Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo…A day that once celebrated Mexico’s defeat of French troops and that has subsequently  been bastardized into a day of drinking and food!  Oh well, I’ll take it.  My girlfriend B is on her way over and we’re going to head to the pool to do a little lounging, drinking, and eating.  I have to say that I am so very blessed to have some really amazing friends.  I don’t know what I’d do without them or where I’d be, honestly!  I think it very likely that I would have been committed without B’s care of me.

The last few months have been very difficult for me.  I feel like I’ve lost, lost, and lost some more and was threatened with the potential loss of one of the most important people in my life… my mom.  While I don’t believe in organized religion or the power of “God” with the capital “G”, I am so very, very thankful that my mom is doing well and I’m thankful for the pain and insight this journey has provided me.

Life, as we all know, is a journey with a lot of twists and turns.  Sometimes there are more and sometimes there are less, but they will always be there.  Life is not intended to be easy.   I believe it is intended to be a journey that transcends our physical bodies.  There is a religious saying that says something to the effect of, “God never gives you more than you can handle”.  I feel that this sentiment is true.  I have been put through the ringer these last few months, but I am stronger for it.  And I know that the next few months will be similarly difficult, but I have greater insight into my needs and myself to get me through this… insight that would not have happened without all the pain, fear, and loss.  One of my favorite sentiments from Buddhism:

Only to the extent that we expose ourselves to annihilation over and over
do we find that within us that is indestructible. 

And now it is time to go celebrate my little life by soaking up the warmth of the sun with a good friend.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

~AA

Midnight

As midnight approaches, I’m reminded of graduate school.  I feel like I’m back in graduate school for some reason.  Staying up all night working on something and having to get up early to finish it off.  I used to do that a little more frequently than I’d like to admit.  Stay up until 1:30 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., sleep for a few hours (i.e nap), get up at 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. to finish it before a 9:00 a.m. class!  Those were the days, I have to say.  Tonight I just can’t sleep.  I’ve been packing and doing some laundry that I needed to do, but for some reason I don’t feel like sleeping.  I sort of feel like staying up all night for no apparent reason. I’m really tired, mentally especially, but my brain won’t shut off and I have all this nervous energy.

Tonight I went to my group therapy.  It was a good discussion.  One of the things that we talked about was death and our relationship to it.  It came up because of the situation with my mom.  The interesting thing that came up was that those who experienced loss early and/or a good deal of loss, particularly the loss of a close friend or family member, thought more about death than those without such experiences.  For example, two people in our groups who were in their late 30’s said they never think about death.  There were about 4 of us that admitted to thinking about it more frequently.  The two that never thought about it had never experienced loss, those who did think about it had experienced loss early and/or the death of a close friend of relative.

Why am I talking about this?  Well, it just goes to show how a person’s experiences shape their present.  I lost a number of people that I was close to when I was younger.  I have a tendency to have that mentality that says, “Life is too short to sit spinning wheels.  You only live once, you shouldn’t be complacent.”  Conversely, J has never lost anyone close to him, so he doesn’t think in these terms.  He had a rough childhood, that is true, and he lost his mom in the sense that she abandoned him, but she didn’t die.  I have the “I want to experience everything life has to offer, change things up” ambitions and others are more okay with seeking the status-quo.  This is an incongruency that exists in my marriage.  J is seeking the house, wife, kids, soccer practice life while I’m seeking all of that plus growing my business and making an impact in the world.  Whether or not I will be able to achieve those last two things is irrelevant because that does not get rid of those desires.

All in all, I love my life.  I love my family, I love my friends, I enjoy what I do, I’m growing my little business while teaching online in addition to my “day job”, I’m writing more, I read great literature, I can run and dance and play, and I can love.  I am so blessed to have the most amazing friends in the world even if it is only two or three people.  And, yes, C is among those that I still consider my best friends who provide with essential support.  What do I really have to complain about?  I cannot share things with the person that I want to, but that is okay.  I truly feel we have a connection that will never break regardless of what life throws at us.  We are friends first and I think that is how it should be.  I know he is there for me if I need him and I know he will protect me.  I think this is his new role.  He has become my protector.  I like that. (He’s so sexy).

~AA

GRRR….

Wish I could talk to C.  All this stuff with my mom sucks, but I will be okay.  I just wish this would stop happening to her.  I’m glad that I am going home.  My dad sounds really freaked out.  He’s pretending to be okay, but I know he isn’t.  I think it will be good for both of them if I am there.

C and I have really sucked at not communicating.  We’ve emailed a few times.  I think we are both just so used to that support and connection that we cannot help it to some extent.  I had him send me the final version of the novel he wrote for me.  I’m going to edit it.  I want to read and edit it.  It makes me feel close to him even though I cannot talk to him like I used to.

He’s been going to therapy as well. He mentioned that he had a good session yesterday. I’m really happy to hear this.  I hope his therapist will be helpful.  Help him realize that he should not carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.  He’s a lot like me in this regard.  I naturally feel guilty about almost everything.  Even if there is a natural disaster, I’m not doing enough to help.  What’s that about!?

You know, being faced with mortality really makes you think about things differently.  It is so easy to put things off and to trick yourself into believing something isn’t really wrong when it is.  But when you face the possible loss of someone you love, it helps you realize what is important and makes me question why we waste so much time in unfulfilling relationships and jobs, waste time not loving one another, waste time not appreciating one another, waste time caring about relatively unimportant things. I don’t know why we do this.  Perhaps we are afraid of what might happen if we do what we really need to do.

Yesterday I met with my therapist as well.  We were talking about the issue I have of not having a voice in my marriage.  This came up because I told him that I felt like I had to ask permission from J to fly home for my mom.  How ridiculous is that!  But that is how much control I have given him.  This relationship dynamic we’ve developed happened because of both of us, not just him.  I want that to be clear.  I realize that I had a role to play in how we have developed over time.

So, my therapist asked me, “what is the worst thing that would happen if you weren’t the ‘perfect’ wife and said what you needed to say.”  I said that I was fearful that I wouldn’t meet the goal of being a good wife and that he might leave me.  But when faced with mortality, is that really the worst thing in the world?  Oh well, he left you.  There are a lot of people facing worse things than I.  I need to be thankful for the beauty in my life despite the complexity.  And that is how I think of C.  He was/is a beautiful part of my little complex life.  The worst thing that could have happened would have been not experiencing what we shared.

Life is to short.  I’d rather get hurt loving with everything I have than living safe and guarded.

~AA

My Many Sins

I saw a blog entitled “And I can’t say I’m sorry for my many sins”.  I love that.  I’m not going to apologize for my many sins.  We all have them.  If you don’t, you’re missing out on life.

There is a song by John Mayer that I keep coming back to and I’m happy that to this point, I’ve mostly lived my life this way.  Even more happy that I’ve done this with my parents.  I always tell them how much I love them.

I think it is so important to say what you need to say.  Thank you, C.

Here are the lyrics:

Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all your so called problems
Better put ’em in quotations

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to saaaay…

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead

If you could only
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to saaay…

Have no fear
For giving in
Have no fear
For giving over
You better know that in the end
It’s better to say too much
Then never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open… wide…

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to
Say what you need to
Say what you need to say…

End

The end sucks.  I got the last email from C today.  Saying goodbye.  God, I love him.  He makes me feel so fulfilled in ways that no other ever has or probably ever will.  I hate saying goodbye, but it is okay.  I really appreciate the email he sent me.  He apologized for everything that is going on in another email, but in this on he said, “Actually, fuck it.  I’m not going to apologize anymore…I don’t regret falling for you…I regret hurting you and putting drama in your life, but I will always be thankful that I had at least temporary access to a goddess like you. I am not sorry…I’m proud to have loved you.”  And I don’t care what anyone thinks.  I love this email and will keep it forever.  How many of you have been told that you are a goddess or a star walking on the Earth waiting for  your constellation?  I have.

It is so easy to judge relationships from the outside.  To say that this or that person is wrong and is a bad person, but it really is never that easy.  People may think that our relationship was just a fling, something superficial.  But it was far from it.  I’ve never opened myself so completely to another human being in my life.  Not even my therapist.  We’ve never slept together, we’ve never kissed, we’ve never held hands, we’ve never had any physical contact, but I would give everything for him and will love him forever.  I think the reason it became such a deep relationship was because we weren’t distracted by the physical.  We were talking about our dreams, fears, every day struggles and we created together.  Stories.  He finished an entire novel for me.  It is amazing.  How many people have a superficial fling that results in the writing of an entire novel?  And this is only one of many, many things he did for me.

I am so blessed to have experienced him.  And like I’ve always told him, I truly believe we will be together one day, even if only when we are both cats.

I’m going to eat some pizza and candy and continue crying for the night.  Thank goodness I don’t have to do anything tonight.  Crying is so cathartic.

~AA

Been a While

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  I got a little overwhelmed with all the things that I was dealing with in my life.  I’m happy to say that I’ve made some great progress and have been on a steady up-swing in my emotional health.  I’ve been seeing a wonderful therapist…not a counselor, a therapist.  He’s really made a difference for me.  I’m seeing him once a week and I’m going to group therapy.  Yes!  Group therapy. I’ve been coming to terms with this.  Not only am I in personal therapy, but also group therapy.  It has been really helpful, though.  I’m focusing on the positive, but it is almost comical to me that I am doing both.  Never thought I’d be here.  Oh, well.  Such is life.

J has been out of the country since the beginning of February.  This has been good for me.  I’ve been getting my emotional bearings through all this.  I’m hopeful for the future and just need to keep focusing on getting myself healthy.

I love my husband and in many ways I’m hopeful that we will be able to work things out.  One of the things that I had to come to terms with is the fact that it took me leaving for my husband to finally hear what I had to say.  I’ve finally got a “voice” in this relationship.  It is young and fragile, but I have one and am trying to be so protective of it.  J and I have spoken via Skype on the weekends.  Usually only once on Sunday.  This space has really helped me clear my head and has helped me begin to understand what I need in a relationship and why ours got to this point.

I believe that I am as much to blame for the breakdown in our relationship as he is.  I think this is fair.  I gave in, was submissive and lost my voice.  This is just what happened.

I still care so much for C.  He makes me feel so complete.  We’ve discussed the issues surrounding our relationship and our respective relationships.  There is some connection that we have that is not only hard to describe, but also hard to deny.  I’ve never felt more accepted for who I am, quirks and all.  He really loves everything about me and is not put off by the fact that I have these demons that I’m battling with.  It is a novel love and acceptance that I fear losing.  I love him.

How can you be in love with two people?  I have no idea.  I love him and I love my husband…. both for very different reasons.  Life is so complex.  But this complexity is a challenging gift that I would not trade for anything, even sanity. I’m blessed to have struggled.  And even more blessed to feel the love of someone like C.

How will it end?  I don’t know.  But at least I’m here to experience it.

Be good to one another.

~AA

Life as a Business

My girlfriend B and I were talking about how it is so much easier to be successful at work.  I have a job I like and have been informed that the executive team “has plans” for me.  I’ve only been there 4 months.  I think I’m pretty good at what I do and B is really good at what she does.  So, while we were talking last night, I brought up the fact that I feel like two different people….the professional me and the personal me.  I’m doing well in on the professional side, but not so well on the personal side.  It can be a bit confusing.  But the personal stuff is, ultimately, more important.  But I know more about how to get things where they need to be in business than I do in relationships.

So, it got me thinking that maybe I should run my life like a business with a Vision Statement, Mission Statement and develop a strategic plan around clear goals, have some definitions.  In my life business, there wouldn’t be “policies”, per se, there would be items of negotiation and non-negotiation that have guidelines allowing for some interpretation, like the Constitution.

Here’s where I am so far…

Vision Statement:  To depart this world knowing that I made others’ lives better, that I experienced all that I could, that I took risks, that I gave myself completely, that I continuously learned, that I never settled, that I stayed true to myself, that I developed compassion for myself.

Mission Statement: To take appropriate risks in pursuit of a fulfilled life.

Goals:

  1. To always love
  2. To be devoted to my family
  3. To be a leader, educator and healer
  4. To understand and incorporate my spiritual philosophies in everything
  5. Take the road of most resistance when necessary

Destroyed

I have been destroyed.  This weekend was horrific.  The only positive thing is that I think I’ve hit bottom.  I like to think of myself as a strong person, but I’m weak, I’m tired, I’m overwhelmed, I’m destroyed.   I keep reminding myself of that saying, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves to annihilation over and over, can we find that within us that is indestructible.”  I’ll get through this eventually, but right now I’m barely keeping it together.

This weekend J came home.  He is on a work assignment in a different state.  I was too exhausted to put energy into finding a place to stay for the weekend, plus it is my home too.  I didn’t leave.  So we were there for the weekend from Friday through Sunday.  It was hard.  It was confusing.  Saturday I went out with some friends.  I’ve come to realize that I simply don’t need to have a drink at all during this period of time.  I thought a few drinks couldn’t hurt.  Boy was I wrong.

Soon, everything started just welling up in me.  I excused myself from my friends and told them I was tired and going home.  I went to my car and just broke down.  In an effort to get out of there, I was able to drive my car a whopping 30 feet to a parking lot across the street and proceeded to fall apart.  I was so destroyed.  I couldn’t drive.  All I wanted to do was to run my car into a median or a large pole in an effort to end my life.  I was stuck in downtown, crying and completely losing it.  I didn’t know what to do, so I called the suicide hotline.  Which, by the way, was not helpful at all!

The lady told me to stop crying.  Asked why I was upset.  I told her.  She said, “well, if you’re the one who wanted the divorce, why are you crying?”  I hung up on her.  Eventually I got enough of my shit together to start making the drive home, although I shouldn’t have been driving in my state.  I wasn’t drunk, I was simply at the beginning of a nervous breakdown.  I was completely disoriented.

I made it home with great difficulty.  Started what seemed like an endless walk to my home (where J was).  I could barely get myself to walk, much less climb stairs.  I had to take breaks on the way up to the 3rd floor.  It wasn’t pretty.  Sobbing, shoes and purse clung to my chest like a doll.  When I got into the apartment, J was on the couch.  I continued to just lose it.  Wailing.  That is what I was doing.  Wailing.  My soul was so ripped apart, there was nothing to do but give in.  It was horrific.  It was terrifying.

He hugged me and held me while I collapsed on the floor.  Eventually I told him I needed to get into the shower–I find it soothing to be in a shower when I feel really terrible.  I got in the shower, but it didn’t provide me with the relief I needed.  I got a razor blade from my bathroom drawer.  I was in so much pain and distress and it wouldn’t subside.  I was so done.  I wanted it to end.

I started to try.  To let my lifeblood run free.  I pushed the razor against my skin.  It hurt.  I wanted to do it so bad.  To get it over with.  I kept trying, kept not being able to press hard enough.  J came in and took it from me.  He got in the shower and simply held me while I cried and broke down further.  He got me out of the shower and put me in bed.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t speak.  I couldn’t do anything.  Eventually even the tears wouldn’t come.  He stayed with me all night.  I’m glad he was there.

Sunday was difficult.  Waking up and feeling completely empty, foggy.  I play on a soccer league and in a wind ensemble.  And I had practices for both on Sunday.  I went to soccer practice, but J is on my team.  He was there.  I was physically ill.  I left early, but he walked me to my car.  He had to go back to his work assignment, so we said goodbye at the car.  He tried to kiss me.  He told me to let him kiss me.  He started telling me that he wanted me to tell him there was hope for us.  I was dumbfounded.  After all that had transpired in 24 hours he thought it was a good idea to ask me for more (earlier in the day, he told me that “sex makes you feel better”–I think he was joking, but I wasn’t really in the mood).  I proceeded to break down again, got in my car and left.

My girlfriend B came over and we went to dinner.  I’m so grateful for her.  She has been my savior through this.  I told her everything.  It is so hard to reach out to others when you are suffering so horribly b/c you don’t want to burden them and you are ashamed of the things going through your mind.  I lover her so much.  I also emailed a bit with C on Sunday.  He is so accepting of me in my most horrible form.  I’m blessed to have two people who truly love and care for me no matter what.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.  My family loves me, but they aren’t helping me.  My mom is trying.  She’s amazing, but I haven’t talked to my dad in weeks.  My brother doesn’t really know how to help, but he checks in with me from time to time.

This morning is a little better.  I’m working, so that helps me move forward. I know it will be difficult when I’m back home and I can let my guard down, but I need to let myself feel the pain and to work through the pain.  I’ve taken a leave of absence from my soccer league and the band that I play with.  I cannot deal with any additional responsibility right now.  I just need to focus on getting healthy and refocused.

Be kind to one another.

~AA

New Year

Happy New Year!  It has been a rather interesting end to 2011, but I look forward to 2012.  I feel optimistic.  J and I met a few times for lunch over the last few days.  He is heading to a work assignment out of state today and will be there through mid-February.  He then will be in Europe until mid May.  It is sad.  I miss him in many regards.  Our meetings have been very amicable and I am grateful for this.

He met with a counselor who specializes in adult children of alcoholics.  I hope this will help him. He deserves such a beautiful life, but I couldn’t do it any more.  I know there are great things for him in his life as there are for me in mine.  This has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life.

And it has given me such perspective on who my true friends are.  B and her husband K have been amazing.  They have taken such good care of me and support me without judgement.  It is a wonder.  I’ve also been confiding in a new friend, M.  This has been very good for me.  My parents don’t really know what to do and my brother is trying to figure it out as well.  So, the fact that I have two people that I can rely on is just such a blessing.  I don’t know where I’d be without them.  They’ve consistently made time for me, listen to me, comfort me, give me perspective, and have helped me begin the healing process.

I’m so grateful for today.

~AA

Where to start!

Wow… so much has been happening and nothing at all!  I’ve been staying at my girlfriend B’s place for the last few days.  It has been nice and really wonderful to be around people.  J is back from his visit to his family.  Yesterday we met for lunch.  It was good overall, but difficult as well.  He is pleading with me still and trying to get me to reconsider, but this is what I want.  I am unwilling to go back at this point.  He told me yesterday that is was difficult to see me so shut down to all of his tries.  It is true.  I am done.  I tried to explain to him that my emotional reserve is simply done and that I cannot do anything for him right now.

He has decided to go to a counselor that specializes in the children of alcoholics.   I think this will be good for him and I wish him the best.  He kept asking me to go with him and kept saying that he doesn’t have much time (since he is leaving for a work assignment on January 2)I told him this was something that he needs to do for himself not as an attempt to keep me or to try to prove to me that he is going to change.  I told him that I hope he finds what he needs and is able to resolve some of the things he has been dealing with, but that I won’t be going with him.  He wants to do couples counseling with me, I think.  I’m just not able to at this point.

This morning he called me to see if I wanted to go for a walk with him.  I love walking at the park… he knows this.  When we lived in the place we just move from, I’d always ask him to go on walks with me.  Sometimes he would, but usually he wouldn’t.  Yet another attempt by me to connect that was put by the wayside by him.

The list could go on and on, but I’m just tired of thinking about it.  The counselor that he saw yesterday wants to speak to me.  I’m not sure about what.  I called him (the therapist) this morning, so I’ll see what he has to say when I speak to him.  I’m a little concerned that he will try to railroad me into reconsidering and to stay with him.  If that is the case, I have no problem telling him that is simply not going to happen, but I appreciate the interest.

I talked to a friend last night who has been divorced twice.  He has a lot of insight into this that I appreciate right now.  I told him that I think my parents are confused by this, that they are somewhat trying to get me to reconsider.  He told me that divorce has impact on how others relate to me, that there will be some that support you while others have a somewhat adverse reaction to me about the news and that I need to simply be okay with this and let them deal with their issues while staying true to myself.  He’s been great to talk to.  He often referenced the “trauma” of divorce.  I think this is a good analogy.  Ideally it should be between the two people who are going through the divorce, but the reality is that this decision affects others as well.  Thank goodness we don’t have kids!  In perspective, our divorce isn’t that “big a deal”.  We have no kids, no house… the separation part of it will be relatively painless compared to what others have to deal with.

~AA