happy holidays

lisachristmas1975
Me, 1975. I was three.

Dear Internet,

Five days. I lasted five days. I won’t promise that I’ll be updating on a super frequent basis as I’m massively writing in my paper diary these days but I’ll try to keep the world abreast of what’s going on.

My paper diary is an interesting read. I’ve been writing in it steadily for the last few months and you can follow the ups and downs of my emotions. I can not even begin to explain the swathe of emotions thrown about like a salad BUT it’s a good touchstone to figure out HOW things are getting there and how to be mindful of them in the future.


I was outside tonight having a smoke and the moon was so clear and bright, the valleys and mountains stains against the white of the surface. I stood staring at the moon as I smoked (I know, I KNOW!) and thought about the last few years and how my life profoundly changed.


I chronicle the last several years of my life as a chain of events beginning in February 2014. Wednesday died on February 1. I was served papers for the #teamharpy case in early June. I left my job to write a book on June 30. I left TheExHusband on August 24. I moved in with TheBassist on October 14. My book stalled in early November. Staring in mid-November, I started a whirlwind trip across these united states land that seemed to never stop. I’ve been living with TheExHusband since the first week of September 2015 when I went up to the cabin to close it down for him (and following him to Louisville after). In October 2015, TheBassist and I split.

In these last four months, this is the longest time I’ve lived at once location in the last yearish as I’ve been crisscrossing the US looking for work.

Coming up two years since the domino effect started and but I was internally dying before the domino started (job stress, marriage stress, etc). Yet, I would never have seen this massive amount of change coming from a million miles away. I could see maybe one or two things happening but the succession of each event turned my life into a country song.

Things have started to get better. The #teamharpy case settled on March 25, 2015. The divorce was granted on April 1. My interview rate has gone up (though no job offers – yet), I’ve been living in the same location for the last fourish months. Thursday came into my life.

The uptick has been slow, but it’s happening and I’m hoping the events that led me up today will start reversing itself, starting with the pug. That’s how it all started, right? In that vein, I (hopefully) will find out if I’m employed or not within the next few weeks. Once employed, then my own place, and so on and so forth.


There I am staring the moon and my thoughts turn to the things I am grateful for. I am grateful to TheExHusband and TheBassist for taking me in. I’m grateful for my friends. I’m grateful for TheExHusband letting me live with him while I wait for my life to straighten out. I’m grateful I have clothes on my back, food in my stomach, and my car paid off. My credit score is stable. I’m grateful that my health is good, I have a therapist, and a medication regime is keeping me on track.

No matter how fucked up my life is and has been, I am just thankful and grateful for being here, in this now.

I’m also grateful for TheBassist for breaking up with me, which is something I would never have admitted even a week ago.


One of his friends got in touch with me while I was in CT and joked as TheBassist had two extra tickets for the premier of Star Wars, I should go. I said sure, ask him. I’m curious about his response. The friend warned me TheBassist’s response to him was often slow. Time ticks on that night and as nothing has come back about a “yay” or “nay,” I accept it’s not going to happen. I will not lie and say I was not ready to leave at a moment’s notice, and I was. I will also not leave out I called TheBassist a day before my trip to see if he wanted to get together for dinner (no expectations, truly!) while I was in town and I was sent immediately to voicemail.

There I am, ready to rock if the answer comes back “yay” and if “nay”, I would accept this was okay, because it really was. Hope for the best, expect the worse and all that rot.

I fly back home on Friday and the friend gets in touch with me that night saying he heard from TheBassist. He then gives me the run down: TheBassist loves me and he always will, but I was a 24/7 flight risk. TheBassist broke down Borderline Personality Disorder and how I was sabotaging my life. He would never say never, but now? No.

It was in that moment when a switch flipped in my brain and everything changed. Something about the explanation of BPD TheBassist gave to the friend was that click. TheBassist knew, he’s always known. I ignored his advice and pleas to work on myself. He tried to save me, I wouldn’t let him or he couldn’t, and he had to let me go to figure it out myself.

Only I could save me and I’m no where near where I need to be in a relationship with TheBassist, let alone anyone else.

You’d think these chain of events would send me into a tizzy. But it didn’t. Two days prior when I flew into Hartford, I started sniffling. The sniffling turned into ugly crying as I walked the length of the airport. The ugly crying sent me running into the ladies’ where I let myself cry to get it all out. As I came out of the ladies’, I started doing deep breathing meditations as I walked towards the exit and tried not to look at the usual spot where TheBassist would be standing with a silly sign in his hand. With the deep breathing, I was able to make it through. I won’t lie and say I didn’t chain smoke outside while waiting for the rental car shuttle. I won’t lie that I didn’t take Klonopin to settle my nerves so I could drive 1.5 hours to my hotel. I will not leave out I wasn’t looking for his car in the pick-up lanes.

But Friday? I was fine. The world sharpened as it came into focus. I did deep breathing as the friend talked, asking if the response from TheBassist made sense. I said it did.

And I was happy. Fucking finally I was getting some peace.

This was not a manic happiness or a forced happiness. The last two months has been emotional pain. I could put a brave face to the world, doing my thing, letting the outside world think I was charming and personable (because really, I am). But home was a whole ‘nother story. I would cry for days. I would write disparaging things about TheBassist, what I would later call my “half-truths.” (Which one day, when I’m brave enough to write about it, I will give it a proper explanation.) But the pain in my heart was engulfing me and I begged TheExHusband and my friends to tell me how to get rid of it. I was willing to do almost anything put that flame out and no one had the answer.

For years, I was painting everyone who had remotely (or imagined) slighted me (especially TheBassist) as the bad guy when I only had myself to blame. I was trying to control things I could not control and nor should I have been. I put myself into situations that I could temper but didn’t. I could have ended those conversations, those thoughts, those feelings.

Only I could control myself. Only I could make the decision on what I wanted to do, something I evaded for the last 18 months. I wanted TheExHusband, TheBassist, and anyone close to me to make those decisions for me. No one would, of course, it was my life. But I didn’t understand that then my lack of decision was a decision.

(Please note I was never suicidal during this process. TheExHusband, my therapist, and I think someone else asked in a matter of days apart, if I had thoughts of ending my life. The answer is a resounding, “No!”. I want to be here on this planet and make my life meaningful and with purpose. Suicide were the farthest thing from my mind.)

The switch that flipped changed everything about my outlook. I accepted the emotional pain and rationalized it was not necessarily the end of a love affair with the man I knew to be the one, but the end of the affair was the breaking point. I was finally grieving for everything I had lost up to that moment. Oh, I said I was grieving, but remember the brave face and the half-truths? It was far easier to paint me as the wronged one rather than accept that if I had not sent that tweet, I would not have been sued. If I could have really tried, I could have saved my marriage. The only fault here was mine.

I began to, finally, accept the good things. I was steadily losing weight. I was keeping up with the exercising and the meditation. I was excite about my job interviews and the potentialy to have my own space. The pug helps ground me. I’m writing daily. I’ve been knitting like a fiend and the projects are getting complete. I savor going out in the world.

I am trying to be present and mindful.

BDP cannot be cured or control with drugs, but it can be lessened or recovery can happen via talk therapy (which I’m in now) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. I did DBT years and years ago, using some of the techniques to manage my emotions but I’ve let those tools rust and I need to get them back in rotation again. The writing and meditation help, but there is more. I’ve bought two books to work through the DBT alone (finding a good therapist, which I have, is difficult enough. Finding a DBT group is nearly impossible). I have done this before and I can do it again.

No one is ever really stable. Life is messy, but we can control how we messy we make life. I’m done with having chow mein existance and I strive to be more like a medium rare filet mignon. please.

And all the things, the plans I kept raving about, are finally solidifying. The sands are starting to turn into earth and one day will they will become mountains.


I sat out to write this as a “the holidays tend to suck, but I am grateful for these things (list things) and my life,” but has turned out to be more confessional then planned. Isn’t that always the case?


TheBassist is never far from my thoughts, but the worst of the pain has passed. I can stop boycotting Target, Barnes and Noble, Five Below or flinch when I see a Guitar Center. I have not cried when grocery shopping at a local store simply because it was the same layout as the grocery store TheBassist and I used to shop at. (I mean, really. A fucking crying jag in the produce aisle because it was designed similar to every other fucking grocery store on the planet but yet I associate it with ONE particular store? COME ON.) I’m okay when I pull out clothes that still smell of him and etc.


I cannot write this without thinking of e.e. cummings’ [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in], because that poem sings of my feelings for TheBassist. I have reconciled we may never see each other again, let alone get back together. I do know if/when I see him again, I will cry. Tears of relief, happiness, and everything in-between. Even if that is the only time I ever see him, I will cry. I better remember to not wear make-up.

Together we were not toxic, but I was toxic and in that toxicity I changed the pattern of the relationship. Love, faith, and want, at times, are simply not enough no matter how badly we want them to be.

Happy holidays.

xoxo,
Lisa

Today in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 20132011,  2002, 2001

valhalla

Dear Internet,

I am spinning a lot of plates as of late and in my paper diary I definitely sound like I’m cra-cra.

I’m just, simply put, overwhelmed.

I’ve been having feelings it would be a good idea to step away from the blog, and social media, when possible. I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone from the blog — a week, a month, six months. I always come back — I’m too much of a narcissist not to.

In the interim, enjoy pics of Thursday the pug, the picture of me below in Valhalla, or better yet,

READ THE ARCHIVES

Lisa at Valhalla
lots of love,
lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 1996

adventitious

(TW: rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment)

Dear Internet,

I know! Two daily entries right next to each other. What in the fuck is the world coming to?

This morning on Facebook I said:

In the “2AM Bad Decision Hour” a few nights ago, I enabled my OKCupid account which consists of a few questions and a pic. That’s it. No lengthy intros, outros, what have you. In less than an hour, my profile had been liked over 20 times and I had 5 generic “hey baby” messages in my account. I immediately disabled the account and look forward to ten glorious months of being date-less. So while Hume is on point with inductive reasoning, I can say with the utmost sincerity and respect he’s never been on a dating site where without a shadow of a doubt there will be some twat who thinks sending dick pics is a good introduction idea.

Alright then.

I’ve come to some reasons, with personal introspection natch, why my romantic relationships tend to have my lover dump me rather than the other way around. In fact, of all the adulting relationships I’ve had since I was 19, I’ve only dumped one person — every one else dumped me (and came back with the “You’re the love of my life!” routine). This is not to say I went out with everyone who was interested in me or I was throwing myself into promiscuous behaviour at every chance I got (which goes against the typical hyper sexuality of the bipolar) but I did shoot down those I wasn’t in the mood for and typically cut the dumpers out of my life pretty quick. (Which is why they always come back, right? People typically want what they can’t have. Then I want them to want them just as bad and the cycle repeats itself.)

Between not having a father figure or any positive male role model in my life (my father left when I was 5 months old), traumatic experiences with sex (I’ve been date raped at least twice, attempted gang rape once, and of course the ongoing sexual harassment), I see nearly every man as a threat to my personhood. And I see nearly every man as a thing and not a person — my mother’s mantra was, “Don’t let a man run your life.” Which is WHY when I lose control in the relationship, which pushes the person to dump me (usually), I cut them hard out of my life. Because not all men ™.

My Connecticut therapist noted my sexual behaviour is to be the one in control (I fuck like a stereotyped man — I always make the first moves in relationships or I always initiate sex in those relationships). By being in control, I can direct where it’s going and how it will work without having the conscious effort of someone else being in control or letting them see my vulnerability (which explains why I always need to be the dominate one — which unsurprisingly frightens some of my past lovers. On the flip side, I crave to be dominated by a man and have rarely met one who can dominate me. I have a strong will.).

As long as I can be the best fuck they’ve ever had, they won’t leave. Right? (And my assertive and aggressiveness is why I hear over and over again through the ages I WAS their best fuck. Yay me?)

Literally the moment she said this, a huge weight came off my shoulders and I could enjoy sex without treating it as a means to and end and be my assertive self without the weight of the bullshit. (Women can’t like sex, be aggressive, or want to get fucked 10 ways to Sunday so to like sex was a BAD THING, amirite?)

When I was 15 or 16, my mother pushed me to ask my father as to why he, allegedly, sexually abused me. As one might assume, he was incredulous. For most of my adult life I’ve carried around this thought there was “something” happened but exactly what was never clear. Either something did not happen and my mother merely planted the seed or something did happen with someone and I’ll never know who.

One night, a few years ago, a revelation hit me. Why would my mother push me to ask my father about this particular topic? And if he HAD sexually molested me, and she knew what was going on, why was she continuing to send me to see him every summer? What kind of mother does that to their child? (And if you ever wondered why I’ve divorced my mother four or five years ago, this was the topping on the proverbial cake. )

There’s a lot under the hood in regards to my romantic and sexual life. A lot coming to the surface after years of not discussing it and ignoring it. Thus if I want to have a healthy relationship in the future, discussing it NOW in this place will allow me to forgive what has happened, forgive myself, and finally move the fuck on with my life.

(As an aside: I have no memory of my childhood up until the age of 13. Seriously. I have bits and pieces of “things” like learning how to ride a bike or kissing Jeff what’s his name against a tree when we were 7 but other than that? Not a goddamned thing. This contributes why I loathe people with normalesque families and my desperation to have one of my own verses shunning all blood familia.)

Another behaviour I’m aware of is the tattooing and remaining fat keeps (supposedly) potential suitors at bay as societal norms dictate a fat, tattooed woman cannot find love or sex. A weeding technique for potential future lovers is if your perceived notion of me is I’m a “prison bitch” with all 17 of my tattoos, then I don’t want to date you and I can block you out of my life. If you can see beyond the fat and think I’m beautiful, then you’re someone I want to be with. Being fat and tattooed keeps me safe or so I’ve trained myself to believe. (But obviously it hasn’t or else I wouldn’t be confessing all of this to you.)

This is the antecedent to my reality: I’m called beautiful/pretty/attractive or whatever by scores of different people on a regular basis. Despite the fat, I’m told I have an awesome bod and men want to fuck me, also on a regular basis. THIS is where my arrogance (and also conflicting) behaviour comes in: If I can get dick (as Amy Schumer so succinctly states), then I’m not a typical “fat girl” (yes, I’m fat shaming myself here and others — but it is to make a point), and I can have anyone I want (which tends to also be true). And I’ve been told over and over again my arrogance (or confidence) is what is most attractive about me: If you don’t want me, then fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Someone else will come along who will take your place (as long as I can fuck them into a happy relationship and they never leave says my internal monologue. Joke’s on you Lisa!).

This is cemented with commentary made my ex-lovers and street harassment:

  • “If you lose weight, you could model.”
  • “You’re really pretty – for a fat girl.”
  • “You don’t want to date me? Fuck you fat ugly bitch.”
  • “You should smile more, you’d be a lot prettier.”
  • “Nice rack/body/legs/shoulders (?!?).”
  • “You’re too pretty to wear makeup.”
  • “You don’t wear enough makeup.”

And so on. (See why I have a complicated relationship with my image?)

There is the exterior dialogue (I know why I behave this way), interior dialogue (I hate myself and no one will ever love me), and the reality (I can get dick anytime I want and 95% of the time always come back. They leave again but they always keep coming back). It’s conflicting because all of it is true.

The self-awareness of all of this, something I’m frequently told from therapists and TheExHusband alike, is rare. When you’re judged for what you are (or who people think you are or how you think people see you), bullied, and what have you — you spend a lot of time analyzing why you do the things you do. You look for the patterns. You muse on the whats / hows / and whys. You see how other people handle their own relationships and you model the good stuff (as you see it) into your own. In short, you psycho-analyze yourself into submission because it is ALL YOUR FAULT, you are the only person you have who can tell you the brutal and honest truth (with commentary from the peanut gallery to confirm or dismiss your findings as either quantitative or qualitative or neither. Or both.)

I stumble as I am human, something I keep reiterating for a very long time as I didn’t believe I was. I also think others think this about themselves as well. It bookends my loathing for the term “stable” as no one is ever REALLY stable. We have our stable moments that could last for months or years, but we all fall at one point or another – often more often than we care to.

This is where the forgiveness comes in: This is not a woe is me type of confession, it’s to clarify and map out those patterns that keep repeating themselves so I can break them. An ongoing theme for the last few years here at EPbaB is to break those patterns so future endeavors can begin, maintain, and end in a healthy way. There are things I cannot control (rape, harassment, my mother) and things I can control (how I react, how I present myself to future lovers, how I treat myself). The goal here is stop trying to control the things I cannot or ever will control.

Once I can work past those barriers that seem to plague me, take responsibility for my own actions (that I can control), is when the healing begins.

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. I forgot to mention my half-year birthday the other day (December 12), so it’s with a small reminder my birthday is in 181 days.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 2012, 1999, 1998