Monday, November 23, 2015

She don't want anybody to see what she looks like when she's down

I broke my rules. On the weekend. On the weekend without my daughter (see also: extra quiet and lonely).  I looked at Pinterest which is like a barrage of visual and mental "your heart is broken! don't you miss him!" madness.

And I went downstairs. Where I have his stuff in a box. Including his cologne that smells like the best thing on the planet and sort of like the old lady who swallowed a fly...I guess I'll die.

Not actually. I just feel like her. I did something silly and felt like a fool and like dying or such.

As soon as Sloane's party is planned Pinterest is finding itself deleted again.

Thankfully I have avoided that bitch Adele.  And there is one thing I absolutely refuse to concede to: any of these "broken" sentiments.

I am not broken. Lies and wasted time and empty promises are just that. I'm the kind of badass bitch who has been through a lot worse than this and still manage to run an amazing life and look pretty fashionable while I do it.

No one is going to ruin my track record.

She don't want nobody near, from the Counting Crows for the title 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

And I don't like to think that love is like war

Heartbreak sucks because all the good stuff evaporates. Like how when he opened the car door for you he'd then bend his head in to kiss you three times. 

Title from Independence Day by Ani Difranco

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And all the people say "You can't wake up, this is not a dream..."

You know the day. The one where you wake up differently after weeks of feeling like your chest is going to explode when you realize that nothing that happened while you were asleep changed what happened, but not this morning. This morning is the one where the sound of the wind outside and your child sniffling through a stuffy nose feels like gratitude again.

I had that morning.  The problem with having that morning is if there is anything unfinished it will happen soon after that morning.

It was a Saturday and I went and got coffee and on my way home. The night before was particularly rough.  I still felt oddly connected to Nick. I kept checking my phone to see if he'd text me. I stared at the comments and likes on his profile picture. I kept vigil over nothing.  But I didn't wake up that way. I woke up almost happy.

I pulled into my driveway and looked on my Pinterest app because I was party planning (obvs this was the couple days before I wrote the getting over a heartbreak post).  I had a notification.  On an old board. A board Nick created while he was deployed. He'd pin things for me to look at when we couldn't talk.  There were 100s of pins on this board. But this notification said he pinned a new thing.

I opened my email. 3 notifications from Pinterest saying he pinned something to our board. I opened Pinterest.

Every girl wants the grand gesture when she's been hurt.  We want you to get on a plane or run through the airport to keep us from leaving or send an email missive of our every quality that you miss down to the way we shampoo our hair and the brand of tea we drink.

So my heart was racing.  Maybe he'd say he loved me.

Nope.  He pinned a light up apology meme someone else photographed and put on Pinterest. And then he pinned two more things about himself, and his symptoms of his PTSD and depression.

As a clinician, I understand. As his former fiancee my heart seemed to shatter into pieces I wasn't sure I could identify any more.

I've sold myself short lots of times, but I couldn't accept that a meme was all I was worth at this point.

So I broke the cardinal rule and texted him.

This set off a barrage of messages and an eventual phone call that gave me even less closure, less satisfaction and less love.

I tend to be a bit masochistic. Sometimes I keep things that prove that it would be foolish to put myself in the same situation and expect different results.

So I kept the meme. I'm keeping it on a private board on Pinterest (the board we had together is gone along with every sentiment ever posted there).  With this caption: Never forget this is the way he thought it best to say the words you wanted most.

So I had that day and every day has been better since. There's no more grenades going to go off on the internet or in my phone.  He's blocked in every way. His mom knows how to reach me if he would need me. Sometimes I think it was wrong of me not to wait but then I remember he never asked me to wait. And sometimes I still stare at my phone and wonder if he'll get through.

But the mornings are easier and that's the kind of start that takes you somewhere else, somewhere better.

title from Gasoline by Halsey bc badass

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When the morning comes, let it go, this too shall pass

In my early twenties, I like many other women my age and older was obsessed with Sex and The City.  I identified (still identify) with Carrie. The longsuffering, overthinking, terrible man choosing albeit fashionable Carrie.

On Sundays I'd watch SATC with my very best friend and a total Charlotte, Breann.

So Breann over the years has taken to describing my relationships in SATC characters. I've had way too old for me Aleksander Petrovsky (must be in the name), I've had my sensitive and wonderful Aiden that I destroyed chasing who I thought was Mr. Big at the time. And Now I have my very own Jack Berger.

Hollywood kisses with a post-it note ending.

What I'm beginning to come up with is maybe there isn't a Big and maybe Big was a giant douche anyway. And maybe, just maybe, I'm not a Carrie. I mean I'm not a city girl. Maybe I'm more like the teacher from Stuckeyville from the other show we never missed, something more original, more obscure. Maybe I'm just a Carol Vessey. Looking for her Ed Stevens.

title from OK GO: This too shall pass 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

You don't need to change a thing about you, babe

How To Mend Your Broken Heart in 7 Steps 
(Badass Bitches Only)

1. Uninstall Pinterest for 4 months.
You're welcome. 
2. Fuck Adele. Yes, I know, Adele's new album drops next week, yes I know she won a crap ton of Grammys. DO NOT DOWNLOAD. 

3. Your smart phone was made for break ups.  Use all functions available until emotionally stable enough to delete.  a) HIDE all the pictures. b) give him a new name that reminds you to STOP that behavior this instant, missy! c) delete the playlists d) block that number baby

4. You are not friends. Therefore you are not "following" on apps you are not "friends" on FB.  This one hurts but rip that disgusting band-aid that's hanging from your scraped up ego off. And throw it away. You also need to unfollow his sister.  Don't forget his mom, even if she did send you a message indicating she thinks her son is a complete moron.  Do it. And do it now.

5. Congrats you are a girl.  You are allowed through society's patriarchy to post a GORGEOUS selfie as your new profile picture to every social media outlet you have available.  If he posts a selfie to FB he looks like a desperate weirdo or a total douche bag (unless he's under 21). But you my dear, you should look flipping gorgeous every time he searches for you late at night (or even if he doesn't, whatever he does, he totally does).

6. Post sappy things only where they WILL NOT, CAN NOT get back to him (that's why you do #4 and #5 first and keep a blog that he doesn't know about).  Everywhere else you have your one new picture (don't look desperate girl) and nothing but rainbows and roses.

7. Have an ample supply of straight men in your life who will tell you he's a dick and he's out of his mind.  If you don't have any use your brother and download the Griffin House song "The Guy That Says Goodbye To You."  (also staring at Griffin House is implied in this directive).  Gay men are great too, but this one's better coming from a guy who likes vaginas lots.
Again, you're welcome.

Post title from the hottie with the hair and eyes and arms, Griffin House - The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

But no word or warning do you say. One minute right beside me, another you're a thousand miles away

When I said "I'll take it." I meant: as is. Just give up and admit you're an asshole... And I think you'd find that your friends would forgive you but maybe I'm just speaking for me.  - As Is by Ani Difranco

In an effort to practice what I preach...

I often tell clients that sometimes their pain lives in a place without words. Which seems only poetic, but it's actually true.  Trauma experiences are stored in the opposite hemisphere than language. So asking someone to process with words could be asking someone with a broken leg to walk to a hospital to set their leg.

I use Mandalas with clients in lieu of journaling occasionally because it provides a container (the circle) for their feelings, and a boundary. Also because if a client is not highly literate (or young) words can be intimidating and feeling like they are set up for failure before the activity even begins.

So here are two of mine.  I prefer oil pastels because I love to smudge and get my fingers messy and I title mine, a lot of times with song lyrics like the one below is a lyric from Possibility Days by the Counting Crows or with thoughts that I think they capture, like the top photo.  I always date them. Titling and dating is not necessary. It's just something I do to make it like a visual diary.  And yes, the top photo is inside my car.  I had the supplies in my work bag and I just had to "get it out."  

Here's to the next step, which I am not happy about taking but not all of our steps make us feel thus.

Title from You're No Train (from Songs for a Hurricane) by Kris Delmhorst 

Monday, November 2, 2015

"Sorry," is all that you can't say

I came home weary from traveling to NYC for a work conference but I was ecstatic to get back to Nick and me, the way we were before he was hospitalized. I couldn't wait for text messages and photo sharing and talks without people listening in a hallway and most of all for FaceTime.

None of that happened.

On Tuesday evening after getting home early Tuesday morning and feeling something was off all day during our usual evening phone call I had to ask. "Are we okay, are you okay?"  I didn't expect the answer.

I didn't expect this. Not in the way you don't expect your car to breakdown.  I drive around acutely aware that my Subaru can break down (and does) at any moment.  This was the kind of unexpected like you don't expect the sky to fall.

I believed Nick each time he reiterated how he'd never leave me, never give up on us, never divorce me unless I did something unforgivable.

He said "no." I said "what's going on? Do you still want to do this?" I wanted him and expected him to tell me how absurd my question was.  Instead he said "I don't."

So without telling about how I got through sleepless nights of a deployment where his life was in danger often and telling you how I planned to be there come hell or high water (including delayed flights, a flat tire on my rental, waiting for a key to his house to come in the mail from Iraq) and how that weekend I got him from the airport and was in his arms again he planned the most surprise and beautiful heartfelt proposal on the beach in the moonlight with the most glittering and beautiful ring that meant the world to me, without telling you all that I'm here now.

I'm where I never wanted and never thought I'd be.

I never got a real explanation, it was a flurry of doubt, protecting me from himself/finding himself/you never did anything wrong I just wasn't happy anymore/the distance couldn't work anymore.  I asked for a face to face conversation (via Face Time) to try and accept what he was telling me and I didn't get that either.

What hurts more than all of that is that he never told me he was sorry.  He told other people he feels sorry, feels guilty.  But when I confronted him via text (because it was my only choice) about how I just wanted him to apologize, well that was the final word between us.  He never wrote back. Not even just two words.

Of course I'm left with one hundred thousand other words. Words that I don't know if he meant but then couldn't mean anymore, or was just pretending the whole time. iMessages, letters, notes, cards, inserts from flowers, a diamond ring, gifts, hundreds of song lyrics that he picked just for me to listen to, poems he'd find and send, words words words words words words words.

title from my girl Tracy Chapman: Baby, can I hold you.