Friday, October 18, 2013

Letting Them (Him + Bambi) Go

I first typed the title, "Letting Him Go," but then I realized he's only half of the challenge.

*Bambi is the other half. My dear friend, my confidante, my BFF through my teen years, my bridesmaid, and now my nightmare. Okay, so maybe "nightmare" is a bit strong, but how else do I describe the person whose image I cannot get out of my brain? The recurring mental vision of the two of them together is like a carving knife to my heart.

Now with the very real picture of them playing happy family with my kids and hers ingrained in my mind, I ache all over from the betrayal. He won't tell me exactly when they started dating. Do I really need to know? No, probably not. I know it was before he said he wanted a divorce. I'm not stupid.

After two and a half years of separation, I shouldn't struggle with this. Or, so he says. What he tends to forget is how hard I've fought to let him go and how often I've failed. On February 14, 2012 (Happy Fucking Valentine's Day to me), I found myself in the ER. I'd entered a mixed-state (bipolar) and death was looking pretty damn good.

When I walked into the inpatient facility, I noticed  the few changes made to the nurse's station and open sitting room. Yes, I'd been there before in August, 2004. Collapsing into an uncomfortable plastic chair, I waited for the nurse to give me the welcome speech. What I really wanted was for someone to give me something so I could sleep.

Mixed state is not a party, my friends. Imagine feeling like you are worth as much as yesterday's half-eaten Big Mac, while infused with a gallon of coffee, all poised and ready to leap off the nearest bridge.

Unfortunately, there would be no medicine for me. Ten o'clock in the evening, and the doctors were long gone. I didn't  sleep. I paced, my unattractive green slip-proof socks soundless on the ugly tile floor. Five days and some powerful meds later, I was free. I drove myself to Wal-Mart and walked around the store looking at the normal people.

Fast forward to October 6th. My admittance to the hospital was a bit different. I'd intended on entering by way of the morgue, but that didn't work out. Thank the heavens. Even though living in my present reality hurts me deeply, I do see the beauty around me. My children. I am grateful to be here for my children. The fact I now have to share them with her...yeah, that sucks.

My therapist has instructed me to limit my contact with him. I'd asked her advice on how I could spur along this whole "letting go" thing. That was Tuesday. The urges to text, call, and go see him have overwhelmed me, but I've resisted. He texted this morning with a request to have our homeschooled son give him a call. I overheard bits of their conversation, his voice like a razor to my pale skin. I heard him ask if he wanted to go to the movies. I wondered if he'd invite Bambi and her brood same as when he took my kids (and hers) to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

How do I stop wondering? How do I stop torturing myself with "what if" questions? How do I stop the flood of pictures in my brain, all starring her plastered against him? How do I let go of my partner of twenty years? How do I let go of my friendship with her? How do I move on?


*Bambi - not her real name but it makes me smile to type it. I need smiles wherever and however I can find them.

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