I miss her.
I miss her.
It seems like just yesterday I took this photo of Andrea moving home for the summer and this weekend we’re moving her back to the dorm?
I will MISS her.
At least I won’t have to worry every day about her straightener burning down the townhouse.
Today has been a yucky day, filled with anxiety for no reason and a hundred little reasons. Ugh. So I’m posting pictures that make me smile. Saturday I went and saw my parents. I love driving up their street.
The tree in their front yard is always whistling at them!
This year Andrea wanted a fruit pizza for her birthday cake. Those are so much fun to make..
Anytime I can work an Abbott & Costello routine into the day I’m going to be up for it. So when caller I.D. showed this is who was calling, I was sorry Andrea wasn’t home:
I would’ve said “Get the phone it’s Important!” And she would’ve said “Who is it??” “I said it’s Important!” “Well WHO IS IT??” “It really is Important!” ah hahaha.. Yeah this isn’t working all that well. I’m gonna pick up two iced teas and run over to a friend’s house. Even though it’s 104 degrees, her deck may be just what I need.
I dreamed I was watching a movie preview of a man and woman breaking up. She was on the bed crying and asking a bunch of “but what about??…’s” But what about if your sister calls? But what about if it’s your birthday? He just closed the door and left.
Next I see this game show made out of an upright gigantic bean bag toss and the same actress from the movie preview. (She was also “me.” You know how dreams go). She was tightrope walking on the top of the contraption as someone or something threw objects to make the squares spin on the board. They were all squares pertaining to her life. “His sister calls and you always cover for him.” SPINNN! You have friends. SPINNN! You waste time thinking “if only I’d known.” SPINNN! The audience is a circus, laughing and cheering on cue. The actress is marching across the top like a drum majorette in high heeled boots, knees way up with every step, bean bags hitting spinning squares, announcer belting out things about my life, audience frenzy egging me/her on.
I leave that scene.
I’m somewhere dark but it’s lit with pretty colors. I can feel I’m dreaming, but I stay asleep. I can also feel I’m crying but want to stay with the dream. If I turn a corner I make new colors. This dark alley is a gorgeous purple… turn the corner, the brick is lit with green. A man begins walking behind me and I feel afraid. I quickly enter a building and try to lose him but he follows. As he stops and talks to someone I go up and down the zigzag staircase thinking that will confuse him, but it ends only a foot from where it started.
I still seem to have lost him and am in an entirely different scene. I’m walking on sharp gravel and every so often I hear a rock up ahead drop. I am crying even harder – only in real life, not in the dream – and feel very, very sad and lonely. To the left there is darkness and nothing and to the right is a wooden wall with windows. Someone is throwing marble rocks through the windows. As I near, the white marble rocks grow bigger I yell to stop or they’ll hit me.
A voice booms:
“Can you not SEE I am making great art here?!”
And I realize it is parallel to the game show, every time a bean bag is tossed, a chunk of marble is thrown, all sculpting and cutting away at and adding to the life that is on the board on the other side of the windows.
It is me. And I am the art. “Great” art.
Aren’t dreams the weirdest thing ever? I easily interpret that to mean: Everything that happens to me makes me, well, me. But I watched it play out as some Alice in Wonderland odyssey that had me crying and melancholy even still. Why?…
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?'”
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.
“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.”
Just a little me reminding Kenny Rogers to remind me what I gotta do.
There’s a line in an old Madonna ballad that goes: And I must confess that I… am usually drawn to sadness. And loneliness has never been a stranger… to me.
Lately I’ve been listening to her most melancholy songs that make me feel the way I do when I listen to Karen Carpenter. The entire time I was getting ready for work this morning, I played “Used to be my Playground” over and over and over again – I drove my mom nuts when I was a teenager playing music like that – but I could not get enough of that song.
Especially these stubborn lyrics:
“And why do they always say…
‘Don’t look back
Keep your head held high
Don’t ask them why
Because life is short
And before you know
You’re feeling old
And your heart is breaking
Don’t hold on to the past…’
…Well that’s too much to ask.”
“‘Say goodbye to yesterday’
Those are words I’ll never say.”
So I sang along a billion times until I was running late for work and as I got into my car I wondered, “Why DO they always say ‘don’t look back?'” I mean, maybe I’ll just spend the day living in the past, regretting everything that’s happened, letting myself get lost in despair, denying myself of today’s happiness…. again.
Then I saw the car I was driving behind:
His plate read DNTLKBK. Don’t look back. At least to me that’s what it read.
So I decided to try not to.
This morning I finally took some pictures of my apartment. Here are a few showing the living room/dining area.
I like it – there are things about it I love – but I still feel so alone much of the time. And I can’t seem to get over feeling that way.
I realize the pathetic-ness of all this. Even the “home empty home” title. I need to find ways to fill up – not with material things but with feelings and love and joy and friendship and faith and laughter.
But for the life of me I haven’t figured out how to do that here yet. And I’ve never been so disappointed in myself.