Transition

Maybe, just maybe, this bump in the road is less about relapse (see last entry, “Relapse”) than it is about transition. Maybe things are evolving. The overwhelming sad though, that feels the same no matter why.

Why transition? Well, it’s been a year since everything changed, if not concretely, at least in essence – the feelings were there at least a few weeks before their admission on April 6, followed by passive breakup #1 on April 23rd, and aggressive breakup #2 on May 13.

Anniversaries – they’re a burden for one of us.

It’s been a solid year since anyone loved me.

I knew it would be a mistake to peek through my photos from this time last year, but I’ve always been a bit of a glutton for punishment. I look at those photos now and I see an unhappy me, just existing day-to-day, and then there’s Love Bomb, who gave no inkling that she was thinking of someone else.

I went back and took screenshots of our text conversations sometime in April when I realized our relationship was on shakier ground than I’d ever encountered before. It’s amazing how fast the destruction progressed once the deceit began. Everything seemed okay until that fated April 6 when Love Bomb and New Girl discussed … feelings … and then, it was just over. 19 years .. 100% over .. in one conversation. A conversation I was told was a Manager’s meeting, encouraged her to go to and “have fun”! Or was that the time she told me that one of the cashiers was “suicidal” and that’s why she had to stay so late and couldn’t answer my texts. Whatever the lie was, from then on, the demeanor of the texts we exchanged shifted from the usual “Hi”, “Miss you”, and even an invitation for “sexy time” one week, to “Going out for drinks after work”, to “Hookah!”, and “Sorry, my phone died and I lost track of time”, at 11:30pm. She would drive down to go out with “work friends” even on days she was off and then she’d “crash” at New Girl’s house…

OMG, WAS I FUCKING BLIND? I’d ask what was going on, she’d avoid eye-content and walk away while she spoke, “We just have so much in common and we get to talking…”. I ignored my intuition, and didn’t put any of it together. I believed her when she said, “It’s not what you think”. Except it was.

Hindsight is 20/20

 

She just held me in the background (someone had to feed the animals when she didn’t come home) until she could secure herself in her new relationship, and once that happened, she waited for me to offer the breakup, since she couldn’t even gather the balls to end it herself. (See last entry, “I guess so”.) Fucking coward.

I suspect New Girl is a coward, too. Her husband (second husband, both marriages accumulated less time than Love Bomb and I spent together) only moved out once her new relationship was established, as well. I know because I have screenshots of the time (uh, it was June 19th) I was going to go down to the house but Love Bomb got all weirded out, and finally admitted that there was another dog in the house – New Girl’s dog. Her husband was moving out that weekend and she and Love Bomb were already living together for all intents and purposes, under our roof until he was gone. Ladies, pack your U-Hauls!

Maybe they use the same coping strategies … cowards doing what cowards do … that which feels good with no regard to those who are hurt in the wake. I’m aware that the husband struggled with back issues and a substance abuse problem, as a result. (Oh, we have so much in common!) What a lovely wife to keep him around the house until she could replace him with someone else. “In sickness and in health” didn’t resonate with her, nor “till death do us part” – twice. And yet, she and Love Bomb wear their matchy rings .. I noticed those months ago, back in November. Jump right into that deep end, ladies. I hope you fucking drown in your desperation.

But I digress. Back to that transition…

Maybe it’s because I’ve only just started to decorate my apartment… Maybe it’s because I’m approaching a place where I’m starting to think a bit into the future rather than simply trying to survive the day… Although there is comfort in these things, there’s also some painful adjustment and growth that accompanies them. While seeing past just surviving is clearly a good thing, it also tastes a bit of defeat and even more loss.

I’ve finally reached a place where I think I need to devise a new GOAL or two, or three. No more sharing wholly ignored “core values” and “mission statements” on a stupid whiteboard (we used to fantasize about getting an RV and cruising the country together, a romantic vacation, or even getting our asses in gear to get out of that old house and on the path to a new adventure in a new area). Now, I’m faced with making goals just for me, and honestly, that’s a bit terrifying. I’m having a hard time “seeing” them in my mind after so many years of sharing our plans for a future.

So, what’s next? I’m not sure I want to stay here doing what I’ve been doing for as long as I’ve been doing it. I am very good at what I do, but I’ll admit that I’m not terribly challenged anymore – after 6 years, I know this shit inside and out. But I also feel pretty damn fortunate that I’m left to work independently and I can pretty much do what I wanna around here. Still…

So, what are some possible goals?

  1. School. Well, since I’m no longer a total stoner I could concentrate on furthering my education and would most likely succeed at just about whatever I set my mind to.
  2. Move. I’ve always wanted to move out West, be it Washington, Idaho, Oregon or Montana, ideally. I wasn’t ready to commit to moving last year as my dearest (local) friends held me up every single day. I would have been a fool to run from them, no matter what else I was running from. Besides, I didn’t want to run. I’m proud of myself for sticking it out in an effort to feel confident that I wasn’t just acting on a “fight or flight” response, a reaction I excel at.
  3. Date. Truth be told, with moving on the possible goal-list, I really hesitate to get involved in a relationship rn. As much as I’m lonely (as a home-body, I’ve found that I really miss someone to simply share quiet space with), I don’t want to couple-up just to have to end or long-distance it. So, on one hand, I feel anxious to meet someone and start something special, but on the other, well, there are lots and lots of reasons why I pause. The fear of being hurt is just one. I am simply not strong enough to endure this sort of pain again. I’d rather die alone.

I may never love again, thanks to you.

 

I will regard these first attempts at goal-setting as the beginning of my transition, not the recurrence of relapse. Today is the first day of Spring, which, historically, isn’t a great time of year for me (delayed SAD, you suck). And so, despite lingering depression and doubt, I will try to see the positive in every day this season. I will reflect upon my growth. I will try to forgive – myself seems like a good place to start – maybe the rest will come some other season. I will continue to simply survive on the days when that’s all I can manage to do, and that alone will be okay.

This is when you discover what a real friend is, and who they never were. Lookin’ at you, Kevin.

Relapse

Every couple of weeks, I take a few steps back. Back to lonely. Back to sad. I go from feeling relatively safe and stable to fragile and destroyed overnight. And no, it’s not a meds thing – my meds are in order – I take a handful of the good stuff each and every morning. They do help. I should have sought psychiatric care sooner than I did, for sure. Better late than never, had I not sought help when I did, I most certainly wouldn’t be here right now – I’d be in a box, maybe waiting for someone to decide where to sprinkle me … the Rocky Mountains? Coeur D’Alene Lake? Maybe just sprinkle me in the dog yard at the shelter.

Last weekend felt okay – I nurtured myself and my cuteaf condo. I went to IKEA for a throw rug, duvet cover, and some trinkets. How I’ve avoided IKEA for nearly 8 months since the move to my place is beyond me. Driving to Hoodbridge is just not on my agenda if I can avoid it. While I was in the area I stopped in the driveway of my old home. The tree out front was still standing (amazing), but the storm door must have blown off in Windmageddon, laying awkwardly in the front yard. The place falls further and further into disrepair, an eyesore for the community and a cold reminder of the disrepair in our relationship.

I’m sure that part of this sadness relates to what was happening around this time last year. Everything was changing, but I didn’t know it yet. Love Bomb was beginning her next chapter and I was just puttering along as if I had nothing to lose, as if we could – as if we WOULD – work through any struggle together, just like we had for nearly 19 years. I felt safe in the consistency of our rather boring lives together while she was out there courting another, someone to take my place before our bed cooled.

The hard part isn’t the being alone, really. I like alone time. I’ve always looked at little cuteaf places like the digs I’m in now and felt a bit envious, and wished that I hadn’t bagged out on my last cuteaf place to move in with Love Bomb.

The hard part is the being replaced – that the person I loved for so long could simply disengage, change gears and never look back. That she gets to carry on as if there weren’t a huge hiccup in her life, because for her, things just got better. She didn’t have to do any of the hard work involved in breaking up. She couldn’t even do the dirty work of actually ending it even though she was the only one that wanted to. She just agreed with me when I asked, “Are you breaking up with me?”, one spring afternoon. “I guess so”, she replied. It’s no wonder I didn’t believe her, trying and trying to make it right, to find solutions, working to improve in every way for several more weeks before she left that horrible letter – the one that pointed out what a miserable person I am to be around.

Maybe I am.

THIS is the person Love Bomb hated … the depressed, hopeless, thoughtless lump of self-doubt, boredom and anxiety that fell into relationship complacency many years ago. I suppose if she were to read this blog she’d think, “same ‘ole, same ‘ole”, thankful that she’s moved on to someone more energetic and driven than I ever was.. Someone with a fun accent and money to burn. I didn’t stand a chance.

Sometimes, I still miss her. I miss my best friend, the person I told my everythings to. I miss having someone to come home to and share my day with. I miss sharing the bed with another human. I miss feeling that I am worthy of love. Beyond that, I miss my family. I miss my dogs the most – two went to me and two went to her – I miss my babies, who now know some other lady as “Mama”.

Sometimes (more often than not) I fucking hate her. I hate her for leaving the way she did. I hate her for throwing me away, so quick to move right along in lustful bliss, never to reflect or mourn, like it meant nothing to her because I mean nothing to her anymore. She went from being my best friend and biggest fan in the blink of an eye – as soon she settled her gaze upon someone else.

I’ve been working so hard to finish up the mourning that only I have been doing. I go out with friends on the regular, I joined a choir, I exercise and take good care of myself and my surroundings, I joined a few dating sites, I started blogging… It’s been a year since Love Bomb lost interest in me and in us, and 10 months since I really started to realize how over it was. They approach their one-year anniversary as I approach one-year of solitude, reflection and remorse. Remorse for all that was lost – 18 years of good and bad, that only I am forced to face.

Dear Self, please bloom soon.