Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Salt in my wounds.

This past Saturday was gorgeous. It was sunny and wonderfully warm. The Husband and I drove up to Huntington Beach to have lunch and enjoy the weather. Of course, so did everyone else. Including Tito Ortiz and his posse. (Do they still call it that?) They sat at a table a couple feet away from us, bombarded by autograph requests and flashing cameras. It was quite a scene.

Once, I asked an actor for an autograph while I was working in a hotel in Monterey. He was with his family and another couple of friends and afterwards I felt so guilty for interrupting his vacation that I knew I would never do it again. (Tim McGraw, Vin Diesel, and Dane Cook are the exceptions, but even then, I won't ask for an autograph. I'll just rip my clothes off and take a flying leap. Hey, I'm just trying to keep it honest.)

So, there Tito sat, within arms reach, and me refusing to bother him. However, I couldn't help myself from slyly taking his picture with The Husband's camera phone. This is the best I got while pretending to hold the phone very nonchalantly and oh! I didn't even realize it was pointed in his direction! Oops!

Unfortunately, this picture caused a lot more problems than I could have imagined.

When I asked The Husband for his password to get these images off the internet, I never thought twice about it. I mean, I already knew of all the dirty little secrets that were stored away in his phone, right?

God, one day I will break that fucking thing in half and I swear I won't be sorry. That and Facebook. I don't know how I'll break Facebook in half, but trust me, I'll find a way.

I remember when I was sixteen, at home one night hanging with The Parents, we heard a clamor coming from the neighbors house. The three of us went out onto the balcony, looked over and watched in stunned silence as our friendly (and cute) neighbor proceeded to beat the shit out of his computer with a baseball bat. No lie. Turns out his wife was in the middle of a torrid, internet affair. I used to think the guy was out of his freaking mind, but now I kinda commiserate with the poor fool. They've since gotten divorced.

But I digress. The images and messages I stumbled across today were far worse than anything I had found before. And even though I realize that they’re not new, that they occurred during the same time as the others I’ve found, it still hurts and rubs raw at wounds still fresh and bloody.

And, to add insult to injury, it seems I only come across these things while in the middle of trying to do something nice. Which then makes me feel very stupid and foolish... and very much like a child trying to play a grown-up's game while completely unaware of the rules.

See, The Husband’s had this picture frame for many, many months (possibly years now, but who knows) that was given to him as a "welcome to the team" gift when he accepted his current job. He brought it home and asked me to insert a picture of the two of us, but it’s since been left neglected, untouched and picture-less.

A week ago, I finally decided to do something about it. I thought it would be a nice gesture, you know, in the whole spirit of recommitting to each other and starting fresh and all that. I asked J to takes some pictures of me. And, like other photographers I've met, I really hate being in front of the camera. Hate, hate, hate it. I mean, I really fucking hate it. I am uncomfortable and awkward and the only thing I can think to do is make silly faces because isn't this really one big joke anyway? Of course, that frame of mind is not very conducive to a nice photo. Which is what I was aiming for.

Last night, as I finally got a chance to look through them, I was fairly pleased with the way they came out.

Except now, unable to get the images I've found out of my mind... completely powerless to stop them from playing a painful little slide show in my head... I am aware of every flaw.

I know. I should stop thinking about it. It's all supposed to be in the past.

But, right now? The betrayal is staring me in the face, making my chest ache, making me wonder if and when it will happen again... and it fucking sucks.

Friday, March 27, 2009

UPDATED: I don't know why I need to know... I just do.

Updated to add my own responses... which are in blue.

I am curious... about many things... but today? I'm narrowing it down to just a couple. Specifically you, your blogs, and your comments. And why you do what you do.

I read a few blogs- 38 (to be exact) that I try to stay up-to-date with. I like to leave comments, let people know I'm out there, enjoying the snippets they choose to share of their lives with me and the rest of the world.

But along the way, I can't help but notice how everyone does things just a little differently. (Okay, sometimes a lot differently.) And now I need to know why.

These questions aren't the most exciting to ever be asked, but I can't help my burning curiosity.

How many blogs do you read on a daily basis? (From things I've seen and heard, my 38 is on the low end.)

Do you comment on any and every new post? Or just what moves you?

I have to be inspired to comment. Some posts, despite the entertainment value, don’t always move me to comment. Then again, I think I have a permanent case of writer’s block. (I’m fairly certain you have to be a writer to claim that affliction, but just the same…) I have to have a specific topic in mind when I start writing. Same goes for commenting. I need a purpose.

Do you return after leaving a comment to check for a response? Or have you moved on once you click "submit?"

Do you reply to comments on your own blog? Or do you smile, appreciate the thought, and it's on to your next post?

I love and appreciate every comment I’ve ever received, but not all comments provoke a response. Much like my own. One blogger in particular receives a lot of really dull comments from yours truly because he makes me laugh Every. Single. Time. and all I can come up with is “dude, that was fucking funny!” I’m nothing if not eloquent.

And, oh, I love receiving e-mails from people in response to a comment I’ve left, but I’m such a social klutz that it usually takes me three hours to come up with a response. Well, five minutes to write a response and three hours to critique and rewrite it so that I’m halfway happy. I’m a mess. Please stop reading this blog immediately.

Do you moderate comments before they're visible to the public? If so, why? If not, why not?

I don’t get spam or trolls or leprechauns or any of the above so I’ve never felt the need to moderate comments. I can understand why some people do. Although, there’s one fairly popular blog I read. She gets 60-100 comments per post and moderates them. I don’t get it. I’m sorry, I really don’t. I just can’t wrap my brain around it. This is supposed to be fun. That would just feel like work. Work I’m not getting paid for.

Do you remember the oddest comment you ever received?

The oddest comment I ever received wasn’t so much an odd comment as it was just an odd experience. It was in response to this post in which I put up a bunch of old, scanned photos of myself and my family. Said commenter remarked about my mom being pregnant in one of the pictures. The comment wasn’t inappropriate, but… they knew her name. Actually used a nickname. A nickname I’ve never heard anyone use when referring to my mother. It was anonymous, of course, and caught me so off guard that I just deleted it and proceeded to pretend it had never existed. I never mentioned it to anyone, not my mom or The Husband… I have a real talent for pretending things don’t exist.

For example: right now I’m pretending this office doesn’t exist. I am actually sitting at home, at my desk, with the mini space heater turned on to warm my little piggies. And I’m eating chocolate. And I’m contemplating watching Twilight.

See? I’m good.

Now, go forth... and humor me. Please.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The last twelve days of my life gone forever.

March 12: Borrow Twilight from J. Read first 30 pages. It was supposed to be a distraction. It would suffice. Meh.

March 13: Next hundred pages gone. Starting to become intrigued.

March 14: Husband returns from self-imposed week of solitary confinement. We spend a relaxing evening in. Another two hundred pages read while he watches college basketball. It's a win-win.

March 15: Finish Twilight. Start New Moon.

March 16: Itching to see the movie. Decide to finish series first. I think I've been sucked in. I'm powerless to stop it.

March 17: St. Patrick's Day. Frustrated that I have a wedding to attend right after work. Who gets married at four p.m. on a Tuesday?! Sneak in a few pages of New Moon as soon as we get home late that night.

March 18: Read, read, read. I think I went to work. Can't be certain of anything at this point except that I. Am. Fucking. In love.

March 19: J has let a friend borrow Breaking Dawn, the fourth book. In a panic that she might not get it back in time, I rush out to purchase it. In hardcover. Because I'm going to want to own the series anyway. It doesn't matter that I still haven't finished the second book.

March 20: Arrive home from work at four. Jump in the shower and dry hair in preparation of a date with The Husband. Read until we leave. Finish New Moon. Tell Husband that I'm not starting the third book, Eclipse, until Monday. I need a break.

March 21: Devour first half of Eclipse.

March 22, 4:30pm: Take J to see Twilight. I can't resist. I have to see it while it's still being played in a Theatre. No force strong enough to keep my away.

March 22, sometime between 4:30pm and 6:30pm: Giggle uncontrollably. Eat my weight in Red Vines.

March 22, 7:00pm: Stop at Target. Purchase Twilight DVD. Purchase Eclipse. In hardcover. Assure J that I am perfectly aware I'm obsessed and it's becoming a problem.

March 22, 7:30pm: Arrive home. Husband checks out my purchases, gives me an odd look. “Yes,” I say, almost challengingly, “It’s a problem. I’m aware. Now stay out of the bedroom for the next two hours.”

March 22, 8:00pm: Watch Twilight on DVD. Sigh repeatedly. Decide to read Twilight again as soon as I finish series.

March 23: Read, read, read. I have a very vague recollection of folding laundry.

March 23, 1:45pm: Husband leaves for dentist appointment. Watch Twilight for a third time. Clear away all evidence that I was ever anywhere near the TV.

March 23, 4:00pm: Quick trip to Costco with The Husband. Purchase Twilight and New Moon to complete the series. Husband picks up some other items, like milk and cheese. I have a distant memory of eating these things myself once before.

March 23. 6:00pm: Finish Eclipse. Absorb first 150 pages of Breaking Dawn. Begin to cry as I realize I’m nearing the end. Contemplate sending threatening letters to the author in hopes that it will speed up publication of fifth book.

March 24, 6:30am: Wake up cranky, but can’t figure out why. Oh, that’s right. I have to go to work today. Which is the only thing keeping me away from Edward and Bella.

March 24, 9:00am: Contemplate turning in resignation so I can get back to reading.

March 24, 9:30am: Google “clinic for the Twilight obsessed.”

March 24, 10:00am: Wonder if my life will ever be the same.

March 24, 10:15am: Click on “publish” and wait for all readers to completely abandon me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Me: I have writer’s block. Give me something to talk about. The Husband: How much you hate this time of year of college basketball – MARCH MADNESS and frickin’ Cal State Northridge is beating Memphis right now – CRAZY!

I don't know what that means exactly, but that’s the e-mail I received back from The Husband so I’m running with it.

This is certainly an interesting time of year for us. Nearly every sport imaginable is in full swing. Basketball, both college and pro, NASCAR, Tiger Woods golf, baseball (wait, has that started yet?)… Basically, my time at home is spent sitting next to The Husband with my nose buried in a book while he talks stats in my ear. I have no idea what he’s saying. Sometimes I think it’s another language.

Speaking of vampires… I am waist deep and totally hooked on the Twilight series. I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit that I can’t put it down, but there you have it. Seriously, every waking moment that I have (outside of work, of course) (but don’t think I haven’t thought of bringing it with me) has been spent reading.

On Sunday, The Husband and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in Huntington Beach. We had perfect timing, sitting down to eat just as the sun began its descent. It wasn’t the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever seen, but it was intriguing the way the big, orange ball began to sink below the horizon when usually it sinks behind a wall of marine layer. It was crystal clear and lovely. I, of course, didn’t have my camera. My poor camera has been neglected for over a month. Something I will soon remedy. And by “soon” I mean in another thousand or so pages because I have more than half of the second and all of the third and fourth books left to read and I can’t see myself doing anything else until they’re done.

In fact, you probably wouldn’t hear from me at all if not for this job, which is the only thing forcing me out of my pajamas each day rather than staying in bed to read.

No matter how much or how little I have to drink, I inevitably wake up in the middle of the night, dying of thirst. At two-thirty in the morning, I stumbled sleepily in the dark to the kitchen, poured myself a tall glass of water, and padded back to bed.

I was tired and groggy and could easily have lain down and gone right back to sleep, but that would have only wasted precious reading time. Yes, I stayed up for another hour, reading. And when The Husband opened his eyes, frowned, and ask “why are you awake?” all I could do was tell him the truth. “I have a problem,” I confessed.

The sad thing is that I borrowed these books from my sister. My fourteen-year-old sister. I’m so ashamed.

So, lovely readers, fellow-bloggers, and eFriends… are you a reader? What was the last book you couldn’t put down? Or what was the last book you seriously considered flushing down the toilet?

I went to the library bookstore a few days ago to see if I could find anything interesting for fifty cents. I picked up this one book, I think it was called Blow Me Down (I don’t remember the author), but I didn’t read the back cover close enough. It. Was. Terrible. Seriously awful. I was mad that I wasted the two quarters. I didn’t even read past the first fifteen pages. Man alive, it was bad. Why that story ever got published in the first place, I’ll never understand.

Okay, I’m done now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

One month in the making and now the real work begins.

Just over a month ago, I left for my sister's home in southern Utah. It was there that I finally confronted the fact that The Husband had lied to me. And not for the first time. I didn't understand it. I was confused, hurt, angry... and desperately hoping I had misunderstood something. Surely this couldn't be happening again.

On the day I returned home, I left him. I thought a divorce was inevitable. My faith in him was gone. I didn't believe it wouldn't happen again. I spent a couple nights at my dad's, completely devastated. I asked my sister to come spend the night with me, to distract me... and then I proceeded to sit there and cry and tried not to let her see it.

But it was at my dad's that I realized I'd never be able to live with myself if I didn't try. The thing about lying is... it's not so cut and dry. At least, not to me. If he had hit me, had an affair... I would've been out the door in no time flat. Those are some serious deal-breakers. But lying... I couldn't wrap my head around it. Was he acting out in unhappiness? Was he trying to fulfill something that he wasn't getting from me? No, those things don't excuse the action, but I couldn't help wondering if our relationship... our marriage... was salvageable. I had to know for sure before I could walk out on a man I had vowed to be with forever.

As I'm sure anyone can imagine, life was not the same when I went home. The first week was awful. It was like I was living with a stranger and I didn't want to do or say anything that might scare him away. We were both walking on egg shells and I hated it. But I couldn't figure out how to get us back on even ground. All I could do was show him, over time, that things could be different, that we could make this work.

On Friday, not quite a week after returning home, I suggested we go out. Maybe a night out, some cocktails, a little fun and we'd start to remember that we actually like each other. Turns out that what I thought would be a good time turned into an ambush. I went with the intention of eating, drinking, laughing, having a good time... he went with the intention of flogging me for my sins. I was shocked to hear that he was still so unsure of our relationship and whether or not he wanted to be a part of it.

As much as I wanted to stand up, toss my beer in his face, and say fuck this... there was a bigger part of me that knew we just needed time. It was an interesting evening, to say the least. When he stood up for us to leave, I told him I wasn't going home. I didn't want to go home. I didn't want to watch TV, alone, in our bedroom while he stayed in the den. So, he suggested another bar.

I would regret the margaritas the next day, but certainly not the evening itself because it turned out that we had a good time. Yes, it took a number of cocktails to get us there, but it was fun nonetheless. And I felt more hopeful about our relationship than ever. (Thank you, Mr. Cuervo.)

The next week was both wonderful and awful. I was trying to be more involved in his life, trying to include myself in the activities that were important to him... but there were a couple of nights when that heavy blanket of depression came over me and all I could do was lie there and wallow in it. I couldn't shake the hurt I still felt when I thought about the lies and the lack of trust I now held for him. Despite my best intentions, our marriage was dangling by a thread and I didn't know how long I could continue to put in the effort when that effort wasn't reciprocated.

I knew he was leaving before he told me. As soon as he woke up that Sunday morning, with my heart thudding in my chest, I asked him and waited for the worst. I felt a surprising wave of relief when he said he needed a week away to clear his head and think about what he wanted. Maybe it was that he was only leaving for a week that made me feel better. The separation didn't feel permanent.

Until he left. As I watched him begin to pack, the anger came. His decision to leave was so incredibly unfair. I felt like I was being punished, but hadn't done anything wrong. And he expected me to just sit there and wait for him to decide what was best. I wanted to kill him. I wanted to tell him not to bother packing, I'd leave. It was obviously over.

You know what happens next. A week alone, depression, anger, hope... trying to stop myself from hoping... tears.

We finally saw each other on Saturday. We met at Starbucks, our usual place for difficult conversations, decision-making, card-playing, and warm summer mornings. He took a seat next to me and asked how I was, but I didn't want to chat and I didn't want to exchange pleasantries... I just sat and waited. And when he said he didn't want to lose me, I felt afraid.

Could we possibly make it through everything we had experienced in the last month? With so little trust and so many insecurities, I briefly wondered if staying together was the right decision for either of us.

But love and five years of marriage is a powerful thing. Looking at him... as worried as I was, as hurt as I had been... I knew this was the man I was still in love with. This is the life I wanted.

It's been three days since he came back home and, although I realize we have a lot of freaking hard work to do, it feels good. It feels right. The awkwardness of a couple weeks ago is gone. That stranger I was living with has moved on. And I'm happy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

And if I have to remarry someday, I hope it's to one of you.

When I said I had nothing to say, it was a lie. The truth is, I had too much to say and no way to say it. Until I finally started typing. And then I couldn't stop. And my last three posts have basically said the same thing over and over again... and, I have to warn you, my next fifty five hundred might be identical.

I have spent the last few days unable to shut my brain off. My thoughts have been consumed with unanswered questions. What did I do? Where did we go wrong? Was it something specific, or does he just not love me anymore? Is there someone else? What will I say when I see him again? What will he say when I see him again? And on and on and on until I finally fall asleep.

Although I don't agree with the way he's handled the situation, I know we're both at fault for where we find ourselves. The Husband and I started seeing a counselor a couple weeks ago. She said that when a man finally admits he's not happy, it usually means he's done. This is so not fair.

I neglected my husband.

God, that's hard to admit.

Over the last year, I've become so wrapped up in my own hobbies and interests that I let them overshadow my marriage. But, if I may say so, he made it terribly easy for me to avoid participating in things that were important to him. And this is what I struggle with.

You weren't honest with me that these things were important to you. Now, after months and months, you're miserable while I've been under the impression that everything was fine. You finally tell me that you're miserable, but now it's so bad that you don't know if you can be with me anymore.

Can I fucking get a fighting chance here?

Believe it or not, this isn't exactly where I saw this post going, but, you know... lunatic and all that. What I really wanted to say was thank you. (I know, that's a far cry from where I was headed.)

It's amazing to me that there are strangers all over the country who are supporting me, thinking of me, and hoping for the best. Below are some of the lovely, touching, funny, wonderful comments that have provided some strength at a time when I've needed it the most.

(My comments are in blue.)

MichelleSG said...
"I understand you when you say you can't imagine most of your life without him there with you. That's a very real fear. But I have held many a hand through a divorce and let me tell you, the fear will not kill you, it'll freak you out and you may freak yourself out but you will survive. Plus you don't know that it's the end, it may not be. It could be just a pause in your relationship."

rory said...
"Divorce can feel like a holiday and it can feel like an amputation. But either way, if you stay positive it will all work out for you."

Violet said...
"This is the time to be selfish. Lean on your family, your friends, your faith... Whatever you do, or don't do, be gentle with yourself. You are still the cool, smart, lovable, amazing chick you were before this happened."

"...I made a batch of those cookie-brownies in your honor yesterday. I've eaten one every hour, on the hour, just for you. It's a sacrifice I am willing to make..." (Awesome.)

3continentfamily said...
"Do what you must to get through... Don't be hard on yourself."

cog said...
"...I'm sorry you're having troubles, but I selfishly hope you address the troubles honestly through your writing here." (Count on it, but I fear they may all start to sound exactly the same...)

The Hat Chick said...
"...I have been married for 17 years. Years 7-9 sucked. We had grown apart. Work, kids, bills, home repairs, family pressures....life takes a toll on a marriage. We took each other for granted. Insecurities mounted. In the end, we both wanted to work it out, but it does take two. Hopefully he will realize what a jewel you are."

Alias Mother said...
"...But also, I want to address what you said about throwing the last eight years away. You are throwing nothing away. Every single minute of those eight years, good and bad, has built the person you are today. The person who is funny and talented and real--oh so real. These are not wasted years. They are lived years. There's a lot of things to cry about here, but that is not one of those things..." (You are right, however there is a very real sense of throwing something away. Something important. Yes, there are some amazing memories to be cherished from the last eight years and I will value everything I did, learned, experienced... but I can't help but feel as if we're throwing away, I don't know, our relationship? And that bothers me. We've made mistakes. We both have. I want a chance to fix them before we call it quits. I can only hope he does as well.)

"If I could encourage you to do one thing (besides cry, because crying is good. As is wine. And walks in the sunshine. And hugs from friends. And I think I've lost my point. No, wait, found it), it would be to use this time to figure out what YOU want as well. Empower yourself. It won't make it hurt less. It won't make you feel better. But it will help you bear which ever shock comes your way."

so Not cool said...
"...This sucks. (Such sage words I have, eh?) The only advice that I have is to really focus on yourself right now, like your passions or anything that you might have neglected because marriage was in the way. (I don't know that this is coming out right, but when things seem bleak in my marriage I indulge in things that I normally don't because I am too busy figuring out a non-vegan meal for him or walking on eggshells because he had a bad day at work.) Please treat yourself if you can ... food, massage, wine, spring..."

"I am terrible at commenting, but I'm making an extra special effort to come by and offer my (mostly) silent support, and to let you know that I'm thinking of YOU."

Dutch donut girl said...
"...All I can say is, forget the nasty voice and concentrate on you and your future. I really hope you find some peace soon, whichever way it turns out..."

TheresaG said...
"...My husband read your blog this morning and this is what he emailed me: "It seems to me that her husband is making a mistake.... she is clearly a thoughtful, imaginative and expressive person, and I have a hard time seeing how anyone could lose interest in that." I thought maybe you might need to hear something positive about you right now. I think you're so talented, and I know I'm not alone..."

This DVM's Wife's Life said...
"...I'm here reading all of this and so feel your pain. It is good to write out your thoughts for yourself and to complete strangers. I wish I could tell you what to do or say or how to feel, but no one knows except you as lame as that sounds. I hope "the husband" figures out what is wrong with himself and explains himself to you soon. It is hard to take when one wants to leave while the other has no idea what the reasons are for going away. That hurts the most. So many questions of why? What did I do? Did I see this coming? Be strong and you are, as crappy as you feel..."

Gayle said...
"I'm not good with coming up with the right words, but I want you to know that I've been thinking of you and I'm sending hugs your way. I do think that "figuring it out" for a week stinks. It's not fair to you. Take care of yourself, Stephanie. You are worth it."

Again, thank you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In which I use the F word a lot and I'm not sorry.

It turns out the positive effects of my tearful purge didn't last as long as I'd hoped. Tears are threatening again and I'm desperate to talk to anyone who will listen just so I can clear my head of all the thoughts I can't shut the fuck up.

But trying to actually say the words... out loud... is like trying to force myself to vomit. Difficult, unpleasant and I don't fucking want to.

I desperately want to see my husband. But not to talk. I just want to look at him... and tell him I need a fucking hug.

And then I'd like to knock him the fuck out for putting me through this.

Walking through the hallway a few minutes ago, I passed a mutual acquaintance of ours. Unfortunately, there are several of these. The Husband and I have worked for the same company for many years and know too many of the same people. Having to respond to the polite inquiry of how he's doing was like a paper cut. Except, in this case, it was like a million fucking paper cuts.

At first, nothing. Totally normal. "Good," I said, because what was I going to say? I have no idea, but I hope he's as fucking miserable as I am? I'm not positive, but I don't think that would've gone over too well.

So, I smiled and I said the right thing and to the outside world everything appears as it should. Then the sting came. As I walked away, all I could think was that I have no idea how he's doing. I haven't talked to my husband in four days. By now he may have already made the decision that I'm not what he wants and he's trying to think of a way to let me down easy. I don't know. And that's the worst fucking thing ever. Not knowing.

Last night, in the middle of a prayer (yes, I pray), in the middle of telling God it was in his hands and I trust his decision, whatever that might be... I began to beg. I didn't want to. Begging God for anything always gets my hopes up because I start to think he might actually give me what I want. But I couldn't stop myself. There. I said it.

As I approach this weekend and the end of his "week to figure things out," I know I'm not prepared for either decision. I'll be shocked if he says he wants to stay and I'll be devastated if he says he doesn't.

But at least I'll finally know.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blogging: not much of a distraction after all.

People shouldn’t be allowed to marry so young. In fact, I think everyone, as soon as they finish school, should be forced out into the world to experience life on their own.

I will never regret any decisions I've made, but maybe if I'd waited, then it wouldn't feel as if every single memory I have is wrapped up in my husband.

Maybe if I had other memories to rely on, I wouldn't feel quite so desolate facing a life without him. Because right now? Every undistracted moment I have, my brain immediately flashes to another memory.

Trips we’ve taken, riding bikes, movies, dinners, weddings, quick getaways to Palm Springs, holidays (oh, God… Christmas), playing cards, watching sports, birthdays… everything I've done in my entire adult life has included my husband.

I can’t go fucking grocery shopping or do laundry without thinking of him.

I know if it comes to… you know… the Big D, I’ll be okay. I can survive. I’m young and lucky to have parents who will open their homes to me. But when I stand in the middle of our apartment and stare at all the stuff we’ve accumulated, I think seriously? We’re just going to throw away the last eight years of our lives?

The thought of starting over, alone, scares me. But more than that… the thought of not sleeping next to him each night makes me ill.

I never expected this. I thought if we ever separated, it’d be this angry, passionate blow-out over something one of us had done. We’d scream and curse and cry and throw things and then it’d be almost a relief for the whole thing to be over.

But this… this is different. There’s nothing I can do or say. There’s nothing for me to apologize for. I can’t cry and beg for forgiveness. Because I haven’t done anything.

He’s just not sure he wants to be with me anymore.

And trying to explain that kind of pain is impossible.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An example of why not everyone should be allowed to blog.

It's amazing what a good, long crying jag will do for you. Not only will it produce a headache the likes of which I haven't experienced since, well, two Saturday's ago (after a Friday spent making friends with too many margaritas), but it will also make you feel totally amazing. Well, as amazing as one can feel after their whole life is flushed down the toilet.

And, hey, look at that. I took it one step too far. No, I haven't been drinking, but I should start. I think I have a half empty bottle of Cuervo around here somewhere and, yes, I'm a pessimist. In case you couldn't tell.

My mother told me I need to start blogging again and I said no. I don't. I said that's the beauty of having YOUR OWN BLOG. I can quit whenever I feel like it. Once upon a time, my mother and my two sisters and I created a blog. It didn't work out. Too many creative differences. Hence, here we are.

But she has a point. I need to distract myself. But what is one supposed to talk write about when one has absolutely nothing to say. And by "nothing" I mean he left me which also means I'M A LUNATIC.

You know, not to get off subject here ('cause I did have a point), but I have never come across a good blog about divorce. (Contradiction in terms?) Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't one, because who can keep it together when their spouse says I don't know if I want to be with you anymore.

So, I opened my laptop and proceeded to stare at my computer screen. The fact is I knew if I started writing I wouldn't be able to stop the unwanted, sarcastic commentary about the direction my life has taken recently. (And, sure enough, I was write right.) So, in an effort to prevent that, I turned to this website.

And what did it give me as a topic to blow all others away?

"Have you ever bought anything that has its own infomercial (like the ShamWow® or Snuggie™)?"

And I was all oh, come on! Because how could stupid Plinky know that The Husband bought me a Snuggie for Christmas? Even the internet wants me to be miserable.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The one in which I talk about something else.

Years and years ago, I went to visit my sister and her eight million kids at their home in southern Utah. On the day I left to return home, the morning was so beautiful, I couldn't help but stop along the way out to snap a few photos.

And, yes, I realize it was really only two weeks ago and not actually years, but that's kinda what it feels like. So there.

Isn't it amazing how different two photos can be even when they were taken in the same area and right around the same time?

I love photography.

And I love clouds like these. And, no, I didn't take this picture while going 80 miles per hour. I had slowed down to 70, thank you very much.

This one I took just a half an hour away from home. Remember the fires we had back in November? They completely destroyed these mountains. Just weeks after the damage, we drove past this same spot on our way to my sister's to celebrate Thanksgiving. The ground was black and it was awful to see how much had burned.

Driving past these mountains now was like staring in the face of Hope. I have never, in my whole life of living in southern California, seen these mountains so green. I felt like I had been picked up and dropped off in another state. Possibly another country. It was amazing. I wish I could have pulled over and taken a dozen more pictures.

Even before the fires, these mountains were always dry and brown and kind of sad. I wish they'd always look like this. They were gorgeous.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's how I deal.

I have hated confrontation of any kind for as long as I can remember. The littlest things, like CALLING TO ASK A STORE'S HOURS, would cause ridiculous amounts of anxiety. I'd pace around, chew my fingernails, and completely obsess until I finally got it over with.

The internet became popular when I was in my very early teens. Remember when AOL would mail out those "10 Hours Free" CDs? You know, back in the dial-up days? (Shudder.)

I was terribly addicted to chat rooms back then and would lose all track of time talking to strangers. But, before I'd be able to use the computer, I'd have to ask my step-dad. Who was awesome! And never said no! And why did I get all nervous to ask him EVERY SINGLE TIME!?

I would sit there next to him on the couch while he watched some crazy boring documentary on the History channel, trying to work up the nerve to ask.

"Sure, Steph," he'd say. Without a care or second thought.

The Husband says some people just can't handle hearing the word "no." I wonder if it's as simple as that. I do hate hearing "no." And, despite what you might think, it's not because I'm a spoiled brat, but because, for some inexplicable reason, I take it personally and my feelings get hurt. Like, did I do something wrong?

This is completely ridiculous. The rational side of me understands that. The irrational side is much louder and more aggressive and, well, kinda bitchy.

Eventually, I got a job and I was forced to talk to people all day long. Both over the phone and in person. So, now it's not that I'm afraid to talk to people. I just don't want to. Seriously, the hospitality industry will ruin people for you, too. So will driving in southern California, but that's neither here nor there.

After confrontation, I tend to shut down. I avoid the phone and people in general. I hide away in my room and watch TV. I'm not pouting or licking my wounds, it's just my way of collecting my thoughts and recharging my battery, so to speak.

I've always felt that other people take a lot of energy out of me. Some more than others. And sometimes, after an especially difficult encounter, I take a very long time to get back to "normal."

Since The Hiccups, I have completely ignored my cell phone and e-mail. It has taken It is taking an incredibly long time for me to adjust and get back into the normal routine of things. Slowly, but surely, I'm getting there.

Last night I actually unloaded my camera's memory card. And I even opened Photoshop! And then I closed Photoshop. And then I went back to watching TV.

Baby steps, people.

I feel bad for neglecting my family. Especially my mom and sister, who I know worry. I don't mean to ignore them, but when I hit "reply" on an e-mail or text message with the intention of telling them I'm fine, everything's okay, don't worry! I wind up staring at the screen, unable to muster the energy that this simple act requires.

Am I coming off as big a jerk as I think I am? Oh well. My blog and all that.

This morning I received an e-mail from my mom telling me she was there for me and she loved me and she was worried.

I finally responded to both her and my sister.

Okay, you guys need to relax a little. I'm fine, I promise. I haven't answered the phone 'cause I really just don't want to talk about "it." (The Husband) and I are having some issues, but we're trying to work through them. That's all I'm going to say about it. I'm sorry, but I feel like I've talked about it so much already that now it's the LAST thing I want to talk about and I'm not going to answer the phone again until I know that you're calling to just shoot the shit. (I really love that phrase.) I love you both and I really am grateful to know you're both there if I need you. And I hope you know I'm here if you need me. You'll just have to text me to let me know it's about YOU and not ME and then I'm totally there for you. Please don't worry about me. I'm F.I.N.E.* And I promise I'll leave a suicide note if it comes to that.That's supposed to be a joke. Geez. Lighten up. ;)

Ten minutes later, my mother showed up at my hotel. With a pink pig and lots of chocolate. She knows me very well. I hope she knows that this is just my way of dealing with things.

*Fucked. Insecure. Neurotic. Emotional.