Category Archives: self-harm

The Story of T & G

I’m feeling angry, hurt and mean this Sunday. Therefore, I revised this post with some visual aids. God(dess) will probably strike me dead for BEING that way.

I’m actually at a loss for words. It’s not that there aren’t enough; there are too many. I’ll start with the title and, perhaps, discuss its inspiration. BTW, for this post, and maybe for others, depending on how I feel, the bâtard is being named. I wish I knew the French words for “septic cunt” and “hagbeast” or even “hagfish” because I’d use them as well.

One, possibly two, people who read this blog know who I am in real life and that I am an aspiring online magazine publisher. I’ve been putting the building blocks in place to turn another blog I have into an online women’s magazine since last fall. My goal is to go live this year. I do have a more specific timetable, but that’s my other life and I don’t really want to talk much about it here.

My heart and soul are dying and my mind can’t hold me up on its own anymore. I can blame it on a week off my antidepressants and that would be partially accurate. However, the antidepressants only allow me to cope with real life and make better decisions (I hope). They don’t change what’s happened. Certainly, they don’t heal me in places I’m not totally sure anyone can, including me. My way of coping has always been sex, music or the written word. I was; I am; I will always be, a musician, even when my only instrument is my voice. I am and have always been, a writer, even without a pencil, paper or laptop. I have written countless stories in my head that never make it to paper because there’s no need. They were written by me for me.

I’ve been playing with an idea for the last few weeks that I’ve decided to follow through. I am going to write a book based on my truth about Glenn and me. It takes as long as it takes. What’s in it is in it. I don’t care who gets hurt as long as I can write the truth. I’ve got a lot of documentation in journals, letters, etc. I only wish I had a screen capture of his wifey-slime pretending to be him saying, “It was a joke” when referring to his supposed interest in becoming involved again after I’d poured my heart out to him. I think the only people who might understand how destroyed I was and still am are the readers here and my shrink. I’m not sure my shrink understands completely. Then again, she did understand that it was cruelty in the extreme, and one of her specialties is abuse, so I guess she must get something.

In the last two or three days I’ve gone from righteous anger to crumbling heap. I’m trying to get angry again so that it becomes a motivator for action. The problem is that when I’ve been angry I’ve also been the most hurt. I’m angry because of the things Glenn did that utterly and completely betrayed me for sport. I’m angry that he let that hagbeast be the one who was in on at least part of it with him, knowing that I detest her and have since I was 16-years-old and didn’t even know she was seeing him. I’m angry that we laid in bed together for 17 years and there was love. . . the love. He never professed love to me, but I most assuredly expressed mine to him. Even though I was sleeping with other people, there was no doubt that he was my heart. He brought me to life in a way no one ever had and no one has since. Sure, we’d get tired of each other at times, but in the end, even when I basically chased him for nearly two years, I believed it would be Glenn and me. I took “themeangirl” seriously, believe me. I watched them together and could read them and knew it would be a tough fight but that she would not be good for him in the end. Therefore, being angry with him also brings up the intense pain. The pain overcomes any benefit I could have received from the anger.

Photo of a toothed hagfish

This photo of a type of hagfish reminds me of stories told in some parts of the world about vaginas with teeth. That’s my image of the “hagbeast.”

The reason I was/am angry with Glenn is because he has yet to take any responsibility for anything. He’s a coward and what he and his hagbeast did was a twisted, sick thing. That’s not anger talking. That’s what I’d say if someone else told me that they’d been through what I have with him and the hagbeast. I have found ways to survive by running, closing myself off, crying myself to sleep and anything and everything else except drugs, although I have gotten drunk once or twice. OK, three times. Over the course of ten years, that’s not so bad. But it all has to end. I can’t do it anymore. I have things that need to be done in real life. The more I try to suppress what I feel about The Hagbeast, featuring GT as her apprentice, the sicker I will become. However, if I can write constructively and know that this is NOT my fault and that what was done was wrong, even though I already know that in my head, I have to believe I can heal.

I know that I’m no angel in this either. Hagbeast has had a ring through his nose for over 20 years. I don’t know if she knows that we were still sleeping together as late as four years after they were married and did so during her entire residency. However, I doubt things would have progressed as horribly as they did if he’d just not ignored me for two years and expected me to be in the same place when he decided to come back. I can understand him wanting to give his marriage a serious shot. I would have hated it, cried a lot, pleaded, bargained and did whatever I could. But in the end, I would have understood. This ain’t my first rodeo. But he just disappeared without a word. By the time he appeared again, he called me for phone sex. Ladies, I think you have some understanding of how . . . I don’t know . . . MIFFED I’d be about that. So I told him, “Sorry, but I am not currently sleeping with men.” He responded, “At all?!” “No. I am not having sex with men at all, nor getting them off online or on the phone.” *CLICK* He hung up on me. I was too pissed off then to regret what happened or realize how hurt he was–and he was definitely hurt–and that he’d loved me. Mom tried to tell me, but I learned to never trust anything unless he says it. He’d burned me too many times on that. Regardless, that’s when the foundations of my personal hell were laid. It took nine years and barely surviving a relative who tried to destroy me for me to come within hell’s reach. I needed Glenn again. He acted interested, but suspicious. I’d sensed someone else listening to us as he talked to me while driving down to Florida for a convention. I thought it was probably some male friend. Men are often jerks when they get together, so I just tried to pretend that I knew nothing.

By the time he arrived back home, he had a very special present waiting for him. First, a prelude.

I have loved Glenn my entire life minus 17 years. I loved him when I hated him and hated him when I’ve loved him. Hell, I love him NOW. However, when I found him and asked about resuming our involvement, I honestly thought the love had passed and that we could be good friends with benefits, meeting a few times a year to catch up on several levels, perhaps share a meal and go back to our own homes. I’d accepted, I thought, that he’d married someone else even if I detested her. Now, since she was such a hagbeast, I didn’t feel any guilt at all about shaking the chandelier with her husband. When Glenn opened up, we were great together. When he shut down, he was frustrating. He wasn’t all that happy about leaving me behind and he was lonely.

Image of a hagfish

Hagfish are real, slimy, disgusting but necessary. I apologize to any hagfish who were hurt by my bastardization of the name of your species.

I’ve loved him nearly as long as she theoretically had and I’d been the one to soothe him when she was being a right cold fish. He didn’t marry me because I’m his “Gregory.” That means that he didn’t love me quite as much as he did hagbeast just as I loved Glenn a little bit more than I loved Gregory. I also wasn’t going to make six figures coming out of training, thereby allowing him to set up his businesses without having to worry about his next meal. In addition, she was able-bodied. There’s nothing I can do about that, so she won. I don’t happen to think that being able-bodied should have been a criteria, but it was. What hurt so much is that anyone who has ever seen us together felt that they were in a room positively crackling with electricity. Given that, why does having an above-knee prosthesis on one leg make any difference? What difference does it make if I developed fibromyalgia? Apparently, a lot of difference. She’s better arm-candy, a better earner and doesn’t limp and spend much time as a patient in a hospital.

Well, as I said, by the time he got back from Florida and after talking to him a few times while he was down there, I decided to make a film of myself talking to him and telling him of this love that came rushing up from its hiding place out of my mind’s eye view. It was corny, I admit. The music in the background was Donny Hathaway singing his masterwork, A Song For You. But it fit.

Here are the lyrics.

A Song For You
Sung by Donny Hathaway

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I’ve treated you unkindly but darlin’ can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me
Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

You taught me precious secrets of a true love witholding nothing
You came out in front when I was hiding
Now I’m so much better and if my words don’t come together
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life you’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for in my life you’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song
Singing this song to you

A Song For You lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

You see, by that time, I’d been a journalist for three very busy years and had definitely gotten people’s attention. I was going a few places to conferences and such, talking to people active in black gay circles and in the Welcoming Congregation movement. Indeed, that’s how I made my bones. I covered the 2001 United Methodist Church General Conference. It was one thing after another. My adrenaline was pumping and I was taking pictures and conducting interviews with people I would never have been able to get next to otherwise. I was in heaven! I attended the First Annual National Black Lesbian Conference where I watched an organization being born. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful experience. I got mobbed by the women when they found out who I was.

The lyrics to A Song For You say:

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I really had lived my life on a stage of sorts. Mine was the digital and glossy paper stage. I’d written a lot of stories about a lot of people and organizations and they really were my life. To my great surprise, people knew who I was and appreciated my work. But I chose to sit on my office floor, with a cigarette (to keep me calm because I was scared to death) and told the absolute truth. I didn’t realize how much I still loved him when I contacted him and that these feelings came up almost the moment I began talking to him. I loved him regardless of his situation. We figured things out once and we could do it again.

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I’ve treated you unkindly but darlin’ can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me
Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I apologized for the way I told him I was, for all intents and purposes, a lesbian. I should have been more sensitive to his feelings because we had such a long and storied history. I told him that he had me if he wanted me and that I wanted him. I opened up completely. I was totally vulnerable.

I didn’t hear from him for two days. I finally caught up with someone I thought was him but, as it turned out, it was the hagbeast. I asked if he liked the movie. The reply was “No.” I said something like “Oh.” Some other thing happened that I can’t remember except that it made me go cold inside and my stomach clench. That’s when I first got a clue it wasn’t Glenn. He’d never talked to me that way. I ran to my bedroom to phone him and tell him that his wife was online pretending to be him and saying whatever else she said besides “It was a joke.” There was no answer. It is only recently that I’ve accepted that this is what happened. I didn’t want to believe that the hagbeast had that much evil in her. Certainly, I didn’t want to believe that Glenn was complicit in her games. It led me to wonder if they plotted the entire thing and laughed at me while they did it. I picture them making love while making fun of me. Even now, the humiliation is such that I really and truly want to die. No kidding. No exaggeration. If someone shot me right now, I would thank them. The only reason I don’t do it myself is because of my girls. They need me. Even an empty shell of a person is better than what would await them at the local shelter. So I live.

I don’t know how I’m going to get through writing this, but I will. I doubt it will be ready for submission even next year. So, I’m looking at two years. I’ve got to keep myself alive for at least two years. OK.

As the watchful eye of Mother Earth is my witness, I just want to die and get it over with, but I can’t. My babies need me.

Shit.

Congratulations if you’ve managed to get this far! For your efforts, I want to reveal two photos I sent to Glenn yesterday and last night.

A picture of my arm showing severe self-inflicted burns on my arm

This is a photo I sent Glenn so that he can see that I was in so much agony there were no words. The only way I could express myself was to burn myself almost to the bone and cut. I did this after the “It was a joke” comment.

Photo of a paper plate with 3 bacon strips next to a paper plate with a stack of pancakes with a dinner knife connecting the two. There are assorted food items in the background.

This photo is filled with symbolism. Some of it would only be evident to someone who knows me. I sent this to him with a letter telling him that I’m writing our story.

Recovery: man v. manchild

I have considered writing about my recent activities for several days now. My problem was that I was too involved and too confused to make any sense. I couldn’t formulate my thoughts so that they made sense to me. How could I write something that would be understood by someone else? I have a large vocabulary, but I have feelings with no words to describe them. One would think I’d be able to find some word among so many thousands to say, “I feel X.” Even now, the words do not come easily. I am going to delve into my former lover’s, Glenn’s, behavior and my reactions as compared to a dear friend who happens to be male who confirmed what I’ve known in my heart for a long time and what I’ve only just realized.

I’ve noticed that I tend to write to Glenn when there’s some sort of “issue” in my present life that makes me sad. If I had to voice a reason, I’d say that it’s because he reminds me of happier times; he is someone who helped me at an absolutely critical time in my life that no one else could have handled, and; I just want him. When all is said and done, it’s the fact that I want him that is uppermost in my being. The other reasons are valid, but aren’t quite as important.

February is a tricky month this year. My mother’s birthday is on the 22nd and she died last year on the 27th. She had five days to be 86 years old. She’d been the matriarch of our family for nearly four years, but she’d never exercised the privilege that came with it. That was reserved for yours truly, who bore the full brunt of her need to be constantly honored. I am not that kind of person, which lead to many an argument. However, that is a topic for a different post. The most important thing to know about her in this one is that I missed my mother terribly, and; I’d finally hit the wall in my suppressed frustration with her estate and all of the stress it was causing because of her absolutely asinine decisions. I spent a half hour the other day screaming and yelling at the ceiling practically out of my mind with rage because she’d left me to clean up her mess–one that has very long-term consequences for me. I know she was sick even if she refused to acknowledge it and threatened me when I tried to get her help. I have extremely good reason to be furious with her even though I miss other things about her. I understand that it’s not unusual to carry both anger and longing for a recently deceased loved one. Thank Goddess for shrinks because I would have felt abnormal and incredibly guilty if I hadn’t been told my feelings are fairly normal.

For reasons I do not remember, I began to think about Glenn. I was, and am, so angry with him for what he did to me that I have to talk myself out of sending him nasty e-mail on a daily basis these days. Besides my mother’s pedophile second husband and the man I was seeing in undergrad who raped me, Glenn set up the cruelest, sickest, most twisted and most non-consensually sadistic episode I’ve ever experienced. It led to spending four days in an ICU bed because I tried to suicide after he’d left me in disbelief, humiliation, self-hatred and utter, utter despair; my mother losing her fucking mind and attacking me while in ICU necessitating her banishment from both the medical hospital and the psych hospital where I was sent; wanting little to do with men for the last decade, including my own family members, and; on those days when I do think of it, feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, ugliness and shame. Glenn knows this and just doesn’t give a damn. He and that female he married who was in on the “joke” perpetrated the perfect mindfuck. That is their specialty. They thrived on mutual mindfucks when in college. She is an archetypical “mean girl” and he, like every bully and abuser, needs to feel in control and powerful. I’ve suspected for some time now that he has his own abuse issues that he doesn’t deal with well, if at all. He finds a person’s weakness and exploits it. With me, there were several things to exploit. The first was the fact that I’ve loved him for all but 17 years of my life, then; a birth defect that made one leg considerably shorter than the other, necessitating a prosthesis; other health issues like fibromyalgia, and, finally; my weight. (Oddly enough, we were lovers for 17 years, too. That’s just a coincidence with the numbers, I suppose.) He did the same thing before we first got together. It took me the better part of two years of enduring his shit before he made a decision that I was worth having, finally bedded me and began to treat me fairly well to very well.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

I admit to being a late-comer to Eminem. I liked some of his music, but tended to look at him askance due to the homophobia the character Slim Shady spouted and the vulgarity of his lyrics. The latter is a bit hypocritical because I have a mouth like a sailor when I’m angry and don’t feel like holding back. As time has gone on, I’ve come to appreciate Eminem more. I am especially fond of his 2010 CD Recovery which contains a track with Rihanna called Love The Way You Lie about an abusive and dysfunctional relationship. I wish I could sit her in a room and make her listen to that track a zillion times so she can come to her senses and give up on that messed up child, Chris Brown. I think of the young women who will emulate her and I am very concerned.

I feel as though the lyrics quoted above are words emanating from my psyche relative to Glenn. My feelings aren’t healthy at all. So many people have told me that he’s a little shit, but they also had something of a conflict of interest. I have tried to get him to tell me why he did what he did for a decade so that I can move on. I’d also hoped that whatever he said would help me stop feeling as though I’d done something to deserve it. I have been able to tease a few things out that I would bet the remainder of my life are true. First, regarding his marriage, I believe he didn’t choose me because I have a rare disability and no one really knows what my future holds. He’s a record producer, DJ and manager. He believes that he has to project a certain image. Right now, he’s like carved marble. Indeed, he’s much more attractive now than he was as a younger man. I’m not the right arm candy. I have a pronounced limp and I’m Rubenesque. I also can’t dance because I risk ending up on the floor. I think he finds me embarrassing. It really took going back in my memory, but we were rarely seen together with people who know him. The only time he took me out with his friends (as opposed to our mutual friends) when I went to see him was the night we had dinner in the city right before he told me he was marrying that puta. I had absolutely NO idea that was coming. I thought it was the exact opposite, in fact. I was rather blindsided, to say the least.

Secondly, that woman he married is a physician in a very high salaried specialty. Even if I’d graduated law school I wouldn’t make the kind of money she does. I would if I did personal injury, but that’s not what I wanted to do. Neither did I want to work for one of the big law firms with offices in the U.S. and other countries. I wanted to practice criminal and intellectual property. The latter gets a pretty penny, but not as much as the good doctor. His business was more than likely funded by her, at least at first. Now, had he stayed with me and married me, Daddy would have gotten him started by introducing him to the right people. I remembered telling him about Glenn, in fact. He wasn’t impressed. With his background, I understand. However, he also wasn’t going to let me live in relative poverty, so he’d have helped Glenn for my sake. Ironically, I refused to ask my family for help unless my back was against the wall. I wanted to do things on my own.

I have a dear friend from high school, David, who was run down by a driver while biking his way to work. When I first heard about it, I was out the door the next day and went to see him in ICU. He looked terrible. I could tell from what I saw approximately what his injuries were. It was a major miracle that he lived. This was confirmed by one of the floor nurses. Had he not already been in great shape, he would have died. I hadn’t seen David in about 12 to 15 years, but that didn’t matter. He was still my dear friend and I could help him. I’ve spent my entire life in the medical system and know more than a thing or two about it. I promised David that I would see him through rehab for as long as I am in town. Then, I first got some sort of bug that turned into bronchitis and aggravated the asthma with which I was just diagnosed about two years ago and the asthma aggravated the bronchitis. Fun times! After that, my mother’s estate struck again and, for reasons that are too detailed to explain, left me without transportation. The upshot is that I didn’t see David for two months, he couldn’t talk on the phone because he was on a ventilator and is only recently able to speak on the phone after being weaned from the vent.

David is an incredibly brave, resolute, kind and loving person who is, in turn, loved by many people. He was my secret crush in high school, in fact. He is handling the changes in his life better than anyone had any right to expect. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he is. It is so much harder for someone who has a traumatic disability than for someone born with one. I, for example, don’t know what it’s like to have two legs of the same length. Therefore, although I can imagine the things I would have done and would still do, I have no experiential knowledge to miss.

Today I was finally able to drive my vehicle without fearing getting stopped again. My attorney found a creative way around some probate law and, after last minute frustration with the BMV, I became street legal again. (YAY!!!) The first person I went to see was David. I was beyond happy with the progress he’d made. I’d been worried about him because I couldn’t make sure that everything was as it should be for him because, last I saw him, he wasn’t in a position to advocate for himself. Fortunately, our group of friends has stuck together even though many of us have not seen each other in *mumble* years. Our experiences forged life-long loyalties and bonds. I ended up in tears of both happiness for David and anguish for myself. Seeing David, I realized the man that Glenn isn’t. The contrast hit me over the head like a sledgehammer. I was in tears so that I had to leave the room, actually. Fifty percent were tears of joy and 50% were tears of heartbreak. Truth be told, if it wouldn’t have been bad for David, I would have sobbed huge sobs of heartbreak sitting beside his bed.

I needed a man’s opinion, so I told David about Glenn and what he’d done to me. He was nice and said that Glenn was an immature asshole and, no, I didn’t do anything to deserve what he did. He also said that I can’t worry about Glenn’s motives because there’s nothing I can do. He chose to do what he did and it was uncalled for. He further said that we love people and we can only hope that they love us in a similar fashion. If they don’t, then you have to worry about yourself. I got over Glenn marrying someone else a while ago in the sense that I didn’t want him full time and having someone else would be a good thing even though I do not like this puta all on her own. However, the reasons . . . I don’t have the words to describe how profoundly hurt I feel. The reason I know why he did it is because he began our relationship with issues about my disability. He’s the only person I’ve ever been with who placed so much emphasis on my physical limitations. I, in turn, put too much emphasis on the fact that he is one of the extremely few people who is an intellectual match. I’ve found more women who match me intellectually than I have men. I don’t know why.

I can’t tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it’s a steel knife in my windpipe
I can’t breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it’s like I’m in flight
High off of love, drunk from my hate,
It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I’m about to drown, she resuscitates me
She fucking hates me and I love it.

I know Glenn was, at best, confused when I told him so long ago that I wasn’t sleeping with men anymore. He didn’t know what to say, so he hung up on me. I’ve been trying to put myself in his place and I can understand why he’d feel as though there was some level of dishonesty in all the years we were together. There wasn’t. Plus, he and I had talked about the fact that I liked women. There is a big difference between theoretically liking women and actually doing something about it. I believe that a large part of what he did to me was revenge. After he got his revenge–and still gets it with each day–he simply couldn’t care less about me other than the fact that I feed his need to see me in pain. He loved me. It took me a very long time to realize that, but he did. His answer for the pain he felt was to hurt me back at least twice as badly. Revenge is a zero sum game. It is very tempting to play and does offer a measure of satisfaction. However, someone who can feel empathy isn’t going to find revenge ultimately fulfilling. By hurting me, he feels a sense of control. By leaving me dangling, he’s watching my pain and feeling powerful.

Glenn is not a man. A grown man would never have done this heinous thing to me, certainly not after 17 years of being lovers and more. A man would, at the very least, apologize after driving someone to commit suicide and damn near succeeding. I didn’t intend to live at all. I hated the fact that I was alive. I hated him. I hated myself. I hated the thought of trying and not succeeding again even more, so that was it. That wasn’t the end of the self-harm, but it was the end of the suicide attempts.

I’ve recently learned that Glenn has a son now, I’ll refer to him as “Oscar.” This is not good. There is no one in that household to teach him how to be a straight up man. If anything, Glenn will teach him how to be non-committal and talk around those issues girls and women rightly want to discuss. Oscar will probably grow up to be like some jocks I happened across in high school one afternoon. I was walking up one of the entrance ramps coming from somewhere, I think the backstage area of the auditorium. At the top of the ramp where it intersects the main first floor hallway, I saw these two jerks with letterman jackets teasing and physically abusing a developmentally disabled girl. I was furious! Needless to say, I made them stop and made sure that the girl was alright physically if not emotionally. I then reported their sorry asses to security. I can easily see Glenn doing that and teaching his kid the amorality that underlies such despicable behavior. Oscar’s sister, who’s name I’ve forgotten, will most definitely grow up to be one of the “mean girls.” She’s got her mother to emulate. That shit would never happen if those were my kids. It is impossible to teach a child empathy if the parents believe the only people who matter are them and theirs. It is impossible to teach kindness and courage if the parents are hiding their own cowardice and narcissism behind cruelty. Lord help anyone who becomes involved with them. A second generation of Thorntons down the tubes.

It’s clear to me now that I don’t want Glenn. I don’t respect him as a man because he’s not a man. He is a manchild. If he hasn’t grown up by now, he never will. I’m not going to be his emotional punching bag anymore. When I compare him to David, Glenn isn’t good enough to kiss his big toe. They are on two entirely different planes of maturity. A man takes care of his business, including cleaning up the messes he creates. Glenn won’t. His way of dealing is to NOT deal and find some reason that justifies his actions. No, that is not a man. It is a sad little boy in a $150 tank top. Writing that should lift a weight from my shoulders, but it doesn’t. I am completely and thoroughly disappointed in him and in myself. Why I’d be disappointed in him is obvious. I am disappointed in myself because I allowed my love to blind me. I was aware of his faults, but I made excuses for him. If not excuses, rationalizations. In this instance, Ocam’s Razor applies. The situation is exactly as it appears and Glenn is the person he has shown himself to be.

I will see him once again to be sure, but I think this is the end. I am in a great deal of emotional pain, but I will survive. It’s what I do.

Trippin’

There are days when life seems like someone’s dream. I understand Australian aboriginal societies view dreams as valid as anything they may experience while awake. That might explain why sleep is no respite. I’m angry with myself for having sex with a guy old enough to be my father, (not that that’s bothered me before, but I was younger then), and; for eating things I know are not good for me, although I have honestly tried to get better. I went from not eating for days until I felt so faint I could no longer walk to eating all of the things I know have a zillion calories and feeling like a pig who’s as big as a house. I keep asking myself and God, “When will this end?!” I can accept hurting myself by cutting or something, but I can’t accept myself if I eat, especially when I already feel horrible about my weight. There are days when I want to hide. In fact, for over a year, that’s exactly what I did. I hid. I’d only leave the house for doctors’ appointments. Even then, I hid myself under baggy clothing because I wanted so badly to be invisible.

Looking at the above as a complete outsider, I’d say that this chick needs some help. Yep, she does. She’s a hot mess. My therapist can only see me a couple of times a month because she doesn’t work full time. I don’t want to break in a new therapist, so I’m sticking with this one. Besides, she’s really good. I asked her if she treated people with eating disorders as we were walking to the door. She said that she didn’t treat eating disorders specifically, but has run into them in the course of treating other disorders. It’s essentially the same thing she said about another pathology with which I have to deal more and more often.

People don’t understand that cutting is not about attempting suicide at all. It’s the exact opposite. By cutting, the person can release some of the anger, pressure, stress that’s going on inside so that they can function. Another reason is that cutting or, in my case, burning, is the only way to express the intense pain felt. I burned myself nearly to the bone about a decade ago because I was dying inside. I wanted to scream, hit (inanimate) things and curl up in a tiny little ball forever. I desperately wanted someone to understand what I was going through and, at the same time, knew they wouldn’t. I just wanted someone to look my way and realize that I was at the end of my rope and needed help. No amount of cutting/burning would release enough pain to allow me to function, but I did want to function. The only reason I’d want to die was because no one would understand how hurt and devastated I was. It was Glenn who pushed me to the point where I wanted to die. That is, he and his buddies who decided it would be funny to hear some stupid, foolish, idiotic chick 500 miles away who’d had a 17-year relationship with him until he disappeared for two years, leaving said chick to discover she liked women a hell of a lot more than men, including Glenn, tell that rat bastard how much she loved him still, wanted to get back together and have him pretend it was within the realm of possibility. I think of what he did to me and I am still humiliated even though I shouldn’t be. If he had a conscience, Glenn would be the one who feels shame and humiliation. However, it seems he doesn’t and never will.

I’ve been told that I have to move past this–that Glenn’s threats against my life weren’t credible because he lives 500 miles away. They don’t know him like I know him. Five hundred miles is nothing for him. He used to drive that regularly to see me. He loves to drive. And if he chooses, he certainly has the means to hire someone to carry out his threats. Barring some monumental law enforcement fuck up, he’ll be the first person the authorities will look at. Since he would have had to cross state lines either to conspire or to have someone carry out the plot, it then becomes a federal crime. My lawyer thinks I’m diverting all my attention to him when I’m really grieving my mother. Hello! Ever heard of multitasking? Glenn can and will wait for years until his victim is most vulnerable and then strike. He’s already done it to me once. I’ve seen him do it to other people before as well. I only saw a glimpse of his dark side. It’s a place from which no light escapes, like a black hole in the center of his soul. With me, his chosen weapon was always the great mindfuck. I cannot begin to describe how much he hurt me until he finally decided he wouldn’t anymore and we became lovers, although he’s the one who had control. I guess he figured that there was something inside that was worth dealing with and needed a second, third and fourth look. What was going on is that I took a lot of body blows to my emotions and continued to love him, for better or worse.

Do I go to bed worried that I won’t wake up? No. Do I go to bed worried that my furbabies won’t have anyone to care for them if something happens to me? Damn straight I do! If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t care who did what to me to end my life. I’m tired of living it myself. I want peace in death and a chance to come back one day in different circumstances. Then again, I wouldn’t get a chance to choose my life. That would be up to The Powers That Be. They could decide that I’m unworthy and put me in even more untenable circumstances always ending the same way. Eventually, I won’t want to come back. I’m almost to that point now. As I said, I’m tired.

How Do I Write This?

I sat in my living room, unmoving, for hours after feeding and watering the girls and taking some garbage out for pick-up Friday. I sat in what was my mother’s chair and didn’t even turn the television on. You see, I’d done something earlier in the day I didn’t plan, didn’t even think about, but ended up doing anyway.

I met a very nice, very intelligent man in his 70s or 80s some weeks ago. We talked for a while and enjoyed each other’s company. Thursday, I went back to the fast food restaurant looking for him. I only wanted someone to take my mind off of my own pain and try to help someone else with theirs. You see, he’d lost both is wife and then, late last year, his girlfriend. He and I understood each other’s pain and sorrow. He let me know the first time we met that he wanted me. I was flattered, but I wasn’t interested. Today, to my surprise, I did get interested. I needed to touch someone else’s soul and I most assuredly needed someone to touch mine. It was “shrink day,” and I didn’t feel all that much better after the session. In fact, I felt worse. It wasn’t the therapist’s fault. How can she understand in 50 minutes what has taken me someone else’s lifetime to understand about myself? That, and NO ONE will let me tell the whole story without interruption which leads to some tangent that’s important, but can wait until I finish my story. It’s involved, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when heard in pieces and I ask myself so many “whys” all the time. In fact, that’s one of my biggest problems: “Why?” It’s always been that way with me and I honestly don’t know how to change that or even if I want to do so.

I feel shame. I feel so fucking alone (no pun intended). I’m worse than I was before. I just needed someone so very much and he was there and offering, so to speak. He’s also the kind of man Mom wanted me to have before she knew I was mostly lesbian. (Don’t try to figure my sexuality. You’ll get a headache. Really.) She wanted me to settle down with a very nice older man who adored me and would let me be all of who I am. That “all of who I am” became more meaningful after my unashamed and unabashed love of women was confirmed. Mom wasn’t as old fashioned as I’d believed in that regard. She wasn’t at all happy when I told her. In fact, she bordered on, I thought, being a little bit peeved that liked women more than men. Her words were, “Hmph. I’m going to have to get used to this,” in a very grumpy voice. By that time, Daddy had died and I was spared the tiny possibility that he’d be upset. If anything, he wouldn’t have cared at all as long as I was happy. Actually, Mom and I were just about on the same page. However, while she read right to left, I read left to right. My mother would have me with a husband as a primary partner while I’d have a woman. I have loved more than one person at the same time and been loved by more than one person at the same time. If I’m really lucky, I’ll have the opportunity to do so again. To be honest, it would be much easier for me to give up men than for me to give up women. I think the latter would require severing a major part of who I am as a person. I don’t think that giving men up would do that, but it also wouldn’t be painless.

I thought my days of one night stands were over. I haven’t had one in so long that I can’t remember back that far. The reason this will be a one night stand is two-fold: I didn’t know I was going to take my clothes off in front of another person today and forgot that I’d left the house without putting any lotion on and without shaving those areas women tend to shave, and; I think we’re hopelessly sexually incompatible. He’s very old school Italian and I’m not. Men of a certain age think that women should orgasm with the wiggle of their fingers in certain places. It’s our own fault because we’ve faked orgasm so many times horrible lovers think their wonderful lovers. While I wouldn’t put him in the “horrible” category, it’s pretty damn close. Any time I can’t even make myself orgasm while with someone, then something is wrong. Then again, it could be my meds. Naah, while the meds don’t make orgasms easy at all, they haven’t stopped me from getting myself off either.

It really doesn’t matter how good or bad a lover this man was. What matters is that I feel shame, regret and dirty (in a negative way) about what I did. I do want that one, last, epic love affair and I don’t particularly care about what sex my lover is, although I honestly believe it will be a woman and not a man. I don’t want to be treated like a $10 whore getting it on in the back of my van. Those days should have been over when I left my teens, but we each had obstacles at home, although all mine were either paper, dust or had four legs. He’s a neat freak and this house is anything but right now. I never, ever should have allowed my need for some kind of solace to overshadow everything else. I think I just want to forget. I think that’s the only way I won’t feel like a $10 whore. Just forget.

I forgot to mention that I’m really having trouble eating. I’ll order something and not want it when it gets here or I’ll make a sandwich and only eat half of it. Then, I get dizzy during the day and have to stop and eat just to go on, all the while hating that I’m eating. The question popped into my head while writing, “Do I cut or do I stop eating? That is the question.” Even I have to admit that things are not getting better, at least they weren’t today. Maybe something will make tomorrow bearable. A cousin I’ve never met but have spoken with dozens of times is in town for a convention. We’re going to compare family history notes and make a plan for ferreting out more information. I wish she were coming here in a month or two. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the day tomorrow and I have to drive 20+ miles each way to get scripts for my pain meds.Damn.

Home Is Who

I woke up this afternoon and, for the first time in weeks, I felt content. For me, “content” is like “happy,” but with a side of “peace.” I think I’ve finally figured out why I haven’t been able to let Glenn go and that, by doing so, I may have tripped the mechanism that will allow letting go. Sorry if that’s a bit circuitous. It is for me as well.

I’m sure most of us have heard the aphorism that home is where they have to take you in. I don’t think that’s accurate, at least for me. The aphorism assumes a place and not a person or people. For me, the place most would consider my home was a very dangerous place for a long time thanks to my mother’s second husband. When I left to go to college, that felt more like home than my house did. Then, I transferred after my freshman year and that school really felt like home, but only if I again assumed “home” was a place.

At some point, totally without any conscious effort on my part, my “home” became a person, Glenn. I look back and want to kick myself for not figuring this out sooner, but I don’t think I had the tools then. If I had, I’m not sure he could have understood. Or, he would have understood and scampered away. Sorry, but the more I look at things over the years, the more I see him running and having to be in control. Anyway, he became my “home” because home really is where the heart is. My heart was with him. He was my very first adult love. Wherever he was, I wanted to be. I was so used to being mistreated that some of the things he did then that were definitely not cool may have pissed me off, but didn’t make me see the clues that something was up with both of us. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that I was a victim because I wasn’t. But I was walking into a situation that I should have handled differently. I didn’t because I was usually too afraid he’d walk away. Then, I learned how to handle him. Give him space. Let’s just say that doesn’t work anymore.

In case you haven’t guessed, music is a huge part of my life. We are very much alike in that way . . . and many others. For about the last five months or so, maybe a bit longer, I’ve been really listening to a lot of modern country. There’s a song that’s older now by the Zac Brown Band called “Colder Weather” that I instantly liked. Why? It reminds me of a certain individual who does a whole lot of running from instead of running to.

“Colder Weather”

She’d trade Colorado if he’d take her with him
Closes the door before the winter lets the cold in,
And wonders if her love is strong enough to make him stay,
She’s answered by the tail lights
Shining through the window pane

[Chorus:]
He said I wanna see you again
But I’m stuck in colder weather
Maybe tomorrow will be better
Can I call you then
She said you’re a ramblin’ man
You ain’t ever gonna change
You gotta gypsy soul to blame
And you were born for leavin’

At a truck stop diner just outside of Lincoln,
The night is black as the coffee he was drinkin’,
And in the waitress’ eyes he sees the same ‘ol light shinin’,
He thinks of Colorado
And the girl he left behind

[Chorus:]
He said I wanna see you again
But I’m stuck in colder weather
Maybe tomorrow will be better
Can I call you then
She said you’re a ramblin’ man
You ain’t ever gonna change
Got a gypsy soul to blame
And you were born for leavin'(born for leavin’)

Well it’s a winding road
When your in the lost and found
You’re a lover I’m a runner
We go ’round ‘n ’round
And I love you but I leave you
I don’t want you but I need you
You know it’s you who calls me back here

Oh I wanna see you again
But I’m stuck in colder weather
Maybe tomorrow will be better
Can I call you then
Cause I’m a ramblin’ man
I ain’t ever gonna change
I gotta gypsy soul to blame
And I was born for leavin’ (born for leavin’)

And when I close my eyes I see you
No matter where I am
I can smell your perfume through these whispering pines
I’m with your ghost again
It’s a shame about the weather
I know soon we’ll be together
And I can’t wait till then
I can’t wait till then

The thing is, I’ve usually found that kind of personality in male musicians, specifically rockers. Glenn is a musician, so I guess that tracks. He is not, however, a rocker. It’s funny, but classical musicians tend to be very stable, sometimes a bit dramatic, but generally stable in a slightly crazy kind of way. Rockers and hip-hop musicians love to party. I prefer the former to the latter, though. I don’t personally know any country musicians, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say they like to drink a lot, perhaps with a little pot thrown in for good measure. Jazz musicians=DRUGS! and R&B/Soul usually means top shelf liquor, pot, maybe a bit of coke, (but that’s up to personal tastes), and they all want sex with someone or another. I do miss that world, but I’ll be back there soon enough, probably with little patience for the bullshit. The older I get, the less patience I have for people who are supposed to be adults but act like children.

What I’ve learned about myself in the last nearly 24 hours is that I can’t rest until I understand the “why” of something. I’ve known that, but I haven’t really known that. Aside from the home angle, the hardest, nearly impossible obstacle to overcome has been getting on without knowing why. Why did he become abusive? I hadn’t said anything at all that would have incited that kind of response. If anything, it was the exact opposite. Why did he think it was OK to pretend to still want and care for me only to turn around and laugh, taunt and humiliate me when I believed him? As I’ve said to him several times, he didn’t put that bottle of pills in my hands and put my hands to my mouth, but he is as responsible for it as I am. His hands are as dirty as mine, if not dirtier because I was only harming myself while he set out to harm me. He pulled the rug right out from under me and I fell into the deepest, darkest of pits. I never got an explanation. That led me to believe he had no conscience and I called him a sociopath. Really, I definitely need to stop putting people in pigeonholes. I don’t fit. Why should anyone else? But this, I must say even years later, just fit given what I knew then and what I know now since he has done nothing to even try to make amends. As I’ve said before, each moment of silence is like hearing him say I don’t matter; my life doesn’t matter; if I’d died, oh well, see ya on the other side. I wish I could say that was an exaggeration, but it’s not. I’ve seen him cop that attitude with others.

I think what hurts most is that I can’t go back in time to save the beauty I loved inside of him. I don’t even know what I’d save him from because I have no idea what happened. I can accept losing him to someone else, although I can’t respect the reasoning; I can hope like hell that he’s happy and that almost losing my life was worth it to him; I can wish him well and try like hell to just go on with my life, even knowing that he’s loving the chaos he’s causing. I can grant him grace, but that’s all I can do. The young man, the adult man and the getting-into-middle-aged man are the stages of his life in which I’ve loved him like I’ve never loved another. He is none of those people now. Mom said that I needed to be patient. I have been. I’ve been more patient than anyone has a right to ask of another. It’s done and I’m very sad. One day, I want to trade that sadness in for liberation. In fully realizing who and what he is now, I feel so much lonelier. I’ve lost my home and my heart is broken. I’ll see the “good” in all of this one day, but it won’t be today. He thinks he’s invincible because he’s got money, a growing business and a family. No one is invincible. Bad things happen to people every day who don’t deserve it. One day, fate will catch up with him. He is no innocent. Nature likes balance. There’s nothing more to say.

I’m Not There Yet

I’m listening to Taylor Swift’s Last Kiss. Although it’s about losing a lover, something I’ve done all too frequently, the premise of loss is ever-present in my life and in this house. We’ve lost so much over too short a time. Oddly, the girls seem totally OK about Poppy’s absence. I didn’t see that one coming! Still, every night for the last two or three nights/days I’ve had dreams where I was happy and content because I knew my mother was still alive. I kept that feeling even after waking up, if only for a minute or two. I cried out for her, as I often did, to get our resident pee-pot, Snippet. In all fairness to the little snip, she came here with a bad bladder infection that wasn’t helped at all by two rounds of antibiotics. Plus, being used to larger dogs, we didn’t stop to consider that little dogs have little bladders. The upshot of it all is that Mom was doing LOTS of puppy laundry. Now, it’s up to me. Thankfully, the cranberry pills we’d started giving her over a month ago and stopped about the week Mom died, seem to have worked. Now, watch. I’ll bet she pees tonight or tomorrow morning before I can get her out.

This house feels so empty. I keep wondering if my prescient thought as a teen had anything to do with Mom’s death. I knew when I was a teenager that I wouldn’t be able to live my life until my mother died. I didn’t want her to die at all. It’s just something that I knew to be the truth. I feel so guilty about thinking that way. Unfortunately, it’s the truth, as much as I wish it wasn’t. It’s as though God took my mother so I could be free. I’d been putting off my application to the grad program in Journalism at Kent State because I just didn’t like the way my mother was getting around. More accurately, not getting around. I was so worried that something would happen to her and I’d be an hour away, unable to do anything. If she’d had an aortic dissection while I was in Kent, I don’t think I would have been able to cope. In my eyes, it would be my fault. Mom kept telling me to go and do this and gave me a lot of encouragement, not wanting me to worry about her But if I didn’t worry about her, who would? Her brothers are all wrapped up in their own drama. Her oldest brother is married to a toxic waste dump of a woman. Actually, I think I called her a puta, not that she’ll ever know what language that’s in to look it up. No matter, she is what she is and my uncle married her, so she’s his problem until she makes herself mine.

It’s been a few days over a month since Mom died. I feel like it was yesterday. It’s taking me forever to do the simplest things. I need to get the VIN # for the van I drive and add another checking account # to the list of things the attorney needs to open an estate. It would take less than five minutes to do, but it feels as though it will take five hours. I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. I don’t know whether it’s because of the coming sinus infection or depression. Perhaps it’s a little of both. How can I feel so empty and so full at the same time? I feel very alone in the world, although I know I’m not, at least not completely. But it’s true that once the funeral or memorial service ends, the survivors are on their own. That pretty much describes me. It’s just three girls and me. If anything were to happen to one of them, I think I’d die right there. I pray each time I go anywhere that God will keep me safe so that I can come back to my girls. I’m all they have. Frankly, I don’t think they or what’s left of the family can support another loss. Since darn near everyone in the family from sea to shining sea knows me, I think I’d be missed a bit.

There was someone else in my dreams recently. Robin. God, I can barely type her name. She hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s just that I think back to that day when we were all at Oberlin. She walked past the car or van or whatever and I stared at her and then decided to speak. All I did was say “Hello.” She said “Hello” in response. That’s been the sum of our conversations. It’s been over 25 years and I still can’t accept that he chose her instead of me. I have to do it. The person with whom I fell in love does not exist anymore. What’s left is a horrible shell of that person’s basest being. How long am I going to mourn him? I don’t know. How long does love last? I will always be in love with the person who was and I can’t bring him back any more than I can bring my mother back to life. It’s strange that Mom would tell me that we’d find our way back to each other. Maybe she said it to make me feel better, but that’s not her style. Platitudes were her style. Spoken premonitions, especially about a man she could barely stand, were not. The funny thing is that I think he doesn’t want me around because I do jeopardize his marriage. Maybe that’s why he did what he did. Or, more probably, he can’t stand me, or is at least telling himself that.

The two people I love most in the world don’t love me. Mandy could call me from where ever she is, but she hasn’t even bothered to check in with me to find out how I’m doing. Whose fault is that? Both of us have played a part in this mess. I never should have told her. She’s distancing herself and I can understand. I lost one of my best friends because I was afraid of losing her without her knowing how I felt. Was it really that important? I’ll never know. Glenn won’t call for reasons I don’t understand. As I’ve said before, there’s more going on here than I realize. I can feel it. Still, I’m going to have to accept that he’s married to someone else and has been for a very long time now. There was a time when I wished her ill. I don’t anymore. I don’t because she doesn’t deserve it. If anyone in that family deserves something horrible, it’s Glenn himself. But I don’t want anything to happen to him either. When all is said and done, neither of them should be part of my life. I think I’m going to write to Mandy. It’s time someone called this game due to bad timing.

Oh, I didn’t feel like eating again today. My stomach hurts and generally doesn’t feel well. But the real reason for not eating is just that I didn’t want to.

I forgot to add that Clayton the neighbor is getting freaky. He ran his hand across my cheek from behind and it repulsed me. I pretended that it didn’t happen, but I fear that I’m going to have to set him straight soon. I don’t relish that conversation because I really do need a male around to help me out. I just don’t want to sleep with him in order to get what I want. That’s especially true since I don’t want to do anything that would hurt Sharon. She’s a good person.