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....