Boxing Day

Well, so much for the fight being drained out of me. Mister Stoic Face read mine. I can’t help it. Whatever I’m feeling shows on my face. I kept it together while the girls were here, determined not to say anything with it being Christmas and all, but the audacity of the situation flashed on my face when he went to kiss me on his way out the door.

“That look,” he said. “That’s why I’m leaving. You gave me that same look earlier.”

He kept talking as he walked off the porch, mumbling something about what the hell’s got into you. So, I opened the door and yelled, “Congratulations on your relationship with [Her Full Name]!”

You saw that? YES… someone screen shot her page and sent it to me. HE didn’t do it, HE didn’t respond. That’s what this is about? YES! Rawr-rawr back and forth, slammed doors and peeled tires, and I had my Facebook relationship status changed to “Single” before he could hit the first red light. He’s not in a relationship with anyone? Neither am I.

Yeah, frikkin Facebook.

A couple days ago, I noticed that he had changed his privacy level, just the privacy level, so no one else could see that he was in a relationship with me… so, I hid mine, too. Within 24 hours, that woman posted her own “in a new relationship” post AND at the same time, replaced the background photo on her page with a photo of MY boyfriend and his grandchildren snapped at a family function that he had either sent to her OR she had swiped off his page. A friend of hers who is a mutual friend of one of my friends saw it, did a screen shot, and it landed in my inbox on Christmas Day.  Her new relationship post did not say with whom as he had yet to confirm it… but that photo, along with the comments, made it frikkin obvious.

I forwarded the screen shot to his daughter knowing full well it would tick her off to see a photo of HER children on that woman’s page. Oh, she was livid. That woman has never met her OR her children. How dare she post that as her page header photo? I told her that he doesn’t know that I know yet… she must not have mentioned it before they came over, because he was acting like everything is just fine and dandy. I held it together until after everyone else had left. Then I just couldn’t hide it anymore.

A couple hours later, I get a text. Can we talk?

We had a long talk… he can’t help that woman has had a crush on him since grade school and he cannot control what she puts on her page. He’s not messing with her… they’re just old friends, dated for about 3 months in High School, he knows her family, knew her husband, blah blah blah… they lost contact off and on over the years. She sent him a Facebook friend request ye about a year ago… yes, he’s stopped by to see her a few times, but he’s not messing with her… they’re just old friends catching up over drinks.

So, she’s delusional? This is all her fantasy? Completely one sided? Why hasn’t he checked her? Set her straight? Is she some kind of psycho bitch? Or, does she have reason to believe that there is more to it than what he thinks there is?

I didn’t ask those questions out loud. I know him… he hugs his female friends. Maybe she falsely interpreted an innocent hug. Maybe she takes all those “love you” memes and pass-along messenger share things a bit too personally. Maybe he’s being straight up and honest with me. Maybe he’s not.

Does it matter? NO

Our long talk was mostly about us… where we are, where we were, where we screwed up, and where we go from here. We talked about us as individual people, what we need, what we want, how we are. Time for a new chapter. Life goes on, turn the page.

As for that frikkin Facebook, it causes more problems than it’s worth… we are still friends, but I don’t think I’m going to click any likes or comment on his shit just in case she is some kind of psycho bitch who might want to eliminate me in real life, too.

Thanks for reading. I’m so looking forward to 2019… this year, I’m going to start it right.

Along the Way

To paraphrase my grandma Goldie, “The only thing you get out of this life is what you eat, drink, or smoke; and if you’re lucky, you might just get to love someone along the way.”

Strange how love, luck, and fear all roll down the same highway.

Have I been so lucky, or have my fears guarded my heart too much?

I always went for safe men to fulfill my basic human need to love without getting too involved, lest they seek to harm or throw restraints on me.

For good reason. I learned at a very young age that I had to protect myself and guard my sisters from men, particularly from a pedophile who had blended into our family so well that no one believed that he was capable of harming children.

I had some odd ideas about men… wondered if they were some kind of subspecies, so most should be regarded as dangerous creatures. Even those I trusted and deemed as safe had oddities. I believed strange things, like men could not feel the bitter cold of winter because my father went years without a warm coat while us girls were all bundled up and still chattering. In hindsight, I know better… those were lean years when my father went without to provide for his children.

Needless to say, I grew up with some warped ideas. It took years for me to realize that men were just people, too. Poetry and music helped to solidify that conclusion, as it amazed me that men could write with such passion and other emotions.

I was 22 before I willingly had sex with anyone. Thankfully, I had a patient husband who learned how to touch me without triggering body memories that would render me to instant ice or worse… I’d do that little parlor trick and poof, be gone.

Maybe I should delete that, but fuck it… I’m only one of an estimated 60 million survivors in the USA today (link to source) and stats do vary, 1 in 3 girls… 1 in 4… 1 in 5?  Predators thrive on silence, harming little minds as well as bodies, so pretending it does not happen only perpetuates the silence and hinders recovery.

So, how did I meet my husband?

He was in our back yard hunting fishing worms with my nephew when I arrived home from work one day. The only reason I agreed to go anywhere with him (our first date, if you could call it that, was a walk to the park to go swing on the swings) was because I had already said “nothing” when he asked what I was doing and I couldn’t think up a valid excuse to say no. Then he baffled the hell out of me. That weird little man brought me flowers darn near every day while he courted me, but never once tried to touch me. After several weeks passed, I kissed him and we married before the end of summer.

The marriage lasted less than four years, but we were together on and off about ten… lived separately but continued an odd relationship after our first and second dissolution.  Dissolution instead of divorce was quite fitting as I was dissolving in the marriage, felt like I had to explain my every action, as if I needed his permission or approval to breathe.

After I moved two counties north to break free, I tried dating. That was bizarre. I quit after a few blind dates from hell, couldn’t deal with dinner conversation that made me feel like I was on a job interview in the Twilight Zone.

I did meet someone at a gallery… a zany artist who was leaving Ohio before I met him. It started out as a mutual attraction that drew us together now and then, despite us each having reservations (okay, serious issues) that prevented seeking a normal relationship.  Our “unique and special friendship” spanned more than twenty years, with over ten of those years being after he moved to another state.

Once again, I had picked someone safe to fulfill my basic human need to love and be loved.

Then everything changed on March 30, 2015.

Something clicked inside when my aunt died. I threw caution to the wind, and made what turned out to be life altering decisions based on, “What would Betty do?”

Uh… to give credence to what that implies? After my ex-husband met the vet, he asked me how I hooked up with that guy and when I told him that it was a WWBD decision, he was like, “OMG, your aunt was wild! You can’t do that!”

Well, yeah… I did.

I had to throw caution to the wind, banish fears and live a life that’s raw, real, and right now… I just wanted to feel alive.  We could blame it on the bipolar as I did go a tad too manic there for awhile, but there were other things in the works that had been stewing under the surface for a very long time.

So, I went off the deep end, lost a dear friend in the process… but, eventually got it together and life goes on. The consequences of my decisions have not all been bad. Some were pretty good, got me out of the Towers and into a home of my own.

As for the vet, he’s a good man… comes off a bit mean on a first impression, but under the stoic face and military persona is a playful little boy with a kind soul and a teddy bear heart.

He feels more deeply than I do… I opted not to tell him things that he doesn’t need to know about because I don’t want him to feel sad for me. He would, too. I saw his reaction when he asked about a scar on my skin, a little white spot that no one else has ever noticed. He was instantly sad and ready to kill whoever hurt me and I did not go into any details… just said it was a cigarette burn, don’t worry about it.

Besides, I am no longer haunted by body memories. I’m not living in the past, that life is gone. All we have is right here, right now… will it last? I don’t know. All we have is right here, right now, and no one gets out of this world alive.

That’s what clicked inside when my aunt died: a need to live my life raw, real, and right now.

This is not what I intended to write about… I planned to write about life changes docs are demanding I make that run cross-grain to my grandmother’s words, but got detoured by love along the way.

I have been lucky enough to love along the way… and each of the three men mentioned above have blessed my life in different ways. I still love all three… the vet understands that, as he can love me and still love the mother of his children. That’s just the way it goes… true love lingers or flips to hate. It cannot be turned off like water at the faucet. Thanks for reading.

Pumpernickel

I woke up at 4:20 a.m. The alarm on my cell is set for 8. Breakfast was an onion bagel and coffee leftover from Saturday. Yes, I saved it because I’m out of beans. Made my last pot yesterday. It is Monday.

This post is titled “Pumpernickel” because the lines of a poem run through my head:

“I can’t take care of you
 because I can’t take care of me,
so tonight I’ll just have toast
and enjoy your company.”

Old words, different day, same tune. I’m not good at being anyone’s girlfriend, and certainly not of the marrying kind. I tend to treat men like men treat women… don’t call all the time, don’t text too often, and I don’t want to hang out 24/7. This doesn’t mean I don’t care… just means that I have other stuff going on.

Thing is… I don’t know how to do coupledom. I don’t know how to be half a couple. I’m a whole person in my own right, be it a slightly messed up person, but still a whole person.

I expect a man to be a whole person, with his own stuff going on, too.

Half a couple men get on my nerves… they tend to be clingy, insecure, constantly in need validation or reassurance, and can’t do much of anything without consulting their “better” half – as if every minute decision must be approved by another human being. Problems occur when they expect ME to consult them over every little stupid thing, as if I need their permission or want their approval before I do anything.

So basically, I treat men the way I want to be treated. Two people CAN remain individuals, each a whole person in their own right, pursue their own interests, and still enjoy each other’s company now and then.

Sometimes, I do try to be more… oh, IDK… caring?

It doesn’t come naturally… hits me like an after thought. Like oh, maybe I should stock his favorite flavor of coffee creamer or cook something that he likes to eat.

I also believe that a man tend to be where they want to be, so I am not insecure in my own relationships. This also means that I don’t know how to chase off women who hit on a man I’m seeing. Am I supposed to go all possessive and catty? That makes no sense to me. If a woman hits on “your man” and he goes for it, was he “your man” to begin with? We do not own each other… there is no obligation here. We spend time together because that is something we both want to do. Yes, it would deeply sadden me if he chooses to be with someone else, but he’s not under lock and key. There is nothing I can do to stop him. My only choice in the matter would be to decide what I do next, to what is best for me. Odds are that I would have to say good-bye if he hasn’t already said good-bye, as I’m selfish… I don’t like to share.

LATER:

It’s been ye 21 hours since I woke up this morning (or yesterday, if your days go by clocks). I got a little bit of a few things done today… didn’t work on my button shop (supposedly a main priority) but did design and upload a couple new graphics at CafePress.

I bailed, saved this as a draft earlier as I had a shrink appointment.

I don’t know what’s with that girl in the office as this was my second session there and we agreed to a 3 week schedule. That’s 3 as in THREE, or ye 21 days between sessions. This time, I know for sure that he told her to make my next appointment in 3 weeks. She says, “how’s September 3rd (or was it 4th?) and rattles off times like I’m to pick one. I said, “that’s not 3 weeks” and she looked at me like I was stupid. So I flipped through the little well worn calendar (obviously flipped often by other clients, patients, or whatever they call us there) and counter-suggested a date 3 weeks out. Last time, I did not pay that much attention. She gave me an appointment 2 weeks out, so when I realized it an hour later, I called to reschedule for the following week. Does she have a problem with calendars? Does the entire concept of “three weeks” blow totally over her head? There are REASONS for scheduling my sessions 3 weeks apart. Part of it is money, as I have to lay down a $35 co-pay every time I go. I can afford $35 every 3 weeks, but not every two. I also need time to process the session, to think about what I am doing, plus think about anything the shrink wants me to think about. This is not my first psych rodeo… I know that I’m the one who has to do the work on me, a shrink is just a mentor or guide to help you do it.

I do have things to think about. I’m not ready to write about it yet… thank goodness, eh? This is long enough… a tad too long, but odds are no one will read it anyway. People like short and sweet. I’m not there yet. If you actually read it all… thank you!