It’s not you, it’s me…

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I allow my emotions to be affected by other people.  After I had my first child (the FIRST time my ex had cheated on me…but I had no idea, my bad…) my then husband and I landed in counseling because he believed I was “narcissistic” due to the fact that I always  felt it was my fault if he was angry, upset, sad, indifferent, etc. I can see how that would be a problem, and it isn’t normal, per se, to feel like other people’s moods are your “fault”, but I don’t know if I’d go so far as to classify myself narcissistic because of THAT, some other reason maybe, but not that…

Anyway, that’s something that has stuck with me for years, even after we were done with counselling and everything was “OK” (and I say that in the most sarcastic sense of the word…). It always bothered me, and I always had a difficult time keeping those lines of thought in check.  I had to become cleaver at deciphering what could be bothering him, especially when he didn’t tell me why (probably because he had a fight or something with his girlfriend, or was having a hard time thinking up a new “excuse” or… oh, sorry, was I rambling? My bad.)

This is something I still do today.  I mean I can fall into a depressive stupor faster than you can say, schmurgity schmurgin beause I project someone else’s mood back onto myself.  It’s unhealthy really. Maybe I am paranoid, THAT might be a better description of it, but I have begun to realize how CRAZY this is, let alone how CRAZY it makes me feel.  Do you know how tiring it is to walk around always thinking that you have done something to “upset” someone’s mood? VERY. It’s so closely related to that red eyed monster that constantly makes you wonder what other people are thinking about you, judging you, or saying behind your back.

Take for instance my “old life”… when I went through all of that crap I went through, I can honestly say I wasn’t myself.  I mean, I WAS myself, but the worst possible, crazy, wacked out, out of control version of myself possible.  And you know what?  I have forgiven myself.  I have seen many other people go through similar situations, and I can honestly say I don’t blame myself one bit.  Could I have handled myself differently?  Could I have been more mature, more of a grown up, more controlled? Sure. But that isn’t me. I just don’t function that way.  Not everyone reacts the same way to the same situations.

During that time, I had someone tell me they could read my emotions like a book, and one day they saw me walk down the hall with a sour look on my face. Really?  Do people have to walk around happy go lucky all of the time?  Do you KNOW how many times I have seen a disappointed, sour, disgusted look on a teachers face?  I DID go through 13+ years of school, then worked 10+ years in various schools.  It was daily people.  DAILY.  Maybe I had gas, or saw a bat in the hall for God sakes (YES that happened once), or cockroach!  My daughter, who went to the same school may have done something to piss me off.  Really?  It could have been any number of things, and really, I didn’t see too many of the other teachers skipping down the halls with flowers and friendship bracelets to hand out. (Maybe one, but that was normal for her….not the rest of us…).  I would actually walk around thinking, “How do they think I look now? Am I too sad? Too happy? Will my face ever stop hurting from smiling too much? Do they have hidden cameras in my house? Can I EVER be myself again???

The point is, there are many people out there that wear their emotions clearly for people to see.  Some people are so conscientious they don’t even seem to HAVE emotions.  Even more people tense up when faced with stress and look like they are walking around with a turd caught sideways.  Some people get really nervous and start to act like an idiot, or say stupid things because of anxiety.  Most of these I do on a regular basis. At that point and time my entire life had deflated in one small moment, so pardon me if I wasn’t all smiles and kitten farts for you.

My solution to this conundrum may sound really crazy to you, but you know what I do now?  I avoid people.  Seriously. Some people may honestly be my friends, and really like me, and in all reality it’s not them, it’s my perception of myself projected onto them, but it just gets tiring after a while.  It’s what brings me down.  I can’t take that kind of pressure.  So I joke around and smile with those that can take me for what I am at the moment, and try to act like everything else around me doesn’t exist.  And eventually it all falls back to the normal routine and I can function normally again, until the next bout of crazies come back, but this is my new coping mechanism.

The moral of the story is this:  if you haven’t seen me around or talked to me in a while, it may be because my crazy side thinks you think something not nice about me, or find me weird, or socially unacceptable, or annoying etc. On the other hand, it couldjust be that one of us is just really busy, or we work, or don’t live in the same town…

Bottom line: I’ll see you when things aren’t so busy, or when the crazies go back where they came from. It’s not you, it’s me
…. whew.

And that’s kind of how my life is like the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon…

Strange things this week.  I have this new job, I may have mentioned it.  It was a bit more stressful for me this week.  Yesterday two hours were spent with a co-worker(more like my co-boss) crunching numbers, amounts and percents.  I’m pretty sure I blacked out a time or two, like I had a seizure or something. My brain couldn’t take that much information in at one time.  I’ve struggled getting back into the groove of working, as well as working in a completely new field. It brings back horrible nightmares about the time I worked for the lawyer, but that’s another story from another time. Let’s just say I worry daily about not doing the best job I can and messing lots of important stuff up.  It’s a self-esteem issue, we all got em, don’t act like you don’t.

Anyway, working again has also had this strange effect on me again. I have once again become more methodical in how I do things. Maybe not methodical, but efficiently, quickly.  Get from point A to point B, in the fastest way possible.  A milestone hit me tonight and I didn’t realize it at first. I was shopping in a store for my niece’s birthday present (methodically or efficiently of course) and I happened to turn around and see my ex in one of the baby aisles (with his new wife and baby, I presume. I didn’t look that closely). He said hi, I said, “Hey, how’s it going?” and then promptly turned around and walked away.  This is HUGE for me because just months ago I would have had an antagonizing argument with myself in my head, probably hemmed and hawed around talking or whatever, and left feeling like pond scum.  How easy was it for me, in mere seconds, say to myself, “Huh, whatever…” Maybe not even that. Maybe it was just  like I had run into someone I once knew and you nod in acknowledgement and move on.

I questioned whether my reaction had more to do with the fact that he just doesn’t affect me any longer, or if working has once again instilled the, “get from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible” effect, and quite frankly, he doesn’t fit into the formula that gets me to my destination quickest any longer. Not that he would get me there quicker, just that I don’t have the time to stand around and lament about what it is I think was so great about what I lost.

A realization: he no longer affects me.  I mean, he does when it comes to the girls, because I want whats best for them and I want them to be loved and appreciated for who they are, not who they are expected to be. But to the extent of me being who I am now? No longer does he affect me.  In the wake of everything I went through, I was torn down to a shell of the bare minimum of myself.  And while I may not be completely whole yet, I’m being rebuilt day by day. And when I’m done, I will be a completely different person. Maybe not to those who know me or those who have followed along on this fucked up trip of mine, but there will be a striking difference to those who drift in and out of my life at will. Because now, I will never let them see the real me again. I will only let them see what I want them to see. The one who is moving on with her life despite them.

Insecurity is a blue eyed devil.

Lately my posts have been fewer and farther between and it’s not for a lack of things to write about, it’s just lately I have so many things going through my head I’m afraid writing it all down would become a random jumble of incoherent nonsense that I couldn’t make heads or tails of it later.

Do you want to know the reason I continue to post on my blog?  (I feel like it’s a dirty secret <eye rolling>). I continue to write because it makes me feel good to look at my stats and see how many people have read my blog each day.  Isn’t that sad?

This is what my life has come to… low self-esteem sucks. And actually I’m no stranger to low self-esteem, blogging is just a new way I can feed the need for human interaction without having to interact with them face to face. Weird I know…

It’s not that I’m looking for attention, it’s that I want to know that someone hears me in this stupid world Or that I might be able to make a difference somewhere. Shut it Trisha.  I know, Liz and her idealistic thoughts, get use to the idea that the “man” is gonna always keep you down. It reminds me of a book Ella has called “Kitten Hide and Seek”, “What’s my name? Play the game….” Not that the “man” is a kitten, but that you just have to play the game.  Geesh, this isn’t making any sense.

I give Trisha a hard time, but I wonder, is it her in my head saying those things or me? Is this me growing up realizing that I’m never going to be important enough to make a difference, I’m meant for mothering two spoiled children that I have created to overcompensate for the horrible way I have handled my self over the past two years, and what they have had to go through.  That, honestly, they would probably rather be with their father where they can at least live in their own home, where it is somewhat reminiscent of their previous lives. Where they can have new clothes, and toys, and American Girl Dolls and Barbie Dream Houses and a baby sister.  That the only thing they will have to look forward with me is… what they see right now. Probably living in their grandparent’s basement, or in a cheap apartment, or rented home, jumping from school to school until their mother can finally get her act together. Just us, no frills, because mom is never going to be able to find a job she excels at, or earns good money at, or is successful at…

This sounds very depressing I know, and I honestly don’t go around thinking all of this all of the time, but there are moments when I let my happy facade down and think, “shit, this really is as good as it’s gonna get”. And not that it’s horrible, mind you, it’s not the path I would have chosen myself, but how often are we forced onto paths we haven’t chosen? And I know it’s about me and my motivation to succeed and survive, but still, there are questions, and uncertainties. Maybe this is just me working through the last bit of all of the bullshit I have waded through up to my armpits these past few years. Maybe it’s an empty question being sent out into nothingness. I don’t know, but I do know writing it down as a point of reference for a week, month, or years down the road will allow me to think “Jesus girl, what the hell?” But then be able to say to that insecure, unsure of herself girl, “It got better.”

The Divorce Instruction Book…

There is no instruction book for going through a divorce.  Believe me, I searched…and searched… and searched. Maybe it’s because every end to each relationship is different.  I have yet to find another person ( Elin Nordegren Woods was close, but I’m not her personal friend, so it’s hard to say) who has gone through the same divorce I did. And I’m sure there are millions of people who feel the same way. That’s why it is such a lonely thing to go through, besides the fact that you are losing your best friend and someone you loved. If you find yourself in the same situation I did, seemingly happily married, but your husband had been cheating on you for years, there are a few pointers I would like to give you.

1. You are going to go crazy. I mean psycho crazy.  Not your normal everyday crazy. Now I am a bit crazy to begin with, but with this situation you can find yourself crossing a line… To those people who stood by me during my crazy period, thank you.  You will never know how much it means to me that you stood by, listened and watched, and yet don’t hold that against me today.  There is no one that can stop this crazy from coming out and many times much of the crazy you feel you are is all in your head. Yeah, other people don’t always see it.  Crazy right? My point exactly…

2. If your situation is similar to mine, you will be dealing with this sudden unexpectedness, and immediately become a single parent, all alone, on your own.  The other person is going to be investing their time into saving the other relationship. They are not currently invested in what you or the children are going through. (Sidebar: My children’s father is an involved and loving father, but it took him some time to get his shit together, if you know what I mean.)  You need a support group, family, friends. I would say co-workers, but let’s hold off on that one, I’m getting there…

3.  Do NOT, under any circumstances, take your shitty baggage to work with you.  Best case scenario you have some time you can take off, especially if you are dealing with the general public or are in a service field.  I can’t tell you how many people forcefully encouraged me to go back to work, like the same week it happened. Being around people is all well and good, but you really need to take some time for yourself to get yourself in a better place. There are always people that are willing to be with you if need be, but NOT at work. More than likely, in the end, you will be without a job…

4. People will be supportive at first.  Your true friends will be supportive the ENTIRE way through. There are people who will keep their distance. They don’t know what to say or do for you.  Don’t be offended, and pray that it never happens to them.

5. Accept that no matter what you did before, or what you do in the present and future, you will most likely be in the wrong. I’m talking about your ex and those who don’t get what you are going through. Your ex wants nothing to do with working it out, he could give two shits about what you are feeling or what you are going through. If you feel the need to vent at him, go ahead, but realize it is NOT going to make a difference in the end and will either A.) be thrown back in your face or B.) cause him to treat you as if you are the only crazy on the planet.

6.  Get yourself a good shrink, and expect to be in it for the long haul.

7. Expect to be doing a lot of the explaining and excuse making about what happened in your relationship. Your ex will be focusing on the next one and not have time to go through it with your friends.

8. Expect to question the very existence of your being. You will question yourself, what you did wrong, what you could have done to stop this or to make your husband happier.  You will feel like the worst parent in the world.  You will be blamed by the other person in the very same breath they use to say “it’s me, not you.” They will not understand why you can’t just accept the situation and move on.

9. This is a biggie: Expect everyone to question what you are doing with your children.  No lie, I took my oldest to a psych and at the parent meeting, with my ex in the room with us, I asked about the speed with which everything was moving.  The girlfriend, moving in with here, the girls staying with them – all before the divorce was final, the impending marriage, the baby coming. As an adult I couldn’t wrap my head around it all, let alone a 7 and 3 year old.  I was told (for serious people) “Kids are resilient, divorce doesn’t effect them as much as people think.  What is more important is how you are handling this, how you talk to them, how you react to what their father is doing. That is what can be harmful.” For serious buddy? Yeah, I didn’t really like him from that point forward.  Something, a certain Je sais pas, didn’t sit well with me. It was almost as if my husband had gotten to him first, talked to him, guy to guy. “Hey buddy, I got this thing going, I really need to focus on it, my ex is gonna be all “up in my grill about it”… ya think you could help me out?”

Granted, I was going through my crazy spurt at this point, so maybe I blew it all out of proportion, but seriously the gist I got out of it was, “Ah, their gonna be alright, no real lasting affects, kids turn out normal from divorce all of the time. Just watch what YOU say, K?”

10. Expect to lose a lot. I lost my entire life, other than my children, which I thank God for everyday. I have my family and I know who my real friends are.  I know where I stand in life, and after all of this, I am glad I do. One of the hardest things you will lose, almost instantly, is his family.  That is the hardest part.  No more holidays, cookouts, laughing, breakfasts, hanging out – all gone, in one moment. Your children will be with your ex and his family for holidays and birthdays, and you will no longer be a part of it.

(Sidebar: I don’t even know what my kids get for Christmas and birthdays.  Most of it never comes home, they could have a full wardrobe there and I would never know it.  The girls have bikes and a Barbie dream house at their dad’s, hell, they have their whole old house, all of the perks I wish I could give them, but I can’t, and I’m glad their dad and his family can, even if the girls get angry at me occasionally and throw it back in my face.)

Yeah, there’s probably a lot more, but those are the main things.  I hope no one else I know ever has to go through what I did, but if you do, come sit down next to me….If ya haven’t got anything nice to say… 😉