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.