Friday, August 31, 2012

divorce

On August 29th, I got divorced. It was a Wednesday. I'd driven to the location the night before and was a wreck. I sort of found it the day of but wandered around, looking for the double doors J texted me about but not finding them. One of my skills is the damsel in distress vibe. A man in a suit saw me and asked me what I was looking for. "Court house?" I sort of said, "which one?" he asked. I said divorce, he said "follow me." He was too kind, making sure I was with him at all times and that I knew where to go.

I found J eventually, he in his black work pants and black work shirt, me in my black skirt with a white pattern, white blouse, black blazer, business professional because I didn't know how to dress. "I always liked you in this skirt" J said. "I wore it when we first came to Ohio to find an apartment" I responded. We sat, awkwardly, until we were called. Then we were sworn in, stated that yes, what the judge read out was true and agreed upon. We were then sent to the fourth floor to have the divorce certified. We exited together. We hugged. He cried, I couldn't, my anti anxiety medication doing its thing. "I know we like to cry at one another," I said, "but I feel like I'm about to vomit and I don't want to share that with you." He thanked me. I then walked the long way to my car and went home.

No, I went to the DMV to change my license, to the bank to update my info, then home. I've taken care of all that I can think of name change wise. i am single. My name is what it was when I was born. In two weeks I'll have my updated social security card. I am once again the girl I was before J. I ended up taking two days off. Half a day to get divorced, one and a half days to be in a drunken stupor, crying, napping, dealing with truly important stuff in between. I am now my single Simply a Girl self.

I'm waiting for it to hit me. I'm glad I didn't vomit on J or in his presence of course, but I'm still waiting. I was over wrought yesterday and texted my mother "I'm divorced." Her response was "so am I." Then "so is so and so". Then "so is so and so". Then "so is so in so". I'm assuming she meant "I'm sorry sweetheart but it happens and you'll be fine." But I took it as "you aren't special and you aren't the first person this has happened to." We both handled it badly. I ended up telling her to leave me alone.

So that is that. That is what happened. I have nothing else to offer. The ravaged heart, the endless guilt, none of it is interesting or dealable. So there.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Poof

Breaking the Camel's Back
It's always fun to find new levels of pain that our bodies will dredge up when we find that we are, in fact, more stressed than we've ever been. Nice to know I have something to look forward to and that I can never say "well, at least it can't get worse." The usual insomnia and hysterical crying jags are par for the course (though the frequency of said crying jags has increased) but the tensing up of neck muscles as soon as I hit a road near my office and the clenching of my jaw throughout the day is not. Nor is the acid reflux I developed for a few days. That's what acid reflux is? What a bitch I am for thinking it couldn't be that bad. It's like with allergies; I used to think allergies just meant you were a pussy and then I realized that no, that's not what it is. And I didn't even develop any myself. But reflux, oy vey. And it just seems counter-intuitive to me that when it happens I need to eat. I feel like I'm about to throw up any moment and I'm supposed to put food on it? Ooph.

So yes, stress. Work has had me bent over for so long now that my knees are locked in place. Just the constant demands on my time from people who like to tell me how busy they are all the time. Whenever people say "we've just been too busy" I want to punch them in the throat because what the fuck? I'm busy too, partly because these assholes are clueless and disorganized and are just plain assholes. But my manager appears to have spoken with someone because all of a sudden the frequent requests/demands have stopped. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop however, waiting for the head of the division that has been the noose around my neck to pull back on the rope. My friend tells me not to worry unless or until something comes up but I find that difficult a lot of the time because I despise the unknown. So my neck tenses up and my body refuses to relax enough to sleep.

Medical Madness
Saw my neurologist on Friday. We went through the usual exam and he said I was fine and he had no worries. He's leaving for Yale in December and I'll see one of his colleagues, all of whom he says are nice people. "I don't need them to be nice, " I said, "I just need them to be good." His response was "well, you aren't what I'd call a difficult patient." Lovely compliment.

But I'm glad that he doesn't foresee me having any issues. Still, I have a follow up MRI on September 7, when we'll see if I have any new inflammation (fingers crossed). And he prescribed me an anti anxiety medication at my request, because work is so stressful. Maybe it is a placebo effect or maybe it is already working but suffice it to say, it is my new best friend.

Respite
Upstairs Kid and I went shooting on Saturday. I did really poorly at first. My stance was off, I wasn't using the proper part of my finger to shoot, and I wasn't sure which eye to use. I eventually settled on the left, UK corrected how I was holding my arms and reminded me to use the flesh of my finger pad only. I improved greatly. And I had a great time. As we left the range, we saw a small plane flying low. I got it into my head that there might be an airshow and said "do you want to have an adventure?" UK was all for it so we did a U Turn and found the Fairfield airport, one of those small ones for private planes. We stumbled upon a historic airplane museum which was tiny and a bit sad but super fun because I got to sit in these little war replica planes an jeeps and such. We also got to see sky divers come in, those who took off at the other end of the hanger. Total fun.


From there we decided to cap the day with lunch and he suggested Rusty Bucket and swore he knew where it was. He sort of did but he'd gone there by bike so we got a bit turned around before finding it. As soon as we arrived I received a text from a number I didn't recognize. "I was thinking about you and hope you are doing OK. Take it for what it is ... take care." I didn't need Columbo or Sherlock to help me figure out that it was most likely Stalker. I forwarded it to Hunter so he could look up the number and yep, Stalker indeed. I received a second, garbled text about an hour later. "My dog and I didn't expect to get a reply but we wish you would". At least, I think that is what it said but it was really fucked up because he was drunk and/or high. Lovely. Fortunately, that was the end of it and I haven't heard from him since and when I returned to work on Monday, I didn't look at him. He did email me a forward to see if an issue that was closed had really been taken care of and I simply replied "no. For more detail please see the telecom worker involved." No wiggle room there. If he approaches me again Hunter said he'd call him and see what his problem is. Friends in high places.

Emotional
So Friday was a good medical appointment and, for the most part, a great Saturday. I stayed at UK's place that night because we went out drinking so I crashed on his floor. Got up at 7:30 a.m. and went to drive home but hit a fucking curb fucking up my rim. The tow truck guy was nice and even researched my preferred shop. Dropped car off, went back to UK's place to watch a couple episodes of "Deadliest Warrior"*, and eventually got the call that they put a spare on and would call me when they had the rim. Went home and crashed.

And then.... J called me on Sunday and told me that he wanted to let me know that he felt bad about not responding to my emails. He knows it's over and that I don't want to be his wife but he still loves me and so when I email him, it consumes him. I didn't know. We had an emotional conversation. In the end, I told him I'd stop emailing until he was ready and he reached out. It was a terrible conversation but a funny one because he always makes me laugh. He said goodbye by saying "well, it's been good crying with you but I think I should go." We talked about how he is really angry at me but really sad and can't help but love me. We talked about how he's so full of hate and anger and I just wish he could use it for good for once (it's true, he's an angry guy) and he said he's tried that but it doesn't work. I told him that whenever he calls I'm afraid he's going to yell at me and he said he thinks that's what I want because it will make me feel less guilty. "No, J, that isn't what I want. I'm terrified when you yell. And nothing will make me feel less guilty."

There were a few jokes about the pig, about how I signed papers giving him custody but that I have to pay for his maintenance and medical care. J also needs me to watch him from now until the pig dies. But still, Johan is no longer mine. The pig always distracts us from crying for a bit.

But yeah, tomorrow is D day. I have directions. I have my outfit planned (professional to show that I'm treating the occasion with respect). I have anti anxiety medication.

I have no idea how I'm going to hold my shit together.

The end
As you can see, I'm a bit scattered. I've been working on this post for awhile and I just can't write with any sense of cohesive narrative. I'm hoping the new meds help. Or maybe I'll go back to drawing pictures. Who knows? Who cares?





Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sundae

 God I'm Dumb
As anyone who knows me knows, and anyone who has read my blog has learned, I am almost always riddled with bruises and at least one skinned knee. I used to think it was just a matter of moving too fast and not paying attention, of being preternaturally clumsy. But I've realized that much of it has to do with something much more stupid. Sure,  I take the occasional tumble, but who doesn't? And OK, I did once trip over my own feet after hanging up the phone (this was back in the day when I lived with my family and we had the old school attached to the wall phone). I did once fall for no good reason whilst walking with J. But, after falling three times in one night the other day, I took a look around and realized that I've made my home into a fucking obstacle course. I really need to paste a note to my door saying "if I die and it looks like there was a struggle, do not automatically assume I was murdered" because my home is a disaster and it's almost as though I have set it up on purpose, my own personal gauntlet. Of course I fucking trip and fall all the time. I have all sorts of shit in the middle of my rooms and in the dark, I have no chance of making it to the lamp or my bed without stepping on something or tripping over something. I'm lucky I haven't broken my neck yet.

I really need to clean this place up. I am, I am certain, the stupidest girl on the planet. "Hmm, I think I'll put this box right here, two steps from my doorway so that I can trip over it." "I've just gotten home from a business trip and so I think I should put my suitcase immediately in front of my front door so that I'll know where it is and, if I get home late and in the dark, I can take a nice head dive into the carpet. Perfect!"

Fire! 
Upstairs Kid and I went to the gun range on Saturday. It took us about 2 hours to get there because some asshole stole my GPS and so we were going by directions he copied from google and we just somehow got lost. We had fun and laughed a lot but it was damned annoying; more so when we got lost on the way back. But we got to the range and he picked up his pistol, his Bonnie to my Clyde, and I did my best shooting to date. I'm still nowhere near a good shot but I've gotten more familiar with my Beretta and I have a better understanding of how to hold it in order to improve my accuracy. It drives my mother nuts that I own a weapon and that I go shooting but it's all purely recreational for me. I do not own my gun for self defense purposes; as UK pointed out, if you have it for self defense, you must reconcile yourself to being able to kill someone. I don't think I have that in me, not even if I'm being attacked. I suppose that speaks poorly of my self preservation skill but I just don't know that I could take a life. So Clyde is never loaded in my home, even now that I've 'earned' my ammo (I bought it when I bought the gun but UK kept it until I passed his test of improving my shooting). It is always safe in my home. It is locked up and the magazines and chamber are always empty.

But lord do I love shooting. I don't really know what it is. I like feeling connected to what I'm doing, which is why I am not a fan of 22s, even though I understand they are good for practice. I like having a tie to something I'm doing. I like building a skill. And I like the power of the weapon. I don't like when the guy in the next lane is firing a 500 revolver that sounds like a cannon and makes me jump and unable to shoot. Even UK had to stop until dude had finished.He told me he felt wind from the guy's revolver and he thinks his head probably shook. It was bizarre and we were happy when he stopped. But thems the breaks.

Travel
Yes, I had a miserable time getting home but I made it. On my flight from Texas to Detroit, there was a woman with a 2 year old and a 2 month old in the seats in front of me. The 2 year old start screaming for the last half hour of the flight. I don't think he was even crying, just screaming to let his mother know he was unhappy. I remember thinking "why do kids have such high pitched screams?" The weirdest thing is that that 2 month old only cried for a bit, having been woken up by his big brother. When the plane landed, the mother apologized to everyone because you know, no one wants to be "that" person with the screaming child. I told her "my brother has a 3 and a half year old and 6 month old. He just traveled home for a visit from Abu Dhabi and I don't know how he and his wife do it. Also, how did your infant not know that when his big brother started, he was supposed to join in for some tag team yelling?"

I actually spoke with Teacher on Saturday because he is in Arizona and it was his birthday. I told him how I don't know how he and the wife do it, the 19 hour travel days with two kids, car seats, and a stroller. Yes, I fell apart and had to have Hunter help me be an adult but at least I didn't have anyone else to worry about and I didn't have the cumbersome luggage that parents do. Screaming children on a flight are a nightmare and I resent them totally but I also know that it is worse for the parent because they have to deal with it as well and they have the guilt and worry about what other passengers are thinking. I also know that children don't have the same coping skills as adults and so they don't necessarily understand that the discomfort is going to end. I've come a long way from when I was a teenager and just despised children and looked at parents of the screamy with disdain. Because honestly? When the 2 year old was screaming I got so upset that I wanted to start screaming myself.

Work...of course
I wrote to my Viking again, finally. I haven't written in ages and I like to think it is because I've been busy. Really, I have no excuse. But I finally wrote to her again and I realized, yet again, that I really seem to only work these days. Yes, I have Broad Summit once a month and I am on a more regular schedule for shooting with UK, but my god I've become a dull person! It's just that I really like what I do, I have a ton that I need to take care of, and honestly, I'd rather work than think about going to the courthouse on August 29th to end my marriage. I never thought I'd be the type of person, be the type of adult, who threw themselves into work to avoid difficult personal things. Ending my marriage with J is the right thing to do. I know that. We've now been separated for over a year and so I should be able to move on. But it's hard. I know many people don't understand how I can still have such guilt but, as I tell them, you don't know until you've been through it. I won't bore you again with how I feel about J or about my feelings on the matter. I will simply say, instead, that, even after all this time, I'm still not OK about it. He's found a job finally. He told me because he didn't want me to find out when we were in court, like I'm a stranger. I was so happy to hear it because he's been looking for years and he's wanted to get out of academia. He's going to look for a new partner and now he has a job. He's moving on. I'm so happy for him. And here I wanted to be in control to make sure he'd be OK and he's doing it all on his own. The hubris of humans.

I need to let go. I know that. I think people might say that I need to forgive myself for what happened. Even J has said to me in the past that it wasn't all my fault. I just somehow need to figure out how that is true.Because right now, right now, I feel like shit.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Waldo

Where have I been? If you'd asked me on Wednesday, I'd have said on a business trip in Texas. But then Thursday happened. I took a flight to Detroit, where I arrived at 6:15 EST for my 8PM flight. This flight was delayed until 10:25 when I landed, then 1:30 a.m. At 1:30 a.m. I was awoken from my place on the floor at the gate where I'd fallen asleep to find that my flight had been canceled. I was placed on a flight for 8:40 the next morning and took a shuttle to a hotel. This morning I arrived at the airport in good time to find I'd left my wallet at the hotel. To my credit, I'd had three hours of sleep at the most. I was told the shuttle driver had another run at 8 and he'd bring it. At 8:35 I called, yet again, and found that he'd come and gone without seeing me and left my wallet with a security agent. I spent a frantic few moments harassing the staff until I got my wallet back, intact (holler to the Comfort Suites staff).  I missed my morning flight but got onto a new one and so made it home.

Props go out to Hunter as well as the shuttle driver who returned my wallet. I called him in a puddle of hysterics and he was there for me on several calls telling me what I needed to do, promising that I'd get home TODAY, and not making fun of me one bit for being an idiot or being upset. Again, I'd had three hours of sleep and spent 7 hours in the Detroit airport, which does not have wi fi. Zero internet and minimal emotional stability. Hunter has traveled quite a bit in his years at our company and he is my best friend so I turned to him immediately and he did not let me down. I'm fucking lucky to have the friends I do and, as BFF said "I'm so glad Hunter took care of you." I owe him, big time.

But yes, I was actually in Texas for a business trip, arriving Sunday night. I was ridiculously nervous and terrified but it went well, me being the most professional person in the room and them treating me like some sort honored dignitary. There were some bumps but I think it was a success in a number of ways. I helped rebuild our relationship, proved that I'm serious about working with them and helping them succeed, and I proved that I am a professional and competent employee who can be trusted with resposibility.

More fun was visiting with friends. I spent some time with Hunter of course, but I also had lunch with a different IT division, chatted with a guy in yet another IT division, and did a tour of the mail room where they send out my recruitment letters. As I told my boss, I maintained my relationship across divisions because that is the best way of ensuring good customer service.

One of the best parts of the trip happened on Tuesday. Hunter flew to IL on Monday for a presentation for a potential client and, on Tuesday, he stopped by my hotel for a drink on his way back from the airport. I excused myself to use the ladies room and when I came back, the general manager of my division was there talking to him about why he was there. When that man left, Hunter looked at me and said "you know he thinks I'm fucking you, right?" As PW put it when I told her (because she knows I'm terrified of this particular GM), "that's one way of climbing the corporate ladder." Considering that all the IT folks I hung out with are men, I'm happy that the division I was there to work with is comprised of women. Reputations and all.

I arrived in Columbus at about 11:45 this morning, grabbed my bag, which had been gate checked, and took a shuttle to my car. I then drove to the vet to pick up the pig, stopped by the office to do one task, went to the grocery store for some food, and came home. Tomorrow I am going to the gun range with Upstairs Kid. I look forward to the stress relief of shooting Clyde as well as the time away from work (because otherwise, I'd totally be working). He's picking up a pistol he bought, his Bonnie, and we'll get to shoot that as well. Everyone I know who knows I have this appointment is very happy indeed as it is my being social and getting out of the house. I almost canceled due to my flight arrangements, but knew it was something I really needed to do. See, it isn't all work with me!

So now I'm drinking some beer and watching "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for the fifth time, courtesy of Red Box. Not a bad end to my day.