Who Am I

What in the Hell is wrong with me?

Why would an adult person of average intelligence knowingly and willingly put herself in a situation that can only end in intense pain and heartbreak? What kind of person does that? A psychopath? A sadist? No. An intensely lonely person, desperate for someone to love them as much as they love the people in their lives.

I have spent every night of this weekend at B’s house. I have listened to her, I have held her while she cries, and I have genuinely tried to be a friend to her and not tell her how much it hurts. It should make me happy, even B said that herself. She loves someone who doesn’t love her back. M doesn’t love her, she never did really. She was using her for something, I don’t know what, but that’s really not important. Sound familiar? The way she is feeling right now is horrible. It hurts, and it’s numb at the same time. I know, all too well. I have been there, I am there.  However, I absolutely can not know that someone I know is hurting and not do what I can to help.

What makes me sad, though is it is very clear to me that B is either completely oblivious to my feelings, or I now mean so little to her that she doesn’t care how I feel. I have spent a week listening to her tell me how much she loves this woman, how she would do anything to get her back. She has read me text messages begging M to give their relationship another chance, All of the things I have wanted her to say to me since the day she walked away, she has said to another woman and then told me.

I don’t blame her anymore for breaking up with me. I always knew it would happen. I have a long history of not being enough for the people I care about. I wasn’t successful enough for G, I wasn’t disciplined or structured enough for K, my ex husband once told me my best isn’t good enough. I’m not pretty enough for B. I can’t change that. God knows I spend damn near an hour every morning and tons of money every month on makeup to cover up the ugly as best I can. I’m not very good at it yet, but I’m learning. I still hear her words, loud and clear every day. I don’t know if they will ever go away. I don’t know if I deserve them to.

B’s immediate problem of money and bills will be resolved by the middle of this month one way or another. I am really hoping I hear from her after that, but I really don’t know. I don’t know who I am to her anymore. I don’t know how long she will want me around this time, but I know only too well how easily I can be replaced.

Waiting

So I saw B this week. I knew it would happen eventually. It was only a matter of time. Whatever the connection that we have is, is not gone yet. I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad. For better or worse, my entire being comes alive when I am around her in a way it hasn’t in years. It’s intoxicating, and addictive and like most intoxicating and addictive things, very dangerous.

We have been talking for a few weeks, mostly in text, a few short phone calls here and there. Apparently the woman she left me for, M, isn’t as perfect as B thought and she is pretty much miserable. Yes, part of me wants to laugh and thank karma for allowing me to watch, but honestly, I can’t know that she is sad and having a hard time and not try to help. Ill advised? absolutely. Stupid? Probably. I tell myself that I am doing it because I want to be a good person, and it’s the right thing to do and that is all absolutely true. Another reason is because I want to help her. I want to see her smile and know that I helped put that smile on her face. She has an amazing smile.

So I went over on Tuesday and was able to see her dogs, who I love and miss more than I could tell you. Apparently there is an issue with M and the dogs, and it breaks my heart. She has really amazing dogs. They should be happy in their home, but then again, so should B and I really don’t think she is. It doesn’t even look like a place B would or could be comfortable anymore. It’s frilly and girly, and pink. Good God, so much pink. Her apartment before was eclectic, her art was openly displayed, it was homey and comfortable and her. I don’t know what this is, but I don’t really know who she is anymore anyway, so I guess it makes sense somehow.

We went to lunch and drank too much, and listened to old music and for a minute, it was like old times, like tons of other nights in her apartment with old music and drinks. A song we both love came on and she asked me to dance, and I lost it. We stood there, dancing in this place that I don’t belong anymore, crying together. It was heartbreaking. I kept wondering what the hell I did to get here, but I know it’s not my fault. I was, and I am, good to her. I don’t know if she would admit that, but that is unedited honesty.

I saw her again today and clearly walls have been installed since Tuesday. I took her to lunch, but she didn’t want to drink, seemed to not even want to be around me. Right before I left she told me to stop my drama. MY drama. I have spent my vacation trying to help her out of the fucktastic mess that is her life, but I have drama? Whatever.

I left in tears, and went to have a drink alone, trying to figure out how a person of reasonable intelligence can allow myself to be trampled on repeatedly. Not just by B, by everyone in my life. I really do try to be a good person. I care about people. A lot. I don’t know why I am never good enough.

I don’t know if I will see B again. I will if she wants to of course. When I was leaving on Tuesday, she promised me she will fix this, and that meant so much to me, until she read me a text she sent M today, in which she said the exact same thing. I wish I knew what she really feels, what she really thinks. For now, all I can do is wait.

Anchors, ERs , and A Heartfelt Thank You

Sometimes, I can get way too far in my head. Little, everyday things start to bother me, bigger things that I usually can overcome become too much. I feel like I am treading water. I get caught up in the fast pace my life has taken the past two years, and start to feel really alone. Without anchor. It can be a lonely place, and it can swallow you. But sometimes? Something beautiful happens and I see clearly once again how incredibly blessed I am, and I can feel nothing but gratitude.

Last night my son Sam had a medical emergency. It wasn’t life threatening, but it was scary to see, and for him it was completely terrifying. I took him to the Emergency Room, fighting back a panic attack the whole way, because I needed to be calm for him. Once we were there and checked in I went on Facebook to distract myself from panic. I posted a brief, vague message about where we were and requesting positive thoughts. I pretty much forgot about posting as soon as I did it. Then, magic happened.

About ten minutes after my post, Sam looked at me in between the steady stream of doctors and nurses and said”Hey mom! Look at Facebook! People are commenting on your post!” As soon as I picked up my phone, it lit up. I was receiving test messages back to back. I received  phone calls, Facebook messages, and yes, responses to my post.

Within an hour, a stream of people gathered with us. My friends pretty much took over the ER, arriving sporadically, some armed with sodas, some coffee, all with love and concern. With tears in my eyes I looked around at all of these amazing, beautiful people who had left their homes, their families, their lives, because they were concerned for us. I was still scared and worried, but at that moment I realized clearly that I am not alone. Sam and I have people who love us. Really, truly love us, not for what we can do for them, not for what they can get in return, just genuine, honest, real love. I have never been more grateful, and more thankful in my entire life.

We were in the ER until around 1 in the morning. We finally left, armed with instructions, wrapped in our love bubble of friends. Today Sam is doing much better, I am exhausted, and relieved, and absolutely blown away by the amazing people in my life. Literally everyone who cares about me, who cares about my son, has contacted me in some way. That is so amazing, and I want to offer the most heartfelt thank you possible to every single one of you. You all mean more to me than you will ever know.

To the Women Who Are Just Like Me

I remember being a young mother. I remember the joy, the pride and love I felt so deeply for my kids. Every milestone they reached, every first; first smile, first word, first step, seemed like a sign that I had made the right decision. I remember going to bed late at night, every night, and praying to a God I wanted desperately to believe in. I spent hours begging him to change me. I wanted more than anything to be “normal”. As hard as I tried, I still felt different, so I learned how to fake it. I became the person everyone wanted me to be, my husband, my pastor, my children, and I forgot about the real me. I know you understand what I mean, because you do it too, and that’s why I’m writing to you today. I want you to know I see you, and I understand exactly how you are feeling right now, because I have felt the same way. I know that no matter how many blessings you have in your life, no matter how good things are for you, you always feel like something is missing. I can tell you with certainty, that doesn’t make you bad, or selfish. You deserve to be yourself. You deserve real happiness. You deserve to live, and love on your own terms.

The beginning is scary. Beginnings are hard, at least the important ones are. I know you don’t believe me right now, but the first step is the hardest. Every step after that gets a little easier, but that first step? You will be amazed by how happy you are once you take it. It’s like walking into a well air-conditioned room after spending the day in 106 degree heat, It’s like taking a long drink of really cold water on a hot day. You will feel the relief through your entire body. Saying the words is hard, painful even, but please believe me, you will be so happy you did.

Once you have said the words out loud, it starts to become easier. Your voice will start to sound a little stronger every time, and one day you will say them and you won’t hear even one note of shame. This is a really good thing, because you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. One day soon, you will meet a woman who will make you wonder how you could have ever felt shame to begin with. You will fall in love with everything she is, and she will love you back, the same way. I’m telling you, you do not want to miss out on this! Loving her freely, and honestly, without hiding will feel like nothing you have ever felt before, and it’s nothing I can accurately describe. It has to be experienced first hand and she is waiting for you. So no matter how hard it is right now, no matter how dark the place you are right now is, don’t give up, okay? Don’t miss out on this.

Please know that I am here for you, now and always. Never forget that I am here, I understand, and I really do care.

It Aint for Pu**ies

Sometimes, God, or the Universe, or whatever term you prefer, gives us the exactly right people in our lives. I have many people in my life I know for sure were sent to me purposefully, One of those people is my bestie, Paula.

We have been best friends for over 20 years, and I cherish our friendship more every year. The following is an actual text conversation we had recently that captures our friendship perfectly.

Paula:  Can”t talk, still on this bus.

Me: Ok call when you can. I would have responded to your Snapchat, but my hair is currently in the kitchen sink lol.

Paula: That’s funny! (laughing emoji)

Me: What’s funny is it is soaking in my “conditioner” which you know as Downy.

Paula: That is funny! That’s ok, I soak my teeth in what can also be used to clean toilets, vases, and water bottles lol.

Me: We were destined to be friends! I bought lavender scented this time. Maybe it will make me calmer?

P: Lol. I doubt it.

M: Me too lol

P: That would be ganja scented.

M: How awesome would that be??!!

P: LMAO I really like that wig.

M: Me too!

P: I may have to get my hair cut like it.

M: Or lose it all and buy a wig!

P: Or buy a wig!

P: Fake hair, fake vision, fake teeth, and the piece de resistance……Fake boobs! Add a cup bra!

M: Getting old is hell man. It ain’t for pu**ies.

P: Oh no. Not at all!

M: I feel like I should blog this entire conversation.

P: Lmao. As long as you drink a glass of wine while you do it.

M: I wasn’t aware there was any other way to blog?

P: Just double checking.

 

Seriously, is there another way to blog?

 

 

 

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day.  Statistics say one in four adults will experience mental health difficulties at one time or the other. So many of them will not receive the care they need. I know this, not only because I have read extensively about it, but also because for many years, I was one of the many. For years I suffered in silence, dancing ever closer to the edge- the point at which the black hole of depression becomes permanent, and eternal. This was in great part because I had no insurance, and very little money. The reason doesn’t really matter,.what matters is that too many people face that same edge, and far, far too many fall off.

Today, I have the help of a wonderful and gifted counselor and friend to guide me through my rough patches, when I fall into what S.G. calls my “dark and twisty place”. That is actually a really good description for depression, at least my brand. Depression is different for everyone. For me, it is dark, and cold, and very, very lonely. At its worst, my depression can be suffocating in its alone-ness. What is the same for everyone who suffers is what Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, says so eloquently. Depression lies. Always. Today I want to tell you, and tell myself, that when you feel like you are alone, when you feel like nothing is ever going to be right again, when you feel like noting is ever going to feel good again, that is depression, lying to you. Hold on. Wait it out. It’s hard, and it hurts. Take the meds, go through the therapy, and hold on. It’s going to stop. The light will come back. One day soon. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon. For all of us. And when it does? It is so, so worth it.

Today I Drove to Work

Today I drove to work. Just me, in my car. I listened to the radio station I wanted to listen to, drove to route I wanted to take. All of this sounds ridiculously ordinary, right? Something everyone does, every day. For me, however, it was anything but ordinary. Today was the first time in over 14 years that I was able to do this incredibly ordinary thing.

I got a drivers license today. The reason I haven’t had one in over 14 years is a long and sad story for another time. I don’t want to think about anything sad or unpleasant today. Today is a happy day, one to truly realize how amazingly blessed I am.

I owe all of this to S.G. Not only because she gave me my car, the most amazingly generous gift She could have possibly given me, but because without her support, and encouragement, and unwavering faith in me, I never would have had the courage to try.

For all the years I lived without a car, I worked really hard to convince everyone that I didn’t miss having a car and I was perfectly happy without one. For the most part, I was happy. For most of that time, I lived in Baltimore and I could take a bus anywhere I needed to be. It worked. It meant always being about a half an hour early to work, standing for up to an hour in all types of weather, late at night, early in the morning, at a bus stop. It meant never buying more groceries than I could carry home myself. It meant lots of little inconveniences that I pretty successfully convinced people didn’t matter. Everyone but S.G. She will not hesitate to call me out on my bullshit, and she never bought my act from the day I met her.

Last night, she called me to wish me luck today. When we finished talking and were saying goodbye, she said “Good luck tomorrow. I know you can do this.” I will never be able to describe to anyone, including her, how much that sentence meant to me. I heard it in my head the entire time I was taking my test today, like a mantra. Know what? It worked.

Tonight, I am super tired, and filled with more gratitude than I can explain.Today I drove to work. And it meant everything.