#26 The Best Parts of Breaking Up 12/22/14

Being almost 2 months out from my last breakup, I have begun to enjoy the shifts of my mind and heart. I’m no longer sad, I have the benefit of distance without emotionality and can see the flaws and all the ways my ex wasn’t capable of meeting me where I was. Once you see that, you have reached a level of acceptance that simply makes you grateful you dodged a bullet.

I’ve been back on the dating websites which will be a completely separate but most entertaining post but getting back in the game can be fun as well. There is the beginning of the transition where you get your life back, where you stop having to make accommodations that eventually made you feel resentful, now you do for you, just for you and it feels good. You go back, to those things that you perhaps let go in the informal unsaid compromises that happen, in attempt to make things work. It feels good, you start to feel like you again and you remember how great your life is. After a while sometimes you notice a feeling, a restless energy build. It’s hard to put your finger on it at first, it’s like feeling like to you need to go out for a run. A stirring to be physically active, movement, push, pull, exertions, sweat, force, propelling, hard, fast, exhausting and sweaty. You realize it’s not a run you need to go for, it’s not that type of release, but rather soon you realize, that what you need, is to get laid. The absence of your option to have sex, when you want it is temporarily gone. Rarely will a woman get turned down and in a relationship it’s almost never, I could wake my ex up out of a sound sleep and he was able and willing to take care of my needs. It wasn’t always the best of the best due to the tired factor but if I had a want or need it was available. You get a little desire dizzy and you begin to think of and be open to a new person taking care of your wants, and in fact you start to look forward to it.525

The first time someone flirts with you and you are receptive to it and flirt back even if it’s just for fun. The first time someone kisses you after your ex can be one of the best parts of breaking up. The first time you experience a desire and feel desired in that way can help put your mantra back in your strut “I’m hot and I don’t give a fuck.”  Now, this can be when you find a new love, begin dating, chatting with someone regularly or it can just be when you make the conscious decision to take a new lover. This sounds so very …..French ……but pourquoi pas?

As I entered my 40s I realized one of the greatest parts of myself is my sexuality, it is confident, funny, open to surrender, fun, and feel good moments. I have done this more so in the past few years and its fun and enjoyable a release of energy. These aren’t the loves of my life, intellectual match or soul mates. They are or well as a rule have always been younger than me, sometimes much younger because what I need is something light, something easy, something fun, FUN, get that? FUN. The relationship I just got out of especially at the end was not fun, it was miserable, filled with fighting, filled with difficult moments, filled with moments of not getting our needs met, heavy, at times boring, and definitely not easy. A new lover is all those things and sometimes more. A new lover is funny, a new lover’s kiss makes every inch of your body feel a buzz, a new lover banters, a new lover flirts, a new lover wants. Just like your relationship was in the beginning but without all the arguments, drama or baggage. Remember those good ol’ days? Well I’m about to, remember them, repeatedly with abandonment, cause “I’m hot and I don’t give a fuck……yet.”

#24 11/1/14 The other worst part of breaking up …doing it again

I take a deep breath as I begin to write this.  It’s fresh, very fresh, like Wed night, two nights ago, last minute visit to my therapist who I like to drop in on when someone I love dies or a relationship ends fresh.  I’ve had a lot of both in the recent years.

Shortly after my last post of top ten things that are hard when you break up, I agreed to take a call from my ex about one and half weeks after he broke up with me. First it came as a text, asking if he could call me, I immediately apologize for not sending him his belongings yet because I am packing for the move, he says that’s not why he called.  I then text if the kids were ok, he says yes, I then text if he is ok and he says “not really.” He gets the kids to bed and calls. I am speechless, I am paralyzed, I am shocked, literally shocked, I can’t believe the words I am hearing.  He explains that he feels he made a mistake and  made his decision in haste and anger and he has really been missing me.  He asks to drive up to see me the next day, to talk with me, to try and see if we can….. try again.

I’m anxious, nervous waiting for him to arrive. I jump as the phone vibrates in my hand, I look down and see the text “I’m Here”, a text I awaited each time he came to visit for the 9 months we were together.  He comes up the sidewalk and our eyes lock, he walks in, we hug, cry, hug and cry. We go to lunch, he takes responsibility for everything, he tells me where he went wrong, where he let us down, what he now knows and how he loves me, how much he loves me, how much he missed me, how much he needs me and how much he wants to be with me.

I’m scared, fucking terrified to trust him, almost 10 days ago I was sobbing and packing when we parted.  Luckily I had enough distractions, purchasing my first home, getting a new car and switching jobs.  I associate my house purchase with him, he was with me every part of the way and even came to my inspection.  At the restaurant he is vulnerable, open, honest, open-hearted totally open, it’s on his sleeve, on the pancakes, the table, in the coffee, slowly running over my hands and back into my heart.  I’m choking on a mixture of pain, hope, sadness, confusion, anticipation, fear, fear, fear…..so much fear but its dripping in the sweet sticky syrup of want, desire and heartache.  Within a week we are pretty much back together.  Things go great, wonderful, we are open, he communicates what he is thinking, what he is feeling, we tackle the potential problems, head on, together #teamlisaandmike.

It takes three months before I find myself in the exact same place.  Asking him not to make this decision, not to do this again, not to run because he is full of fear, not  to give up on us,   but I have already lost him and I know it.  I know he is starting therapy on Saturday I tell him lets not make any decisions now, lets wait, I’ll give him time, no pressure, he can start therapy and I will just wait and be here for him. I’ll wait, I’ll wait, I’ll wait my voice trails off a sad whisper giving up.

He is not willing, able, he can’t do it anymore.  Prior to today he had been talking to friends about us, explaining how we have been fighting too much, his friends tell him that is part of being in a relationship and that every couple works through it.  As a last-ditch effort he went to his parents home and talks to them. His mother tells him to stick with it and keep trying because we love each other but his Dad tells him to bail and he does.  He was just waiting, waiting for that one person to say “leave” it was the permission to submit and he took it.

I feel a flush of anger like a burning shot from my stomach through my heart into my throat.  I’m so fucking pissed off.  He fucking sold us out, he sold me out.  He let a person outside our relationship judge us and decide our fate. His dad who is responsible for so much of the baggage he carries today.  He objects and weakly argues he didn’t “let Daddy make his decision”  “Daddy didn’t tell him what to do.”  I’m sickened, disgusted, ” “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”    You  have just made it so we can never be together again or ever be around your family, you’ve made it impossible for me to love or ever be loved by your family .  For me in that moment the love is replaced by hate. The next two days are about wiping all traces of each other off Instagram, a few more weepy texts, and the packing up of his shit and mailing it out.  I meditate, I cry, I curse, I yoga, I spend time with friends and text everyone the update. It’s over.

What’s the expiration date on happiness? 8/2/14 #22

I believe that overall I am a very upbeat, positive, go getter type of person. Although I have seemed to have several tragedies within the last couple of years I am resilient as fuck. I always land on my feet and everything works out just fine. Sure some of my setbacks or losses have taken me longer to work through and perhaps some will always stay with me, but in the end I end up happy once again. I have begun taking more note of the truely happy moments and find that those real moments of bliss and warmth and contentment are a few seconds or maybe minutes long. Driving with the windows down, sun on my face, music blaring and there it is, a smile creeps over my face, I haven’t a care in the world, I feel good, I feel full, I feel bliss. Moments later, it quietly fades away.

It’s not that when that feeling fades, that I am unhappy or that I stop feeling good. I just go from feeling elevated to feeling back to my normal cruising altitude. These nano-moments happen everywhere, in yoga for that like 20 seconds when I can actually hold tree pose, right after I clean the entire house, at work when I make a difference, being in the middle of cooking a healthy clean meal with a good beer in one hand, stir stepping and dancing around the kitchen, or those first few seconds after an amazing orgasm with the person you love or feel crushingly connected to. Over, done, finito, terminado, the end and then back to your normal you. Being normal me is pretty good, often fun but it can also be stressful, lonely at times, overwhelming and deep like the kind of deep that can make you tired.

These things make up most of us or at least those of us that are aware of our role in this world and the connection to those that surround us. I have seen the “ignorance is bliss” play out in people’s lives, those totally unreal, completely not normal HIGHLY ELEVATED people. I’m suspicious of those people because I think a balanced life includes a dose of reality, some soul searching and moments of heartache.

I used to always ask my ex boyfriend “Are you happy?” I think hoping to catch him in his moments of bliss, I think there may have been times when I did, I’m not sure. I know that while we were together at times I felt a smile creep over my face, I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world, I felt good, I felt full, I felt bliss but about 2 weeks ago it was time to come down to my normal cruising altitude and maybe even encounter some turbulence. We had been arguing and struggling more than usual for the past two months same old same old. He was a people pleaser I’m totally direct, he is scared of putting his ass out on the line when something matters to him and once asked me where I got my strength from, I didn’t know the answer. I think now that it comes from heartache, feeling like life has knocked you down but you still got back up. He has been knocked down but never really got up again. We had these talks before, wondered if we should be dating “now” but when I asked he never wanted to take a break.

We loved each other and I believe he was given to me, brought to me to hold my hand through the death of my mother and my dear friend Becky’s end to her battle with breast cancer. We were in each others karmic path. He made his contributions to my life and I to his but not without our small scars along the way. Our relationship took him out of his comfort zones many many times and as a result hightened his anxiety. When you date someone who suffers from depression it’s like there is a third person in the relationship that silently has an impact on your life. If I am honest with myself I knew it was coming and I didn’t do anything about it.  I left it to him and one nasty fight where we both forgot to remember to be kind, forgot to listen to each other and forgot that we were defensive because of our individual baggage. It makes me sad that I didn’t rise above that line because it only would have taken one of us to soften up the other and provide a reason to allow clear heads and full hearts to prevail but we reached the end and went our seperate ways at the fork on the path of bliss.

Fucking Beer and Coffee #17

Ahh it’s been a while a long while but don’t think I have become this uber well adjusted picket fence pillow princess.  Well PP sounds nice anyway. Usually I find myself here after a major life change breakups, deaths, loss of a pet, new sex or just mood change.

What has happened in my life since we last spoke. I was in a relationship with a WAY to recently divorced man, 6 months, did I learn nothing from F??? This one was all jump into commitment and frankly I have been bit by the commitment bug so I thought. With my friends getting married, having babies and purchasing home with lawns to be cared for I was left thinking, “am I missing something?” So I drank the koolaid yes I jumped into an predoomed relationship, with Jim kids and  grandkids, exes, a family with no boundaries whatsofuckeneva.  I did it. I actually enjoyed the begining I think one of things I loved about him most was his family since mine is fucked up as are most I realize.  His mother she was a gift, a sassy, sex havin, world traveling, f bomb dropping grandma.  I clicked with her immediately. First time I met her was at Thanksgiving, well I met them all that day, I had only met his son before that.  By the end of dinner she was arranging the date to have Xmas at her house and invited me and arranged to have it on a day my family would not be celebrating the holiday.   When Jim returned to the table I said to him “I hoped you planned on inviting me to Xmas because your mother just did”.   I think that’s why it was even more traumatic for me when she died 8 months later.  It reawoke so much pain from losing my brother and in the end of her days they were in the hospital, trachea tube, unable to talk, in comas the only difference is I refused to see my brother like that and never went during that time to the hospital. I only wanted support Jim and it became a point of contention me trying to be his soft place to land and his need to put on a brave face, it was one of last nails in our coffin.  Once he let me in literally I was terrified and reluctant to see his mother in such a frail and dimished state.  Her bubbly, wise crackin, cackling,  warm personality a memory as I watched her slip away.   I had fantasies that if Jim and I married I would be close with her and she would become a mother of sorts to me. I would have liked that although I realized she would have also annoyed me with her proverbial two cents here and there but in that I still love having you in my life sorta way.

The first sign of trouble with Jim was when he wanted to have sex more than I did.  He brought it up but it was only much later did I realize I didn’t want him in the same way or as frequently because he wasn’t doing it for me.  Now he is a good person and I believe has a good heart but there are things he needs to work on as we all do but he at least needs to get started.  At the start of our relationship he was plagued with sexual issues.  He had a hard time getting it up, repeatedly.  I was patient, very patient and understanding and I tried everything to help it along but frankly I couldn’t get that dick up with a crane.  He claimed it was because he was a little intimated by me a total opposite from his uneducated, got knocked up, never worked, housewife laying on the couch watching Montel ex wife.  Who incidentally cheated on him 2x once fucking their neighbor that lived right next door to them. Jim responded by putting up a tall fence and back to business as usual. RED FLAG!!!

Anyway back to to us.  So when it came time to discuss the sex or lack there of or whatever he got very defense and it always became an argument.  I never once complained about his flaccid friend but what I did complain about is that he didn’t make sure I came, that I got off,  and that was building a slow but solid resentment reservoir.   He always wanted to fuck in the morning before work but he got up at 4am and I didn’t have to get up till 630 but I wasn’t going to fall back and asleep.  On occasion it was fine but if I am going to get woken up and be dog ass tired all day then you better make it worth my while and take it to completion…..mine not just yours.

I didn’t want to to have copious amounts of sex time because I wasn’t getting off in the way I needed.  I did on occasion but it was my efforts typically or the use of a toy.  It really wasn’t until the very end literally the week we broke up that the sex got good but by then it was all grudge fucking.   The most difficult part is that EVERY SINGLE time after we had sex and we were laying there panting he would say “that was good wasn’t it”  and I tried everyway to affirm without agreeing because I knew it would end in fight because his ego was so fragile.  I would wait till later to be like “hey I didn’t cum and I really need to when we are making love, you shouldn’t just stop, try using your hand or try…..yadda yadda yadda”  My suggestions changed from time to time but his reply was always the same, he didn’t feel he could because he was afraid  he couldn’t touch me the way he wanted or that I would complain or some other shit that basically made it my fault why I just had a lousy lay.  FUCK YOU JIM and fuck me for putting up with that for any length of time.  FUCK his ego and FUCK his issues and FUCK his weak ass bullshit insecurities WE ALL HAVE THEM but we keep living life rather than fearing it.

We or I should say he dumped me early August I don’t why I held on so long partly the reliving of my losses when his mom passed, the fake stability he seemed to offer and my want to be a part of a we instead of just me.  Even as fabulous as I am I realize I do not want to be found 7 days after I have died from choking on a kalamatta olive which my face have eaten off my dog.  In this 10 month brutalness I forgot me I forgot to take care of me and put my needs first.  That hasn’t happened to me but the sickness of him mom put me in a place that made it impossible for even a bitch like to me break up or even see I was miserable and hated my life with him. I cried for about a week and then on his birthday but then each day got easier really strangely easier in a rapid amount of time.  I realized this wasn’t really love I was playing house and caretaker for everyone else.  We struggled to remain friends and he made it loud and clear that he didn’t mean it when he said he wanted to still be friendly.  I recently contacted him about his son who reached out to me and out of respect before talking with his son I contacted him to make sure he was ok with it….nothing, no response, to my attempts.  It pissed me off and bothered me that he hadn’t changed and that he was a fake ass bullshitter because he couldn’t be truthful or strong.  I quickly forgot that temporary slip and accepted his path and got back on my own.

I found a nice transitional FWB that treated my vaginal fulfillment like a sport.  Like a sport where you  are watching the MVP on his best day ever, performing with finesse, skill, commitment, passion for the game, and scoring…..repeatedly.

8/15/12 The long and winding road #16

This indeed has been along road I have traveled. When I first starting writing this blog I was getting over two majoy deaths in my family and a major break up and the death of my dog.  Lately I have been wondering what is next in life but rather than worry about my future I will now just really discuss and write about my present.  That will basically involve funny or not so funny stories about my friends some new some old, soccer games, work and last but not least my dating life which has consisted of an almost date with a vampire but I just couldn’t go through with it and a date with an unexpected “lifestyles” expert….yes it’s what you think.  Before I move on to a very different flavor of stories I want to thank a few people who I love and who have been or who are a big part of my life and were there when I needed support the most.

Mary C, Kellie L, Nizzi, Gabriela V, my vet, my ex at times, my second ex after “the” ex, a yoga teacher, my boxing coach, Clarke, Smitty, Dawn C, Unz, Psher, Lucy, TBear, Becks even through her own battles, any book written by Susan Jeffers. You all are my blessings in life thank you.

waiting

waiting

Time to move on…………

Fucked up but true ass shit/14

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“True Love is one of the rarest jewels of life, treasure it with all your heart. When you find someone who loves you just as you are, is steadfast during moments of stress, willing to grow with you and allows you to feel however you choose to feel in any moment – there is nothing more you will ever find in a person. You’ve found True Love when you feel fear; fear of vulnerability, fear of abandonment and fear of letting go of your own stubborn egoic patterns that keep the real you separate and safe from the other. Trust in love and go towards your fear, taking this leap of faith in every moment is the journey Love requires for its sweet reward.”
– Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath.

I’m What Willis Was Talkin ‘Bout/12

So I find myself writing after much time off.   Some significant changes and some small changes have occured since  my last post some other things have, I guess in some small ways remained the same.   That should give me comfort but not always.  Since last posting the following has happened.

1. I moved out from living with my ex who I lived with for exactly one year after our breakup.  The fighting was becoming too much.  I was disliking who I was becoming and hating her for who she was.

2. The last week under the same roof when we finally began talking, at times even laughing and trying to be civil and remember we were friends I pulled out of my garage and smashed my car into hers.  I swear it was an accident.  I sat on the wet pavement in the driveway and cried for 15 minutes. 

3. I grew a closer friendship with my other ex  “F” the first guy I dated after K.   He is still in my life and an important part of it , we have been a good support for each other and great fun. He is my confidant and at times my advisor,  we tell each other everything I mean everything.  We should probably have more filters but we don’t.  As I type I’m awaiting to hear how his date went tonight, I’m a bit embarassed to admit I  feel some jealously.

4. My good friend and strongest bad ass woman I know was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a week of that diagnosis she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer which had spread to her lungs, spine, liver, both breasts and ribs.  As I write this she is in chemo and radiation.   She just shaved her hair completely off 2 days ago-she is the most beautiful person I have ever seen.  So vulnerable and strong at the same time I want to hug her and worship her simultaneously.

5. I have joined just about every dating site there is to join eharm, match, POF, yadda yadda in hopes of moving forward finding my Mr Oh so perfect for me. I have gotten various requests asking if I was DTF -Down To Fuck or nut cases with little to say and less of a brain to know when not to speak at all.

6. I have been forced to reorganize my finances now that I am living alone again. Easier said than done sometimes.

7. I have seen and met with girlfriends in different stages of their lives-a newly expectant mother, an engaged bride to be, a newly rejuvenated 40 something opening up for the first time in her life to love and letting her walls down, an intelligent woman on the cusp of a life altering moment of deciding when enough is enough with her currently married boyfriend.  I love them all I am grateful for their friendship. They force me to reflect on my life.

Since 2009 December has sucked for me, one year the death of my brother, the next the break up of my relationship, and now moving from a place I had lived for the past 8 years. I spent my holiday battling my family my mother mostly and then escaped to “F’s”  house where I finally felt relaxed.

As always I excel at work, really do well, overachieve, outperform, get the job done and make it happen.  However I have recently begun to feel like this is not translating to my personal life.  Well it never has this isnt new.  I entertain fantasies of running away to France, sitting at cafes smoking and awaiting a man that allows me to play the role of a mistress in his life.  A role that leaves us fulfilled temporarily while we are together but allows me the detachment I seem to always need and live in.  

I feel lost, I feel underwelmed and it has hit me so sudden.  The routines of daily life are boring me, I feel stagnant, I feel repetative.  I feel like other people are on fast forward or at least play but for a while I have been hitting the rewind button.  I read books, I try meditation, I “think positive thoughts” but as I sit here I feel like nothing is changing. 

I’m restarting therapy tomorrow and the thought of discussing my friend who has Cancer leaves me unsettled. I am not looking forward to revisiting the idea of loss.  I have barely started putting myself back together from the past 2 years and when I think of her I begin to unravel again.  Everything else becomes an augmented verision of loss even when its no where near a death. I  just can’t keep losing, I need stability, I need a guarantee, I need consistency.  This is so unfathomable to a person who never remained still, who ran from conformity, who wanted nothing to do with commitment and kids.   I have happiness, guilt, love, care, aggravation, disappointment, fun, carefree, heavy and guarded.  What do I want? wants and needs, just when I’m absolutely sure it changes or I realize indeed what I thought I needed or wanted was neither. 

12.1.11 Ready or Not Here I Come/9

Hmmmm well just when you think you have a firm grasp on something it slowly and quietly begins to unravel from your hands.  The reason you held it so tight in the first place is because as it gets away from you it becomes messy.  Messy, hard to control, hard to compartmentalize, distance yourself or worse yet protect yourself from. This is what December is for me. All the clichés of people sad around the holidays, all the statistics we hear about suicides, divorces, family violence…Merry Fucking Christmas right?

The little hole in my heart is from losing my best friend 2 years ago and being so blind with grief that I did not even see, experience, acknowledge, process or so much as sniff, lick or suck the grief. I mean it was non existent but yet so present and obvious in my face, my life.  It weighed me down like some suit that’s too big for you.

2 years ago my brother died but even that is so fucked up because the truth of the matter was we decided to take him off of the life support he was on that was keeping him alive.  I got a call from my sister asking me what I wanted to do. My mother wanted to have everyone’s input before removing him from the machines that were keeping him alive.  So everyone was already there at the hospital except me so basically I was like the 12 juror deciding my brothers fate, fucked up huh? I even remember saying “What? so I’m making the call my vote is the deciding factor? This isn’t god damn Survivor.”    “No No it’s not like that, mom just wanted everyone to be ok with it and be able to say for themselves.”  I was quiet for a moment then blurted out a string of question in one breath ” What are the chances of him recovering? What did the doctors say? How long has he been breathing assisted? Are there any signs of brain activity?”  “What about?”  “What if ?” “How come ?”

Her answers grazed over my head, they flew by at first but slowly suspended themselves  in air waiting to be popped like balloons.  “If that’s what is best maybe we should do this for him, he might not ever be the same” he would have hated that. The truth of the matter is my brother was never the same after being diagnosed with diabetes and as his illness got worse he died a little with each rush to the hospital and with each near miss of falling into a diabetic coma.  Every time I was called in the middle of the night to come to the hospital because they thought this was it and he might not come back, I died a little too.  The person who was my constant friend, defender, protector, comic relief, musical sherpa, world guru was slipping away, slipping through my fingers with each hospitalization.

I snap back to the conversation with my sister my arm is tired from holding the phone that feels heavy and I feel like I have sitting like this for hours.

“Yeah ok do it” I whispered.  “Do you want us to wait for you?” “Are you coming?”   “NO, no I don’t want to see that, I don’t want to see him like this, it’s not him, not my brother, why the fuck is she asking me this? what the fuck???”

It probably seems completely strange that I wasn’t there at the hospital with my family waiting for my brother to die but to me it seems completely fucked up to be there waiting with my family for my brother to die.  I loved him more than anyone else in my family and he was the one leaving, if it were another family member and he was there waiting I would have gone but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it because my immediate family were the last people I wanted to be with, their madness, shitty ass attitudes, greed, anger and pettiness was something my brother and I loathed. There was a reason why he and I kept our distance from the rest of our family and maintained a relationship outside of my mother’s house, cause they are nuts.

This pissed almost my entire family off including my brother in-laws but it was my choice and my decision to not be there but it doesn’t mean I loved him less and that I wasn’t pained by the loss.  My sister and her husband had everyone back at their house for dinner they were the only ones who talked to me well and my nieces their two daughters. The tension was enough to choke on with each bite of bread while we ate dinner. I could feel how angry and disapproving my mother was about me not coming but honestly I think she thought I should have been there for her. That looney toon has a way of stealing the thunder and attention from even a someone dead or dying. I already witnessed this at my Dads wake.

When everyone cleared out only I remained sitting at my sisters kitchen table and that’s when her and my brother-in-law told me how they felt about me not showing up. I appreciated that they had the balls, respect and integrity to say it directly to me and I told them I understood but it was my choice to make and for my reasons I made the choice I did and while I respected and understood how they felt to fuckin bad I decide what is best for me.

A week ago it started, the restlessness is that what comes first, it’s like I’m on idle waiting to take off any second but I never do so it feels like a permanent nervous stomach.  Each morning around 2 or 3 I lay in bed wide awake tears streaming from my eyes, mind racing completely still in the dark. The tears just pour, they keep coming streaking from the sides of my eyes into my hair and eventually to my pillow sometimes when I get up there is a weird cry halo but it sorta looks more like wet mickey mouse ears cause it’s really just two puddles on each side of my head.

I’m tired from the lack of sleep, I look worn, I look harsh but I move through my day hiding so I think. My students know it, they see it, they are extra gentle to me on these days, they stop and ask me how I am in a different way from their usual causal “hows it goin Ms. A?”. When they ask these days it’s quiet and there is a pause and sometimes a nod a like “I see your pain, I know your sad, sorry try not to be”  its the weirdest phenomena but it’s true it happens, they have an extra sense that in adults gets dulled, they are connected directly to your heart.  They seem to always know when you are not you, most of the time they don’t want to know why but they stop and they become a little mini caretaker for just a few seconds by the time you realize what they have done they have already walked away.

Sat December 3rd is my brother’s birthday he would have been 53, exactly 1o years older than me I think I’ll start holding my breath now.

11.24.11 Men vs Woman/7

 Happy Fucking Thanksgiving. Yes the day we hack apart a carcass and serve it up to loved ones….yum. Having turned vegetarian my day consists of sides (ultimately better) and snacking although I have made a tofurky or some sort of other vegetarian roast to compete with the headless bird on the table.

Meat vs substitute. Was that what I was doing that year and half dating K? Just substituting a woman for a role I normally had with a man? Hard to say if I did, I had no idea on any conscious level but from an outsider yes it looks like a quick list of “you were never gay” you just played on our side of the playground awhile. With some lesbians this could get your ass kicked.  God forbid if you even think you might be bisexual then everyone thinks your greedy and just hogging up all the sides for youself cause you can’t decide if you want turkey or not.

I had an eye opening introduction to the gay community . I thought I was so down with it all, you know surrouding myself with lovely handsome, fun, caddy, well dressed gay men as friends. Lesbos are totally different, in fact I didn’t realize that often gay guys and hardcore non fem lezzies tend to not mix. Who knew. I had these discussions with a new friend Meg she lived most of her life as hetero thinking something was wrong with her, that she wasn’t a sexual person or might just go through life feeling “eh” about the current guy she was dating no matter how great they were. Then suddenly she started connecting the dots and found herself.  She is indeed a sexual being when touched by the right sex. GO MEG!  We had great discussions us both having lived a predomindately hetro life and now finding our gay (hers was a true discovery), we talked about how such a marginalized group then turns around and discriminates against their own kind, the labels, the catagories, the judgements.

I look back and no I don’t think I was ever really gay but people needed to catagorize me, they needed to be able to understand it in terms they were familiar with. I was less concerned of being identified as gay, I didn’t feel compelled to jump out of a closet of oppression, it just wasn’t my life, wasn’t my experience as a young adult. For this too I was judged-to really BE gay you must have had to go through that horrible torturous time of discovering your identity as an adolecent and I clearly did not. So yeah I went along with being called gay or a lesbian or whatever because I think it made other people feel comfortable including my partner. I just knew that I at that time in my life, I kissed a girl, and I liked it, simple as that I had no past to figure out, no “a ha” moment, no pain and identity issues from my childhood and no feeling of rejection because I prefered the same gender.  To real gays sometimes not having these experiences is not fair but everyone has their own path.

So fast forward to current time 11.24.11 I have been seeing/dating/fucking/whatevering a guy for the last month. He is funny, weird in a good way, unfiltered to say the least, and in some ways a beautiful mess himself. After our first date we decided to pretty much throw all our cards on the table. He is currently separated going through his second divorce fighting for custody of his two young daughters which they adopted. He has a son in his early twenties from his first marriage when he was very young. At times under the recommendation of his lawyer sleeps in his old house because it might force his ex to resolve matters more quickly if she has to deal with his presence in her space. He has an apartment down the street from his house where his ex lives and his kids go back and forth, he has a bedroom for his oldest son who stays there sometimes and then sometimes at his girlfriends. He’s a caretaker and a half, I like that, I admire that, I respect that.

So fine I think I’ll see your two exs, three kids, two divorces, and raise you with losing my dad, dog and brother all in the same year, putting my dog down because she badly bit the person I was dating resulting in hospitalization, and the person I was dating is the person I currently still live with….YES it’s true I live with my ex, oh and by the way SHE’S A GIRL. Let me know if you have any questions.

More or less that was the text I sent and then I waited holding my breath. The reaction was unexpected he was cool with it, asking great questions, trying to get a feel for what the full picture was.  Holy shit! I thought. After working through some of my details he followed up by telling me one more thing, one thing he says he doesn’t share until the 3rd date but what the hell we are pulling everything out of the closet so he figures let it rip. He tells me he suffers from full blown depression and gets treatment regularly and takes medication for it.

Damn he wins…..I snap back to reality and start firing questions. It is formally diagnosed? Do you ever go off your meds? What’s it like?

He answers everything I ask honestly and openly. I don’t know that this news scared me but I recall for a moment what it was like when K was going through her depression and it was hard, challenging and at times heartbreaking for me for many reasons but I don’t feel compelled to run away or jump ship or slowly stop texting away into obscurity until I officially delete his number.

From the get go I knew he was in therapy he talks about it openly and I thought well shit, good for you, everyone needs therapy been there done that several times it’s the fool who runs from his problems rather than tackles them head on (that was my ex) and not only do I think that’s great, well fuck, it turns me on.  Not the therapy part but the part that he is brave enough to do the work, do the digging and face the music so to speak.

Now what was the chance a person on his second divorce, fighting for custody, dealing with depression, in therapy, who sometimes lives back at his house to pressure his ex to negotiate would meet and ex lesbian still living with her ex (happily), after suffering from intense grief from losing her Dad and her brother and never dealt with it till a year later when she was dumped by her ex shortly after the anniversary of her brothers death and Xmas?

Come On!!! you can’t make this shit up. So I think we both figured fuck it let’s go with it and here I am negotiating my way back in the hetro world recalling why I struggled with dating in the first place. HA!

I over analyze, I over think and for as verbal and confrontational as I am there are just some feelings that you have to pry out of me, he sees this, he saw it almost instantly and told me I had trust issues. Yep he is right I certainly do, he linked them to my mom, yep they certainly are, he linked my strength, lack of need for approval and outspokeness to Dad, yep yep yep.

Whoa I thought it took K a year and a half to realize or see these things in me or herself and then the thought of actually talking about it out loud fucked her up royally.  I’m not trying to diminish her path, she has a quiet strength but dating a bull in a china shop like me pushed her over the edge.

So here I sit thinking what, why, how, when, where about this new guy. Will we be in each others lives long term, short term, as friends, lovers, in a relationship, semi relationship, weird undefined something. Ups and down, misunderstandings, miscommunication, stress from all the shit he is dealing with and going through will impact us and what we do or do not become.  I don’t think, no let me correct myself I’ve never sat in a position like this before with so much unknown before me and so much I cannot control.  THIS IS TOTALLY NOT ME! the only time I’ve experienced it was in travel when I was brave enough to throw all caution to the wind.

I would have never been in a situation like this 5 years ago everything that has happened in my life has brought me where I am at right now which is exactly where I need to be with the person I am supposed to be there with. Funny how life bring you that without fail-K came into my life when I needed someone most and much of what I learned in our failures prepares me for my next journey.

What do I want? sides? turkey? a substitute? a past, a present? a future? Guess time will tell but I’m enjoying him and the experiences we are having and to a small degree, a very small degree some of the uncertainty of it all.

12/31/10 Therapy Friend or Foe?/5

4:34 am Can’t sleep been going through a lot over the past couple days, months and years. Most recently the end of a relationship that I love dearly with the person I cherish the most. Introspection, improvement and change seem to always come as the result of a struggle, a mistake, pain. I wonder why it can’t be the other way around? Why can’t when you are floating on the air in love, happy, high and fulfilled simultaneously know –I’m fucked up as a result of bullshit in my past, it works it’s way out in my life by me being controlling, cold at times, holding people at bay when I need to let them in, critical of myself and others, and being confrontational, all driven by an underlying fear that I was led to believe I wasn’t worth loving.Therapy is basically shit, painful, hard, soul stomping, heart ripping and one of the most simultaneously abusive inprisonments and liberations at the same time. I say these things because I’ve had a different experiences some easier than others some more difficult but my most recent being the hardest. When I broke up a long term relationship while in my mid 30′s to a man that I was engaged to I sought out therapy to clear my head. When we broke up I wasn’t and didn’t still love him very different from my current split. I wanted to examine patterns in my life that came from my childhood, family and life experiences that may have contributed to the end of that relationship and that would help me in future ones. My therapist was good, very cognitive and a good match for me. He especially knew a lot about family dynamics and I soon realized most of our conversation revolved around that. There were times not many but yes times when I got emotional but not often, it didn’t hurt so much to uncover things like it did this last time.I read once that therapy isn’t therapy if it doesn’t change the brain. Right now my brain is in a state of transformation like one of those make over shows where they grab some woman off the street that has a family, a successful job and a normal life but walks around dressed like she’s homeless. They drag her off to improve on the basics of her, to bring out her strengths, to highlight her advantages, good points and natural beauty. My brain has gotten a new wardrobe.Since K and I have been in the process of this split I have had to rely on friends, I just haven’t had another option. I have spent the last few days crying, sobbing, telling our story to my friends. This would have never happened in the past because I never let others see that side of me, I was never vulnerable with people, I never reached out, asked for help, or leaned on others. People got this impression I’m fine, got it all together, capable of anything, self sufficient, perfect in a way. People generally came to me during those times of crisis to sob or ask for advice or just to have me listen.I was always interested by that idea, I would often hear people say with relief “oh well I’m glad you finally made a mistake or Jeeze it’s nice to know you can’t do everything.” I think when they knew me and eventually I made a mistake or revealed a weakness of mine they found a human component to me and it was although they were suprised. When I was working on a Master’s Degree one of the last instructors we had was hard in every respect but she also brought us together as group like our previous one had not. We all learned a great deal about ourselves and at the end of the term performed an exercise where we left a blank page at our seats and everyone walked around leaving anonymous comments about each other. The one that jumped off the page at me was “it was nice to see your softer side.” Really? Wow, I was begining to see how others perceived me.

I have great friends who know me well and can and have told me things like “you can be intimidating, you’re hard to help at times, you come off really strong.” So these notions are not new to me and in my workplace they have always been qualities that got the job done, made me successful and good at what I do but in a relationship they doom me to fail.

I was always ready for a battle, always, because that’s what I learned-defend, defend, defend, go down fighting. The wonderful person I share my life with isn’t trying to get one over me, she isn’t trying to control me, she doesn’t need to be right so I have to be wrong, she just wanted to love me and I blew it. If I only knew then what I know now.

When in that kind of relationship where someone is always is made to feel like they are wrong  all the time someone else is always right, people get damaged. I held on to that need to be right because that is what I have learned and done my whole life, I thought it was what made me strong, better, capable but it weakened me in such a profound way.

They say we try to “work out” our parent issues in our relationships and sometimes we pick partners subconsiously to do this. I was working out or living out my parent issues but with a person who was nothing like my mother and only wanted to love me. Over the last couple of days I have literally had an emotional growth spurt facing that notion that the constant message I received while growing up was in some way or another a reminder that I wasn’t worth loving. It’s funny because I started to realize why I never let people in and ended many relationships abruptly. I got so overwhelmed emotionally when people offered me such love and kindness during the passing of my father and brother, I didn’t feel I deserved it.

I cried at those moments when people gave so openly and treated me with such heartfelt emotion not because I was sad about my circumstance but because I was so touched and overwhelmed that someone was saying “I’m sorry you are in pain, I care for you and I’m here for you” people were trying to take care of me and I had no idea how to let them. I never had someone do that, I never let someone do that.

Ding!! the bell had finally rung for me I sat with K on the chair yesterday telling her all this, explaining and giving examples of how this filtered out in my life, in our life. I noted my inability to let someone do something for me without doing something back for them, to thank them for helping me or simply for doing their job. It’s weird.

She cried with me as I painfully connected these dots out loud in real time with her, she hugged me and told me I was worth caring for just because I was me. All of this made sense, all of this came together, all of the sudden I was like I need to let people just love me and let them in and love them back, but when I said this to K she cried and said “that’s all I ever wanted, that’s all I ever tried to do, that’s what I have been begging you to let me do all along.”

I wanted to her to try with me, this new me, this me that would finally let her in fully, this new me that didn’t have to hold on to being defensive or in control because she was no longer in that life, no longer a teenager battling that daily, but it was too late. I had hurt her so much she was too afraid to let me show her something different in our relationship, she was afraid to open up. The scar that has left in my heart will be something I carry to the grave with me. I feel such regret, such shame, such sorrow for treating the person I love the most in the world in a way that caused pain.

Her future sister in law wasn’t home for the holidays so we skyed with her. She has had a strained relationship with her father for sometime now and was talking about it when we were all visiting with her online. I wondered as I was listening to her while I was holding back tears  how is it that she isn’t so hardened and damaged that she has pushed away or damaged her relationships due to how her Dad treated her? I felt flushed with shame and embarassment that I had let my issues hurt us and instead of learning to open my heart more to the gift of my girlfriend’s love I hurt it. I suddenly felt guilty, I felt terrible about myself and I wanted more than anything to love K back and give her the relationship she deserved and was looking for.

Last night we spent a good part of our time talking about this and I finally realized she isn’t coming back. She has work to do on herself she has pain to heal from and she has questions to answer on how and why she let herself get lost in our relationship. She has to find out more about losing her voice as a small child because she thought she had to, she thought she had to be a pleaser and never be a burden for fear that her mother would leave like her father did. She carried this notion on into our relationship put me on a pedastel and put me first. She commented at how much her mother and I are alike and how much she needs to please us both but in our relationship it was at price of losing her. In therapy our therapist asked, “M don’t you want a partner that stands up for themselves or says no to you sometimes and I said yes” K heard that but she is still working on it. I never wanted to be over her or more powerful I wanted to stand side by side with her. She gave me that position and never equalized herself with me and with my strong personality and her being so hard on herself if she ever made mistakes it was a hurtful combination.

I realized last night that is more than just trying to tell her or convince her-you watch it will be different, look at me, look what I learned, look what I know, Oh my god, I get it, I get it now, I totally understand what you wanted and needed and were trying to have with me and now I can totally give that to you and I now know deep down inside it was always what I also needed and wanted for my whole life forever I have been waiting for you, for this gift.

I realized that after my egocentric moment of revelation that even though she loves me so much even right now, even though she says she has no idea if it is the right decision for us to break up, even though she has wrestled with the idea of coming back to me that she cannot. I understand that she has a process that she must also go through, she has questions she needs answers to for herself, she has healing to do from pain our relationship has caused and pain that she needs to break up with me. She carries a heavy heart and is so sad, so sad that we are in this spot, so sad that she has to leave, so sad that she can’t trust me, open back up and try the new versions of us that our therapy has given us. So sad that I offered this just now when she had been waiting for it from me for so long.

I told her I love her and I accept where she is and what she needs to do for herself. I understand we will not be fixed and jolly and in love and together again next week trying things again and doing it right but I told her if she ever thought after getting her answers and working through her hurt, if there was a chance she could ever try again I would wait, I would wait for her, I would wait for as long as it take because for me there is no other person, there is no other love of my life, there is no other her.

We try to figure out what this will look like we toy with the crazy idea that she can go on living here and we can evolutionize to a friendship . She doesn’t want to leave her home, her familiar place, her life and what she’s known. Although it would be hard I would make the effort to be there for her as friend and share this space, our home so that she didn’t need to go through all that happens when you move out on top of trying to heal. I offered the extra room and talked about various scenarios of if or how this would work. It’s a incomprehensible idea to anyone reading this and she asked if that wouldn’t be too hard for me, but I would do it, I would do it for her it’s the least I could give her. Since we have never taken the traditional role this would be up to us, our rules, our relationship redefinition, we would lay the foundation for this if this is how we decided to work through our breakup. I hope it can be done I would go through any struggles and hardship and pain on my part to give her that.

12/31/10 Why the fuck does someone blog all at once/4

If you have read my previous posts you see right now I am at a crossroads. I am at the brink of losing the person I love most, I have had repeated traumas that I did not successfully process or deal with and on the 30th of this month I will be reminded that my brother died and left me with the assholes in my family.

My brother was so damn cool, I worshipped him. He was my protector, my playmate, my mentor, my parent, my friend, my teacher. I was in every essence of the words “Tony’s little sister”.  He was popular and well liked and where ever he went those doors parted for me like the red sea when they knew who I was. He was always in my corner, taught me to question, be strong, debate (in a healthy way) and to never never let my fears keep me from doing anything.

K and I took a break at Thanksgiving to “reset” and start again when she returned things were going really well. God I remembered how beautiful she was in the absolute pure sense of her heart and her person. I felt in love again, I felt loved, I felt a connection that had been eluding us for a while. I felt like we were on our way, working our way back. Then December started and I completely fell apart and the pain and grief and anger about losing Tony scorched and spilled all over my beautiful girl and our happy attempts to rebuild.

December 3rd was his birthday I was begining to feel the pain, the sadness the desperation of realizing he is gone. For a year I buried this, distracted by the anger toward my family who swooped down like vultures once again as they did after my father’s death. Stress, pain, rained down on our loving attempts to care for each other. The following weekend for the first time I visited his grave, I did not go the day of the funeral I delivered the eulogy and left after the mass. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t watch my brother be lowered into a hole in the ground the finality of that makes me sick to my stomach even now. I also wasn’t there when he was taken off of life support I couldn’t do it perhaps for my own selfish reasons of fear and pain but also because my family is incapable of offering each other support in a healthy way and I didn’t feel safe being in a vulnerable place with them.

When my dad had been ill and in the hospital security had to be called to remove one of my siblings who got into a screaming fight with another one of my siblings. All this while my dad was in ICU. Each of them screaming “you leave, no you leave.”  At my funeral home after the arrangements were made for my brother the all familiar process of faking decisions that were already premade by my mother, two of my sisters got in a screaming match about my brother’s money. Ending with my brother in law dragging away one sister, me putting my mom in car as another sister screamed “get a fucking lawyer.”  This funeral home must love us.

For the first time in a year it came spilling out, I fought with K then locked myself in the bathroom and on my hands and knees sobbed, releasing noises like a wounded animal, something non human, tears streamed from my eyes, snot and drool dripped onto the floor as I tugged and pulled at the bathroom mat. I comforted myself against the cold bathroom cabinets burying my face in the corner as I gasped for air between sobs. Whispering Why? Why? Why did you leave me? Why did you give up? I miss you, I love you, I need you, Why?  For a moment I would stop long enough to whisper I fucking hate you for leaving me with these people, I hate you for giving up and not getting yourself well I hate you for leaving me with our crazy family. When I said this I kicked and kicked and kicked the garbage can in the bathroom I kicked that weaved basket to a pulp. My third mantra that I repeated was I’m sorry, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there with you in the end, I’m sorry you couldn’t hear my voice, I’m sorry that I left you with the crazies of our family with barely a lovable person to sooth you, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry I let you down. This went on for nearly an hour the next victim of my anger was the towl rack, I ripped it off the wall and smashed it against the counter over and over till it resembled a 60 degree angle.

When I came out I was in such a fucked up spot and wanted K or anybody to take away this pain. When she couldn’t to do that for me I misdirected my anger and pain at her.  Now, she mentioned today that this was not the root of our troubles or downfall we have been struggling before and that led us to counseling, but for me, now in this moment I see the impact it had on my girl and she went from that beautiful pure open soul to scared, sad, protection mode again and all her fears resurfaced and we were back to square one and knocked off the positive track we had been on.

What am I learning? patience, trust and how to let go enough so that she can have what she needs even though in this moment it is so hard for me to step back. I’m so grateful I have so many loving people who in the course of all this trauma have been there for me. I am blessed to be so loved, cared for and understood. I am blessed to be able to share my pain without fear for the first time, I am blessed to hear words of encouragement during such a low time in my life, I am blessed to for the first time show my vulnerability to people who love me, or perhaps even strangers who read this, I am blessed to accept help from those offering it. Even though I’m so scared and don’t know our future she has blessed me with her presence and I accept that in whatever form it comes in my life.

11/24/11 5 months of healing plus 5 months of living again/6

Who would have thought I would be here finally moving forward in life and………..these were the words I typed 5 months ago and I now return to complete the setences almost 5 months later. The original date that those first words were typed were May 24 2011 today is November 24 2011. I have been having trouble sleeping, I know why, I’m afraid of next month.  Next Sat is my brother’s birthday I will visit his grave and the anniversary date of his death will come and pass again. Last December while my relationship was ending the flood gates open and I finally let our the grief of losing my brother. I can’t sleep, I can’t sleep, I feel anxious, anxious about how I will feel and what it will be like to go through December actually feeling something rather than numbing myself and ignoring grief that was pushing its way to the surface.  I find myself in a very different place finally after many fights, yelling matches, tears and frustating conversations K and I find ourselves over each other to the point where we have moved on, become friends, remained roommates and begun dating. Fucking nuts I know.

I couldn’t imagine this day would come but I fantasized about it, our therapist used to tell us about a woman she dated that she then remained roommates and friends with afterward.  We wanted that, perhaps naively but we wanted that. Well maybe I wanted that, K wanted it also but her motivation came from fear of being alone and dealing with depression that’s why she stayed. Perhaps early on I also had my own ulterior motives, I thought we would get back together.

It’s weird but I have never tended to follow a straight line figuratively and literally in this case for mapping out my life.  If I am honest, really honest with myself, I was always still interested in men while with Kari but I also really did love her, her person.  I wasn’t attracted to her because she was a woman it was because of who she was.  So my natural attraction to men was still there, I just wasn’t in love with one. I still flirted, I still communicated with old acquaintances and boyfriends and was dangerously close to crossing a line than I should have been, since I was in a commited relationship.  That should have been a sign, but at that time I was in the habit of ignoring signs and prone to getting lost for those  2 years of my life.

Funny that we should both arrive to a place where we are dating other people. Funny that I am in a place where I am dating men and realizing that is indeed my preference.  They are vastly different, night and day but yet relationships are relationships and those hold similarities. Lesbians jump all in ready or not here I come, your my soulmate, get the UHAUL, let’s adopt more babies then Brad and Angelina. Guys are so not like that, there is a fine dance that over time gets perfected. Does he like me? Is he into me? Will this go anywhere? Will we get serious? Is he the one?  With lesbians they are always the one. I met a few woman after K and I broke up and I was trying to figure out, everything in my life. These woman were nuts, that sounds bad but really they were needy, clingly, too much information, 16 emails a day (not reciprocal ones) just open your email and SLAM 16 emails in a row from a lonely nurse looking to find love. Another intelligent woman a professor at a big university going on and on and on and motherfucking on about how her ex and her best friend cheated on her and she was left to pick up the pieces. I don’t want to diminish the pain or struggles of these people but Jesus aint no way I was stepping up to the plate for a whole lotta drama.  That’s what was out there.  I took a deep breath and quietly retreated to safe daydreams of meeting someone nice, funny, cute with baggage they can compartmentalize at least until after the first few dates for gods sake.

It’s Thanksgiving morning, I saw my best friends last night and laughed and felt loved and part of something good, I woke up today missing my brother so much that I don’t know exactly how to get through the day. I feel like when you lose someone you really love people expect you to be sad and you expect to be sad but I never expected to be sad forever. It’s been 2 years since he passed and I just started acknowledging the grief just last year but it feels like something that will always make me feel so deeply distraught and heartbroken for the rest of my life.

I will have a nice distraction tonight a guy I’m dating, we will hang out, laugh, flirt, watch a movie and I will cook us dinner.  It will be good but Dec 3 is around the corner and the anxiety of feeling that tremendous sense of loss and sadness make me feel overwhelmed, insecure and out of control of my emotions, which we all know doesn’t work well for me….or the people around me.

12/31/10 I will not submit to the grief/2

My father’s wake, I’m on display, I’m like a host floating through the crowd thanking everyone for coming, shaking hands, getting hugs, kissing cheeks I never stop moving till it’s my turn to stand in the reception line. My sisters and brother in laws and nieces all take place standing there, next to the coffin, watching people pray and cry as they kneel infront of my father. I disconnect, focus on other things, remove myself as far as I can while my body waits to mechanically to say “thank you for coming, yes it is sad, yes he was a great person, thank you.”My friends arrive, one of them L knows me well she leans over and whispers to M “something’s not right, she’s too, she’s too, pulled together, she doesn’t seem like she just lost her dad.” She’s right I do not seem like someone in pain, someone scared, someone lost, someone forced to spend time with a family they are not close to, a family they never feel safe showing vulnerability with.I’m not right and this is just the begining of how fucked up I am about to become, this is the begining of therapists offices, fights with K, hurting her, hurting us and not even knowing it, feeling suicidal, becoming a sort of walking dead, numbing myself and pushing the person who loves me most away. This is the begining of the worst time in my life, for over the next year right after my father’s funeral I will have to put down my dog because she bit the person I am in love with, badly, so badly she is hospitalized,  I will watch my other dog bite and attack my neighbors dog, I will push K away without realizing what I am doing, I will make mistakes and let the dysfunction that I come from hurt our relationship, K will lose her job and I will take part in deciding to remove my brother from life support and let him die.Right now at my Dad’s funeral I’m in survival mode aka not dealing with what’s going on.  No one in my family knows that I’m gay now, not like I’m trying to keep it secret but something about that announcement at a funeral is not right. My oldest sisters watch and notice, they see K and they see me, at this point I haven’t even told my friends yet, we are so new and well they have only known me to date men. My oldest sister appears to figure it out and will eventually tell L the one sister I maintain a relationship with which will then in turn cause her to relentlessly question my nieces -who do know, I told them first.

I’m tired the next day there is a mass he will be cremated so no cemetary, I’m glad.
Everyone rides in the limo, except me I don’t and haven’t for a long time felt part of my family, I tolerate them most of them are well, crazy, damaged and difficult to love and be loved by. My mother has pulled a number on each one of us, she has damaged us so deeply and so darkly, systematically attempting to take all of her kids out at one point.
I hug and kiss my family members at the wake because I have to, others are watching, others expect that cause that’s what families do. I hate it, I feel like a fraud, a liar I hate to be in a position where I have to pretend. I stopped pretending long ago when I broke nearly all ties with them. I ride with K to the church, we meet my family in the front as they exit the limo and we all watch and wait as the coffin is carried out of the hearse.
We follow down the aisle and we file into the first three pews of the church, K is sitting directly behind me one seat back. My family all sits in the first row there is no room for me and I sit in the second pew by myself. My nieces are infront of me and we perodically offer each other support.  My sister N delivers the eulogy she does it in both Spanish and English she does a wonderful job. When she comes back I tell her coldly “good job”.  K says to her “that was beautiful N”.  I can’t connect with her, she did give a beautiful speech but the only thing I can muster is “good job.” We’ve never learned to really love each other, support each other or be there for each other. When my mother was angry with one of us she often tried to pit the others against you as well and if you talked to, helped or were nice to the one in the “doghouse” you might find yourself next.

It’s time to give each other the hand shake the “peace be with you”. I turn around and K embraces me, out of the corner of my eye my friend M who has recently moved back from Mexico comes up and hugs me warmly. I am deeply touched, so appreciative and feel so loved. She found out via our school email that my dad had passed, she immediately left work picked up her husband and they headed out from Forest Park to the southwest side of Chicago, she made it just in time for the mass. I will always remember that gesture of love and it was the thing that finally moved me to tears as I stood in my pew, removed from my Dad, removed from my family, removed from my heart, removed from this moment. I make my way down my pew hugging people in my family, my mother never turns around to be hugged by me and I even tap her shoulder at one point and she distracts herself with my sister.

Later that day at home K’s observations and introduction to my family rolled over me like a boulder. She gave a blow by blow account of the “dysfunctions of your family” talking about how no one comforted my mom or my sister N and the visible seperation between us. The coldness, the tenseness the akwardness was something she witnessed first hand and no amount of preparation even if I had given it to her would have helped her understand it or be prepared for it. Someone who has a relationship a normal one with her family cannot understand it. It wouldn’t be untill much later in our relationship that she would begin to understand it and even be able to explain it to others as I tried to do with friends.  To this day, to this moment as I write this, the night after she has broken up with me, on the brink of her possibly moving out and ending our relationship forever, she is still learning, seeing, hearing and experiencing the profound impacts my childhood has had on me.