Sunday, September 25, 2016

That's a Little Bit More Information Than I Needed, Vince

Warning: This post is going to be more personal than what I usually write--I know, you're wondering how that's even possible, but believe me. It is--personal enough that I questioned if I should even write it, but you know me. No other way to process. Processing isn't the only reason for the post, thought; the incident about which I'm getting ready to write brought me to a realization, and sharing realizations that bring about tolerance, well, that's a good thing. Sharing is caring as everyone knows.

Okay, so, right off the bat, let me just tell you: I've been sleeping with this guy. Not for a super long time, just a few weeks, but we've been friends for almost five years and have made out a few times over the last twoish years since my ex-Glenn and I have no longer been a thing. The point is, this guy is no stranger who just appeared out of nowhere. 

What this guy, however, is, is super into BDSM. I'm not. Like, I hurt and bruise for a week if someone pokes me too hard. With a pinkie. Being hit during sex--definitely not my thing. And this guy knows that. We've talked about it off and on over the years and pretty extensively over the past few weeks, and I think I was pretty unambiguous when I text, and I quote, That's gross. I could never have sex like that and that he got the text and the message when he replied, I know (sad face emoji).

And yet there I was, naked and unsuspecting, when this guy said something like, I just have to do it once. 

And there I was, naked and unsuspecting, when a sound like a firecracker exploded against  the semi-regular dull thud of mattress meeting wall and heat like fire seared my skin.

This guy had spanked me.


How hard?

Well, there's a perfect handprint, fingers splayed open, across the left side of my ass (and can I just say, seriously--I knew my butt was big, but the entire imprint of a male hand on just one side? Can that thing be more out of control?) and  although it isn't the blood red color it was last night, it's still vivid enough that I'm pretty sure it's going to leave a bruise.

To be honest, I'm pretty sure he hit me harder than I've ever been hit in my life, hard enough to at first make me mad and at second to make me almost cry, not from physical pain, which I've never cried from, not even during childbirth, but from another kind of pain, a kind of pain that filled my insides with a heat almost as hot as the heat that burned my butt. It was the pain of humiliation, the same kind of pain and humiliation that burned inside me the few times my father spanked me, the kind of pain and humiliation that caused me to use the word "hit" instead of "smacked" just now because really, that's what this guy did, he smacked me--he smacked me--the way a parent smacks a child only I'm not his child, and I didn't do anything wrong, and I didn't ask to be disciplined, and I was naked and unsuspecting, and could anybody do anything worse to a naked and unsuspecting person than smack him or her as if s/he'd done something wrong?

And so after I was mad, I was, to greatly understate and simplify,  sad. I was sad and naked and humiliated, hot with shame, lying in the fetal position trying not to cry, telling this guy how anything that makes me feel parented in any way is completely unacceptable, and then this guy was leaving, and then there I was,, naked and humiliated but now alone, the heat of the shame dissipating somewhat throughout the night but never really going away, and now here I am today unable to think about anything else, sick inside, sick and cold,  and wondering why this incident disturbed me so much and feeling dumb for reacting as strongly as I did.

One of my closest friends told me I'm not overreacting and that since I'd made it clear I wasn't interested in anything associated with pain, what this guy did was borderline abuse. Another very  close friend didn't use the word abuse but confirmed my reaction was not an overly sensitive one, and I have a right to be upset. I came up with something else, which is where my realization comes in, and that's simply that I was, and God, I hate to use this word but it's my realization, that these things actually exist, triggered. For whatever reason, that smack triggered me in a way I never imagined a snack could, and thus far it's a trigger I haven't been able to disengage. I suppose it could have something  to do with my rape although I don't really think it does but more likely it has to do with the resentment I feel toward my parents' control  and as a result, anybody who tries to exert any control over me at all. It really makes perfect sense. One of the running fights I had with my ex-Glenn revolved around what I saw as him acting like my dad instead of my husband and last night before this guy and I had our thing, I stopped talking to another guy because he text me too much and got annoyed when I didn't text back just like my mom.

So where do I go from here? In both my life and in this post? It was, after all, an exercise in processing and introspection, and I suppose that's done, on a superficial level at least. Well, in this post I'll acknowledge that triggers do exist although I still can't get behind so-called safe spaces. We need to be ready for real life and trigger-free, pc places aren't the way to prepare us. And in my life? Therapy, I think. Unlike last night, it couldn't hurt.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Don't Settle Because You're Scared of Being Alone

Not so long ago, somebody commented on my blog about how transparent I've been through my whole divorce process. It made me feel good, but it also made me think: Am I really transparent? Do I depict things as they truly are? Make things seem better? Or maybe worse (we all know I have a tendency to veer toward the melodramatic)? The answers, respectively, are yes; at the moment of writing; I don't try to; and I don't think so. Still, thinking about past posts, I can't help but think there's a lot I've left out.

Two days ago was the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Sitting on my couch alone that night, watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I couldn't help but think about the symbolism of the holiday in relation to my life. I have my independence now, all right, I thought to myself, and I'm honestly glad to have it, but along with that independence comes a lot of things for which I didn't plan: isolation, loneliness, and depression among them.

What I've realized since being alone is that I absolutely hate being alone. I've had discussions with people who have said, and read articles in a similar vein,that people have to truly like themselves and if they do, they'll like spending time alone, and to that, I have to say, bull. Maybe not for everybody, of course, but certainly for me, and if for me, then surely for others as well.

Here's the thing. I like myself just fine. I think I'm smart and funny and pretty and fun; I admire the originality of my thoughts; I have damn good musical taste; I go places and do things and finally live, live, live my life. If I weren't me, I'd totally be in love (and kind of have a hard time understanding how everybody is not). But I am me, and as much as I'm sitting here patting myself on the back for who I am, I'm not my friend. Spending time with myself is exactly that. It's spending time alone.

As I spent time alone on the Fourth of July--which is really no different from how I spend most of my time--I thought about my life circumstances and how I got here. I thought about having a husband for almost twenty years, very good friends who have moved away, a very good friend who drifted away, people I valued as my friends who didn't value me, lovers I've had since my divorce who I didn't care about at all, and I realized that despite how happy I am to have this new life, I'm also really sad.

But then, as I was watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I thought about something my mom said to me either earlier that night or the day before regarding C.

Don't you wish you could just turn your feelings off? she asked, which now that I think about it may actually have been what led me to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

No, I said. I don't.

Why? You like liking him? she asked.

I don't remember what I said, but I can answer that now with a resounding no. Of course I don't like liking someone who it makes me miserable to like. Despite that, though, I would never turn my feelings off, and I certainly never would, like in the movie, opt to forget they existed in the first place.

And that doesn't go for just C.

That goes for everything I've ever felt, good or bad, even this horrible bout of sadness in which I'm currently immersed. These things are what make me the me I'm so smitten with (albeit not entertained by), and I'm not interested in being anyone else. Plus, according to the movie, we're all going to just end up where we were anyway, memories or not. Some things are just meant to be.

At the moment, it just so happens I'm not sure exactly of my specific meant to be, but sure or not, I know that it's something. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

If You Can't Be with the One You Love, Honey

I haven't mentioned this--probably because I never write anymore--but in mid-January, I got into a car accident. It was pretty tiny as far as car accidents go, but still--I got hurt. Not badly hurt, really closer to barely hurt, like barely enough that if I weren't a runner, I wouldn't even have known I was hurt, but I am, so I did.

The pain started the first time I ran after the accident, about half a mile into my run. I finished running, took a few days off, and then ran again. The same thing happened. A perfectly timed series of events got me going to physical therapy for about a month, during which I couldn't run, but also during which my calf started feeling way better, so once my month was up, I ran. The first time was great; the second not so much. I had to stop running again.

Over the next few months my runs were sporadic. I went from running almost every day prior to the accident to running twice in February, six times in March, eleven times in April, and thirteen times in May. I'd run, things would go good for a while, I'd get all excited, I'd think everything was completely fine and dandy, and then in the middle of a run, the pain.

Last week during a three-hour conversation from here to Kansas City, the subject rolled around to exercise. At the time of the flight, I hadn't run since May 28. It was June 10. When I told the man sitting next to me about my injury, he asked me what I do now. Be depressed, I said. He laughed. No, he said, I meant for exercise. 

Embarrassed, I didn't say anything for a few seconds.


I thought about it for a minute.


The rest of the plane ride, my response kept popping back into my head. I thought about it on the ride to my hotel; while I unpacked; while I waited for my friend, Danielle.


When Danielle picked me up, I told her the story, and we talked about it. We talked about how I love to exercise, and I love to be healthy, but because I can't do one specific exercise--my specific exercise--I don't do anything at all.

I have this image of myself, and in that image, I'm a runner. I'm not a walker, I'm not a swimmer, I'm not an exercise-bike bicyclist, I'm not a lady who ellipts. I'm a woman who runs, and in the past however many years, it's shaped my sense of self, and when I no longer could do it, instead of finding an alternative, I got depressed and gave up.

If I couldn't run, I wanted to do nothing at all.

How silly of me. Ridiculous, really. Dumb.

A sad fact of life is that sometimes we don't get what we want, but that doesn't mean we're supposed to stop living altogether.


I ellipted this morning.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Coming Out (Semi) Swinging

It's been forever since I've written because it's been forever since I've had anything to say. I took a kind of moratorium after I stopped seeing the guy I wrote about in my last blog--you know, the one who made me forget about C--not just from this blog, but from life. After we stopped seeing each other I pretty much stopped thinking about kissing and sex and boys, everything that makes me who I really am, not because he hurt me because he didn't--I seriously barely even liked him--but because life did. The way I saw it, that guy, whose name was Bo, by the way (and in a crazy coincidence, the brother of the drummer in one of my ex-Glenn's bands, the first guy I convinced him to let me make out with), was part of a bigger picture, of a pattern that I no longer wanted to be a part of, so I just stopped being part of the design. I didn't do it consciously, of course, but retrospectively, I can now see the last couple of months for what they were: my conceding in the perpetual game that is Kismet versus life. you remember this blog post about the disaster that was Griffin's birthday cake? The one about all my fuck ups and how somehow, at some point, I find a way to thrive? Well, I wouldn't exactly go shouting my happiness from the rooftops, but the swing is definitely of the upward kind, and best of all, it's not because of a boy.

A few years ago, one of the times when my ex-Glenn and I were separated before this last one, I dropped Griffin off at some party or some carnival, and not wanting to drive all the way home decided to go out to eat. 


I'm writing about this because it was a very big deal. I brought a book with me, posted on Facebook about it for encouragement, and basically had to be coaxed into doing it before I had the nerve to go into the restaurant. 

A few months ago, when Griffin and Keifer were out every weekend, Kei at his father's house and Griffin out with Alex, I was horribly sad. I spent every Friday and sometimes Saturday in a constant cloud of sadness and loneliness wondering what I was supposed to do.


I'm writing about this not because it was a very big deal but because it felt like one. It felt like the end of everything, a glimpse of the loneliness that was bound to be my destiny, a life filled with nothing but my aimless shuffling back and forth in my house, looking for something to do. 


I'm sure I don't need to have put in any foreshadowing for you to figure out that these two examples are what my life was instead of what it is. I go out to eat alone without a second thought now, not even needing the extra security of a phone or a book, and when Griffin and Keifer are in the house on the weekends, I kind of want them gone. At some point in the past few months, I've become comfortable in my alone-ness, so much so that a lot of the time I now want to be by myself. 

I no longer want a guy like Bo, who I knew wasn't the guy for me at all, around just to have somebody there. I'm learning, thanks to that pattern of which I refuse to be part of the design, that at least for now, I'm really everything I need.

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's the End of the World as I Know It, and I Feel Fine

You have no idea how unproductive it is to fall in and out of you as often as I do
and lately I've been feeling gray but today I'm all right no thanks to you
                                                                  --The Story So Far

Seriously, I couldn't tell you how long C has consumed my life if I tried. Okay, that's not true. When it comes to C, I could probably tell you everything that's happened, ever. I just don't want to. What I will say, though, is if we were a math problem with an answer that had to be rounded, the story of us would equal ten.

I have no choice to admit, honest girl that I am, that for a very long time, C has been omnipresent.


A Dramatization of My Life for the Last Rounded to Ten Years

Part I

The Marriage 

Me: I don't want to be married anymore!

*Text C. Sex with C. No more C.*
*Marriage reconciled*
*Thoughts of C*
*Fights revolving around C*
*C-related residue*

1-2 years later

Me: This is not working!

*Text C. Sex with C. No more C.*
*Marriage reconciled*
*Thoughts of C*
*Fights revolving around C*
*C-related residue*

1-2 years later

Me: I just can't do this!

*Text C. Sex with C. No more C.*
*Marriage reconciled*
*Thoughts of C*
*Fights revolving around C*
*C-related issue residue*

Part II

Not Verbatim Transcript from a Snapchat Conversation with a Friend, September 2015

Me: We're not anything anymore. I asked him if the reason we can't be anything real is my age, and he said yes. He said he doesn't know why it matters, but he's been thinking about it a lot lately, and it does. 

A Friend: I'm so sorry. Are you okay?

Me: No. I want to die.

A Friend: I know it feels awful now, but you're going to feel better soon. You'll see.

Me: I don't know. I don't think I'm capable of getting over him. Look how long it's been, and I never have.

A Friend: But I kind of feel like you never wanted to get over him before. 

Part III

The Immediate and Almost-Immediate After

October: Fine, first guy post-C. Let's make out. Oh, I'm sorry that I started CRYING HYSTERICALLY while kissing you and thinking of C. My bad. 

November: Okay, second guy post-C. Let me try this again. I didn't feel anything, but that's better than crying, right? And since you didn't see me crying on my bed when I got home that night, it doesn't count, does it?

December: Third guy post-C, I hope it doesn't matter that I did absolutely nothing but think about C the entire time we were making out. I'm sorry, your name was what? 


So, as should be pretty clear from that too-much-information post, C--

pretty much an all-consuming aspect of my life.

But two weekends ago something incredible happened. Something astounding. Something stupendous.

I made out with a guy, and C didn't even cross my mind. Not once. Until later that night, it was almost like C didn't even exist. Like, he was nowhere. Just...


What I had been holding onto for years, for so many years they would be rounded to ten if we were a math problem, was gone. And although my friend was right when she said that I didn't want to get over him; although I didn't want to feel better, ever; although I wanted to carry my pain and devotion like a badge, proof that I loved him harder than anybody ever had and anybody ever could; although the artist inside my soul sought the torment that only loving somebody I wouldn't have wanted to mourn forever; although I perceived letting go of my constant longing and sadness, longing and sadness that had been sitting by my side for what would be rounded to ten years if I were rounding, to be almost as tragic as the loss of C himself--

wait, where was I going with this?

Oh, yeah...

I feel fucking fine.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

At Least I'm Not as Sad as I Used to Be

Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?

Buffy: Me.
                    --Becoming, Part 2

I feel like my blog has given the impression that throughout this whole divorce ordeal, my life has been a party a minute, that I've been nothing other than thrilled to be footloose and fancy free, and while yes, there has been a lot of excitement and a lot of good, that's not the truth at all.

Much closer to the truth would be if I were to say I've had a hard couple of months. A really, really hard couple of months. No, few. Maybe even several. (Actually, just count back to August. That's how many months of hard I've had.) I haven't been able to write. I've barely been able to run. I stopped reading. My diet went to crap.

And it was all over a boy. Well, two boys, really. Possibly even three (but I don't like to admit that third one hurts at all, so we'll just pretend that he didn't, doesn't, and never will).

But those hard months? They're ending now. Albeit slowly, the sad chapter is coming to a close.

In mid December, I started running regularly again, and this year I'm on track to run 600 miles, which is 97 miles more than I ran this one. Here I am writing right this second. I read a book over Christmas break. I lost five pounds.

It took until the middle of January, but I'm finally in the mood to live.

Speaking of which...

As of today, I've been doing just that--l-i-v-i-n--for 41 years.

Today, the Earth has orbited the sun for the 41st time since I was born.

In other words, people, it's my birthday, and well, even though it's nothing like last year's

--I have no 5k to run, no chance of a PR.
--I have no one to send nearly naked pictures.
--I have no desire to have sex with everyone on the field at Miramar Regional Park.
--I have no Jordan Catalano wishing me a happy birthday at twelve on the dot.

I'm finally getting back to having me, and so, because it does no good to kvetch and feel sorry for myself, to 41, I have to say only one thing: