Zero 7 is playing in my head as I write this; I’m debating whether to interrupt the silence by actually pressing “play.” I’m sitting in my office, and Dana is at work. When I close my mind, things are the same, and I am not spinning in the devastating tailspin of divorce. Shit just flies everywhere. I would imagine that things will be calmer from now on, because there is no way on God’s green earth that we can work this out. It’s too big, too difficult, and at the bottom of it, the cliche phrase, “irreconcilable differences.”
I was asking Aaron this morning if he would ever date a non-technical person ever again, and he said, “no.” We’ve both realized that if you don’t work in technology, you don’t even have a shot at understanding what we say when we get home. It has never really been a problem before- I have had tech jobs in the past- but this has been different because I didn’t have a web site launching then, either.
My web site launch has been the death of us, and I won’t apologize for it. Dana made the choice not to understand me, and she is making the choice to move on. I am not saying that I want to be together and Dana is fucking it up. I mean that the relationship was suffering under the weight of being two totally different personalities that really didn’t have that many interests in common unless we worked incredibly hard at it. The more Dana got lost in herself and her own needs, the easier it was to gutter snipe me into the ground. She wanted me to take care of her and I wanted her to take care of herself. I was too busy to be there for her every need, and she chose to take it personally rather than seeing that I was trying to reach out for something better than I have.
What do I mean by “taking it personally?” Dana doesn’t see my writing as a “real job.” Dana does not see that when I post on Facebook or Tweet, I am reaching out to people that actually have resources that I don’t. How do you reach donors to a vision in this day and age? You use the Internet. It’s not really done any other way. The only reason Scandal is still on the air is that Kerry Washington and Shonda Rimes started a social media blitz that saved it from cancellation…. and I suppose that’s what I’m asking for in my blog. Don’t cancel me.
Although, for people who just like to read my writing to criticize, you are free to walk out the door at no charge. Change the channel and don’t read my shit. I promise you, if you stop reading my blog, then you won’t have to worry what I am going through and that is preferable to me than hearing your opinion. I am creating my own opinions by going back and reading my entries and deciding what logic is valid in all of these emotions….. because all emotions are valid, but the logic behind them gets screwed up quickly. This blog is kind of like the rough draft of my life, and I am crafting the finished piece. What you are seeing is stream-of-conscious, but I don’t live my life that way. It takes a million thoughts for me to choose a direction.
Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that I wanted to know if Dana was right- do the glasses make me any hotter? I could tell that the consensus was that I shouldn’t be asking the question. Bitch, please. I don’t want to date anyone ever again, and I am happy to die alone with my books and my computer. No, SERIOUSLY. I am complete and whole in myself because I know myself so well. I didn’t need a lecture on when to start dating again, because it’s just not going to happen.
I am in love with Dana, and it is going to take time to undo it. I have friends who let me cry on them and hug them and get angry that life is so unfair. Those friends are the people who allow me to be single and not ever feel weird about it. I may not have a life partner, but I DO have a family. That’s what I need right now… just people to love on me without any romantic energy at all.
Because that’s what happens when a relationship ends with violence. You make jokes about dating again…. hell, you might even go out on one date. But in the end, you can’t get over the fact that they are capable of hurting you. The last one did. So you go home and read a book instead. I cover up my fear with bravado, and Dana is infinitely sorry that anything she did caused this in me. I believe her, I forgive her, but I cannot walk away from the pain just because I have said, “I forgive you.” I am giving myself enough room to forget, because Dana is so close to me that I could not walk away from this relationship with anger, and constantly replaying the tape of her fist coming toward my face isn’t helpful to either one of us, because it reduces Dana to a fraction of a person and not the whole spectrum that she is.
Plus, I’ve been telling Argo about all of Dana’s manipulations for two years (not saying I don’t manipulate, I’m just writing about Dana at the moment). Even without feedback, I could go and look at what I’d written to her and realize that we should have broken up long ago. We were both manipulating each other to get what we wanted, rather than taking out our damage piece by piece in order to solve the communication problems that come with me being an abused female.
I honestly have detachment issues in a lot of places because I have been abandoned just enough in my lifetime to think that’s how every relationship ends, but I don’t protect against it. I just know that sometimes relationships work and sometimes they don’t. It was awful that it took us seven years to figure out that we should have stayed friends all along, but who doesn’t want that romantic story with their best friend? I’m glad it lasted as long as it did. No relationship ends with one fight. It’s just that right now. I am too crispy to talk to Dana without it devolving into our past. At first, I did not realize how serious she was about breaking up, because she approved the Facebook post and said she really liked the part about “if you think you deserved a phone call, we do not owe it to you. We do not want anyone to say “they knew first.” it was the right thing to say at the right time, because when you are in a fight with your significant other, the LAST thing you want is your gramama, your ontee, and Big Pam wrestling it out and thinking that they’re helping.
I have learned that this is all about submission to the authority of someone I trust. Me. I had to submit to the fact that I did not need to ask for help. All the answers are inside me. I have an incredible emotional toolbox that I have given away to every female who’s ever asked for it, but I have never used my skills to propel myself. Oh, God do people ever HATE that. Again, no one is used to me having opinions.
It’s also hard for me to walk in the light and create empathy for people who’d rather stay in darkness, but Jesus did, so I will, too. It makes me take a closer look at my second favorite scripture (first is Jeremiah 29:11), John 3:19- even more important to me as I start my ministry. it says, “this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
Do you know why this scripture is so important to ministry? People love darkness because they hide from light when they are too shamed to reach up. Someone, something has broken them so that they think they are better off in darkness, slinking around in black ink because that’s all they think they deserve.
The light of Christ came to me through a gorgeous woman that didn’t even know what she was doing. She just showed up. I did the rest. She proved to me that Diane’s dragon was worth slaying, that I didn’t need to live in shame any longer, and the John scripture knocked me on my ass. I was hiding not because I had to, but because it was what I thought I deserved. Once I thought I deserved more than that, my life began to change rapidly.
The light became my writing, because so many people picked it up and ran with it. I would be remiss not to thank my twins and my angel. They got me through the darkest part of my life, the one where I didn’t think I was worth anything and needed more in terms of survival mode than I ever would admit out loud. I clicked off safe, I gutter sniped, I pushed them away every chance I got because I didn’t think I was worthy of people like them…. what with their jobs and their smiles and all that good, clean shit. I wasn’t anywhere near good and clean. I was a reject, even from God at first. The first step up was realizing that I’d conquered a fear I’d had since I was little. The second step up was realizing that I thought everyone was going to leave, and I pushed them away until they did. It was easier than letting them in and really telling them what was going on. That because of my past, Dana stepped into the pattern of enabler and I was the abuser, because of course everything that happens to me happens to other people. I cannot help it. There are just some days where I cannot NOT be sad, lonely, and angry.
It helps me to remember that I am loved when I think of my dad and Aaron, and all they’re doing to help keep me sane (or as sane as I get, anyway). They are the people that when I blew everyone else away, kept showing up. You would think that I don’t have clinical separation from my parents, and you would be wrong about that. First of all, when Diane inflicted her abuse, encouraged me to believe that I couldn’t trust them because they didn’t understand the whole lesbian thing.
So I cannot even let my parents in without a tremendous amount of work on myself, which I am glad to do and sorry I have to. The bitch of it is that they’re the most well adjusted, and constantly check on me in a very good way. But because of my abuse, sometimes I can’t see their help. I see it as taking away my agency. It’s a threat. It’s so bad that when my dad dropped me off at the Methodist emergency room, tears were at the corner of my eyes because even though it was TOTALLY unreasonable, I still thought he was never coming back. I’m a psych patient that checked myself in. I am no longer redeemable to anyone, because I have gone off the deep end.
Plus, while I was in the hospital, Dana broke up with me for good. She says that I “called it” by not listening to her when she was begging on the floor after I’d been hit. She did not accept that of course I could not take her back in the same moment that she physically injured me. I had to have time to process whether I thought our relationship was going to go back together, and that was not acceptable to Dana at all. I wanted to really talk now that we’d had a few days apart, and that ended in disaster- Dana calling my father and saying I was having a psychotic episode. I know I have mentioned that before, and I am still fucking furious. She says that I will not let go of a problem and let it drop. She’s right, but so am I. We don’t get anywhere in a conversation if you’re of the mindset not to try and understand me before I even open my mouth.
It was talking to a brick wall, and finally I admitted defeat. This was not going to work, she was too incensed at me for posting on Facebook that our relationship was ending, but neither of us were ruling out a second act. To me, that meant we were on the rocks, but there would at least be a conversation in which we post-mortemed that fight and tried to understand why it happened in the first place. Then I realized there was no discussion. Dana’s pathology had turned to destroy when she got into the place of being so filled with rage that I wasn’t in the room anymore.
And in the end, even though Dana doesn’t want to work on it, I think I’m done, too. I cannot take on a mental patient that has problems just as complex as mine and won’t get help, even though this fight is ridiculously huge. I am shaming myself for not calling the police, either before it got to the escalation point or when my cheek was turning purple. It was also a really hard hit because it wasn’t just Dana’s fist. It was that her fist caught the bottom of my glasses and pushed them into my eye socket. The bottom still experiences phantom pain, because all the physical stuff is over, but the emotions still haunt me.
So how do I move forward? By keeping going. I am going to step out of this world and go find another one, because this one got stale. I don’t have to deal with Dana’s carpet-sucking depression and ADHD that turns her into a cartoon character. She doesn’t have to deal with a bipolar wife who takes all her medication and still sometimes doesn’t feel right. If she thinks that I’m too much to handle, being her partner is hard as fuck. I am tired of being “the sick one.” I am resentful that when we came to Houston, she waited a year and a half to find a job and let herself waste away until I couldn’t handle it and exploded at her parents. They are still mad at me for the thermonuclear way that I went off, but they were failing to see that Dana desperately needed help and she wasn’t getting it. Wasn’t even taking care of herself. She’d been rejected and she couldn’t handle it, so all of the stress of running a huge household and having a job where I really had to pay attention and needing time to write. I didn’t have the support from Dana to manage anything, because while she would pack my lunch every morning, I wasn’t sure what I’d come home to. Mostly Netflix binging.
When I left Alert Logic, it forced her to look for a job since I did not want to be the only source of income for our family. Things started to balance out until Dana started bitching that I didn’t have a job and there had been many times in my life where I hadn’t. That is because Dana is a master at taking the things her parents say and lobbing them at me after we’ve already discussed what we’re going to do without them. I always felt that we were living under parental approval instead of being in our late 30s. Her parents think I’m a fucking deadbeat and I am ok with that. In fact, I will let them think that until I am a household name. It won’t matter. Once I’m a household name, when I come up, it will still be to reflect on what a douchebag I am and how I couldn’t keep it together and it is a fucking miracle that I was ever able to make something of myself.
Neither Dana’s parents or Dana’s sister have talked to me since our breakup, which just reinforces how little they think of me. I am sure that they’re supposed to think of Dana, and that will always be ok. But I gave them a warning shot that something like this was going to happen and even though they took it seriously, at first her mother said that she was never going to understand Dana the way that Dana needed to be understood and that perhaps Dana should find a different mother figure.
Again, I’m sorry. What? Dana doesn’t need a mother that’s ok with the gay thing. Dana needs someone to stay on her so that plans become reality. She has not been motivated to take care of herself until she was offered a job that was right up her alley, and it has taken over her whole life. Even when she is not working, she is thinking about work. Yesterday I told her that I wanted to talk about division of property after she got home from work. After many text messages, it is 6:30 and she is still not home. I am sympathetic to the fact that she is working long, and pissed off because it feels like she blew me off…. especially since an hour and a half had gone by and THEN she said, let’s just talk on the phone. I could have left so much earlier, and I made the effort to stay until I realized that I was just going to have to sit and wait, no matter what. Dana’s job is more important than I am, and I will not miss that aspect of our relationship because it’s always been that way. She cannot leave when her shift is over. She has to diddle around, shoot the shit, and do any number of chores that all “take a minute” and add up to me sitting in a deli seating area or waiting in the car until she’s finally done. Realistically, I could have made myself a lot happier knowing that her shift ends at 5:00, so when she says “be there at 5:00,” it really means be there at 5:45. But no. I always waited, getting more and more resentful because she would come by to where I was sitting every ten minutes and tell me she was almost ready to go. So thinking that she would actually be on time for our meeting was cruel and unusual mental punishment for myself. I knew I was going to resent having to wait, and I did it anyway. Finally, when we were on the phone, I said, “it really pisses me off that you were so late and in the end, said we could have talked by phone. I could have left the house by now and taken care of some stuff, but I was waiting for you. It’s not an ex-wife thing. It’s a courtesy thing.” She agreed with me, but every time I say I’m pissed off about something, she goes into a first grade teacher voice that is too pedantic for talking to a woman that is almost 40 and feels every bit of it.
In fact, it’s like my whole body exploded, and I realized that I had more choices than being talked to in a voice that sounds like, “I don’t want to anger you, so I’m just going to appease you.” She is afraid of my anger, and I need a woman that can stand up to it. Throw it back in my face. Tell me what’s wrong in the moment instead of saving up her anger until she explodes. One that will talk about her feelings and let me know how I’m doing in terms of taking care of her heart. In the immortal words of Meryl Streep, there are certain things I will no longer tolerate.
The biggest thing I will never tolerate again is thinking that my problems are so much worse than hers.