Friday, November 11, 2011

"Don't ever get married."

You know what I think is funny? When middle-aged or older people tell me "Don't ever get married." "Don't do it, it's a mistake." "You'll regret it."

Just because you regret it doesn't mean I will.
I can't pretend I don't regret marrying X. But what I find funny is when people say these things to me and I tell them, "Oh, I'm divorced. But I'll marry again," the look on their face is almost worth carrying this disgusting title around. "There's no way, how old are you?" etc. are the kind of remarks I'm used to getting at this point.

I regret my marriage to X. But that doesn't mean every marriage ever after is going to suck. Humans have this fear that if one time means something bad, then it will EVERY TIME after. That's ridiculous. If we ACTUALLY believed that as humans, we would NEVER have sex. No one's first time was great, and if they tell you it was, they are LYING. It is awkward, sometimes painful, embarrassing, and weird. So if it was bad the first time, why do we do it again? Because somewhere we know it'll be better after some practice.

While I don't think anyone should have to deal with getting married more than once, as I find it an awful ordeal to go through, marriage does take practice. Perhaps I have a unique advantage going forward in my current relationship because I have some prior experience. My relationship with Alan is not at all like that I had with X, but I still know how to anticipate some of the changes marriage will bring should we ever reach that point. I also know how not to force and rush anything more than he is ready. I'll admit that is a harder task and I'm not great at it, but I'm certainly trying a lot harder than I did with X.

Regardless, I find it so sad when people try to "warn" me about marriage. Even with such a traumatic experience with my past marriage, I still have hope to marry again someday and truly be happy with my mate. Why? Because I know that the problems from my past marriage weren't due to being married. They were due to the fact that it was a bad relationship in the first place. With the fact that X was manipulating me the entire time to get what he wanted out of me. Marriage itself wasn't the problem.

I've always tried to stress to people that I don't think everyone needs to get married. I don't think it's for everyone. Like most everything else in life, it's a personal preference. It's sad that our society still thinks people have to be married to have happy, fulfilled lives, to have children, to live together, to have a home. Sometimes adding that extra burden of "responsibility" is enough to break and destroy otherwise happy and fulfilled relationships.

But I also don't think that marriage is "archaic." I remember many times feeling exasperated trying to explain to people that I think it's necessary that marriage is still a component of our society. I don't have to think something is necessary and think that everyone has to do it, those things do not go hand in hand. But I am tired of people poo pooing on my continued desire to marry, to have a wedding, to do all the stuff I want. It's not archaic. It's an old tradition, sure, but it's one that has persisted, both across time and generations as well as across cultures and societies. Sure it's not always defined the same way, but it's there in some form or another. And I think that makes it worth while. It's something I believe in, and nothing you can say will change my mind about marriage. I believe that standing up together in front of everyone to profess our commitment to making our family and future together is amazing and exhilarating, and I believe that it's beautiful. I believe everyone should have that choice also (that's my political interjection).

I'm sorry that your marriage ended, and I'm sorry if your divorce was long and drawn out, and if the kids are thrown in the middle of it. I'm sorry if your ex is an alcoholic who tries to turn your kids against you. I'm sorry your ex had an affair. But that doesn't mean every future potential will do the same to you, and it certainly doesn't mean every potential mate I ever meet will do that either.

Marriage makes things harder, make no mistakes my friends. It's not easy, but if you are truly committed to one another and your future together, it won't break you. It will be harder until you're used to it.

Just like when I got my car. X's car was a manual too, but the shift was really soft, as was the clutch. (JUST LIKE HE WAS IN BED OMG. BA DUM PSHHHH.) When we bought my car though, the clutch and shifter were much more resistant and strong. At first, my limbs were sore after a few days of driving it around. But in a few weeks, I realized I didn't notice it anymore, and I was starting to develop just a bit of muscle in those two limbs. Marriage will be much the same. It IS different than living together and dating, I assure you. You might think "Oh nothing will change," but everything does change. But just like learning my new car, it eventually gets a little more familiar. Maybe not easier, but you know you can handle the load. That period of adjustment is what X never made it through. He always was way too lazy, if something was too much work, he didn't want to do it. So he gave up. But please, dear readers (all 5 of you), don't give up. Once you have committed to each other, stick it out. Sure, we all make mistakes and sometimes, no matter what, you just can't make it work.... but at least wait longer than 10 months. Wait until you've gone through that adjustment period. Get help. See a counselor. Really commit. Marriage is hard, but it is totally worth it. I've never seen the other side of that period personally, but I cannot wait until I do.

P.S. Guys, I know you're out there reading this, my stats show I have hits and readers.... post some comments! Ask me questions! Share your experiences or just tell me how flipping awesome I am! I know you're out there reading, but it means so much to me when I hear back. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's So Hard to Breathe

I don't want this blog to suddenly become a chronicle of complaints and stories about how awful X was to me. I'm biased, I can't possible see things objectively enough to post things and not expect that eventually he'll see them and I have to deal with some sort of backlash, some accusation of hyperbole or slander or whatever.

But I am going to delve into a painful time for me. Because, while I know the internet is full of people who have been there, who have blogged about it, who have told the world these things, I haven't yet done so in the manner I am about to, and in keeping with the spirit of this blog, I want to. So you have been warned. This is not a pretty story.

I am, nowadays, a strong person. I am happy, I am loved, and I live my life very free from most worries.
This was not always the case. When X and I became engaged, things took a downturn. I'm not sure when. But when you put the ring on, you suddenly become terribly afraid of calling it off. Even when you start to realize that your "second thoughts" are more than just jitters. You start to realize this isn't a good idea. You then begin to argue with yourself, constantly rationalizing why you are going to marry them. And you rationalize why you're so sick to your stomach about it. And when you can't do that anymore you begin to tell yourself "What will everyone think if I call this off? Does that mean we have to break up? I'm not sure if I want that exactly. What about the gifts we've already been given, where will I live? I can't afford to live on my own. Maybe I can. I don't know, this is too much, I have no good reason to call this off. I'm just being silly. He's not that bad to me, I can tell he... loves me. Right? Everyone else seems to think this is a good idea. Everyone else is always right. I'm too much of a spaz to make this kind of decision on my own. ....." And on and on, as you can see. It didn't help that I had other friends at the time in really awful relationships that made mine look amazing by comparison, so I rationalized that really, I had it good. "So what if he spends most of his time ignoring me on the computer? He doesn't beat me! So what if he calls me fat all the time, at least he still has sex with me. And I know he isn't cheating on me because he's never anywhere besides work and his computer. I have to drag him out of the house any other time!"

As you can tell, this pattern of thought just eats away at your ability to see things for what they really are. And worse, somehow I became dependent on him. I couldn't do anything without him. After we were married, I had friends invite me over to play some table top games. X decided he didn't want to go and insisted I should go by myself, and I cried and screamed for a half hour because I didn't want to go without him. I couldn't define myself without him anymore. So I didn't go. I sat at home, miserable, because I loved him.

Because I loved him? What a laugh.

And then he left me. After being treated so poorly, I let myself decay into such a feeble creature that I locked myself into a room for several days without eating. As I was in Seattle, I had 2 roommates who shared the basement of a house we were in. One of those roommates tried to run damage control by trying to talk X down from all this. The other was keeping his eye on me. After 3 or so days of laying in this stupefied state on an uncomfortable futon, curled up in my blanket cocoon hoping it would make everything go away, the second roommate came in and begged me to eat. He force fed me some soup. I eventually had to get up to take my car to a garage, I had bent a rim earlier in the day that X had called me to inform me of the end of our marriage, and my car only had a donut on it. So he followed me and after I dropped off my car, he drove me to the marriage counselor I had foolishly made an appointment with hoping X would do some kind of phone/web cam counseling but ended up having some excuse not to. Roommate later picked me up and drove me back to get my car. I then laid in bed for another day or two before finally getting onto a chat room that my Seattle local friends used and asking for help. Crying out and begging for monetary assistance, and someone to drive me home to Ohio. I felt like such a failure, I couldn't solve anything, I was wrecked. X had taken most of the money out of our shared account, and I didn't know what to do.

Thank gods for those people. I wish I thanked them more often, but such is life. If they ever read this blog, they know who they are. Many of them simply offered me emotional support, and some offered more. All of it went a long way. One of them did, in fact, make the drive with me. He saved me from imminent suicide because I don't think I could have made the drive across the country alone. I remember crying a good portion of that drive home.

When we finally arrived home, I tried to get into our apartment but could not find my key, and X was not very gracious about letting us in. My friend went to sleep, he had a flight to catch home in a few hours. I stayed awake, freaking out, while X went back to bed. I called a friend back in my hometown freaking out, not knowing what to do. She decided to drive down and try to talk some sense into X, she was friends with him too. She told me she was leaving right then, but that is a 4 hour drive, and I was freaking right then. I finally walked into his (our) room and started tearing up divorce papers he had printed up. I almost threw his printer against the wall. My insides churned and I was freaking out. He woke up and yelled at me, asking what I was doing. I really don't know what he expected me to do when he left me, if he just thought everything would be hunky dory. I flipped out. X had some kind of bizarre obsession with buying "cool" looking knives, and then hiding them around the apartment. He claimed it was so that if anyone ever broke in, he'd have a weapon. (Why a knife in a gun fight, I don't know. He wasn't really that bright.) So then I grabbed one out of it's hiding spot. He immediately figured out what was going on and wrestled me to the floor trying to grab it out of my hand. This is when my other side took over.

I wasn't trying to hurt him, by the way. I wasn't going to psychotically kill him in the heat of the moment.

I was going for myself. And he knew it. He'd seen this once before, the last time he broke my heart, but it had never been with something this dangerous, nor was I so out of my own body.

He tried to wrestle me, but he was.... a small guy. He was terribly out of shape because, as I mentioned, he spent all his time on a computer. I wasn't much better, but for all that fat he said I had, I also have a scary amount of persistence when I reach this state. Nothing deterred me when I was so psychotically depressed. At some point I did manage to get the knife into my leg and lucky for me that it was so sharp because the cut was clean. I made a long gash, just above my right knee. I'm still shocked to this day that the damage wasn't more than a small scar. At some point in this fight, the yelling started and woke up my friend.

My poor friend. He ran into that room and yelled at us. He screamed for us to stop, and chided us for being so fucking immature. It was at this moment I was shaken out of this state and realized what a complete idiot I was. I looked down at my gashed, bleeding leg, and passed out.

Passing out feels like carbonation.

Anyways, they tried to make a dressing for the wound as I was coming to, and the agreed I needed medical attention. At some point, they decided to take me to an immediate care clinic. Once there, I had to explain to the doctors and nurses what happened. I couldn't lie, it was too exact a cut. Either they would know I did it to myself or think X had done it. The doctor insisted I needed a psychiatric evaluation, and I had to lie and say I would go to the hospital after this, otherwise they would call an ambulance to take me away. I cried as X held my hand and they cleaned and stapled my wound. I watched X cry. He's not completely heartless. Two broken fucking people crying because they don't know what else to do.

My friend I had called earlier, arrived at some point after we arrived back at the apartment. X had left to take my friend to the airport, though both were uneasy about leaving me at home alone. But I needed to rest. I fell asleep in the living room until my friend arrived. She didn't know what to think when I told her what I had done, and she worried they might put me away if I got the psychiatric evaluation.

And then X arrived home.
He and my friend stepped outside to speak. She came back in and sat me down to say he was acting strange and she didn't know what to do. Then he came in and proceeded to tell me that if I did not get out, and move home with my parents, he would call the cops and have them take me to the psychiatric wing. Maybe I should have gone, maybe I should have just resigned to that.

But I didn't. I sat up. I knew what had happened earlier that morning was ridiculous and stupid. As soon as I snapped out of it I realized what I was doing wrong and what was wrong with me. And I argued with him for a bit before he just threw his hands up and said "I'm leaving. If you're not gone when I get back, I'm calling the police." I tearfully called my mom to explain what was up. When she heard what I had done, I can still hear her in my head, so dismayed and hurt, so confused and worried about me, she just said "Why would you do that?" and all I could tell her was "I don't know, but I know it was dumb." I told her I was coming home and she told me she wanted me home. My car was still packed from my cross country drive, and my friend and I headed out.

But first I needed gas. It had apparently been raining all morning, so it was a bit wet out. I stepped out of the car and began to pump my gas. I looked up at the gray sky and felt a bit hopeless. As the gas meter ticked away I started to ask myself "Why are you so in love with him? He doesn't give a shit about you. He'd rather you be in a psychiatric ward than deal with you as an adult. He'd rather leave you on the other side of the country than leave you to your face. He doesn't give a shit about how you feel, all he's ever cared about is himself. And you don't deserve any of the treatment he's given to you. You don't deserve to be treated like such a piece of dirt."

While I don't believe in cosmic signs or anything, it was as these thoughts cleared my head that I looked up and the sun broke through, and I shit you not, a rainbow appeared. I looked at it and said "Yeah. I can do this. I can live without him. I can start over. It's going to suck. I'm going to hate it for a while. But I can't be with him anymore."

I went home, and for the next couple weeks I still struggled with whether he would come to his senses or not. But I did come to mine and I chose to move on. I pushed myself forward and didn't look back. I don't miss him, I don't need him, and he certainly never deserved me. And it's so sad because he never even saw the real me because he was too busy pushing that girl into the mud to try & make me into someone he could control.

A few weeks after this incident, I was able to get my staples removed. The scar took its time healing that summer, and it's still there years later, but it's not too noticeable. I know it's there though, and it's a constant reminder to never ever let myself fall for someone who doesn't completely value and love the person I am right now. To never let myself fall so dependent on someone that I can't live without them.

Because love isn't about needing each other, it's about choosing each other, it's about choosing to make a life and a household together, which is honestly harder than choosing to live alone. Choosing to face the world and work as a team and make decisions as a team. Choice is what makes love so great. Not need.

I say all of this because I know it's hard. I know it hurts. It feels like there is no going forward. And I can't come and hug every single one of you out there in the blogosphere to tell you it's ok. But it is, it will be, and it can be. I know how painful it gets, the oppressive weight you feel. But it will lift, without that other person coming back to lift it. That person put it there for a reason. It's up to you to lift it yourself and say "Fuck your giant cartoonish 10-ton weight, you can keep it. I don't need you." I know you can do it. <3

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And now for something completely different....

I'm not sure why I feel compelled to post about this here. I have other places I could write about it than here, but I guess I feel like it might be directly related to my failed marriage and divorce that I have this kind of view, so I'll write about it here anyways. And if you don't like it, phooey, it's my blog I'll do what I like.

I gave a name to this phenomenon last October, because that's when I really started to notice it happening. Perhaps still dealing with living with X in Cincinnati for 3 years and having next to no friends and feeling weird making new friends (when this was something I excelled at back home), or maybe I was still reeling from the double whammy of losing one of my best friends of 10 years due to roommate woes at the same time my other roommate and best friend decided to move 2 hours away, I was feeling a large void in my "omg bff" department.

Every fall I work at Cedar Point as a Screamster for Halloweekends. That's right, I dress up in order to scare the pants off people, and I love it. I think I love it the most, though, because I meet such amazing new people. My first year my best friend & I decided to do it together. We were going to carpool and share our dorm, even though we lived together at home, it just didn't make sense not to share a room up there. It was a life changing season in a lot of ways, but then it ended. However, the after effects of that season carried on & resulted in said friend moving 2 hours away. At this same time, our other best friend moved in with us. We were hesitant, she's the confrontational type, but we loved her and her daughter, and we needed that 3rd roommate to continue affording our situation, so we went ahead. It was great until it turned ugly. And it got REALLY ugly. As mentioned already, the result was me feeling rather alone and abandoned. I had Alan, and man was he a champ dealing with all that. I'm still surprised he managed to deal with all that drama even though we'd only been dating about 4-5 months. Anyways, I moved in with some other friends, but I was so poor and depressed that if I wasn't out with Alan, I holed myself away in my attic apartment of their house and moped. I had a terrible job, I couldn't afford hardly anything, and my apartment was always a mess.

Then my 2nd Halloweekends season rolled around. I said "bollocks" to my crappy job and said that I was working Halloweekends no matter what, and they had to rearrange my schedule (though it really helps when your immediate boss is a friend), and off I went. This time, my best friend already lived up there, so she wouldn't be needing dorms. I hadn't made too many friends the year prior, not many female ones anyhow, to share a dorm with, so I had no clue what would happen. When I walked into housing, they asked if I had any preference to what room, and I just asked to be paired with another Screamster. To my great luck, I was paired with Jessica. After a mildly awkward first meeting, I thought "well she seems nice, that should make this easy." But somewhere in there, we suddenly clicked. She got me. Over the next couple weeks we quickly bonded to one another, and often referred to our bond as having "friend crushes" on each other. When she began dating a friend of mine, I was so excited for her, and I barely knew her! And when that friend of mine broke up with her months later, I drove 2 hours out to go get her, drive her 2 hours back to my place to stay for a few days and hang out, get away, and then make the drive all over again to take her home.

I often meet people that I see I have a ton in common with and want so badly to be their friend. Sometimes it really is more like a "crush" where you try to act nonchalant about it and you probably never say anything to them, but you secretly wish & know you'd be good friends. This happens to me often, but more so after the events that happened with my housing situation. I want so much to surround myself with people I enjoy, and people who enjoy me. I don't want to bother with people who just keep me around for their own amusement, but because they feel a true bond with me.

This season it happened again. I have formed a friendship with a girl who's life had just flipped out of control and all I wanted to do was help. I barely knew her, so I tried to help while also not intruding, but she seems to have quickly let me in and let me know what's going on. And in between her upset points were glorious points of hilarity and yelling about how weird it is the things we both share in common. We work in the same zone for Halloweekends and we love scaring guests by screaming quotes from things we love, like Anchorman and Old Gregg. I had a friend crush, but like with Jessica, my crush on Tif evolved into an actual bond.

I'm very blessed to have wonderful friends come into my life.
It blows they're all so far away. But I love them just the same.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm a weanie.

We all do it. We all snoop on our exes, especially through the wonder that is social networking, it sometimes becomes much too easy. Last week I did my own snooping, and it was a dumb, dumb idea.

I looked around google+ and found not only X, but X's new wife. Last August was 2 years officially after our dissolution was legal. I know I've been in a rush myself (see last entry) but I'm doing my best not to force the issue. Knowing that X married the person he left me for, that I was so quickly replaced is especially hurtful. There's no part of me that wants him back, but that doesn't mean what we did go through, what we had, wasn't significant. And to be so quickly replaced just makes it seem like I am insignificant.

I'm not jealous, that's not the right word. I don't want him, I don't want to be in her place, but I don't know how to define the hurt I feel when I think about this. I know that if he really wanted to, this whole blog is public and he could read all this and see how bothered I am. And I'm sure it would just tickle him pink. But I don't care. This blog is out there to help someone. Someone who doesn't know where else to look because no one ever talks about this!

After I was done with the stupid mucking about, I promptly blocked them so they couldn't see me. Hypocritical, maybe, but I can't trust him not to try & use information against me.

But perhaps what I should talk about is the great advantage I have been given due to this whole thing.
I know what it looks like when someone doesn't really love you for who you are.
I know what to look for when I start having second thoughts.
And while we all pretend we don't "compare" our exes to our current squeeze, I know we all do, and my comparison serves to remind me how much better I deserve and how awesome Alan is. Sometimes I get frustrated with little things he does, but then I remember that there are much bigger problems we could be having.

I can really appreciate so much more about Alan because he's much the opposite of X, in all the right places. I sometimes wonder if I would appreciate all that he does for me if I hadn't felt like a burden all the time to X. If X hadn't constantly told me what a problem I was, how fat I was, how useless and stupid I was, would I know how great Alan is to me? Would I appreciate how well Alan and I function and how logically we can sit down to talk out issues instead of dragging out some canned response from X whenever we argued? Would I really appreciate how Alan insists that whatever ring he buys me, I will have never seen before after X went out & bought the first cheap ring that I mentioned was on sale? I might, but odds are, I don't think I would. I think I would still be some spastic and selfish person. I might have matured a bit, but I don't think I would know what a great guy Alan is without the complete douchebaggery of X.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What is wrong with me?

I don't know what it is, but I am super emotional tonight.

I'm not sure why I keep feeling this need to rush forward. There's no reason for it! Maybe as we get older we feel the pressure to meet invisible deadlines more, but I can't help that my brain keeps screaming for babies and engagement rings and wedding planning. This is getting out of hand. I love Alan, I'm so happy with him, and he is so great to me. So why am I so worried about when we will get married and when he'll propose?

I think I'm so self conscious about my last marriage. I just keep assuming people don't take my relationship with Alan seriously. Which is hilariously ignorant because ANYONE who spends a good enough deal of time with us can see how serious Alan and I are about each other. My friends often comment to me about what a great guy he is or what a great couple we are. My mom even wrote us a cute letter for Valentine's Day about what a great couple we are. I know we're a great match. But my mind is so addled with self-doubt thanks to failing so very epically at this before. Sometimes I forget that I'm divorced. It's so easy to feel like it never happened. I don't forget that I was married, but somehow the divorced part likes to pretend it's not there in my memories. Was it so traumatic that my mind just bleeps it out, like some super sized swear word? We all know what happened, but it was too profane for public consumption. My ex has become some huge expletive in my mind's eye, a series of characters we type by using shift and the number keys. But even with that momentary amnesia, I still seem to feel this pressure to prove that I AM marriage material, that I am a good wife.

My brain just wants to prove to everyone that it wasn't my fault.
Sure, marriage takes two, and as I've said before, I'm not perfect. I had my shortcomings. But that situation was so obviously ludicrous. He sent me across the gorram country to call me on the phone and leave me! He didn't even try. We weren't a good match, that much is obvious to most anyone, but for crying out loud, he didn't even lift a finger. He couldn't be bothered to turn away from his computer long enough to look at me and our marriage or even our relationship before we were married to see what he didn't like and realize that marriage wasn't going to work.

So my panic button is going off big time these days, like I'm in some kind of contest to show everyone that I'm not broken. My grandpa isn't helping, every time I see him it's another question about when I'll get my shit together. When I'll be done with college, when I'll be having kids, when I'll be married. I avoid seeing him for those reasons. But I'm tired of this guilt.

So I'm here on the internet to tell the whole world that I'm not broken. I'm a great girlfriend, and someday I'll be an awesome wife. I'm still young, I'm not too old to accomplish all the things I'm working on now and all the things I plan to work on in the future. I'm full of potential and for once I have a boyfriend who encourages me in everything I take on, whether I follow through with it or not! I'm a whole person, I don't need these things to make me happy, but they sure are nice.

I should thank that man more often for everything he does for me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Might as well be engaged?"

I wouldn't say we're at an awkward stage in our relationship, but it is a bit of a limbo. Alan and I have been together a year & 5 months now, been living together officially for 5 months, unofficially for about 7. We're very close, comfortable, and spend a lot more time than I realize together. We talk all the time, including about the future. We're not uncomfortable talking about getting married, when we'd have kids, what we want, etc. We've even looked at rings. But we're not engaged yet. Alan's even said that he IS going to marry me.... but we're not there yet. I don't feel like saying we're dating is a proper term anymore, but we're not engaged either.

So why the wait?

Well a lot of this is his doing. Don't get me wrong, I'm in no hurry to move things too fast and mess it all up again. I love Alan and I'm willing to do what is necessary to make sure this all works out. But if Alan asked me tomorrow, you bet your ass I'd say yes.

But that's the thing, isn't it? I have been through this before. And Alan's such a great guy! But no matter how awesome he is, or we are as a couple, there's no race! I have to keep reminding myself that there's no hurry, there's no reason we have go get married tomorrow. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and no matter how much I want it now, self restraint is a virtue I need to learn better anyways. I'm not saying that if we're still together in 3 years and there's still no ring I'm gonna keep waiting around (I really doubt that would happen, lol), but why the rush??? Maybe it's because I screwed up before, I feel like landing a good marriage faster will make up for it. Or maybe it's all my friends around me getting engaged and/or married and rushing into it so fast, I feel like I have to run faster to prove some kind of illogical point. Every time I see a couple that moves too fast when it comes to getting engaged or married. I cringe. I don't think ALL of them will fail, but it's not the wisest move either. So why am I not cringing at myself every time I think I want to be engaged ASAP?

We have the hardest time criticizing ourselves. We can make a million excuses why it's ok if we do the things we judge others for doing. Even with my life experience AND the fact that (as mentioned previously) I was pissy with the fact that X was engaged so quickly, I still want to barrel headfirst into something.

And I'm sure that this entry won't end my want for a proposal as soon as possible, and I'm sure I'll still hint and tease Alan about being engaged, but my rational self will chide my immature self, and Alan will just laugh affectionately and tell me to calm down and be patient. And I will. (For a little while at least.)

In the mean time, I'll still be wondering and waiting to see what he has planned. Because I know Alan, and I know he's making some kind of plan. <3

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Last night I had a dream about X. It wasn't even a bad dream. For some reason Alan & I had to go see him to get more of my things. And X was incredibly polite and nice about it. He smiled a lot and acted almost as if he was happy to see me. Upon waking up I was somewhat irked by this since he was such an ass about everything in real life. But he seemed genuinely happy that I was getting my things, that I was with Alan. I don't remember a lot of the details anymore, but I just remember waking up and being kind of annoyed. I'm not sure why, but having that kind of dream bothers me.

Perhaps this dream was triggered by the alcohol I'd had the night before around the bonfire, or maybe it's because I had mentioned him to some friends who (I guess?) are still friends with him. Or who knows why. But I sometimes hate the fact that he still has any place in my subconscious. Every once in a while a dream pops in. I don't think it "means" anything, just that my brain must still be organizing information about him. Or maybe it's the new info that I hear or create based on situations.

Pretty sure my subconscious is trying to tell me he's not an all bad guy.
And I'm pretty sure I know that he isn't.

Just acted like a super shitty guy to get rid of me.

It's hard to say "Well I don't really give a shit." When I heard he's getting remarried (to the girl he left me for), someone told me I shouldn't care, what's it matter to me? Even though I've moved on and have no desire to ever even talk to him again, it doesn't mean he doesn't have some piece of me I can't recover. Hearing that he was engaged, not even 2 years after he left me, well it stings. It shows a complete lack of respect for what we had, but obviously I don't have the full story. Or something. I guess? I know, sure, I'm talking about getting married and such, so maybe I'm a hypocrite? I don't know, I really don't. I don't have all the answers for the petty jealousy and irritation he causes me, but I'm pretty sure all these feelings are valid. I have moved on, and I'm happier than I ever was with him, but he was still someone that I gave myself to completely. So the feelings I have? Probably pretty normal.

This entry kind of rambled. I suppose that's what happens at 3 AM, ha ha. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Starting over

When I moved back home, and settled into my new place (which, amusingly, was also my old place!) with my best friend, I began to decide what to do, where to go from there. My best friend had just gotten out of a long-term relationship that had started (and ended) just a month before mine. (Weird how all that stuff works out, eh?) So she & I were in much the same place. What now? Almost immediately after my return, we decided that we needed to move in together. Being unemployed (but making enough on unemployment I figured we could find something) we began to search, and my dad offered up the house I grew up in. While we couldn't afford it, they said it was better than no renters and we could try & find someone else before the end of the summer. We were so excited about the idea of living together in my childhood home, we moved in that very weekend, only 2 weeks after I had returned to my hometown. The electricity wasn't even on yet, but we didn't care. We used the light of lanterns and candles and used matches to light the gas stove for the first couple days until our power came on. And it was awesome.

So then I was faced with what I wanted to do next. I was looking for a job (as part of my requirement for being on unemployment), full time, but there wasn't much turning up. I was spending my days lazing on the Internet, playing with my and my roommate's dolls, and just taking things as they came. I had started seeing someone (to my surprise as much as anyone else's) and it was a good summer fling. Reminded me how much there was to love about me and how wonderful being TRULY close to someone really is. And somewhere in there it struck me. Go back to school!

I had dropped out after one semester to move to Cinci and be with the X, and since I hadn't taken courses anywhere else, I just decided to pick up where I left off. All I had to do was "reenroll" which was a simple click of the mouse, and fill out my FAFSA, and here I was. Almost literally right where I was before I left. School began to be the thing I was looking forward to the most about being home, and now as I wrap up my sophomore year, I feel like this was justified. I feel like I'm actually doing something for myself, something to take care of me. If things with Alan don't work out, so what? I'm going to have a college degree and be able to support myself. And I'm going to use it to have a job that I'll enjoy (hopefully, lol) instead of just taking a job because I need one. I'm taking charge, and that's a first.

How do you start over?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crying "Wedding!!"

"The tale concerns a shepherd boy who tricks nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock. He repeats this so many times that when the sheep are actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers do not believe his cries for help and the flock is destroyed."
From Wikipedia on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Sure. It's not a perfect analogy. I've only been married once, and those who are close to me know I'm not going to be some "repeat offender." But the stigma is still there in my head. I can't stop the list that runs through my head when it comes to this in conversation.

And what happens when I do finally get married again someday.
I know better than most that plans can change in an instant. I love Alan, and while I'm pretty sure we're going to get married, I'm not banking on it. I always remind myself that we're not engaged and not to jump the gun. But it doesn't stop me from thinking about it, and I do know that someday I will get married again, whether or not that's to Alan. And then I'm going to have to walk on eggshells about that wedding, making sure it doesn't call back images of my last wedding. And will people even come? I've already asked them to do this once, and it's supposed to be a once in a lifetime thing, why would they come again???

I know, as a rational adult, that this is silly. That the people who matter won't care, and the people who care don't matter. But I still worry about all these things. Especially when I remember how so many people went out of their way to attend, help with, or contribute to my first wedding. I feel like I couldn't possibly ask that of people again. My best friend isn't supposed to be my MOH twice. That's weird. And I'm pretty sure that I'll be asking several other people that were in my wedding to be in one again when I remarry. But I already asked them to put in that money and time once before, I'd feel so guilty asking them again.

And how do I plan a wedding just a beautiful and fun without using any of the ideas I had before? I put so much work into that, and I really don't want to ask my parents to contribute to yet another wedding. I'm not their only child, and they've already done so much for me. And I doubt Alan's parents would want to, it's not customary for the groom's family to contribute, especially if the bride's family isn't either....

And what's the worst part of all this? I know how ridiculous this all sounds! I bet if I asked my parents, they would offer to help. Maybe not in the same way or amount as they did before, but they would do what they can. And I bet Alan's family would too. They're very close, and they don't have any daughters anyways. But here I am mentally running down this list of things that mean next to nothing because I'm jumping way ahead of myself.

But I can't shake this stigma of myself as someone who cried wolf, and now I'm gonna cry it again, but I swear! I really mean it THIS TIME!!! .... It all sounds so sad and desperate in my head.

I keep walking tall and holding my head up. I don't let these things bother me for too long, and I always reassure myself that these things are just insecurities. But it doesn't stop them from forming.


Before I started this blog, I went around googling a couple things to see if there was already a good blog like this, both to look for examples and make sure I wasn't treading on anyone's toes. I didn't find a ton, but one I found referred to the kind of relationship I had as a "mini-marriage."

I was actually kind of insulted by this. As someone who went through it too, I'm sure the author didn't mean it to offend, but it still did. She also said they used to be referred to as "starter marriages." For some reason this didn't offend me quite as much, but still not a term I like. Probably because both treat it as if it wasn't a "real" marriage, so it needed to be given a different name.

The kinds of relationships they are referring to is a marriage that starts when the couple is relatively young, doesn't last more than a couple years (or less) and there are no children as a result of the relationship.

Ok, my relationship fits into that criteria, but I still don't feel like either of those terms are an accurate description. A "starter" marriage insinuates that it was just for practice. Both of these terms seem to trivialize how monumental the emotions were going into it. I didn't take my decision to marry lightly, in fact I had nightmares that I was making the wrong decision. And yes, it was the wrong decision. But it still doesn't mean I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I was gravely serious in my decision making. It's wasn't a "mini" marriage, it was a real marriage. We (I use this term lightly, I really can't tell you how X felt or what he thought, as I mentioned in the previous entry that I honestly believe I didn't know him at all after the way he acted at the end) were in this for the long haul, we had made plans for our future and were doing things to move towards that plan. We had talked about when we wanted to have kids, how we wanted to raise them, what kind of school we'd like them to go to. We (often disagreeably) talked about our future, and we seemed to have a real plan. We'd been together 2 1/2 years when we got married, and we had been friends for years before that. We didn't just... up & get married impulsively like I see a lot of my peers doing.

So no, I don't appreciate these kinds of terms. It was a marriage. Plain and simple. It was short, and it didn't produce any children, but that doesn't make it any less a marriage than one that ends 20 years from the wedding WITH kids. I'm thankful that it didn't involve any children, but marriage isn't about children. Children happen with or without marriage. Marriage is about making a public commitment, and divorce is about giving that up. I got married, I had a wedding, and I failed at having a successful marriage. All these feelings are just as valid as any other divorcee, no matter the circumstances.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The "Shame"

So, theoretical readers (as it seems I have no outside visits to my site just yet) who share my past, I have a question for you. How do you deal with the "shame?" Or do you even feel ashamed?

While I will be the first to admit how much happier I am without my X, or how juvenile the whole relationship was, even back then, I knew on some levels, that I wasn't the happiest I could ever be. But back then, as I do now, I believed marriage is a choice.

Here's something people DON'T like to hear, but I'm going to say it anyways. Marriage isn't about love. Yes, you want to marry someone you love, and who loves you back, with all their heart. And yes, you want to marry someone who makes your pulse race, who turns you on. But that's not what marriage is about. Marriage is a choice. Marriage is saying "I am making the choice to be with this person, and to be honest and true to each other." Love comes and goes. Even in marriage. My parents have been married..... aw crap, I'm awful at this. I can barely remember how old my parents are, much less how long they've been married, but I'm pretty sure they were married 3 years when I was born?? So... almost 30 years now. And they are very different, and in all honesty, I never quite understood them being together. At one time, my dad even admitted to me that he & my mom had "long periods where they didn't really communicate." But he told me that they worked through it. And it's this example that I grew up with. My parents love each other very much, but I think that more than "being in love," they decided "This is the person I am choosing to make my life with. It might not be the best match ever, but I am making this choice."

Marriage is about making the decision to build your life, your future, and your family with someone. Hopefully you marry the one you love, but honestly? You don't have to in order to have a successful marriage. Marriage is an arrangement between two people. And as long as both of you agree to and act in accordance with each other's wishes, it is a successful marriage.

I remember asking my mom once when I was in Jr High, how she knew Dad was "the one." She simply said "I'm not. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow." Choice.

So I knew going in to my marriage that perhaps he wasn't my perfect match. But I knew I was committed to him and that I was going to work hard and make my life with him.

He thought I was going to change into someone else after the wedding. As if somehow that would magically make me into someone else??? He knew all of my flaws, all of my problems, and I knew all of his. I had accepted them, they're part of who he is/was, and why I loved him.

So when he left me, it's because I didn't magically change. And after he told me he wanted the divorce, he finally let down whatever wall he'd been hiding behind for the 3 1/2 years we'd been together & revealed to me that he was a completely different person. That he didn't love me at all, but loved some imaginary girl he thought I was.

And I was ashamed that I had let myself be fooled into it. I'm not going to claim I was some perfect mate. But the problems I caused, the problems I had, they'd been there through the entirety of our relationship, these weren't new to him. And now, because of his misconceptions of what marriage is and what it meant for our relationship, I was now forced to be part of a statistic. I'm now included in the number of failed marriages. I'm part of that "50% of marriages end in divorce." I KNEW what I was getting myself into, why was I forced to wear this albatross around my neck??? I didn't give up, he did, and yet I am unable to get out of that label.

When I moved back home and began to reestablish my life, my mom told me that I had to inform my grandfather. My grandpa is old fashioned. He's a worrier, and he's also a guilter. He doesn't do it on purpose, he really just wants what's best, but he's kind of awful at conveying that.

So when I called him to tell him, I had to listen to 20 minutes of "can't you change his mind?" and "you're not trying hard enough," and "First Sandy, then Frank, then Sally and now you*," (referring to aunts & my uncle who have all been divorced, as if that has something to do with my divorce) all while I tried to explain that I did everything I could.

So how do I deal with that guilt? My best friend has assured me that it's not my fault. The divorce was all X's decision. I've often said "If he had given me more than 10 months, maybe a few years and we still couldn't work it out, I would have given up too. We could have just both looked at our marriage & been like, ok, this isn't working. We've tried everything. Time to call it quits." But instead he never even gave it a real chance to get out of that first, rough, year. And anytime someone says "I didn't know you were married once!" I tell them how short it was, and I feel like a failure. I'm not so ashamed that I avoid it in conversation, but it still stings. I think I deal with it by telling people about it. They ask about the tattoo on my wrist (X's wedding gift to me), and I tell them. And I answer their questions. Usually they reassure me that it wasn't my fault, and those reassurances are what helps me.

But how do you deal? How should one deal?

*Not actually my relatives' names.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who is "The Girl Who Cried Wedding?"

Who am I? That's a fair question.

I'm 25, a sophomore at a branch of Kent State University, and I'm just now getting my feet underneath me.
I'm also a 25-year-old divorcee. Yuck.

So here's the story. In high school, there was a guy. I really liked him, but he always seemed to have a girlfriend and I was much too intimidated to ask him out because he seemed pretty popular amongst my group of friends. This term is relative because my group of friends were the "goths" or "punks" or whatever other term you might wanna use for us. Either way, we knew each other, but that was it. But somewhere after high school, we got to talking, and eventually revealed our feelings to one another. By this point though, he had moved 4 hours away from our hometown. We started dating, and then shortly after, my housing situation fell apart, and he asked me to move down and live with him. I said.... "Yeah ok." I was in college, but it wasn't something I felt super serious about, and I had wanted to move away from our town for years now, so even though we'd only been dating about a month.... we'd been friends for years, this would be fine right???

So I moved down there. Started my life anew, in a couple months I landed 2 part-time jobs in retail. One at a video game boutique and the other at a popular teen clothing store. I had it pretty good, I liked my jobs, things seemed fine....
We hit a rough spot. He broke up with me. Then went & slept with someone else a week later. Fast forward a couple months, finds out she's pregnant. Then begs me to take him back. My self-esteem was low enough that I did it. Some more stupid stuff happens, and then a couple months after our reunion, he proposes (in a pretty lame attempt) and I accepted.

You might be asking yourself "WHY??!?!?!?!?!?!1111"
That's a fair question.
I don't have a good answer.
My usual thoughts is that for the longest time in my main group of friends back home, I had been labeled the immature one, the annoying girl, the spaz. I was someone most people felt they were "dealing with" or "tolerating." And these are fair assessments of myself at the time. But because of the way these friends had treated me and described me to myself, I had adopted this view that the best I could expect in a mate was someone who could "put up" with me. And well.... this guy did. Sure, he called me names and made fun of me in front of his friends in order to make me angry and look like a bitch. But he seemed to put up with me right? Who else would ever want to put up with this???

In June of 2008, on a hot hot hot stormy day, we got married. Our wedding was a blast, I put so much work and thought into it. We were both big gamers and nerds, so our cake was Hyrule Castle from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and there were no bouquets or flowers, the bridesmaids and myself carried parasols instead. We played Rock Band at the reception, and everything was beautiful. One of our wedding pictures looked like a sweet old zombie movie poster.

The following winter we began to argue nonstop. Then in February I got laid off from my full-time job at the local cable company. We had been making plans to move to Seattle the following summer, so we decided I would look for jobs out west. I got an interview, so we packed as much as we could into my (new/used) 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse (manual, of course!) as well as my beloved cat Chibi, and off I drove to live with some friends. 3 weeks after I arrived in the Seattle area, he calls me on the phone.

"Giselle, we need to talk." "Ok, let me go in the other room." "Giselle I want a divorce."

My world was shattered. It was only 10 months into our marriage. I didn't know what to do. A week later, I packed up everything once again, and a good friend from out there made the drive back with me to make sure I was ok. My ex expected me to just stay out West and give up. I'm sure it would have made everything easier for him. But I couldn't handle all this on my own, jobless in a strange place. So I moved back to our hometown and started over once again.

Our dissolution was official in August of 2009. Since then I have picked up where I left off. Almost literally. I reenrolled in classes at Kent State, and have declared my major as Applied Communication. I spent the summer of 2009 having a blast, living off unemployment (I was looking for a job, but times are hard!), playing DnD & kickball with some of my best friends, learning about myself and how strong and beautiful I really am, and regaining my own footing.

On New Year's Eve I had a date with a guy who is now, most assuredly, the love of my life. We've been together almost 16 months now and are currently living together with our 4 cats. Alan doesn't "put up" with me. He treasures me. He laughs at my silly insecurities, and then reassures me that I'm being silly. He also teaches me new things all the time, and is helping me grow into the person I want to be.

He's also kind of a neat-freak, and I'm not, but he's helping me become more tidy, lol. I feel so free in our relationship, and I'm so freaking happy.

Which leads us to the reason I started this blog.
While we are not yet engaged, it is on the horizon. No clue when, but the serious talks about it have already been going on for a while. I'm very certain that by our next anniversary, we'll be engaged. We've already started the talks about how soon we'd like to have kids.
So how does a young divorcee plan a wedding????
I feel like the boy who cried wolf, only I'm the Girl who cried "WEDDING!!" once already. I know there have to be other young people out there, like me, who feel this way. So I'm going to start this blog, and until an official engagement happens, this will all be hypothetical, or finding resources that help people in my position. And hopefully I'll help others like myself.

Until next post!