Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Didn't Really Think.......

......that I needed to see an addictions counselor.

I don't have a substance abuse problem. All the mood altering substances I've experimented with in the past, I can take or leave. Some were fun, some were scary, some served a purpose for a while. But I don't need them to feel normal. And because none of them play nicely with my medications, I will be leaving them behind for good.

I do, however, have a doormat problem.  I AM the doormat. My compassion for others sometimes gets in the way of me taking good care of myself.

In my post "So I'm Having a Moment" I mentioned that I had been shaving off pieces of who I am in order to fit into what The Former Supposed Spouse thought I should be. Like Alice, I was shrinking. I was holding things in because even though I still had things to say, I didn't want to upset the apple cart or break the egg shells I was walking on.

I withdrew from friends. I started hiding in my bedroom in the basement. I was sleeping the better part of each day because it was easier than dealing with......well......anything.

And all the things I wasn't doing and all the things I wasn't saying and all the things I wasn't dealing with were eating me alive from the inside out.

I have a lot of stress in my life. I'm raising two boys on my own. Again. I'm caring for my aging mother who, because of her Alzheimer's, shrinks a little more each day. The Former Supposed Spouse sort of removed himself. I am in constant pain. Until last week, I had three extra people in my house.

I'm struggling with finding my identity again. The last time the Former Supposed Spouse went to jail, I kind of went off the rails for a while. I drank way too much. Engaged in way too much risky behavior. Did some pretty sketchy shit for some pretty shady reasons. Fell in love with the wrong person. Gave too much of myself to people who didn't care and didn't appreciate me for it.

Those days are over. I do have a big heart. I will always worry about people that I care about. I will always be willing to help out a friend in need. Those are all good qualities that I have no intention of giving up. My goal now is to be able to do those things - to care and to help - without taking on the responsibility of solving other people's problems.

People seem to want to be angry at me for that. And that's okay. People seem to think I'm being selfish for that. And that's okay, too. I didn't create the situation I've been trying to rescue you from. I've done all I can and now it's time for you to take back your own responsibilities.

And to the Former Supposed Spouse......you need to own your shit too. You keep minimizing what you did to me. You keep lying to me about how much, how often, how long, and which drugs you've been using. You think I'm stupid. You think I don't know. You made me think I was crazy. You beat me down emotionally and physically to a point where I didn't even want to be alive anymore.

That is, until you tried to choke the life out of me. You seem to think I'm being overly dramatic about that, but I don't know what else to call having your knee on my chest and both hands around my throat. I don't know what else to call pulling handfuls of hair out of my head and hitting me with phones and throwing them across the room to keep me from using them to call for help.

Something snapped back into place that night. I think it was my spine. It's been about 12 years since I've had one so I can't be sure, but I think that's what it was.

And to those of you who would judge me for telling my story? For telling the world what happened between a husband and a wife? Well, you know. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion. But it's my story. It's my truth. And I will share it or not as I see fit.

If standing up for myself, my boys, and my mom makes me a bitch? Well, that's a title I will happily own.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

So As It Turns Out, I'm NOT An Addict.......

.......I'm just crazy!!

Well, not crazy exactly. Not yet anyway.

I'm clearly in the midst of a major depressive episode.

Well no shit, Sherlock. I've battled this particular demon all of my adult life. It got so bad during my first year of college that I tried to take my own life. I'd just broken up with a boyfriend. I had had my hours cut at my part time job and so my paycheck for the entire month was $100. Enough to cover my rent, but nothing else. My roommate was angry with me. I was flunking all my classes I felt so miniscule and so alone. And all those problems just seemed so insurmountable at the time. I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. So, I went to the store and wrote a bad check for two boxes of Unisom and had another friend buy me a bottle of Jack Daniels. I wrote some letters. I tidied up my room and I sat down in the bean bag chair and punched all the pills out of the foil pack and swallowed them. And proceeded to drink the better part of the bottle.

Somewhere in the haze that was rapidly taking over my brain function, something inside me screamed at me "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING????!!! YOU PICK UP THAT PHONE AND CALL SOMEONE!!"

And I did. And The Baker's Wife (she was my roommate at the time) and her dad came and rescued me and took me to the hospital. Where they gave me ipecac and activated charcoal so that I would throw up whatever was left of the sleeping pills and absorb whatever drugs were in my system. I don't remember much about that night in the emergency room. I remember my mom and dad showed up. I remember my dad actually telling me he loved me. Previous to this incident he had been of the belief that you did't say it, you showed it. And he did. And I knew it........but he seemed to know that on that horrible night, I needed to hear the words.

I think I slept for three days. And I did the counseling for a little while and took some drugs for a little while and made some changes in my life and before long I was back to normal. Back in school with a different major. Back living with my folks. Back to life.

Since then, I've had a couple times where I was sort of backsliding a little, but I had learned to recognize the warning signs and asked for help before it got out of control. Before I would start to think that maybe the world would be better off without me.

That is, until the last couple months. I'll have more about this later. I'm still processing my appointment from this afternoon. Besides angry, I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I can see the edge of that precipice again. And it scares the hell out of me.....

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I've Never Been What You'd Call......

.........politically active.

I vote. I have been for 20 some odd years. And I can't recall a single election that has been this ugly and divisive. It's awful. The supporters for the different candidates are often acting like animals defending their turf. I saw a picture of one woman who had eggs thrown at her. They protest each other's rallies and it's not so much a protest as it is a riot - physical assaulting people attending the rallies.....breaking store windows......setting cars on fire......

This is not how you are supposed to behave in a civilized society. And the way the candidates talk about one another......it goes far beyond mud slinging. All of them have out and out lied about the others. Lied about the issues. Stated as fact things that are absolutely not true.

I was watching The American President the other day. At the end of the movie when President Shepherd finally stands up the fictional Senator Rumsfeld, it's almost like he's talking to these real life candidates today.....

"We have serious problems. And we need serious people to solve them. I can guarantee that [none of these people] are the least bit interested in solving them. They're only interested in making you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it."
Trump has alienated an entire section of the population with his disgusting attitude towards the Latino community. Hillary has the gun owners running scared she's gonna take away all their guns. And Sanders....well I don't know about him. He seems like a crazy uncle who talks to himself and is always railing against something. He reminds me a little of Gilbert Godfrey in fact. And those are just a few examples of the insanity that goes on every. single. day.

It just feels like we're days away from the Zombie Apocalypse. That at any moment, all three of the candidates' heads will split open and the Antichrist and all his minions will come bounding out.

It's like the White Walkers are breaching The Wall and the army of the undead are devouring everything in their paths. I keep waiting for one of them to reveal themselves as a member of The Knights' Watch and lead the army of Wildings to defeat the others and their crazy supporters! (That's a Game Of Thrones reference, just in case you're not a fan. In which case, go watch it. You'll be hooked.)

But instead they just keep sinking to new and amazing lows.

I find myself wishing that I had a patch of land in the hills somewhere so that when the shit hits the fan, I have somewhere to hide. Stock up on MREs and guns and ammo and just be done with "polite" society.

I'm tired of casting my vote for the lesser of two evils. I'm tired of campaign promises that never come to fruition. I'm tired of our congressmen and congresswomen acting like two year olds that won't eat their broccoli because the other guy cooked it.

It's exhausting. I'm exhausted from listening to it.

And there's another 5 months of this......

Monday, June 6, 2016

So I'm Having A Moment.........

.......where I feel like I've lost who I am. Or at least, who I thought I had finally become.

Big changes have happened since last we spoke, gentle readers.

The Former Supposed Spouse has returned from his latest unfortunate incarceration. And as determined as I claimed to be to be free of him at long last, I am not. I relented and let him come home again.

And why?

Because I love him.

Because we've been together long enough that we know each other so well, we think the same thoughts at exactly the same time. We have goals and dreams and plans and things we want to accomplish. Children to raise.

But.....

This time feels......different. The other times when he came home, we slipped back into our life so easily. Anyone else who had been around in his absence was easily cast aside.......which says something about me, but that's another post.

This time? Well this time it's just not that easy.

Something in me changed. All the things that I had given up or covered up or buried deep down inside to be what he thought I should be came bubbling up and busting out and taken back.

I found a voice. And I used it. And it's literally eating me alive from the inside out to stifle it. The people that were around this time were not so easily cast aside. Not all of them have been. Not completely......

For example, Him. The one I spent so much time with. The one who I was so looking forward to seeing again when he came home.

And then he didn't.

Well, He did.......in the middle of the night to retrieve his belongings before heading back to his hometown.

And He left me here. Lost. And alone. And having to deal with The Spouse with nowhere to run to when things get so crazy. And I'm a little pissed about that. And why?

Because I love Him too. In a different way and for different reasons than I love The Spouse. But I do love him. And will continue to do so regardless of the terrible awful horrible things The Spouse says. Which, I might add, cut me to the bone each and every time it comes up because I know.....I mean I KNOW....they just aren't true.

And Miss T. She went back to Arizona. I don't blame her. Not one little bit. She may have been born here, but she certainly never belonged here. She has encountered a personal tragedy that will bring her back for a while. And while I am sorry for her loss, I can't help but be excited to see her. And share an adult beverage. Or two. Or twelve.

I've missed her so. Our shenanigans were somewhat......legendary.

I felt like I had started to come out of my shell. I had things that I liked to do that I started to do again. (They don't call me Princess Fish Slayer for nothing.)

Yes I Know........

.......I have a tendency to "put it all out there."

Or "air my dirty laundry in public."

Or whatever other fun little judgmental euphemism one has for truth telling. There are some things that just NEED to be told.

Why?

Well, because......lots of reasons really. Talking about all the things that aren't pretty takes me (or anyone really) from being a "victim" of this or that and makes me a survivor. I may have been a victim once. But not anymore. I have survived the firestorm and I am a victim no more. I am a mutha fucking SHIELD MAIDEN!! Or an awe inspiring phoenix rising from the ashes of a relationship that went down in flames.

Whatever cultural folklore that you can come up with to describe having what and who you believe yourself to be tested, destroyed and rebuilt better than you were before. (Leave your particular cultural folk tale in the comments. No, really. I'm interested!!)

...Because even though I swore up and down to anyone who asked I was NOT going to let the Former Supposed Spouse reinstate his residency with me, I did. And I found myself shaving off bits and pieces of myself so that I would fit once again into his definition of who I should be.

But something in me had fundamentally......shifted. And the longer he was here, the smaller I seemed to get. I felt like Alice through the god damned looking glass. I didn't recognize myself anymore. And the constant tug of war between the me I had become in his absence and the me I was trying to be for him LITERALLY drove me insane. I was locking myself in my room and hoping no one would come looking for me. I checked myself into the ER last week because I didn't think I could trust myself to not ram my car into a tree for fucks sake.

I snapped. And I was ready to quit. And then The Incident happened. And less than 12 hours later I was BACK in the ER for x-rays to make sure he hadn't crushed my larynx when he tried to choke the life out of me. (I'm fine. No permanent damage. Some bruises and scrapes and I feel - still some 48 hours later - that I got run over by a Mack truck. But I'm OK. We're all OK.)

And maybe some of you think I'm exaggerating. And that's fine. You're entitled to your opinion. But you also didn't see the look in his eyes when he had his knee on my chest and his hands around my throat. I did. And it was crystal clear to me that if I didn't get away from him immediately that I would not be around to tell this story.

 And it's MY story. It's not all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and muther fucking roses no matter HOW you manage to send said roses from jail. That doesn't impress me. That makes me sad. You make me sad, former spouse. I love you. But I'm not going to be sad anymore.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

There Aren't Many Things Better......

......Than a sunny summer Sunday at the lake. And after the cold rainy spring we've had, it's even better. Thanks Bureau of Reclamation for building a dam just 10 short miles from town.

Before the summer is over I'm going to have to learn how to maneuver the boat into the water (always remembering to put the plug in first!) I do okay pulling the trailer forwards but I'm not so skilled at backing it up without jack knifing it. Might have to consult The Gambler for some lessons. (How YOU doin'?)

At the moment, I'm sitting in the shade of a hundred year old cottonwood watching a gaggle of tweenage boys struggle with the desire to appear manly in front of their friends and the absolute terror at the thought of jumping off the Big Rocks into the Deep Water. "You go first!" "No way man! You go!" "Uh uh. You go!" And this repeats itself until one of them just can't take it and either a) finally jumps or 2) gives his friend an encouraging shove.

And I can't help thinking to myself that if it were a gaggle of tweenage girls the conversation would not only be shorter but far more supportive. "You go first." "I don't want to go first. You go!" "OK. On the count of three we'll go together."

And this is how the bonds of friendships are formed. When we're young and unafraid and free from the cares of adulthood. If you're very lucky, a couple of those friendships will last into adulthood and you become soul sisters. 

And the cares become bigger but so do the joys......Surviving high school. Graduation. College. The guy that is The One. Another graduation. Weddings. Babies. Raising those babies to be fine young men and women. Lost babies. Miracle babies. Surprise babies. Deaths. Affairs. Divorces. Violence. Being there when your friend's marriage ends and she goes a little off the rails one summer. And then being there when it ends again and taking her to Mexico to lay on a beach and drink mucho tequila. (I'm looking forward to that, Miss T!) Aging parents. And now parenting those parents.

Soul Sisters.......I couldn't have gotten through this shit without you all. 

Adrenaline......

......is a good thing. That is, until it runs out.

When it runs out and your head and your heart are less concerned with fight or flight, the peril of the situation kinda sinks in.

We all have a "person." (Google "Grey's Anatomy You're My Person" if you have no idea what I'm talking about. Or just watch it here.) While Miss T was here, she was definitely my Person. I am fortunate to have more than one Christina to my Meredith. A small, very tight circle of Soul Sisters who have all "been there, done that." And lived to tell the tale.



Until a couple days ago, the Former Supposed Spouse was also one of my persons. Before that, it was my mother. Now, she is advanced enough in her Alzheimer's that she can't really handle those emergency situations when you find yourself in the ER over stupid shit. Or have the need to dispose of a corpse. Whatever....

So......my person......

My own memory is such that unless I do things right when I think of them, I forget. So don't be alarmed if you get a middle of the night text from me asking you to be My Person. Or whatever else I might be thinking at any given moment. Tonight it was The Baker's Wife. We've been friends since junior high. We've been to hell and back together and each to our own.

The Incident has left me thinking that I need to make some serious arrangements should my existence on this planet come to an abrupt end.

And that just hit me. Right now. Hard. Right in the kisser....

Think I'll call it a night on that note......

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Well now THIS......

...... Is a fine kettle of fish.

A stinking, gooey, festering kettle of fish.

I'm trying remarkably hard to keep Bitter Angry Bitch at bay.....

But she's noisy. 

And she's probably why I'm in the fetid, festering, fishpot in the first damn place.

Because last time the Former Supposed Spouse ended up in jail I let her run amok over everything and everyone.

I was hell bent on making a point. Which I think I did. But it cost me dearly. Cost more than a couple other people dearly.

I broke my own rules. I was a hypocrite of the very worst kind. People got hurt.

This is going to be a long haul.