Sunday, May 31, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020


It seems to me that attachment is like addiction, and when that attachment, no matter how toxic, is broken the body goes through the pain of withdrawal.

And so it is. This is why we go back even when it serves no sane purpose. I'm not, going back that is. But my heart feels like a yo-yo, and it's tugging, tugging for me to let it free.

Summer is on its way, and so the days are longer. I can feel them, ironed out under the increasingly hot rays of the sun. One 24-hour period can feel like the world's longest taffy pull. Sticky and aching. Physical activity would do wonders if I weren't allergic to temperatures above 80 degrees. I think about substance abuse and I don't follow through. A literal punch in the gut might help. Maybe a tattoo. 

She got a haircut. I can't tell you how that hurts.

I am a loving, dedicated partner. I need stronger boundaries, true. But it doesn't take so much emotional maturity to keep yourself from crossing the line. I say as I consider trespass again at the Union Pacific switch yard. I'm frequenting that venue far too often. I'm not the only one keen to patterns. Arrest is the last thing I need. Apprehension and scolding from the linemen is bad enough. That's only happened once this year. 

You could get hurt, he said. We're working down the line.
Yeah, I think, you can only imagine hurt.

I mean, I don't want to be harmed. Not really. But I'm already hurting. The injustice. How can you love so well and have so little return? I'm not perfect, I know. But I was giving it my best. Sometimes, I supposed, that isn't enough. It's the emotional maturity thing again. Maybe I wasn't patient enough with where she was. Maybe it seemed clear that she wasn't sure whether she wanted to be in the relationship any longer. Maybe when she didn't mean to hurt me she did. Maybe it's best to let the boundaries re-congeal. When you're a sponge it's advisable to make sure you know what you're getting into.

I wonder how she's doing. I don't ask because I know the dopamine draw to wrap ourselves around each other and feel good for an hour or so before the nasty cycle starts again. But I want to ask. She hurt me repeatedly, and like a total sucker, I still care. What the hell is wrong with me?

I could get high. I'm scared that the stuff she gave me that I stashed in a remote location is laced, and taking a hit to find out for certain could be bad. Really bad. 

I'm down. I'm sad. I'm a miserable schmuck.

I'll protest injustice later this afternoon.

Thursday, May 28, 2020


Remember Christine Blasey Ford? She is my hero. It doesn't matter what kind of assault or abuse you experience, calling out and abuser is rough. You find out who your friends are.

I met with my therapist this morning. She's counseled me and K— for over a year. She asked me to take into consideration the possibility of simple human error over sociopathic disregard for a person's wellbeing in the cases I've experienced in the last four months. She also said I should consider the number of strange references to murder I've heard from my ex-partner over the last two weeks. She said to take into account the number of times that I have believed my safety was compromised by my ex. She said to consider the manipulation, gaslighting, and controlling behaviors. Then she said I get to make the judgments based on my rationale about what happened to me.

I know what happened. I know that in the end I was terrified for my safety.

I have something like 175 Facebook friends. K— has well over a thousand. The sympathy and support rolls in for her, telling her how big a person she is for saying lovely things about the relationship while I cry foul. It's astounding. Especially considering that some of these were my friends and adamant supporters of victim's rights and advocacy in the recent cases of abuse of all types spotlighted by the media. 

I think victims get support when it's the hip thing to do. I think there are 30 or so beautiful people in my life who love me, believe me, and who are giving me all the support they can on social media during a pandemic. We didn't share a domicile, but because I was my ex-partner's only regular contact, I am telling you—I experienced domestic emotional abuse. Add my name to the roster.

I'm not surprised at those who disbelieve, just sad. Very sad.

I've spent the last week alone with B—. But suddenly, time feels like it's standing still.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


A few days ago, knowing I was neglecting updates, I started a post about knowingly staying in a relationship with a person who exhibits narcissistic behavior. I kept writing and writing. If I'd finished, my explanation was going to be clear and rational. It overtook me and became thesis-length, with various logical side arguments, until I had to click "save" and go to bed. You'll likely never see it.

It's awesome, though, how you can leave K— alone for a week after her behavior spirals well beyond the point of emotional abuse, and it provokes more, worse behavior. I could write up a transcript of our last text conversation, but I'm tired. It's 6:38 p.m. and I'm not sure how I'm going to make it to 8 p.m.

It's almost laughable, this final exchange. Final.  And then she came back an hour later, apologized for hurting me, admitted that she was trying to hurt me with her words, wished me well, conveyed hope that we can be good friends again one day, and to wrap it all up, "And maybe...Well, who knows the future?" This dangling hook is her signature. She's got a kid lined up for a hook up using the same hook when she put him on hold to "make it work" with me. It was work, that is true. 

I don't need the past crap. None of it. Which makes leaving that hook and line dangling pretty damn gratifying. I'd tell her to go find someone else, but I'm not cruel. No one deserves this toxicity. Especially not me.

B— "graduated" from the 8th grade. The pandemic is bringing us closer together one day at a time. He's such a delightful young man. Beautiful, really. I'm glad of the four years I have left to share rooms, a kitchen, and bathroom with him. I glad of the towering hugs with which he engulfs a little me before saying goodnight. I'm glad of all my children who've been waiting patiently for me to stop negative influences from wreaking havoc on my self love.

I got so lost in this one.

Ever wandering back out of every problem I get myself into, I am a daughter of Eve. I mean, not literally, cuz that's just illogical. But after her heart nonetheless. 

I think the breathing will be easier tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


No dreams of electric sheep. No dreams I can or want to recall. Fitfulness. Up at 2AM. Up at 5AM. Out of bed at 7. I meant to roll out of bed and slather on my cycling clothes for another go at Big Springs. Riding tired is asking for injury. 

I'm tired of fighting. I'm beginning to doubt the existence of common ground, only the deceptive promise that if I'm standing and she's standing the floor beneath our feet must meet somewhere. I think I'm going about taking care of myself all wrong. It's supposed to be about me after all. I keep forgetting that me doesn't include her, and I have it on good word that she doesn't want to be included. 

I like my apartment. I like my books, my furnishings, the decorative elements that denote my childlike wonder and eccentricity. I like the art on my walls, whether original or TJMax. I like that my son N— gave me canvasses and paint, and that I'm getting my mind back in its right place. 

I like my cat, Phoebe, who is cuddly and clingy and a precious petite tabby furball. She is curled up in a patch of morning sunlight across from where I am working. She seems placid and content. At night she lays across my belly, curves into a C that slides off against my hip. She stays there until early morning, and then must leap onto the window sill above my bed and sniff at the pale light before rejoining me for another hour of rest. She lives up to her companion animal title with valor. 

I like listening to music on my headphones and taking long walks. I like discovering small things. I like curves and angles and how they play against each other in the battle over points in space. I like sound, pitch and timbre, how they can be melded into shapes and angles with the tongue and throat to create aural symbols assigned to just about anything you can see, and many things you cannot.

I sometimes wonder which sense would be harder to lose—sight or sound. And I am glad I am not forced to make a choice.

Phoebe has drifted off to sleep. I am jealous. I need rest. I need purpose, direction, drive. They're buried beneath a layer of fatigue; I can feel them squirming under its weight. 

I like my baby son, B—, who accidentally got a full view of my monte this morning as he bumbled past my room on the way to the toilet. He's almost 15, the tallest of my children, and a very sweet roommate. 

I like these brief word purges, to remember that I still write. That I still exist, if only in simplicity, in the age of pandemic.

Saturday, May 9, 2020


I don't know how to do life like everyone else. I'm familiar with the blueprint, but straight lines mock me. Rather than build a crumbling structure, I think I threw out the plans a long time ago. 

My father was a carpenter of sorts. He did his best with directions, but more often that not struck out on his own to figure how a thing came together. The house he built where I grew up never saw completion and strained around itself to maintain stability. Cracked foundation. Exit routes sawed into closet walls, closet floors. An escape tunnel dug thru clay adjoining crawl space into the garage, where it came up through the cement paving. The problem was never fixed, and he remedied the open sore in the garage floor with a plank of plywood placed like a stone over the mouth of a tomb. 

I will write about this house for the rest of my life.

Because I struggle with boundaries, my chosen narrative is the vignette or poetry, any outlet with an escape hatch.

I left my house last night intending to walk in the cemetery and, instead, ended up following the access road running north and south beside the switch yard tracks. My goal each time I walk is to wander back into my child-skin. Walk until the worrying weight sloughs off and I am left wearing wide eyes and the enjoyment of discovery. Beneath the underpass vagrants camp, drink, shoot up, leave tags. I never see them, just the litter of attempted life. To say I identify with this lost crew would be misleading. I've figured out how to clutch the skirt hem offering shelter on the margins. But I am familiar with aimlessness, misdirection. I raised four children in uncertainty. Only they can tell you the success of my attempts. They learned to create escape hatches and coping skills. I'd like to think they check back in out of love rather than obligation.

I am simultaneously confident and awkward. My dreams are filled with desire for further accomplishment and relaxation from trying to convince myself I'm enough for anyone besides myself. I'm weary from my own moroseness.

I wish I could write happier stories. I wish getting over my ex-girlfriend was as easy as I'd assumed when I broke up with her.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


I'm writing early today to get something less hurried on the page.

Yesterday, the spell broke. The deep irony is that the year of therapy that K— paid for empowered me to leave the relationship. I intended to take a walk with her, but it concluded in a verbal transaction dripping with manipulative capital. You get to a point where there is nothing to fight for besides the opportunity to stay in the miserable state of neglect and disappointment that you can't fix alone. So who knows what will happen with that friendship. I'm feeling the lack of today. Not going to lie. I have B—. I took my daughter, L— for covid-19 testing at the insta-care in the neighboring city. I feel listless even though there's plenty to do. I try to read and my mind wanders off. I get tired of the television after less than an hour. I could cook something new tonight, and maybe I will. But the denouement blues have set in. 

Why does making good decisions feel so sorrowful? So regrettable? No, really. It wasn't a good decision as much as it was the right one if I have any respect or sense of responsibility for myself. I think it hurts because I am powerless to do anything else. What I wanted was always out of reach. I will not cry sour grapes over this, but I will give heed to any who thinks I was different than those before me in her long line of mad loves. These last few months she'd worry whenever I started seeing patterns.

Aloneness isn't comfortable for me. This is the part of life where I learn to become comfortable with discomfort. This is where I learn to identify what I'm feeling and what I want. (Yes, it's ridiculous for a 45-yr-old woman to not know these personal details. It isn't ridiculous that she's trying to figure it out.)

I hope L—'s test comes back negative, that her cough is just a cough, and that she is feeling well soon. I hope I can assuage my malaise. I hope. That's the most important possession I have. That's how I've managed to set out again on the winding road to self-compassion and wisdom. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020


I waited too late to start this entry. Brevity is a gift. 

spent time with B—
apprehended the switchyard and sent home instead of enjoying my walk along the tracks
tried to read
tried to nap
found cooking helps, had manicotti for dinner
long, candid phone call with my ex, who is still my best friend, while I walked barefoot in the cemetery
watched the end of We Need to Talk About Kevin
watched the beginning of Samsara
cuddled with my cat, Phoebe
circumvented an argument with a neo-liberal on Facebook
thought about a poem that's in the works

That wasn't as brief as it could have been. Goodnight.

Saturday, May 2, 2020


I can't explain.

I have worked so hard to make this relationship work. I wanted it to. But I broke up with K— yesterday afternoon knowing it was for good. I could say it was all a misunderstanding, but when contradictions overwhelm cognition until doubt floods the perceptions, when taking to task those contradictions results in emotive expressions of unkindness and duplicity that knock mental health from its footing, what can I say? I'm not going to fight her. I don't know why I would. 

So I bagged up three years of keepsakes, clothing, her credit card, and house keys, and took them to her front door. I can hardly remember what I said. It was hurried and to the point. I said something like, "Because there are only imperfect people, there is only imperfect love." Which may have been dramatic, but she'd already started her display of emotion. I'm done. I don't think she'd been genuinely invested in us for a while. I'm ready to be single.

And I'm not. Because Covid-19, and because I am lonely, and because even breakups for the right reasons take a toll on the heart.

I tell myself this is self-care. When I say the words they resound in my body true and pure. 

I've got to focus myself, meditate, follow the rational resolve that gave me the push to put my ex-girlfriend down and start carrying myself.