Monday, December 31, 2012

Building my home

While my updating has fell aside, I promise you, I haven't forgotten about this blog!

The other day, I was reminded once again of how far I have come. 4 years ago, I knew my marriage was on the rocks. X and I had been arguing for months, at each others throats. Things were bad. I came back home to spend New Years Eve with my friends. I broke down in front of my brothers because X threatened me with divorce. It wasn't much longer before he did leave me.

3 years ago I had my first date with Alan. 2 years ago we had officially moved in together. Last year, Alan proposed. And this year I am happier than I have very been.

More updates soon, but because New Year is such an important holiday to me now, I needed to update again. <3

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Written in Ink

Some recent events have reminded me of something I'm sure I've mentioned before, but I feel I should talk about again, in a different light.

When we are young, it is so easy to forget that other people have feelings too. It's so hard to even understand the concept of thinking of other people. Even those we love. I've had this entry in my draft box for months now, because I'm never quite sure what I want to say, but it's finally come to my attention in enough situations around me that I feel the need to finally post this.

It is so easy to take those we hold the closest for granted. We are so comfortable with them and just assume they should know how we really feel about them, but the facts remain. Poor communication kills all kinds of relationships. Especially romantic. And everything you do is a communication. The phrase "actions speak louder than words" is more than just an old cliche. It's the truth.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Thought on it? Do it again.

Actions speak louder than words.

You can tell me all day that you love and respect me, but if you can't act on what is bothering me, if you can't address that I am unhappy, that something is wrong, you don't. If you can't even bother to acknowledge that something you are doing is upsetting me, you don't respect me or my feelings. You may even believe that you do love me, that you respect me. But if you're constantly just telling me or yourself how crazy I am, how unreasonable I'm being when you haven't even tried to do what I asked to alleviate the situation, then you don't truly love me. Love is about compromise. It is not about just ignoring my requests. If I was upset enough to bring it up in the first place, it's time to address it.

This is all hypothetical, as these are not issues I am facing with Alan, but it's certainly something I faced with X all the time. The term is "gaslighting" by the way. Making someone think that they are the crazy one when there's no real basis for it. It's a common tactic, to call a woman irrational and unreasonable. It's a form of control.

Knock it off.

You want a healthy adult relationship? You have to start accepting you're not always right. No matter how righteous you think your cause is, no matter how right you think you are when you're so angry, and no matter what all your friends say in support of you (they're your friends, that's what they're supposed to do. It doesn't mean they're being objective or right). It doesn't mean you're always wrong (husbands, I know, hard to believe!), but neither is everyone else. Compromise is one of the hardest things to learn. I still struggle with it. But it works. Learn it.

But be aware. Be fucking aware. Even if you think whatever you're doing SHOULDN'T affect them, that doesn't mean it isn't, or that they're in the wrong for being affected. If that person has emotional damage from previous relationships, be sensitive, not accusatory. Don't ask them why you always have to pay for the ex's mistakes, just learn what you can do not to trigger that reaction in the future. We all have baggage, you are no different. Learn. Just learn.

But every day I watch my friends hurt their significant others or be hurt by them. All for such thoughtless actions that would have been prevented just by stepping outside of your stupid little box you've constructed for yourself and assume everyone else should just live inside.
It's a small box. Get the fuck out of it.

These actions are written in ink. Your actions, your words, they cannot be taken back. No matter how much you want to go back, you can't. So choose your words carefully. Choose your actions, as they are your words too. They will always ring in the air for the rest of your relationship and the rest of your life.

These words are tattooed. No amount of trying will truly remove them.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Same Dance, New Partner?

Anyone who knows me know that I love planning parties. Themed parties, dinner parties, holiday parties, fires in the backyard, birthday parties, dorm parties, housewarming parties.... I've got parties on parties on parties, yo.

And what is a wedding, but a huge party? Probably the HUGEST party you're supposed to throw your whole life, right?

But... I already did that. I put in a year's worth of work into that party, I planned and coordinated, and kept all the details in line. I cried, I lamented, I rejoiced and I swelled with pride over that party. And I was so relieved when it was over, but I was so glad we had done it.
And then, of course, the marriage failed. So... ya know... there's that.

And now, I am so excited. I get so twitterpated when I think about how much Alan loves me, and how much I love him. It's wonderful. And when I think about the wedding, I get really psyched. Pirate wedding. FUCK YEAH! What's not to love???

I'll tell you what's not to love. All the planning. I am NOT looking forward to the work this time around. I'm tired. I'm doing 18 credit hours at school this semester, I will be doing 17, including an internship, next semester. I also work about 25-30 hours a week (though they are supposed to be cutting it to no more than 25 soon I hope), and I still have to find time to not lose my mind without any social interaction. Wedding planning just seems like such a hassle this time around. And that bums me out. I'm a class act when it comes to throwing a good party, especially themed parties. And we have the deposit, I love the venue, so why can't I get excited about planning this time around??

I really think it's because I've already done this once. And especially because of how up in flames my marriage to X went, I feel like I wasted all that energy. And planning a second wedding isn't the same. It's just not. Because no matter how happy I am, no matter how much I believe in Alan, I know there are people out there (you know who you are) who are just waiting to see me fail again, who are judging my every choice and move hoping to see me flail around and lose again. Divorce isn't the end of the world, but it certainly changes everyone's perception of you. I don't.... feel divorced. I don't even know how you WOULD feel divorced. Maybe if there was more time put in or children or something, but I don't genuinely feel divorced. I don't feel like I was ever married before. But no matter what, that fail will live on in people's perception of me. And I feel like I'm kind of a joke, planning a second wedding at age 26 (27 by the wedding). I assume this is why so many people opt for the smaller, less extravagant weddings if it's their second time? They don't want to deal with all the fuss? Or they already did that once? I don't know. But I do know that Alan wants a wedding, and really so do I. I think our love deserves a great big pirate party. I think we deserve the beauty and pictures and gathering of all the friends that have helped make this relationship what it is and have rooted for me and for us this whole way. And for the family that has loved me through all of the awfulness before and all the joy I have now. They deserve it, we deserve, and god damn it, we're going to have it!

But really... I'm not looking to planning another wedding.
I know some of my readers are divorcees like myself. Opinions? Thoughts?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Does he have your back?

Tonight has been eye opening and frustrating, but the best thing that I have learned is about Alan. When we started dating, Alan wasn't what I'd call assertive, or vocal about his political or other beliefs. And this didn't bother me. I'm loud and opinionated, but I know not everyone is, nor that everyone agrees. Over time, Alan and I found ourselves agreeing on many ideas and beliefs, and the longer we've been together the more vocal he's become.

For a while now, I've been concerned that some of my posts and the discussions that ensue will alienate some of his family, but I've always done my best to at least try to be civil and unoffensive. I think intelligent discourse, even if no one changes their mind, is one of the best ways to learn. But apparently this was too offensive for two of Alan's family members. His ensuing rage and jump to my defense was one of the sweetest thing I've ever seen, and the first time a guy has really been so concerned about that kind of thing. I have a true partner and knight, and he is wonderful at it. I sometimes take for granted all the changes Alan has made in the last two years and how much he has grown. I do my best to challenge him and he exceeds it every time. And now I know he has my back, we're fighting on the same team, and always will. He's beautiful, and I can't express how in love with him I am.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm going to get a little political.

I realize that this isn't exactly in line with the overall theme of the blog, but please, bear with me.
This is the last post I will make about the most recent Chick-ful-hate debacle.

When Alan & I happened to drive by the local one yesterday and saw all those people supporting hatred and bigotry, I actually started crying in the car. My heart dropped and I just cried. This country is always trying so hard to oppress someone or some group because they are different and don't fall into their definition of normal, and it crushes me every time I realize that I will have to explain to my kids why these kinds of things happen. I am so disappointed in anyone who is still opposed to gay marriage. I don't CARE what your personal beliefs are. I respect them, but if you can't respect someone else's personal beliefs, then you are just assuming that you are the all-knowing authority on what is right and what is moral. Just calling yourself a Christian doesn't make you the most high & mighty. Truly, truly think about what your Christ taught, think hard about how embarrassed he would be if he saw you all acting this way and denying someone's rights. I truly hope you reflect on that as you eat your hate-funded chicken.

I am living, breathing, working, and happy proof that there is no "sanctity" of marriage in this country. Straight men and women everywhere walk out on their wives and husbands daily, and others cheat daily, and even more just straight up don't get married. And X certainly didn't feel there was anything sacred about our marriage since he left me, shacked up with this other woman and rushed our divorce so he could be with her guilt free. Then married her less than 2 years after our divorce. Sacred? Ha. Marriage is a personal choice. It's not a government's right to tell me who to marry anymore. When X left me, and I decided to date Ian, I became acutely aware of how much hate is still left in this country. And ours was a hetero relationship. It was, however, interracial. I was aware of racism, I had just moved back to my hometown after living in Cincinnati for 3 years, and the tension there is still palpable. But I was never truly faced with it until I decided to walk around in public *gasp* holding hands with a black man. EVEN KISSING HIM FOR SHAAAAAAME. And while I was never embarrassed to be seen with him, I was embarrassed for people when they stared. I had a difficult discussion with Ian at the time about what racism was and I couldn't even begin to understand what he had been through until we were in public together. And even that is nowhere near the level of racism he and other black Americans faced and continue to face every day. And ours would have been considered a legal marriage had it gone that route. So excuse me if I call out exactly what all this "anti-gay marriage" bullshit is. It's bigotry. You are denying someone else's rights based on something that makes them different. It's fearful and ignorant. Bigots.
You don't want to be called that because it's a filthy, ugly word. And that's how you know you are one, because you're afraid to accept that you could be bigoted, so you hide behind your Christian morals, your traditional values.

And now people want to throw every excuse in the book at me about why gay marriage shouldn't be legalized. "What if two guys just got married to reap the tax benefits?" So what? I'm sure there are straight couples that do it now. Hell, here's a little known fact! I once had a male roommate suggest that we get married to get tax benefits, and keep it a secret so that we could continue to date other people. We had no interest in dating each other, but he suggested it anyways. How sanctimonious is that? And besides, the marriage law doesn't state that you have to marry each other out of love, since I'm sure hundreds of marriages are based on things other than love. (Fear, unplanned pregnancy, financial need.) You going to start judging every marriage based on how sacred it is? The government has some pretty loose restrictions on what a marriage is, it just can't be between two people of the same sex, because *GASP* they're GAY. Gay people aren't any different than the rest of us. They feel the same pain, they feel the same joy. They have kids, and pets, and houses. Some like dolls, some like motorcycles, some believe in the Christian god, and some don't believe in any. Some struggle daily to make ends meet and some have made quite a bit of money for themselves. They come from all over the globe, and right around your corner. Gay people love and hate and fear and triumph just like the rest of us. In fact, I vote we abolish the word gay. There are no gay or straight people. We are all just people. And strip us all down to our naked bodies and minds, and we all just want the same thing. We want to be loved, we want to love, and we want to survive. We want friendship and families. We want to define what those things mean to us, not be told what they are.

When Alan & I get married, we're dressing up as pirates, having my best friend get ordained by the state to marry us, we'll partake in an old Celtic tradition called handfasting (OMG HEEEEEEATHENS) we're going to be silly and fun, and there will be very little about our wedding that someone "traditional" would describe as "sacred." And our wedding night will not be our first (or our last, WINK WINK) night together as man and woman. That sacredness was defined by us when we were ready for it, not the government. And our marriage and wedding will be defined by us. We will define what our marriage means to us, not some piece of paper. The paper just makes it easier for others to recognize our union. Why is that piece of paper so hard for you to give to gay couples. They're not getting married in YOUR church, because, lets be honest, if you go to a bigoted church, they wouldn't want to anyways.

This is supposed to be a SECULAR nation. We did not establish a national religion because religion has no place in government. And since I don't believe in your religion, it's not a valid argument against anything I have said.

Nothing I have said here is new. Nothing I have said here will likely blow anyone's mind. But a few years ago I was faced with not just a divorce, but an interracial relationship that opened my eyes to how much hate there still is in "the home of the brave." And yesterday I was reminded yet again of how much easier it is to destroy the light within rather than fight the darkness all around yourself.

But I promise you, I'm not giving in.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The first part of moving on after being hurt by someone you love is learning to forgive. You may disagree, because perhaps you never forgave someone who hurt you. Then you haven't truly moved on. There are people in my past that I still haven't forgiven. I'm working on that. I've been learning a lot about loving people for who they are and loving their flaws. I've always been that way, but now I am learning to blanket that to people who have wronged me, not just those I hold dear. I know it doesn't seem it, but I really have forgiven X. He thinks he had to act the way he did. I'm not sure why he thinks that, but I'm sure he has justifications that make it so he doesn't feel bad about what he did, and that is what he does best. Self-preservation. I can understand that, and I forgave him long ago, and as a fellow human just trying to figure it out as we all do, I love him anyways. I don't like him. I don't want to be friends with him, but much like you feel about your siblings when you are a child, I love him despite it.

Time and time again I am tested in my ability to love and forgive those that wrong me. I understand how scary facing new situations and scary people is. I'm a scary person. As one of my best friends like to remind me, I'm a fire-breather. People are scared of me. I've never understood why, but heaven help you if you hurt me or mine, so perhaps there is something to that. And more than anger it is scary to face someone you have disappointed.

But I am breathing in and breathing out. That is all we can do. As long as you are still breathing, everything else is bonus. And as I breathe I remember why the people who have hurt me have done it. I understand, and I love them for it. I will not condone or support it. I will not like it. And sometimes I will not like them. But I will love them. It's what I do, it's how I operate. If I don't let myself love everyone, I will turn bitter and hateful and crumble in on myself, and those that rely on me will lose the support they need.

A few years ago, a friend betrayed me in so many ways I can't even count them on one hand. I have still not forgiven that person completely. But I do still love them. Maybe my capacity for love is my strongest asset. I don't know.

Regardless, forgiving someone is a whole hell of a lot easier when they apologize. Forgiveness is a lesson I have to learn every day, but humility and regret for hurting those who love us should be a lesson we all learn daily as well. Who knows how many we hurt with the things we do?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Power of No

There is something to be said for not getting your way all the time.

You see it every day, especially if you work in retail like I do. Children throwing tantrums until Mommy or Daddy gives them EXACTLY what they want. And we all know these behaviors continue well into adulthood if not checked early on. And I have found that as I have grown, constantly being denied the things I have wanted so desperately has had two results.

First, by not getting what I wanted when I wanted it, I have ended up with getting exactly what I NEEDED almost the entirety of my life. I have never been starving on a street corner. I have always had somewhere to live thanks to the generosity of many friends. And when I was unable to help myself, I have always had those around to help me get through times of need. I have had periods of extreme poverty when I couldn't pay my bills, keep my phone turned on, or even take my cats to the vet. And even now I am facing some hardship due to mounting hospital bills that I am not totally sure how to pay off. But luckily I have always made it through and been able to continue on. And now I have a home with a wonderful man who is patient, funny, and loving, and we are learning together how to be better adults and a better team. I have a strong partner who knows when to tell me that no, I can't have every toy I want. (Harumph!) But he still finds ways to spoil me and show me he loves me.

One of the hardest things, for me, about my divorce was not exactly losing a husband, but more that I was losing my footing and progress I had made on the path to being a mom. I'm so excited for the chance to someday have children and be a part of someone's life the way a mother is. And when X left me, all that time I had invested and progress I had thought I was making was taken away from me. And my ovaries had already become so very very very loud. Once you get to that point, you really can't even turn it off. But when I look back and see what a terrible pair of parents X and I would have been, I am grateful we don't have a kid stuck between us getting confused and bitter because the two of us can't get along even for our kid. (Sorry to say, but as much as X liked pushing my buttons just to make me look like a huge bitch in front of his friends, I can only imagine he would do it even worse to his ex-wife that he would then share custody of a kid with to make the kid like him more.) And now that I have had the things denied me, like marriage, a home, kids, I can appreciate them now more than ever because I worked so hard to get where I am. I see privileged kids in my store every day who have no appreciation for that iPod touch their parents just bought them for their birthday, or who complain about how their older model doesn't have the forward facing camera on it and that they need the new one, even if theirs was only 2 years old. "I don't WANT a hand me down, buy me a new one!" I applaud the parents who deny their kids these things. Please keep doing that, your children will be better people for it.

I see a lot of people getting their way all the time, and the truth is, I don't think they even know what it is they truly want. It just feels so good to get their way, they aren't paying attention to what it is they just got. And like a child as soon as they are bored with that thing, they will drop it and forget it. Not even bother to put it back on the shelf. Drop and forget.

We have to work to appreciate all that we have, because if it is just given to us, we don't truly know it's value. Alan & I will be footing the bill for our wedding pretty much on our own. And we know what this means, and have assessed the value. We know what we are investing. And we will know how to appreciate all the people who spend their time and money to come share that day with us. I have traveled such a long and hard road here, that I am so very fond of the callouses I have formed on my feet to make it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Everybody's got a dark side...

Please, watch this video before you read the rest of my entry. It's ok, I'll wait.

So it may seem like a pretty cliche video, but it managed to pull a few tears from my eyes. I was doing just fine until the bit about the woman getting a divorce. Obviously this pulls my heart strings because I get it, but it was so weird. I loved this song the second I heard it when I bought this album, but seeing the video now made it strike home so much more. And the tears weren't sad exactly, but it definitely pulls up some deep emotions for me. Sometimes it's so easy to brush my past under the rug because I always tell myself "oh it was only 10 months long, it wasn't a real marriage," but by doing so I completely invalidate the hurt that I felt and still occasionally feel when I think about what happened to me. And those feelings are still valid, so I don't know why I do that.

But I watched this video, and as a few tears rolled down my face, I really began to appreciate how much so many people have done for me, and have helped me with my demons, my dark side. Alan is a prime example, but I've obviously talked about him quite a bit, so let's shift the focus a little. It's been brought to the forefront of my mind again lately what a huge help the summer that followed my divorce was for my recovery from all that I had been through.

First, my best friend, Liz. Liz and I have been best friends since our freshman year in high school. We were two weird, awkward teens who didn't care how weird anyone else thought we were, and we embraced each other for it. As we've grown our relationship has changed and matured, turned corners and then turned back again, but at this particular point in our lives, something happened simultaneously. A mere month before X and I began our dating relationship, Liz began dating her childhood sweetheart. And yet another mere month before X left me, Liz chose to end her relationship with this guy. Our lives were changing in almost the exact same way at the same time. Liz moved back in with her mom, and I moved back to live with my parents. But neither of us wanted to stay there, it just wasn't going to work for us. And my parents offered a solution. They offered to rent us my childhood home. It was the best offer we could have gotten. I couldn't have possibly gotten approved for a lease somewhere, living on unemployment, and we both didn't really want to move somewhere too unfamiliar. We were both in need of serious healing, and this place had always been so familiar and warm. We jumped at the opportunity, we couldn't wait to move in, so we moved as soon as we could. The power wasn't even turned on, but we didn't give any fucks, we walked around at night to candle light, lit the gas stove with matches to make our food, and had a great time. Over the course of the next three months, living there with just us was perfect. We ate meals together, fucked around in our great backyard, threw epic parties and had the best summer we could have possibly had. And our nights spent consoling one another, our backyard chats, and everything else brought us very close to one another. Liz accompanied me to my dissolution hearing, helped me pack up the things left at X's apartment that day, and she made it all much more bearable. I don't know what I would have done without her. <3

Second, I would like to talk a bit about Ian. Some people might find this odd, or even potentially awkward. But I don't really care. Ian was instrumental in not just rebuilding my self-esteem, but opening my eyes to all of the shit I let X control and bury within me. Ian and I have known each other for over 6 years now, probably 7. He & I had always had a weird tension we could never resolve, and it was most assuredly due to having a strong attraction to one another. When X left, Ian made it a point to be there for me, and was incredibly helpful in getting Liz & I settled into our home together, he came over to hang out with us regularly, and when I couldn't bear to be alone, he was there to stay with me. This amount of closeness lead to us finally admitting how we felt and ended up together. It was never my intention to start dating so soon after X left, it just sort of happened. Eventually we broke up, but that time in between was some of the most amazing recovery I could have ever asked for. Ian never let me stop believing in myself and always did everything he could to bring up out of the dark depths I might have slipped into otherwise. He refused to let me beat myself up when I wanted to and constantly reminded me that I was better than X had ever let me believe I was. He created a safe haven and gave me ideas and motivations to create a new purpose for myself and never once did he tear me down. When others around me treated me like an immature child and brushed me off, Ian defended me, built me up, and gave me the tools to continue improving myself. When I later asked him if he had only dated me in order to help me fix myself, he said no, he dated me because he wanted to, because he cared about me, the other stuff was all a happy side-effect. The amount of good a healthy, loving relationship can do for you is amazing. We weren't a great match at that point, and it ended about 5-6 months after it began, and at the time, the break-up was hard, but thanks to all the work Ian had put in, I handled it a lot better than even I thought possible. I have become self-reliant emotionally and I was able to recover and put myself out there in time to meet and catch the best thing that has ever happened to me. (Pssst, I'm referring to Alan.) And now I have gained an incredibly dear and valuable friend in Ian. It took so long and was so painful at points, but the road that lead me to where I am is the best thing I could have asked for. Ian is a most loyal friend and a truly dependable person who I can turn to whenever I need anything.

There were others over that summer that helped me in various other ways, but those two made it a part of their lives to help me recover and become who I needed to be to find my path. I feel fortunate every day for the time they invested in me to help me heal and rebound back. I bend so far in order not to break, but even when bending, you need that support structure. And with the distance now between myself and that part of my life, I can look back and see just how great these two were for me at that time, and how much their influence continues to resound in my life today. And they never once let my dark side define me.

And back to Alan, he's dealt with his fair share of my dark side. He's seen me at my worst, he's seen me break down, and he still sees the shadows that X left in my life. And you can see when it frustrates him, but he's not frustrated with me, but with the damage left behind. But he's never let it deter him. He, just like my best friends, sees the potential and everything I am and can be. He sees how hard I am working to make my life (and his) as great as I possibly can. He's made things better every day, even when he makes me mad or upset. There is nothing he wouldn't do for me, and it's so amazing to see this love grow and prosper in spite of my shadows.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Alan & I are all moved in to our new home. The huge ass house that we bought. That Alan bought for me.

Sometimes, living well is the best revenge.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stepping forward, never back.

In the last week, I've experienced some stuff.

Yeah. That was SUPER descriptive. XD

So on Saturday, Alan decided to head out of town for a beer tasting event. They were getting a hotel and staying the night. I was not looking forward to spending the evening alone, BUT I was going to be closing at work that night, then opening again the following morning, so time spent alone pretty minimal besides sleeping.
However, as the evening at work wore on, I began to experience large amounts of pain for seemingly no reason, so my manager sent me home. I called a friend to stay the night in case I needed to go to the ER, but I was so sure it was some kind of muscle thing, as was Alan. In the morning, I felt ok, but still sore, so I called off to play it safe, no need to stress it. Once Alan arrived home, I woke up a second time, feeling pretty awful again, so we headed to an urgent care facility. From there, they told us I had some kind of gall bladder inflammation, and didn't want to waste any of my time, get to the ER and get an ultrasound.


We spent the next 7 1/2 hours in the ER, they poked me, prodded me, took fluids, xrays, ultrasounds, blah blah blah. They didn't do much really except say "Yup. It's your gall bladder. Here's some pain meds. Eat a bland diet. Talk to a surgeon. It might have to come out."

Thanks, that was helpful.

Regardless, the entire experience, including my recovery the day after and other days following, and Alan's behavior the entire time has shown me once again what a great man he is.

But that in and of itself is showing me something great. I used to think that making steps backwards or sliding backwards from time to time was normal in a relationship. I'm not saying that we don't make mistakes or something, but Alan and I have never taken steps back. We always make progress, or stand still for a while. We take a step up the ladder, and maybe we'll hang out on that rung a while, but we won't go backwards. There's nothing there for us! We have about a week left to get our duplex packed as we move into our new home. OURS. And it just keeps looking like we are stepping forwards.

My entire experience with X always seemed like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Progress was slow when it happened, which was sporadic at best. We would address an issue only for it to come up again a few months down the line. So much frustration built up that I think even though we believed we loved each other, we totally resented one another at the same time. It didn't help that expectations were never the same or that they weren't clear either. It's so frustrating when I see myself expecting behaviors that X exhibited when Alan has never been like him, but it's so ingrained in me now that I don't know how else to react sometimes.

Alan came to see me at work yesterday. I told him I was feeling depressed, and I just didn't know why. He said that we needed to have a talk about optimism, and that I need to not worry about packing. He claims he's going to take care of all of it. I need to focus on getting better, getting my dress made for a wedding we're attending this weekend, and getting finals all wrapped up at school. He came to work just to cheer me up and tell me it's all going to be ok. And when I got home from work that night, the dining room was half empty and the living room as well. He really hauled ass. XD


Always moving forward.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Name Dilemma

This dilemma might be unique for me since it's not an issue of having kids with a certain last name or anything... but I haven't yet decided what I want to do about my last name.

I love the idea of taking Alan's name, but (no offense, dearest love) I am not really all that attached to his name in particular. There's nothing really wrong with it, and it's certainly more Irish than my own. Or according to a name website Welsh.... Hm. Either way, my current last name is German, which, I'm actually not very much German as much as I am Irish. EITHER WAY, here's the deal.

When my mom married dad, she decided to hyphenate her name. Throughout my life, this question, when I asked her, was answered several different ways. But to this day, the idea of hyphenating a long name into becoming a ridiculously long name has continued to baffle me. But the idea BEHIND it did always make sense to me. Why does a woman have to change her name? The short of it, she doesn't. However, growing up, I wasn't terribly attached to my last name. So when I married X, I had no qualms about taking his last name. But, of course, when he left me, I certainly had no desire to keep that name. It was so uncomfortable for me to have it. But I didn't want to go back to the ridiculously long name I'd had before. So in the proceedings, I asked the judge if it would be possible to take just my dad's last name. It's shorter, it suits me, and I resemble his side of the family just a bit more than I do my mom's. The judge didn't see why not, and I got the name I had wanted since I was a kid (sans a middle name, but that's another story). I knew that someday I would marry again, but until then, this was much simpler.

But now coming to that decision again, I find myself more reluctant to take on my new husband-to-be's name. My last name now is actually a result of everything I have been through. I feel like I really truly own it, and I'm so hesitant to give it up. But I also know how much it would mean to Alan if I took his name. And yes, I did try to convince him to take my name instead, but that was put to rest rather quickly. He has said that he won't mind if I don't take his name, but I very much want some kind of united family name. So I don't know just yet what I want to do.

Thoughts? *Please do leave me comments, and leave them here, on my blog!!*

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Something beautiful.

Just....  This makes my heart all a flutter for so many reasons. I did cry. I immediately ran into the other room and hugged him when he posted this. (It was a post I started by talking about the Pagan roots of Easter's celebrations and being frustrated and isolated by Christians all posting about Easter. Some people took it as me complaining about Christians and I got very frustrated.)

He's the best. I don't NEED a knight to come & save me, but it's nice when you have one standing beside you in the fight. <3

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's so easy...

It is so easy to convince yourself how happy you are when you think you're on the path that you're "supposed" to take. I remember how easy it was to write off all of the issues in my relationship with X because I just had to stay with him, I had put so much time in already, I couldn't just give up! And when he proposed, I just had to be excited about it, and so in love, because that's the natural path of things. But as anyone who knew me then can tell you, it was obvious that I was miserable.

First off, living in Cincinnati was miserable for me. And while I have been known to suffer from bouts of depression, it is usually not long term, maybe a couple of days. Which is why I've never bothered to make a huge deal of it or see anyone. It's manageable, it doesn't prevent me from functioning, so no big. But in Cincinnati, it would go on for weeks or even months at a time. I was cut off from the friends I had grown to value so much. I was having a very hard time making new friends as my behaviors were still in patterns from being treated like a little kid before I moved to Cincinnati. X continued this treatment, so I was struggling between being who I knew I was and who I was "expected" to be. I gained a ton of weight due to inactivity. I was miserable and the only link I had to the friends I missed was spending copious amounts of hours on the internet. And then I made NEW friends.... the Enforcers. But alas, they too were accessible only (except for one lone Enforcer who happened to be in Cinci as well, total chance!) online. So I spent my 3 years in Cinci mostly on facebook (or myspace LULZ), IRC, Enforcer forums, and even Gaia online. Just trying to have some connection to people. I made friends in Cincinnati, but not to the extent that I so desperately needed. I did become very close to our roommate Mike, but one good friendship, unfortunately, cannot substitute the life a socialite like myself craves. So I turned inward more and more, and as the only constant companionship I had was X, I rationalized that he was the only one who really loved me.

So I made myself miserable, but I didn't even know it. The weight gain was the first sign. I had been rail thin most of my life, and while I had started to grow some curves, after moving to Cinci, I just flat out fattened up. My midsection was no longer flat and attractive, but getting pudgy. Once aware of the problem, I became more & more self conscious. I had never in my life had to worry about my weight and now it was out of control. While at first, X attempted to belay my fears, eventually it became apparent that he was not equipped to handle the emotional damage this was creating and began to add to it rather that relieve it.

Insomnia was next. I couldn't seem to regulate my sleep schedule to save my life, even when I got a "real" job. I still suffer from this today. As you can tell I am posting this blog at almost 3 am. Even when I am tired, trying to sleep before 2 am becomes a challenge for me, no matter what time I have to get up. I am too restless and have always had a difficult time forming a regular sleep schedule.

Eating. All the time. This was a leftover habit from my teenage years, but unfortunately with my metabolism crashed, the effects were visible now. Again, another thing I struggle with. I feel like almost any activity I do at home must involve a snack. Ugh.

Overshopping. So miserable, I had to constantly go to Target or Meijer just to buy something small that would provide me with some joy. It's likely where my huge Target addiction started. And why I have so much stuff, lol.

Vegetarianism. Ha ha that sounds like a strange thing to list here. Let me explain. I do believe the meat industry is pretty fucking foul, and I wish that I could afford to eat ONLY free range meat that I KNOW is treated well (don't get me started on the crap requirements for free range labels), but at the time I chose to be a vegetarian, I'm pretty sure it was just to rebel against what X liked, in my own way. It was a way to fight back and control something. He couldn't force me to eat things I didn't want, and now I had a rule set he'd have to follow. Spite is the best reason to do anything. That was the motto I believe.

Here is where the real rub comes in. I made mention in my first entry about marrying X because of how some friends treated me. It's really only one. A conversation stands out in my mind every time I wander back to the decision I made to marry X. I asked this friend if he/she thought the marriage was a good idea. As I indicated in my first entry, I was a spaz, an emotional firecracker before (and to some extent while) I moved to Cinci. This friend said to me, "Well, he seems to be able to put up with you, and I think that's what you need." No mention of the two of us being in love, no mention of him caring about me. This reassured my fear that I could never do better. But the worst part now, is that after speaking with yet another friend from that period of my life, I have come to see my behavior back then in a totally different light.

This other friend expressed his frustration with myself and with the first friend. This friend said he knew I was smart and interesting, but that he/she couldn't seem to reconcile how I acted when we were alone and how I acted when I was around other people, specifically the first friend. Alone, I was smart, funny, excitable but not spastic. But with other people, they would treat me like a 5-year-old, and so I would act like one.

Move forward into my relationship with X, he treated me like someone else. I wouldn't say he treated me like a 5-year-old, in fact that's not the case even at all. He simply wanted to believe so badly that I was some other woman, and then treated me as if I was that woman. He acted as if I was the crazy one when I didn't perform in the way he believed this woman to perform and he was disappointed in me. The huge schism this created in my mind was completely crippling. I wanted so badly to be the woman he wanted, but I also wanted to be myself, because I know that's I'm pretty freaking awesome.  But these two women couldn't be reconciled with each other. So his constant disappointment in me was completely killing my self esteem. But I had convinced myself I must be this woman, otherwise why would he think so? And the depression got worse and worse. Until he broke me. He completely yoked and tamed me, and I was so lost and confused I just gave up. He would scream at me on the phone while I lived in Seattle. I was there for only 3 weeks before he left me over the phone, but the entire time I was there he was accusing me of being lazy, not finding a job or a place for us to live when he was supposedly going to follow. I tried so hard to understand where he was coming from. It took me 3 months to find a job when I moved to Cincinnati, and Seattle is a whole new ball game. I tried talking to my friends out there about it, to see if I was missing something, but when he found out I was talking to anyone else about our problems, he blew yet another gasket. Driving me further and further away from making any connections with anyone else. The misery just piled up and piled up. Until I finally saw him for what he was when I returned to Ohio. I shook off all the dust and debris and trash he had been throwing on me and just decided I'd had enough.

But it's so easy to rationalize away your doubts and fears. It's so easy to let other people's expectations of you rule the way you act.

I'm here to tell you to knock it off. Stop letting everyone else dictate how you should feel about it. Stop making excuses for your unhappiness and be honest with yourself. Because the second you do that is the second you can actually live your life.

Alan doesn't dictate the way I act, perhaps to his chagrin sometimes. He recognizes that I may never improve in the areas that make him kind of crazy. But he's willing to accept that fact for all the awesome I bring into his life. Change is good, but forcing something to change into something they are not, isn't.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Repeat Offenses

So, in the spirit of this blog, and in lieu of a discussion I was having with one of my bridesmaids the other evening, I am presented with an issue that is unique to those of us divorced and planning a second wedding. Seeing as my first wedding was only 4 years ago, my tastes haven't changed all that much. Not only that, Alan & I have decided to throw a themed wedding, that theme being pirates. Because we both love them.

Well I loved pirates 4 years ago too, and while our wedding wasn't themed, X and his men all wore coats that were pirate-styled. When deciding whether to go with this theme or not, I did consult Alan, and he liked it, but said that ultimately the decision to do a themed wedding was up to me. I then consulted my Maid of Honor, and BFFOMG Liz if doing a pirate theme was too close to the pirate style coats they wore in my first wedding. She voiced the concern that it might be too close, confirming my fears. After chatting it out a bit I mentioned there were other ways for the guys to dress that aren't the same as the coats worn before, it seemed feasible in my mind to do it.

Now we have begun planning out the outfits for ourselves and the bridal party. I have selected my bridesmaids' dress, and it is perfect. But when I needle Alan about his outfit and the groomsmens' attire,  the things he points out all are long coats very reminiscent of X's coat. Uuuuuh no. I feel bad restricting him like that, but I don't want people seeing any link between this marriage and the first. This is about Alan & me. Not any of our previous relationships.

When speaking the other night to my bridesmaid Tiffany, she said that I shouldn't care what others think and if we want coats, to wear coats. I couldn't voice it properly at the time, but after some thought and reflection, it really is less about what others think and more about me wanting this to be something totally different because it IS something totally different. It's something amazing, and that's ALL I want to see and think about that day. I don't want to see Alan as I walk down the aisle and at all be reminded of X.

Also, I keep reminding Alan, it's going to be in August, don't make his groomsmen wear heavy, long, dark coats in August.

There are other things from my previous wedding that are a shame I can't repeat, believe me. Instead of bouquets, my ladies & I carried parasols (much needed in the hot sun!) and our favors had been sandalwood fans (also needed in the heat!), neither of which I can use again, but would totally love to. But this is a challenge, and I love challenges! I am sure it will force me to find something even MORE awesome.

On the venue front, Alan did get us our first visit to a venue, and it seems he already has his heart all a flutter on it. I am requiring him to find us more before we make any decisions of course, but really, we're buying the first house we went to look at because I fell in love with it the minute we walked in. Also, our theme makes it difficult to find a venue to suit. As I am finding out. I am, not so much forcing but encouraging strongly, that Alan take an active role in our wedding planning. So having him find our venues to look at is a part of that. He gets frustrated sometimes though. He made the mistake of showing me a venue the other day that I think is perfect and much closer than the first venue we went to see, but then informed that it is WAY THE FUCK out of our price range. Even after trying to crunch some numbers and cut some stuff, it's still way too out of our range. It breaks my heart, but Alan said he didn't like it anyways. So I'm not sure why he showed me their website if he A) didn't like it, and B) knew we couldn't afford it. *pout* So I informed him to not repeat that mistake as I am all salty about it now. I would never show him an outfit that is piratey but that he cannot afford. "OH look how cool, but you can't have it." DAMN.

I enjoy wedding planning, but even for the best of us, it is not awesome all the time.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Let me make something perfectly clear.

Marriage is a big fucking deal.

That's right, you know I mean what I'm saying. I want this to be abso-fucking-lutely clear. Lately I have been witness to a great many incidents that either blur or plain old step right over the lines of what is appropriate when dealing with someone who is married. I am not passing any judgement on those in the gray areas. I haven't got all the information, so I'm not at liberty to make that judgement. And if I've already talked to you about that, don't worry, this isn't about you.

Also, let me preface this rant I'm to go on with the qualifier that if you are in an open, or poly-amorous marriage, this obviously works very different for you. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about people who have been lead to believe they are in a monogamous marriage.

What I want to write about is the bold faced stepping over the lines while someone is still married. Kissing and making out DO qualify as cheating. Just so you fucking know. Having sex, I don't think I need to even qualify that. And you know what else is cheating? Emotional stuff too. I'm sorry, if you have found you are emotionally attracted to someone else, you need to either cut that person out, or decide it is time to end your marriage. Because you can rationalize it any way you like, but even in the case of a spouse being abusive, you are still choosing to be MARRIED to that person, so until you sever that bond, you have no right to go around messing with other people. If you are brave enough to step outside the bonds of your marriage to cheat, then you better be brave enough to fucking leave. I am well aware that leaving behind long term relationships is a scary thing, but that doesn't make it right to hook some poor sap along while you make up your mind. If you are seriously having thoughts about ending the marriage, deal with that all on its own, don't add in the idea of another person. If you are finding that is a part in ending your marriage, then you need to cut that person off until you can see clearly enough to decide if ending your marriage is still what you want.

Because, people, here is the bottom line. I'm sure that when X met his new wife, the one he left me for, he demonized the shit out of me. Made me out to be some terrible woman, that he was totally justified in leaving. I'm sure that he told her how mean I must have been to him and why he was some sort of sap for marrying me and that I was the bad guy. And anyone who has read my blog or talked to me about it, I'm sure, has heard me go on & on about what a dick he was. That's easier for me to do since he left me. But in the end, I was still his wife. I still loved him enough to want to make it work, to want him to stay when he left me. I married him because he had redeeming qualities and there was something I saw in him that made me want him in the first place. And I know he cared about me. I know he loved me, in his bizarre way. I saw the tears, they were real. I felt the hand squeeze when we knew it was the end. And I would be lying if I said I didn't love him with a very deep and true part of my soul. When things were happy, he was funny, he was thoughtful, and in some respect, he got me. I'm not trying to pretty up a dead horse, we were a terrible match, and ultimately THAT is why we failed, but no matter what, all I can see it for now is that he cheated. He left me for some other woman. I am a jilted bride, we never made it to our first anniversary because he met someone else and it will never leave me. I try so hard to be objective when I look back and remember that we weren't a good couple. But I can't see that because all of it is clouded with how he left me for someone else. He couldn't just leave me based on our marriage failing, he left me for someone else. He'd rather string me along until something better came along.

So your new make out buddy can go on & on about how terrible their spouse is, how neglected or insulted or alone they make them feel, but ultimately they haven't left them, they're still married to them, and if/when that spouse finds out, imagine the pain they are going to feel. That husband will mask it with anger and blame the other man for taking advantage of his wife, and that wife will accuse the other woman of stealing her husband. They will never lose that image in their mind, they will never lose that feeling of betrayal and loss. It will lessen over time, it will fade, but it has done the damage. Alan has NEVER given me reason to think he would ever cheat on me, but sometimes my brain will make it up anyways, because I know how easy it is to fool myself into a false sense of security, so my brain occasionally returns to that pain & says "look how easy it would be for Alan to do this."

And I feel small for saying it. But I can't stop it, because the damage is already done. I know, 100% without any fear, that Alan will never do that to me. Doesn't stop the thoughts from coming anyways.

I know that life is complicated, and there are always other factors, and that people are crippled by fear. Believe me, I know it. But ultimately, you are responsible for your choices. If you are unhappy with your marriage, unhappy enough to look elsewhere, then fucking end it. Just end it. Or consider counseling. If its so far-gone that you can justify your affair, then you are too far-gone, end it. If the married person you're considering fooling around with has an oh-so-sad tale of woe about their loveless marriage, and their good-for-nothing spouse, realize they are making justifications to get you to side with them. 9 times out of 10, that spouse isn't as bad as they say. And that spouse has feelings too, and very likely loves their mate, in some form or another. And in the end, messing around with a married person always means SOMEONE is going to get hurt. And that will be partially on your shoulders, no matter which way that cookie crumbles.

And I promise you, it will crumble.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's funny how my brain works.

I just reread my last entry in which I said we are no where near a point where we could buy a house.

Ha. Alan's in the process of closing on one. WELP. I am so used to second guessing this kind of stuff, it just gets silly sometimes. Alan's doing this all on his own since he can manage it and it awards him a grant w/out my income added in. We're not married yet, so there's no requirement for us to do so.

Have started to really start some forward movement on my wedding plans, all our crew members have been asked to join our ships, and I've even bought some wedding books and started collecting ideas. I saw a great episode of My Fair Wedding with David Tutera in which he planned a pirate wedding. The dress & all the meat of the episode was hardly piratey at all in my opinion, but the reception he designed was SPOT ON for the look I'm going for, so I'm going to be trying to get some screen caps of that from netflix so I can start collecting materials to make it similar. I've already collected a few other ideas I had as well, so I feel like I'm moving in the right direction now. Rich jewel tones are def the direction I am aiming.

The benefits of this being my 2nd go at planning a wedding means this has become something I know my way around a bit more than I did my first time. I'm in no rush, as mentioned before, but I'd really like to secure a venue. I kind of asked Alan to take charge of that, and so far he has yet to do it. I bought him a book called "Groomology" because I'd sure like him to be more helpful and involved than X was! He's been pretty involved so far, but that's not saying much for how little we've done. He did sit down and watch the TV episode with me, though. Poor guy, I was expecting a much cooler lead up, but I think he enjoyed seeing the reception as much as I did.

I think I was worried about asking the 3 bridesmaids that were also in my previous wedding because it seemed like such a burden, but all of them have been very gracious. One has a possible complication that could keep her from taking part, but she made it clear she wanted to. This warmed my heart. No matter how much I convince myself I'm a burden, that I'm damaged, my friends remind me how much they love me. The fact that I am still friends with a lot of the same people I've been friends with since childhood warms my heart and gives me hope that they obviously see something worthwhile in me, so I ought to see what they see. :) And the new bridesmaids are a testament to people still finding me worth their time to forge new friendships with, to put their trust in. Thanks so much to all of you. <3 You give me such strength.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding planning begins.

The wedding planning dance.

I love Alan, and I can't wait to marry him, and I'm psyched that he is excited about throwing the biggest party of our lives together. He loves parties, he loves weddings, and he's into the pirate theme we have decided to go with (SURPRISE if you didn't already know, lol).

But it is a bit stressing to think about the fact that here I am, planning another wedding. And this one is so far off from here that some of the planning seems so silly to worry about now! Hell, I haven't even gotten a chance to ask all my bridesmaids yet. (I might just call them crew members, I haven't decided yet. XD ) I don't have even the slightest clue what kind of budget we're going to get to work with, or what kind of venue.

And then I get a bit bummed or depressed about it. Which is so weird. It feels so far away. What the hell is wrong with me???

Before Alan proposed, I felt like it might never happen. And then it finally did! Sure, I'm betting a lot of readers (HA, a lot of readers, who am I kidding???) are thinking "Two years isn't that long." As mentioned in previous posts, as irrational as I know this part of my brain is/was, it was certainly very loud to scream "HURRY UP AND GET MARRIED TO PROVE YOU'RE NOT DEFECTIVE!!!!"
Ugh. Damaged much?
Anyways, now that we're engaged, we have a date, a theme, our colors picked, I realize, I still have a long time before we reach that date. A long time before I'm done with school, before we have a chance at being somewhere close to buying a home, me getting a job in my field that pays enough for us to afford a house....

And then, I reread that last paragraph and laugh at myself. Sure it's slightly because I am slap happy from staying up until 2:30 after finishing a paper due tomorrow, but really, I'm just being silly. Most days I look around and realize how ridiculously lucky I am and how ludicrously happy I am. I let these obnoxious little thoughts creep into my head. Thoughts of how I'm not good enough unless I prove some point about not being defective. After years of being told how messed up you are, you begin to believe it. So now I have to find that happy balance between rushing out and "OMG WEDDING STUFF NOW NEED DRESS AND FLOWERS AND WTF IS GOING ON WITH THE DUDES OUTFITS????" and not doing anything at all. The first few weeks I went out & joined a few wedding communities online, and since my intros, I haven't really done anything else on them yet.

Because I have no clue what's going on yet.
I guess that's ok. :)