Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homework the Dog Can't Eat

My therapist gave me homework. Unfortunately, I can't do it.

On Thanksgiving Day, my children will be with me. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday following, they will be with their dad. On that Saturday,  my kids will join the boisterous family celebration complete with baked ham, sweet potato casserole, veggies, rolls, and a variety of desserts including but not limited to my former mother-in-law's caramel cake. Take one bite and you die a delicious death. Perfection.

So, the point here is I will be alone on Saturday, November 30th. Lots of people are alone during the holidays, but my therapist is opposed to my being by myself that day. Why? Because she knows me. She knows I will try so damned hard to be cheerful, to keep going, to avoid languishing in bed under a pile of covers with my dog at my feet. She knows I will try. She also knows my trying might not be enough.

Why? Because I know his girlfriend will sit at my place at the table. I know her children will sit beside my children, and they will have a grand time. Without me. My therapist told me to find someone to spend time with on that Saturday. Lunch with a friend. Movie night. Dinner and a movie while tucked cozily on my couch. Anything besides the way it will actually be. Me on the couch watching Sherlock, Loki, and Edward Cullen. Me eating too many Cheerios. Me. God, I sound so horribly narcissistic.

Trouble is, my best friend will be at the beach. My other close friend will be visiting her husband's family down south. My other dear friend lives eight hours away. My own family? Don't get me started. Trust me, it's not pretty.

I do not wish to disappoint my therapist, but this is where I am. I don't have a passel of friends and acquaintances. I make a handful of close friends and love them with all my heart.

My therapist may be worried about a repeat of October 6, 2012. My attempt to end my life failed but the 200 pills took days to exit my system even when spurred on by bag after bag of fluids.

I guess I could go somewhere. Be among people. A crowded mall. A full movie theater. Would that count? Ugh, but it will be the weekend after Thanksgiving. The crowds...*shudders*

Maybe I will go out of town. Birmingham has a lovely museum. I wonder if they will be open.

If staying alone is the problem, then perhaps traveling, albeit alone, is the solution.

What do you think? Is a museum trip just the medicine the doctor ordered?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tears and Longings

I have been crying going on ten hours now. This morning, I discovered my ex-husband had seamlessly transferred our twenty-year-old dream of going to England and Scotland to his new love. They have a "list" now of the places they want to go. I stumbled upon this bit of information by my own curiosity. Stupid, stupid me.

I long to wander the moors of Scotland. I long to sit at an outdoor cafe in London. I long to visit and pay homage at Jane Austen's grave. I long to spend the night (or ten!) in a Scottish castle.

I long to be no longer alone. After two and a half years of separation and now a divorce, I have had plenty of time to contemplate my mistakes and to try to heal. Am I healed? No. Will I ever be? I don't know. All I know is I miss mattering to someone.

I long to be at peace with God. Raised in a Baptist home--I won't call it Christian, because no follower of Christ would do what my parents did to  me and my brother and sister--I was taught there was but one way to God. I was taught to fear Hell. I accepted Christ at age eight out of abject fear for my eternal life. This is not what God wished for me. I know that now.

I love God. Not the bearded old white man in the sky who terrified me as a child. But a God who truly IS love, a God who is in everything and everyone, a God who is in the seen and the unseen. I can appreciate the kindness and love of Jesus, but he feels a bit out of my reach, to be honest. I feel closer to the Energy which I envision as God...golden, sparkling, warm, loving, comforting, everywhere.

I love gazing at paintings and figurines portraying Ganesh, Saraswati, Kali, Athena, Aphrodite, Persephone, and Nyx. I feel love flowing from them. I feel acceptance. Do I worship them? No. Do I talk to them? Yes.

Maybe I am strange. Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I should stop worrying about being odd and start focusing on what fills my deep longing for God.

Longing fills me, and the feelings this emotion evokes are emptiness and fear. Fear I will never know anything different. Fear I will always be searching. Hoping. Questing. Seeking.

Tears continue to stream down my cheeks, and longing grips my heart. I don't know what to do, but I'm going to simply sit. Be still. Be quiet. Maybe an answer will come.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Things I Miss the Most

I'm divorced now, and I find myself missing certain things.

Granted, we were separated for two and a half years, so some of these things, I've missed far longer than others. And to be honest, we were only happy for the first six years of our twenty year marriage...a miscarriage and our inability to grieve as a couple shook the foundation of our relationship. We were never the same again.

Still, we carried on for fourteen more years, raising a daughter and a son.They alone made the rocky journey a priceless endeavor.

What do I miss from those six years of marriage?

1.   I miss having someone to fight me for the covers.
2.   I miss complaining about his cold feet.
3.   I miss cuddling on the couch and watching action movies.
4.   I miss going to chick-flick movies and listening to him whine.
5.   I miss him eating the entire bowl of Cool Whip I'd bought for a recipe.
6.   I miss him eating the last of the ice cream.
7.   I miss complaining because he put the toilet paper on backwards.
8.   I miss eating his awesome chili.
9.   I miss someone coming home who's happy to see me.
10. I miss cooking something disastrous and him lying and saying it's delicious.
11. I miss him saying that I'm beautiful even though I know I'm not.
12. I miss being the one to fret when he's late coming home.
13. I miss being his parents' third daughter.
14. I miss him complaining because I read too much.
15. I miss his noisy EA Sports video games.
16. I miss date nights.
17. I miss the way he used to play with my hair.
18. I miss sleeping in on Sundays.
19. I miss being late for work because he made me late.
20. I miss being the girl he picked.

Postscript. When we were twelve years old, we met for the very first time in study hall. On that same day, I made a friend. One of my best. You know her as Bambi. Well, at break every day, Bambi always, without fail, bought a 3 Musketeers candy bar. She would take one bite then dig out the fluffy insides. I honestly thought it was kind of gross but never said so. I preferred to eat my 3 Musketeers in a more dainty fashion. Know what sucks? I can't even LOOK at a 3 Musketeers candy bar anymore much less eat one. So yeah, she took him. But did she have to take the damn candy bar, too?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My 1st Ever Holiday Season as a Divorcee Survival Guide

1.  Buy and savor Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream
2.  Create a girl power soundtrack ("Roar" will be #1). Dance. Badly.
3.  Make pot of hot chocolate
4.  Add copious amount of mini marshmallows to hot chocolate
5.  Locate & view all 5 Twilight DVD's (I know they're around here somewhere)

6.  Pass out on couch under cozy heated blanket with doggy at my feet
7.  Wake up. Sort of.
8.  Pour Cheerios in bowl and add real sugar. Naughty much? ;-)
9.  Dance badly. Again.
10. Watch Sherlock. Seasons 1 & 2. Sigh contentedly.
11. Pass out again. Warm blanket and doggy: check
12. Wake up. For reals.
13. Go to garage. Throw paint at huge canvas. Post pic to Twitter.
14. Curl up on couch.
15. Watch Loki (and Thor)

16. Pretend I'm a Barbie Styling Head. Curl hair. Play with make-up.
17. Eat more Cheerios.
18. Play with my Tarot cards. (If I can find them. Gave it up for him. Stupid me.)
19. Write free verse poetry. One must pay homage to that hideous Christmas 
      sweatshirt of yore.
20. Tweet.

P.S. I will be showering, brushing my teeth, and walking the dog at appropriate intervals. LOL.

The 2013 Holiday Season ~ (Why it might sort of suck)

Ah, the holidays. Sometimes deliriously happy. Sometimes so lonely as to wrench your heart from your chest. Looks like this year, mine will be a wee bit of both.

My two children will be with me on Thanksgiving Day, but they will be with their dad and his family the Saturday following for the big celebration. I've been sharing Thanksgiving with his family since I was nineteen years old. I'm forty now. Twenty-one years of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners. I wish I'd relished them more when I had the chance.

So, why don't I just hang out with my own biological family? My childhood was rife with abuse, and I stopped playing pretend we're a happy family a long time ago. I don't have a relationship with my dad. My mom and I speak occasionally but never with any depth. My brother has his own family. My sister, who still plays pretend, will spend the day with our parents. They all live a few states away from me.

Bottom line. Extended family holiday celebrations are now a thing of the past for me.

I will miss the boisterous dinners, the rousing games of Bingo, the walks out in the cold, and the marathon of weepy Hallmark movies on the TV.

I will miss my family.

I know. Technically, they belong to him, but they've been mine for so long...Mom, Dad, two sisters plus their husbands, and a gorgeous furry niece/King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

Someone else (his girlfriend) will sit in my place at the table. Two extra chairs will be added for her kids.

And me? I'll be on my own. Maybe I should make a list of fun things to do to pass the time. So long as eating too much Rocky Road is on the list, I should survive.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Change of Plans

NaNoWriMo Update:

I had big plans for NaNoWriMo, intending to write a novel inspired by my past. Turned out, writing my personal story took a huge toll within just two days. The word count required coupled with the vulnerability the story itself inspired broke me. I cried. A lot. I fell apart. I slept more than I should to escape the memories my work had unleashed.

I decided to shelve my idea for a book until a later date.

Then, I dreamed of Little Me.

I woke up and knew I had to give her story another chance to be written. Scared, I decided to just write stream of consciousness to get myself started. I wrote about my fear and misgivings. I wrote about where I am right now. Freshly divorced and working so damn hard to figure out who I am. And then, her story started to come out onto the screen. In free verse.

I haven't written in free verse since college. At first, I fretted. This wasn't what I wanted. I wanted the story to come out like a novel. Beginning. Middle. End. Not this string of seemingly unconnected free verse poems. But then I remembered I was writing this story for Little Me, and if this was how she remembered her pain, then this would be the way I would write her story.

Here is one of the poems:

Peering backwards 
Shadowy images 
An unwilling momma 
A monster who grins. 
Like fireflies little moments 
Brother and me 
Pretend we are safe.

Little Me and I have a long way to go before her story is finished. That's okay. It's taken a long time to get to where we are...ready to write. The telling will happen in its right timing.