets as I remember less and less of them throughout the day.  They’re like little daydreams that never survive past the world between awake and asleep.

Sometimes I question my sexuality.  I try to remember how long I’ve felt this way, and whether or not what I feel is what I really feel or just what I think I should feel.  And the older I get, the more lesbian-oriented I get.  By the time I’m 50, I’ll be the biggest dyke ever.  I’ll be the aunt at the family reunions who brings her “roommate.” My husband and I will just be really good (probably divorced) friends who happen to have a (really awesome) kid together.  Then I think about living a life without having heterosexual sex ever again, and it makes me a little sad. I guess I’m destined to a life in limbo.

“Sometimes is never quite enough,” according to Alanis Morrisette.  I couldn’t agree more.  People think I’m so demanding sometimes.  Ha.  Try living in my head.  I’m uber-demanding of myself every second of every day.  I guess I never got over the “if you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love” mindset that was so ingrained in me.

Sometimes I look at my blood relatives and I wonder how on earth it is I came from the same tidal basin of the gene pool. Maybe I’m adopted.  There are days when I don’t want to speak to my family again, unless I can tell them exactly what I think and how I feel for once without being called selfish for doing so.  I frequently can’t believe I made it out of my home/hometown/home state with my sanity in tact. Clearly, they did not.

Sometimes I wish I could be oblivious.  Stupid, even. What must it be like to live a life of contentment, of never wanting more? To just not know any better?  To never question, to just fall in to line and be happy with the status quo.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to just be dead. I don’t mean that in a “Oh, look at me, my life sucks, someone hear my cries for help,” kind of way.  I just mean it in a very factual sense.  I think about how peaceful and quiet death is going to be, and I sorta look forward to it.  Then I feel like a major asshole for thinking things like that when I have so many amazing people and opportunities in my life.