Triggered and Release

Listening to: Ed Sheeran “Save Myself” “…I gave you all my energy and I took away your pain, Cause human beings are destined to radiate or drain…So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself But if I don’t then I’ll go back to where I’m rescuing a stranger
Just because they needed saving, just like that Oh I’m here again, between the devil and the danger But I guess it’s just my nature…

—————–

trig·gered
ˈtriɡərd/
adjective
adjective: triggered
  1. (of a mechanism) activated by a trigger.
    “a triggered alarm”
    • (of a response) caused by particular action, process, or situation.
      “a triggered memory of his childhood”

A friend posted on Facebook a few days ago, an article originally from Time Magazine several years ago, which contained pictures of a woman being physically abused by her boyfriend. (I’ll link at the bottom of the blog) Not reenactments, but actual photos. The why is explained in the article, so I won’t go into it. I clicked the link posted by my friend, wondering what would be my reaction to seeing a woman abused, as not so long ago I had been. My only real reactions were to feel sad for the woman in the pictures, and of the abusive man to think “wow, I know him. That posture, and ‘poses’ are so familiar. What a fucking asshole he is!” Other than that, there was nothing. Which didn’t really surprise me because the physical hits were always easier for me to take than the mental/emotional hits, so it stands to reason now that I’m healing (was always so fucked up?) that seeing the images, didn’t trigger me.


What had happened was…. A few days ago something was said to me, that in the moment I had questions about, which I didn’t ask, and I have since then (unintentionally?) ruminated on what was said. Or on the story behind what was said. And I held my past against it, but not in the accidental good way that I discovered those words can mean, but rather in the “here is what my truth has been,” and I decided that a something that is happening now is a lot like something that had happened then, and I (subconsciously) started to hold my breath, and get scared, and decide what is going on, is what had gone on, and that everything beautiful is blurry. And maybe its not beautiful. And maybe this, and maybe that. And the bottom line is that I fucked up, because I didn’t ask the questions. And I’m not sure why I didn’t ask. Except the thing about questions asked is that they get answered.Sometimes answers are “nothing you wanna hear.” Also, I have (had) been conditioned to believe that it was not OK for me to ask questions. That I was a crazy bitch for thinking questions needed to be asked, or just trying to start fights, and rock boats for the sake of it.

So the triggering thing for me, (what has triggered me) is a scary closet monster, that also has an equally scary Siamese twin attached to it.  I’m triggered by a something, and I’ve also “reverted” to a response which is familiar, and painfully comfortable/uncomfortable, in it’s familiarity. And I’m really, really hard on myself, so, healing isn’t supposed to be in total a process, it’s supposed to be instantaneous, and I’ll never again feel anything like I’ve felt before, and I’ll never fuck up again. But I am, and I did, and here I am.

This is all written for me, and you…(the person who will one day, and unexpectedly, find themselves triggered as fuck)  because I fully plan to be one of the human beings who radiate, not drain! Its not the words that were said to me, or the story behind them, that matter, at all. It is my reaction to any, and all of it, that matters. Had I taken a beat, and in the moment, asked my questions, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get spun out. I also though, could have chosen to not get spun out. I could opt to be one of those brilliant, beautiful creatures who always remembers to breathe all Pranayama style, through everything, instead of being spun girl, even with unasked, and unanswered questions floating about in the ether.

Its been several days since I started this writing. I’ve revisited it several times, but couldn’t quite pick it back up. What I have done though, is step back from myself to remember that I spent a good 10 years having my head fucked with in really major ways. I do not play the victim card here, or ever. Because fuck that. But also a little bit, go easy on yourself girly, its not even been a year, and you weren’t that “normal” to begin with! Add to that the last week saw too much interaction with the ex, again for purposes of getting the divorce mutha-fuggin DONE, and having to deal with his – interesting version of everything -. Try as he might, he doesn’t hurt me anymore. He does exhaust me though, and I can’t wait to never have to deal with him again.

Something else has been hitting me the last week or so, in spite of being triggered, (read: a little bat shit crazy) and that’s how lucky/blessed or whatever it is, that I am. (I get very confused about the blessed thing, because that almost implies to me a deity on high, choosing like some omnipotent, omnipresent, Oprah, who gets good shit, and who doesn’t.) Anyway, long before I started talking about the domestic violence, I started joining groups for those who had experienced it, and while I don’t wish to minimize anything, I also have to say, all things being equal, my ass got lucky! Some of the women who share their stories, they are still running, and hiding, from these crazy fucks trying to kill them, AGAIN. They have children with their abusers, and they have to allow their children to spend time with these thugs. Or they were stay at home wives/mommys, who now have to figure out how to support themselves, and their kids, without their spouse. So I’m lucky I didn’t have the baby I wanted, with the ex, and that he never was the sole bread-winner in our marriage, and that even in his abuse he is apathetic, and won’t exert the effort it would take to do to physical harm to me, now that I’m far away.

Those are of course not the only reasons for which I consider myself lucky. Right now, as I type this, I am listening to the sound of a (beloved) beautiful voice singing brilliant songs, trying to figure out how I got so lucky/blessed, to be listening to them. Don’t get me wrong, low-self esteem girl has been kicked to the curb. I actually do know that I’m a pretty cool person, and that, just as I am lucky (that fuckin word!) to have the people in my life that I do have, they too are lucky to have me. But that being said, the confluence of stars, and planets, or spells cast, intentionally or otherwise, or whatever it is the magick that has made it possible for me to be hearing this music right now, is mind boggling to me.

So anyway, I’ll sort out the what triggered me, Don Miguel Ruiz, Fifth Agreement style – “Be skeptical, but listen,” and the conclusion of that situation doesn’t actually even matter. What matters is the awareness I have of everything in this moment, and the really real emotions which accompany the awareness. I’ll at least try to remember to go a little easy on myself, as I walk through this process, for whatever that means. If I start to spin again at some point, I’ll try to get myself to stop, the moment I become aware of it. And I’ll ask questions in the moment, instead of delaying! I really DON’T think there is anything to lose by being exactly who, and how I am, so I’m just going to keep putting my me out there, and trust that all is as it should be, whatever the fuck that means.

Last, because yesterday I found out a former co-worker, and long time friend, passed away, much too young, younger in fact than I, I wish to commit myself to remembering to tell people I love, that I do in fact love them, while I have the chance to. And to say kind things to people, even total strangers, just because. I WILL radiate, in every beautiful way possible. I will also keep releasing to the past, and to the winds, all that does not serve

It’s 4am, I’m sick again, and clearly in the throes of a great bout of insomnia, so I will NOT be proofing this before publishing, because I’m lazy and need sleep. Hopefully something of it makes sense. And to my friend Adam Andrews, I will dedicate this writing. You never did tell me what it was that I had done for you, so many years ago that touched you so deeply, but, whatever it was, I’m glad I did it. Rest in Peace friend, free from the pain you fought here. I’ll see you on the other side.

Portrait of Domestic Violence

“…I guess this is growing up…”

Listening to:  “Poems, Prayers, Promises” – John Denver “…And talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in. How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care. How long its been since yesterday, and what about tomorrow….”

…And now when I start to write I find myself wondering how to honor my desire to reach out to, and be a voice of encouragement for, those who are or have experienced domestic violence/abuse, who may read what I am writing, and may find something of it value in it.

It is 6 days to the date of the one year anniversary of when I moved to New Jersey, putting hundreds of miles between myself, and the life formerly known as mine. With the exception of the on-going legal stuff, nothing about that life seems real.  Or at least it for the most part doesn’t. I am very far removed from the feelings I had while living in that ridiculous hell, kind of being in labor with a child, or at least my experience of it. I have a distinct memory of how intense was the pain. I know it was painful, but I can’t FEEL that pain anymore, and that for me, is the key to moving forward.

For most of my life, I have been comfortable in my own skin, (well, except for body image issues which have always plagued me, and my loathing of my distinctly Roman nose) other than that, at some point in my life, I became pretty cool with me. Right up until, whenever it was, that I started to question everything about me, and how I am, how I treat people, what I look like, how I dress, speak, walk, think. And then decided I had nothing of value to offer the world, and that there was nothing beautiful left for me, to include nothing about me being beautiful. My own skin, then, became my prison, as did my life. And how  unfathomable to me now that I was broken down to that point. I’m obstinate as fuck, so I really don’t know how someone managed to get so far in my head… or why I’d stay in that ridiculous hell for so long. It took me a long time to realize how far-reaching were the effects of the ridiculous hell.

A little over a week ago, I celebrated my 50th birthday. It exists in the realm of possibility that had I not been through the ridiculous hell, and the subsequent transformation to a person who is happier than I’ve ever been, that I might have approached that date, and that number, with some trepidation. Maybe I’d feel OLD, and the desire to hide that number from the world. Instead of that, to me it is just a number that doesn’t signify much, except for 51 times around the sun, and 51 years of experience as this person known as Michelle. And MAYBE, because of the ridiculous hell, and current happiness, I feel the most remarkable sense of freedom to be just exactly who, and how, I am. Where in the past I might have felt the need to justify or explain who I am, while being who I am, now my attitude is much more fuck it, I dig me, and if you don’t, that’s cool. I’m, just…. me. I don’t want to waste any more time in this life fighting with others in the hope that they’ll become OK with me, being me.

As turning 50 relates to the life that was formerly known as mine, beside being back to cool with who I am, one of the most profound changes for me, about me, is my appearance. I place very little value on my appearance, with the exception of how I personally feel about the way I look. I was taught a very valuable lesson long ago, that my looks may open doors for me, which I did not ask to have opened, but once they were, the “wowing” with my intellect, with the deeper parts of me, would be what led me to where I really wanted to be. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the changes. I had no idea that while I was going through the ridiculous hell, I looked about 100 years older than I now do. My posture changed, along with the way I carry myself. My smile became rare, and reluctant. My weight too, changed, thanks to the back injury, the medication for it, the months of immobility, and the years of being unable to work out, and for a long time, to even stand or walk for long stretches. Mostly though, it was my eyes that changed. My eyes which are green, sometimes light, sometimes dark, and other times are grey, except for when they lean more toward blue. The best way I can put it is, they lost their “light” as in, illumination. Rarely did they become wide with excitement, and wonder. Or soft, gentle, with the comfort of giving love in moments brought on by being able to deeply trust in the knowledge that I was safe to do so.

More than any of that, though, what having been through the ridiculous hell, and “growing up” have given me, is finally understanding what self-care means. To those I love, I will give everything I have, even when it may not seem that I am doing so to anyone on the outside. While that’s cool and all, I did, in the life formerly known as mine, even as I was fighting in words for myself, often forget about ensuring my needs were met. This of course increased 10 fold, as I imagine it does for everyone, due to the nature of the marriage formerly known as mine. Although I’ve no doubt he would say this isn’t true, because it is impossible to fulfill ALL the needs (which are really wants) of someone capable of breaking another emotionally, and being physically abusive, I was constantly chasing my own tail, in an effort to please him, placate him, meet his expectations. I accepted life in an abusive, passionless marriage, in which none of my mental, spiritual, emotional, or physical desires were met, FOR YEARS, with the hope that somehow doing, or not doing, something, would fix everything. Or at least fix something. Instead I became empty, and exhausted, hopeless and bitchy. Not to mention lonely.

While I do forever aspire to be a person who gives to those she loves, and I DO derive the most pleasure in life from giving, whether it be actual gifts, or just doing thoughtful, caring things, I also now know, I have to give to myself as well. I currently find myself in uncharted territory, and it would be VERY easy to lean too far to the meeting the needs of others, over my own. BUT, it would be equally easy to think of only what I need, and be inconsiderate, and quite honestly selfish. Having seen both sides of that coin, and finding both to be lacking in anything shiny, or happy, my chosen balance point is now more a “non-zero sum game.” Where I once may have held an inflexible boundary, albeit for what was meant to be my own good, I now place as much value on perspective, as I do on values.

I could stray now into deep-thoughts on the potentiality for situational ethics to be that about which I’m speaking, (which I am not) or further elaborate on what I am trying to say, without actually saying it. Instead of any of that, I think it is sufficient to be said that what I have learned at such a deep level, is that I can be loving, and giving, and do my sincere best to do no harm to others,  and still take care of myself. I was never much for black, and white thinking, but am even less so now. What I have often been though, is one who spins herself out, over-thinking things. I want always to be thoughtful, but I also want to not spend so much time thinking about things, that I miss out on living my life! 

I absolutely adore the idea of having a man in my life upon whom I dote, to whom I give caring, and pampering, and whose wants, needs, desires, I meet, and whose dreams, I help to see to fruition. But while also doing those things for myself! And accepting getting those same things in return! All while dancing around, singing, sometimes leaving a trail of glitter, and hopefully always, leaving a smile on a (beloved) face. I want always to give to my kids, and my grandson, and future grandchildren, but not to the detriment of myself. Same holds true for anyone with whom I cross paths. I don’t wish to ever again find myself empty, because I gave so much. Especially I don’t wish to ever again be giving, and be abused in return.

So for anyone who may be reading these words, who may need to read them, and who may find value in what they say, because I write of my experiences with you in mind, if it has not done, know that the pain WILL recede. It will fade to a memory, and it won’t hurt at all anymore. And when you finally find the strength to start giving caring again, because I get how it feels to think you’ll never have the energy to give a fuck about anyone or thing again, make sure your priority, in the most unselfish way possible, is you. Also, 5o is the new 30 so, there’s plenty of time to re-write the script, and the plot twists of your future, can be pretty amazing.

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Maybe because tonight, which is now actually last night, is (was) the new moon, and rooms, and people, were smudged, hearts, minds, and souls were opened to ask for wisdom, overtone chanting was listened to, to raise the vibration, and intentions were written, and then burned, I am moved to (told to) include in this writing, some additional words.

To him, I offer my thanks for finally giving me the push to get, and stay away. To her, that is now with him, I thank her for her actions, which further aided me in staying away. I’d say I wish that I’d done sooner, but, I wouldn’t be here now, and here is where I want to be so, I guess it’s all perfect. To him I also say, I forgive you. I have released all anger I had toward you, and her. Go with God, or whatever/whomever you want.

To anyone I may have hurt in the past, I sincerely ask your forgiveness. To anyone I may unintentionally hurt in the future, for your forgiveness I also ask. And to you, I also send love, and wishes for everything beautiful.

To the most amazing extra-terrestrial unicorn, with whom I have traveled the ages, (or with whom I am currently sharing life, in times which parallel the one we know currently as our reality), I give endless thanks for space-holding, given, and accepted, for always, always seeing me, hearing me, encouraging me, trusting me, and for the brilliant words, wisdom, laughter, tears, and moments of magick of all sorts, shared. You are remarkable. And I send love enough to span oceans, and time.

And to my daughters, the most beautiful, amazing creatures, for your forgiveness I also ask, for anything I have done, or not done, which may have hurt you, in any way. You are that of which I will always be the most proud. I am every single day amazed by your strength, your resilience, your intelligence, your humor, your kindness, your beauty in every sense of the word. It is my profound pleasure to watch you both, in your own ways, find your wings, and fly. I love you beyond measure. Never forget, you can do, and be, anything you wish!!!

 

Listening to: The sound of silence. Not Simon and Garfunkel. The literal sound, of silence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Fallin’ down, I can’t find my feet, and I don’t know why I’m trippin…”

Listening to: Joe Satriani –  “Always With Me, Always With You”

Once upon a time, there lived a crazy but cool Princess. Princess Consuela BananaHammock, we’ll call her for this story. One Saturday night, Princess Consuela decided that instead of going out, she would have a mellow evening, stay home (alone), eat some mushrooms, and watch “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Why did she decide this? Who the fuck knows. But, content with this as a plan, she ate a couple of stems, a cap, pressed play, and waited for the ride to start. When that didn’t happen in what she felt to be a reasonable amount of time, she ate a couple more pieces. Then a bit later, a couple more. At some point she realized that not only had she eaten the whole 1/4 ounce of mushrooms, she had her back to the TV, but was seeing in the most vivid, detailed technicolor, some brilliantly bizarre movie, set to the sounds of Fear and Loathing. She in fact realized that she was tripping balls, and shit was about to get real.

For the next 8 hours, Princess Consuela (who’d had the foresight, before things went too far off the deep end, to call a friend to keep her company) talked almost non-stop, found herself unable to sit down, and was feeling every single emotion known to man, and probably some not known, in flashes, lightning bolt style. The highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and everything in between, but to their extreme. Although the Princess knew that everything she was feeling was due to the mushrooms she’d consumed, and wouldn’t be permanent, she was still in moments, a little scared of the intensity of it all. The only thing that brought her comfort in those moments of being in fear of the intensity, was The Goo Goo Dolls song, “Slide.” She would dance around her apartment to the song, and when the “what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful” part of it came on, she would SPPPPIIIIIINNNNNN, like a patchouli wearing hippy chick at a Ratdog show, (She sadly never made it to a Grateful Dead show) remind herself that she just had to ride the snake for a bit, and all was again cool. After 8 hours, the high wore off, she had a snack and a nap, and regained what passes for sanity in her world.


Today marks week 2 of being sick. And day 1 of divorce court, for which I thankfully do not have to be present. It was mentioned to me earlier this week that this “sick” that I’ve been experiencing may have roots more deep than just bronchitis. Not in a physical illness sort of way, but as part of the overall healing I’ve been going through. Which for me, makes sense, so, I’ve begun approaching my healing with that in mind.

When I went back to the Dr on Wednesday, in addition to cough med with codeine, he gave me a steroid to add to the cocktail of drugs I’m already on. I expressed my concern about the possible side effects of steroids, and doc said those are really only a concern at higher doses than what I was going to be taking. He was wrong.

Even in my whiny moments, or moments of tears large and small, over the last weeks, and months, even in the moments where I have found myself in situations that would have in the past triggered me, I’ve been pretty steady, emotionally speaking. That means to say, where in time’s past I might have let insecurity, or fear, or anger, take over, and plunge me into a shitty place, I haven’t done. And let me tell ya, I have been challenged. Not in “bad” ways per se. But really, really challenged to keep checking in with myself to see where I am, what still hurts, what needs work. I’ve been challenged to think about what energy around a situation is mine, or that of someone else, or from a past experience that looks a little bit like a current one, so that I act or react accordingly. I’ve been challenged to keep my momentum in my healing, no matter what is or isn’t happening.

After so many years of letting the outside influence, or control, how I was feeling, I’m very committed to not allowing that to happen again. While I don’t aspire to be one of the floaty, so sweet sugar wouldn’t melt in their mouth, “deeply spiritual” people, (because I find them phony, and insincere, and kinda want to punch them in the neck to break them out of their Stepford style trance) my intention is very much to choose peace, and happiness, in every possible moment.

So, yesterday, having taken 2 doses of the 6 total of the steroids prescribed for me, and being all hopped up on codeine, which helped me to finally be able to sleep for a few hours straight, BAM, fucking steroid side effects slammed me. After waking from weird dreams, during which a few of my ex’s made appearances, I woke up and felt my “vibe” had plummeted to a depth I am no longer used to. Something that had happened hours before, that in the life formerly known as mine, would have triggered my fear and insecurity, but through which I simply breathed without issue, came back to me, and started the voices in my head filling me with negativity, and doubt. My emotions started flashing like lighting bolts, and not one of them was a good emotion. I found myself suddenly crying, and a few minutes later wanting to tell people to fuck off, who hadn’t actually done anything deserving of those words. Or mean words in general. I’d literally said to someone earlier in the day how for the first time in my life I was finally living in the moment, and without fear, or overthinking! Then this happened, and for about 5 minutes I was freaked out that the steroids were going to undo everything I’ve been working so hard to change within myself.

And that’s where Princess Consuela Bananahammock comes in. I remembered her story. Remembered how she’d said she felt, to their most intense degree, as the result of a “drug” in her body, every emotion possible, in brilliant scary flashes, and came through it just fine. So I decided to borrow a page or 2 from her book. First, I smudged the fuck out of myself, and my house, to get rid of anything which may actually have originated with me. Residue of emotions from the life that used to be mine, or anything else for that matter, that no longer serves me. But I also wanted to clear emotions, and energy, that weren’t mine, whether they were from steroids, or ghosts, or whispy strings of karma.

Smudging completed, it was all about me, and the Goo Goo Dolls, and “Slide.” Volume cranked, singing (through coughing, and with stuffy sinuses, which was no doubt horrible for my vocal chords) at the top of my lungs, and DANCING around my kitchen… “…what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful…”  I sent love to those I’d earlier felt fake ‘roid anger toward, and to myself as well. I told depression, and sadness, and darkness, that they aren’t allowed to have control of me ever again. I also told steroids to fuck the fuck off, and threw them away. I can get healthy without them! This peace that I feel now, I will not lose to a drug that didn’t even give me the pleasure of a happy buzz!

Just those actions were enough to bring me back, to me. Mind over matter, or whatever you want to call it. That’s a lesson I won’t ever forget. Not just about steroids, but about how I can choose how I will feel. I’ve felt such an amazing sense of freedom lately, not living in fear, or hurt, or anger. I have NO idea what’s going to happen down the road, or tomorrow, but for today, I choose happy, and LOVE, and to be open to the possibility of everything beautiful.

If you’re reading this, and you’re in a place where the dark icky is still around you, I’m not saying choosing happy in the midst of absolute fuckedupness is even a little bit easy. But I am saying, maybe throw the Goo Goo Dolls on, and shake your ass a little bit, as you dance through your house, letting the words, “what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful” wrap themselves around you. Maybe it will help, even just for a minute. Sometimes a minutes peace is enough to make it possible to get through to the next minute!

Listening to: Eric Johnson “Cliffs of Dover”

…i had to face my own grief
because i can’t bear to cry
like that
again
don’t offer me pity
all i ever wanted was to be brave
the ability to fly above this lost feeling
and laugh despite my broken days
sacrifice
burn this and let it fly away…
(Credit dD for this)
Lyric excerpt in Title from The Extinct “Humor Me”

It Wasn’t Just Cheating

Monday morning I got a text from my mom saying that C (my husband) had contacted her asking for my address, so he can serve me with divorce papers. He sent the same text to my daughters. Last Wednesday he asked me for my address, and I told him that I won’t give it to him until I speak to my attorney. Thursday he told me never mind, he doesn’t need it. But Monday he felt it acceptable to send to my mom and children what was very likely the only text he has sent to them in years, that wasn’t initiated by some sort of event, or encouraged by me because of said event. He declined coming to New Jersey with me to visit my daughters in the past, and was reluctant to see them when they came to Michigan, because of how guilty he felt for all that he’d done (that they knew about.) He was regularly invited to get togethers with my family, but always declined, for the same reason. There were times after he did see the girls that he’d comment on, or like their Facebook posts, and a couple of years ago he actually made pics of us and him, his FB profile pic, but other than that, nothing. But when he needed something from them, texting suddenly wasn’t a problem.

I guess it is important to interject that my daughters really love(d) him. When he was good to us, he was really good to us. He was there for my oldest daughter at a particularly difficult time in her life, and she in fact lived with us for  some time. And he flew my youngest daughter to AZ to visit us, as a surprise for our birthday, because she and I share the same birthday. Their father having had his own addiction issues, for my girls to now have a father figure who was loving, and caring, and for us to have our family, was really a big deal. They were all “stepbuddies.” It KILLS me to write about these happy times, and the good things, because it was those things that kept me holding on for so long. There was a point in time, after his first affair came out, that they were both very angry at him, but since I kept forgiving him, and encouraged the relationship between them,  they forgave him too.

But back to Monday, I called him and reiterated that I’d give him my address after speaking to the attorney. I also told him what a dick move it was to text my family when he needed something, after not having bothered to be in contact with them in the past, and when they know he’s a cheating douche again. (Which is really more of a still than an again.) He said he’s willing to hear anything they have to say to him, as long as he got my address, and that he loves my girls, the end. I told him that I had to, for my own well being, tell my full-truth about what had happened, especially to my girls, and he had his network of enablers, band, groupie bimbo, and that he, in refusing to get well, chose addiction, rage, and bullshit over my girls and I, again, and that he might love them, but, he sure as fuck didn’t make sure to keep in touch with them in any real way most of the time, so doing it now was bullshit.

In the interim, one of the girls sent him a text saying she didn’t want to be in the middle, and offering kind words to him. And then he sent me a text telling me that his stepbuddies love him, no matter what happens, and they know that he loves them. And I lost it. After making his friends and family hate me with his lies, after me covering for him to my girls and most of the rest of the world because I wanted to believe that he’d get his shit together and we’d be the family I always wanted and for a while thought we were, he used the kindness from one of my kids as a taunt to hurt me. Because that’s what a sick, manipulative fuck he is.

It didn’t happen anywhere near the way I planned for it to happen, nor was I quite ready for it to come out, but come out it did. For the first time I spoke to people who know me about having been physically abused by my husband. I spoke to the only 2 people whose opinion of me really matters to me. The details of all of it aren’t important for the purposes of what I’m writing here, but for my own healing, the words have finally been said.

He knows they know, so I thought he’d have some shame and actually fuck the fuck off where they are concerned. But today, in true narcissist/sociopath/don’t know what he is but definitely fucked up, form, he “loved” the pictures of my grandson, posted by my oldest daughter of his 6 month photo shoot. The man who was too busy recording with his band and playing shows, and then fucking his groupie, to come meet baby boy, in spite of having said he’d be coming here to see us, a lot, 2 days after my kids found out he beat me up, thought the appropriate thing to do was “love” those pictures. “I can’t even…”

There is the tiniest sense of relief in having done this, but unfortunately it didn’t make me feel dead inside where he is concerned. It didn’t make me stop missing the memory of what we had for a while, and it didn’t stop me mourning what I’d so long held out hope for. But the words had to come out. I have to not let him keep hurting me, and absolutely fuck him for trying to use my kids against me.


This is all so black and white and clinical and un-poetic, and uninspired, and I hate how it reads, but maybe its the topic, or the utter exhaustion I’m feeling.


My ultimate intention for this blog is to be a place of healing for me, and encouragement for others, as well as to shed light on the reality of sex addiction, and domestic violence. I fully recognize and acknowledge that in order to be those things, at some point my posts can no longer be about him, what he did or is doing, or anything but me. But I’m still bleeding, and kind of profusely. Hopefully this mess scabs over soon, and healing can begin.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Follow In My Footsteps

(Originally published as a “page” but meant to be my 1st blog post.)

To my daughters when someday they read this, to other women in relationships with sex addicts or abusers, don’t follow in my footsteps. Be wiser than I have been. Don’t let your love for another be more important than your love for yourself. I told myself over and over I wouldn’t walk away from a cancer patient who chose to not get treatment, so it stood to reason I wouldn’t walk away from someone with the disease of addiction. In a way it still makes sense to me, but, in the case of addiction, the disease kills more than just the one who has it.

To anyone who sees this, pornography/sex addiction are serious and growing issues. This isn’t about religious morality or anything like that. This is about the minds of people who are fathers, husbands, wives, mothers, sons, daughters, being damaged, warped and twisted in ways that are not imaginable to most of us. Porn/Sex addiction is so much easier to hide than a substance or gambling or even food addiction. But that doesn’t make it less real or damaging.If those affected by this addiction continue to remain silent because of the shame surrounding the nature of this addiction, nothing will ever change. We are so desensitized to sexualized images, and nudity, and technology has made EVERYTHING available at the click of button, and literally anywhere, at any time, that if we don’t start speaking, this addiction will grow exponentially in future generations.

To C’s friends and family to whom I have reached out at various points over the years in a desperate attempt to have a “united front” of people doing whatever it took to help him, help himself,  who instead chose to enable him, help hide his affairs, get him high and drunk, or just turn a blind eye and hate me, while ultimately there is only 1 person responsible for taking the steps to get into recovery, each of you have done him a great disservice. Should something more horrible than what has already happened to him, happen, or should other women be hurt, (and no addict gets better without help) you are all culpable. It was easier for you to help him stay sick and small than to face your own fears. Maybe if just one of you would have helped me support and encourage him, things wouldn’t have gotten as bad as they did. Maybe he’d be healthy now instead of denying that he’s a sex addict. Maybe our marriage wouldn’t have ended.

And to C, I hope that someday you get the help you need.There were never enough words to express the depth of my love for you. And it is who I still believe you to be, underneath the addiction, I still love. I know you believe some of my actions of the past were taken with the intention of hurting you, but it was never that. The shear, utter desperation to reach you when you got to the point where you stopped trying to get help, led me to do anything I had to, even if it made you hate me. Raising the bottom is a real thing, and there were times I had to put my sanity, safety, and well-being first. Those moments were few and far between. I know to you it doesn’t count when I apologize for the things I did wrong if I don’t list them in detail, but every single day I play scenarios over in my head from our past wondering “if only” I had done this not that, maybe you’d have chosen health, and it rips my heart wide open, over and over again. I loved you in spite of your flaws, and hoped to have the same in return.

Michelle Ann Montgomery

Trust, the refusal to change, and the erosion of partnership

I read an article the other day posted on “The Good Men Project” site  written by a man whose wife left him, because she couldn’t trust him to be the partner she needed. Not because he cheated or hit her, but because he didn’t hear her, and he resented her for how she had changed toward him. The part of it that stuck me the most was this:

“…It was the little things. Often, it is the little things that scratch and claw and chip away at the integrity of a marriage until the union and its participants look nothing like they did when first formed.

She was a youthful, fun, vibrant, happy, joyful young woman.

She grew tired, weary, anxious, frightened, sad and angry.

I begged and pleaded for the girl I knew to come back once I stopped recognizing her. I grew sad and angry when she couldn’t or wouldn’t. I blamed her for not trying.

But I think maybe she wanted to. I think she wanted to feel like her old self again. But she simply couldn’t.

Because she couldn’t trust me.

So she kept her guard up.

Because she didn’t feel safe…”

Full article here: The Good Men Project

After reading that article, I realized just how early on my trust had begun to be eroded. It was long before affairs or DV. It wasn’t even the recurrent viewing of porn, while doing recovery work, that started it. It started with things like not placing value on having health insurance unless I had a job that offered it. We wanted to have a baby, and I wanted to stay home with the baby, and that required health insurance. But he didn’t seem to think that was important, or, something.

It was things like him buying a laptop to feed his addiction, while saying we didn’t have the money for health insurance, and starting a business with someone else, when we’d discussed as one of our goals as a married couple, starting and building a business, and quitting a job, spur of the moment, while not having a new job lined up, without talking to me about it, when we had just moved into a new house with higher rent. Or buying a ticket just for himself to visit his son, when both of us were supposed to go, but he was afraid I’d “make waves” with his son’s mother. It was things like not sending the retainer to the lawyer when his son’s mother was trying to take away his parental rights, and me having to be the one who made sure it was sent out at the last minute, so that didn’t happen. And going to Sedona with his mother instead of telling her no because that was THE place I’d been dying to show him, just he and I, romantic get away to my beloved Sedona. I stopped trusting him. Stopped trusting that “we” were the priority, and that my voice was being heard, and that I could rely on him to be my life partner, because of things like that.

I think I probably could have more “easily” dealt with the acting out associated with the addiction, if I trusted him in those ways. But I DID become guarded, and WANTED to not be, but I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel like his partner. I didn’t feel like his priority. So in turn I became the person HE couldn’t feel safe with. I stopped hearing HIM. He’d tell me how little things I did hurt his feelings, and I wouldn’t change them, because I didn’t feel safe. I know still today that some of the things he said I did that hurt his feelings were due to DEEP insecurity, and I could never make that all better for him, and I tried to impart that to him in as kind a way as possible. Walking on eggshells because someone has extremely low self esteem, courtesy of their parents, is hard as fuck to deal with. In particular when you see them putting more effort into mending bridges with their parents, which they didn’t break to begin with, than they put into mending the bridges with you, that they did break.

As I have been sitting here writing this I remind myself that if I were having a conversation with anyone, and gave them the full and honest accounting of things that occurred in our marriage, they would likely think I’m crazy for even feeling remorse for having not heard him. Because some of the things that went on were really big, and bad, and ugly, and while in an esoteric sense they are forgivable, in a real life sense, they are “get the fuck away from that person and don’t look back” things.

Considering that he now is claiming to be 100% not an addict, or a man with a history of DV that dates to before me as well, and that all of the problems were because he was married to ME, maybe I’m a little crazy to even be giving a fuck what I did wrong. Maybe since he just didn’t seem to give a fuck that I couldn’t trust him on so many levels, and hence was so guarded and reactionary, I shouldn’t care what I did wrong. But I do. It wouldn’t have made him not an addict because that was always his choice, but at least I wouldn’t have the regret.

To My Husband’s Girlfriend

One would think that phrase would be very hard for me to type. And that the computer screen would be obscured by the tears that should be steadily flowing from my eyes. Maybe because you’re not the first “other woman” in my marriage, the Jerry Sringer-esque nature of the phrase isn’t foreign to me. Maybe because I’m finally sitting down to write again and opening the valve which has to remain firmly in the off position so that I can do things like go to work, and interact with other humans without being a blithering mess, my heart knows that the teeniest fraction of pain will be released in these words, so tears aren’t needed. Or maybe its just that I woke up crying, and cried in the shower, and cried driving home from work, so my tears are on pause.

As these things go, affairs that is, the other woman shouldn’t be the main focus of anger, in my humble opinion. I know my husband, and I know how he pursues what he wants with laser focus, when the object of his desire is a new woman. I’d like to say it’s just because I was that which he pursued, but unfortunately it’s also because I know the lengths to which he’s gone in the past in pursuit of a new flavor, a new high, to satiate his addiction. You’re the new heroine, so, I was prepared to let you off the hook for any culpability in this steaming pile of bullshit. I actually felt sorry for you because, barring a miracle, you will someday be in my shoes, because the addiction started long before I was in the picture. But then you answered his phone when I called. With a fake English accent, laughing in a way that suggested you were mocking whomever was calling, knowing it was me, you answered the phone. 3 times you answered the phone. The 3rd time you’d miraculously lost your accent. Imagine that. And you told me that my husband didn’t want to speak to me, and hung up on me. In that moment, I knew everything about you that I need to know.

As if the lack of not just class, but decency and maturity you’d demonstrated by answering his phone wasn’t enough, you then thought it a good idea to send me a text. A text in which you told me that my husband has spoken in praise of me, and “the time he spent with” me as you so quaintly referred to our 11 year relationship. I’d type word for word what you wrote in the text, but, you know what it says, you wrote it.  I have to say though that the hands down best part of your text was the part that said “I hope we can mutually agree to let the past be the past” etc. You actually thought it would be a good idea to say any words, and those words in particular, to your new boyfriend’s wife. As if you are any part of “we” where my husband and I are concerned. It was those actions, and those words, that let me know you’re not simply some chick who got duped by the charm of a sex addict looking for a higher high. You’re an active and willing participant in ensuring another human being gets REALLY hurt, and a marriage comes to an end. He shouldn’t have let you answer his phone, or text me, but you shouldn’t have wanted to.

None of that is the reason though that I’m writing this. I’m writing this to say to you, while you may have my husband now, and while you may think he loves you and you him (of this I’m not sure, but he does like to move fast, as most addicts do) I got the best of him, and you, and he, and a divorce, won’t change that. And nothing short of full-fledged recovery will ever make it possible for you to know the person I knew, who is nothing like the person whose phone you answered. He has had to compartmentalize so many events, and recreate the facts and details of parts of our marriage so that he doesn’t have to face his own pain, and so that he can say to you and anyone else who cares to listen that the only reason we are still married is “point finger/blame Michelle/blah blah blah.”

I know he’s given you his new party-line about how the reason he’d cheated on me previously was because he became insecure about our age difference, but seriously, even if there was an iota of truth to that, why would you want to be with a man who blamed his wife’s age, of which he was well aware from before the day they met, for his infidelity, and for his now suddenly wanting to get divorced? I get that he’s all like, oh my God, in a band, and charming and what not, but, why do you think he tried to keep your identity hidden from me? Why does anything need to be hidden, if neither of you are doing anything wrong?

You and others can of course could flip the script and ask me why I stayed married to a man who cheated, a lot. I’ll happily say to all of you that the reason is multi-faceted, and the largest part of the answer is not “I loved him” but rather “I’d hoped I could love him enough that he’d get healthy, for himself, and me.” I also couldn’t, and still can’t completely, shake the images of the beautiful man, the man you’ll never know, I met and married, and things he said he wanted to do, and did do, in an effort to get healthy, for himself, and us. But do you really think that he just somehow couldn’t divorce me all this time? Or can you fathom that he actually does still love me, but I moved away because I felt I had to, but we still didn’t intend to divorce, and that you were there, and you don’t really know him, for good and for bad, and that you’re happy to play groupie. You’re easy. You’re new.

While you probably don’t know that while you were being the groupie at his shows, he was calling and texting me that he loves me, and misses “his wife” and that he’s lost without me, and doesn’t know what to do. You might have even been screwing him while he was saying those things to me, I don’t suppose I’ll ever know nor do I suppose it matters. All that matters is, he has chosen addiction, he has chosen you, and that I have to move on. Based on everything I’ve learned about you, you fit right in to the life he’s created for himself since he moved back to Michigan, and it’s that life and those choices that brought his addiction to new lows, so, have fun with that.Have fun being the small voice in his head that tells him you want to answer his phone when his wife calls, to which he listens.

Maybe I’ll thank you someday for being a part of the reason I’ve lost hope that he’ll get his shit together. For now all I know is that I really dislike you, and who he has chosen to be. And I really fucking miss the man I met, whom you will never know. I got the best of him, and you are getting not even a shadow of that.

 

Day 1 – The Day Hope Had To End

Don’t marry a porn/sex addict who has emotional enmeshment issues with his mother. If you do, and are as stupid as me, you may find yourself 11 years later, crying, for the 11 millionth time. And restarting your blog for the 100th time. And being sick of your own story.

He has a girlfriend. Again. I shouldn’t be crying. But I am. A month ago he was all “I love you, will you move back here” and today he’s got a girlfriend.And he’s desperate for the divorce because he’s not procrastinating anymore. I imagine that has more to do with her telling him to get off his ass if he really is over me.

I shouldn’t have stayed married for so long. But I did. And I let him hurt me over and over and over. But I always held out hope that he’d give us the chance to have a relationship that wasn’t ruled by an addiction. Because I really fucking loved the good things about him. I actually thought 100% that when I moved to New Jersey that he’d get that I wasn’t joking about him needing to get back to counseling and earn my trust, and he’d wake up so he didn’t lose me. It wasn’t a game. I couldn’t stay in Michigan anymore. I never wanted to go back there.

He says he’s not an addict anymore. Like, poof, it’s gone. The excitement of the new chick has him feeling like he did when I was the new chick, I’m sure. But instead of seeing it as that, he’s saying he only did the things he did, because of me. Because he was married to me. And I KNOW it’s not true. And I know I can’t stop crying anyway.

Fuck broken heart bullshit. I don’t want to mourn this anymore! You’d think finding out about women number who knows how many I’d not have tears left. Dammit. I do though.

Its a real mind-fuck, being married to a sex addict. Or an addict in general I imagine. You never know what’s true or real. You can lose yourself. I lost myself. He said it’s me, I’m the reason he screwed so many other women. And the reason he did so many other things I can’t even talk about yet. Because I’m older than him and he felt embarrassed for marrying someone older than him. That story came out last week. The iteration of it changed today. Nothing like being told you’re the reason you got cheated on though.

 

I feel pathetic and small today. And stupid. Maybe day 2 will be better.