Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 125; Lessons

Progress.  I'm laughing heartily at myself.   No, I didn't do anything stupid today, at least not as it relates to S, but progress?   Really?   How dare I be so bold as to use that 'p' word.

The afternoon drive home found me sobbing again.  Sobbing.   I often wonder if I were to record the wails if they'd sound more like sperm whale mating calls or ghouls calling out from the depths of the catacombs.    More likely, they'd sound like the poor idiot who just found out on the Maury Povich show that her offspring is without a doubt, 99.9% NOT the offspring of the man she thought it was.   (On an aside, I always loved the tenths and hundredths of the percentages they gave.   As if 99 as a whole number wasn't enough!)

Now I'm cracking myself up.  Don't ask me why THAT analogy popped into my mind.

But this is my life, my mind, how it operates.

I started actually trying to figure out what the lessons were that I've learned or am yet to learn from all of this.   In a stream of consciousness effort and in NO particular order, I'm going to play a game with myself.   (I'm very, very good at games with myself).   I'm going to list the lessons I've learned from all this, vomit form, and in the end, I can sort through the chunks and see what stands out.

Here goes.

I've learned:

My judgment is NOT what I thought it was.
People you love will hurt you deeply.  DEEPLY.  And I am capable of hurting too.
Sex can be better with someone other than A.
Sex can be WAY better and can consume your thoughts.
Laughter is infectious and sexy and it feels wonderful to experience it on a daily basis.
I like to talk.
I like to write.
I love my kids and can't live without them.
I am restless and without a passion.
People either lie or "change their truths"
I'm too easy on some people.
I live in a fantasy world a lot of the time.
Food and alcohol are not really my friends.
In the end, this is my deal, I really am alone.
Wrinkles and gray hair thrive on stress.
Cortisol is a total bitch.
Crying is good, but it doesn't solve a damn thing.
Fear is paralyzing, as is heartbreak.
Panic attacks are real.
Sometimes the grass is greener because it's actually artificial turf.
A is a good and loyal soul.   He annoys me and amazes me in equal measures.
He also bores me to tears and ignores me much of the time.
My soul stirs and I yearn for freedom.
I have a lot of work to do in the liking myself department.
I am crazy, but not crazy.  I know it in my heart.
I'm scared to death.

As I said earlier, this list isn't complete, it's me, today.

Today my heart is piercing my soul, and as the blood seeps, it stings.   I'm so scared.  Scared of not being able to see what is before my eyes.   Or is it scared of not being able to let go and follow my heart?

Life is short, that's the other lesson I've learned.   Too bad I don't have a clue as to what the hell to make of that kernel of wisdom!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 124; BIG

I have a new follower and she's pretty cool.   I mean, I love ALL of my followers, don't get me wrong.   What makes the new one so interesting is that she's a single mom whose husband left her and yet, she's still willing to read my drivel and make heartfelt comments on what I say.

In a recent comment, she posted about how she could relate to me.   She mentioned that she got it because on some level, we are all after THE BIG LOVE.

That's how she typed it and that's exactly how my love for S felt.   To me, he was my BIG LOVE.   THE  BIG LOVE.

I gave him all of my heart and he took it.   All of it.  Every last bloody ounce.   And now I find that most days, I feel heartless.  Dead.  Void.  Empty.

And I hate him for that.

I have no idea how his days go.   I envision him just rocking along like normal.  Like we never even existed.

I know that I sent him the birthday gift and I've not heard one word back about it.   Nothing.  Nada.  No email, no text, nothing.

For me, that is the nail in the coffin and I find that I'm utterly and totally pissed off.   Yes, yes and again yes, I know the writing has been on the wall.  No need to point out the obvious.  He's doing a fine job of that.

There have been heiroglyphics, smoke signals, banners pulled behind planes,  spray painted graffitti.  If I'm not mistaken, he even somehow managed to tattoo his denial of me right across my naive, stupid, little heart.  And to think he told me he hated tattoos!

He doesn't want me. 

He used me.

 And I was fool enough to let him.

I have never given of myself so completely, other than to my children when they were helpless infants and toddlers, and with them, I always received something in return.   I was so foolish to believe all of the things he told me.

And tonight, it all makes me blood boiling angry.

I wanted THE BIG LOVE.  I believed with all of my heart that I'd found it.   And that belief caused me to risk everything I knew and had known for decades.

He's an asshole.   An emotional terrorist as R calls  him.   And he's 'hi-jacked' me up.  

It's not fair that I can't get through a day without thinking of him 100 times.   The only difference now is that where I used to think of him, sigh, and utter the words, "I love him", I now think of him and with scorn in my voice and most definitely in my heart, I spit, "I HATE him".

The thing is, I'm not a hater.   I'm not the girl who is nasty and cruel and spiteful and ugly.   Compassion and empathy are my nature.

But I'm done making excuses for his shitty, poor, sorry excuse for a human being.   He did a terrible thing and if I can't bring justice on my own, I have to believe somewhere in my heart that his time will come. 

Yes, I know I cheated.   I betrayed the vows of my marriage and hurt A deeply.   I can't undo that travesty.   But in the process,  I was at least honest to everyone and I was open about my feelings.  

Maybe, in black and white, I'm no better than S.   I'm the same, scummy, low life that he knows he is.   The funny thing is, I think by blocking me out of his life and mind, he somehow believes he can make it all better, make it all untrue.

Whatever.   I believe that until he and his wife deal with their truth, their reality, no one ever gets to fully recover.

Certainly not me.   And yet I can't control one single thing he does.

I just want to scream tonight.

I have no real point to this.  I just needed to vent and this was my safe place.

My BIG LOVE ended up being the biggest mistake of my life.   The biggest loser, the biggest asshole, the biggest user.

And I'm left being the BIG IDIOT.

I'm sure there are BIG LESSONS to be learned here somewhere, but for now, I'll have to settle with BIG ANGER and DISAPPOINTMENT.

It's a Strange Condition...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 121; Charlotte

Days slip by.  I don't mean not to write.  Sometimes I know what I want to say, I'm just afraid to even put it out here.

Other days, I feel blank, as if I have nothing.

Today is S's birthday.  I wish I could say I just let it go by, like any of the other 364 days of the year, but I didn't.

I didn't call or text.  I didn't email, although in the few birthdays we did share, our thing was to wish the other person a "happy birthday" before anyone else could, so we'd leave a well timed email in the other's inbox wishing them a happy day just at the stroke of midnight.

I'm happy to report, I slept right through midnight this morning and well past 7 a.m.

What I did do was send him a present.

I hate even admitting it and the instant I left the post office, I had a really sick feeling in my stomach.  Best I can surmise, it was a feeling of regret and embarrassment.  It was as if I pitied myself for being so weak.

The gift was a small, handmade, leather bound writing journal.   We once talked about how he would love to have one and as his birthday approached, I just thought I'd find a simple one and send it.

The journal was called The Epiphany Journal, which I found too ironic to pass up, although I know full well I should have.

He told me before that if I was waiting for him to have an epiphany, to let go of that dream, that he wasn't going to.

I never believed him.   Maybe I still don't, although with each passing day that we don't have contact, I see that he absolutely meant what he said.

So, yes, I sent the journal.   I included a card that was funny and a letter.  The letter wasn't one of my weepy, begging, please have the epiphany you said you'd never have letters.   It was a simple, straightforward, I hope this finds you well letter.

In the journal, I cut out passages from some of my favorite books and glued them on random pages.   Nothing lovey dovey.    Three of them were actually from children's books, if you can believe that.

There was a quote from the Star Wars book Attack of the Clones, an Emily Dickinson poem, a section from Bridge to Terabithia, which is very dear to me, and some quotes from Stephen King's Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

Another thing I included  was one of my most favorite of all, the last paragraph from E.B. White's Charlotte's Web.  These words have always resonated with me and for some reason, I was compelled to place them in the journal.

"Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."
E.B. White (Charlotte's Web

Don't ask my why I did it.   Please.   There won't be an answer that suits any logically minded person.   Also, don't chastise me either.  It's done.  Over. 

I'm not proud, not happy, not even hopeful it will do anything other than possibly stir a bit of pity in his heart for the sad, lonely, scorned lover who can't seem to let him go.

Thing is, I know I've been holding onto a fantasy.   Believe it or not, I really can see that now.   I just have to re-frame my thoughts and hopes, re-dream my dreams.   It can be done.  People do it everyday.

If I'd been thinking straight, I'd have ordered the Epiphany Journal for me.  I'm the one who could really use it. 


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 117; Progress


I feel it coursing through me. One way I know I'm making progress is when I am embarrassed by posts like the one I made last night. In the grand scheme of things, my life is really good. No need to whine.

Progress means no sobbing tears over S lately. Those usually come with the wave of end of the cycle hormones, but even still, I feel some distance.

I also don't obsess about my phone anymore. When you aren't secretively waiting for the next text or email, there's no need to carry it with you everywhere, especially into the bathroom.

As for me, I've begun working out again and have added yoga to the mix. Already I am feeling the buzz of treating my body well. And my legs, one of my best physical assests, are starting to tone up again. They are strong and have held me up through three pregnancies, one marathon, five half marathons, and in general through this walk of life.

Progress is me looking upon them, a part of myself, with love and respect.

Progress is wanting today to be a good day and working to make it so!

this was typed from iPhone, and I bet there are several typos, but I won't be at computer to fix til later.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 116: Airplanes

Holding pattern here.

Picture an airplane, full of anxious, annoyed travelers having to either sit on the tarmac for hours or circle past their landing a time or two.

While it's not altogether horrible and the flight attendant has provided a more than ample supply of pretzels, it's still mildly unsatisfying.

I want to land or take off, or be in transit, as the case may be.

I'm tired of the holding pattern.

A and I joke constantly about "single life".   We ate out tonight for dinner, just the two of us, and I made a joke about the joint being full of single people.  "Oh, make a note of this place for when we're single." I laughed.

He laughed back.

It's so weird. 

I grabbed his hands tonight, to demonstrate something a student had done to me today and immediately he said, "Grab my hands again!".

It made me feel weird and I jokingly replied, "If I do, am I sure to get laid?"

Yeah, I'm that coarse.

No one taught me not to be.

As a matter of fact, no one taught me HOW to be at all.

Last night, I began a series of letters and lessons to my boys.  They are based on all of the crucial things I wish I'd known or at least heard of before falling off my own, private, personal deep end.

As usual, folks, it's status quo here.

I don't know if A's business is viable for another month, much less another week.  It makes apartment hunting very hard.

And even if I did know where our money was, I'd still be scared.

Until next time,

I always loved flying...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 114; A Day in The Life

A day in my life is fairly crazy, at least as far as my inner thoughts are concerned.

Slept in til 9, which is an absolute luxury.  I loved every nano second of it and thank the Sleep Gods profusely for indulging me this chance.  

Awoke rested and ready to make the most of this day, remembering I was loosely scheduled to meet a friend for coffee and girl talk.

As I walked to the coffee shop, A accompanied me and we were able to discuss our relationship in a neutral and open manner.  I always appreciate that.

My friend and I met and talked and pondered and shared for over two hours.   We work together, but our paths never cross, so it was lovely to spend time with her.  I value her opinion and see her as a strong, vibrant woman.   The more I grow to know her though, I also see her as fragile and vulnerable.   I see her as human.   That's a good thing and I  just want the best for her in life and hope she knows I'm there for her always as she figures this out.

Before I knew it, it was time to head home.   Of course, after having spent time with her discussing the details of my life, I wanted to keep talking with A.   As soon as I returned, I asked him, "Do you think we even have a chance of making it?"   Because in all honesty, I can't walk away from this marriage if I think there is a chance.   And deep down, I feel like there has to be.  I'm just not sure at what cost.

Now, having admitted that, I also have to admit that I feel suffocated at that thought and terrified and sad.   I'm not sure how the two go hand in hand.  There are slivers of him, of us, that spring forth to life from time to time, and when they do, they pierce.

I can't ignore it.

I also can't ignore the basic facts of who we are and who we've grown into.

We talked deeply for over an hour and then realized we had to be at middle son's soccer game.   Sometimes I try to pretend we are already divorced, but both equally involved in our children's lives.  I try to imagine how I would feel walking up to a soccer sideline, knowing we were once together but are now no longer.   Would my heart shatter?   Would tears well up in my eyes?   Or would I say, "Hey, how are you?" and not really skip a beat?

S told me many times that you can't "unknow".   In his context, he meant how he felt about me.   It was his way of assuring me he'd always love me.   Funny, it seems he's unknown me pretty well these past few months.    But on some level, I understand what he means.  I can't unknow A.  He will always be a part of me.   Especially in the faces and minds of these beautiful creatures we've created.

Once the soccer game ended, we headed home.  We had plans to eat dinner at a neighbor's house, but there was a few hours lag time.   I don't like empty moments.   They make me crazy, make my mind want to go to work.    And I've found in life that when my mind goes to work, sadness and hard moments abound.

Luckily, another neighbor was heading to Costco, so I bummed along.  I was able to get all the meals for this coming week, plus some healthy snacks and lunches for me for work.    I felt happy to be accomplishing something productive.

As we were checking out, a few aisles over was an older man who looked so much like S it pained me.  It was as if  he'd stepped into a time machine and fast forwarded 25 years.  I felt shocked, taken aback.   And then I felt a wave of sadness.   It made me realize that S lives his life, most likely content without me, running his own errands, with his own wife, just pushing me further and further away.   Unknowing me all the while.

I didn't let it totally derail me, though.  I came  home and began preparing for dinner.  I baked a homemade banana cake and made a gorgeous salad, showered, and headed to my friends' house.   Having the three couples there, laughing and savoring delicious food and drink was great.

During dinner, A told a story about the time that he and I tried to make blackened fish when we were in college.   Dense, acrid smoke filled our apartment and through tears and probably even laughter, we ate our spicy, charred dinner.   I looked at him across the room (because he sat at the furthest chair from me) and my heart hurt again.

Where did we go wrong?  Where did I get off track?

I'm sorry I'm always sad.   You know, I want readers and followers of this blog, but I understand if you can't tolerate my indecisiveness and fear and fickleness and everything else I happen to be.   In the end, I write this for me, to help me sort through my cluttered heart and mind.

Just know I really am trying.   In whatever mixed up way that is.

I do so want everyone to be okay.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 113; Laughter

Saturday has arrived.  The weekend brings such bittersweet emotions.  I know I should savor it and enjoy my down time, but I also feel this pressing sense of urgency to do something or go somewhere or accomplish tasks or...whatever.

It's pretty obvious that I am not good at just 'being'.

Thursday night, after I'd finished the self help book I mentioned previously, I wanted to talk to A a bit.  He opened the door by making a comment on our communication skills and styles.

"You know, I'm not a good communicator and haven't been, but before the incident, you weren't communicating your needs all that well either."

I let what he said sink in and on surface level, I had to agree.

"You're right.  When I knew there was an unrest or a dissatisfaction, I should have told you." 

And I absolutely should have.  

Except in my mind, it doesn't feel like it evolved that way.   I never recall being acutely aware of what I was feeling, it was more of a slow and gradual build up.   None of this excuses my actions, I realize.

But talking about how we communicate led me to bring up the book I'd just read.  I told him a bit about it and then the conversation turned to us and where we are and what we still wanted.

"You confuse me," he said,  "You phrase things and choose your words to make it sound like we are working on this marriage and yet you act like you don't want to be around me."

"I don't know what to say or how to say it," I replied, "I know it sounds like I send mixed signals but I'm not sure what exactly we are doing here."

"Well, I thought I've made it very clear that as long as there is no pressing issue or overwhelming need to do anything drastic, we can just live like friends and help each other with the kids and see what happens."

In the darkness of our room, my face contorted as if I'd just taken a bite of something putrid. 

"Okay," I answered, "But I fear that one month turns into one year and then before we know it, we've let 5 years slip by of just living like roommates."

"Oh, I could never do that," he shot back, "I won't want to do that with you for that long."

He went on to tell me, though, that he still hopes I will come around, that I will fall back in love with him the way I used to, the way I was before "whatever switch flipped in you was flipped".    

It's very hard for me to not feel resentment when he pins it on me in that way.   I don't think a switch flipped.  I didn't just decide one day to not want to love him and I'm absolutely certain that I didn't get to this point all alone.

Yes, I cheated.  I take the responsibility.  Yes, it seems I'm the one who has moved on.   For that I assume full credit as well.   But I didn't just decide to change my life like one changes their outfit right before they head out the door for dinner.  

And he played a role in this.  

I tried to address this a bit, but we are so fearful of conflict, so afraid of honesty.   As we talked that night, the pauses before he'd say what he was thinking would come close to a minute in duration.   That may not seem like much, but try having a conversation with someone and not replying back to them for a full minute.   When the topic is as heavy as ours, that weighs on you and feels like an eternity!

He told me that he dreams of me wanting to be with him and be involved, so I said, "Well, okay, but I'm going to need laughter everyday."   And this is what happened next.

With a bit of a grunt, laced with disdain, he shot back, "Well, you're gonna have to watch a movie or something or talk to R to get your laughs."

My eyes popped open and I couldn't believe he was saying that.   He continued with, "It's not my job to make you laugh."

And it's not.  To which I agreed.   "Yes, you're right, I can't expect you to fulfill all of my needs.  You are absolutely right."    I followed with, "But, what CAN I ask you to provide for me?"    Because in my mind, in a committed, loving marriage that works, there ARE some things that are fair to ask for.



Slowly, he responded, "Well, I can give you love and support."

Love and support.   Those are amazing things.   So why do they leave me feeling so empty?

I guess I figure I can get love and support from my best friends.   And from my sister.   And from my children.

And I told him that, as nicely as I could.

Is it wrong for me to want my spouse to give me something a bit more?

Is it wrong for me to want to laugh with the person I share my life with?  To find true pleasure in our days and silly moments when we least expect it?    I don't think I feel bad about the fact that I need that.

Our conversation ended shortly thereafter.   It was late, we were tired, there wasn't anything new to say.

And so here we are.

Yesterday when I came in from work, he was on the computer, engrossed and busy.  I tried to tell him a funny story, but quickly discovered he wouldn't be able to listen.   When I mentioned I needed to run to the grocery store, he said, "Well, I'll go with you if you wait."

So, I waited.  At least 30 minutes.

When I asked, "Do you have any idea when you might be done?",  he said, "One sec..."

One sec turned into no response at all, so I got up and did my own thing.

Later, he said, "I'm sorry if I made you mad.  I just didn't say anything because I didn't have an answer."

But do you see how this is confusing and dejecting for me?   I didn't ASK him to go with me to the store, he offered.   I just wanted a bit of a time frame so I could plan accordingly.    Then, when he tells me 'one sec', it leads me to believe that an answer is forthcoming.    Instead I get nothing, silence, which he even admits that he does.

The silence speaks more than any words could and he just can't see that.   This morning when I tried to explain how it makes me feel, he told me that "people don't like hearing 'I don't know' as an answer."

So his solution is to outright ignore them? 

I don't see how that turns out any better for anyone.   Yeah, if he'd said "I don't know" when I asked how much longer, I'd have most likely been frustrated.   But at least I'd have been acknowledged and heard.   The silence just makes me feel neglected  and shunned.    It says to me, I don't care enough to even give you the courtesy of a reply.

And it's this avoidance  and closing off that gets so hard to deal with.

But alas, my Saturday is slipping away and I don't want to spend it working myself into a tizzy.

I think I'll put on my music and go for a walk.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 111; Crumbs

I finished another self help book today.   In the past few years, I've grown obsessed with them.   In a desperate attempt to find validation, I thumb through page after page of life affirming words, written by strangers miles and miles away.

It's soothing.  It brings me comfort.  I like knowing I'm not the only broken cookie in the jar.

This book I read in less than 24 hours.   I must confess, I liked it, even though it was scary and at times annoying.

I want A to read it but I know he won't.  He doesn't like self help books at all.   He barely tolerated therapy or so it seems to me.  I know before Kenya left, he didn't see any need to continue visiting her.   "Why pay money to hear her tell me what I've heard her say before?" he'd ask.

Thing is, I could pay to see her daily.  I s'pose that's the depth of help I need.

And seeing how we are still on the verge of fiscal ruin, a $15 book I can read and reread seems more economical than a one hour visit at $100 with a complete stranger. 

The book was called "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" and it outlines questions in a sort of check list format for you to work your way through answering.   The author's stance is that if you run across any element in the check list that gives you pause, and then cause for leaving, you will most likely be happy having done so.

Her take is that even if you have ONE thing that gives you reason to end your relationship,  you'll probably be happier if you left.

Out of 36 criteria, I had 19 that should indicate that leaving is okay.   I had 17 that indicated my marriage was too good to give up on.

You're not supposed to compare them or keep tallies.  One should be enough, but for me it's still not.

Regardless, having read the book, I find myself in a contemplative, pensive mood.   I so want A to read it or at least peruse it or possibly even ask me about it, but I know he won't.  He likes to avoid.

Speaking of avoiding, he's yet to visit the banker in light of our potential bankruptcy situation.   We continue to float along our river of denial.  

Going through the motions is our strong suit and I'm convinced we've done it for years, maybe even since the beginning of our relationship.   It just wasn't until after S was in the picture that I realized how uncomfortable and unappeasing it is to do.

With the weekend here, maybe we'll find time to really talk.   It's been a busy, tiring, week full of activities and appointments.  I want a slow pace, another good sleep, and some peace of mind.  I don't mind being a broken cookie,  I just don't want to feel alone anymore.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 108; Oppressive

The humidity today was horrible, stifling.  Each time I stepped outside, I felt suffocated, choked, struggling for breath.

It probably didn't help that I chose to wear a black, maxi dress, but how was I to know how thick the air would be?

Today's weather is how I feel about my love life.  Nothing lately feels breezy, airy, light.

Either I'm missing S, wailing into the nothingness of my car as I drive home from work or I'm sitting at the dinner table feeling smothered by my life, my choices, by A.

I don't want to whine, so should probably just shut up now, but I truly am stuck.   I feel confused and unsure and scared.    I feel angry and frustrated.   Even though I have friends who love me, I still feel alone.   If for no other reason than that this is my problem, my dilemma, my situation from which to arise.

The more I think about S and how he's disposed of me, the angrier I get.  I trusted him, gave him my all and he tossed me aside.   I am angry with myself for not being able to move on, for being in such debilitating denial that it's left me feeling crazy most of the time.

A and I do okay, but are definitely in coasting mode.  That makes me mad too.   Why can't I just love him like I used to?  Why can't I just be happy with my life?   What is wrong with me?

Work is so much more difficult this year, which makes me sad because last year, it was one of my greatest joys in life.  I looked forward to going every, single day.   Not so much now.

But there is good.  I can always find something to smile about.   R says that my ability to find humor in my depths of despair astounds her.  I know I don't show it here much, but the two of us do share at least one laugh a day.   I can start with that.

Tonight I'm going to smile about a warm bath, a good book and my cozy bed.   I want to sleep like a baby tonight.    Nothing oppressive about that.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 104; Wrinkles and Wisdom

For my birthday, the big one I just had in May, my friend R sent me a gift certificate to Sephora.   I love stores like that.

While not a girly girl, I do love to look pretty and I love to play in make up.   Ironically, I'm more apt to not wear anything than to "put on my face" before I leave the house.  I'm a concealer, lip gloss and mascara person, so a store like Sephora with a billion and one choices really throws me into a tizzy.

Having money that I get to spend on frivolous perks is fun, but also overwhelming at once.

Upon entering the website, I'm bombarded with choices.   Do I want make-up?  Hair supplies?   Tools like brushes or gear?    How about a fragrance or something for bath AND body?  Hmm...where does a simpleton begin?

In the past, I think I would have splurged on some exotic sounding make up.   This is very, very tempting.

It's called The Love Set and  comes with blush, lip pencil, and a gloss.  Anything with a blush included called Orgasm has GOT to be good.

Except, I don't need a trio called Love Set.   I lived that all last year and into this one.   I'm done with that.

Being part of "The Love Set" has taken a huge toll on me physically (see last night's post) and my face is really showing it.

Forty year old skin isn't as forgiving as it once was, say, six months ago even.   Apparently the salt from tears really, really wears out a groove under those old eyes and does nothing for crow's feet.   You know, that's cruel.  It would be awesome if I cried tears that included lipid enhancing qualities or Retin-A.

Which leads me to the Skincare section of the store.  Surely here I will find something to change my life or at least change the lines I wear like battle scars around my eyes.

The thing is, it's hard for me to shop because I become so mesmerized with the labels on everything.  What an amazing job it must be to get to come up with fun, fresh names for products.

After careful consideration and an equal mix of random clicking on things I liked, I've narrowed my top choices down to these.  It's going to be hard to choose.

Truth Serum.   Love it!   Wouldn't it be awesome if I could dab a bit on my skin and instantaneously I'd have to tell the truth, no matter how hard it would be?   I mean, I certainly make a stab at it now, but fear holds me back.   Their tag line could be "Remove the lines AND the lies!"

Here is a similar product.   "Express the Truth" is a wrinkle resistance face cream.    I've heard it said that 'the eyes don't lie'.   Maybe with this, the slogan could be transformed to "I don't lie'.   I'm not sure.

I think Philosophy nailed it with this one.   "Help me".   I've been squeezing off this tube for longer than I care to confess.     And on a totally random tangent, this product reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes.   I'll add it because it definitely brings a smile to my face.

Help me...

These last ones are compelling too.

Okay, actually, this one cracks me up.   "When Hope is Not Enough".   Wow...the story of my life lately, both with my heart and on my face.  Seriously, this one might just be the front runner by default.

And yet the optimist in me can't just pass these by.

I can only imagine that if Lennon and McCartney could do it all over again, the lyrics would read, "All you need is hope, all you need is hope, all you need is hope, hope...Hope is all you need."    They could have further profited from their name with a line of women's beauty products. 

And lastly, we come to this one.

I'm totally digging the "hope will set you free" part, as what I'm craving in so many ways is freedom.  Freedom to be me,  free from the heartbreak and pain, free from all the yuck.   I just am not sure I can buy this set because of the Purity label.   Certainly, there's nothing pure about me anymore.

As you can imagine, shopping with me is exhausting.   Just ask R.   The first time she ever met me, we stopped at a liquor store to buy something and I was overwhelmed.  I'd never really been in one before and I went into sensory overload and almost shut down.

It's how I am with any decision, be it face cream or my next move in life.   At least with the beauty products I can return what I don't like or stop using it if it doesn't work or causes me to break out.   In life, choices aren't always that convenient.

But, much like the present R sent me, I have been given the gift of life, the gift of choice.   I plan to spend wisely.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 103; Shockingly Six


Wasn't sure what in the hell I'd write about tonight, but now I have my fodder.

All day long I've been missing S.   I don't really like to write about it, because there are certain readers who particularly hate him and never hesitate to let me know.

Last night I dreamed of him.  Dreamed of showing him my new, short hair.   Today, and yes, I will sadly admit this, I took pictures of myself, of my short hair and seriously contemplated sending them to him.

I know it's for naught.   I know it only makes me look pitiful.   But I still cry.   And I don't mean the single, solitary, Indian crying over the state of garbage in our world, sort of tear.

I SOB.   I scream at the top of my lungs, I wail, I run the mascara, I make my throat raw.  I cry.    Missing S still 100% consumes me.    And yes, I hate admitting that.

So, flash forward to tonight.   I'm on the computer, helping son #3, who is only 6, gather pictures for an assignment for class.  He needs a picture of everyone in his family.    We quickly peruse through my album and then completely out of the blue he says to me, "You were way happier and skinnier when I was young."

I shook my head as if to make sure I heard him correctly.   My eyes bugged out and I asked him to repeat himself.   For the second time, he said the same thing.

My throat clenched.   What could I say?  

"Yes, sweetie.   Mommy WAS happier.   Everyday last year, she spent a good deal of time talking to another man other than your daddy.   That man made her laugh, made her love.  Made her feel a way that she had never felt before.    She was skinny because she didn't care about food.   All she wanted was more of him."  I could have said that.

I could have followed with, "And guess what, baby?"   "That same man completely dumped me.   What Mommy thought was honest to God, true, everlasting love...well, he didn't really see it that way."

I could continue on with, "So, yes, Mommy has gained some weight.   Lately it seems that food is really the only thing that I feel like won't let me down.   It makes me feel good and I can control every other aspect about it.   It comforts me, brings me pleasure and is always there for me.  Very unlike the man I so loved last year."

I could also say, "And yes, I was happier.   Mommy's heart was so full of love, she didn't even know what to do.   For the first time in her life, she was able to be herself and admit and confess to all of her quirky, odd ball ways.    And she truly thought that the person she was sharing all of that with loved her back and would always love her back."

I don't want to have to add, "But, guess what darling?   People say things they don't mean.   They tell you all sorts of beautiful, heart wrenching stories and words that make you believe that magic really can happen.    And then they get scared, or realize they have changed their mind, and then, in an instant, they take it all away."

It's no wonder I'm not as happy.

It's no wonder I'm not as fit.

Dealing with a broken heart makes for a shitty existence.   In the midst of it all, I haven't been as chipper, nor have I given a shit about how I looked.

And yet, now I do.  

My six year old notices.  

That means something to me.

I'm so sorry I've let myself go like this.  I'm so sorry I got so incredibly sad.

Who has benefited from this?


In then end, I think no one.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 101; Fear Less

I've never seen The Exorcist.  I've never seen most horror movies.   Scary movies are not my thing.   They are disturbing, graphic, and I don't have time to be completely and totally freaked out.

Not having ever seen The Exorcist has led me to formulate many hypothetical scenarios about the movie.   If you don't know about something, your imagination can create a world far, far more dangerous and vile than the reality might be.   I can't say for sure and I'm not willing to watch the movie to find out.

I've also never bungie jumped or dreamed of sky diving.  I don't thrive on fear.   I'd rather get my adrenaline rush from a great bite of dark chocolate than free falling from an airplane.    Fear and I just probably wouldn't be friends if we met at a sorority party. 

The thing is, as terrifying as that movie or sky diving or anything of that nature seems to me, real life lately is scaring me even more.   The fear I feel about the decisions I *think* I have made leave me paralyzed and in a bit of a panic.

I knew the status quo wasn't working for me.  I think that if I allowed it, kept my mouth shut about S, hid all of my crying for when I was alone in my car or in the confines of the shower, A could have lived out the rest of his days with me.   I am not so sure I could say the same.

I don't want to cry in the shower to muffle my sobs.  I don't want to cry in my cute, fun car and then have to wipe my face clean and take 10 deep breaths before walking into the house.   I don't want to live the rest of my life pushing my emotions away.

Talking to A is always so scary.   He's such a nice guy, I hate to bring up things that are disruptive or uncomfortable.   Telling someone you feel like you love them, but have moved on from them is one of the worst things possible. 

I hint at it.  I ask a lot of "what if..." and "do you think..." sort of questions.  I want his permission to feel the way I feel, I want his understanding.   And for the most part, when he can separate himself from this mess, I do think he understands.

On Friday night, it occurred to me that the two things I love most about A are his amazing fathering skills and the way he is full of rock solid, compassionate advice.   I realized that both of those things can be savored whether we are married or not.    What he is unable and/or unwilling to provide are the things I need most.

It felt good to realize and accept that.

What didn't feel so good was trying to convey this epiphany to him.

Anyway, last night, I was feeling amorous and asked if he wanted to make love.   He told me no.   I'm not surprised, but that does hurt me a bit.   Not my feelings, but the realization that in wanting my freedom, it truly means letting A go.   I can't seem to make those things go hand in hand.  But I know I cannot have it both ways.   I can't.   It's insanely unfair to him.

When I awoke this morning, he wasn't in our bed.   Looking over at his side, with it empty, my heart flipped and I immediately jumped up to find him.   He'd spent the night in our son's bottom bunk.  He'd gotten up to read when he couldn't fall asleep last night and just ended up there.

Why do I panic when we make a move for what I want?   He deserves someone who loves him more than I do.   I deserve someone who can and wants to pay attention to my needs.   Neither one of us are bad people (save my affair) and we care about the other.  I just have grown to believe that our relationship has run its course.

And yet, today, we've had a good day.   We've talked, even laughed a bit.   We haven't kissed or hugged or even held hands, but we've been able to be around one another.

The Exorcist doesn't have anything on the fear this makes me feel.   I can't imagine living with him for the rest of my life, but I certainly can't fathom living without him either.

I'm more scared than I've ever been in my entire life.

Petrified, frozen with fear and unsure about how and what to do next.

The thought of the kids and how this impacts them just further perpetuates the fear.

And yet, the need to step outside this, to find me, the me that is separate from A, it just feels too strong to push away.

Sometimes I wish it was as simple as exorcising a demon or pulling a rip-cord, those seem lame in comparison to uprooting a sweet family and starting anew.

But the fears must be faced, one way or another.  

**As further proof of what a huge chicken I am, I first googled images from The Exorcist to add to this blog but was too afraid to look at them and post them here.   I know it would have been far more interesting, but I  just couldn't.   Imagine now, how scared I am to do the necessary things I have to do in REAL LIFE!**

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 99; Whoopi

Wow!  I last blogged on Wednesday.  Damn, I'm slipping.   My apologies.   I'll blame it on the hormones.  I knew they had to be fucking with me this week because the influx of sadness and tears was just more than usual and sure enough, on Friday morning, I started my period. 

My emotions bounced all over the place.

Fortunately for me, I have excellent friends.  R, who lives miles and miles and miles away, is amazing.   She's been my rock of support since before the affair and daily she brings a smile to my face.  Actually, she brings more than a smile.  She makes me laugh out loud.   I can think about things she says and will laugh hours later.  She's awesome like that.

The other day, after that dream I had about S, our texts went something like this:

Her:  You better today?  Sleep ok?
Me:  Yes, thanks.   Did sleep better, trying to find a way to broach separation talk again.  This status quo doesn't work for me.
Her:  I"ll do it for you.  Like Whoopi did in Ghost.  Molly girl, you in danger.
Me:  OMG.   You're a hoot.
Her:  I'll be your Whoopi.
Me:  Danger of stagnating?
Her:  No, that happened ages ago!

She is hilariously funny, but also brings the real.

Yesterday, we were able to IM a bit.   Before I worked we'd spend more time than I'd ever dream of admitting instant messaging.   I miss talking to her in that way, so any chance I get, I'll pop online and shoot the shit with her. 

Lately, she's been sexting with an old flame and that always provides fodder for laughs.   We also always talk about my situation because as I said earlier, she's been a pillar of strength and support for me for many years now. 

What follows is a fairly typical conversation for us, but this is what we discussed yesterday.

Me:  Yo!
Her:  Sup yo!   How are you?
Me:  Not bad.   I really think this weekend I'm going to talk to A.   It's just so hard, so scary.
Her:  I know, it is hard and will be a bit scary.   Much like anal sex.
Me:  Right!  Anal sex IS scary.    I've tried it with A and it hurt like hell.   My little sphincter was as closed as a liquor store in Texas on a Sunday afternoon.  Funny though, I always wanted to do anal with S.   With him, I bet my ass would be as open as the Grand Canyon. 
Her:  Oh boy!
Her:   You should see what I have going on in my other IM window.
Her:   I'm sexting with F as he's driving his son to practice.
Me:  Oh my!
Her:  Apparently, butthole licking is huge in porn right now!
Me:  Eww, gross.    Although, if S wanted me to lick his ass, I would.   Probably in the shower though.
Her:  If S wanted you to eat his shit, I'm sure you would.
Me:  I would.  Sad, but true.

And through it all, she loves me still.   I can be me, shit eating, asshole licking, daydreaming dork and she will just roll her eyes as she's rolling with my punches.

Recently I told her that I missed S terribly and that it had sort of hit me anew that he'd truly broken my heart.   This was her reply:

"No surprise the heart was broken.  I saw pretty much a lot o f what he was saying all last year and why WOULDN'T you believe he was just as invested in the relationship as you were?  PRICK!  Don't even get me going on that emotional terrorist!  I wish I had easy tips on how to stop thinking about someone who really impacted your life experience."

Yeah, she makes me smile.   My Whoopi tends to have that effect on people. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 96; Soup Aisle

Sometimes it happens on the canned soup aisle in the grocery store.   I'll be standing there,  comparing brands and calculating sodium and fat content, when an old Asian or African American woman will push her cart past mine.   As I look up and see her yellowed, wrinkled skin, a wave of sadness will wash over me.  

I don't know my mom's exact lineage, but she was definitely olive complected.   Very unlike the white of my skin.

Even though I hadn't been thinking of her, feeling her, selfishly even needing her in that moment, there she is.    In that moment, I was genuinely debating the benefits of Low Fat Progresso soup over a can of Healthy Choice.  

And yet, there I stand, blindsided by a fellow shopper.

It happened to me last night.

For a few weeks now (see how good I'm doing...I can't even tell you the exact number of days), I've had no contact with S.   I've even been so busy back at work and so genuinely excited about it, that I can make it from sunrise to sunset with nary a thought of that man.

I have been proud of myself.   Maybe too proud?  Or perhaps too relaxed?

For last night, while I slept, he slipped into my dreams.

Before I realized it, there he was.   Standing in front of me, less than an arm's length away.   My heart lurched, squeezed, flipped.

We embraced and I could feel his warm breath on my neck, the scruff of his goatee on my cheek, the smell of him in my nostrils.

It was heaven.

As he held me close, he whispered in my ear, "Do you really, honestly think we could make it?" and as I kissed his lips, I murmured, "I always knew it'd be hard, but I never doubted for one second."

And then, as dreams are wont to do, A walked up and S and I quickly parted.   As if he'd been listening to our conversation, A interjected, "I know exactly how things would turn out."    There was more than a hint of disdain in his voice.

Resentment flooded me and all I wanted to do was find my way back into the arms of the man I love...S.

But the moment had passed and before I knew it, I was riding shotgun to A, driving home over hilly terrain, plotting when I might see S again.

The rest of the night was fraught with more hints of S, with a huge appearance from his wife.   It was as if I was seeing her for the first time, in an entirely new light.   In the dream, I knew I was the outsider, the unwanted one, although neither she nor S were truly happy.

I awoke to the most unsatisfied, heavy hearted feeling I've felt in ages.   All day long, thoughts of S gnawed at me, with little reminders of him cropping up everywhere.

I've wanted to talk about it to someone all day long and honestly, there is no one.   Who wants to hear this?  Who has an answer?  No one.

And at this point, I certainly can't drop another $100 on a new therapist to listen to my drivel.

It's just like life to throw you a curve ball and mind you, I know full well, I'm talking Little League play compared to what terrible realities lurk just around the corner.  I know this is small potatoes.

It's just that I felt so strong lately, so willing to move in the right direction.   It's hard when my subconscious can't even let him go.

And with that, the workings of my mind at rest, I realize how deeply I do still miss him.   And how lost I still feel.   And trapped.   And scared.   And poor.   And tired.  

But life goes on and I have to live.   I wouldn't have it any other way.   So, live I must.   However that ends up looking.

However that might be.