The last two and a half years of my life haven't been the best. If I was keeping any kind of track, I'd tell you this all started on December 5th, 2005 and I haven't had a decent night's sleep since. And near as I can figure that's about 941 days. 22,584 hours. 1,355,040 minutes. Holy crap. Good thing I'm not keeping track or looking at things that way would really suck.
I originally started this blog at Mo's urging. She thought it would be a good outlet for me, a productive tool for processing and coping with my current situation. I resisted the idea at first, afraid of ending up with nothing more creative than a big-ass bitch fest. Or – even worse – a printed word pity party. But I ultimately changed my mind (obviously) once I finally figured out I wasn't coming up with any better ideas myself and I had to do something because my current arsenal of coping skills had been steadily shrinking since around the first of the year.
But now that I'm here, I'm realizing I'm pretty much at a loss as to how to broach this subject in any kind of a meaningful way. I've hinted at it on my "About" page and danced around it in posts like this one and this one and this one, but how many times can I be utterly and totally vague without just starting to sound like a jackass ? ("Yeah. You've got problems. We get it. Don't we all.") My intention is never to be vague or clever or coy in any kind of way. And the last thing I'd ever want to do is to leave anyone with the impression that I think my problems are somehow bigger or more important or more profound than anyone else's.
I just honestly haven't figured out how to talk about what's happening. This is partly because despite being mired in the middle of this for so long, I still can't make sense of half of it most of the time. (The name of this blog? Is really just a more polite way of articulating the "WTF? WTF? WTF??" mantra that's blaring on a loop inside my head all damn day long.) But it's also because this is bigger than just me. I share this story with other people, including a completely innocent and pure two-year-old girl whom I think about and worry about and concern myself with on some level of my consciousness just about every waking moment of my days. So until this situation is all resolved, there are just certain things I can't talk about, because ultimately her safety and well-being have to come first. As hard as that may be for me at times. Because I am tired. And so sick of all this. And because, well, what about me??? Sigh.
So how do I start? "Just start." That was Mo's advice and really? She's right. So this is my attempt at a start. Am I having some kind of sordid affair? Uh, no – although I'm always worried it'll read like that. (If only! Because that would at least make for interesting blogging.) But this is about a man. We fell in love more than a decade ago, and we were just too young at the time to handle what we'd found. (And by we? I mean HE.) He was in his early twenties and I was closer to my later 20's – a younger man how did THAT happen?? – and I just don't think people SHOULD be ready at that age. There's still too much personal growing left to do.
So we acted our ages (or is it our shoe sizes?) and lost our minds and blew things up (and by we, I mean HE) and that was the end of our being together. Things were tough for a while but we just kept pushing through. We fought hard to work out our crap – the disappointment, the hurt feelings, the anger – so we could stay in each other's lives. The bottom line? We loved each other. Even when neither one of us would admit it to the other – we still loved each other. Through all the years and no matter what happened we always ultimately put each other first.
Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not trying to romanticize any of this. I mean I guess one day in retrospect it might look like kind of a romantic story – if we don't end up killing ourselves first in the process. ("You could NOT make up this shit!" More Mo.) But, sadly, it's far less romantic than it is OVERWHELMINGLY STUPID. I mean the number of ways we were idiots is just too high to count and too depressing to take stock of. We were too silent. Too accepting of how things were. Too afraid. I knew he loved me. Knew it. Yet I didn't do anything about it. Didn't say anything to him. I figured it was his place to bring anything up, not mine. So I buried my feelings down deep and never let him see them. EVER. Ha! Take THAT! Pride? Just screws everything up.
And he had his own pride. He couldn't admit to his own mistakes. He figured he'd had his chance and blew it; he figured I'd closed the door and he couldn't find the nerve to try to reopen it. So (in his words) he just was happy and grateful to be in my life at all. So for years we remained perfectly happy to be best friends. But we weren't happy with that. Not really. Ah, the lies we sometimes tell ourselves just to get through the day. So before it was over, we had let the comfort and safety of our denial spin everything between us completely out of control. Excellent plan!
The good news is we both finally grew up. The better news? He also finally manned up and told me how he feels about me. OH MY GOD I KNEW IT, KNEW IT, KNEW IT!!! (These are the first words I said to him. So mature.) And then we rode off happily into the big, fairy-tale sunset.
Unfortunately, it's a little less fairy tale up in here and a lot more Stephen King novel. You know, the kind with world-ending plagues and black crows pecking the eyeballs out of dead bodies and people eating their own limbs for survival. It took us so many years to figure it all out that now we're in a place where we have to overcome a LOT of obstacles and a LOT of odds to get where we want to be. He got married. It wasn't happy. I'll say nothing here against her, either. It's not her fault. It's no one's fault. If two people don't fit together, it's just sad and unhappy. There's disappointment. There's a lot of anger and hurt. And in this case? There's also a child. And that's the worst part for me. No matter how wonderful our life may end up together, there will still always be so much sadness involved. People get over things; they move on. I know. It's life. It happens. But no one deserves to hurt here. There are no bad people in this situation. It's just a bad situation. No man should EVER have to be away from his daughter, and no little girl should ever have to be apart from her dad. Especially in a case like this where her dad is so exceptional as both a father and a human being. The thought of this separation burns constantly through my guts like a blow torch. And there are added complications. Health issues. Extended family issues. Relocation issues. Financial issues. Legal issues. Oh my GOD could I possibly have any more issues than I already do??
So we wait. We w---a---i---t. (How old am I now? 186?) We've put ourselves and our dreams for a life together completely on hold while we attempt to muddle through the present. It's excrutiating to be this close – to have finally acknowledged what it is we want and what we're working for – and to sometimes feel as far away from it as we did ten years ago. Or maybe farther. And on some days? it's so much easier to love each other through all of this than it is to LIKE each other. (Because honestly? There are times I could just KILLLLLLL him. In a tender and loving way, of course.) It's been a long road, and time is really starting to take its toll. Coping skills are practically non-existent. Stress levels are at an all-time high. Patience is practically a thing of the past. And this is changing him in other ways too. He's broken. Sometimes I glimpse a darkness in him that scares me. No one in the world has ever felt more familiar to me than he does, and yet on some days right now I can hardly recognize him. I worry constantly. He's sick a lot. He sleeps less than I do. Every day I expect to get a phone call that he's been in a car accident from nodding off behind the wheel. Especially when he's traveling and has to drive to the airport at four in the morning..after sleeping all of two hours the night before. And the night before that.
But people in the world have much worse problems than I do. I'm always aware of this. It's just that these particular problems happen to be my own. I don't spend time feeling sorry for myself (not usually, anyway) and I never doubt my ability to handle any of this. I'm just tired down into my bones and would like to spend a day sometime in the near future not worried half out of my damn mind.
Wow. This turned out to be less "start" and more "entire damn story thus far."