Life After Divorce











Wow.  I am blown away that another year has come and gone.  2009 kicked my ass, both in a good way, and a less-than-good way.  Not bad, per se, but if you have been reading, you know that it hasn’t been a walk in the park by any means.  I am glad to see 2009 go, and am thrilled that I actually managed, perhaps for the first time ever, to achieve my New Year’s Resolution… divorce.  Sure, it took me 11 months to get it done.  Eleven long, grueling months, but it is done, nonetheless.

One year ago today, I was abducted from my miserable existence.  Last New Year’s Eve, my best friend, Lori, agreed to attend my family’s annual NYE party with me, since, as usual, my husband refused to go.  Not because he wanted to do something else, or even because he didn’t like going out on New Year’s, but because he thought I was going to leave him and didn’t want to get involved in a family function that would hurt him.  It was the same reason he gave for skipping Thanksgiving, and also Christmas.  Not really why he skipped those on other years, but whatever.  So, I dragged my friend out into the cold, dressed in our best approximation of formal wear, and we had ourselves a blast.  I think we rolled into the house about 6 am, and I put her ass to bed on the couch.  When I woke up around noon, Lori and I started discussing what we would do to enjoy the first day of the new year.  You see, New Year’s Day is a football day, which means that the husband would be sitting on the couch for hours watching endless games, highlights, and commentaries; leaving me virtually ignored.  So, I didn’t even think to include him in our plans.  This is, after all, what happened for the previous 10 years.  So, when he called me (from the bedroom, into the living room), he was less than happy that I wouldn’t be sitting there bored to death watching him watch football.  He started throwing around some of my favorite terms of endearment, such as ice queen, I rolled my eyes and hung up on him.  Then, when I went to get dressed to start the day, he started in again telling me how I was the problem.  Long story short (ok, not short… get used to it) Lori overheard everything he said to me, and as we made our escape she said, “Oh NO!  I can’t believe the way he was talking to you!!  I thought he was nice, but he is a douche!  This is an INTERVENTION!!!  YOU ARE NOT GOING BACK!  I AM KIDNAPPING YOU!”  At this point, I was pretty fried, I will admit.  She got on the phone with another friend and they plotted getting me out of the house.  I stayed pretty quiet, as most people hit with an intervention do, until the jerk started calling obsessively.  I finally answered the phone and he informed me that a process-server had just been to our door, and that I was being sued.  I lost it.  I finally came completely unglued.  The reason for the suit was due to a bad debt obtained during the three-year period when he just decided that he didn’t like his job, and wasn’t going to go at all.  He makes the decision, and I get burned with the consequences.  As I was attempting to get back in my car, the door wouldn’t open.  I finally managed to get it open, and the flood gates opened.  I cried all the way back to Lori’s house.  I laid on her couch and cried for hours.  I was exhausted…. mentally and emotionally drained… and I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Lori told me that she and her five-year old daughter discussed it, and they invited me to move in to their apartment.  I will admit that I was resistent. I am stubborn… I will admit it freely.  I didn’t WANT to leave my place.  It was MY place, and if anyone should be leaving, it ought to be him!  But… I finally had to admit that the likelihood of that happening was slim-to-none… I had to make the choice.  Go back, be stubborn, and be miserable… OR take the leap and try to do it a different way.  It took me less than three days to decide I was never going back.  My friends, while happy I had done something, never really believed that I would stay gone.  But something my friend Jeff said to me really hit home.  He said, “You know… you can keep complaining about the situation and never doing anything – and eventually… we are going to get tired of hearing about it.”  I decided he was right, and I didn’t want to be “that girl.”  I am a smart, independent woman MORE than capable of supporting herself.  Hell, I supported myself AND him for YEARS.  It HAD to be easier to do it on my own.

Going back to get my stuff, since we left with nothing, was tough.  The first time, I told him that I was just going to spend the night with Lori because she was having a rough time.  Chickenshit, I know.  But, I didn’t want to deal with a scene.  We went over, and she put on her best depressed face, drawn hoodie and all, and I packed as much into two tote bags as I possibly could.  Poor little Em… she knew it was a secret that she couldn’t tell him… he tried to talk to him and she almost flipped out.  She comes running back into my room and says, “He’s trying to talk to me but I have a SECRET!!!”  Needless to say, we got the hell out of dodge as quick as we could manage.  We also bribed Em with ice cream, so you know, she was VERY motivated not to spill the beans.

The next day, Lori called me at work to let me know that Em was thrilled that I was moving in, and she had begun packing her toys up in Ziploc baggies so that I could move into her room.  The sheer thought and loving compassion from a then-four-year old girl brought me to tears.  I began going back home when I knew he would be working to get more stuff out.  It was hard, for sure.

I am so thankful to my many friends and family members who invited me out on a regular basis to take my mind off things, and to let loose and have a little fun for a change.  First was the “worst party on Earth.”  Yeah… it really sucked LOL.  Next was my cousin’s bachelorette party, which was a lot of fun and involved a party bus and copious amounts of alcohol.  I am not much of a drinker, but it was still a total blast.  I don’t remember a lot of the first few weeks… they really passed in a blur.  I slept in Em’s bed, and will admit that I may have cuddled up with a giant stuffed dog named Razaroo, and I might not admit to crawling into a giant purple castle-shaped tent.  Maybe.  But I kept telling myself… “I’m OK!!!”

February brought along my annual out-of-town scrapbooking retreat with some of my girlfriends.  It was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of work done.  It was also the first time that I can say I don’t think we will be invited back, but those people suck anyway lol.  I also convinced the girls that we should swing by The Salt Lick (outside of Austin) on our way home.  Rogna kindly pointed out that a 70 mile trip was NOT on our way home, but I begged to differ – Especially where the best BBQ on Earth is concerned.  They relented, and after we stuffed ourselves silly, eventually agreed.  Mmmmm… all you can eat BBQ.

The next weekend was the wedding reception for my cousin and her awesome new hubby.  They got married in Mexico, but then had a reception back at home so that we could all celebrate with them in style.  Enter the soon to be ex.  Unfortunately, our invitation arrived while we were still together, so he wanted to go.  I told him I didn’t care if he went (it is a free country, after all), to which he said, “but I want to go as your husband!”  [yawn]  He did end up going, but I was much too concerned with catching up with my favorite cousins to spend any time around him, much to his chagrin.  After this (and before, too), I started to receive a barrage of texts, voicemails, and calls from him asking me to come home and reminding me that our lease was set to expire at the end of the month, and he didn’t have any place to go.

About a week later, I started feeling sick.  I had been on meds for anxiety for about a month, but they didn’t seem to be helping.  As you know from my Panic at the Disco! blog, I do not do well with anxiety.  After three days straight of throwing up, my body had enough.  Enter the Three Stooges of ambulatory care.  These bozos tramped through my room in muddy boots, got lost on the way to the hospital, and couldn’t get a vital sign right to say their (or more accurately MY) life.  I was admitted into the hospital for 5 days.  Many gory and horrible things occurred (read the old blog), and I was released on Friday night, still anxious and vomiting.  After a miserable night where I very nearly lost the will to live, literally, I was taken to a different (aka BETTER) hospital, where they performed emergency surgery to remove my lap band.  I felt SO much better immediately after surgery that I probably could have skipped all the way home, IV and flappy gown blowing in the wind.

I recovered at my mom’s house for a few weeks… because, seriously?  Who takes better care of you when you are sick than your mom?  No one… that’s who.  And can you believe it?  That dillhole shows up at my mom’s house while I am doped up on pain meds with that stupid apartment lease for me to sign.  Douche nozzle.  I am referring to myself, of course, because I signed the stupid thing.  Idiot.  Guilt trips will take you far, but you will discover they do not accumulate the frequent flier miles associated with that much travel.  He kindly took off as soon as my now-roommate showed up, probably afraid that she would take his ass down with a Xena Warrior Princess-like jab to the throat, or perhaps a swift kick to the [fake] knees.

March & April had me feeling better than I had in a long time.  We were eating better (South Beach Diet), working hard, and getting things into a groove.  I even bought myself a new bed.  I didn’t really mean to… really… I was just looking.  But when the guy showed me the floor model… a $1400 bed marked down to $500… that felt like heaven… I was sold.  I always wanted a new bed.  I was so sick of hand-me-down beds.  I bought that sucker and had it set up to be delivered to the Chateau (what I have lovingly been calling our apartment).  Talk about Red Carpet service!  If you are thinking of buying a bed from the Mattress Firm… do it.  Pay the $60 for delivery.  They literally showed up with a red carpet.  And booties to cover their shoes so as not to make the same error as the Stooges.  And they set up the frame and mattresses for me.  And the bed was a good 3 feet taller in my room than it was in the store.  I had to take a flying leap to get into the thing!  I call it my Princess and the Pea bed (aka The Princess Bed), and it is heavenly.  To this day, people cannot lay on this bed without wanting to snuggle down and fall right to sleep.  [sigh]  I am writing this from my bed now lol.  But a few weeks later, once my bank statement came in to his apartment, he called and gave me the riot act over buying a new bed and how that told him I wasn’t coming back.  It couldn’t have been the 5,000 times I TOLD HIM I wasn’t coming back… it was the bed.  The next day I had my mail forwarded to a new PO Box.

I also had to lock down my Facebook account, for crying out loud.  At some point, I started getting “Friend Requests” from him.  I kindly ignored them.  After a week or so, he asked me if I was ever going to add him as a friend, to which I said, “hell no.”  After that realization, he decided to have other people spy on my FB status updates to extract information, which he would later call or text me about, generally at 3:00 am.  I locked that sucker down tighter than a drum.  To my knowledge, there haven’t been any other breaches.

While my new found freedom was nice, the paying half the rent at two apartments really sucked.  I was so pissed about that damn lease, but there really wasn’t anything I could do about it.  He wasn’t going to move, and I couldn’t get my name off the lease without him signing off on it and qualifying for the lease on his own (which was never going to happen).  He also started hounding me about doing something with our dog (namely, he didn’t want to take care of him anymore).  Around the middle of June, the anxiety started creeping back in.  I ran directly back to the doctor for help, and he doubled my Lexapro prescription.  I am fully convinced that this threw me over the edge into full-blown panic attacks 5-6 times a day.  Another trip to the ER, countless doctor’s visits, and every test known to man (btw my gall bladder is operating at 94%, thank you very much), and I come out with a diagnosis of “Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and a prescription for antidepressants.  Basically, the long and short of it is that my nerves in my stomach are highly sensitive and easily irritated.  Add that together with an acid stomach and raging anxiety issues… Boom.  Misery.  Since that day, I have taken my meds (meant to dull the nerves in the tummy) and haven’t had another episode.

During this time, I also took a little trip to a Psychiatrist, because holding two Psychology degrees myself, I find it important to keep a tight watch on my mental well-being, and let’s face it… my marriage did little to help my self-esteem and massively exacerbated a low-lying depression that I had probably been dealing with for years.  After a few talks with whats-her-name (seriously… I don’t have a clue what her name is), I felt better about my situation and my choice to move on with my life.  Oh, and in July I got an early Christmas present.  I found out that our lease expired in AUGUST, not September, like I originally thought.  Weeeee!  Oh Happy Day!  I immediately began packing, got a storage unit, and enlisted my girls to help me pack.  I also begged some loving family members to help me with the actual moving.

And the husband… he was a prince.  Of frogs.  He wanted everything.  He “needed” it.  Blah, blah, blah.  A friend of mine told me that typically in a divorce, one person gets the stuff and the other one is happy.  Guess which one I am??  I gave it all up.  I didn’t care.  I was so tired and ready to move on, and sick of arguing about every little thing that I walked away from some very nice things.  Oh well.  Come to find out the jerkwad sold it all.  Butthead.  I really miss my TV.  But, my little 13″ color TV with the built-in VCR my parents gave me on my 18th birthday has been getting me by.

September rolled around and I was getting really edgy about the divorce.  I really couldn’t afford a lawyer, and I just didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  All of the things you can Google wanted you to buy this fool-proof kit bullshit.  I don’t really go in for things like that (though I am strangely compelled to buy things as seen on tv), so I was skeptical to say the least.  I asked for advice from a friend who is a lawyer, but it didn’t really lead me where I needed to go.  And then, one day, I had an epiphany. You file for divorce with the District Clerk’s Office.  I used to WORK for the District Clerk’s Office.  I had 500 friends working in the District Clerk’s Office.  I just bet one of them could help me!  So, I called one of my favorite people and she says to me, “Oh, honey!  That’s easy!!!  This is what you do…”

One week later, I had officially filed for divorce.  My husband was kind enough to eventually realize that we didn’t have anything to fight over, so he signed the waiver to contest.  All we had to do was wait 61 days.

And then he remembered the camera.  For Christmas 2008, he went out and bought a bunch of expensive stuff that I told him not to buy as a “present” for me… including a Blu-Ray player (long since hidden by him), a ridiculously large, pink Coach purse, and a really nice HD camcorder.  Since he knew he couldn’t get anything for the purse, I guess he decided that was the “gift”, and promptly started demanding that I return the camera to him.  Suck it, asshole!  You got EVERYTHING!!  This was my inital thought.  After 2 weeks of constant harassment, threats, and basic stalking, I decided that the old stubborn me was never getting anywhere, so I gave the camera up.  Yes, it was a nice camera.  No, I don’t for one second believe he was going to “sell it to pay off the debt” like he claimed.  But, it was one less thing for him to hold over my head.  One less reason for him to ever contact me again (not that it has stopped him).  So, I gave it up.  I wish I would have had it to record my niece’s awesome reaction to the tricycle I bought her for Christmas, but whatever.  The picture of her riding it in a princess costume will live with me forever.

By mid-November, I was so ready for everything to be over.  I was counting down the days on my calendar.  As I got close, I called the clerk’s office again to make sure I could go in on the day I wanted to… good thing I checked.  They did not hold the uncontested docket on that day.  So, I went the next day instead.  I was very nervous… especially since I seemed to be the only schmuck there without an attorney.  But, I just followed behind one of the attorneys and eventually landed myself on the 9 am docket.  After being called in front of the judge, sworn in, and reading my testimony (pre-printed, courtesy of the courts, thank you very much), I was waltzing out the door mentally singing Freebird.  A celebratory jewelry party with friends later, and I was waltzing through the door of the Chateau a single lady.  I thank all of my friends, family, blog readers, and random other people for all of their support and encouragement.

The rest of the year flew by in a blur.  Thanksgiving came, and with it a visit from my brother.  I was thrilled to see him, since he lives in New York and doesn’t get down that often.  I had my first date in over eleven years, and it was… well… a disaster.  I mean the date itself was fine, but the guy ended up being a tool after the fact.  In fact, a week later he called and begged me to “take him back.”  Umm… dude… it was one date.  Weirdo.  I had another first date… and then a second… and a third (that’s three dates with the same guy), and so far so good.  He is a nice guy, and it is fun to hang out with someone and just be yourself.  No pretenses… no self-consciousness.  Good times.

And then it happened.

And I laughed so hard I almost wet myself.

And I believe I wrote a Facebook status that went like this:  “Dear Baby Jesus in the Hay… THANK YOU for the gift of laughter… and for the fact that the last person to view my online dating profile happens to be my ex-husband.”  That’s right, folks.  On a site that doesn’t ask or list you name or even your email address… the last person to view me was him.  And of course, he started to send me the most horrible, vile, and mean texts you have ever read.  And trust me, one day you WILL read them.  As will the courts, if he doesn’t leave me alone.  So, I blocked him.  Good times… Good times.

So, another year has come and gone, and with it I am happier, healthier, and a lot wiser.  I have high expectations for 2010, and I am thrilled that I get to continue my journey with great friends, a terrific family, and myself.  Because that is truly what I have gained this year.  I have the self I always wanted to be.  I will always have goals and will always move forward, but life after divorce is about to get a whole lot more interesting!

Happy New Year to you all!  Please continue reading, and leaving me those comments.

xo,

Liz

(PS – Sorry for the 3,600+ word post.  It was a hell of a year!  If you stuck with it to the end… kudos to you!  And to me!  LOL)

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{September 27, 2009}   Dear Nutcase…

Dear Psychotic-Soon-to-be-ex-husband,

Yeah… that attempt you are making at blocking your number when calling me 30 times a day and at all hours of the night???  Not working.  I’m still not answering the phone.  I don’t answer the phone for ANY blocked number… especially at 2:30 am.  Sorry things aren’t working out like you planned, but if you keep it up, I will call the cops… idiot.  Oh, and those harassing and threatening text messages?  I am sure they will enjoy those as well.  Good job!

Give it up.

Hostilely,  Me

What do you think??  Too direct?

Ohhhh and Happy Birthday to Me!!  Yeah, I know it’s your birthday too, but this is the first one in 11 years that I have not allowed you to ruin for me!



{August 2, 2009}   Cue Choir of Angels

It’s amazing how things can change with a single conversation.  Calm down… I have not lost my mind and gone back to my marriage [shudder].  Let me back up a minute…

Since the separation began in January, my husband has spent countless hours telling me that he didn’t have anywhere to go once our lease expired.  I felt guilty, though I am not sure why.  When I got sick in February, he was constantly harassing me about signing another 6 month lease with our apartment complex.  I didn’t want to, but since he has been basically estranged from most of his nearby relatives for the better part of 2 years, I felt sorry for him and didn’t want to see him living in his car.  So, against my better judgment, and all the cries from from friends and family, and while on some pretty heavy painkillers post-surgery, I broke down and signed the lease so that he would have somewhere to live while he was figuring things out.

What. A. Mistake.

Not only did I get roped into another lease… I somehow ended up being guilted into paying for half the rent, too!  “I just can’t afford the whole thing,” he says.  “Then you shouldn’t have extended the lease!” I said.  “Well, YOU signed it, so you have to pay half.” he says.  [Enter grumbles and massive cursing here]

So, I have been paying half rent to my wonderful friend who kidnapped me from a horrible situation and allowed me to move in with her and her 4-year old daughter, AND paying half the rent for my jackass of a husband.  I thought the lease ran through the end of September and have been counting down the days.

But… I have recently learned that the lease actually ends August 31st!!!!!!!!!  [Cue choir]  I am So freaking thrilled!!  I have secured a storage unit and have started moving some of my things in there.  Unfortunately, I believe my “husband” is still laboring under the delusion that I am coming back… not sure why, as I have clearly stated my intentions.  I don’t know where he plans to go, as he has made no plans… but that is SO not my problem!!  I am turning in my final 1/2 rent payment along with written notice that we will NOT be continuing our lease.  Now it is just time to pack it up and say a final farewell to my old life.

Oh – Great news!  My friend Jennifer’s Mother, Kathy, and her brother Ray have agreed to take my awesome dog Picasso in!  I can’t have him here due to the dual cat issue, and as Steve will probably be living in a van down by the river ala ‘Matt Foley’ (Chris Farley, via SNL), he can’t take him either.  Thank you to Kathy and Ray!!

The Amazing Picasso (aka Pico)

The Amazing Picasso (aka Pico)



{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 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.



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



{November 5, 2008}   Busting Out

During all of Steve’s bipolar craziness, we were still living at my dad’s house.  As I mentioned, I found out that Dad was no longer paying the mortgage.  I lived in a constant state of panic and fear that one day that knock on the door would come and my greatest fear would be realized – Homelessness.

In January 2006, after having a heart-to-heart with my Dad (not an easy task, I will tell you) – I decided that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I had a job I hated.  A husband who broke my heart daily.  And a deep seeded fear that any day now, I would be discovered and evicted.  I couldn’t breathe.

One Saturday I was hanging out with my mom and we decided to go look at apartments in the area (we both have a great love of looking at houses, apartments, cars – whatever).  We went to one of the “luxury” apartments in town and found that they had a 1-bedroom unit that I could totally afford, even on my crappy salary AND a $200 move in special.  I signed my name on the dotted line right then and there to reserve the unit.  I would be moving in a week.  It was the first really impulsive thing I had ever done, and I felt amazing.  I planned to go home and tell both Steve and my Dad that I was out of there.  See ya suckers!

But… somehow… he convinced me to bring him along.  [insert Debbie Downer’s music here]  My pretty, clean, little apartment was invaded by a giant slob who was still talking to other women behind my back.  Why, oh why was I so dumb?  I should have taken the therapist’s advice and moved with no forwarding address.  But I didn’t.  Because I am actually the sucker.  About this time, Steve was called by his job who said, “Look… it’s been nearly 2 years… you haven’t been to work in most of those 2 years.  You can either quit… or we can fire you.  Your call.”  He chose to quit.

He decided on a new career path, which required him to go to school for a few months.  But, instead of starting right away, he decided to put it off for 6 months.  We began to fight more and more.  I kept hearing things like, “Just let me get my license, and I am out of here!”  Fine.  Get your damn license.  Oh?  What’s that?  Having the license doesn’t earn you money to live on right away?  Shocker.  “Just wait until [fill in the blank].”  “If I could afford to leave I would be out of here.”  So… what you are saying is that you are using me as a meal ticket?  Hmmm.

So that was my goal.  Get him to a place where he could afford to take care of himself, and be gone.  This was no longer a marriage.  I was not happy.  He was not happy.  He was too self-absorbed to care about what was going on with me.  So I waited…



{November 5, 2008}   Girls, Girls, Girls

Unfortunately, this post is NOT about my rabid love affair with Motley Crue.  Wait, I never had a love affair with Motley Crue.  [shudder]

This is about one of the dirty little secrets they don’t print in the “Welcome to Bipolar Land” pamphlet.  Well, maybe they do, but I always skim the pamphlets and go straight for the pictures.  I mean, come on… if it were really important, do you think they would put it into a pamphlet?  No, what I am talking about is a little more than the risky behavior of which some bipolar people partake.  I am talking about girls.

Now I have mentioned before my husband’s gravitation towards the opposite sex.  He’s kind of a dog.  But not a cool dog, like a lab.  More like a rabid horn-dog.  In Jabba the Hut’s body.  Once the bipolar news was broken, he seemed to explode into the stereotypes associated with the disorder.  There was no more holding back.

About this time, he became familiar with Yahoo Messenger and the adjoining chat rooms.  Since he wasn’t going to work, he would stay up all night playing on the internet.  I, of course, had to continue my normal bedtime routine so that I could support our family.  But, I wasn’t used to sleeping alone, so I would often wake up in the middle of the night disoriented since he was not in bed.  I would wander downstairs and find him chatting with “people” online, or worse, on the phone.  Typically, whomever he was talking to was quickly closed out or hung up on so that I would not see/hear the content of the conversation.  I would like to take a moment to point out that I am in no way, shape, or form, an idiot.  Sure, it might seem that way from the things I have put up with, but I really am not. I can definitely put 2 + 2 together.

So, I did what any good wife would do – Spy.  I will tell you, if the CIA is looking for a good agent, they should really give me a call.  I became a world class sleuth to figure out what he was up to.  I would check the internet history [shudder], chat archives, phone records, etc.  I was completely disgusted at what I would find.  One morning, I woke up a little earlier than normal and actually walked in on the bastard having phone sex with someone.  I was livid.  He is SO lucky that he is twice my size, or I might be writing this blog from the Texas State Penitentiary System.  Not really.  Yeah really.

This is about the time I start hearing, “What??? WHAT??? Leave him!  Leave him!!”  Believe me.  I have heard it.  I have heard it from the little voice in my own brain.  But the caring, compassionate person in me said, “He is sick.  He is having problems.  He isn’t working.  Where would he go?”  I thought I was doing the right thing – trying to support him both emotionally and financially.  But it was a major blow to my ego.  My self-esteem, which wasn’t great to begin with, went right out the window.  And I was trapped.  I was miserable.  I couldn’t imagine that someone I loved SO much… and had done EVERYTHING for would do something like this.  Especially after the last time

Unfortunately, this behavior continued for years.  Every time I would walk into the room, he would hang up on whoever he was talking to.  The cell phone bills were outrageous (anywhere from $300 – $1100 per month – which I had to pay for).  My heart was shattered.  I know now that I had fallen into the pit of despair with no chance of Carey Elwes coming to rescue me.

I have no evidence to say he actually ever slept with anyone during this time.  It doesn’t matter.  The phone and internet relationships were enough to kill off most of the feelings I had for him and destroy my self-esteem.  I felt trapped.  I don’t know why I felt trapped, as I had all the leverage, but I did.  I was told that it was my fault that he had to seek out these other women.  My fault for not spending enough time with him.  Yeah, asshole… because I am asleep.  Or at work.  Trying to support us.  Trying to keep us from becoming homeless.  Trying to keep my own sanity when those around me are losing theirs.  I felt useless.  Unloved and miserable.  Nothing will ever change that.



{October 13, 2008}   Responding to Search Terms

I am going to take a quick break from my story to respond to search engine terms which have brought people to my blog.  I think some of them are funny, and would love to share.  Enjoy!

He says it hard to love you after 17 years – Well, my friend, he is a dick.  I know that this is a blog about a relationship crashing and burning at the end of a very short runway, but anyone who would say that to you is really just a jerk.  Time should have no bearing on love.  Behavior, on the other hand, is a different animal entirely.  Good luck to you.

littlemissobsessivexo… Little Miss Obsessive has been a loyal reader since the beginning of my blog (last month) and I think her blog is hella funny!  Check her out!  She even gave me a blog award!

i love you, but i am not in love with an – With an what???  An animal?  an asshole?  I don’t get it!  I hate when the search term cuts off!  Or did it…?  “I love you, but I am not IN love with you” sucks to hear every single time.  Kind of like, “I love you like a sister.”  Yeah, then stop sleeping with me, you weirdo. [shudder]

i love you but i am mad at you – It happens.  Try to work on communicating clearly, even when you are angry.  Focus on what is important.  Also, remember, if it isn’t meant to be, don’t kill yourself trying to work out something that will never work out.  Believe me – red flags burning in the night, and all that jazz.

I trust you because – Again, I don’t know if this one got cut out, or if it is a declarative like, “Because I said so.”  Trust is so important in a relationship.  When there is no trust, there is no relationship.  Believe me… it all goes downhill from there.  You have to be able to work through situations or know when to move on, or else you are creating a situation that is unhealthy for everyone involved.

how do I know if I am in love with my boyfriend– Well, I don’t think typing that question into a search engine will yield the results you are after.  Give it some time and feel it out.  You should want to be with that person all the time.  It SHOULD be reciprocated… There is a fine line between love & stalking.  Just sayin’…

Love and Trust completely– Good luck with that.  In relationships, we are two (or more if you are Hef) human beings trying to come together.  We will always have baggage (although some people bring a little overnight bag, while others are toting Imelda Marcos’ entire shoe collection) coming into the relationship.  It is how well we can make these things fit into the closet which will define us over time.

I love this one person but he doesn’t really like me – Cut and run, my friend.  Nothing good can come from that.

My guy likes to go out and not call me – Yeah, they all do that.  Setting expectations can help that.  Also not being with someone who is a lying, cheating bastard will help too.  Again, see trust.

Romance – Not in this blog, honey!  Oh, there have been attempts… but most have fallen under the heading “Operation This-Will-Not-End-Well”

Am I in Love– I don’t know.  I can’t imagine that you expect Google to respond with, “YES!  Jane Doe, you are, in fact, in love. And you have herpes.  Congratulations.  Here is a link to Valtrex.”  I think that we have gotten a little too involved with technology and a little too trusting in the information we will receive online.  Somethings, you will just have to feel.

a0m0y7.wordpress… Amy’s Blog.  Funny stuff!

Start of relationship told me its friends – Sometimes a relationship can start as friendship and will blossom into romantic love.  Most will not.  Be sure you can handle the situation and remain friends if it is the latter.

Date someone not in love with them – I assume this is usually the case with dating.

BastardAnd how!!

He slept with someone when we was just hanging out – Run away!

Silence is deafening in relationships  – It really can be.  Listen to that silence.

Why don’t my work friends ask me to hang out – It sounds like you might be a little needy?  Just a guess…

Anyway, I will resume blogging the demise of my marriage soon.



et cetera