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


  1. <3 You did more for me than I realized at the time.

  2. I had a cosmic sign too. B told me he wanted a divorce in late July 2009, and I thought my life was over. But neither of us had any other place to go so we lived together for another 3 weeks or so. One afternoon he call me outside to the back yard, and there were my sunflowers, 6 feet tall in full bloom in all their glory. The sunflowers that I'd grown from seed with my own little hands, the ones that had been trampled by my drunk neighbors and I had babied back to health, and now they were standing strong in the sun. I decided then if they could preserver so could I.

  3. Alan & I grew sunflowers in our front yard this year, they were beautiful! I wish I was better at growing things these were mostly Alan's. But I was just thinking about how great my relationship with my cat is because I raised him from an itty bitty kitty to the awesome affectionate cat that he is!