Upon Further Reflection

I confess, I don’t always read the comments when I read other people’s blogs. It really just depends on how much time I have at any given moment. Anyway, I clarified a few things in a reply to a comment on my previous post and since I assume that at least a few people share my shameful burden of not always reading the comments, I’m going to repost it here. Because I can and why not. I want all this crap out and over with, you know? I was replying to a person who thought I was sad over him specifically and/or thinking of him.

Oh, I am not particularly interested in how he is. I hope his wife and child are well, and I hope in a vague sort of way that he isn’t crushed by heavy machinery or kidnapped by pirates, or anything ridiculous like that, but in general I don’t spend any significant amount of time actually mooning over (the current reality of) him.

I kind of miss the fake him, or at least the idea of the fake him. Call me stupid and sentimental. Fake him meshed with real me quite nicely. But once I realized, truly internalized, what he did, the cheating on his PREGNANT wife part and the callous disregard for my emotional and mental health part, I realized that the real him is quite simply not a man I want to know. And if real him happened to get a little karmic payback at some point in his future, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. But I’m not wishing for it, either.

My bursts of sadness have more to do with me. I WANT what I thought we had, with someone who is actually deserving of my love and passion. I want that, so much.

I think that last paragraph is the most important point here. And I’ll be the first to admit that it took me a while to figure that out. It’s really only been in the last few days, as I’ve been wondering why on earth I am still experiencing sadness over this, that it finally clicked. It’s about me and what I want from life, from love, from the relationships that I have now, that I may have in the future. Hell, probably ones from the past, too.

I need to figure out what I want out of life. Sounds easy enough, right?!

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Endings And Beginnings

I suppose a small (huge?) confession is in order. I have been in regular contact with his wife. You might remember that she’d written me in early November, after she found this blog and became concerned about my emotional state. And, for whatever reasons, we’ve been writing each other ever since. Up until today, actually. The ending was my doing. I am ready to not think about him anymore, a hard enough thing to do on my own. And I can’t not think about him while being friendly with his wife. Which is unfortunate because we seem to actually like each other, but ultimately it is realistic. We said our goodbyes and we wished each other well. It’s all good.

She talked to me because, as she put it, she gained comfort from doing so since I was the only person who knew what had happened, and because she felt lonely with her pain. I can understand that. I don’t exactly know why I talked to her for so long. I’ve given it some thought, as part of coming to my decision to stop. I like her, as I said, and there’s even a possibility that, had we met under different circumstances, we could have become friends. But that is just an interesting side note, not something that explains why I chose to talk to her.

I don’t know if it matters why, truly. I did want to know if they were able to work things out, and they are currently managing to do so. All the good and decent parts of me are very relieved and happy to know that. I do sometimes wonder if the not-so-nice devil on my shoulder wanted to know that they were back together in order to have extra ammunition to use against me in my ongoing battle with depression and self-esteem. The nasty voices in my head really do enjoy having their way with that sort of thing, pointing out couples who seem to have love and delighting in reminding me that I do not currently have the type of love that I would like to have.

My general tendency is to put other people’s needs ahead of my own, and I felt quite a bit of angst and concern at telling her I needed to move on. I normally just write emails and send them, but I must have rewritten that one five times before I felt it was acceptable to send to her. Now that I have done so, and we have said our goodbyes, I feel a rather strange combination of sad and relieved. I am ready to start trying to move forward, I think. My first appointment with my new therapist is coming up this week, and obviously this whole fiasco will play a large role in what we talk about, at least for a while. But I want to look forward, and I want to think about him less and less every day, until he is a distant memory.

I’ve had quite a time keeping my thoughts focused lately, and I have pretty much lost the thread of where I was going with all this. So I’ll stop writing for now. I don’t like this, not at all. I don’t know what it is indicative of, something worth exploring or maybe just a cumulative lack of sleep? Ugh. I hate not being in control of my own mind.

The Wait Continues

Today, I found out that there won’t be a decision on the job I want until January. Keep in mind that this is a job that I originally applied for in either late September or early October. I’ve honestly forgotten at this point, it’s taking so freaking long. I won’t go into my whole sorry financial life, as I know many people are struggling lately, but suffice it to say that I’m down to the very end of my rope, clinging on by my fingernails and straight up stubbornness. I need this job, that’s really all there is to it. And I feel as though my life is on hold while I am waiting. It is very frustrating. Which is not to say that I haven’t been looking at other options. I have. I’ve applied for so many jobs that I’ve lost count. But so far, nothing. I need this job. It is the best one, it offers the most opportunities, it pays the most money. Come on, universe. Please?

I did discover that there is free counseling available if you are willing to see a masters intern. So I am going to try it out, because you never know. I just want to make sure I am doing everything within my power to keep my head straight over the winter. I can’t afford to lose my grip, and as I’ve mentioned before, winter is a cold and icy bitch that storms into my life once every year and tries to steal my soul. It is hard to deal with winter in a good year, let alone one like this one, full of financial and relationship woes, and general life upheavals. I have an appointment for next week, so we’ll see what happens. I will say that just the simple act of writing, whether it is here on this blog or in my journals, has really helped me lately, but I think I need more. Hopefully this can be my more.

My main concern, emotionally, is that I can feel myself slipping into a numbness, into the lethargy and apathy of depression. I’m actually considering going back on my pills, just for a bit, even though they’ve never been my favorite thing. That is a gross understatement, actually. They smooth out the jagged edges, sure, but they also obliterate the necessary sharpness . . . of wit, of mind, of creativity. I don’t know. I also tend to feel that I shouldn’t need additional assistance, that medicating myself is admitting weakness, or some such bullshit. My typical pattern is to wait until I am literally unable to get out of bed or off the floor and then to seek out help, or have help foisted upon me. But this time is different, because I have a son, who needs me. So I am trying to be proactive. Everything I am doing, I am doing for him.

Life is Too Short

Too, too many thoughts in my brain, all fighting for their moment in the sun. My brain will not stop, EVER, not until I finally am able to fall asleep, and often not even then, I can’t always get my thoughts out. It’s often frustrating.

I’ve learned some additional information about his activities during the time we were together, which is making me question my people-reading skills all over again. Not to mention all the concerns that pop up when I stop and wonder whether it will be safe, wise, remotely possible to trust someone again any time soon. And I’ve spent a bit more time alternating between sad and angry. Always a good time.

I have realized a few things, or at least thought up a few more things to ponder in my never-ending insomnia. Which, just for your information, is my natural state, not something that has occurred after the late unpleasantness. I shun sleep. Until the alarm goes off and I’ve only been asleep for two hours, then I LOVE sleep. But then it is too late, of course.

First thing: I thought I was safe with him, but in reality I was vulnerable. I am feeling vulnerable in hindsight, and feeling vulnerable makes me self-conscious and vaguely uncomfortable, like I’ve forgotten something that will surely embarrass me once I remember what it is. Which I think has something to do with having to accept his mean and hurtful message about having used me. I feel like he might be sitting around having a good laugh at my expense. Which is ridiculous, really, as I doubt he even gives me a passing thought. Also not a self-esteem booster, feeling discarded and used. Oh well. Nothing overly deep there, just a thought that dashed through my brain on its way to wherever random thoughts end up.

Second thing: I am changed, irrevocably. There is no going back. I can not be the person I was before I met him, and I can not be the person I was five minutes before his wife spoke to me for the first time. It ain’t gonna happen, so the wisest thing for me to do would be to focus on making sure the changes that are inevitable are for the better, and don’t lead to bitterness or jadedness.

And, that’s all I’ve got for now. The rest is, as I said, bouncing around inside my brain, causing me angst and unrest but not being kind enough to funnel itself into something helpful like painting or writing, or hell, even into an obsessive burst of housecleaning.

I think I’ll have a glass of amaretto and curl up with a book. In the meantime, here’s an excellent thought to keep in mind when the other stuff is trying to keep you down.

Desiderata

After my angry post, no matter where I turned I kept running into words meant to soothe me. Which, admittedly, was a bit annoying, as I had a pretty decent burn built up and therefore wasn’t particularly in the mood to be soothed. Isn’t is funny how things work out sometimes? From my Thich Naht Hahn quote, which were the first very words I laid eyes on as I flipped through a book to find my last place, to this poem, which a wonderful friend of mine felt compelled to send to me only yesterday, it was like the world wanted me to get a grip.

I can’t say it will last, in fact, I know darn good and well that it won’t, but again, it is a start and I am breathing.

Enjoy.

DESIDERATA

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

                                              — Max Ehrmann

Reclaiming My Own

So many things remind me of him, of us, of what we had, seemed to have, all that. And I’ve been avoiding certain things, thoughts of things, songs, places, and so on, because of that. Because of the feelings evoked, of the pain that shoots through me, because I was weak. I’m still weak, occasionally, momentarily, but overall I am strong and I will prevail. You can’t eat me. You can’t have my soul.

I love this picture, it is one of my favorite pictures of me and my son. And I let it be tainted, because it involved him. But you know what? He can’t have it, it is mine. I love it, my friends love it, and I look damn good in it. I’m taking it back. And that is a start.