Hey, You!

Have you updated your readers? Have you come to visit me at the new place yet? Happy Friday!

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up

Hey there! I know, I’ve been gone awhile. To make matters worse, I was off making extra work for you. That’s right, I’m moving, and all just so that you have to update your readers, your blogrolls, and your bookmarks. I figured- if I can’t snap my fingers and make my life offline all pretty and shiny and new, well, then, isn’t that what the internet is for? ;) Come check me out.

Regroup

I’m still trying to work up the nerve to ask for next week off. I feel better than I did yesterday, so it will come down to whether my discomfort in asking my boss is greater than my need for a break.

The three day weekend will be a nice break, and I think it might be enough. Hopefully, when my scheduled vacation comes around, my life will be a little more settled and the fall color will be in, and I’ll be glad I waited.

My first order of business this morning was to call a landscaper. Andrew was very nice- he’s coming to the house tomorrow to take a look at the yard and tell me what he’d charge to whip it into shape. Rumor has it that my mower is getting fixed this weekend, too.

I’m making some exciting plans for the three day weekend. Plans that involve me, myself, and I. I’m going to try and lay some groundwork for some changes. Big changes, small changes, and everything in between. That’s all I’m really willing to say about it.   ;)

Thanks to everyone who has checked on me, left me sweet comments, and taken the time to send an email. Ya’ll are something else, and I mean that in the best way.

Retreat

I’m sitting here, working the fringe benefits allocation and the FICA allocation, and it is taking all of my willpower not to just get up and walk out. I’m not talking about quitting. I’m talking about Just Not Being Here, and I’m not just talking about work. I’m talking about everything.

If I had a magic wand, I would move a week of my vacation time during the holidays to next week. I would spend the next ten days in complete and utter solitude. At home. With the dog.

The exhaustion that I’m suffering right now seems endless. I can’t hardly keep my eyes open, even after a full night’s sleep. I could sleep for a week, I think, before I felt better.

As someone who has stood on the very edge of sanity and looked over the ledge, I can tell you that while I’m okay in the sense that I’m not a danger to myself or other people, I am losing my mind.

There’s a paranoia welling inside me. I take things the worst way possible. When people speak to me, I question their motives. I question their loyalty and allegiance. When I don’t hear from someone, they’re ignoring me, they don’t care anymore, they don’t want me bothering them. When I do hear from someone, I feel pressured. I hate the constant stream of panic and frustration I’m dealing with right now, and I hate exposing people to it. I don’t want to spend all of my free time completely alone, but I fear companionship. I fear making a fool of myself, I fear being talked about behind my back, I’m afraid of becoming- no, I’m afraid that I’ve already become that person, that girl, the subject of irritation and pity and duty.

The slightest imposition, say, my boss expecting me to do my job, or a coworker needing some information, or a two minute chore for my second job- these things make me seethe with resentment and I’m overwhelmed by the pressure to perform and not let this ordeal affect my performance. I don’t want to go to school, and I don’t want to do my homework, and I don’t want to read my textbooks.

So the only thing that gives me comfort right now, that brings me a sense of calm and well-being, is retreating. Hiding from my life, its pressures and demands. Giving up on my social life in hopes that my attachment to people will fade, so that everything can end quietly and be easy for everyone and I can avoid the humiliation and drama that will come from figuring out that people are rolling their eyes at me and hoping I don’t show up to parties and not telling me about events on purpose.

If I have to calm my Mom down one more time, I’m going to quit taking her calls. I know she’s worried, and I know that she’s going to rightfully react with anger when she feels I’ve been wronged, but her energy is AWFUL, HORRIBLE and TOXIC (see, it runs in the family! i just have the sense to see and admit it), and I. CAN’T. HANDLE. IT.

People want to know what’s going on, and I want to tell them, but I get tired of relaying the same awful information over and over and over again, and I want them to want to know, but I find myself wishing that there was just some way to make them know without having to talk about it ALL THE TIME.

I’ve grown to hate talking on the phone. I wish that people would just come see me, come sit on the porch and have a drink and talk about what color I should paint the living room and whether or not we’ll have a lot of snow this winter and what are you doing for the long weekend. My house is pretty far out from town, though, and people don’t come out. A few people come out sometimes, but for the most part, I don’t have company.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish these entries and call my HR rep and see if I can’t plan a retreat, before I end up in a straitjacket in the psych ward.

My Old Man Was Born to Rock

So, maybe you saw my twitter fit on Friday night. If you didn’t, all you really need to know is that I came unglued. After I stopped tweeting, I started sobbing and hyperventilating and just losing my shit in general. I called my sister, and she talked to me for awhile. I went to bed.

The next morning, my Dad called. He said two sentences. “Are you ready for some company?” and when I replied in the affirmative, “I will be there in ten to twelve hours”.

Twelve hours after we had that conversation, he was sitting on my porch with me. We were up till 3am, drinking and talking and drinking and talking. I laid my soul bare, telling him stories he never heard, hurts never admitted, fears unspoken. All of my pain and hurt and bewilderment spilled out of me in a steady stream. I listed off my frustrations- simple things, like learning how to use the grill, what’s wrong with the toilet that won’t stop running, and if my internets don’t get fixed soon I’m going to break out into hives.

Over the next few days, he fixed things and cleaned things and taught me things and made lists for me. He showed me how to grill a steak- the way I eat steak (rare medium rare), and not the way he likes steak (shoe sole). The internet connection problem meant him crawling up into my attic (not the greatest place in the world) through a trapdoor in the closet ceiling not once, not twice, but six times to get everything working properly with the best signal possible. He cleaned all the windows in the house and my car.

As we worked on all of this, he helped me sort through all the anguish I laid at his feet that first night. It was something that only he could have done- at least just the way he did it. We’re so much alike, and he knows me so well. His words held a weight and a meaning above and beyond any other person’s, simply because he has a better understanding of the dark corners of my heart.

This morning, we left at the same time. I left to come to work, to do the closing, to go to class- to be me and do what I have to do. He left to drive twelve hours home, to his wife (who was NOT. PLEASED.  with this impromptu visit), so that tomorrow he can take her to have her blood drawn and Thursday he can take her to her chemotherapy treatment. He left to be him and do what he has to do. He followed me out to the gas station, we each got a cup of coffee and said our goodbyes in the parking lot. He turned on to I-40 West, and I turned on to I-40 East, both headed towards lives and destinies of our own.

The tears slipped quietly down my cheeks, much like the soft rain running down my windshield. I know that he has to go. I know that Mom needs him, that he is hers, and I know that I have to accept the new order of things. That everyone who tries to fix my weedwacker or takes trash to the dump for me or fixes my lawnmower is just helping out where they can. I am alone. I have to accept that position and become comfortable with it. Deciding what to attempt myself, what to hire someone for, when to ask for help and who to ask, and what to do if they tell me to fuck off and leave them alone.

I think that was why I needed him so desperately- I find it unbearably hard to borrow my friends’ husbands and boyfriends, to ask them to take on the littlest thing for me. I am not their responsibility. It would be far too easy to depend too much on Daddy if he were close enough. That wouldn’t be good for me, and it probably wouldn’t be good for him. It wouldn’t be good for Mom either, but that’s in the “pro” column, if you ask me.

So I will walk down the road in front of me, my steps a little lighter for having some of the obstacles in that road moved out of my way, but mostly for knowing that someone in this world knows how it feels to be me.

Let me run with you tonight
I'll take you on a moonlight ride
There's someone I used to see
But she don't give a damn for me

And turn the radio loud, I'm too alone to be proud
You don't know how it feels
You don't know how it feels to be me

People come, people go
Some grow young, some grow cold 
I woke up in between
A memory and a dream

And you don't know how it feels
You don't know how it feels to be me

My old man was born to rock
He's still tryin' to beat the clock
Think of me what you will
I've got a little space to fill
And you don't know how it feels
You don't know how it feels
No, you don't know how it feels to be me

-Tom Petty

How It Is

I’m not into pity.

I don’t want to wear out my welcome.

I don’t want to overburden anyone.

I don’t want people resenting me.

No one owns me.

I pick my own friends.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a different perspective.

I won’t accept your help if I’m accruing some sort of debt with you.

The first time you throw what you’ve done for me in my face, will also be the last time.

It’s okay for me to be frustrated, hurt or even angry if you offer to do something for me and disappear off of the face of the planet. When you agree to help and get involved to the point that I’m depending on you for a resolution, you’ve made a commitment to me. I can be disappointed if you don’t fulfill your commitment.

Sometimes I have to withdraw into myself to deal with all of this. I have to retreat into myself to hear and understand my own thoughts and feelings without being muddle by other peoples’.

If I’m mean, crabby, or a pain in the ass right now, I’m sorry. I truly don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings.

I can’t and won’t feel very guilty for hurting other people’s feelings with a minor slight. I’m dealing with a lot right now.

I’m doing the best I can, and it’s all that anyone (especially myself) can ask.

That’s just how it is. We can love it or hate it, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t change much.

Papers

This afternoon, the ex will be coming by to pick up more of his things and visit with the dog. I have our separation papers for him to review before we sign in front of a notary. They are printing as we speak.

It’s so very strange to see myself listed as the petitioner and to see him listed as the respondent; to have a relationship that spanned more than a decade come down to a list of assets, debts and possessions, with neat columns for Wife and Husband. A life built together, neatly divided into his and hers, separate and apart.

“WHEREAS, irreconcilable differences have arisen in the marriage of the parties…”

Well, that’s putting it mildly.

Once we both sign these papers, agreeing to the division of our property, it’s all over but the waiting. On July 14th, 2010, I will file for my divorce decree that will legally change my marital status. A year and a day from the date of separation, and although all it really means is that I can’t remarry until then (not a concern of mine), it seems like a long time to wait.

It’s a very strange and awkward feeling, to go from feeling as if you know someone intimately, from having an intimate relationship like a marriage, to awkward strangers. Friends? No. Not right now. I think it’s probably impossible to move on, to move forward, to process the loss and try to be friends. Also, there are other reasons why I don’t feel like the ex is any friend of mine, really. I’m not angry or spiteful or bitter, but nor do I have much desire to maintain such a casual bond with someone who, for so long, my bond was anything but casual.

This isn’t just the end of a marriage, either. It’s the end of a dream. Lots of dreams. Dreams I had of bringing children into this world, of walking hand and hand into the sunset of old age with someone who had been there my whole adult life. The death of silver anniversaries and the obviously futile hope that at some point the drama and chaos and calamity would end and we would find ourselves on the same side of the fence again.

Make no mistake, this is what I want. It’s what I need, what’s best for me, it’s the truth of my heart and soul. I don’t love him anymore. He doesn’t love me anymore. When I look into his eyes, a cold and untrustworthy stranger looks back at me. I drive myself crazy wondering if it was his eyes that changed, or the accuracy of my assessment.

Still, in looking at these papers, at the cold and factual details of our dissolution, I’m driven to write my own papers. To bring the same sense of formality and finality to my leftover emotions. To say the things I will probably never say, both because he doesn’t deserve to hear them and because they’re my private thoughts and feelings, which he will never be privy to again. So, instead, I’ll settle for a little James Taylor.

Well, people got used to seeing them both together
But now he's gone and life goes on
Nothing lasts forever, oh no
She gets the house and the garden
He gets the boys in the band
Some of them his friends
Some of them her friends
Some of them understand
Lord knows that this is just a small town city
Yes, and everyone can see you fall
It's got nothing to do with pity
I just wanted to give you a call
It used to be your town
It used to be my town, too
You never know 'till it all falls down
Somebody loves you
Somebody loves you
Darling, somebody still loves you
I can still remember
When it used to be her town, too
It used to be your town
It used to be my town, too
-James Taylor
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