Tuesday, August 28, 2012

04: A Chisel

I am making a effort to write something in this blog every day. I have to hope that maybe someday, some person may read this and find wisdom. Perhaps another man or woman in a relationship that was taking a turn for the worse. Maybe I can find solace in knowing this may help another person.

Though that is rather narcissistic, don't you think? I am no Pulitzer author, just a tired woman who is trying to make sense of what has happened in my life. Hell, with my luck people will start reading this and send me hate mail. Well, I think the way it boils down is this is for me.

I have always seen myself as an assertive person. Somehow, my assertiveness always seemed to get me in trouble. I would go gung ho against a social injustice, or something that I felt was completely wrong and be told by him to "just let it go." I would normally get upset at this, and would make a contrite effort to do so. Most often, I would fail in this regard and continue my tenacity with all the aggressions of a angry pit bull.

We're taking fairly big things and some that are relatively small. A conflict at the workplace, being denied a benefit from our medical insurance due to a loophole. My work trying to deny bereavement time because I didn't leave the day I learned of the passing. Sometimes, I felt that he was disgusted with me over it.   So when he said to me "just let it go." I would try.

Slowly, I became less and less assertive. I saw my tenacity as a tedious, annoying factor of my personality instead of a strength. I began to let more and more people walk over me. I tried not to argue (sometimes failing miserably). When he told me to do something, or to do something differently...I tried to do it. I realize now that this was the beginning of the downward spiral.

It's funny how I clearly I can see how the effects of the emotional abuse, how it started off small and grew and grew. Like taking little baby steps, or like a little chisel chipping away at my self confidence to reveal the ugly little girl within. Slowly, I began to feel like nothing I did was ever good enough. Everything was ultimately my fault. I was not good at anything. I was not a good wife.

When it came to her, he was upset that I couldn't be happy for him. He had found someone who he loved and could relate too, and I was just badgering him about how bad it was that he was telling her things that he should be telling me. He was upset that I hated it, that I resented her. He was of course furious when I slapped her and screamed at her to leave my husband alone.

....That is another story in itself. One that I am not ready to relive yet.

That is all for now, dear reader.

Thank you for listening.

Monday, August 27, 2012

03: Frenemies

He used to say to me "You have plenty of friends, you will be fine" in regards to how I would cope without him. That there were plenty of men who wanted to be with me, that I would be happy in no time. I don't know if he was saying this to make himself feel better or me.

I miss the friends I used to have, but not enough to go back to them begging to be taken back into the fold. My mother used to say to me "with a friend like that, you don't need any enemies." I don't think they are necessarily enemies...nor do I wish anyone any ill will. I just can not fathom how someone could say that they were my friend, when they just abandoned me when I was at my lowest.

I see pictures of them on Facebook, hanging out and having fun. Part of me gets reminiscent and melancholy, wishing that I could be there. Then I realize all those nights I spent in my apartment alone and miserable, wishing that one of them would pick up the phone. I remember being snubbed at social events that we were all at. Most of all, I remember this:

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I wanted to go to the discount bookstore in town. I had some books to trade in, and had hopes to buy a new one with my earnings. A group of old friends, one of whom I cared for very much was there and all took turns acknowledging me. I tried to keep my composure and waited for my name to be called. I avoided them at every turn, and was finaly cornered in the tween section.

Literally. Edward Cullen was a witness to my semi-breakdown. 

I received hugs and how are you's and they asked me what I was doing. Some thought I had moved to Milwaukee, which I quickly denied. I had thoughts of moving there, but it wasn't in the cards. I pointedly told them I was here in town. Part of me was really angry, but I did not want to lash out.

I was facing a very scary thyroid problem at the time, and was facing surgery to have part of it removed due to a growth. For some reason, one that I can not to this day figure out...I told them about it. Told them that I never went out, never played games anymore and mostly lived alone with cats. In some fashion I think I wanted to make them feel as awkward and as uncomfortable as they were making me.

When my name was called, I cashed out my ticket and almost ran out of the building. The idea of purchasing a book was albeit forgotten. I wanted away, away from them and the situation. In a near panic, I called my friend Heidi and she was gracious enough to allow me to vent. Heidi has been a good friend through all this, keeping me in the loop with her new house and family. Inviting me out for girls night or to her open house and letting me take it at my own pace.

There are others there too who have been great, friends who have reached out and done nothing more than a supportive squeeze on the shoulder to say "Hey, I'm here." These little things have meant so much to me.

I don't know where I am going with all this. I suppose I just needed to get this off my chest. As always, thank you for listening. 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

02: Zombie

Everything here is mine. My own books, my own dishes, my pets. There is nobody here to say to me that "No, that's mine." or "Is nothing sacred to you?" Growing up, I was perhaps given too much freedom when it came to objects. Not once did a parent or sibling object to me watching a movie that was theirs or using a tool. We all chipped in spare change to cash out for going out for dinner. We all shared books, coupons, food. So when it came to being married, I overstepped his boundaries when it came to eating his food, reading his books or cashing in his change jar for our household use.

When we adopted Zombie, it was after it was revealed that he had begun an affair with a friend of his. I had always wanted another cat, and lamely joked that while some women get diamonds all I wanted was a kitten. We went to the pet store and fell in love with the first little kitty we saw. 

He said that this kitten had chose him, and he was so enraptured with the little thing that it melted my heart. I called every day to check up on the adoption process, and left work early to run to the shelter and pick him up. When I cried, Zombie would snuggle up to me and lick my tears away purring. He crawled up my body at night and snuggled in my arms, his purring sending me to sleep. I had marks on my neck from where he would nurse.

If we closed the door, he would cry and cry until we let him in. He would then run to my side and sleep in my arms while he glared. "Traitor." He would say, or would scoop the little monster up to snuggle. Zombie always came back to me, and later on in the night I would find him sleeping on my head or just above it on the pillow.

I miss that cat so much. I wanted desperately to take him with me when I left. My little ray of sunshine, my little monster. He told me that this was HIS cat, and refused my request. I just couldn't do it. Every time Suzanne or my family asked me why I just didn't take him it was always the same response. He said no, and I couldn't bear separating him from his pet. When I moved out of our apartment he cried and cried, beating at the door and breaking my heart.

I spent a good half an hour with him alone that day, holding him and crying. Even now, remembering this I am tearing up. My parents were waiting outside, the moving van loaded. It was like this little cat, whom I had shared a mere six months with was a symbol of what I was leaving behind.

That is all for today. Thank you for listening.

01: The Hardest Step is the First


I can stare at this blank screen for hours, wondering how I am going to start this. What to say, how to say it as to not inflict too much discord or pain. Yet, I need to get this off my chest and start this healing process. There seems to be no real middle ground when it comes to my feelings.

Do I change everyone's names? Will it even matter? Who is going to read this anyway? Maybe Suzanne, who is my psychiatrist. I think I surprised her when I said that I was going to do this. It wasn't her suggestion, but something that had been on my mind for awhile. A way to express my anguish, my feelings of being discarded by the one person I loved more than anything.

I am not writing this for your sympathy.

I don't need someone to read this and go "Oh my gosh, I hate her ex-husband for what he did." or say "I am so sorry I abandoned you." or anything like that. Sure, I miss some of my old friends but I can not in good faith take them back in my life. Not as they were, at least. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on.

Perhaps this is not the best way to move forward, digging up the past and reliving it again. Though I have hopes that once I can look at this from a outside perspective I can at least learn something. Regardless of it is about myself, or about the situation it is something more than what I had to begin with. With that in mind, let me start.

I am sitting on my bed, in a one room studio apartment downtown. I am thirty three years old, and I have two cats. I have been scraping a modest living working as a banker, and with the liberal use of coupons and bargain shopping. I tend to go a little nutty every once in awhile, and splurge on going to the movies or getting a pedicure. I have enough in the bank to live, my own car and some money tucked away for retirement. I am also getting a divorce from the only person I have ever loved.

I suppose I have it better than most, looking at it in black and white. I have food in my belly, a cat sleeping next to me with his little paws twitching. I can't however get used to sleeping alone. I pile up the pillows next to me to give the illusion of someone there. I can't seem to sleep on his side of the bed. I wake up each morning with my side of the bed rumpled and his smooth and undisturbed. My cat Addison sleeps there most of the time.

I go to therapy about once a month, and I have tried dating but it is just too soon. The few relationships I have tried have all ended badly. I am just not ready yet, and most men are not wanting to hear that.

Work wise, I am looking forward to going back to my intended career. Interior Design is a love, a passion. All of it, from pain to texture to layout is something I am good at. I have thought of going back to college, but I can not handle the financial burden right now.

That is all for today, I think. I feel like I am dipping my toe in the water, getting a feel for the temperature. Let me muse on this, and see what else I feel like putting out there.

Thank you for listening.