Tag Archives: future

Silence

The loudest noise in the whole world is silence.

In every other instance, we find ourselves able to drown the silence out with noise, with chaos, with the comings and goings of our daily lives.  We can occupy our time, and our minds, with the menial tasks that we throw ourselves into on a daily basis.  We distract ourselves with work, with mindless television shows, with our hobbies, with our friends.

Until everyone goes home.  Or we run out of supplies.  Or we run out of money.  Or we run out of work to do.

And then there is silence.

Suffocating, deafening, all-encompassing.  It’s in the silence that we hear ourselves.  It’s in the silence that we hear all of the things we want to hear, and all of the things we never wanted to hear.  It’s the silence that makes us look at ourselves under a microscope, that makes us dissect every little thing we’ve ever thought, every little thing we’ve ever heard, every little thing that everyone has ever said to us, or about us.

It’s in the silence that we, for better or worse, internalize those things.  It’s in the silence that we over-analyze these things until they become second nature – whether they are true or not, whether we accept that they are true or not, we make them a part of ourselves.

There’s been a lot of silence at my house lately.  Too much silence.  Botboy is away, communication from him is minimal (and I sort of assumed that would happen).  And while I miss him, that’s not really the biggest worry that I have – because eventually, all of that will, for better or worse, resolve itself.

No, the deafening silence comes from all of the anxiety over the things that were said to me at Christmas.  But let me begin at the (sort of) beginning.  My mother and I have a strange relationship.  We were close, once, when I was little and malleable.  As I grew up, though, and my stubborn streak came into play, she became more and more frustrated with me, and more and more disappointed when I did not live up to the things she wanted for me.  This has snowballed into disappointment over a bad marriage, an even more humiliating divorce, a move that placed me 1000 miles away from her, the fact that I do not go to church regularly (or really at all, unless I’m home and need to keep appearances up– she’d die if she knew what I was really doing), a modeling career she did not approve of, etc. I suppose it is the breaking point that I am not, and cannot, live up to being the person, even personally, that she wants me to be.  Because what she really wants is the bubbly, cheerleader type of child, that listens, that will go to church with her, and that is not full of strange ideas.  Now, I’m not an unhappy person… or even a negative person… but I am sarcastic.  A smart ass.  And I have many, many strange ideas and interests that she does not understand… beginning with the strong aversion to chick flicks (Downton Abbey excluded, I’ll admit, I’m hooked) with flowery, happy endings.

Which is why, I suppose, she decided over Christmas to sit me down in the living room and accuse me of being bipolar.  I’m not.  And she’s no professional.  But diagnose me she did.  On top of that, she (and my father too – at a different time during that visit) seemed intent on assuring me that I would never really be happy married and that I shouldn’t worry too much about having children.  I looked at each of them, coldly, and said that they were right… I would never be happy if I were married to the wrong person.  But had I married the right person, things might have turned out very differently.  And as for children, I do want them very much.  Being thirty-one without any, when that is what I really do want, is frustrating.

But what’s worse is having your own parents, the people that are supposed to be supportive of you, sit you down and just throw it in your face as if it were nothing.  Granted, I did not tell her that those two things were my biggest fears (not marrying, and not having children).  I don’t admit ANY of my fears readily to people (oops, I guess I just did – GASP) and certainly not to them, who have not always been the most understanding people to talk to.  I keep those things largely to myself.  Wrapped in grubby newspaper in the back of my head in a corner so that I don’t have to think about them very often.  I’ve even managed to do that, to a large extent, with the majority of their disapproval – I accepted long ago that they were never going to approve of me for ME.  I learned to live with it by throwing it into the back of my mind, in its own compartment, so that I didn’t have to look at it.  I like myself well enough, my friends seem to like me well enough, didn’t matter what they thought.

Except for times like this… when my sister decides to get married, and I’m expected to be there.  I love my sister.  We haven’t always gotten along either, but I do love my sister.  It’s not her fault that our mother wishes I could be more like her, and it’s not her fault that they wildly preferred to go to her school functions over mine.  It’s not even her fault that they canceled their fall trip to Florida because she decided to go on vacation with them.  She didn’t have anything to do with that any more than we had anything to do with our opposing hair color.  But I do not want to go.  I do not want to put myself through that ordeal again, of having to sit there, and be psychoanalyzed by my own parents.  I do not want to, by proxy, have my own failed marriage brought into the limelight again, and have to answer questions about whether or not I am seeing anyone (because I can’t go into detail, period, about anything – not when things are so up in the air).  Not because I can’t bear it when I am in the middle of it… for me it’s like a personal battle I have to fight – how much can I endure without cracking?

But because once it’s all said and done, I have to come home to the silence.  Where there is no one to continually put me under a microscope, but also where there is no one to distract me from my own thoughts.  It doesn’t matter whether I believe her or not.  Because I don’t.  Not really.  But that doesn’t mean those stupid inner demons don’t keep poking at me, whispering about how I can’t even keep a man in my life for longer than a few months these days, how I can’t get into anything stable and healthy, how my damned clock is ticking louder and louder and louder, and how I really can’t say for sure when it’s going to stop since my biological mother died long before she hit menopause.  Whispering how do I KNOW she is wrong?

No, I’d prefer to stay here… not that the demons don’t whisper at me, they do.  The silence is deafening because they not only echo the insecurities that were brought painfully into the center ring over Christmas, but because there is the anxiety over this unfinished Botboy situation and the acknowledgement that I have no control over it.   That said, those insecurities are largely under control.  Or at least they are managed.  But I’ve managed them so well that I don’t want to add any more to the load.  And I know that if I go up there, more would be added.  I know that the load would become heavier than it is already.  I can carry it… I am freakishly strong for my size.  And I’ve carried far worse in my day.  But I’m tired of carrying this shit around.

I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination.  And I don’t really know what I believe sometimes.  But if I were a praying person, I’d pray that someone would come along to prove her wrong.  And that someday I can put a family together that will thrive on building each other up instead of tearing each other down; a family that is not so over-involved with appearances that they don’t push the “different” one into a corner somewhere and lavish approval on the one that is more normal.  But, even more, I’d pray for an atmosphere in which the silence is peaceful, and not so deafening.

It’s not a lot to ask.

But maybe, in this case, it’s simply too much.

Home

I looked at the calendar a couple of days ago and realized, with some surprise, that I have lived in Florida now for nearly three years.  I can still remember what it felt like to get off of the plane that carried me from Kentucky to Atlanta, with three thousand dollars in my checking account, no job, no apartment, nothing except a car that I’d bought that was waiting for me in Florida.  It was still more than I’d had seven months before that – seven months before that had me sitting, freezing, in a basement, playing World of Warcraft so that I didn’t get too bored while I waited, desperately for a phone call for a job.  I’d gotten the job in Kentucky.  It had given me enough money to make a fresh start elsewhere.  I took it.

Three years later, I find myself sitting in a fairly large apartment, with vaulted ceilings, in the land of eternal summer.  The beach is at my fingertips (though I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been there since I moved here).  The sun shines the majority of the time.  I have a job that pays better than I ever could have dreamed (or ever could have had if I’d stayed in Kentucky).  I have, essentially, everything I ever wanted – at least materially – and I found it all within a couple of months of moving.  Moving may not solve all your problems (case in point, I am still single, with no legitimate prospects), but sometimes a change of scenery certainly helps.

That’s not to say it’s not hard sometimes.  I am, essentially, down here by myself.  When I got very sick this time last year, I had no real support system – aside from Gatsby/3.0 who made me feel as if the proposed tumor was more of an inconvenience for him than a serious issue for me.  My parents, family, sister, everyone lives 1000 miles away.  A two hour plane trip, yes, but a sixteen hour drive.  Some days I like it that way.  Other days, like when I’m sick, or on the holidays when it’s not so easy to just fly home so that I don’t have to sit here, alone, it’s hard.  And while I don’t let it show, I do get homesick sometimes.

Kentucky was not, by any means, all roses and daisies for me.  But still, there are roots there.  Roots that go deep.  And they’re undeniable.  I sit here, in Florida, in front of my television, in front of my computer, with my cat.  I sit here and I talk about these menial things that I’m doing in my life.  I sit here and I chat with my friends (most of whom still live up north) and I Skype with others.  And fairly frequently, I’m asked why I don’t just move home… or at least to Nashville… or maybe back to Louisville.  The fact of the matter is, I simply don’t want to.

Truth: visiting there is fun.  Going house to house, seeing people I don’t get to see very often, it’s like a big party all the time every time I get off the plane and get in my rental and drive the two hours to the little town.  It’s a nice change – a welcome change, really… to go from almost constant solitude to having people around me all the time.  There’s home cooked food.  And the air there is clean.  There’s no smog, the stars go on for miles, and when you go outside you can hear frogs and crickets… sometimes a coyote.  You see deer literally everywhere – which can be a bad thing if you’re driving.

And of course there’s my family, too.  My mother who loves to cook and who swears up and down that she never gets tired of me visiting.  And my father whose laugh is the best sound in the world to me sometimes (even if it’s from 1000 miles away, on the phone).  I do my best to get them to laugh.  When my father laughs… my little corner of Tampa gets a little bit brighter (if that’s even possible).  There are my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my sister, my best friend.  Lots of catching up to do, and it seems like we never really do seem to get completely caught up before I have to get on the plane again – though we certainly try as we work through the multitude of restaurants I absolutely have to hit up when I am there.

There is all of that… but then there’s Florida.  So many years I wanted to move here.  I can remember sitting in my house as a teenager, snow on the ground, wishing I could live somewhere that wasn’t so cold.  I can remember asking my now ex-husband time and time again to move here (he never wanted to move).  I finally got here.  And I did it all by myself.  And I’m ridiculously proud of that.  And financially, materially, it has been the best move of my life.  Yes it can get lonely sometimes, but, then, I wasn’t NOT lonely in Kentucky either.  I didn’t spend the last decade of my Kentucky life in that small town.  I spent it in the city… and I didn’t know anyone there either.  I tell myself that it’s no different.  And in many ways it isn’t.  But in most ways, in the majority of ways, I’m still happy here.  Happier in Florida than I can remember being in Kentucky – at least for the second half of my habitation there.  I know that if I did move back, that I’d no sooner settle in than I’d find myself unhappy again – and this time, unhappy and shivering in the middle of winter.

And yet, the rolling hills of Kentucky still call to me as I sit here, on my couch, listening to the mid-summer Florida thunderstorm outside my window.  Innately, I feel them drawing me in.  Beckoning to me to come back – to visit the family I grew up in.  To visit the graves of the family I never knew.  To spend time walking around the high school track where I can still feel the awkwardness of those stupid first dates in the bleachers, still hear the kids outside the school waiting for the first tone to sound.  In my mind’s eye, I can see the endless expanse of the corn fields down the highway and I can see the way that the sky, and the stars, seem to climb into the sky forever and ever – layers upon layers of eternity.  Kentucky calls to me when I am in Florida.

And yet, Florida calls to me when I am in Kentucky.  Surrounded by the clean, fresh air that I love, amused by my friends, comfortably pampered by my family, Florida beckons to me when I’m there.  It wants me back.  Tampa, the seductive city that she is, seems to throw out her arms and grab my hand, reminding me of the palm trees and the sound of the waves crashing into the beaches at night.  She sends me visions of the downtown areas that I love so well.  Palm Harbor, too, wants me to come back – the shops I love, the friends I’ve made there, the community that’s growing right before my eyes.

It is as if some days, I cannot win.  Some days, I feel myself being pulled into two opposing directions; the one where my history, for better or worse, is so deeply entrenched.  Where I will likely return, one day, to be buried with the rest of my family.  And the other where my present lies… possibly also my future, though, being the restless wanderer that I am, I’m always open to suggestions.  And then I realize… it’s not that each location, each life, is pulling me in two different directions.  It’s not that at all.  The truth of it is this: neither is pulling me anywhere.  Because I have something that not everyone has… I have two places that I can call home.  Whether I am here in Florida, whether I am there in Kentucky, I am home no matter where I go.

And, knowing that, I feel truly rich, indeed.

The Past Resonates

I had a vision a couple of weeks ago.  In a dream.  There were a lot of lights.  A lot of watches, clocks, circling, swirling around.  And a bunch of people I didn’t know, saying over and over and over that “The Past Resonates.”  I woke up.  I didn’t know what it meant.  I still don’t know, entirely, what it meant.  But I believe one of the meanings lies with this:

I think every girl has that one ex… the one who, despite the time, despite the distance, despite everything, the one that always seems to come back into her mind time and time again.  And who, if she’s lucky, still checks in on occasion.  “Sex and the City” would call this the Mr. Big effect.  Maybe it is.  I can think of no better comparison for it.

Mine is one I dated in college, I call him The Professor.  He was significantly older than I was… at 19 and 26, it was an unlikely paring.  He was working on a Masters.  I barely had a semester of my Bachelors under my belt.  But we met.  And we dated.  And it ended… not, for once, because we didn’t or couldn’t get along but because he was moving, and because I didn’t want a long distance relationship and I couldn’t follow.  It was more complicated than that, looking back on it, but being nineteen and arrogant, I figured I could replace him.  And anyway, after six months he’d never used the “L” word and the one time I did, he didn’t respond.  I could do better, I thought.

Fast forward over a decade later.  We’ve kept in touch.  It seems like every time I break up with someone, every time something goes a little wrong in my life (and even when things go a little right), he shows up out of the blue, for one reason or another.  I got married first.  And divorced.  He married  someone else.  They seemed happy.  I assumed it would last forever and despite the fact that he would try to engage me in sex talk occasionally, I wished him well.  Whatever happened a decade before had happened already.  It didn’t matter anymore.  Water under the bridge.  And while I, occasionally, would wonder what would have happened had I been a little bit older, had I had a little more experience, had we stayed together, I assumed things happened just the way they happened for a reason.  And I believe that even now.

I guess it was a year ago that we talked.  Really talked.  And that’s when he told me that he had been in love with me back then but hadn’t had the nerve to say it.  And then asked what I would do if he showed up at my door right then.  “Nothing,” I answered.  “You’re married.  And anyway, even if you did show up at my door, I highly doubt that given the prospect of actually doing anything about it, you would have the nerve.”  I meant that.  Despite the previous blog, I don’t mess around with married men.  His words made me think – made me realize that sometimes we do stupid things when we are young that change the outcome of our fates.  Had he told me that before he moved back in 2002, I thought, I’d have at least held on a little longer, to see if we could have made it work.

But it still didn’t matter.  He said what he said, and I heard it, but even still, he was married.  I jokingly told him to let me know when he got a divorce and I moved on.   I was with Gatsby, trying desperately to make that piece of insanity last.  Gatsby didn’t work out, of course.  And then I met Bot.  And I was happy with Bot.  And consequentially, that was the thing about Professor.  No matter what I was doing… no matter who I was with or how happy I was, he could always manage to swoop in, start asking invasive questions about my sex life, my relationships, and while he never exactly made me second guess what I was doing, I always felt a little dirty after the conversation.  I wasn’t going to let him soil the relationship I had with Bot.  Bot was so far away, and things were so fragile, and Bot had had that horrible experience with his ex that I didn’t want anything to spoil it.  So I cut ties.  And months went by.  Bot came in, left me high and dry, and left.

I hadn’t heard from Professor in all that time.  I’d thought about reaching out a time or two and then decided it was better to leave well enough alone.

And then, two months after the Bot drama, I got an email, telling me about his divorce.  My heart went out to him, it really did.  Their marriage had not been like mine.  Not what I had known about it anyway.  They’d really cared about each other.  I knew he was hurting.  And I began to talk to him.  Easily.  As a friend.  Because that’s what he needed right now… what no one tells you about divorce is that at the same time you’re having to move your shit out of your house and having to reorganize your life, your friend-circle significantly changes too since people begin to choose sides.  I did what I felt I could for him.

We talked about visiting… about seeing each other again for the first time in a decade.  I’m excited about the prospect of this, but I was adamant.  I’m not a rebound.  I won’t be a rebound.  And while some of our conversations can be infuriating at times as he struggles with his post-divorce emotions and his frustrating habit of turning everything into a sex talk (that I won’t be drawn into), it’s intriguing all the same.  Because this is the one that got away.

And still, I’m not putting my eggs into this basket.  Or any basket, really, and I’m certainly not making the same mistake of waiting indefinitely for a man I haven’t seen (ever, or in ages) ever again.  But he’s become a fixture in my life (at least for the time being).  His texts have replaced Bot’s.  His Skypes have given me a reason to use that program again in a way that doesn’t remind me of the evening Skype chats I’d have with Botboy.  I’m having fun.  And I’ve missed my friend.

But, of course, that’s not all there is to it.  He’s interested.  Of course he is.  Whatever we had ten years ago hasn’t died.  I’d say not on my part, nor on his.  And I’ve known that for awhile.  Since it all ended, really.  He’s being very careful right now, but his jealousy of Metalhead makes that even more evident.  It’s not just jealousy over the fact that I’m sleeping with Metalhead, but jealousy that Metalhead can tell me how he feels right now, can hang out with me right now, and he can’t (his words).  He won’t use me, he says.  And he has no idea, he can’t have any idea, how grateful I am to him for not using me… for not doing what Bot did to me after his divorce.

There’s a lot to think about, too.  He’s far away now… in Kansas.  And he has a good job.  But, then, so do I.  And I have no desire to do anything long distance either for any distinctive length of time.  I also have no desire to leave Florida for the Bible Belt and for a state that has “true” winter.  But, for the time being, we aren’t there.  And I’ve made a new resolution to take things as they come, despite the fact that my very forward-thinking brain likes to race often.  Thinking about what doesn’t exist yet, though, is only inventing problems.

And so, for the present, we’re going to Disney World.  Time to be determined, but I feel that it will be soon.  We are going to go to Disney, ride some coasters, have dinner together, and get to know each other again.  Taking it with slow, measured steps.  And I’m excited.  I haven’t been to Disney World since 1994.  I’m excited to see my friend.  I’m excited to see what comes of all of this.

But I’m nervous all at the same time – both at seeing him after a decade, and because I know that if something happens on either side, with Professor or Metalhead, someone is going to end up getting hurt and I’ll be the one to blame (I hate hurting people).  But… whatever happens, for the first time in a decade, I feel like I’m getting the best year of my life back (because that year when he spent half of it with me WAS the best year of my life so far).  I feel like I’m young again, before my divorce, before that nasty mess, before Buttface, before Gastby, before Botboy.  I feel like I’m getting the chance to really see what it might have been like had I NOT walked away.  I feel almost like I’m being given a second chance.

The past resonates.  Loudly and clearly.  I don’t always understand what it means, I don’t always understand what is coming.  And often, when it resonates, it resonates in the worst ways.  This time?  This time I’m liking the sound of the echo.

An Open Letter to the “D”.

D,

There never seems to be enough time to say what I need to say and when I do it always comes out wrong.  So I’m writing it here, knowing (from your quote last Friday) that you do, at least, sometimes still read the blog.  Maybe you’ll see this.  Maybe you won’t.  I think I prefer it that way.

I do not fully understand what happened in those days before your homecoming.  I know that whatever happened is not my fault, and that it is a product of events that transpired long before you walked into my life.  I know that whatever battles you still fight as a result of those things are yours to contend with and that there is absolutely nothing that I can do, save for what I am already doing, to make that any easier for you.  I cannot fight for you, I cannot help you unless you want me to.  I did not reach out because I did not know whether you would want me to.  I do not want to smother you.  I do not want to impede what you have to do in order to allow yourself to heal.

I wanted so much to join you, but because you do not seem to want me to, I left you alone.  Maybe that wasn’t the best tactic.  And that’s why I reached out and invited you to do something last Friday.  And it’s why on Friday I asked you to come watch those Dexter episodes and have dinner on Monday.  But I can only extend myself so much.  You don’t have to meet me halfway right now, but I do need you to meet me at least part of the way.

I cannot fix what is broken.  It’s not my fight.  But I can be here for you.  The way I have always been.  You are silent now, where you used to talk to me every day.  I miss you.  I miss what we had.  But I understand that this is the way it has to be.  You have to fix yourself.  I get that.  And we’ll take it slowly while you do.

I do not pretend to be the expert on everything.  But I do know what love is.  I know that love does not try to hurt anyone.  Love cannot hurt anyone.   It is not angry.  Someone that truly loved you would let you go.  Someone that truly loved you would, at least, let you be happy.  They would want that for you.  And they would not continually come back to haunt you, to torture you, to play games of emotional warfare.  I have never done that with you, or with anyone else, and I am not going to.  Love doesn’t hurt people.  People hurt people.  We both know who I am talking about here, and I want you to think about this:

After a weekend on a binge, you decided to stop drinking.  I told you then that I wanted you to be whole, and I told you I wanted all of you.  I meant it then.  I’m saying that again now.  I do want you to be whole.  You deserve to be whole, in every essence of the word.  But more than that, I want you to be happy.  Out of all of the people I have ever known, you deserve that the most.  I believed that I could make you happy.  I still believe that I can make you happy.  But you have to be ready to let yourself be happy.  I think you are getting there.

You aren’t looking for anyone else, you said.  I am not either.  And the ones that show up, I simply do not want.  There were two others.  One was from my past – and while it would have been easy to run back to that, I knew (and know even better now) that after having what I’ve had with you, I could not go back to someone who does not appreciate me for who I really am.  I could not be with someone who tries to change me.  The other is new.  He’s nice enough, but I can think of a hundred reasons why I do not want to be with him either.   I did another housecleaning last week, like the one I did when you and I met.  And with all of the other garbage, I threw those two out as well.  One went easily.  The other may fight a little… but in the end he will realize that there’s no chance.  I simply am not interested.

Because I meant what I said… I don’t want to see anyone else.   I know what I want, I want you, I want the D******.  I have never laughed so much or so hard with anyone else the way that I do when we are together (and even when we’re not).  I have never felt so comfortable with another human being so quickly in my life.  I told you on Friday that I believed that we could have done this, that it would have been easy.  I still believe that.  There is something here.  I know it.  So do you, I can tell.

I told you, when things began to fall apart, that I am here.  I meant that.  I am right here.  I am caring for your things as they arrive with the same dedication that I employed when you were away (though those two boxes you sent from before have still not gotten here).  My feelings for you have not changed.  And I am holding on, for the time being, because optimism, and my voices, tell me that I should.

You have not asked me to wait.  You have not told me to move forward, either.  You have only said, dejectedly almost, that you knew I would see others before telling me you weren’t looking for anyone else.

I do not know what to do.  But I remember, in those situations when I would ask you, you would always tell me to “do what feels right.”  It does not feel right to move on.  I do not want to move on.  And so, for the time being, I am waiting.  At least for awhile.  Partially because right now, with your boot-prints so fresh in my memory, I am not fit for anyone else.  But mostly because I believe in us, and moreso, I believe in you.

If you want me, though, I need you to act like it.  That does not mean I need you to run over here right this minute, but, you know as well as I do, the phone works both ways.  The Gchat works both ways.  I am waiting because I know what you CAN be, I had it for five months despite the massive distance, and I saw it for a few hours on Friday.  I believe that it is still there, even if you are afraid of it.

Truth be told, I, too, am afraid of it.  I am afraid of you.  I am afraid of someone who can possess me so completely that I am spoiled for anyone else.  But while I am afraid, I am also mesmerized.  For once in my life I am not looking over the fence.  I am in my own backyard, and while the grass may be dry and brittle right now, I have faith that it could be green again if we want it to be.  It’s the Law of Attraction, the “fake it till you make it” concept.  I believe that it can work, and I hope to science that I am not wrong.  I’m kind of in a vulnerable spot here.

Because things are so up in the air right now with my aunt, I canceled my vacation.  Unless something with her changes, I will be here before you leave.  I would like to see you before you go.  I would like to know, for certain, that there is something, however small, worth waiting for.  But I cannot reach out anymore, I have done that enough.  I will carry you, I will hold your hand, I will do whatever you need me to do, but I cannot do all the work.  I want you.  But I need you to want me back.  And I need you to show me that you do.  I have reached out twice.  Now it is your turn.

And so, unless you tell me otherwise, at least for the summer, I am here.  Skype is online again.  My phone is working.  Gchat is always available.  And when you are in town, if you want me, you can find me.  For the summer, these avenues are yours.  For the summer, I am waiting, occupying my time with my projects, taking it easy, trying to heal in my own way.

Once the summer is over, I’ll reevaluate.

 

Mesmerized,

V

Patience

I am losing my patience.

I never had much to begin with.  I’m the girl who wants what she wants, when she wants it, and if she can’t get it easily, she fights for it.  And while you might say that that is a form of patience, I disagree… fighting for it is my way of making sure I get it.  It’s progress.  It keeps me busy.  I am DOING something about it.

I am a control freak.  A control freak that has no patience.  A dangerous combination.  At least I’m not short tempered anymore.

It’s really quite interesting what goes on in my head.  On any given day, it’s full of plans for the things that I want and a strategy for making sure I get them.  Those plans float around alongside knowledge of all the things I DO NOT want to do – and ways to get out of having to do them.  Those swirl, clockwise, around a layer of frustrations I’m repressing because I do not want to lose my temper.  All crowded around a nexus of recognition – recognition of things, circumstances, situations I cannot control.  And the nexus often feeds back into my desires.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I can identify it.  I can’t navigate it sometimes.  My third eye can weed through it… at least it can see the eventual outcome of some of those uncontrollable circumstances.  But, as any sensible person knows, the third eye is fallible in the sense that it can see what IS and what WILL BE solely on the basis of current circumstances.  She is awake, and she is talking, and I am listening, but I am ever-aware that things change, and they change often, and that sometimes the things that change are changing due to circumstances beyond my control.

And having no control frustrates the hell out of me.  I don’t need full control.  I don’t need to have my hands on the steering wheel all the time (and I really do hate driving).  That said, if I’m not the one driving and I’m not the one navigating, I at least need to be able to call the shots on when I get lunch and when I get to have a pee break.  And when I don’t get that, though you’ll never see it, on the inside I’m the annoying little kid that kicks the back of your seat while you drive screaming, “Are we there yet?”

“Oh but you are navigating, and driving, it’s your life after all,” you’re probably saying.  But am I?   I am not a hermit, I do not live in this world by myself.  And because of that, I do not have utter control all the time.  On a more simplistic viewpoint, I don’t control the flow of traffic… I sit in it, just like everyone else, for some unknown reason.  More personally (and more complicatedly), some of the most intensive situations that I want to know the most about, and could really use some foresight on, are not solely up to me.  “If things stay the same, they’ll end up here,” she says.  But things DON’T stay the same.  That’s not how it works.  She doesn’t have an answer to that.

I live my life, but I also sit on the sidelines as an observer.  It’s like being the lifeguard of my very own swimming pool.  I am in the middle of it, swimming, but I am also in the chair with a whistle in my hand, ready to call it if I see some sort of infraction.  I should stop being so paranoid.  But then on the other hand, if I fire the lifeguard, and shit happens, there’ll be no one to tell me to get the fuck out.

The third eye has been restless lately.  I’m reminded of a quote that I read about the pineal and the third eye… someone who had awakened theirs described it like this:  “When it’s good it’s wonderful, when it’s bad it’s horrid, when I turn it off I am lost.”

I don’t know what it would be like to have a pineal that is not working.  Mine never turned off.  It’s how and why I can see what I see and do what I do.  But she’s been bad lately, and it’s been horrid, and it’s not even PMS week.  Which is why I’m paying a little more attention than I usually do.  I can’t turn it off… when it’s off, as I’ve said in an earlier post somewhere, it’s like being out in the middle of a crowded room, completely naked.  And anyway, likely it’s telling me that something is out of whack somewhere, or that something big is coming, and I need to prepare myself for it.  It just won’t tell me exactly what.  And so, blinded by the vagueness, I don’t know what to identify.  Though I have a few ideas.

I need patience to try to figure this out.  I need patience because I think a lot of it will turn right side up again very soon, in one way or another, and the only thing that is going to be able to rectify some of it is time.  But it’s gnawing at me in the same way that my once broken ankle gnaws at me when it’s getting ready to storm outside.

And my patience is wearing.

Family Affair

It’s February 2008.  My then husband and I are sleeping in his parents’ basement, he on one couch, I on another.  Things aren’t great between us… separation has been brought up several times, divorce a few others.  For the time being, because of where we are, a truce has been implemented.  We visited his parents a LOT.  He was very close to his mother – calling her just to chat, calling her when he needed home repairs done, calling her when he got a flat tire and needed someone to fix it (she lived two hours away and told him to call a tow truck – same as I did, but he listened to her while he never listened to me).  I had gotten tired of it… her nagging, her telling me that I was not taking care of her “baby” correctly.  Who was I to feed him food with condiments on it?  Who was I to paint the walls green?

But I put up with it.  For his sake.  And because doing otherwise would cause an argument – a screaming, fit-throwing, object flinging, wall punching argument.  I’d had enough but for the time being had no other options, nowhere else to go.  So I stayed put.  And anyway we were in counseling.  We were “working on it”.  Right?  Uh.  Yeah.  She’d gone to work that night, to the post office, she wouldn’t be home until 3 a.m.  And when that time came, I could hear the garage door above me open.  I tried to go to sleep as the floor creaked above my head, sleep didn’t come.  He wasn’t asleep either, I knew, half laying, half sitting on the other sofa, listening for her.  I made no movement.  I didn’t want him to know I was awake.  The door to the basement creaked open, the dog ran downstairs followed by his mother who was whispering loudly for her to come back upstairs.

I didn’t say anything.  I just continued to remain still, my eyes closed.  The dog jumped on me, licked my face, I didn’t budge, and I could hear his mother walking down the stairs after her.  My ex, recognizing his mother, whispered something to her… I opened my eyes a crack to see what was going on and I could barely believe what I saw.  It was sickening.  There they were, the dog jumping between the couch and her legs, chatting amiably, as if it were the middle of the day, and he’s lying there, completely uncovered, wearing nothing but his tighty-whities and with his morning wood just hanging out there, making no move to cover it, not acknowledging it.  And what’s worse, even, was that she was standing there continuing the conversation as if there was nothing out of the ordinary.

But it WAS out of the ordinary.  This was not ordinary at all!  This was… this was… beyond anything I’d seen before – this was… Norman Bates creepy.  I can’t say that this is what made me decide to leave him… many factors played into that.  But I think I realized that night that there was something more abnormal about this degree of closeness that I’d failed to see.  And I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

I can laugh about it now… now that it’s all well behind me, but after the divorce was final and when I decided to start dating again, I remembered that.  I remembered the years of disapproval I’d been through, I remembered the explaining I’d had to do to tell her why I wanted to go back to college (that was a fighting point too), I remembered the mommy-boner, I remembered how she’d get upset if I told her I wanted to go to dinner with my own husband and she was not invited, and I vowed that that would never happen again.  I was extreme about it, making a list of all the things I wanted (and didn’t want) in another human being.  A good family relationship was important… but not so good that you wanted to fuck your mother.  Jeez that’s awful to even think about.

I was optimistic at first.  I mean how many men out there, in their late twenties and early thirties can honestly say they let their mothers dictate their lives?  You’d be surprised.  More of them than ever, it seemed.  The dates I went on were more than once interrupted by mothers calling their sons, even if their sons didn’t live at home anymore (and even when they did – seriously, you’re thirty-two… grow a pair), to ask when they were going to be home and if they were alright.  Because, you know.  All 115 pounds of me can be so very intimidating.  Needless to say, I didn’t answer my phone when they called for a second date.  It was all I could do to ask if they were going to get grounded if they stayed out past curfew.  It was entertaining for a second to feel like I was sixteen again… but then I remembered all the bad things about being sixteen and I decided.. yeah… I was going to pass.

Then I met 3.0.  He seemed to have it together: his place, his job, his own life.  Sure he admitted that his condo, which was immaculately decorated, had been done by his mother but I let that one go.  A lot of bachelors have no taste and his place was aesthetically pleasing.  She didn’t have her own bedroom there, at any rate, and if that’s as far as the interference went, I was okay with that.  I didn’t say much either when he would chat with her or spend time with her when she needed something.  All of those things are normal.  She wasn’t intruding on our relationship, she never said much, and she tried to be friendly, which I appreciated.  And anyway, my standards are low then… as Buttface so eloquently put it, this was a step up no matter how I looked at it.  3.0 wasn’t walking around in front of his mother with a boner.

It was just that, as things got more serious and as our talks turned to the future, I began to realize just how much 3.0 really did idolize his mother.  And if that wasn’t enough, I began to understand too how much he really looked up to his twin brother.  If you’ve never dated a twin it’s an eye-opening experience.  You expect them to be close.  But I don’t think you can really understand HOW close.  I never could.  I managed to mitigate it for the most part.  His brother lived somewhere else, and we never saw him.  But when his brother decided that he didn’t like me, fuck, that put the whole relationship in jeopardy.  When his brother decided he wanted to go on a trip with 3.0, and it happened to be a holiday, I was left in the cold.  That was hard… it was annoying… it was frustrating… and it was worse to have none of it acknowledged when I voiced it, but I dealt with it.  I don’t argue anymore.  Not since the divorce, it’s not worth it.  I just take as much as I can take and when I can’t take anymore, I leave.  I hadn’t reached my breaking point yet.  I soon would, but hadn’t yet.

I reached it, though, on the balcony one evening, as we sat, talking.  Our talks turned to marriage and I remember hearing 3.0 tell me that no matter who he married, she would always come third in his life.  His mother came first, then his twin.  I was shocked.  I didn’t know what to do with that.  A normal person would have left.  I SHOULD have left.  That’s not how a marriage works, and if marriage was what I wanted and if this was going to be all wrong, I was wasting my time.  My marriage had failed, but I knew enough to know that for a marriage to work, you have to have your priorities straight… when you marry, your spouse comes first.  That’s the rule.  That’s how it works.  And it cannot be one-sided.

I tried hard to ignore what he said… I couldn’t.  I mitigated the thought of living in a loveless marriage with the fact that I wouldn’t have to work anymore, I could have the kids I wanted, I could live in this posh condo, and I could be free to work on my projects as I liked.  It was a business contract, I reasoned.  I’d give him what he wanted, he’d give me what I wanted, I didn’t need love in the middle of all that.  It was just a paper we’d sign, everything would be fine, I’d live happily ever after with my white picket fence and my cookie business.  What did I need with some silly emotion, anyway?  And yet that nagging voice in the back of my head knew that this is NOT how that is supposed to work.  And even if he ever did manage to bring himself to love me, did I want to be loved by someone that would always place me third in the hierarchy?  Waiting for his mother to die so I could be Number Two?  Always bested by his brother?  Having to compete for his affection?  The answer, despite all the perks, was and is still absolutely not.

As I’ve said before, I am jaded.  I have been through a lot, I have seen a lot, and it seems like it’s never been easy on me.  I don’t expect it to be.  That said, I don’t know what’s wrong with this generation of men.  I’ve either met all of the wrong ones that have all of the mommy issues, or it’s a widespread problem with this generation.  And if it’s not a mommy issue, or at least not directly a mommy issue, it’s an inappropriate closeness with one or more siblings – if your girlfriend, fiancé, wife, etc. has to wonder if she is always going to have to compete with one or more of your family members for your affection, it’s not a good sign.  Period.

Family is important.  No matter where you are, you’re always going to feel some loyalty to them.  As a teacher once said many years ago, home is where they always have to take you in, no matter what you’ve done.  I believe that.    And while I don’t always agree with everything my family says and everything they do, I love them dearly.  And in the beginning of my relationships, the priorities don’t change.  But when the degree of seriousness shifts, the priorities shift as well.  As they should.  Because, I’m beginning to realize, if they don’t, then that person isn’t ready.  Maybe he has his own place, maybe he has a job, maybe he has his shit together, but for all that’s worth, he may as well still be living in his parents’ basement, waiting for the impending family dinner bell to ring, comforted by the familiar and afraid to branch out into something new.

And I don’t have time for that.

Crazy

There are voices in my head that tell me things.  They tell me what to do, they tell me what is, what was, and sometimes what is coming.  I’ll begin this entry with that, and also the affirmation that I am not crazy.  Not entirely.  Most of the time I trust the voices.  When they are at their peak, they have never steered me wrong.  They fuel my perceptions.  Together we are spot on.

There is one week out of the month, however, that I do not trust the voices.  I call it PMS week.  And during this week, they will say anything, ANYTHING, it seems to make me sabotage anything good that I may have going for me.  They will do ANYTHING to keep me on edge so that I lash out and yell at someone who is laughing a little too loudly.  During this week I am a mess of nerves, panic, anxiety, depression.  The conversations going on in my head are so ridiculous that I’m ashamed even to verbalize them and yet, what we make true in our minds becomes true whether we want it to or not.  And so it is a monthly battle to keep those demons at bay.  I certainly do not want to bring them out into the open.

I can’t really tell if it’s demons that take up residence in there for a week or if the voices just go on some kind of monthly hiatus and come back all amped up from their vacation, ready to wreak havoc on their usual digs.  I used to lose my temper a lot during PMS week.  My previous marriage, if it taught me anything, taught me to control my temper – at least better than I used to.  That’s not to say I do not get on edge.  When people laugh a little too loudly or when noises filter into my training office while I am working (and while it seems no one else is), I have to remind myself to stay calm and resist the urge to go out onto the floor and start screaming at the offender.  I keep my temper because I don’t like feeling guilty about things I would say or do at the height of it all.  That is enough motivation not to lose it.  My coworker’s laughter isn’t the only thing that gets me on edge, but it’s minor.  It’s a good example of how very extreme it can get.

But it manifests itself in different ways, too.  I am generally not an insecure person.  I’m not arrogant.  At least not most of the time.  But I am confident.  I model.  I write.  I do calligraphy fairly well.  I’m smart.  And I have a startup business.  I’m proud of all of these things, and I have every reason to be.  PMS week comes, though, and it doesn’t matter – none of these things, no matter how well I do them, are done well enough.  Last week I shelved the book I’d been writing for the last five years.  I did it because ultimately I had decided that going back and reliving the past, even fictionally, was more of a detriment to the person I was trying to become than I’d wanted to admit.  Like I said before, you can’t move forward if you have one foot stuck in the past.  I picked up the pen again and took up a completely different project – one based on fantasy, totally fiction, no basis in reality whatsoever.  (Because magical dwarves, demons, gargoyles, and gods/goddesses, and dragons don’t actually exist  – and people don’t travel on wooden ships either.)  I started writing it, the first few paragraphs… and then the voices started up.  They didn’t criticize the story.  They never criticize my writing (unless it’s warranted and in those cases, no matter what week it is, they are usually right). 

They got critical of other things.  Things I really can’t even be critical about because I do not know the whole story or have a full picture of the circumstances.  Logically I can’t make a judgment, but try telling them to be logical.  If they could jump around and laugh maniacally, they would do it.  Because for awhile, they were winning.  I got moody, depressed, insecure, anxious.  I panicked.  I stressed.  I hate the way that feels.

Worst of all, though, it fucks with my perceptions.  I felt distant this weekend.  Moreso than I have in months.  I don’t know if it’s perception or if it’s real.  The voices say it’s real.  If it were any other time of the month I would trust the voices.  And since I habitually trust the voices most of the time, it is difficult to tell them to shut up right this second.  I’m used to having perception.  I am used to being spot on about shit.  When I can’t be, I grasp for it because I can’t stand for it not to be there.  Without it, it’s almost like being naked in public (though probably worse for me, since I sort of enjoy being naked).

That’s why this weekend, particularly, was a struggle.  When less than favorable news came on Saturday, the voices went mad.  I tried to compensate for their madness.  I over-reached, and between their incessant screaming and my overcompensation for the fact that my instincts were way off, I did some damage.  I don’t know how much damage.  I’m not even sure if the damage I did was perceptible.  I hope it was not… damage that is imperceptible is much easier to fix than damage that is evident.  Irreversibly, though, things are different and once again, I’m in the dark.  I do not know if the difference is in my perception or if the difference is in the actual circumstance.  Logic and reason and the small tiny voices that are still in there that still have any kind of sense tell me to give it time, be patient, wait it out.  The ones in the forefront that seem to have taken speed or something over the last week want it NOW, NOW, NOW!!!  And when they don’t get it NOW they start pulling similarities between what is and what was – and what was is not a factor here.  I cannot, and I will not, apply the past to the present, even though they tell me that this is exactly what this is.  I think they lie.

It’s a waiting game.  I’m sitting here, because I called in to work today – I needed a mental health day, a day to get my shit together, a day to figure out what is and what is not.  I am taking steps to get this under control, once and for all.  I made some calls, things are getting done, but that will also take time.  Everything takes time and it is never my own time.  I sit, I wait, I observe.  I trust that sense will eventually be made – things will become clearer, because they always have before.  And whatever it is I blew out of proportion is probably not even remotely as bad as what I made it out to be. 

Patience is not one of my virtues.  It never has been.  I want what I want, when I want it.  My supply of patience has been anorexically thin most of my life – though it’s been gaining some weight lately out of necessity.  It becomes critically thin during this week of the month.  I’ve been doing better with it lately.  I slipped a little this weekend, but I am attempting to get a handle on it.  And praying that I didn’t fuck things up to irreparably.

Someone who read my blog once said that the reason they liked it was because it was honest, I take what is wrong with me, I identify it, and then I fix it.  Life is a learning experience, there is a learning curve here, though many times I have broken that learning curve, lost everything, had to start over.  I wonder sometimes how many second chances I’m going to be given.  And how many times I will take those second chances, do really well with them for awhile, then tear them to shreds and laugh at them while I watch them burn, only to look regretfully at their ashes once they are gone.  And then I realize that the only person who has any control over that is me.  And I laugh… not maniacally, but I laugh.  Because I am a doer.  I may not be able to have what I want right this second… the time for that may not be right now, though I cannot fathom why.  I can’t control the circumstances, but I can control how I react to them.  I may need some help this time, but even that is up to me.  So I’m making my calls, I’m getting this under control, and like everything else, I’m making it mine.

And, of course, praying that the voices will win this stupid mental battle sooner than later because I miss my Tarot cards.