year in review: 2014

Dear Internet,
Working at home today and getting supremely in the groove. Re-discovered that I used to do a round up, by month, of things that went on in the previous year as a year in review. This seems like a good idea to continue insofar as giving me a perspective for the year and helping me figure out what I need to improve or cut back on.
Previous years: 2000, 1997, 1996

Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish for 2015:

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.

Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.

It’s been a helluva a year. Here’s to 2015 being boring and slow.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 1999

life-ring enclosure

Dear Internet,
Yeah, it’s been awhile. I’m at an undisclosed location for the week to make some hard choices, something I thought I did ages and ages ago when I decided to upend my life but apparently not as clear cut as I thought.
How did I get here? (Car and credit cards, but that’s the logistics and not the reasoning.)
While I’ve been doing a fairly good job of keeping my train wreck of a life off the internets except when absolutely necessary, you lot always knew the ends of my decisions and not the process of the whys. That was perhaps the most uncharacteristic thing about this whole blasted mess is that I’ve always kept a written track of what I’m doing and why, but as I’m being dragged through the mud across the internet due to #TeamHarpy1, I thought it might be just a bit wise to not to publicly say a damn thing.
But as the weeks have gone on, the impact of that internalization is damaging not just my brain, but also my body. I get random hives. My period is showing up every two weeks. I wake up at 4AM on an almost daily basis in a complete state of panic no amount of Klonopin can seem to fix. My moods are cycling so hard that I cannot trust what I’m feeling one minute to the next. I am free falling emotionally that what seemed like a brilliant decision one moment can feel great regret the next, which alternates with almost complete stoicism with emotional shutting down. I have been in tears so much, I’m surprised I’m not a prune.
What seemed so crystal clear weeks ago is now muddled and chaotic.
In order to regain control I made a few concrete decisions: Disconnect from the internet for awhile and find some place to be alone for a few days to clear my head and do some really hard thinking. But fuck the haters, I am going to put everything out on the damned blog. Maybe seeing it in print will help with the clarity and it will keep those who are needing to know how I’m doing.
So now you know WHY I’m here, so let’s move to the WHAT.
The stories consist of three main characters: Myself, TheBassist, and TheSoonToBeExHusband. So I’ll give you the tl;dr for the moment, with a fuller explanation tomorrow: I am in love with two men.
I did not leave TheSoonToBeExHusband for TheBassist. TheBassist and I started a relationship after I separated from TheSoonToBeExHusband. My marriage had been deteriorating for the last several years and this past spring, I had a sit down with TheSoonToBeExHusband about working on our marriage. He agreed to work with me on making changes. It didn’t happen. This was not the first time I had a sit down with him but it was the last. I had originally planned on using my year long writing sabbatical to also get my life back on track and hoped TheSoonToBeExHusband would come with me on that journey. When it became clear that he had no intent, I left.
TheBassist entered after the separation. We met up to see if the spark was still there after so many years. It was not a spark, but an explosion. He offered me many things TheSoonToBeExHusband would not and it was a chance for a true partnership with someone who would and could be my lover and equal.
So I decided to take a risk.
During the period as I started getting things ready, I felt very lucid and clear about all of my decision making. I had gone through a series of internal checklists and worked with my therapist on making sure I was doing the rational thing. Yes, there was emotions involved but I needed to also make sure what I was doing was not impulsive but the right choice for me.
And it felt right. Up until the day a few weeks after that I woke up out of a dead sleep at 4AM, woke TheBassist and said in all seriousness, “Why should I stay?”
And my emotional state has been getting progressively worse ever since.
To be clear, nothing has “happened.” TheBassist and everyone here have been beyond fantastic. I’ve been treated like visiting royalty and if I am indeed having a nervous breakdown, I couldn’t ask for better group of people to love me as I went through it. Also to the clear, TheSoonToBeExHusband has done nothing wrong since I left. He’s been an utter gentleman and is completely supportive of me.
This is nothing more than a pure case of my brain eating itself with something needs to be sorted and soon before I crack.
And with that, now I slumber. Until tomorrow.

1. #teamharpy: The flurry of activity after the public announcement of the case in mid-September has died down a bit, but two new recent articles in well regarded spaces (one a professional library publication and the other, a oft quoted law blog) has brought a flurry of new support AND haters to the fold. I’ve been laying low on Twitter, even more so after reading the hashtag, as it causes some massive FEELS. In addition to the slagging across Twitter, nina and I are being eviscerated across other social networks (reddit, Facebook groups, blogs, and so forth) on everything from we’re too ugly (her) or fat (me) to get harassed to questioning our mental health (mainly mine). Of course there is always the question of the legitimacy of our complaints with complete dismissal of nina and I as human beings because she’s transgendered and I’m bipolar.
After the first few dozen rounds by anonymous cowards on reddit and blog comments, my skin has grown thick, but the sheer viciousness and regularity still surprises me. What is also interesting is how much of my life is being scrapped from this site, digested, and reframed in an attempt to shame me. Which is kind of hilarious in its own right since I’ve always been brutally honest in the presentation of myself to the world. I have nothing left to lose, I’ve been saying that since the beginning, and yet not a day goes by where someone attempts to be helpful by pointing out I’m mentally unsound because of REASONS. It’s extraordinary the lengths trolls will go through to make their, albeit weak, point when it’s all been right there, in public view, for years. Trolls may be vicious, but they certainly are stupid.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 1998

she who gives

Dear Internet,
We’re rattling around the fancy house like ghosts with Restoration Hardware chains around our waists. We would give Miss Havisham a run for her money with our shenanigans.
On Monday, TheSoonToBeExHusband saw a nurse practitioner who put him on Wellbutrin, which seems to be working. He has an appointment in a few weeks to talk with his own shrink and to start making headway on working on the problems he needs to address. He has finally agreed that we need to be apart while he works on his problems and I work on mine; that the two of us together only hinder the other in our mutual goals of mental happiness. I am making no promises to him, which is why I don’t want to be only separated, I want to be divorced.
Because this is the core truth: Love often isn’t enough. It hurts. It breaks. It shatters, but it is truth.
I’m tired. A Lot.
My sleeping patterns have been fucked for a while because of the unmedicated mania, but now it’s worse. Thursday I napped for a few hours and dreamt I was walking around with lockjaw. No one in my dreams could understand what I was saying, which of course frustrated me even more. My mouth was aching when I woke up; thankfully none of my teeth were broken from the gnashing in my sleep.
On Friday, I posed the following to my Facebook wall,

PSA: Why you should masturbate on a regular basis:
If I had not attempted to masturbate this morning, I would not have found the lump in the left interior wall of my vagina, which turned out to be a filled Bartholin gland. If I had not taken myself to the ER this morning and gotten it checked, the gland could have gotten infected, which would have meant they would have gone in, drain the gland, and there was a mention of 4-6 week catheter and other fun stuff.
Instead, I take drugs, wear a maxi pad, and place a heating pad on my crotch to hope it drains by itself.
Masturbate! And often!

I have to spend a few hours a day with a heating pad on my crotch and take long baths. Good thing I like long baths.
So on top of it all, my vagina is now broken. I used to joke to the TheSoonToBeExHusband if he didn’t fuck me enough, I would get clogged.
And well, here we are.
Or it could be from my chronic masturbation the last few weeks of dreams and fantasies that I can now indulge in that I could not indulge before because it didn’t fit the parameters of my now dead marriage. Am I revealing too much? No, I think that was the problem to begin with: I was not revealing enough.
I have nothing left to lose here, in this world, and I don’t think many of you will understand the freedom that comes from this weight being lifted from my heart and soul. Things are clicking into place that were put on hold for a very long time, and as I reveal those plans slowly, some of you have expressed concern. I get it. I do. It all sounds stupidly overwhelming and incomprehensible. How do I know I’m not in mania right now?
Easy. Mania is about impulse. This is not impulse, this is about righting myself on the path I needed to be on so many years ago. If I was manic, I would be indulging in reckless behaviors and I’m not. It’s just that simple.
I am lucid, clear, and in control of myself.
What I hadn’t expected as the result of the fallout of my marriage? Things like this:
The creeper is a high school boyfriend who dumped me when I wouldn’t put out. I was 15 and still a virgin. He was also fairly instrumental in helping promote my reputation as the high school whore when the swim team attempted to gang rape me at a sleep-away event for our science classes. I escaped by climbing out of the bathroom window when my two female cabin mates couldn’t smash down the cabin door. Of course we never told the adult chaperones on that trip, because hey, I was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Who’d believe me?
I found it intriguing he wanted to be FB BFFs a few years ago. Even more interesting was he never said a word to me until I did a beta readers request a few weeks ago about my new adventures in writing erotica. And then I became his unwilling mother confessor.
As I’ve been working on reclaiming my sensuality for the last couple of months, and have been more public about it. With the collapse of my marriage, he and numerous others have been circling like vultures because apparently being public about my masturbation habits and enjoying sex is an open invitation.
You know, because being blunt about sex means I’m just begging for it.
I started out this piece in a calm but sad space and became so fucking angry that I’m shaking. I have a lot of great support on both coasts, and instead of working with them to keep me in this nice sane place, I have to spend my extraneous energy fighting off sexual predators. Thanks. Much appreciated.
Thursday I’m flying out to the East coast for a much needed mini-break. I want to be somewhere where I won’t get yelled at. Or sued. Or harassed. I’ve got the best possible host lined up who is going to take very good care of me and I plan on being underground for a few days. There are those who know where I will be in case of emergencies but the rest of you? Bye. See you next Sunday afternoon.

This Day In Lisa Universe: 1999

into which the cosmos will collapse once again

Dear Internet,
In January, I found out I was soon going to be out of a job.
In February, I lost my beloved Wednesday.
In June, it was revealed I am co-defendant in a $1.25M defamation case.
In August, I separated from my husband.
The last 72 hours have been a corporeal version of bipolar. The cycling in this house, between the two of us, is so fast and furious, the sheer amount of  willpower to keep myself together has been exhausting.
Yet, this is the most lucid and clear I’ve felt in years.
The tl;dr is I will never see his joyful face in my Instagram feed. There is not a single picture, with perhaps the exception of our wedding photo four years ago, where he looks like he wants to be there.
The condensed version is I’ve struggling with leaving him for the last two years. Shortly after my 40th birthday, I had the arthritis ankle surgery. Several months later, I knew I was in such a bad place, I sought out help. I wanted to be sure that whatever feelings I had were because of the crazy, not because I was unhappy in the relationship. On paper, my relationship looked flawless.
During all of this, I would voice my concerns to him, tell him what was going on in my head. We would have these big sit down talks about the status of the relationship. I would continue to work on making me whole, he would do his bit.
But he never really did.
And since I am the Guinness world holder for navel gazing, I documented all of it here, so I know, I KNOW, I fought for my marriage and for him. But after two years, and not seeing myself or ourselves go forward, I knew I had to make a choice: Me or my marriage.
I choose me.
He’s angry right now and he’s lashing out at me, and I take it because I am not arguing, debating, or correcting his impressions. I’m a terrible person because he stuck through with the surgery and the crazy, why can’t I wait for him? He vilifies me in one breath and tells me I’m the love of his life in the other.
I’m selfish because I am not keeping to my vows. The same vows he ridiculed for years because as we all know, he only married me to give me health insurance.
There is more to this, ALWAYS more to this, but this is all that you need to know. For now. When the time comes, and it will, to examine with microscopic intensity the demise of my relationship, I will commit it all here.
As for me? Well. I have nothing left to lose anymore. I have lost everything. So, once the home is sold and the divorce is settled, I’m leaving Michigan. Hopefully for good this time. I always come back to lick my wounds here, but there is nothing left is this state for me anymore and hasn’t been for a very long time. Of those I’m leaving behind that I care about, I am sorry, but I cannot be here anymore.
I’m heading to the east coast, going to couch hop for a bit, and then find a place to settle.  Get myself a sunny apartment, and with my teddy bear in one hand and a pug leash in the other, start over.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2011, 2008, 2003