Monday, November 1, 2010

The Sad Truth

There are many things about a breakup that suck- loss of friends, decreased self esteem, the unanswerable questions. But you know what? You get past all that. You make new friends. Those new friends rebuild your self confidence, and you learn to let go of the unanswerable questions.
So what's the worst part?

The loneliness.

Like I said, you make new friends, and those friends are wonderful. They get you through those tough times, they take you out of your cocoon of despair.

When you get home though, there's no one there. Oh you may have a roommate or family, but you are alone. That person who was at the party with you went back to his house. He isn't home with you. He isn't reminiscing about the night or continuing a conversation.
When you crawl into bed, you sleep with no one.

That is the worst part. That pervasive loneliness comes and goes in intensity but it's always there. To paraphrase a book I read, you can go out with cash in you wallet for a cab if you can't drive, you watch what you drink, but nothing takes the place of having another person watching your back.

I miss that most from being in a relationship. Not from my ex specifically, just that security. It hovers around you as an unseen force that gives you an intangible sense of safety. You know that you can pick up your phone and text or call that person and he will be there. You know that if you have a nightmare, he'll be right there to calm you down. He'll be the one getting you tea or water or medicine in the middle of the night when you get sick.

I'll tell you this though- if anyone reading this is suffering from that loneliness, I like hugs- both giving and receiving.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maybe I should call her Professor Pink Bra instead...

While I was completing my undergrad degree, I formed a strong relationship with some of my professors, to the point that now 9two years after graduating) I still stop by to say hi and chill with them.

This past Wednesday, I was on campus to hijack the free printing from the computer lab for a ridiculously long supplement for one of my law classes. 60 pages, using my ink and paper? Um, no.
Once I had safely printed the document and escaped unnoticed, I stopped by my Linguistics professor's office to say hi.

She asked how my sister's wedding went. I told her it was lovely.
She asked how That Boy was. I told her the truth.

She was all that was kind and understanding. Except not.
She got excited, jumped up and down in her chair and asked, "Can I say it? Oh please let me say it!" followed by an exuberant, childish chant of "I told you so, I told you so!"

Yeah. Not quite what I wanted, but everything I was expecting. See, Linguistics Professor saw me when Ex Boyfriend dumped me the first time three years ago. She knew that I had tried to kill myself and how utterly lost I was.

She saw how hard it was for me to pick myself back up. She saw me graduate despite that setback. She knew how much I wanted it to work.

Still, she redeemed herself (after a few more "I told you so's" slipped out) by commenting that she was happy for me.

And you know what? She really was. She has always believed that I was too good for Ex Boyfriend, that I deserved better. In addition to being happy for me, she also said that she coudl tell that I was happy. Not "oh, I'm doing so so but I'll stick a smile on my face" happy, but honestly happy.

And she's right. I am happy. Not 'the sky is blue and bird are singing oh joy!' happy, but at peace with myself happy. Though I very much loved Ex Boyfriend (and cliche as it is, part of me always will), I'm happier without him. I don't feel like I have to answer to another person if I want to go out with friends. I don't have to feel bad if a guy expresses interest in me. I no longer plan to live in a state I never want to be in just to be with his dead end self.

I really am happy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I've known since May, easily, that when SlutBitch (Ex-Boyfriend's wife) finishes her AIT training, she and Ex Boyfriend would be stationed somewhere that isn't the town we all lived in.

I've been apprehensive about this- what if I get a rockin' job somewhere only to find out after I've moved that Ex Boyfriend is living on the nearby Army base? We could run into eachother at the movies (awkward)! I could be on a date and they walk into the same restaurant (super awkward)! She uses my firm to initiate divorce proceedings (awkward, unlikely, but almost hopeful)!

Well, he texted me the other day to let me know that SlutBitch was already told where she'd be stationed:


All I can say is thank GOD he didn't actually call me to tell me this because oh lordy, I was laughing.

Ex Boyfriend does not speak Korean. He hates seafood, veggies and pretty much any Asian food that isn't beef lo mein or orange chicken (ie, everything in Korea). He will have no friends except his wife. He won't be able to go to school like he had planned (snort), and he has no jobs skills outside of glorified babysitting.

Essentially, he will be able to do nothing with his day except clean house, work out, play video games, and cook dinner for SlutBitch.

His life is going down in flames, and I am happily watching it burn.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I suppose two snowflake could be alike if you use a stencil...

One of the most commonly used cliches is that people are like snowflakes- no two are alike. You can't simply swap one person out for another and continue on like nothing changed. Even twins, people who are genetically the same person raised in the same environment end up being two distinct persons.

We as people don't want to believe that we're replaceable. That's why we develop likes and dislikes and personal style: we want to be irreplaceable.

This is heightened after you get dumped. You see your ex's new squeeze and start thinking to yourself, "well, she may be THIS but she'll never share THAT with him!". And for the most part, that's true. Different couples do different things together because it's different people.

Except in my case.

Ex-Boyfriend's new wife is, on paper, very similar to me. Physically we're both short and petite with pale skin and dark hair. We both grew up watching anime, enjoy(ed) table top gaming, video games, Disney movies and had similar tastes in reading material. We both have BAs in English. She originally planned to become a lawyer, then joined the military. I was in the military for a short stint, and have decided to become a paralegal. We both even have younger brother of approximately the same age.

Despite those similarities (and the fact that I have the good taste to not knowingly sleep with someone else's fiancee), there are obviously some differences between us (thank god). Still, I couldn't help thinking after Ex-Boyfriend dumped me that in marrying her, he got the not crazy, better version of me.

Hey. Don't judge. I was depressed.

Once I got over that (mostly), I clung, like every other dumpee, to the notion that he and I would still have certain things that were sacred- songs, movies, vacation destinations. For example, Ex-Boyfriend and I had always talked about visiting Disney World for out honeymoon. He went there a lot as a child, and I had always wanted to go.So, while he was at AIT, he got vacation time over Labor Day and spent it with me and his parents at Epcot. We walked around the World Stage thing, rode inside the giant golf ball and has a blast. Even after he finished training and came home, we were planning to take another trip with some friends.

You can see why I thought this sacred, yes?

Then I made an uh oh.

I link stumbled onto his wife's Facebook (I'm blocked from his. Ass.). I saw their wedding pictures (her dress is ugly and she looks fat). I also saw pictures of them on a vacation.

At Disney World. At the World Stage. Where he and I had been.

I knew he had been there- he canceled seeing me for my birthday (before the breakup) to go on the trip. He said it was a family only trip.

When I saw those pictures, readers, I think I started crying again. He had obviously lied (again) which hurt as it always does.

More than hurt, I felt replaced. I felt, and still do feel, like he just dumped me, picked out someone similar to me but without the crazy, and continued on. Nothing was safe. Nothing was special between us.

It was like I wasn't a person anymore. I was just a role, and someone took over that role.

I'm sorry if it saddens you to read this, but it was infinitely worse to experience. I have at many times felt like I didn't matter or didn't count because someone was always better or brighter (actually, that would be most of my life), but never before had I felt replaced.

Thank you, Ex-Boyfriend, for completely and utterly replacing me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gaga for Gaga

Like the vast majority of... well, the world, I am a fan of Lady GaGa. In fact, I honestly believe that my love life over the past year or so can happily be traced through some of her most popular songs:

Just Dance: Like it says in the song, it's gonna be ok. I had a sense that something wasn't right, that I was missing something, but whatev! I'm groovy.

Poker Face: To those who don't know, GaGa herself has stated that the song is about a woman who has to keep a poker face in bed because she's thinking of another person (in GaGa's case a girl) while in bed with her boyfriend. Tada! My boyfriend did the same thing- he was thinking of another girl while with me.

Bad Romance: This would be me right after the breakup. I didn't care what he threw at me, I wanted my ex's love in any form- the ugly, the angry, the crazy. I didn't wanna be friends, I wanted a romance, no matter how destructive.

Paparazzi: Like every girl who's been dumped out of the blue, I believed that if I just stuck around Ex Boyfriend, he would fall in love with me (again).

Telephone: Once I got through the worst of the breakup, I started bathing regularly again and leaving my house. I went out with friends more. Problem? Ex Boyfriend would call and text at inopportune times.

Alejandro: I heard this song when Co Worker mentioned liking the line, "just smoke my cigarette and hush". I see it as my "I'll always love you for being my first love, but please go away now" song. Though I won't divulge his name, Ex Boyfriend's name sounds similar enough to the boys in the song that I happily substitute his name in whenever I hear the song.

See? GaGa sang my love life.

Courtesy of a belated birthday gift from my oft absent yet awesome older sister, Ms. BearCub, I recently saw Lady GaGa in concert. For my first non symphonic concert, it was an excellent selection. Of course, you don't just go to a concert- you experience it. For BC and I, it started with dinner at a Vietnamese/French restaurant (my treat) before heading into the local downtown area for some liquor before the show (dutch), and then finally dashing and giggling our way to the concert (her treat).
As I live in the Bible Belt, protesters show up fairly often when anything outside of "the norm" is taking place. Therefore, it came as no surprise to BearCub and I when, upon passing the Baptist convention next to the concert hall, saw anti-GaGa protesters doing their thing.

During the concert, GaGa herself commented on this. She said, "Outside they're spreading hatred and diversity. In here, it's all about love and unity". She went on to talk about how it's ok if someone tells you that you aren't thin enough or pretty enough or cool enough, in that convention center that night we were not alone. She calls her fans little monsters because each and every one of them has a monster that he or she fights every day. GaGa called for her fans to embrace who they were no matter what.

Frankly, I wanted to hug her. Not because she was a celebrity and I could brag that I hugged Lady GaGa, but because I recognized a fellow survivor and fel her words resonate. And then, of all things, she echoed BearCub- it's not cool to be sad. It's cool to be happy. Bear Cub has been encouraging me to be happy for months, and to hear GaGa say the same sentiment was just a "woah" moment.

I loved the concert. The performance was of course amazing and the songs wonderful, but moreso than that, I felt such a sense of acceptance and warmth, even surrounded by 20,000 strangers.

Mind you, I also loved the giant puppet.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Channeling Charlotte Perkins Gillman?

I live in a decently small town. Perfect size, really- small enough to feel like you know people, big enough to stay private. Yet when 11:42 strikes and I'm bored, it's usually Wal Mart that calls me forth from my house. As my mother fears that if I step outside alone after dark I will be kidnappedbeatenrapedrobbedleftinaditchbyGypsies, it's become custom for Wondertwin and I to go out together.

Wondertwin is not actually my twin. I am, in fact, six years older than him, though depressingly six inches shorter. While in his formative years, I was usually the only person at home to take care of him, so I shaped a decent portion of his personality. We have been mistaken for twins before, and one two separate occasions, both my mother and my father have mistaken me for him or him for me. Thus, we joke that we're twins, and I'm the older twin by 6 years. To make it simpler, we are just Wondertwins.

I digressed. Anyway.

Wondertwin and I are standing in the checkout line discussing celebrities and the sad truth that many of them are infected with Stupid once they become famous. When I pointed out to Wondertwin that I would not catch the Stupid, he countered that the tabloid would likely make a story out of the time I've spent in loony bins.

It's true. I don't announce it at social functions, but those who know me know that I've had to be locked away a few times for my own safety. It wasn't bad the third and fourth time, truth be told. I was in a lovely establishment that had carpet and happy colors and that is where the best part of the evening kicked in.

Me: Well, if they ask, I"ll tell them all about it. (wicked grin) I'll comment on the lovely yellow wallpaper.
Wondertwin: (snortchucklelaugh)

Pause scene:
For those who may not know, The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by a woman named Charlotte Perkins Gillman. It tells of a woman who is vacationing at a rented house with her husband because she apparently is having "hysterics". To keep her from "exerting her mind" (read: reading, writing, drawing, anything), her husband all but locks her in a room that has yellow wallpaper and bars on the windows. As you can imagine, she goes bonkers, trying to follow the person "hidden" in the wallpaper and slithering along the walls.

Resume scene:
Me: Well the wall paper really was yellow!
Wondertwin: As long as you didn't scootch along the walls, we're good.
Me:... well...
Wondertwin: (throws his hands up in defeat)
Me: It was to give a person a hug! Just the once!
Wondertwin: No. No. You slithered.
Me: Great. My life as written by CPG.
Wondertwin: (guffaw).

End scene.

Part of me very much wants to go back to all my English professors and relate to them just how that particular hospital was decorated.

Well, at least the trees provide shade.

I'm not gonna lie. Through this whole mess, I have had an absolutely amazing support group just fall out of the woodwork to help me. Seriously- people who have only known me a few months from LARP offered to break my ex's kneecaps, Co Worker wants to attack with with a titanium spork (this was not a surprise- we are Serial Sporkers), and my sister, with whom I've had trouble connecting with in the past, has reached out so much that I cry.

I've come a decent ways in the six months since I was dumped. I'm way more emotionally stable (though my pill regimen is a big part of that) and I can laugh. You never know how wonderful it is to laugh until you've not done it for a long time. When I am in a sad or sour mood, I talk to those wonderful, amazing people I mentioned above. If no one is around, I listen to music. It's a phenomenal way to release that emotion without doing any harm. I for one make angry faces and imagine throwing things at my ex with all the hurt I've felt on my face when I listen to Hate by the Plain White T's.

Trust me. It works.

Still, I am so not out of the woods.

To quote my mother, I'm magnanimous to a fault. Some time down the road, I'd really like to be good fiends with my ex again. He was a good person once, I like to think, and I have hopes that one day he will be again.

Problem is, I can't look on those happy memories from when things were ok (to my knowledge) without it hurting. A Lot. A whole whole lot. Here's an image to clarify:
Imagine a pretty heart. It's small, but it's there. Now imagine that heart surrounded by thorns ala Sleeping Beauty's castle before the curse broke. Everytime that precious little heart tries to swell up with a happy though, it gets stabbed by those thorns.

That's what it's like to think back on the past eight years. It hurts. No matter how much medication I'm on and how many fantastic friends I have, it will hurt until I remove those thorns. And I want to- the more people I meet, the more my heart is going to swell with love, and I don't want my scarred little organ to be hindered by my past.

I can't just rip the thorns off though. Eugh. Gads no. Have you ever tried to just rush through a blackberry bramble? Hurts like hell because all those thorns stick and pull and you get scratched to hell and back. If I want to get rid of those painful little pricks, I have to pull them out slowly and carefully. That takes time. With the amount I have to work with, it takes a LOT of time.

Ergo, I explained to Ex Boyfriend that once he pays me back by December, I will be going away for awhile because we can't be good friends until I've gotten over it.
... he didn't take it well.

More like, he got mad at me. MAD at me! Can you believe it? He said SO many times "oh, I like talking to you, I just want you to do what's best so that you can be happy", and then he gets mad at me for leaving.
After HE left ME for someone else. Fancy that. I like to stroke my own ego and say that it's because he honestly doesn't know what to do without me.
That aside, I did something part stupid, part incredibly mature: I spent three days explaining myself. It took three days of interrupted text conversation to get him to realize that no, I'm not leaving him because I hate him and can't be his friend. I WILL be leaving in several months, AFTER his wife returns, because it's my way of trying to save what remains of our friendship.

wanna know a secret?

I don't know if I'll ever be back once I leave. Shh....

Friday, June 25, 2010

To tame the savage beast

I hold a degree in English, which means I spent 2.5 years training my brain to analyze words, either prose or poetry, for any potential relevance or symbolism. This trait tends to affect other aspects of my life.

Like music.

Now I freely admit to going through that phase in my early teen years (read: middle school) where I though there were songs that were just omg SO about me. Thankfully that phase was a short one.
Nevertheless, the appeal of music is that lyrics can and often do carry a message to which we the listener can relate. They carry memories of who we were with when we first heard the song, where we were in life.

As a result, there were many, many bands to which I could not listen following my epic dumping. Every love song on the radio seemed to drive home the point that yes, I was in fact QUITE alone, thank you for the reminder.

Luckily, my mp3 library had music to fix this.

There were some nice "I miss you" songs (I Need You Now by Lady Antebellum) and "I've been betrayed and abandoned boohoo" (Little Bird, the Weepies). Recently I've been compiling lovely wonderful songs about how happy I am to NOT be dating my lame ex.

I present to you my "I so don't want you back" playlist.

"So What" by Pink.
"Behind These Hazel Eyes" by Kelly Clarkson.
"Hate is a Strong Word (But I Really Really Don't Like You)" by the Plain White T's
"Alejandro" by Lady GaGa
"Since You've Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
"Gives You Hell" by All American Rejects.
"Don't Want You Back" by Backstreet Boys

Listening to these songs, along with several others than escape me presently, remind me that I am still a rockstar, that I've made that big step.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Always forward

I've made some pretty big strides in the past two weeks.

I've found that I don't suck at the violin nearly as much as I thought I would. Am I anywhere near what I used to be? Not hardly. Still, I'm working my way fairly successfully through my intermediate book.

I've also started something I honestly never though would come to fruition. I've written the first chapter of a romance novel. (gasp). It's a fairly fluffy plot, but I have a vague outline and a whole, completed chapter. Mind you, I haven't written anything beyond research papers since fall of 2006.

Today my co worker told me that her bff, who I've only met a handful of times, is proud of me.
"Why?" I asked, befuddled.
"Because," she replied, "you've come so far since she first met you."
Frankly, I was stunned. As mentioned, BFF and I had only talked a few times, and I thought hose times revolved mainly around shallow topics. Then I remembered. This girl had seen me during different stages of my relationship with jerkface exboyfriend.
I think she saw me at least once when I was blissfully ignorant
She saw me when I had hacked off all my hair after finding out that said ex boyfriend lied, cheated and married.
She may have heard from Co Worker that I took a few vacations to the local loony bin.
Then, a few days ago, she saw me tell the truth. BFF was going through a very rough patch with some family issues and had come to my place of work to seek comfort from Co Worker. I tried not to listen in more than was welcome- after all, BFF and I might get along really well, but there are some things you won't want to share with the world. While half listening, I heard her say something absolutely brilliant.
"He (the family member) apologized for ruining my life. I told him he didn't ruin my life because it wasn't his to ruin."

I was stunned when I heard this. I walked over to her, gave her the biggest hug I could and flat out told her she was amazing.
"Why?" she asked, confused.
"Because of what you just said. You aren't letting anyone have control over your life except for you. It's taken me five months to scrape the surface of that belief and here you are, in full ownership of it."

I think that's why she's proud of me. She's right. I have come a long way. I'm not spending wee hours of the morning repeatedly Google'ing his name. I barely text him unless he instigates a conversation. I sure as hell don't call him. I freely (and frequently) admit that he's a whiny little bitch.

Most importantly, I realized that I don't want him back. I really don't. The last three years of my relationship, I spent all my time and effort trying to be perfect for him. I listened to his every woe, talked him out of every little depression he created for himself, reassured him that he wasn't scum (yes, I know. Hush.), did everything in my power to fix his problems for him. I left no time for myself.
Look at me now, after 5 months of freedom. I have the time, energy, and want to resume playing an instrument I love. I have to determination to wrangle ideas out of my brain and into a cohesive word document. I'm going out, forging new friendships, renewing lapsed ones. I've taken off the blinders that kept me focused on him.

Right now I feel like I can achieve everything. I haven't felt that way in years. No way do I want his failure hanging around my neck, dragging me down.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Baby steps

On all the websites I read and all the advice I get from therapists is to immerse myself in something positive after a breakup of this magnitude, rather than dwell upon recent events.
In light of this advice, I have made a decision.

I am resuming the violin.

I played for 6 years when I was younger, quitting when I didn't feel like dealing with the competitive nature of high school music programs. I played in elementary school and middle school because I enjoyed playing, not because I strove to be a professional musician playing in a symphony. I didn't care that I was a second violin instead of first. I didn't care what seat I was.

So, earlier this evening I purchased violin, case and bow. When it arrives, my co worker and I have plans to practice together at work.

I'm excited. I'm really really excited. There are few legal comparisons to what it feels like when you allow music to wash over you, especially when you are the one creating the music.

As I am going to be helping my co worker learn the violin, she in return is going to help me learn French. For whatever reason, she's been teaching herself, and as we both have desires to lern languages, she'll help me.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Lowdown

I'm that other girl. You know- that friend of a friend, so and so's girlfriend, the girl whose face you think you recognize but just can't remember her name. The girl who is known only by her relation to someone else. The girl who lives on the fringe of everyone else's life.
That's me.
I'm 25 (almost), which means for 25 years I've been this person's daughter, that person's sister, her friend, his girlfriend.
Only.. now I'm not. Your friend who brought me to a party? I've stopped speaking to her. The guy who has been dating me forever? He's not anymore.

Let me explain.

For eight years, I was dating the guy I thought was my soulmate, my other half, my perfect match- pick a cliche, I believed it. We broke up after five and a half years (which included one and a half years of being engaged) because he fell for my best. A year later, we got back together, with him promising to end all communication with his now ex.
Only, he got lonely (we were living 200 miles apart at this point). And he was not entirely comfortable seeing me face to face. So he called her up and they started hanging out again, unbeknownst to me. For 3 years he lied to me about seeing her (and by seeing, I do mean dating), up until he dumped me in January. He claimed that his feelings changed from romantic to platonic. Ouch.
In February he got married to this girl.
In March I found out. It didn't go well. And those mutual friends every couple shares? They all knew and didn't say a word.

So I've cut all but him out of my life (and I"m not entirely sure why I haven't cut him out as well).

Now, for the first time since I was 16, I'm single. I'm not in the town where I went to high school.

Now, I get to find out who I am. I get to find out who this other girl is.