Monthly Archives: June 2010

Day by Day

I went to church on Sunday.

Tonight I’m out the door to divorce recovery group.

Start a brand new job tomorrow.

There’s a bit of magic in everything, and then some loss to even things out.

Lou Reed

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Categories: Hey how's it going. | 3 Comments

Flower Child

Andrea and I think this poster at Target kinda looks like me:

Categories: Love it. | 2 Comments

Now Come On

How weird (…crazy?) is it that the last post I wrote before flying into the cuckoo’s nest was about the Psych Museum?  It was over a month before and, no, it wasn’t planned.  If someone had told me in March that I’d be in inpatient treatment end of April, I would’ve been taken aback but I can’t say surprised.

It’s been a rough couple of years.

I love how the euphemisms for mental health treatment have changed.  Depending on what era I pick, I like to say either “I went to the country for some rest,” or “I went mad,” or “I was locked away in a sanitarium,” or “I had a nervous breakdown,” or “I went to rehab.”

One counselor, alluding to the fact that active addicts end up incarcerated, institutionalized, or dead, periodically would say to us:  “Welcome to the institution!”

My favorite is what I heard my ex-boss said about me:  “She’s delicate.”  I just think it sounds cute, but frankly, it was accurate.

Remember the schizophrenic’s embroidery project from the museum?  Little Miss “Love Me I Am Crazy?”

There was also “Wait for me I am lonely.”  And “Hair on fire.”  And “Because you mine and I saw you in the purse house.”

Then this:

I can relate to that.  Really all of them.  And I rather liked being “the sick girl” – delicate… helpless… needy.  It was what I knew.

Doesn’t matter what I’m comfortable with anymore, though, because the pain from that type of comfort became greater than the pain of change.  Whoo boy do I plan to keep changing.  Then one day I’ll embroider a phrase for myself:  The Strong Girl.  Fool.

Categories: HA! | 1 Comment

Not ready for goodbye.

The work I did in Kentucky was no joke.  We never got a day off.  Every morning started at 8 and usually the days ended with a ride back [in an unmarked van…I constantly voiced my dismay that we weren’t advertised as sanitarium patients] from a town 12-step meeting around 9pm.

We worked our asses off all day long.

I got through my life story my than once, my trauma timeline, and told the secret I was most ashamed of to the group until one day I could finally tell it without shaking and crying and having to go around and ask each person, “Do you think I’m disgusting?  Do you want to run screaming from the room?”

It is unbelievable how much I learned about myself through the work and also seeing how others mirrored me.  Group therapy is fantastic.

I did some anger work on issues from childhood that led to my being so shame-based and I also confirmed what I knew 16 years ago… that I’m a raging love/relationship/romance addict.

What I was anxious to get to was the grief work.  I have had the hardest time getting over my marriage.  I have been so sad.  R and I separated (at my request) almost 2 years ago and divorced (at my request) over a year ago.  I had no idea the pain would remain so omnipresent to this day.

I threw myself into the grief work.  I did everything exactly as assigned and by the time I presented to the counselors and group, I cried and cried and waited for some sort of feeling of relief that never came.  I just felt even more drained.  Still, I thought I’d get a pat on the back for my effort and that I surely must be progressing through it.

The next day in group, a counselor expressed concern that mine wasn’t actually a “grief letter.”  That it was more of a romantic fantasy letter.  She said much more but I got confused.  I followed the formula the letter was to follow.

Later I asked her and other counselors, and other clients, to explain to me what I did wrong.  I want to grieve the divorce in a healthy way – just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!

For 2 days no one could say anything that made any sense to me regarding this assignment.  I just couldn’t see what I should’ve done differently than pouring my guts about what I missed and what I lost and what I feel so sad about.

Then Tina came back to work.  I loved something different about each counselor and with Tina, it was her always-slightly-irritated straightforwardness.  “Did ya say ‘goodbye?'”

::crickets::

Holy shit I didn’t say “goodbye!”

And I realized, to be honest, I’m still NOT 100% READY to say goodbye!  STILL!

Tina:  “There ya go.  That’s why it wasn’t a grief letter.”

Tonight I started a 10-week support group on Divorce Recovery.  Here we go.  Kill me now.  This is a womens only group and I was taken aback at how the facilitators were allowing all the man-bashing.  I kept thinking “Okay, I don’t have to ever come back again,” but something was telling me this may be what I need in a weird way.

Of the twenty-some women in that room, I was the only one who didn’t voice anything “done” to me.  I only voiced what I’ve lost.  What I miss.  Remember the grief stages?  There was a lot of anger in that room.  And I remember one of my sweetest counselors in Kentucky saying it sounded like I was in the bargaining stage.

I have not gone through any significant anger towards R.  I’ve gone through anger towards his addictions, toward my own, and even toward innocent Andrea!  We would still be together had she not gotten involved.  How sick?  I know.  I don’t WANT to be stuck in the bargaining stage.  I don’t WANT us to try and get back together… to make it work.  Why does my mind keep GOING THERE?

Because it can’t accept goodbye, yet.  And it sucks.

Most of my anger has been towards God and myself.  On the way to Kentucky I was talking about how much I hated God and yelled “FUCK HIM!” right as I looked out the window and saw a billboard with a gigantic red heart.  Then we passed sculptures shaped liked hearts and a barn with a heart on one side…. I pretty much was barraged with hearts the entire 6 weeks I was in treatment.  God can take my temper tantrums and just keeps on loving me.

Thankfully, I worked through my anger towards God and myself and WOW.  What a load off.

But I haven’t worked through my anger towards R because I really haven’t ever been able to feel it.  Weird!  My blood actually started to BOIL at the meeting tonight when these women were painting their ex’s out to be devils and one of the leaders said in general to everyone, “This is not your fault.”

AHEM (I didn’t even raise my hand):  “Excuse me.  I disagree.  In my case, this was 50% MY FAULT.”

And so she elaborated and seemed to start to make sense and for the first time some women chattered in a way that took at least some ownership in their situations.

We left with the leader saying next week’s topic would be anger.  Of course it would.

I found my way out of the building saying, “God?  I trust you.  I know I’m with the women you want me to be with in this journey… but seriously?”

I opened the door to the parking lot.  It’s a rainbow!

Of course it was.  God has lots of fun messing with me all the time.  To think just 2 months ago I had thought he’d forgotten all about me.

Categories: melancholy | 3 Comments

About

When I began this blog in August of 09, the following was my About Page:

I was married and now I’m not. Then I had a boyfriend and now I don’t. My daughter was with me and now she’s at college.

I defined myself by my relationships and, well, I obviously still do.

But I don’t want them to define my happiness. I’m learning to become happy with life just because it is magic.

– Krissy, 41, in Kansas.

Now that it’s June 2010, it’s amazing how accurate those words still are. Only they need to be amped up on steroids.

Home from 6 weeks inpatient treatment for depression, anxiety, and relationship/romance addiction, I’m still trying to deal with life, still grieving my divorce, now motivated to remain sober.

There is magic in the air.

Categories: Hey how's it going. | 2 Comments

What Just Happened?

I’m still sad.

I think I misled Andrea because I felt so much guilt about being gone for 6 weeks to get help.  I led her to believe I would come back “cured.”

My life doesn’t look better, in fact, in many ways it looks worse.  More messy, more in a state of limbo than before.  If it were just me, I’d rather like it like this right now.  If it were just me, I could go away for good and start all over.    But it’s not just me.  I’m a mommy.

And this is where it gets confusing.

I’m a mommy to a daughter who has always been concerned about my way of living and, in recent years, has tried to “parent” ME.  I now see that I completely set her up to do that.  I also married people who would do that.  I’ve acted like a helpless child.

I used to think this story was cute:  Andrea was 4 or 5 years old and answered the phone.  The person calling had been trying to get ahold of me and said she was getting worried and Andrea replied, “I’ve been worried about my mommy for years.”

But now I’m realizing just how much stress I’ve caused her by being depressed.  By suffering from chronic anxiety.  By being preoccupied with my addictions and my acting out and medicating.

Andrea came out for 3 days to see me in treatment.  Counselors later told me our work was a “beautiful thing to watch” as they guided us through communicating and her getting a crash course on addiction and co-dependency.  I told her I couldn’t go back and change anything I’d ever done that hurt her due to my dis-ease,  but that I would do everything I could to practice my recovery and make sure those things never happened again.

I also told her I needed her to step back and allow me to run my own recovery.  To be in charge of my own life.  I can’t do this with her giving unsolicited suggestions or judgments.

During that weekend she seemed surprised to learn these things but in an excited way.  I was excited, too.  It was difficult to not dance around with her, “Everything is going to be so much better!  Life is wonderful!”  Except for that nagging thought that would not stop asking me “when’s she going home again?”

She did go home.  And now I’m home.  And we’re left to figure out where our relationship stands because just knowing I’m actually the parent and SHE’s the child isn’t cutting it.  We’re having a difficult time getting out of our rut.  I’m feeling rebellious and suffocated and she’s feeling controlling and probably like she did not get her money’s worth! (so to speak).

They took her mommy away for 6 weeks (over Mother’s Day, over finals week, and moving home from the dorm week) and they sent her home the same?

I’M STILL SAD!

Only I’m not the same.  When I went I did not believe there was any reason to go on.  I had no value and was not worthy of a good, strong life.  That thinking has completely changed.  I deserve to be healthy.

“I deserve to be healthy.  And so does Andrea.”

There’s our money’s worth right there.

Categories: Hey how's it going. | 6 Comments

Tremendous!

Andrea and I went for a walk this afternoon having no idea we would end up in the presence of the most lavish and enchanting tree ever.

Tiny little Andrea:

Already have plans to return for a picnic.

Categories: Love it. | 1 Comment

May 16, 2010

So hey, I’m Krissy and I’m a relationship/romance addict (among other unseemly things).  I actually discovered this about myself some 16 years ago when I was 25.  I started 12-step meetings and did damn well… for a couple of years.  This PAST couple of years I took a nosedive into relapse but the good news is the countup above.

May 16, 2010. My new commitment date to sobriety.

Here’s to it.

Categories: Hey how's it going. | 1 Comment

New Day

I’m home.  In the kitchen, my calendar hangs on April.

It’s June.

Six weeks of inpatient treatment four states over will do that to a calendar.

Categories: Just so you know. | 8 Comments

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