Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

alone

August 13, 2013

There is something about being home alone that is just too great for words.

I just want to run around naked yelling WOO HOO until that gets old, then sit down with chips and whiskey and watch TV.

I don’t have TV.

However, I do have whiskey. And my roommates are out picking up dinner, so I will hold off on the chips.

For now.

I am reading Caitlin Moran’s How to be a woman and enjoying myself.  I am imagining that I have a friend like this, feminist and hilarious and saying things I can agree with at least 80 percent of the time.

I admin a small group of atheists.  I’m not really in charge of anything so much as I bake cookies and have people over.  However the group has managed to attract not one, but two abused women.

Now really, I don’t mean to complain.  I have been in an abusive relationship myself, and it’s not like I hold it against them.  I get it.  I get it in a way that they might not appreciate, not now, when there’s this male overlord of their life and they are refusing to look that reality in the face.  I get it.

It’s just that I have this crazy idea that maybe, most women are not in abusive relationships.  Maybe they are single and maybe not, but they are respected and appreciated, and people of all genders are generally kind and considerate toward each other.

I had this crazy idea that I could start this group and we would be a bunch of somewhat-literate, thinking, rational atheists who get together and watch movies and chat and eat chips and drink whiskey together.

So far the group has attracted two odd couples and a few single males.

There’s a woman my age who hasn’t been employed a day in her life, I don’t think.  She’s recently had a baby and is quite happy, but I’m not sure her husband is such a nice person.

There’s a young woman who’s a few years out of high school.  She was in the foster care system and eventually adopted.  She’s very clever, got a 4.0 in high school, and she’s with a guy who I really dislike but I am trying very hard to be fair.  He is unemployed and a caricature of a libertarian; she is, like I said, very clever and wants to go to school and be a programmer.  Her boyfriend wants her to do some team-truck-driving thing with him.  It’s his dream.

Sorry.  I’m trying to be fair.

What I’m getting at is, I’m tired of abuse and manipulation and lazy entitled males who get away with it and always will.

I was chatting with one of my roommates last night about how these dudes can get away with it, the abuse I mean.  And he said, “It all goes back to the fear of being cheated on.”

“Well,” I answered, “I guess that’s why I don’t get it.  Because I don’t fear that.”

That’s not literally true.  I would hate to be cheated on, and I would probably end a relationship if I’d been cheated on (again) (as my ex-husband did).

But have you ever seen those Twitter tags that go something like, #myboyfriendbetternot and it’s always about cheating, or looking at another girl, or texting, etc.

And that is just not the first thing that pops into my head.  “My boyfriend better not think I’m gonna do his laundry!”

But as I thought about it, I remembered my ex.

He’d confessed to his godsister that he’d cheated on me.  It had happened before we got married.  She told him he had to tell me.  So he took her advice.

And I’m no psychiatrist, but when he told me that, I think I just shut down.

“Do you forgive me?” he asked.

Yeah, sure.

I mean, what could I do about it at this point?  I’d already traded my professional-level job for a high-school-level position.  I’d married him and moved in with him.  Really, what was I supposed to do?  We were married.  I knew what that meant.  I had to forgive him.  Had to, or else all kinds of things would happen that were 100 percent against my programming as a Christian female.

So I forgave him.

And I disconnected some cables in the computer of my brain, if you’ll pardon the dramatic metaphor.

So of course when he confessed to cheating on me again, eight years later, I just stared at the wall and said “Okay.”

How many times do you think he didn’t tell me about?  With that kind of reaction out of me?  He might as well have been telling me that he’d lost the keys to his car but found them a minute later.

So what I’m getting at is, these atheists in the group (my roommate argued) don’t have the security that god is watching the wife, so they feel like they have to use other manipulations to control her.  Because being cheated on is the worst.

But I was just thinking that maybe there’s were some women in the world who might like to be my friend.

And maybe those women wouldn’t have their significant other telling them, “Nobody likes you. You’re crazy and they are just putting up with you.”

Or, if that’s not a relevant method of control: conning her out of her wages and making it so that if she wants to go somewhere, she has to borrow his car because she doesn’t have her own.

I was thinking there would be some women who could come over and run around the house with me and have chips and whiskey.

I think I would be an okay friend.

weddings

January 17, 2013

I get really fucking angry when I see a woman in a wedding dress.

It’s nothing personal.  It’s not about her, or monogamy, or the purity myth (although I certainly have problems with the latter two).

My brother’s wedding did not trouble me.  I am happy for him.

And while I’m sure a lot of my anger comes from the fact that my own marriage didn’t end well and it actually turned out to be quite ugly in the end, that’s not really the problem, either.

Let me back up.

My ex-husband and I eloped.

Hmm, let me back up more.

We met very young, 17 and 18 years old.  We had a lot of fun together; we had good chemistry– not sexual chemistry (more on that later), but just hanging out having fun chemistry.  We both laughed a lot and really enjoyed each other.

So when he joined the military, we agreed that we would remain a couple long-distance.  At one point during our seven-month separation, during a phone call, we talked about getting married, and we got engaged over the phone.

We were Christians, the kind of Christians who practice abstinence, so we didn’t have sex until we were married.

Let me back up a bit more… have you ever heard the term “asexual”?  Not as in the biological definition of reproducing without sex, but as a [sort of] sexual orientation where a person doesn’t feel an urge to have sex, and feels fulfilled and content having a romantic relationship without sex.

Never heard of it?  Well, the only reason I ever heard of asexuality because I think I might actually be asexual.

Do you know how much I wanted to have sex during puberty?  This might sound strange, but I didn’t want to have sex.  Like, with anyone.  I wasn’t even curious enough to masturbate– and that’s not because I was told masturbation is wrong (if I was told that, I don’t remember).  I really just had no sexual urges– not while I was a teenager, and not with any guy I dated.  This was really convenient when you remember I was raised Evangelical Christian– it kept me out of a lot of trouble with my parents.  I just pretty much went along, getting good grades and reading and watching movies with my friends and being home by curfew.  Technically, I didn’t have a curfew.  Didn’t need one.

I was boring.

Let’s talk about sex again.

My ex-husband was not asexual.  Actually, I think he has the opposite problem.  I later found out he cheated on me while he was away at military training.  He had confided in a friend and she thought I should know.  We had been married awhile, at least a year, so it was too late for me to do anything about it.  I was angry, but I didn’t show it.  Plus it was already over and done, so what was I supposed to do about it?  (I still wonder about that.)

So I wasn’t interested in sex… What about the honeymoon?  Must have been fun, right?

The short version is: I was exhausted, and terrified, and not ready.  But he was pushy, so I gave in.  It was absolutely horrible.

He and I went on being married for almost ten years, and we never solved our differences in the bedroom.

The worst part wasn’t our difference in sexual desire.  The worst part is that I went on having sex with him even though I didn’t want to– and the worse part is the he didn’t care.  He really believed that if I didn’t want to have sex with him, that was my problem, and I should have sex with him anyways.  And if I didn’t like it, there was something wrong with me.

So sex was not a joyous union, sweet lovemaking, or a nice fuck, or anything in between.

The worse part again is that I didn’t know there was anything wrong with that.

I mean, I’m sure people in relationships sometimes have sex even though they don’t really feel like it.

But I had a lot of that kind of sex– in fact, I’d say it was exclusively sex that I did not want to have.

Another worse part: he didn’t care.

He thought it was alright to fuck a woman who didn’t want to be fucked by him.

I believe a good man, upon finding out his partner doesn’t feel like sex, will not want to have sexBecause someone not wanting to have sex with you is a turn-off.

Not for my ex-husband.  No problem.

Sometimes I wonder if he was turned on by my unwillingness, and by the pain and humiliation he caused me.  He must have been.

So I was originally talking about weddings and why they anger me.  Let me get back to that by summarizing the effect of my childhood on my marriage:

1. My parents didn’t teach me about sex or sexuality.
2. They didn’t teach me about what to look for in a husband.
3. I was asexual.

Perfect, right?  I was destined to end up with an ideal guy after all that meticulous planning and preparation on my parents’ part.

I may be a little bitter.

So there I was, married to this guy who might have hated me, but loved what I had between my legs.

Every time I saw a love scene in a movie, or read about a love affair in a book, the description would anger and frustrate me.  “Why are they talking about love like that?” I would wonder.  “It’s not really like that.

I spent the majority of my marriage thinking everyone else was wrong about love.

When I finally figured it out, it broke me.

And when I see a woman in a wedding dress, I am angry.

December 28, 2012

December 28, 2012

So.  I haven’t been here for awhile.

I just looked to see when my last update was, and to my surprise, I updated this blog during this last year.

I do not remember doing this.

My mental health has been … unhealthy.

But I’m better!  How do I know?

Well, I don’t.  I guess I have faith.  😀

Just kidding.  I feel much better.  My partners have told me I’m doing much better.  I was pretty fucking crazy, my friends.

I still struggle at work, but often that is my boredom.  And as long as I maintain my 2-cups-a-day coffee habit, I am solid.

I cannot handle responsibility now– I have been like this for a few years now and that is why I, with a Master’s degree, am working a job requiring a high school diploma.  So I deal with the boredom.  Sometimes, I deal with my boredom using Pinterest.

Well, for god’s sake!  They hired me to do a job.  I do it.  And I have hours left over in my day.  I have literally checked my job description to make sure I’m not totally missing something.

So I’ve added tasks and projects.  But nobody cares about them but me.  It’s weird and I don’t really feel motivated.  But I do them.  Usually.

I am in the final stretch of my winter break.  The day after new year’s is back to work.

(I’ve been going back over my old blog entries a little.  This post still makes me cry.)

Let me sum up.

I am 32 years old.

I was raised an Evangelical Christian but I do not believe in any gods now– this has been true for about five-and-a-half years.

(What!  Five years!?)

I have been divorced for almost three years now (longer than that if you count the day the proceedings started) (“proceedings started”… it sounds redundant but it is not.).  My father has since informed me that my ex remarried.  He didn’t even wait a year.  I feel sorry for his new Mrs. 

I am currently in a relationship with one man and one woman.  One of each; the three of us are a couple.  The two of them are married to each other.

Back up!  Two lovers?  I know!  I am so greedy!

My girlfriend invited me to her work Christmas party; her husband would be going too of course.  I didn’t want to go.  The three of us are not generally “out”, especially not to her extremely conservative Christian coworkers.  And I went to her last Christmas party and I don’t want anyone getting any funny ideas.

(If anyone asks, they took me in when I was going through a tough divorce and now they feel sorry for their poor little single friend, alone on Christmas.)

(Not that it’s any of their fucking business, but I want the both of us to stay employed.)

I ended up going to her holiday party, but I was suddenly hit by some depression while I was there.  Plus, fucking cheap wine will be the death of me.  I really shouldn’t drink any wine unless I know for sure it didn’t come from Trader Joe’s.

So it was shitty and I’m not going next year.

Moving on.  I am quite the feminist; one of those people who can’t watch TV without yelling because everything is so wrong– misogynistic, racist, etc.

I guess that’s good enough for a summary.

This weekend, my partners and I are picking up girlfriend’s sister and going to Karaoke/buffet/beer bust. 

Backstory: the sister still lives with abusive mom.  Abusive mom has been bullying Girlfriend about a visit and we decided to visit mom, dad, and sister when we pick up Sister for Karaoke.

Abusive mom is a real piece of work.  I have never heard of anything like this.  I mean, I have dabbled in the abusive spouse literature but not the abusive parent literature, so maybe it’s not so uncommon, but damn.  Just the sound of her voice turns Girlfriend into a pile of goo.  She was crying the other day because, she says, she has no spine when it comes to her mom.  And the first thing that popped into my head was, “But lots of animals don’t have spines!”  And she laughed, and I think I may have been onto something. 

Trouble is, there are any number of ways this visit could go wrong, and Girlfriend will not have the power to get up and leave if her mom ignores, destroys, or detours around her boundaries.  I have her permission to actually drag her out of mom’s house if certain events occur.

So I am getting a little anxious about this.

But!  I admit that it may be a whole barrel of shits and giggles to be “out” with my girlfriend, with her husband standing there, in from of her mom.  I am practically rubbing my hands together with glee over here.  

I guess that’s all.

Oh, I have a blister on my lip due to an infection from my incessant lip-picking.  I really hope it heals before the visit with mom.

Community

July 23, 2011

Even though I just watched a TED Talk short about why it’s a bad idea to announce your goals once you’ve made them, I think I better write a bit about the decision I just made.  A couple of things I’ve been trying to think about lately finally became clear, and a question I’ve barely been able to formulate just became answerable– and the answer is…

Background first.

Fact is, I’ve had two nervous breakdowns in the past couple years.  I used to joke to myself, “Wow, I think I’m having a nervous breakdown!”  And then I actually looked up the definition of a nervous breakdown, and… oh.  Um.  Wow.  I am indeed having a nervous breakdown.  For those of you uninterested in clicking on that Wikipedia link, let me sum up.  Nervous breakdown is a layman’s term describing symptoms of anxiety and depression which follows a stressful event– difficulty adapting to a major life change.  It’s a bit like post-traumatic stress disorder, albeit on a smaller scale: I have never been in a war zones.  But seeing as how I lost my faith, then divorced my husband, then quit my job, then moved in with my grandma to help her die of cancer, I think I am qualified for some sort of breakdown.  Or two.

I have since become employed (underemployed, but resignedly so– see above on mental breakdown, and consider my ability to function on a professional level) and survived the probationary period (keeping my chest tat covered and keeping the atheist cat in the bag: success!) (oh and I worked hard, too) (too many parenthesis going on, let me start a new paragraph).

So, depression and anxiety.  It would be silly to take any meds for this, since it’s not like I have a chemical imbalance, I just have plenty to be anxious and depressed about, and I figure time will heal.  I haven’t wanted to read, or write, or play video games much.  I’ve found it hard to get interested in anything or do anything once I get home.  And despite my two lovely housemates, I feel lonely and disconnected.  I mean, going to church isn’t really an option.  And I am trying to keep things professional at work since it is a small gossipy workplace and I don’t want it to come out that I’m an atheist or a big ol’ queer.

Oh, I haven’t mentioned the queer thing on the blog.  Well, trust me: I do not have a conventional sexuality.  Teh Gays disapprove of me.  I’ll leave it at that for now.

So, being lonely is a big factor in my life.

Oh, and, some lab results just came in and I have a slight B-12 deficiency.  And I’m not even vegetarian!  But that would partially explain my fatigue.  And, even weirder, I have slightly high levels of bilirubin, which may or may not mean I have jaundice.  Jaundice!!  The doctor specifically told me this was not a big deal at the moment, and that I need more tests done before he knows for certain.  But … jaundice!  The head spins.

All of this– nervous breakdowns, fatigue, and lab tests– led me to the question I mentioned above: what am I going to do about my social needs?  Well, the answer, duh: the internet.  And here I’d been avoiding socializing on the internet, disabling Facebook and not blogging or commenting on blogs.  So I stormed the Intarwebs today and pulled up Skepchick.

I’ll not tell you exactly what I decided, because the Intarwebs and science told me not to.  The main idea is probably a bit obvious.  But I feel like I’ve made a small breakthrough, and that feels good.

Another thing that feels good is cooking and kitchening.  I have already started homemade ginger ale and orange soda today.  And now I am off to the backyard to grill some fish and boil some quinoa.  (About the B-12: I had a burger today and ordered some sublingual supplements.)

About the jaundice… Ugh!

chickens and butter

June 12, 2011

Before I tell you about how I murdered my first chickens, let me tell you about butter.

I first discovered that butter is delicious when I was about 20 years old.  I grew up eating butter on toast, because mom didn’t buy margarine (unhealthy!), but she put the butter on the toast because it was expensive and us kids would have used too much.  So I was in the habit of using a teeny tiny amount of butter on my toast.  Until that fateful day, ten years ago, when I took a break from video games, went downstairs, made some toast, and got out the butter.  I must have been opening a new package of it because I noticed that 1 serving of butter is 1 Tablespoon.  So I used a Tablespoon.  THAT TOAST WAS THE BEST THING I HAD EVER EATEN.  Seriously, I ate nothing but buttered toast for a couple days and told everyone how amazing it was.  That’s my most vivid food-based memory.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.

Me and the housemates killed our very own chickens recently.  I killed them, then me and my girlfriend plucked the feathers, then butchered them.  I ended up kindof dissecting mine, because oh my goodness, what is all this inside my chicken??  This must be the heart, and the lungs, and kidneys!  It’s got all the same stuff I do!

Including meat.  I was looking at my hands and thinking, wow, I am made of meat, but nobody eats me.  I am so lucky.

We ate the chickens.  (I used recipes from an old “Joy of Cooking” since it had information about chicken weight and whether it was a broiler or fryer or whatever, and which techniques to use for each.)  The meat was a little tough but it was a rooster, so next time I will be sure to slow cook it, or just make broth.  I guess roosters are considered worthless for meat, but it wasn’t like I could just throw them out, right?

Definitely a food milestone– and a backyard homesteader milestone!  And now that I’ve got a community garden plot, I’ll be composting chicken shit for my next milestone!

… though neither of those will be as delicious as that first buttered toast.

Young and Old

May 18, 2011

Sometimes I feel like a young naive person; then, in the same day, I suddenly felt old and mature.

What had always seemed like confidence on the part of a friend finally spilled over into vanity. Of course everyone’s got it– vanity, I mean– but this being somewhat at my expense I did not appreciate my friend as I once did.

This friend and I like each other, a bit– not just as friends, but in the way boys and girls do. If certain things were different about our circumstances, we’d probably be pursuing that. But things are as they are, so we hang out and enjoy each other’s company on terms we are comfortable with.

But the last time we saw each other– was a date. A capital D-date, with some full-frontal flirting, achingly lovely physical tension, and a quick detour to the beach to watch the sun set, for Christs’ sake. So I had to recover from that. And I told him frankly that I had to recover from it. And he was understandably flattered. So I let him go on talking while I listened (AN EXCELLENT SKILL. Everyone should be able to do this. Doesn’t matter how uncomfortable the silence gets, just wait it out, and the other party will talk to fill the silence. This has never not-worked, excepting on the person who was equally as good at it as I was, and then, the conversation was simply over because neither of us gave up.)

I let him reassure me that he wasn’t pursuing me and that he was, in fact, pursuing another person. (This being the part where I felt like a foolish child.)

I told him it wasn’t that I was trying to get him to quit any behaviors or accusing him of breaking our terms (we don’t literally have terms, but I think you know what I mean), I was just managing myself. (And I wanted to know his reaction when I told him.)

And then he did the thing that took me aback: he said it was a family curse, being irresistible and charming. And I know he was only fooling around, but I very nearly stopped in my tracks. He didn’t notice my reaction for some reason; he was probably making it up as he went along. He went on joking about it. But I thought to myself, wow, just wow. He seemed suddenly so young, because I saw him and I was the one looking down this time, and he didn’t even realize it. There it was, the reason I really don’t fully trust this person, the reason I’ve told him more than I probably should about what goes on in my head, the reason I enjoy his company. He is charming me. And the second I noticed it was the second it stopped working.

Charm is what got me married to my ex and kept me there for nearly ten years. It’s how people get more out of me than I intend to give them. I am lonely and trusting, and the prevaricating, flirting, flatterer always gets my guard down. I interpret friendly confidence and a sense of humor as friendship material instead of seeing it for the shallowness it is. And I don’t mean stupid-shallow, because my friend is intelligent. I mean that the easy-going cheery person who gets along with everyone– you know, the Law of Attraction types– I mean they are simply shallow. He didn’t work for my friendship; we just have naturally good chemistry together. He didn’t earn my trust; he simply has a knack for keeping secrets (mainly his own, I sometimes suspect.) He doesn’t know me; he only has a knack for seeming to understand– who knows the actual distance between what I say or feel and how he interprets my words and expressions.

So now I am in the position of pulling myself back into myself. I can easily avoid him; he hasn’t been initiating contact with me much since our Not-A-Date (but he did ask me why he hadn’t heard from me much lately. Odd.) — which makes me think he realizes our mistake more than he lets on.

And that’s the final thing I learned: I finally recognized a lack of honesty in him– a lack of being honest with himself, or me, I’m not sure which. I’ve seen this before in people– I find it difficult to maintain friendships after I see it– and I wonder how I can learn to detect it earlier.

Not that I’m the Crown Princess of Honesty, but I am pretty good at facing ugly truths about myself and the world (see any post I’ve written on losing my faith in god).

And I don’t want to seem like I’m holding a grudge because this guy seems to have gotten over me more quickly than I got over him. I confess that I’m mostly in this for the attention from a tall handsome male; I don’t see how I can hold it against him for hanging out with me: a pretty female who laughs at his jokes. But it does leave me in the interesting position of wondering what this friend is really good for me for. Sorry if it sounds selfish to put it that way, but I really don’t need the angst of suffering attraction for a person outside my current relationship. And I do see the way he looks at me. So maybe…

Oh, it’s so obvious. I know what I’d tell anyone to do if they approached me with this problem asking for advice.

And then I have to laugh, because I think to myself, “She broke up with him already!!”

Ah. Being unmarried is weird.

cause and chaos

November 19, 2010

I thought that I had enough chaos in my life these past few years.  Between a big move, losing my religion, divorcing my husband, quitting my job, and taking care of my grandma while she died of cancer (seven months of watching TV with her has made me stupider!  I can tell!)… that’s enough, right?  From 2007 onwards, it’s just been a storm of chaos.  And losing my religion really meant I lost 99 percent of my ability to cope with life: all my stress-management techniques were lost, an instant community wherever I went was lost, even my ideas about reality were lost.

If that wasn’t bad enough [and I apologize if this is TMI]… a few years ago, I switched from the Pill to a non-hormonal IUD, and now I have some pretty serious PMS.  How the fuck do women handle this?  The week before my period, I start losing sleep and feeling a detached urge to get drunk for no reason, no reason I am aware of, anyway.  Wierd!  So practically a quarter of my life now is dealing with a personality change and all these uncomfortable urges that I have to work around.

Add that to the things I’ve actively done to myself– the events I’ve more-or-less chosen, though technically I did choose to get the IUD– and now my own body is working against me.

If that wasn’t bad enough, this morning I’ve had regular coffee and then let someone infuriate me on a forum.  Yeah, a stranger on the internet is affecting my morning.  I love living in the future.

At least I’ve made the other party angry as well.  I enjoy feeling angry, actually.  It’s nice to feel.

not a good person

November 2, 2010

I have a really big problem.  I am not a good person.

If I was still a Christian– if I’d have died a Christian– I would have gone the rest of my life without even knowing I am not a good person.  Why, you ask?

Because Christians are automatically good people.

How?  Why??  Listen to Auntie Alice and I will tell you.

When I was a young girl, I was taught to love Jesus.  I was taught that if I loved Jesus, He would make me loving and patient and kind.  He would make me a good daughter and a good wife.

If I put God first, I would do well in school.  I would be healthy and successful.

If I trusted God, He would bring me a good husband.  I would have happy, Christian children.

So did my parents actually teach me much about how to be a good person?  No, they taught me how to love God.

Did they teach me about how to find and choose a good mate?  No, they taught me how to trust Jesus.

I have a lifetime of growing up to do.  And I need to start now.

October 13, 2010

Coupla things.

I quit the AA meetings.  I realize that I don’t fit in, and they won’t want me, on accounta me not going totally sober and not believing I need to and not believing that I can’t do it without an invisible friend.  Steps one and two are impossible.   I like step four– make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself– so I’ll have to figure out how to work that one.  (“Work the step”?  Gods, I talk like them.)

Nice Boy is haunting me.  By that I don’t mean he’s contacted me or anything.  It’s just my own head.  He made a bigger impression on me than I knew.  I have to wonder if this isn’t worse than keeping in contact with him.  I also question my judgement in males– I mean, what kind of male do I pick out and attract besides the one I already had?  This worries me.  But I can’t really do anything practical about it now.

My head is not getting in order.  I am one fucked up lady.  I spend half my time running around doing things that need to be done, then the other half numb and useless.  I am starting to think I have PTSD.  I was nearing the end of my three-hour visit to the DMV today when I had a nice thought about Nice Boy and just about burst into tears.  Right before they took my photo, too; I let a few people go ahead of me in line because I know I get a red nose when I’m trying not to cry.  I tried to smile for my ID photo and only managed to look like I might not want to crawl into a hole and die.  I am trying to balance mental health, job search, reality checks, and a score of other ideas that I need to try to make reality (also for mental health).  I cry when I have to cry.  I face unpleasant things instead of distracting myself.  I am reading all kinds of library books about abuse and rape victims since that seems to be a powerful trigger for me; I need to figure that shit out and fast.  I am trying to settle my past down instead of letting it flare up and cripple me when I least expect it.  Because for every time I tell myself that women have survived much worse husbands than I have, I realize that I am worse off than I have ever let on.  I am weirdly and intricately damaged.  And until I face my damage I will not understand it, and I will be doomed to repeat my mistakes, compound my errors, or perhaps worse, get myself into a whole new sea of misery simply because I rejected everything old and tried something new, for newness sake. 

I want to be myself, but with armor, and weapons, and skills. 

I will be prepared and I will be powerful.

boundaries

October 6, 2010

I met a boy.  We liked each other.  And yesterday, I told him to go away.

I met him back in January, at a coffeeshop,  right before I left to move in with granma, and I enjoyed his company so well that I invited him to my Going Away Party at the bowling alley.  We kept in touch a bit over texting and Facebook, and when I got back into town last month, I happened to see him the very next day at the coffeeshop.  The day after that, he asked me out.

I didn’t realize what had happened at first.  I said to a friend, “Hey, I’m going to such-and-such with Nice Boy!”

My friend frowned at me.  “I thought you weren’t dating yet.”

“Uhh… is this a date?”

See, I’d made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t date for a year after getting divorced.  And, as it turns out, when a Nice Boy calls and invites me somewhere, it is a date.  Don’t laugh.  I learned something new.

So I called Nice Boy back.  “Uhh, hi.  This is going to be awkward.  I can’t go with you because I like you, and I’m not allowed to like anyone yet.”  I didn’t want to just start telling this guy “no” out of the blue without explaining myself somewhat, and I figured that if I had to tell someone to back off, it should be with a combination of wry humor, honesty, and flattery.

Once we established the time limit (three more months), whether or not he can see me at all (yes, with groups), and who can invite whom (I can invite him, but not the other way around), we had a deal and hung up.  Texting and Facebook communication continued as before, and I invited him to join me at a few group things.

Then he invited me to his birthday party.

At first, I said, “Sure, if you come to my party!”  (A few weeks later.)  Great.  Deal.  But then I started feeling uncomfortable– just a little.  He wasn’t supposed to invite me places.  I mean sure, it was a party and he invited everyone, later, over Facebook… but he texted me, invited me, and didn’t invite my roommates to come along with me.  It felt just a little bit not-right.  So I asked myself: am I overreacting?  And I realized there was a little Alice in the back of my mind, screaming, “NO YOU ARE NOT OVERREACTING!  You asked him not to do something, he said he wouldn’t, but then he did.  THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.”

The thing to remember about overreacting is hey– at least I am reacting.  I am setting boundaries and expecting others to keep them.  My ex-husband did not let me have any boundaries, so now I am going to have to be extra-careful with new people I meet– not just males who ask me out.  I think this Nice Boy is a good bet– I’m gonna call him someday– but I had to do this for myself.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

I know where this guy hangs out– remember coffeeshop?  So I went over there before AA last night.  I found Nice Boy.  And I told him that because he’s invited me somewhere, I have a problem… I won’t see him on his birthday, and please don’t contact me– that I would call him.  He didn’t exactly argue, he said he understands, and I really think he does.  He did say that it was like using a shotgun to kill a fly (lawyers…), and I said that a shotgun is all I have.  I have to take whatever measures are necessary so that I’m not the person who married my ex.  The look on his face was a little bit “fuck! how do I get out of this?” and mostly resignation because I kindof got him on a technicality.  Plus the fact that I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t like him probably helped. 

I felt bad.  This poor guy didn’t do much more than have really bad timing.  Not only am I flailing about trying to deal with the simple pain and sadness of divorce and the last ten years of my life, I am trying to get my head on straight and trying to figure out what my damages are so I can fix them.  Nice Boy wasn’t the first person to get an overreaction out of me because something reminded me of my ex, and he won’t be the last.  I wish I had just said “don’t call me, I’ll call you” from the start, because that made this more confusing than necessary.  This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t done it wrong– tried to have my cake and eat it too.

Of course I am also sad.  I enjoy Nice Boy and I will miss him.  He is fun and intelligent and a little bit crazy.  I would go so far to say he inspired me.  I am sure we will be good friends one day.  He told me to call him when I am ready.  So once I get myself in some order, recognize and set my boundaries… I will.

But I also feel good.  I made a rule about my world and I expected people around me to follow it.  I am making myself stronger, I am making decisions about my world and what’s going to be in it.  My life is a countdown, my time is limited, and I choose who deserves my time.