Monday, October 29, 2012

A is for Again

This EMDR thing really sucks. Since my therapist moved away, I had to switch appointment times, so now I get to relive my traumas at eight every Monday morning. Not the best way to start the week. My new therapist is nice, but I'm not comfortable with her yet, so it is really hard to get into it with her.
I don't want to sit there with someone I just met and cry about being unlovable. It's too much.
Isn't it enough to live through it once? Can't I just lay things to rest and not have to think about them ever again? Can't I control my brain enough so I don't have to go through the trauma again and again and again? I mean, seriously, I relived one particular event at least six times this morning. Not fun. And not even close to resolved. Which means I get to live through it again. And again. And again.
I told my new therapist that I feel self-indulgent and that my traumas were not "bad enough" to warrant therapy. She told me I most likely feel that way because of low self-worth. Zing! Right to the heart of my problem. She's good. But I still don't want to break down in front of her. Not again, anyway.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Z is for Zoo

Ex loved to go to zoos. I was happy to be included in Ex's plans and enjoyed our trips to various zoos. On our first (and only) anniversary, we went to a larger city about four hours away and one of the things on our itinerary was to go to the zoo.

The city had a big, very nice zoo. The animals lived in habitats rather than cages, and had lots of things to play with. However, there were two orangutans who looked incredibly sad to me. They had a nice place to live, as far as zoos go. The walls were stone and there was grass and plants all over. They had a series of rope swings and wooden perches to play on.

But they were just sitting there together with the saddest expressions on their faces. I felt really sad for them. They looked like they just wanted to be left alone. Ex, of course, told me I was being stupid and that they were just resting. He took their picture and captured their sadness forever.

Who was right and who was wrong? Was Ex right - were they just resting? Was I projecting my feelings onto the orangutans? Or were they as depressed as I was? I hope, for their sakes, that Ex was right and I was just being stupid. Either way, it was a depressing trip to the zoo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Y is for Young

I'm getting old.

There is a storm brewing and I can feel it in my knees and left wrist, all of which have been damaged at some point in my life. I have arthritis already. I'm not 40 yet; shouldn't I be too young to feel this old?
My birthday is coming up. I hate birthdays. They depress me. I especially hate getting older and having to switch from saying, "I'm 36" to "I'm 37". Yikes! When I was young, I thought people were nuts when they said things about my metabolism slowing down (which it has), not being able to stay up all night (which I can't), and loving naps (oh, I do!). I thought I would be that way forever.

But then I got old.

When did it happen? I don't want to be old. I want to have the body I had, need the little sleep I needed, and be full of life and happy again.

Maybe life with Ex made me old. I should just blame him. That makes me feel a little better, anyway. Although now I am remembering coming home to him and the dog and cat all wearing party hats and him singing to me. I miss him. Shouldn't I be smarter than this by now?

Friday, October 19, 2012

X is for Xerophobous

For those of you who, like me, do not know what xerophobous means, says it means "having little capacity to resist drought".

I am not xerophobus. I am like a camel in my ability to resist drought. If a camel and a cactus had a baby, I would be it.
How do I know that I can resist drought? Because I resisted it for days upon days. Ex would do something mean, decide I was mad (even if I didn't know about it), get mad at me for being mad (even though I wasn't) and then not speak to me for days. And I do mean days. The longest he went without speaking to me was 21 days. That's a long time to live with someone who won't acknowledge your presence in the universe.
Ex was good at ignoring me. I would come home and he wouldn't even blink. He would come home and if I felt like getting slapped back down, I would say hello. Nothing. His ability to ignore my presence was admirable. I don't think I would be able to ignore someone so completely and for so long. Especially someone I claimed to love.

So no, I am not xerophobous. I lived with Ex and withstood his silent treatment. I got used to it but it didn't make it any better. Living alone now is so much better than living with someone who hated me. So why do I still miss him?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

W is for Watch

I'm watching to the presidential debate and remembering the debates from the last presidential race. Ex loved to watch the debates and then criticize everyone under the sun. He was the most critical person I have ever met and that is saying a lot, because I have met some very critical people.

I hated watching debates or discussing politics with Ex. Everything I said was wrong and stupid, even if I was agreeing with him. Every word out of my mouth was just an opportunity for a fight. I tried to stay out of the house on debate nights.
On one memorable night, I forgot about a debate and was trapped at the house while Ex watched it. I decided to sit on the couch and keep quiet while Ex ranted. He began by saying how stupid the candidates were. Then I was stupid. Then, when he didn't get a reaction from me, Ex raised the stakes. He went off on how stupid my entire family is for raising their kids the way that they do, for voting the way that they vote (as if he knew), and for believing what they believe.
My family was nothing but kind to Ex and did not deserve to be talked about that way. I got incredibly upset that night. Things had been bad for a long time anyway and this wasn't helping. Ex wouldn't stop yelling so I finally ended up sleeping in a random parking lot. It was the only way to get away from the yelling.

Monday, October 15, 2012

V is for Vacant

My therapist forbade me from driving past Ex's house. Someone needed to. Like I said, I used to be quite the stalker. It has been a long time since I did a drive-by, mainly because I don't think he even lives in town anymore. When we divorced, he was working for a company that kept sending him to different states. Ex was from a desert state and I know he went back there and lived in his mom's house right after the divorce. After he got fired. Again.

Back to vacant. I don't remember how long it had been since I moved out, but at least a few months had passed when I got a phone call from the police. They wanted to let me know that my front door had been kicked in. They couldn't tell if there was anything missing, since the place was almost empty.
I explained that I no longer lived there and that it was completely Ex's house and gave them his phone number. Then I sent him a text to let him know what had happened. He didn't respond.

Of course I drove by the house to see what was up. The door remained kicked in for about a week. Then a weekend passed and I guess he came back and fixed it. I really wanted to throw bricks through the window. I didn't vandalized his house, though, no matter how badly I wanted to. I figured someone else was kind enough to do it for me.
Ex had paid way too much for the house and put no money down, so there was no way he could sell the house. We tried while we were married and the real estate agent said it would have cost about $7,000 to sell it even if someone overpaid for it. Yikes.
So I assume that the sad, vacant house is still Ex's. I think he is unemployed and living off of his mother. That was the case last I heard. I would say I miss the house but really, the things that happened in there make it seem like a haunted house. It can stay vacant. I still want to throw bricks through the window and I am not a violent person.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

U is for Unavailable

It is 3:53 AM. I suppose I should be glad that it is Saturday night. Sunday morning, to be more exact. Great. Look at me, looking on the bright side. Again I say, great.
Why am I awake at this time of night? I used to go out and come home around this time when the bars closed at 3:00. But I went to bed at 10:30 after spending the evening studying. Which means I was asleep and just woke up.

To a nightmare.

The kind of therapy I am in is intense. It is called EMDR and, basically, I relive past traumas. My therapist, supposedly, is available 24-7 in case of nights such as these. Nights when the nightmares are so horrible that I can't stop actively thinking about something else, because the second I stop actively engaging my brain, the nightmare comes storming back in.
Trust me, it's not the kind of thing someone should live through even once, much less alone at 3:58 in the morning.

Under normal (how can this be normal?) circumstances, I would call my therapist. I have never called her at any time even close to this. But then again, I've never had nightmares this horrible before. I would totally call her if I could. I really wish I could.

But she is unavailable. She left. She moved to another state. My last appointment with her was Thursday. My appointment with my new therapist is Monday. Not much gap. Funny how my brain knows there is no one to whom I can reach out right now.

My brain is laughing while I struggle to stay engaged in being awake and not thinking about anything in that dream. It is so hard to go from having someone who is always available to being without anyone. Doesn't really matter what time it is; my therapist left and is permanently unavailable.

I'll not be sleeping anymore tonight.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

T is for Tide

We were so compatible, we even used the same laundry detergent. Imagine that. Our clothes smelled the same from day one. We were meant to be together.
One of the main things I wanted in my marriage was to have someone to take care of and who would take care of me. Ex was not that man. He didn't want me to cook, clean, or do his laundry. Before we got married, I did all three. After marriage, he wanted no part of me.

I mean, if someone offered to do my laundry, I would jump all over that! But no, he wanted to do his own. I wanted to do it because I thought it was a way to show him I loved him and wanted to take care of him. I guess that is why he wouldn't let me.

Ex was very passive-aggressive. I would clean the house and then he would go in and clean the clean bathroom that same day. He would never clean it even when I purposely let it get dirty just to see if he was playing the game I thought he was playing.
Sure enough, the cleanliness of the bathroom had nothing to do with when Ex cleaned it. He would just clean it right after I did. I guess to make me feel bad about not cleaning it well enough, even though I obsessed about it in the beginning. He fooled me for a long time. I was a new bride, trying to find ways to take care of my short-tempered husband, and he was batting me down like a cat playing with a mouse.

Once I figured out what he was doing, I stopped worrying about it. For the most part. It still bothered me but I tried not to let it show.
I did his laundry once but he got really mad so I never did it again. There were a lot of things I only did once. I learn quickly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

S is for S---

Dear S---,

I wanted to write you a letter to let you know how much you mean to me. Working with you as my therapist has been the best thing that could have happened to me. I have changed so much in the past eight months and the credit goes to you.

You got me through the whole Dialectical Behavior Therapy rotation in good order and now have been helping me put old traumas to rest with EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). As you know, I have not been the most willing of clients and have given you some grief over these past months. I'm sorry. I don't mean to be difficult.

When you told me you were leaving, the world stopped rotating. I've had a crushing sensation in my chest since you told me you were moving to another state and would no longer be seeing me. Tears are constantly either falling or threatening to fall.

I have a hard time getting up in the morning. I have a hard time concentrating. I have a hard time breathing.

Thank you for putting up with me this whole time. You have changed my life. I want you to know how grateful I am to you for everything you have done for me. I'm a different person now. I'm going to miss you more than you can possibly imagine. I'm not ready to say good-bye.

I'm not ready for tomorrow to be the last time I ever see you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

R is for Remembering

I remember the first time I saw Ex. We had been set up on a blind date and had agreed to meet at a local sports bar to play pool. I got there on time and Ex was already there.

My type: short, dark hair, brown eyes, slim.
Ex: tall, blonde, blue eyes, kind of chunky.

Totally not my type. Yet I found him incredibly attractive.
The next thing I noticed was that Ex had taken the pool balls from a quarter table and was playing on the pay-by-time table. Meaning, he was being cheap. Or smart...which is how I chose to see it when I was processing things later. He wasn't drinking anything and I didn't, either. We both had quarters and both paid to play depending on who won.
We didn't really play very long. After a few games, we just stood there talking. I had never connected with someone so quickly and Ex was so easy to talk to. He was interesting and interested. He was smart. He was funny. He was quick. We talked for hours and I lost track of time. Ex made a very good first impression. As I was driving away, I remember thinking that I could really like this guy.

How did that guy disappear so completely once he said "I do"?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Q is for Quiet

I was trying to think of something light to talk about, but the dark cloud over my head is storming today, so a bummer this will be.
When Ex and I first got married, he spent a lot of time sitting on the couch, just staring at the wall. Not reading, not sleeping, not watching television, not playing on the computer - just staring. I thought it was a bit odd, but at that time, so many odd things were happening (like my fiance suddenly turning into a monster) that I didn't give it much thought. I figured he just liked to sit and stare.

Months afterwards, Ex told me that he started doing that because he found my presence so irritating that he could not concentrate on a book or the TV. I'm a very quiet person by nature, so it's not like I was stomping around yelling or even talking to him. He was mad about things like me interrupting his reading to tell him that dinner was ready. Once I realized that, I let food get cold if he was busy.
Ex told me this at the same time he told me that we stopped having sex because I didn't like him. He stopped. Not me. I liked him. I loved him. He found my presence irritating. Who liked who? (Why is another story.)


Friday, October 5, 2012

P is for Purpose

My purpose in life is to help others. I need to remember that when I am feeling useless.
Short and sweet post today. Just like me. Well, the short part, anyway...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

O is for Ouch

The people you love the most can hurt you the most. My mom just called. I hadn't talked to her in a long time and had left her several messages on her phone. So when she called me tonight, I was happy to hear from her.
She has been very busy and having a wonderful time. My mom took two weeks off of work for family time. She kept my nephews while my older sister and her husband went to a couple's retreat. Then she drove thirteen hours to see my little sister and her family. Now she is back home and still off of work, just relaxing and spending time with my sister.

I live three hours away. I live on the way home from my little sister's house, if you don't mind driving another hour. I guess that is too much to ask. Thirteen to see one daughter = totally doable. Add one hour to see me = nope.

The knowledge that I am last on my mother's list of favorites is not new to me. I've known this since I was a small child. I can see her point. I mean, my little sister is awesome, and my older sister isn't that bad. But now I realize I'm not even on the list. Like this time; she went way out of her way to visit one daughter and spent days and days taking care of another daughter's children so they could vacation. She couldn't even be bothered to return my calls. Not only am I not on the list of favorites, I'm not even on the to-do list.
I wasn't on Ex's list, either. It hurts to not be on people's lists.

N is for No

There are a ton of words that start with N. I could list them all here and have a nice, easy story for today. A nice, easy story that means nothing. There's another N word for you.

But the one word that keeps pounding in my head is "no". A simple little word. One of the first words babies learn. Two consecutive letters of the alphabet. defines "no" as "a negative used to express dissent, denial, or refusal, as in response to a question or request". Such a difficult explanation for such a simple little word.
So, I already gave you the dictionary's definition of the word. Most of you, however, probably are also aware that "no means no".

I could go on forever about the word "no" or I could get to the point of the story. I'm really tempted to just keep talking about no. But no, that is cheating.
Purely hypothetical situation (because that is the only way it will come out)....let's pretend that two people are married. Say that one of those two people has just returned home from visiting his mother. Imagine that the other one was happy to see him. Now pretend the two people are having long-time-no-see-sex.

Let's pretend that it had been months since they had had sex and the wife was dying of loneliness and thoroughly enjoying the sex. The husband began to get rougher and rougher. The wife, having been bottled up for so long, did not mind but was, frankly, getting a little scared. The husband was considerably larger than the wife, known for violent mood swings, and starting to get a bit violent in bed.

This is fun to pretend. Not really.

I can't believe I'm telling you this. I just told my therapist a few weeks ago. Before that, no one in the world but me and Ex knew. And one of us didn't care.

Back to the story. This is hard. Let's just say the wife was scared, the husband was getting far too rough for things to be fun anymore, and then the husband did something that should only be done in the most gentle and loving and consensual of manners. Use your imagination. Talk about pain. The husband didn't stop even after the wife started screaming "No!" and clawing at the foot of the bed. He finally quit. The wife bled for five days.
Don't tell anybody. No.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

M is for Morticia

Seeing all of the Halloween decorations makes me remember the Halloweens that Ex and I spent together. That first October, we had been dating for eight months. I think he went home to visit his mom, so we didn't do anything that first year.

The second year, Ex didn't want to go out or dress up, but we agreed that it would be fun (or, in retrospect, I thought it would be fun and Ex didn't complain) to have a pumpkin carving party. I had a lot of friends show up. Ex had invited one guy from work who got lost trying to find the house. He repeatedly called Ex, who refused to answer his phone, and then went home. My friends and I carved pumpkins while Ex sat at the table and pouted. Not much fun.
The third Halloween, Ex and I were engaged. We dressed up as prisoners and went out dancing with some friends of mine. I had a good time and Ex seemed to enjoy himself. Who knows.

The first Halloween as a married couple, we dressed up as Morticia and Gomez...I was Gomez and Ex was Morticia. It was Ex's idea and I went along willingly. I bought Ex a long black wig and made him a black dress. I wore a black suit and painted on a little mustache. We went out, again, with friends of mine. Ex never had any friends to go out with, and, even though he didn't like my friends, preferred to go out with them rather than go out with just the two of us.
The last Halloween Ex and I were together was unremarkable. He was working in another state and had been for some time. We hadn't seen each other for a long time. The physical distance was nothing compared to the emotional distance between us. There was no happiness left in me. I was thoroughly scared of him and his mood swings. Trick or treat.
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