Monday, November 3, 2014

My Great Mommy (Guest post by Kelsey)

Our daughter has decided she has things to say, and looks forward to hearing the things you have to say about the things she has to say.  I has a proud <3

My mommy is the best person I know. [Except when she's mad.Then she is the second best person I know.] I love her. We have awesome times together.

We play together.On halloween instead of going to a bunch of houses, we went to not very many houses and then went home to have a girl night. We watched "Five Nights at Freddy's"and stayed up late.

We also have a big imagination. One ordinary day turned into an "Alice and Ofilia" adventure.Mom has a funny person that she calles "Tammy". She makes a funny voice to make it like she is 4. And instead of saying "4", she says "fowee".

And on my 6th birthday,When we went to "Chukey Cheese". Instead of a bacon and eggs breakfast, we had pepproni pizza.It was a fun time.

She sounds amazing.I know.But she is more amazing than she sounds.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Like a Boss.

Boyfriend.  He does not yet have a name here.  I don't want to name him here just yet.  Let's call him "William."  After my grandfather and my uncle, who are two of the most warm-hearted and loving people you'll ever know, with just a splash of wicked humor and a lot of reserved spunk.

He listens to me recount the events of my life, and most often shakes his head in disbelief.  "Jesus, what did they do to you?  You've overcome so much."

In my broken moments, and in the moments when I couldn't see clear of this path, I didn't understand how he could hear these stories and not see me as weak and broken.  He has always seen me as strong, smart, and resilient.  I was not able to see what he saw.

I was only able to see the wounded little girl, cowering in the corner from life, and everyone in it.  I was only able to see the hurt and the abuse and the loneliness.  I was only able to see someone weak and sad, broken by a lifetime of abuse and injustice.

And in this past year with him, I have begun to see what he sees.  Someone who didn't submit to defeat, no matter how gross it got.  Someone who fought, every step of the way.  Someone who continually took steps, no matter how small or frightening, to do what needed to be done to survive, overcome, and prevail.

And I have.

I have cut ties with the people who hurt me.  I have refused to allow anyone to stay if the couldn't treat me with respect and dignity.  I have forgiven, moved forward, and refused to allow a lifetime of cruelty turn me into a hateful, vengeful, or otherwise unpleasant, unhappy person.

If that's not strength, I don't know what is.

And I am so in love with the man who came into my life, and showed me these truths about myself.  Who loved me at my weakest, and hung around long enough to see me at my strongest.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

I read thru the papers in their entirety several times before they were served.  I know what they say.  Getting hard copies in the mail today was a blow to the chest I did not expect.

"Petition for dissolution of marriage."
It feels so cold, and formal.  So sterile.  It feels like such a small, sharp phrase, and completely inadequate in describing the heartbreak of a divorce, or the twenty years I spent with him, both good and bad.

Two babies.  The death of beloved family members.  Vacations.  Inside jokes.  Heated arguments.  Lazy days, curled in a ball on the couch.  Violent disagreements.  All of that is over now.  Reduced to a stack of papers less than an inch thick.  Reduced to a few short meetings in a parking lot to exchange our daughter.  Reduced to a few more signatures, and a notarized stamp before the final deed is done.   

I did the right thing for all of us.  I was struggling.  He was struggling.  Our children were struggling.  This is better.  I am aware.

And my heart still contracts when I stop and consider the magnitude of what's happened in the past year.  Sometimes I look around and think I might still wake up, and find it's all been a nightmare.  That I will roll over at night, and he will be there, and he will wrap me up in his arms, and we will love each other the way we were supposed to.  Without the anger.  The fear.  The hate.

Instead, a pile of cold, emotionless papers occupies what used to be his side of the bed.
It's very real.

I am very glad.  This is nearly over, and it's a relief.  I can begin to focus on my therapy and my recovery.  I can surround myself with nothing but support and love.  I can begin to further build my neglected friendships, and find my way in the world the way I was meant.  This is a very, very positive change.

But in moments like these, my heart still breaks.  If only...

And because this is a depressing post, here is a picture of a cute critter.  He has a corm.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Porn Zoo

Some asshole followed me out of the grocery store today, and said "shakin' it, aren't ya?"

Dude.  Fucking stop that.  It's not flattering.  I don't giggle.  I get scared.  Because someone who makes sexual comments to a stranger is obviously not playing with a full deck, and I don't know whether you want to ask me out or rape me or make a lampshade out of my ample ass.

Which, by the way WAS, in fact, shakin'.  I'm fat.  Fat jiggles.  And even if it didn't, I have every right to make it jiggle without being made to feel like an exhibit in the porn zoo.

Is there a porn zoo?  There should be.

There.  I've solved the problem.  Porn zoos.   Enclosures where people come for the sole purpose of being ogled and cat-called.  Where we can press our asses to the glass just like the chimps, and you can snap pictures, high-five your bros, and post facebook updates about the hot-ass specimen in the "tramp" enclosure who jiggled her titties just for you.
Yes, that's the answer.  Take your creepy cat calls to the porn zoo, where they belong.  

Then women wouldn't have to be skeeved out by your weird behavior at the fucking grocery store.  Douche bag.

I live in a small town.  It's entirely possible that this asshole is someone I know, and if not, it's likely that we know the same people.  If you know a tall, bearded butthole with a ponytail down his back, tell him to keep it in his pants.  Or go to the porn zoo, and beat his chest with the rest of the gorillas.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Possible triggers.  Read with caution.  
I am safe.  I love you.  

The weight is physically oppressive.  A heaviness that settles over my bones, making even the slightest movements a burden.  The racing thoughts have stopped completely, and left vacancy and darkness in their place.  Everything is still.  I am still.  I wish to remain still.
I am pessimism personified.  Every dreadful possibility now becomes immediate reality within the swirl of smoke that's filled my skull.  There is swill.  There is rot.  There is stagnation and filth. Every thought dark and disastrous.
My divorce will destroy me.
My children will resent me.
My family will tire of me.
My boyfriend will desert me.
I am helpless.
I am useless.
I deserve all of this.

Events present and past converge in the here and now, to confirm my fears.  They didn't love me.  They didn't protect me.  They didn't come to me.  Because this misery, this despair, this unquenchable torment is what I deserve.  This heartache, and nothing more.

And it's heavy.  My breathing is shallow.  Even the effort of drawing a breath seems colossal and fruitless.  I give in to it, and silently hope to suffocate under the weight of the sadness.

My veins feel full and sticky.  Clogged with the years of filth and sorrow that have been ignored, brushed aside, suppressed.  My blood feels old and tired.  I want to open my veins and tug out the threads and the barbs and the thickness.  Bleed out the old and make way for something fresh.  Drain the sickness.  Start again with new blood.

All this therapy and all this effort now seem like just another cruel trick; filling me with hope and promise of a new way of being, only to come crashing down around me in shards of failure, when I am reminded of just how deep I can sink.

Tomorrow is still there, and I will go on.  A little weaker, and a little less hopeful for any kind of recovery.  
I am still too stubborn, and too frightened to give up.
I miss him.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ahead of the curve

I shed tears in my therapy session yesterday.
This is not a new thing for me, but for some reason, figuring out the dynamics between myself and this new doctor has been a process.  I did not feel immediately comfortable.  I did not feel good about sharing the strange and intimate details of my life with him.  Every time I'd confess something new, I'd cringe.  I'd feel ashamed.  I feared judgement.
Over the weeks, I have slowly come to see him as a loving, dorky grandfather.  I've become familiar with his vocal quirks, his high-waist pants, and the awkward way he sometimes swears, in what seems like an adorable effort to relate to me.  I like him.  And I feel liked in return.

My week has been rough.  

There are financial struggles.  Big ones.  
There are divorce-related disagreements.  Shitty, hurtful ones.
There are PTSD symptoms that are getting much worse, instead of better.
There are house-related repairs that desperately need attention, and I can't do it.  My sink has been plugged for two weeks, and I am still not sure how to fix it.
I've been dealing with fibromyalgia BS, and haven't felt well all week.
And my boyfriend was here for a visit, and had to go back home...that's the worst.

I showed up for DBT group on Thursday, and didn't look at anyone.  Just sat there, disengaged, crying, and writing in my notebook.
When I arrived for my therapy appointment the next morning, my doctor asked immediately about my apparent sadness in group.
And I cried.
My anxiety, and crippling fear of leaving my house.
The accusations and hurtful, mixed messages from my ex husband.
The painful and cumbersome distance that separates me from the man I love.
And I just cried.  

We talked about how I had been dealing with those situations when they have arisen, and I said I'd just been trying to stick to the facts, state my case, and stay on topic.  Repeating myself when necessary.  I have tried to avoid judgments and assumptions.  I have tried to take steps, little ones if necessary, toward solving the problems, instead of wallowing.
And I still felt shitty.
I still feel afraid to leave my house, worrying I'll run into someone unpleasant, who likes to hurt me.
I still feel heartbroken when my boyfriend leaves, and spend the next two days stumbling around like a confused newborn calf separated from its mother.
I still don't know how to fix that goddamn sink, or what to do about the stagnant water festering in the pipes.
I feel shitty.  Damn shitty.

And he just looked at me, contemplating.  Curious.
He frowned, thoughtful, and shifted his glasses to his head.  "How do you know how to do all of this?"

My face stuck, and I wasn't sure how to react.  "How to do all of what?"

He looked at his notes and then back at me.
"These are skills we teach for conflict resolution.  Staying on topic.  The Broken Record...repeating yourself calmly.  Taking actions to solve problems.  Where did you learn these things?"

"I didn't.  I mean, I haven't."

He just looked at me, blinking.  And I realized that this man wasn't sure what to say to me, or how to say it.  Because everything he planned to teach me, I was already doing.  I was ahead of the curve.

"I guess...I suppose I'm better at this than I thought," I said.

My homework for the week is to keep track of every time I don't let my fear and anxiety get the better of me.  To note when I feel that fear, and move forward despite it.  To note when I live my life the way I fucking well want to, instead of caving to anxiety over what someone will think about it.  To go out and buy a tube of goddamn cookie dough, and to hell with what anyone thinks of it. Because I am allowed to do those things.  Because it is my life to live.  Because I no longer have to answer to anyone else for my lifestyle choices.
Ever, ever again.

I have to give myself more credit.
I might have no education, but I'm smart.
I might have a truckload of mental illnesses, but I don't have to be a slave to them.
I'm a good person, and I'm allowed to remember that about myself.

And I can do it.  I'm already ahead of the curve.
And no matter how hard anyone else ever works to prove otherwise, I will never ever forget that about myself.

Monday, August 11, 2014

How to talk to a suicidal person

Maybe a better title is "how to talk to a suicidal me."  I know this is different for everyone.  And this is a work in progress.
Take care of yourselves <3  

And if I have nothing to say, talk. Keep talking. 
Show me that I am not an irritation or a burden. 
Show me that talking with me is a thing you want to be doing, and not a thing you feel obligated to do. 

Remain calm. Getting angry with me will make it worse. 
Understand that this isn't intentional on my part...I sincerely do not want to feel this way. Validate. 
Understand that reaching out to another person in these desperate moments is very hard. I will feel like an annoyance. Show me that I'm not.

Don't tell me to think of the children. It's not as if I've forgotten about them. It's insulting. 

Don't try to fix my problems. Tell me you will be there to help me while I fix them. If you have legitimate solutions you believe may work for a particular issue, tell me later. In the depths of suicidal ideation, I will merely argue, and tell you why your solutions won't work. I'm not an asshole. I just legitimately can't help it. 

Please don't tell me that "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." First, this problem is not temporary. This is a life-long mental illness. I have literally contemplated suicide multiple times a week since I was nine. Second, the idea of a permanent solution to this life-long issue sounds like bliss. I understand the spirit behind such a phrase, but it is both useless and invalidating. And in a suicidal frame of mind, a permanent solution is exactly what I want. 
Talk to me until you are sure I'm safe. Until you hear my voice change back to normal. Until I'm no longer crying. Until I'm able to talk about regular, every day things without steering the conversation back to the glorification of my demise. Please don't let the conversation end until you're sure I am calm and safe. If you're not sure, ask.

 If you love me, tell me. Tell me what you love about me. Talk to me about your favorite memories of us together. Tell me what I'm doing right. Tell me what you'd miss about me. 

Check in. Show me you understand that my problem is real, and not some sort of character flaw that I could fix if I tried hard enough. Knowing someone is thinking of me, and cares what happens to me is huge.

 It's likely that I've hurt myself. Self harm is not at all a functional coping mechanism, and I am aware of this. It is however, the only thing in these moments that helps to alleviate the extreme and reactive feeling inside me. It's ok to ask me. Please ask me. Have you hurt yourself? Is it a deep wound? Has the bleeding stopped? How many cuts? These are neutral questions that express your concern and ensure my immediate safety, without being accusatory or judgmental. I accept and understand that you don't understand. Please do the same for me, because I don't understand it either. 

Check in with each other. Knowing that I have a strong, reliable support system, and that they aren't squeamish about this subject, or me, is helpful. 

Unless we have previously agreed, please do not ask about my medication. "Did you take your pills today" is extremely invalidating. It suggests "you wouldn't feel like this if you'd taken your meds." This is extremely upsetting and will only make it worse. Pills will not "turn it off." If you want to talk about medication, pick a better moment.

I will add to this as needed...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How it happens...

This post contains detailed descriptions of episodes of anger and self harm related to Borderline Personality Disorder.  A short, but graphic example of the thought processes and actions that accompany my specific episodes.  There are no photographs or videos attached, just text.  
Please keep yourselves safe.  I am doing the same.  <3  

How it happens...

Something small.  Some perceived injustice that lights the flame.  

Or maybe something big and blatant.  Maybe some asshole whose sole focus it seems is to upset me...I do know those people.  People who intentionally push, knowing full well the outcome.  
And then it happens.  
I am angry.  But not anger.  Fury.  Fire.  Daggers.  I am sharp.  I am burning.  
My anger is irrational and unnecessary, and I am aware.  Knowing this causes it to fester, to swell inside me, until I am consumed by it.  
A permanent scowl has spread itself across my face.  I know I look scary.  I'm too angry to care.  
I reach out.  "I'm having some symptoms."  People are compassionate.  I appreciate it.  But people have their own lives to live, and they can't always be here, physically, with me.  I hate it.  I resent it.  I resent them.  

I replay scenes of injustice and abuse in my head.  The cruel words spoken.  The slaps across the face.  The rape.  The utter lack of love and concern in even my darkest moments.  My life, as a whole, with all the good canceled out, and only the bad, the cruel to fill the void.  My mind is stuck here.  I hate everyone who ever wronged me.  Fuck all of them.  Each and every single last useless one of them.  I hope they die.  
I seethe.  
It grows.  

I rip my knife across my thigh, and hope the bleeding is heavy.  It's better when it's heavy.  When it runs in little trails down to my knee, looking vicious and dangerous despite the fact that it's only 10 or 12 superficial cuts.  I scrape the blood with my knife and gather it into large, organized pools, making room for more.  There must be more.  There is a spark of relief as I photograph the wounds.  And then it passes.  I am in my hole again.  

If someone were to cross me in this moment, I would spiral.  I would disconnect.  I would throw things.  Punch walls.  Slam doors.   Scream.  Swear.  I hate them.  Deep.  The anger is in my bones, and no superficial flesh-wound will release it.  I need to be alone, but the solitude feeds the fire, and it grows.  I photograph my face, dark and swollen.  Stained with tears.  I compare the pictures to the ones of my happier faces.  Polished and pretty, a sparkle in my eyes.  It's not the same person.  I am some sort of monstrous duality.  I don't recognize me.  

There are noises.  Clanging, ringing, mumbling voices.  Random words that echo loudly between my ears, making it hard to concentrate.  Similar to the experience of getting an annoying song stuck in one's head, I hear phrases or words or sounds.

Clang clang zip.  Beep.  "FORNICATE  DILATE."  Buzz buzz.  

I sit, sometimes for hours, just staring.  I listen to music,  hoping to drown out the noise inside, hoping to find some sort of melodic vibration to calm the beast inside.  I watch old, familiar movies, hoping to capture the memory of a happier time and grab onto it with both hands.  It always slips away.
I eat until I'm sick.  Or sometimes, not at all.  Not for days.  I smoke until I'm queasy.  

I paint.  I write.  I smash things up in the garage.  I walk around my neighborhood, sweating and certainly looking like an angry elephant, stomping unintentionally with each step.  I take Xanax to dull it out.  What will happen when they're gone...I'm afraid, for that day is rapidly approaching.  There are no refills, and I will be on my own.  With this...thing.  

I come to terms with the fact that there is no way out of this, and I must simply wait.  Feel the anger and the sadness and the misery until it fades, and I can breathe again.  

And then I do.  The relief creeps in slowly, tip-toeing around the violent spikes jutting out in all directions.  Wisps of calm, floating in like fog and caressing and dissolving each sharp emotion, until there is room for peace.  My jaw relaxes, my shoulders sink, and there I am again.  The person everyone knows, and loves.  The person who smiles and means it.  The person...not the diagnosis.  

There is no easy answer.  And so I ride the storm, and wait.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014


I'm at home again.

I spent a week with no shoes, no jewelry, no belts, and no razors.
I spent a week with  someone else telling me when to wake up, when to eat, when to shower, and when to sleep.
I spent a week full of pills that make me dizzy, and food that made my stomach cramp.
I spent a week without having a proper poo.

But I am here.

I know this is a small victory for a husband who wants the world to believe his terrible wife is crazy.  I don't care.  I am here.

I have a stack of bills on my kitchen counter that I can't pay.  I will likely lose my home to foreclosure.  I don't care.  I am here.

I know people will whisper behind my back.  I will let them.  I am here.

I am here, in my house that stinks from the trash I left behind last week, eating these blueberries and drinking this ice water, and the knowledge that I can do whatever the fuck I want right now.  Because I am here.

I haven't lost yet.  And the world should watch out once I decide that I will win...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


"This one will be hard to write.  It shouldn't be.  I haven't done anything wrong.  I haven't mistreated anyone, or harmed anyone, and I shouldn't feel shame over something I can't control.  But I do.  I'm embarrassed, and it's hard to write.
And probably hard to read.  Because watching someone struggle with "shameful" things like these is difficult for everyone.  It just sucks, in general.

I fall into the category of "mental illness."
That's not news.  Everyone already knows that.  I haven't been secretive about it, nor do I feel I need to.  But I also haven't gone into great detail about what that means to me...

I've had one diagnosis after another over the years, and to be quite honest, I don't really know which ones are correct, and which ones are bullshit.  They all make sense in some form, and they all fit fairly well from time to time.
I've been "bipolar."
I've been "depressed."
I've been "borderline personality."
I've been "psychotic."
I've been "suicidal."
I have gone thru periods where I would recoil in disgust and fear when anyone tried to touch me.
I have gone thru periods where I might literally tear off my clothes and throw myself at the first person who tried.  

I have suffered paranoia and anger, convinced that the people I love are all collaborating to trick me into thinking they love me.
I have been socially phobic, and terrified of my telephone.
I have been so hurt by, and angry at my mother that I would literally sit for hours, fantasizing about her violent and bloody demise.
I have attempted to cover my emotions with food, sex and the attention of abusive, shitty people.
I have intentionally injured myself.

Some of these are past tense, and some are very current.

It's a desperate feeling.
I want so badly for someone to know what I'm going thru.  I want them to know, really, how I feel in the depths of these things.  I want to be able to say "I am afraid.  I am unwell.  I am unsafe," and yet the thought of physically saying those things out loud to another person creates a warm little panic right in the middle of my chest...
Because, nobody likes an attention whore.  Nobody likes a one-upper.  Nobody likes "woe-is-me."

Asking for help or support is not "woe is me."  I know this.
But god, does it feel that way.
And in feeling that way, it creates an even greater sense of alone-ness and helplessness.
Knowing that a person is not likely to even know how to help, if I did say those things.

Self harm has been a constant struggle for me since high school.  I literally do not know why.  It's just a thing I did one night in my room, and it escalated from there.  It's soothing.  It's healing.  It's sometimes the only way I can calm myself when I feel the anger and sadness and helplessness welling up inside, to a point where I know it will end in hysterics.  It calms me when I cannot calm myself.  It comforts me when I cannot comfort myself.  It helps me when I cannot help myself.
Until very recently, I had it "under control."  I used past tense words to describe my uncomfortable "quirk" to people who were brave enough to ask me about the series of scars across my arms.  "I was a cutter.  I used to self harm.  I had a problem."  And now, after a decent stretch of "past tense," I am a cutter.  I self harm.  I have a problem.

More often that not, I base my self worth entirely on whether or not someone actively wants to have sex with me.  I have had numerous sexual relationships, to varying degrees, with men and women who are able to quiet the hatred I feel for myself.  I've used them to prove to myself that I'm lovable, that I'm fuckable, and that regardless of what ugliness resides within me and on me, someone still wants me.  When I'm not immediately gratified by their lustful attention to my salacious text messages, or pictures of myself, I become overwhelmed with sadness and guilt and fear and embarrassment.  The "good" or "bad" of my entire day can be immediately turned around based solely upon the reaction of someone to my body parts.

I am suicidal.  Not actively, and not right this very second.  But it can turn around in a heartbeat.  My days feel like an endless procession of identical, gray strips of life, with no seasoning, no feeling, and no point.  Some days I sink into what feels like an endless, horrible sadness, and I literally can't stop crying.  And I want to die.  Some days I feel bland and dusty, and wonder why it's worth it to continue going forward, when there literally feels like there's no point in continuing. Sometimes I feel such seething hot anger that I don't know how else to quiet it than to end my very existence.  People would make the case that "your kids need you.  Your husband needs you.  People love you.  What about XY and Z," and my response would be the same...I don't care.  None of it makes me feel like I should "want" to live.  In the past year, there has never been a moment when I was able to say to myself, "I'm glad I'm alive."  Not one.  And I realize how horrible this is, considering I have seen firsthand what sort of mess a person's suicide can leave behind.   And it doesn't make me feel any sort of "oh my god, what was I thinking?!  I want to live!"  I don't.   Each day is just a varied degree of how much I don't want to be here.

At any given moment, there are a stream of awful, wretched and disturbing thoughts and images playing out inside my head.  People being slaughtered.  People being raped and tortured.  People being dismembered and destroyed in the most foul, unthinkable ways imaginable.  The more I try not to think about things like that, the harder they force themselves to the front of my thoughts."


I sat down a few months ago and wrote this.  I was never brave enough to publish it.  These feelings are scattered, frightening, and embarrassing, and sharing that with everyone seemed to seize my bones with fear, and so it's just been sitting here, marked "draft."

I have since reached a very calm, very eerie state of mind.  I am in crisis.  I have decided.  And I am afraid of the fact that I'm not afraid anymore.

In that last two days, I have reached out.  I have told people that I am not well.  I have made arrangements for my daughter and our home, and I am calling for help.

I hope that reading this gives at least one other person the bravery and determination to do the same.

I don't want to die today.  And I hope you don't either.  And I hope you know that if you do, it's ok.  Those feelings don't make you bad or wrong.  Those feelings are despair and helplessness lying to you.  This can be fixed.  You can feel right again.
I would very much like to feel right again.

Bumbling around today in an effort to pass the hours before my phone call, I found this.  I found it very calming, very reassuring, and very helpful.

You are valuable.  You matter.  Please don't be afraid.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Panic Did

I'm standing in the middle of a little shop near my town, having a flirty text chat with my boyfriend person.  The world is right and all is well.
Then I look up, I look around, and I'm filled with an unexplained, unprovoked fear.
Sick, hot fear.

My body quakes, and my hands fumble at the keypad on my phone.  "I'm having a severe panic attack right now," I type.  I send.

I'm having a panic attack.  This is a certainty.  There is no danger beyond my own brain, and I am ok here.  I know this.

But my body reacts in fear.  My stomach drops, then churns.  I sweat.  I shake.  I want to get away.  My brain begins its panic chant, and I wait, helpless, while it marches forward in chaos.

"You're here in the middle of this store, and everyone around you is dangerous.  There is someone bad within this collection of people.  Someone who wants to hurt you.  Nothing you do can stop it.  Demise is imminent, and you are trapped.  There is nothing you can do to redirect this course of events.  So just wait, and prepare.  Bad things are coming."  

Boyfriend responds with rationality and calmness.  He reminds me that I'm ok, that he loves me, and that I can leave at any moment, hide in my car, and smoke until I'm calm.

I stay, insistent upon not being chased out of a thrift shop by my own irrational fear.

Mostly.  I hide in the bathroom.
Acutely aware of every sound made by my jangling keys, my clunky bracelets, and my noisy heels echoing off the walls with every step.  I am not invisible in here.  I am a target in here.  Being in here is more suspicious and attention-drawing than being out there, in the middle of all the evil-doers who have certainly begun to notice my absence.  I gather myself, and return to the battle outside.

A man is watching me.  Friendly glances in my direction.  Smiles.  He is very aware of me.

"He wants to hurt you."
I am convinced that he does.

He follows me.  Absent-mindedly touching items for sale, and immediately moving forward when I move away.  He's watching me.

My phone vibrates.  "You're safe.  You're my girl.  I love you."

"This will be the last text you ever receive."
I am convinced that it is.

I check out, ever aware of the imposing and creepy man standing directly behind me.  The cashier smiles.  She hands me my change, and I grab my purchases without waiting for a bag, and flee, trying with everything inside me not to break into a sprint.

Safe inside my car, I'm immediately embarrassed, sure I've made a scene.
I haven't.

I'm embarrassed that I've been ridiculous and stupid in full view of my boyfriend.
I haven't.

I'm irritated that my latest attempt to be brave in the world has failed miserably, and that I'll drive home defeated, and regret it for the rest of the day.
I've decided not to feel that way.

So I didn't get what I'd originally gone out to get, but that's ok.  I can go anywhere, anytime, now that I have my car.
So I didn't hit up that friend I'd intended to drop in on.  But that's ok, too.  There's time.

No one was hurt, and I didn't die, and I wasn't slaughtered by a lunatic inside some shitty religious thrift store.

I'm calling it a win.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The basics

I'm alive!

So much fuckery has kept me away from my precious keyboard, and busy with shitty tasks that turned writing into kind of "a thing I do when I need to remember to buy more toilet paper."


The basics...
I'm getting a divorce.  Our two-decades-long relationship is finally over.  And it's wonderful.  And I hate it.  And every possible emotion in between.

I miss him.  He was not good to me, and he'll tell you that.  Or maybe he won't.  Today I think he might.
It wasn't always a disaster.  I miss the jokes that only we get.  I miss our nightly "stupid movie" ritual.  I miss having a warm body next to me while I sleep at night, and someone to pull me closer when the alarm goes off in the morning.  I miss having someone else to depend on when things are stupid.  I miss having someone to back me up when one of the kids loses their mind and decides to go on one of those "let's see if we can make mom drink" tirades.
I miss being able to hug him...I think I miss that the most.

And I don't miss him.
A sentence which could also do with a paragraph or two of explanation, but I don't want to do that. So I'll just leave it there.

Divorce.  What even is that?
Nothing like I expected, that's for certain.

There were restraining orders.  There were interlopers.  There were devious assholes disguised as loving friends.  There were heartbreaking and necessary separations that landed me miles from home.  There were accusations and threats and general terrible-ness.

Then our son ran away.  Quit school.  Met a girl.  Threw everything away.  For four months he wandered from house to house, thinking he had all the answers and that his crazy parents were imbeciles.  He was intentionally hurtful.  He played one parent against the other.  He created the havoc he needed, I suspect, in an effort to recreate the chaos he'd felt at home during our separation.  Or maybe he was following a poor example set for him by his parents.  Or maybe he was just being a jerk.  Either way, I loved him, and I love him, and he's home now.  He's warm and safe and he's showering and eating.  And at this point that's such a relief that nothing I type will come close to articulating the anxiety I felt for him while he was gone.

And I met someone.
And I want to write all about it.
But I won't.
But goddamn...the feels...
There are many.  They are big.

So this is a shitty post, and leaves nearly everything out.  But I'm so happy to have my computer back and to have had a good day.
And I missed this.
And I'm glad you're still here.