happy holidays

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.

Today in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 2011,  2002, 2001