Life After Divorce











{July 1, 2009}   Woman in the Mirror

2:22 am

So.  I can’t sleep tonight.  I should start by saying that I have been sick.  Oh yes.  Very sick for the past 3 weeks or so.  Like lost 25 lbs in 8 days sick.  And for no apparent reason that anyone can explain.  Except for the Anxiety.  Oh yes… there has been anxiety.  And vomiting.  And missed days at work… And… And… And…

I am sick of it.  No pun intended.

Why can’t I sleep?  Well, today, I went back to work for the first time in a week and a half.  Well, I went back one day last week, but let’s just say that ended in disaster.  I went in to work today at 2:45 pm and stayed until 7:15 pm.  I got a lot accomplished and felt really good for the first time in weeks.  I had another doctor’s appointment this morning where Dr. Hottie, as cute as he is, was unable to tell me anything helpful.  He has recommended more testing.  Another doctor.  And a psychiatrist.  Ugh.  But I am willing to do what it takes to get better.  I hate being sick.

Why else can’t I sleep?  I slept about 16-20 hours yesterday.  I guess I am just not that tired.  Oh yes… and at 1:45 am I got a text from HIM… wondering when I was going to be able to pay MY half of HIS rent.  On a place I haven’t lived in 6 months (tomorrow!).  GRRR.

I have been told that I have a lot going on and that it is totally understandable that I have anxiety.  Ok.  I accept that.  But the last few days, with a slight nod to the untimely passing of the Late, Great Michael Jackson, I have been looking at the Woman in the Mirror.  I know that there are things beyond my control… but what about the things within my grasp?  I have not done a thing about those things.  Nor anything, really, to move in a forward direction.  I think in order to really move on and get well, and, better yet, BE HAPPY… I have to take a hard look at all of the things causing me stress and try to see what I can do about those things.

So, in no particular order, here are some things that have been weighing heavy on my mind.  If you don’t care… then skip it.  This is my blog <smirk>

  1. Codependency – I hate to realize that I totally became a co-dependent enabler during the course of my 11 year relationship.  Please note that I am not yet 33, so this relationship effectively has lasted 1/3 of my total life.  I hold two degrees in psychology, and it makes me feel REALLY lame to fall into this trap.
  2. Steve – Enough said.  Well, I must add this part:  I had an epiphany, of sorts today.  I realized (and I know it sounds stupid, but leave me alone… I am new to this break up shit) that in order for me to be happy and do the things I need to do to move on with life… Steve won’t be happy.  He isn’t going to be ok.  Not yet, anyway.  I really wanted this to be a situation where we could amicably part ways like adults and move on with our lives.  Man… was I living in an after school special!  I can’t break up with him AND have him be happy.  He is going to have to mourn the loss and find his own way to move on.  I have to accept that bit of information and just do what I need to do.  It sounds harsh… but that is HIS problem.  I can’t keep taking on the pain and emotion of everyone else, at the expense of my own happiness, and worse, health!  (See co-dependency!!!)
  3. BFF – I had a really inconclusive ending to a friendship that I have held dear since my Sophomore year in high school.  It was really a devastating blow, and I have been going through the hardest situation of my life, and I don’t think she even knows about it.
  4. Finances – I make pretty good money and love what I do, but since I have been financing (out of guilt and some retarded sense of obligation to someone who roped me into a new lease when I was on pain killers) the rent for my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s apartment and some of his bills.
  5. Automotive – I am currently driving a car old enough to have it’s own driver’s license.  I have several bad tires and no spare.  Shouldn’t be an issue… except for the paying of the douchebag’s rent

These are just to name a few… I won’t put you into a coma with the details.  But in looking at this list, there are things within my realm of control… I just have to do it.  So, that is my goal.  My wonderful roommate has been helping me get these things out of my brain and onto paper, which is much more helpful than it sounds.  Once on paper, we can break them down into manageable tasks.

Today when I went into work, I felt lighter.  I was able to get A LOT accomplished, and left feeling upbeat and happy.  I even managed a true dinner… A first in several weeks, let me tell you!

So… in summary… I still don’t know if I can get to sleep anytime soon, but it feels good to start working things out.  As for the doctor’s and psychiatrists, I will be a good little patient and do what they tell me to do.  But I know that action creates happiness.  As I always say… Utopia is not by chance, but by choice.  What are you choosing today??

I’m starting with the man in the mirror

I’m asking him to change his ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself

And then make a change.

~Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson.  I will always treasure my time on stage in the 2nd grade talent show… Beat It will always live in my heart.

Christmas 1984-049

Beat It, 2nd Grade Talent Show

(I’m the blurry blonde)



{May 31, 2009}   Alone

I was reflecting today.  Alone.  I don’t do well with alone.

I am a really social person.  I love my friends and adore my family.  My aunt once told me that I am the glue that holds our family together.  I would like to believe that is true.  I am so utterly happy around the people I love, who love me unconditionally.  But as I am exploring this world of separatedness, I do realize that I really don’t know what to do when I am alone.

When I was in college, I spent a year living in an apartment on my own.  It was really the only time in my life I have ever lived alone.  While I loved my little apartment, it was also a place of misery.  My best friends had gone to different schools and I was alone.  I am outgoing and make friends fairly easily, but I never really HAD to make ALL NEW friends.  I went to the same school my whole life… friends came with the territory.  At some point, I think I was friends with every kid I went to school with.  I was a clique-hopper.  I just rotated through different groups and always seemed to fit in.

When I got married, I assumed that my days of feeling alone, or lonely, were over.  But looking back on 8 years of marriage… I always felt alone.  I had plenty of friends, but it just wasn’t the same.  They were all married and starting families.  Steve and I rarely went out, and never did anything with other couples.  It was really hard for me, being so incredibly social, being with someone completely content to lay on the couch in his underwear (or less) and watch mind numbing hours upon hours of TV.  So I holed up in our bedroom, watching my own hours of stupid, mindless TV… and falling further into the pit of despair.

And even now… after leaving… I still feel alone.  I have a fantastic support system, don’t get me wrong.  I have people nearly every day wanting to spend time.  And for a while I was packing my social calendar so tightly that I barely had time to pee.  But now it has been five months… and I still don’t know what to do with myself.  I know I need to spend time alone.  To get to know myself.  To be comfortable with alone.

But… the honest truth is… alone sucks.

I really don’t know what to do with myself.  So, I read a lot.  I play on the internet.  I hang out with the roomies.  I spend time with my sister and niece.  Lori told me today to get a hobby.  I have a hobby.  I scrapbook.  But it is hard to feel inspired to scrapbook.  I have to be in the mood for it, honestly.  I am working on digital scrapbooking for the first time, and I really enjoy that.  But a lot of times it seems that I am just commemorating someone else’s happy memories.

I need a life.  I need a purpose.  I guess I am just now beginning to examine who I am and what I want from life.

So, this weekend I have spent time doing things for me.  I finally broke down and bought a new desk that I have been drooling over for the past three years (but something that he always told me I didn’t need… was a waste of money).  I spent 4 hours putting the thing together myself Friday night.  It was a great sense of accomplishment.  It is also gorgeous and I am thrilled to have finished it.

DSCF4673

I am hoping that it will inspire me to do more writing, scrapbooking, and other such things I enjoy.  Anything but hanging out for hours in my princess bed.  I am also finally going to hang some pictures on the wall.  A small thing, I know.  But it is something I always take forever to do for some reason… but when I do… it signifies “home.”

So… I am on my search for emotional wellness.  I don’t want to NEED other people in my life to be happy.  I want them there because I love them, and because they love me.  They should compliment my life… not be my reason for being.  This may sound like a simple concept, but give me a break… I have been in an emotional vortex for many years… I am still a little dizzy.



{May 8, 2009}   Anti-versary

April 21, 2009

Playlist Choice: Over You by Daughtry

This day, eight years ago, I married the man I was in love with.  The person I loved most in this world.  The person I wanted to be with more than anything… It should be a day of celebration.

But on this day, eight years later, it is a day of sadness and reflection.  Sadness because things did not work out the way I planned.  Sadness for the children I never had.  Sadness for the misery I allowed this man to inflict on me over the years.  Reflection for the red flags I saw and ignored, and the ones I never noticed.  Times like this allow you to look backward with perfect clarity and see every misstep… every altercation…. every indication that ‘he’s just not that into you.’

The days of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole are over.  A friend reminded me that even when you try to trim the edges to make it fit, there is always friction.  I am not looking for perfection.  I wouldn’t even desire that, being a behavioralist… I know that is not possible.  I know that passion and desire don’t always come in a neat package.  We don’t always fall in love with the person who is best for us…

Sometimes it is just the person who fills the void.

Other times, we love that person with all our might, but it just isn’t enough.  Sometimes you have to make the ultimate sacrifice and do what is best for BOTH parties.  That is what I feel I have done.  It would be EASY to stay.  To ignore things.  To keep moving in a quasi-forward direction.  To grow further apart until we are that old couple living in different rooms and rarely speaking… oh wait… we were already there… at age 32.

It is HARD to implement change.  It is even HARDER to stick with it once the decision has been made.  Not because I wanted to go back, but because it was what I knew.  People never understand this concept until they are in the situation.  Believe me… it is HARD.

But, on this day, I gave myself a silent pat on the back for sticking it out and doing what I feel is right for me, for once.  If he really thought about it… he would realize that too. 

But he didn’t.  He asked me out to celebrate instead. [shaking head]

But what can I say?

I’m a catch!  And it is HIS loss.

😉



{May 5, 2009}   Flashback: Soap

Fall 2006

When we moved into our one-bedroom apartment, Steve started a love affair with the apartment’s hot tub.  He would go out every night around midnight and come back hours later.  I rarely went… because… come on… someone had to work and support us!  So I would go to bed about the time he would throw a towel over one shoulder… no shirt (poor neighbors!) and would walk barefoot over to the pool.  I found it annoying.  Why couldn’t he just come to bed like a normal person??  It made me feel very alone.

On this particular night, I woke up around 1:30 am to a strange sawing noise.  I couldn’t figure out what I was hearing… my brain still thick with sleep.  I opened the bedroom door and looked down.  I was confused until I realized what I was looking at was what was left of the carpet under my bedroom door, and an incredibly jittery miniature dachshund.  That only meant one thing.  Jerry.  Steve’s brother Jerry had a very unsettling effect on Major and the poor dog was just terrified of him.  I didn’t see the guys in the apartment, so I figured they went to the pool.  Poor Major had clawed up all the carpet under the door trying to get in to me.

I took Major to bed with me, fully intending on giving both Steve and Jerry a piece of my mind… later… zzzzzz.

Around 3am, I awoke to the lights going on in the bathroom and the sound of the shower.  I am a really light sleeper, so this REALLY annoyed me.  I stalked out into the living room… to find both Steve and Jerry sitting there watching TV.  Who the hell was in my shower???  I asked this very sentiment and the answer I received made me livid.

“Oh some girl Jerry brought over.”

There is a naked girl in my shower at 3am?  And no one thinks this is a problem but me??  ARGH!

But here’s the best part…

Not ONLY was there some strange girl in my shower at 3am.

She was a stripper.

A FUCKING STRIPPER IN MY SHOWER!  AFTER BEING IN THE HOT TUB WITH MY HUSBAND!

Sorry to offend those of you who “stripped your way through college”  [eye roll] But.  EWW.

Bleaching cleanser? $5.00

New soap?  $0.89

Eliminating stripper cooties from my shower? Priceless.

The best part was all three assholes got a rash from something going on in that hot tub.  Serves you right.  Get a real job… ALL OF YOU.



{April 3, 2009}   Maybe…

This conversation was relayed to me after Lori and Em took a little drive…

Em:  Mom?

Lori: Yes, Em?

Em:  Why is there a bed with flowers on it in the back of that truck?

Lori:  I guess they are moving that bed somewhere else.

Em:  Maybe…. that person wants to go live with some other people.  Maybe… that person doesn’t want to live with their husband anymore.

Lori: [stifling laughter] Maybe… That is a distinct possibility [Thank you for the update, Lori!]

Em:  Maybe… that person wants to be like ‘Lidabeth’

 

Maybe… the mind of a 4 year old is FAR more perceptive than the mind of a 32 year old. 

…Maybe



{March 26, 2009}   Panic! at the Disco: The Remix

Once the party starts… you can’t leave.  The bouncer has blocked the exit and your only choice is to hang out until the music stops and they turn the lights back on.

Oh, those fucking lights.

I began to feel anxious about 9 pm.  I had eaten a Subway for dinner, because it sounded like a good idea at the time.  It was light and I was starving.  But after eating half of the sandwich, I didn’t feel right.  Unfortunately, when you have the lap band, this is often the case.  I could feel it – it was stuck.  Crap.  When something gets stuck, there is only one way to get it unstuck…

But that is a one-way pass into the disco.  That crappy, drunk-ridden club where the jerk next to you spills his drink down your shirt and then proceeds to feel you up while “helping” you.  It is miserable.  It is uncomfortable.  And there is NOTHING you can do about it.

I tried all of my typical tricks.  I tried soaking in a hot bath.  That works for a while.  The hot water will relax me enough to fall asleep.  In the tub.  For some reason, people are always concerned I will drown [shrugs].  I say whatever works, right?  So that works just long enough to get out, dry off, and put some clothes back on.  Then, it sucks again.

I tried listening to music.  I love to sing and music usually calms me down.  No dice.  I tried helplessly laying in the dark with my eyes closed hoping that my brain would eventually short-circuit and I would fall asleep.  To no avail.  I ended up back in the tub three different times.  I watched every infomercial on my mother’s wretched no-cable-or-satellite TV.  I laid in the dark cursing her clock that ticks like a time bomb.  Counting the minutes as they seemed to roll backwards.  Further and further from morning.

I didn’t want to wake my mother.  She was so tired and I already knew I was keeping her up with my gagging and frequent trips into the tub.  I just laid there… all night… and listened to the thumping of the disco.

When daylight broke and Mom finally emerged from her den, she was not surprised to see me wide awake and looking panic stricken.  We had to wait until a reasonable hour to call my surgeon (from the lap band surgery).  It was Saturday, which meant calling the answering service and then waiting for a call back.  We explained to the doctor about the slipped band, the panic attacks, and the vomiting.  He was very concerned, as all of these things can lead to really dangerous issues.  He told my mother to bring me to the Emergency Room so that he could check me out.  Again, it was both a panic and a relief.

Thankfully, when we arrived at the ER, it was empty.  I was quickly assessed (I know I looked like hell) and taken back into a room for some tests.  The doctor looked at my tests and x-rays and came to talk to me.  He said that the band hadn’t actually slipped – the other doctors didn’t know what they were looking at – but that I was already on the surgical schedule, so it was up to me what I wanted to do.  His suggestion was to convert from the Lap Band to the Gastric Bypass.  I told him he was out of his ever-loving mind.

Take this shit out of me.  NOW.

I told him that I have never done well with it (a fact he had always blamed on me not doing what I was supposed to do).  I told him that I felt like a transplant patient who was rejecting a new heart.  He acted like this was absurd, but since I had disturbed him on Saturday, he would go ahead and remove it.  He didn’t want to.  But I knew why…

I had gotten the information, reluctantly, from him last year.  He has never had to remove one that he put in because it didn’t work.  He didn’t want to ruin his statistics.  Fuck your statistics.  This thing has been killing me for over 2 years.  I felt it ever minute of every day.  It was uncomfortable and painful and did not EVER help me lose weight.  30 lbs… big fucking deal.  I could (and have) do that with Weight Watchers.  Take this shit out NOW.

So they did.

And amazingly enough…

Everything changed.  My blood pressure dropped immediately.  My blood sugar returned to a normal range immediately.  I felt fucking fantastic.  For the first time.  In YEARS.  Maybe ever.  I knew it.  I had been telling them for years… and I was right.  Suck it, Doctor Can’t-Pronounce-Your-Name. I was right.  It WAS being rejected.  I WAS sick because of it.  And now it was gone.

I was in physical pain, of course.  But, I still felt better in that pain than any day since having that horrible, strangling device put in back in 2006.  Choir of angels, and all that jazz.  One doctor, we will call him “Doctor Hottie”, suggested that I might have been allergic to the lap band.  Well, hell… I am allergic to everything else.  I am even allergic to the dissolving stitches!  Why not the band??  I ran it past another doctor and he agreed.

So within 24 hours, I was released to my mother’s care.  I already felt 100 times better than I did before the surgery, and a 100% better than when I had the surgery the first time around.  I had energy… I had commitment to getting healthy.

I was happy.



As Heckle and Jeckle rolled me into the ER, I was still really anxious.  Not just from the massive anxiety attacks, and not just because I hadn’t really eaten anything in 5 days.  But because there is always that moment when you are afraid to tell anyone that you are anxious because they might dismiss it… or tell you that you are crazy… or worse… tell you that you should go see a shrink and that there isn’t anything wrong with you.  And that is the worst thing you can hear at a time like that.

I was transferred onto a bed in the ER and listened to the EMTs relay my vitals (incorrectly, I might add) to the nurse when my mom and Lori wandered in.  I was losing track of time, somewhat, but was surprised they were already there.  Not too surprised, as the Stooges got lost on the way to the hospital [dramatic eye roll].  But as they begin to hook me up to machines that dripped and beeped, I was begging for something to take away the disco.  I don’t really know how long it took them to give me something, but I am pretty sure I was mostly unconscious within moments.  I kept fading in and out and would hear the strangest things…

No one told me she was diabetic!  I don’t know anything about that! [Mom – we have had this conversation MANY times.]

… and us whiteys always get the shaft [groan… let me not hear more of this conversation]

I am going to spank that crying kid!  That crying kid is the patient… in the ER… I am going to spank him anyway! [double groan]

And apparently, through it all… I am told that I was actually unconscious AND arguing with people.  With gusto.  Interesting!  I remember coming to right about the time my mother, for the thousandth time, was for some reason butchering the last name of a friend of my brother’s.  I can’t imagine how on Earth he came into conversation, but I hissed out the appropriate pronunciation – “HE-BERT… not A-Bear.”  About that time I noticed that I was no longer alone with my mother and Lori.  I noticed that my Aunt Mary was sitting directly in front of me.  That was unexpected, but explained the spanking comments [giggle], and to my right… my dad.  After a blood test or 12 (again… no idea) and a chest x-ray… I heard the words I had been waiting to hear:

Ok, we are going to admit her.  We are just waiting for a room to open up.

A choir of angels began singing softly in my head.  Oh, Thank God!  This is when I get better!!  Right?

I was finally taken upstairs to my own room around 8 pm.  Lori had left to go care for her daughter.  Dad and Mary left… somewhere.  I was so exhausted… I asked for some more panic medication… it kept the nausea at bay long enough for me to pass out for the night.  I slept hard.  It hardly bothered me when nurses and techs would come in all night long.  I don’t know if someone called Steve or not… He was mentioned several times while I was unconscious, as I recall, but the general consensus was they would rather poke themselves in the eyes with red hot pokers than expose me to him while I was doing so very poorly.  (See previous posts for why)  I didn’t care.  I didn’t want him there either.  They knew that well enough… as I was too tired to poke out my own eyes at that point.

Monday… sitting… sleeping… vomiting…

Tuesday… sitting… sleeping…

Wednesday… massive party at the disco.  I had a male nurse this day for the first time, and my assessment of him was that he was incompetent  a typical malea douche bag.  I was ridiculously anxious and began vomiting relentlessly.  I begged repeatedly for something to help me out.  After several hours… I was laying face down on my bed willing away the anxiety.  Quietly.  Miserably.  The douchebag comes in and asks me something.  I don’t remember what.  I said, “I am having SEVERE anxiety.  Can you PLEASE help me.”

DB: I have seen people with anxiety.  You look pretty calm to me.

Me: It is a facade.  I am attempting to keep myself from running down the halls screaming.

DB: [Mumble]

Me: I hate you.

Shortly thereafter, I saw a familiar face.  The GI doc from my last trip to the hospital a year earlier appeared.  I told him it was happening again and that I was in agony.  He immediately doubled my Lexapro dosage and ordered a CAT scan.  DB nurse came back in after the doctor left, right about the time my mom showed up after work.  He came in with two giant cups of barium flavored ass lemonade for me to drink within an hour.  I remembered this from before, of course… but as I was still throwing up violently, I had no idea how I would possibly get it down and keep it down.  Mom sympathized, but DB nurse whips out some dog tags he is wearing around his neck, regaled me with some story about his dad storming the beach at Normandy, and then basically told me to suck it up.

When he left the room… I thought my mom was going to come unglued.  I was glad that I wasn’t the only one noticing his douchebaggery.  I ended up drinking every drop of that vile concoction… and keeping it down.  As I was wheeled into the CAT Scan room, the tech asked me if I managed to keep any of it down.  “All of it.  Why?  Was it an option to just have a little??”  Fuckers.  I will spare you the details of this procedure… you can experience that fresh hell on your own [shudder].

Thursday, the doc came back and said he thought my lap band had slipped, but other than that, everything looked fine.  Uh, genius… a slipped lap band is a VERY big deal.  Sadness… pain… fear.  And that was BEFORE he showed up.  I don’t know how he finally got wind of my situation, but there he was.  Sauntering into the room like he belonged there.  With a new apartment lease in hand.

I just wanted him to leave.  But, he stayed for hours.  I tried to feign sleepy, but it didn’t work.  He was pleasant enough, but I was uncomfortable.  I didn’t want the cause of my anxiety infringing on the sanctuary of my private room.  He kept hinting for me to sign that lease.  The lease I promised to sign so that he wouldn’t become homeless.  The lease that he was using as a life preserver to cling to our dying relationship.  I hated that lease.  I was annoyed.  I told him a wise person once told me never to sign anything in a hospital.  I also told him it was time for him to go.  So he did.

Friday… another procedure.  This time, a camera going down my throat.  Oh joy.  They decided that I was well enough that afternoon to go home.  By this time, I just wanted to be anywhere but that bed.  I was keeping down “food” (if you can call it that… it is a hospital, after all), so they thought that was ok.  They also tried to convince me that I was an Insulin-dependent diabetic and sent me home with insulin and needles.  Uh… that is new… and doesn’t make sense.

After a LONG trip to Walmart and some dinner, I settled in at Mom’s house.  And amazingly enough…

I began to hear the music.  The lights dimmed.  The disco ball dropped.  And I was twirling out of control. 

Again.



{March 8, 2009}   Panic! at the Disco

madonna-pinkdiscoball

So, it has been a while since my letter to myself. I had much to consider. I appreciate all of the comments left on that post.  It seemed to inspire strong feelings on all sides… and I adore my girls for jumping in.  It was very cleansing for my soul to write to myself.

Since I wrote that letter (not because of it, mind you…) I have had some issues in the health department.  I would like to talk about a little thing called Anxiety.  I think I have spoken of it before.  I have also blogged about it HERE . 

In January, I started to have panic attacks again.  The attacks would come mostly at work, in the middle of the day, when I am LEAST able to handle them.  I have tried breathing into a paper bag… Laying on the floor in the middle of my darkened training room trying to breathe in and out… Shit… I have even tried acupuncture.  All to no avail.  So when I realized that these were becoming a daily occurrence (AGAIN!), I decided to seek some help.  I ran straight to my primary care doctor who has been treating me for the last 8 years or so.  He is also Steve’s doctor.

The day I went to his office was like nearly EVERY other time I have ever been there.  Millions of snotting, hacking people waiting in the waiting room… a REALLY long wait time to get in.  I could feel the germs climbing all over me [shudder].  I am not even a germaphobe and I was wigging out!  Oh wait… duh… anxiety!  Can I just say that a 2 hour wait time does nothing to help anxiety?  Yeah, thanks.  But, the doctor is really good and I have always felt comfortable with him.  So I wait.  When I finally get called back by the nurse, who also knows me and my husband well, she is not surprised to see me.  Steve had been in the week before, so I knew that he had told them about the separation.  She was asking me questions and laughing and joking around about cutting her first husband free.  It was great to see someone who got it!

Then the doctor came in to see me.  I told him that it was happening again, and I wanted to get some treatment before I ended up in the hospital again.  I told him that I wanted to be on a daily pill so that I could keep the attacks from ever starting, rather than just treating them once they were underway.  I don’t like to feel that way… and I pretty much don’t stop unless I am sedated.  Not fun.  He puts me on Lexapro, which I have taken before and liked.  I didn’t remember but it is the same medicine that my roommate takes.  Interesting! 

But I am sitting there with Dr. K and I mentioned that I had left Steve… the conversation went a little something like this:

           Me:  You know… I left Steve.

          Dr:  Yeah… I was wondering how you were doing when he told me that.

          Me:  It was time.  It really felt like the right thing to do.  I don’t know why all of this anxiety started again!

          Dr:  Is he calling you much?

          Me:  Every Day

          Dr:  How about texting?

          Me: Incessantly!   <click>

          Dr:  Yeah… I was afraid of that.

          Me:  Sonofabitch!

          Dr: [gazing off and thinking out loud] I wonder if it is possible to block his number and block him from texting…

I love my doctor.

So, I started taking the Lexapro daily.  I had a few interesting side effects.  Only one is worth mentioning.  One night I sneezed and got a BIZARRE electrical shock throughout my entire spine… up into my head… wrapped around to my chest… down to my toes.  I immediately panicked and thought I might be having a stroke.  I threw my hands up in the air (first sign of a stroke, if you can’t)… and sighed.  I told my roommate about it and she thought it odd.  Oh… and the bruises.  I started getting odd bruises with no recollection of how they got there.  You can read my roommate’s blog to hear more about the Lexapro bruising.

But the calls kept coming… If I didn’t answer… he would text.  If I didn’t respond to the text… he would keep calling.  It was a vicious cycle.  So I would answer.  And then the anxiety would set in.

“When are you coming back?”  “Don’t you want to give it a shot?”  “I am a different person – You will see!”

[Insert brain convulsing here]

face-argh

And then it happened.  One night I was spending time with my cousin and her new baby, along with my sister and my niece.  It was a really nice evening.  My aunt ordered pizza for everyone.  Steve called and decided to give me an ultimatum [snort].  I told him… VERY politely… that I was spending time with my family and could not discuss anything with him at that time.  So he pushed.  I got ugly.  I hung up.  I went to take a bite of my pizza.  I was not feeling so good.  But, since I never felt that great, I decided to take another bite.  Ugh.  That was it.  I was sick.  I convinced my sister that we needed to leave.  NOW.  I had already excused myself twice and I could feel the cold sweats coming on.  It was time to get the heck out of dodge!

I managed to make it back to her house without incident… but was apprehensive about the ride the rest of the way home.  I looked around my car to be prepared.  Ahhh… thank goodness for a messy car and a large mouth water bottle (Thank you, Aquafina… I would like my endorsement check made out to CASH)… which I might add came in very handy, as I am a pro at… um… driving while barfing“multi-tasking.”  I remained sick for the rest of the night and didn’t sleep a wink.  I called into work about 6am to let them know that I would not be joining them for another day in paradise [flat affect].  I managed to finally get some sleep, off and on, but remained sick for the majority of the day.  And then I slept.  And slept.  And slept.  Like Rip Van Winkle mating with a hibernating bear.  15 hours I slept.  When I awoke early Friday morning, I felt somewhat better, though physically exhausted.  I decided to take one more sick day to get my strength up.  I had gotten all of my work submitted, so I felt pretty good.  I even ventured to try a few bites of food.  Sugar Free Jello?  Check!  Toast?  Check!  Both stayed down perfectly. 

Until…

The disco started.  Strobe light flashing.  Music pumping.  Hookers dancing.  It was Studio 54 all over again.  And I had an all night pass.

Sunday… I awoke and felt… ok… for a while.  By the time my roommate Lori woke… I was flipping out.  I felt like my heart might literally burst.  I couldn’t stand it one more minute.  A thought flashed in my head… just for a brief moment… if I ran head first into that wall… WOW… OK IDIOT… TIME TO ACT.  I find that when you actually entertain the notion of hurting yourself… in any way… no matter how moronic… it is time to get help.  I asked Lori to drive me to the emergency room.  I called and asked my mom if she would meet us there.  She suggested that I call an ambulance if my chest was hurting.  So we did.  I was oddly peaceful knowing that they were coming to save me from my nightmare.  Even if the bastards did track mud all over my carpet [grumble].  EKG – check.  No heart attack imminent.  They strapped me on a gurney and wheeled me under the flashing lights into the ambulance.  I don’t know why they proceed to ask you a million questions.  Then they read out vitals and write them down wrong 30 seconds later. 

It was like the Three Stooges of medical care. 

But I didn’t care. 

I was on my way for help.

hospital20outside20-20cartoon1



{January 23, 2009}   Dear Younger, Dumber Me:

Dear 21-year old Me,

I am writing to you from the future.  Hey!  Stop thinking about Michael J. Fox, the Fish Under the Sea Dance, and a flux capacitor! – Focus!!  I am writing to you to tell you a few things that might save you some pain, and also identify a few red flags that you missed.

First, I would like the opportunity to congratulate you on being focused and working on your degree.  You will go on to obtain your Master’s degree with little or no effort on your part.  A word of warning – put some effort in and fix your grades undergrad.  I will thank you later.  Don’t worry – your graduate GPA is MUCH more impressive.  Hehe

Second – and this could be the most important lesson – You will become a REALLY cool chick.  Someone who is WAY too cool for lessons learned in this blog.  Seriously.  I know it doesn’t feel that way now.  You are insecure about your weight, looks, intelligence – everything.  That is normal at your age.  PLEASE don’t settle for the first guy that sticks around for more than three months… especially when the first three months suck.  You don’t know who you are yet.  You will grow into a really amazing, successful person and can be ALL the things you want to be without settling for something crappy.

Here’s the deal – Steve is not a bad guy.  He is just not that into you.  You can keep pushing the relationship where it doesn’t want to go, but it WILL end badly.  He will love you, but he will also take you for granted.  He will marry you – but you have to decide if the pain that will come is worth it.

Red Flag Identification:

  • 2 weeks into the relationship – He will stop calling you.  He will blame you for some fake illness that he doesn’t actually have.  He is a hypochondriac… this pattern of behavior will continue for YEARS.
  • 3 months into the relationship – He will cheat on you.  RUN, MORON… RUN!!!  Do not stick around for that!  I don’t care HOW much he cries… or how badly it hurts.  Accepting this behavior will really mess you up for a long time.
  • 6 months in – “I love you, but I am not IN love with you” – Again… You are too smart for this kind of crap!  Please stop self-deprecating and thinking that you won’t find someone new!  The man of your dreams was waiting to bump into you at the grocery store, and you were doing some asshole’s laundry.  Fantastic.

I think you can see where I am going with this, Liz.  You won’t really come into yourself until you are 30, or so.  You will be much happier and more confident.  Maybe you need some of these experiences to shape who you will become, but I hate to see you suffer needlessly.  Other words of advice:

  • Never marry a man who has you buy your own wedding ring
  • If your groom has to be on anxiety medication to walk down the aisle… think about that.
  • If he wants to Honeymoon in COLONIEL FREAKIN WILLIAMSBURG – RUN!!!!!!!!!!
  • When he just stops going to work for no particular reason… move out.
  • If you catch him on the phone, internet, etc. with other women…. hit him in the head with a frying pan on your way out the door (Not really… ).
  • When he says HORRIBLE things to you to make you feel bad so he can feel better about himself… Tell him to SUCK IT…. as you throw all of his things into the gutter.
  • When you tell this man, who has hurt you more than anyone else on the face of the planet EVER could, that you want a divorce… and you will… and he cries… and begs… and pleads… and snots on everything you own…. Walk away.  Do not allow one minute of his crying manipulative rhetoric to convince you to give him another chance.  He has perfected his line of bullshit over the years, and you are too forgiving.

Here’s the bottom line, Liz… You have an AMAZING heart.  You would do anything in the world for the people you love.  To a fault.  You are easily seen as someone to try to befriend and use.  It has happened time and time again.  You don’t deserve that.  Sometimes, it might feel like your penance, but believe me… it is a series of bad choices made out of love for someone else.

It is time to take back your life and become the person you were born to be.  It is time to stop holding back due to fear of success… and failure.  You can do SO much more than you already do… you just have to allow yourself the space and time to do it.  It is time to do what we would tell our friends to do, if they were in the same situation.  Be the grown up and take care of yourself.

Love Always,

Older, Wiser, Separated Liz



{January 7, 2009}   Quick Update

I wanted to post a quick update to let you know what has happened, and why I haven’t been posting.

Christmas was OK.  Steve acted like a big baby and refused to come to a family Christmas party unless I wanted him there.  Whatever.  But, he got me massive Christmas presents, in the form of a Blu-Ray DVD player, a HD camcorder, and a massive pink coach purse with a smaller clutch because he wanted me to have a good Christmas.  And probably to guilt me into buying him a TV we can’t afford/don’t need.

New Year’s Eve… he once again chose not to attend because he wanted me to basically beg him to go.  Here’s the deal… I have been to almost every event ALONE for the past 10 years.  I don’t really care if you come or not.  It will NOT affect my good time.  Unless you are a douche.  Then it will affect me a lot.  I took my friend Lori as my husband instead.  hehe  We had an awesome time.  Lori had a little too much to drink and ended up crashing out on my couch.

The next morning (ok.. afternoon… we were out REALLY late) we were sitting around talking and deciding what to do for the day.  I already decided that I would let Steve watch football and we were going to go watch Steel Magnolias.  I invited Steve for good measure… and he started in with his whining about how mean I am… how cold I am.  A robot.  The Ice Queen.

Suck it… I’m out!  We left to go pick up Lori’s daughter, Em.  She said, “I finally get it.  I heard the way he talked to you.  That is totally unacceptable and I am going to stage an intervention!”  Along with another friend, they helped me see that I really needed to do something drastic.

As I was walking out to the car, Steve called me and told me that there was a note left on the door by a process server… I am being sued.  By a debt collector.  A debt that was incurred and went unpaid during the time when Steve just decided to stop working.  I snapped.  I was driving down the road sobbing.  Why did I let this happen???

I decided to stay the night with Lori.  I couldn’t go home.  I was angry.  Hurt.  Miserable.  We went and grabbed clothes on the pretense that Lori was having a bad day and needed company.  Poor little Em was trying so hard to keep the secret that I was coming to live with them.  He asked her how she was doing and she flipped out and ran into my room and said, “Mommy!!  Steve is talking to me!  I can’t talk to him!  I HAVE A SECRET!!!” 

Incidentally, Em told me, “Lidabeth, you can stay in my room forever!  And I am moving into Mommy’s closet!!”  A correction for CPS records – her TOYS are moving into Mommy’s closet.  She is moving into Mommy’s ROOM.  She also got so excited that I was moving into her room… that she packed up her toys into Ziploc bags and began moving them.  Adorable!!

So, that is where I am right now.  I am living in a room, donated by my sweet friends, that, until yesterday, contained a pink & purple castle tent and a ginormous stuffed dog the size of a Buick named Razaroo.  Today it is empty… waiting for me to make decisions and possibly start a new life. 

It’s amazing how you can know so fiercely that you want something… and then it begins to happen… and it scares the living shit out of you.  My husband has nowhere to go when our lease expires.  He is not close with friends or family, and does not earn a steady income (real estate agent + tanking market = holy shit!).  I am riddled with guilt and anxiety about his future.  People tell me that isn’t my problem… which is true… but how do you just STOP caring about someone you have been with for 10 years?

I think this will be a very interesting time for me.  To see what I can do to love myself again.  To give myself the same advice I would give a friend in the same position.

Stay tuned for my next post:  Dear Younger, Dumber Me: An Open Letter to Myself



et cetera