Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whew, okay.

If the collective tension in the US and my personal life dont diffuse soon, I might indeed blow up. Or shave my head a la Britney for real this time. I'm sort of flying without a net right now-- Therapist J and I are on hiatus because I'm so broke, and of course, this is when the stuff starts flying around. I knew it wasn't the best plan of attack to take a break at this juncture but I really didn't have a choice. Now it's to the point where I'm calling my parents tomorrow and saying, "Remember when you told me you'd possibly be able to help me out in November with some bills?" I SO don't want to have to do that, but frankly, I need a shrink.

James and I have been talking, as I mentioned before. Lately we've been talking about all the shit that went down between us when we were together, which....well, is hard to summarize. It was the first time I ever got sick, and it was a sudden onset of an insidious illness in a very, very young woman. ( I was 23. ) I hardly knew what hit me, and then the doctors arrived in a deluge of diagnoses/drugs/dispassion, and everything went downhill from there. From being overtreated to being ignored completely, to being told it was all in my head, to being left on my own to cope with functioning one day and then grinding to a complete and total halt for the next 4 years, it was traumatic to say the least.
Sadly, James and I had fallen truly, madly, deeply in love only two months prior. (I can't do anything to explain that kind of love, since it seems hyperbolic to do so. It was The Real Deal, full on, hold-onto-your-hat kind of "Wuv, twue wuv" ( "The Princess Bride") that people look for their whole lives. There- that's my attempt to describe it, as honestly as I can.) And together we watched nothing improve and everything happy slip away from us, from very different vantage points. There were no support groups of merit. There were no good medicines. There were no doctors who understood; not side effects, long-term brain damage, trauma ( we're only beginning to understand that NOW in psychiatry as a science). There were no therapists who knew how to advise well, because they could barely use the DSM to figure it all out. There were no outside authorities to help, and I proceeded to become more and more inert. We held together out of sheer and total absolute love and passion for each other, but....well, I was sick and he was on his own to cope. It was like we were both in our own private hell seperately, and hanging on desperately to each other.
And then it imploded, the details of which I will likely spare you because it would take too long to explain. We split, but we had what I call "The Bad Divorce". It's an apt way to describe it, because we didn't want to let go of each other, and yet, we were supposed to be separating our lives, and it shook down ugly. In my life I don't think I've ever been through something so excruciating since. It is surely the hallmark of what is part of the trauma I carry to this day about relationships. It ended up being a trainwreck of front-page porportions where we were left picking pieces of it out of our skins for years to come.

And all of this at the tender ages of our twenties. Twenties! What did anyone know then? I sure knew some things for sure, but I was totally making it up as I went along. I was barely an adult, and I was wildly independent,very headstrong and passionate, and still had some things to learn about boundaries, womanhood, and self-respect. He was older, but had weathered a disastrous 2-year marriage to a Borderline Personality Disorder wife that had made his life a nightmare day to day, and left him battered about the nature of illness and independence; he was also trying to figure out what it meant to love without limits, including himself. This all would have been challenging-- but likely do-able-- WITHOUT the malestrom of outside forces hitting the small coastal town that was Us. I mean, people in marriages at 40 something might be able to do it, but some can't. And then there we were. Babies, wanting only to waltz off into the sunset and be happy after our earlier lives had thrown us a few loops, and then the hurricane hit. It wasn't fair. Not in any way.

All I knew, and all he knew was: This Person is the Love of My Life. And it's all coming apart. What now?

Obviously, as I've already mentioned, it didn't go well ( an understatement to end all understatments). But time has passed and over the years, some attempts at amends have been made. With each attempt, another logjam in my psyche gets moved forward, and I release the pain and terror and loss that is frozen there. In the last week or so we've been mostly just speaking about everything from a calm, respectful perspective that only time and lots of expensive shrinkage can bring. I think it's good, I do. I especially listen to James right now with an ear to his relationship with his new wife, since I have often felt in the past 15 (!) years that well, this was my one shot and it tanked, and maybe I don't get another. Maybe we don't get that lucky in this life. His relationship with Diane tells me that's not true. Instead of being jealous or resentful I'm hopeful that I get one, too. I try to think of all this conversation as a step in that direction. Whatever we can let go of is capable of making room for what is going to come. Which is hopefully more amazing than we can even imagine.

I hope.

Anyway, today, we got to the "So, while we're at it, why DID you leave?" portion of the bill, and....while he was able to reassure me that it wasn't any character flaw or deficit in me-- despite some of the things he may have said on the way out--it sort. Of. Had to be done. Sometimes when I would try to explain the strength and power of love between us and then have to get to the ending, people would ask, "Why?" And all I could say was, "He bailed." It's the simplest way to say it. He did. And he did it, according to him now, "without a parachute, and with the most heart wrenching tear as I hit the ground." He wishes he could have been stronger, better, more capable of waiting, more capable of anything to keep us together. But well, you know. I've already said it.

Sometime we are just who we are Then,and we are a victim of nothing but the Time We Live In, with regard to what's available to help us. I was too. I wish I could have been braver and stronger and known all I do now about trying to make it all work. I don't know how I feel about his explanation, but I'm not entirely sure what else there is to SAY about it. It's all true. It was all wretched and bad, and while in my 25 year old heart ( when we split) I want to scream "You fucker! You should have hung in there! Why didn't you have more faith???" , how can I say that to someone who wishes he could have but knows he failed at it and has had to work to forgive himself til NOW when he finally remarried??

How do I let go of all that all that decision of his wreaked and say, "Okay, I can accept it now"? I understand it. I have a great deal of compassion for it, mostly because his efforts to ask for forgiveness and be present for me while I speak about this time are so pronounced, and sincere. And also because I know, without a doubt, he loved me the entire time, and it never stopped. Still, the journey I took after it was radically different from his. It left me with powerful fears and a sense of not-safe-in-the-world that took years to overcome ( the latter, I can say, at least, was likely installed by my lame, lame mother, who seemed to have missed the Nurturing Gene moms are supposed to get. I always laugh when people say that all moms love their kids and want to protect them. No, some of them dont. And some of them, even if they do, are so emotionally stunted they don't know how. At any rate, that precondition left me less likely to know how to float and nurture myself. To say it was difficult was to say it was like I was learning Farsi while in a foxhole. Get it?) .

So. So.....

That's alot to be wading through. I'm getting that "I might throw up right now from all the emotional information" feeling and while I did my best to express to him my thanks and appreciation for being so honest,( because how often in life do you get that chance to repair something like this?), I also said I might need some time to process this. I kind of need the ear of wise people and some grounding and support on my end to rifle through what's been said. I know he'll understand that. He hasn't done anything wrong, and I asked for all the information he has so graciously given me. But I think I need to take care of myself , so I mentioned if I slip away for awhile, to please give me that latitude.

I also say this to prepare anyone who reads this for a phone call in case I find myself overwhelmed. And maybe to say I don't know how blogging is going to go for a bit. It's kind of hit or miss right now. So far I've been able to sort of stay on top of all my feelings and manage to keep it together, ( which is really, really great and a triumph of itself!) but I've just hit maximum capacity on this, and combined with everything else, I'm not really as cute an quippy and oh-so-articulate right now, and I don't know how that might persist in the days to come.

At least this time I have a shrink, and at least this time I have meds, and at least this time...well, it's the first moment where I've been able to say, "At least this time, I'm almost 40 and not so inexperienced and raw anymore," and have it be a good thing.

Along with Pre-Election Tension that certainly hasn't been seen since the Nixon/Vietnam era that permeates what feels like every molecule around these days ( how many more days? 7. The longest 7 days in American political history post Bay of Pigs ? Post 9/11? ) and the $400 phone bill for AT&T that I can do nothing more than toss aside with the remaining $10 in my wallet, I'm just.....ugh, kinds of wrestling right now with .....MORE emotional garbage than I actually think anyone deserves.

Plus, I've just come to realize, inside myself and from conversations with key others that my intuition about Heroin Boy is likely correct. In short, fact that he's more likely to fuck my shit up than to JUST be nice and relieve my unbearable lust is a relief to finally accept as fact. He might smell like Gumdrops and Feathers and I might HOPE he'd somehow not be a total loser in a romance setting, but the fact of the matter is that all information points to him really fucking things up in an attempt to sort his own shit out while I'm there, trying to stay sane. And we all know I don't need a fixer upper and that I don't have to save him, it's not my job.

Plus,-- and all this aside from his curent ghostly-but-appropriate greif-stricken state; I am speaking here to a general condition outside current circumstances-- I find him to be inscrutable and I never find anyone to be inscrutable. Hardly ever. I don't like to brag on myself, but people are pretty much people, and their motivations and goals are always there if you look closely. ( I'm an actor. This is my job. Plus, I studied to be a therapist. Trust me, paying attention is 89% of the deal, and if you cultivate the habit of doing so, its really a fascinating trip around the planet.) HE, however, has me mystified. While Sleuth Jessica is ever so intrigued and wants to dig til she gets to the bottom, I am also wise enough to say, "Yeah, the fact that he's inscrutable to you? NOT a good sign. It means something is UP, and not just in the "maybe-I-drink-too-much-on-the weekends-'cause-I-won't-go-to-therapy" kind of up. More like " I'm-clinically-undiagnosed-and/or-a-malignant-narcissist/liar" kind of up. I really hope I'm wrong about that,and this is just a type of person I've never seen before, for everyone's sake, including his own.

In summary, I have the gut feeling he would be of no real good to me. I've had that and have been wrestling with it for some time. It's pretty hard when you want to er, lick someone from head to toe in a manner better befitting something on the Discovery Channel. It's also pretty hard when, as my shrink has been talking me through, there's all this *ping ping ping* in my intuition going off. I don't think it was coincidence he walked through my door the way he did, and there's this definite "meant to meet" sense about it ( to which he is utterly oblivious to the point of disinterest in my existence. I would say that means I'm making it up, but uh, NO. I'm rarely wrong about these things), and I wish it would leave me alone. If one feeling existed without the other, I'd probably be in pretty good shape and able to shake it much more effectively. As it stands, they don't, so I'm feeling pretty weird, and jacked around and then confused and then pissed. You can imagine when I DO have to interact with him personally it's a Which only makes me feel like a tool, and then it starts all over again. It's really exhausting.
I probably just need to get a different job and move away and forget it, which would be way easier at this point.

Or, find a nice boy to date and sleep with and become distracted in that as much as possible. And throw myself into work, work, work in Job #3 ( Yet To Be Named). And beg,borrow and plead back onto the couch and then get the hell out of here to Paris not a moment too sooooooooooon.

Man, everything's on spin cycle. If it's not there, its in that limbo phase the washer goes into while it's soaking your whites, and about to start up again. I just want it all to be nice and clean and rinsed free of remaining dirt and squeezed free of any remaining dripping water, and be ready to be still and fresh and pretty an new again.

I have to believe everyone wants that right now. So as a total ( not totally, really) non-sequiter, Go Obama. And let this new moon we're waxing up to be completely productive and stabilizing and reconciling and finishing off the old to bring in the good, good new. Yeah? Yeah.

Blessed be and Amen to that.