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i just don't understand LJ.
these are supposed to be questions motivating us to write on different topics, to EXPAND our horizons?

however, they constantly ask questions that lead me to the same answer:

robot?

why....

my Ex, of course :-D


yeah, i know....c-c-c-c-c-c-old. :-D
spiralflames: (random_3)
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why, yes. i called him Bill. he was my Ex :-D

bwahahahahah!
spiralflames: (fortune)
a long, long time ago..ten years long..

my ex and i ended our relationship.

don't worry, this isn't going to be a bitch session nor a vitriolic spew.

the day i really realized it was over was a sunday. after church (one of my jobs at that time was being a music director) i drove directly to Lake Superior, about 150 miles.

it was a beautiful, sunny day. there was enough wind to bring the sparkles to the surface. gulls coasted overhead, a gentle breeze tickled my neck.

i sat on a rock and cried and cried. cried for what had been such high hopes, cried for the lost of my idealism, cried for the fact that the next time i went to bed, i'd be there alone.

finally, a prayer formed itself in my Heart.

"i want my life back. PLEASE. i want my LIFE back."

the Lake, as usual, gave no indication that she'd heard me.

after awhile, i got my sensibilities together and drove home to a silent house.

**

six months later, i was sitting in a coffeeshop. it was halloween, and i'd read tarot cards all afternoon and sat enjoying the acoustic guitarist whose music entertained the small crowd. i was happy, i had my books and my mocha, i'd been doing *exactly* what i wanted.

for the entire day.

that day- the time, the books, the coffee, the readings, the chats, the hanging out..somehow wouldn't have happened, had i still been with bill. i was reminded of my prayer to the Lake, six months ago.

i'd said "my life." i'd meant, what had become "OUR life."

my prayer had, indeed, been answered. i HAD gotten my wish- MY life, my own self-singular, quirky, beloved existence, had been restored to me, by me.

i had prayed "i want my life back."

my prayer was answered.

and i've been reclaiming my life, enjoying my life, and cherishing my life, ever since.
spiralflames: (vangogh)
"you've changed." bill said, on the day he left. "you used to be so loving. now you're a bitch with a chip on her shoulder."
**
well...your point? ;-)

i seem to have a problem with the type of man-humor that's generally known as "teasing." to me, teasing is verbal abuse after which the abusers laughs and says "just kidding!" if the object of the abuse shows offense, she receives "gee, i was just teasing" or "you don't have much of a sense of humor, do you?"

guys tease each other all the time- they punch each other, call each other names. somehow this is male bonding..wowser, they can dish it out AND take it!

i've never been good at that. once, at dinner with friends, bill said "pass the meat, please, that is, if you can stop talking long enough to do it?" everyone laughed...oh, that teaser! i was embarrassed and pissed...and didn't say more than one or two words for the rest of the evening. "god, what's wrong with you?" he sad after the guests had left. "i can't say a word to you, you're so over-sensitive, you have NO sense of humor!"

well, no, i guess i don't, when i'm the butt of the jokes. maybe i should have said, at that long-ago dinner, 'hey, no problem, amazing you can EAT when you should be all depressed about that IMPOTENCE problem of yours!"

but somehow..that would be seen as bitchy and inappropriate.

when men say inappropriate things, it's a "tease"
if a woman does the same? we're "bitches."
*
today online, an acquaintance i hadn't seen in over a year wandered into the chatroom. he greeted everyone, and sent me an instant message. "so, finding any male companionship these days?" (this is a man i've met a party, once, and had no more than casual conversation with.) "sure" i type back, trying to be that 'light-hearted' person that i can't quite pull off. 'can hardly get any serious writing done with all the men circling around.'

an hour later, i get another message from the same man. "so..must be doing that 'scholarly research,' huh?" i responded, "excuse me, but i haven't talked to you in over a year. is there something i've said to you that gives you a reason to grill me on my online usage?"

and of course, the response: "oh lighten up, i was Only Teasing."

well QUIT it.

teasing is NOT fun. it wasn't fun in 4th grade when you 'teased' me about being fat- it wasn't fun in junior high when you 'teased' me about spending all my time at the piano- it wasn't fun when you, bill, 'teased' me about talking too much, being too sensitive, and on and on and on.

do not insult me and then laugh, thinking everything's OK.

it sucked in 3rd grade, it sucks now.

and if that makes me a bitch with a chip on my shoulder? so mote it be.
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last sunday i played on the steinway i'll be performing on next spring. this was psychologically an odd run-through, Read more... )

fragility

Sep. 19th, 2004 03:55 am
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sleepless tonight.

doing what i quite often do when this happens- googling people i know.

in this way, i found out that my ex-partner, bill, died on july 18, 2004.

i don't know what to think. i don't know what to feel. i don't think i am sad, nor do i have some sense of 'asshole got what he deserved'..there's really nothing left. it's been 6 years. he'd been remarried to his newest wife for 3 years or so.

it's odd..i have a running background tape in my brain that plays anecdotes, thoughts of people who are gone, who never really leave me. just yesterday i asked myself, 'when will i get to the point where i don't think about bill at least once in every 24-hr period?' and i had to resign myself to the answer: probably never.

there was no fantasy or hope that he would 'see the error of his ways' and come back to me. it was something that we both needed at the time- he, to escape an ailing marriage, me because it was something i needed after a few Alexis Carrington years of falling in love with unavailable men. i wish i could say i didn't regret a minute of it. the lessons i learned were hard ones, and the residual feelings of mistrust for all men i still, unfortunately, harbor, are difficult to jettison.

i'm going to have to give myself a little time to think about this. he's buried here in minneapolis. i think i'll make a trip up there and talk to the old bastard- i've got about as much chance of an honest response from him now as i did when we were together.

sigh.
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reading back. i feel good about what i wrote. many details left out, of course, but the substance feels right and true and reasonably objective. i didn't just trash the billmeister, i often acknowledged the good moments (of which there were many) but i didn't run away from the bad ones.

an odd thought while re-reading, that a person might read this and think, what about YOU, nan, were you not responsible for ANY of this stress, is this another Typical Female shifting all the blame onto someone else?

and the fact: i don't believe that EVENTS make or destroy a relationship. the only thing that can truly destroy a relationship is: holding back. not being honest.

my failure was: i didn't ACT. i absorbed, i reflected, but i didn't draw the line in the sand, and say THIS i will accept, but not this. THIS needs to happen for my- our- happiness.

i somehow thought i needed to be accepting.

i turned into a doormat.

this is not who i am.

and for that i will always be grateful to this clueless man.

i also learned something about myself. i always saw myself as a truly brilliant judge of character. why could i not TELL he was lying when he said his wife die of cancer? why could i not TELL he was still married?

the fact was: he wasn't giving out signals because HE BELIEVED THE LIES HE TOLD. he's a pathological liar. when he was weeping in my arms saying he couldn't lose me because he'd seen his wife die by inches? was he thinking, wow, THIS'll really work to bag this idiot? nope..he was believing his own story. he believed what he said, thought he was doing what he needed to do, didn't realize he needed to establish his own life post-divorce. he'd always had a strong woman in his life- his mother, his wife- and it seemed logical to continue that pattern. he helped me out when i needed help. i wouldn't be living in my lovely little house without him, because it wouldn't have occured to me to break out an interior wall to bring my Steinway into the house.

when push comes to shove, as it often does, we all need to learn to live with our choices, or our lack of choices. i would not be the person i am now without those three years i spent with bill.

but i need to truly take into my Heart the story of the celebate buddhist monks meeting the woman on the shore...one walked on, the other picked up the woman and carried her across the river. the first monk said, "why did you touch that woman? you know that is against our vows." the other monk responds, "i put her down when we reached the shore. YOU are still carrying her."
**
i don't regret knowing bill. but, like i said before i started this chronicle, it's time i stopped carrying him, since we long ago reached the opposite shore.

now that for this first time in over 3 years my hands are empty, i can open them, flex their muscles..and perhaps reach them out again. to my Piano. to you. to me. to touch and be touched, hug and be hugged, not to clench and grasp but to feather and tease and texture.

life is good.
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fast forward to the next fall, close to halloween. 2 friends of mine, a married couple, invite me to a party. i hate parties. "you need to get out, please come, it'll be great food and amazing people-watching, we can leave if you're uncomfortable.'

all right. on the way there, i consider saying, "now when we walk into this house and BILL is there, i want to leave immediately." i don't say it, of course. there are 2.5 million people in the twin cities metro area. quit being so paranoid.

we walk into the host's apartment.

on the couch sits bill.

i have just walked into the home he shares with his new lover.

go figure.

i get the satisfaction of watching his face go gray with surprise. i walk into another room, start chatting. find out that he moved in with her immediately. she was one of the recurring names on my Caller I.D. he'd had a heart attack two weeks after leaving my house.

6 months later, i run into her online. i've heard through friends in the community that she's dumped him: i want gossip. she spews forth, says things i couldn't think much less write or say. she is merciless. and she and her new lover had moved bill and his stuff..back to deb's, the poor sap who'd been with him a thousand years ago when he had first invited me to become part of a triad.
**

around this time, i got a call from my friend michael in california. (yes, of our MB and K fame) he'd recently lost his wife. we talked for a bit about beth, i offered heartfelt condolences. he asked about bill. i gave a capsule summary. there was silence.

"nan."

silence.

"you SETTLED."

silence.

"don't you EVER do that again."
**************************************************
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'well, if you're kicking me out...'

i refused to rise to that bait, for him to be able to tell my replacement that yet another bitch had booted him out of his house.'you do what you need to do.'

'you've changed.' he said. 'you used to be so loving. now you're a bitch with a chip on your shoulder.' he went into our bedroom and started pulling things off hangers.

'there's no reason for you to leave right now.' i said. 'take some time, let's talk about this.'

'the time for talking is over.' he said. 'but can i borrow the sunday paper, so i can look for an apartment?' i said nothing, knowing full well he had neither the money to rent a place and put down the deposit, no furniture, no linens. he left with what he came with- the clothes on his back.

it was 2 or 3 days before i told my parents that bill had left. 'where's your hubby?' my dad asked good-naturedly when i appeared at their home, bill-less. i screwed up my courage. 'dad, bill and i aren't together any more, but i'm fine and everything will be All Right.'

'i'm sure it's a long and sad story.' my dad, the stoic, said. 'and i don't want to hear about it.'
**************************************************
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we came home.

his quitting smoking lasted two weeks.

i actually had it out with him..not only did he not care about HIS life or MY life, he obviously cared about his smoking more than he cared about our relationship.

i, he said, was "putting conditions on our love."

i said, not true. had he been honest in the FIRST PLACE- married, sick, broke, a smoker..there is no way in hell we would have gotten that far.

that summer, the quality of our arguments changed. his words began sounding hollow. he looked at me differently. i tried to be friendly and acquiescent, tried to answer his questions and not feel always judged when they were asked. we'd usually be All Right during the week...we barely saw one another due to his working nights. we spent weekends together and usually ended up looking forward to him going back to work on sunday nights.

i could tell his focus was changing. there was a certain look in his eyes, a certain set to his jaw, a certain pursing of the lips, which told me that my happiness was no longer foremost in his mind. sex got to be work. it happened less.

that summer, he asked me if i wanted to go to the state fair. i said..no, not really. he said he'd go alone. this was fine with me. he didn't get home until almost midnight. he'd run into some old 'high school friends' and had ended up at one of their homes, and spent the evening 'playing bridge.' he decided he was going to 'play bridge' once a week. i banished the urge to follow him, to see where he went.

a few names i didn't know started to show up on the caller I.D.

i called him at work. he wasn't there. he'd had to take an injured colleague to the hospital. he didn't get back to work that night.

one night, i went out for dinner with my parents. i got home..he was sitting out back, smoking. "i'll be gone for 3 days" he said. the father of a friend had died, and he wanted bill to drive him home to north dakota. the friend would fly him back. no, he didn't need a ride back from the airport and no, i'd never met this friend who somehow couldn't get his own round-trip ticket but who could afford to fly bill home first class.

i couldn't help displaying my annoyance at this lame story. i rolled my eyes. "oh please bill, can't you do better than that?"

it was out in the open.
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it was immediately stressful. i'd let him arrange the details of the trip, since he was always telling me i was 'too controlling' and 'wouldn't let him take care of me.' of course, he booked us in the wrong hotel in new york city (down by the WTC rather than up in the theater district like we'd wanted). he found a cheap flight to new york-with three stopovers. our two hour flight became a seven hour ordeal. he rented the car..but we'd have to take a two-hour greyhound ride to GET to it, since it was cheaper to rent a car out of scranton, PA than from the airport in new york.

sigh.

he was trying to quit smoking for the first time in 40 years. he was moody, jumpy, volatile, quick to anger. lovely. we took the bus to manhattan, the greyhound to scranton, drove 200 miles to vermont, arriving at 2 AM. we'd been traveling since 5 Am the previous morning. i was to be teaching by 8 AM the following morning.

vermont was a wonderful experience for me. i was at my best, working with adults for whom piano was a passion but not a profession. i would teach all day. after dinner, one of the faculty would give a concert or a lecture. i felt appreciated, supported, listened to, validated. i had more than an occasional fantasy about moving to vermont. bill spent the days visiting historical sites and touristing. he'd come over in the evenings for dinner and for the evening's lecture or recital. it's the first time he actually saw me in context as a musician, and perhaps the first time he realized who he was involved with.

for the saddest part of this story was, that while i was involved with bill, i didn't practice and i didn't write. the two things that were most central to my own life were totally eclipsed in my desire to accommodate this man into my life. if i played piano in our home, he either pouted (my free time was supposed to be 'our' time) or wanted to know if he could listen. i never was successful in explaining to him that my practice was not a concert performance- that it was work, it was in process, it wasn't something i cared to have someone watching or evaluating.

this, of course, made him pout. i was 'too secretive.' i 'shut him out of my life.' it was easier not to do it.

that night, however, in the parlor of the mansion in bennington, he saw me in animated, in-control, informed, fast-talking, Teacher mode, in front of a rapt audience of interested and amused strangers. one of the faculty, an israeli pianist, wanted to perform 4-hand music. one of the pieces she brought was the poulenc sonata, which i had performed many times. we almost literally set the air on fire with out performance. she didn't like me and wanted to out-play me. i resented that and decided not to submit. evidently, people talk about the "dueling pianists" until this day.

things were never the same between the two of us. he'd seen who i really was.

it scared him.
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it finally dawned upon me that i was Transition, whether he realized it or not. he needed somewhere to live while he worked out his finances and figured out where he was going to go next. legal papers started coming. she wanted the house. his boat. he had a good job, but one way or another, old debts and various other commitments took over half his paycheck. if he conceded to the Wife all she asked, he'd have no extra money whatsoever.

he never asked me for money. he always paid his way. but he literally wouldn't have a dime for anything extra. he'd brought all his baggage, told me none of it, and dropped it on my door.

the woman who'd always prided herself on logic and smart decisions was now right in the middle of a no-win situation with a man who was physically, psychologically and financially, in miserable shape. i began to think that in his current condition, he wouldn't last too much longer, at which time i'd still be young enough to move on. i kept thinking the Fates had brought this person into my life for a reason, and i had always been a person to honor my commitments. even then, it did not occur to me to boot him out.

i got an opportunity to teach at a music institute for adults in vermont. a woman who owned a lovely mansion in bennington ran a school which offered 10 day sessions for adult pianists to come there, practice, attend master classes and take lessons from a group of highly talented teachers. ::grin::. we started planning the trip, to new york to visit, to vermont for me to teach. he told me he'd quit smoking at that time.

the school year kicked in to motion. he worked, i taught, we didn't see one another too much. some times were good, on occasion we'd argue. i put most everything on hold, thinking that our relationship would change once he quit smoking. we'd be able to spend more time together. he wouldn't stink.

during this time, i was totally faithful to him. i didn't meet or pursue anyone from the computer, nor did i meet or pursue anyone from the phone line where i'd earlier had a personals ad. we'd talk at midnight, during his break from work. then i'd go to bed, and usually call in to Telepersonals to listen to voice ads..to be truthful, they helped me go to sleep. on a whim, i dialed up bill's old voice mail number.

he was online.

i started to realize that every night after he told me i was his life, his love, his only, he'd log on to telepersonals. i couldn't confront him...after all, *I* logged on to TP, and the only way i could know he was there was if i was there as well. and *I* wasn't looking for anyone...

clang. clang.

we had another lovely christmas. my entire family for dinner, again, happy times, much food. i loved this aspect of our relationship.

spring came. we headed for the East Coast.
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i sat for awhile, phone in hand, wondering what i should do. there was silence in the living room. finally i walked out, said "i keep thinking you'll say something to make this go away, but you can't, can you?"

the tears started. he hadn't wanted to hurt me, he knew what i'd been through with the other married men, and besides, he hadn't thought he was going to get So Involved with me...on and on into the night. ::clang clang::

i did not ask him to leave.

silly.

i knew i could never trust him again. he tried to reassure me, saying 'i am a one-woman man, as long as i'm happy.' it took me awhile to realize that he effectively removed any responsibility from his own shoulders. it had been the Wife's fault that he'd left his marriage, and when/if he left me, it would be MY fault too.

i kept thinking these were challenges everyone experiences, tried to be forgiving. quit listening to my own warning voices.

throughout the year we lived in my apartment, something started as a problem and escalated to a Serious Issue: his smoking. when we first met, he never smoked at deb's. when he started visiting me once a week, he asked if he could smoke. i said all right, thinking it was only once a week and i'd have a whole week to air out the apartment. (i am a militant non-smoker.) i'd wimped out (yet again) when he moved in with me.

that summer, we moved into a lovely little house which had been in my family for 70 years. i finally screwed up my courage and said i couldn't see the little house being filled with smoke. he said no problem, he'd smoke on the porch or outside.

it was the beginning of our separation. he began spending more and more time outside- i'd not realized that, left to his own devices, he was a totally addicted chain smoker. he'd sit outside, read, make a half-assed pass at gardening, smoke. i'm not an outdoorsy type..my ideal saturday afternoon is to be curled up in a chair with a book, a cup of tea and faure' on the stereo. when he was inside with me, i could tell he was counting minutes until his next smoke. when i was outside with him, he could tell i was uncomfortable and looking around for bugs.

the summer was rough. we both got sick. he, who had health insurance from his job, went to the doctor, got meds and was better in 48 hours. i, who did not have health insurance, was sick for 10 weeks. my car was having problems, i was sick and crabby. i was unused to having someone home waiting to grill me like a cheese sandwich every time i came in the door. friendly questions began feeling like interrogations. 'how'd teaching go? who'd you see? where'd you go for dinner? how was the traffic?' i tried to make him understand i needed a little down time alone before being social. he didn't understand it. it offended him. he became the wounded party.

i was making major adjustments. he'd lived with a wife and kids his entire life. i had lived alone, by choice, MY entire life. my fantasy had always been, the person of my choice, in the apartment next door. he'd always had a wife to wash his socks and clean up the dishes. i began to be resentful of his dirty clothes on the floor and the unwashed dishes in the sink. i began to think of having this person in my house as another full-time job.

yet there were sweet moments. we had lovely, long conversations. he made lovely dinners, bought me presents, called me from work with loving greetings. we had my entire family for dinner often, and my parents adored his good nature and his stories.

sex was good, although not at the level or intensity i'd hoped for. his serious health problems became apparent- he had heart problems, lung problems, erection problems. he had undiagnosed sleep apnea and had already had an angioplasty. and yet he smoked. his insurances docs came in the mail. he'd left them on the kitchen table. in the space for 'person to notify in case of emergency', he'd listed...

his wife.
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i quit thinking of anything but our relationship. we spent a lovely summer together. he was gracious and romantic..i was going through hell with a landlord and he helped me through it. i had someone who'd take care of me.

one afternoon that fall, a knock at my door. it was bill. he had an unreadable, shell-shocked expression on his face..and his arms were full of clothes. he'd moved out from his house, here he was, would i take him in.

clang. clang.

i said all right. we began our life together. i was amazed by the entire phenomenon..a warm man in my bed, someone to share expenses, someone to ask what time i would be home, someone who had dinner waiting.

one morning, the phone rang. a single sentence. "stay away from my husband, you bitch." i confronted bill. was he married? of course he wasn't. the wife had died from cancer, remember?

clang. clang.

we spent a lovely christmas together..turkeys cooking, family for dinner. i felt Part of a Couple. it felt good.

fast forward to sometime that spring. the phone again. it was the scott county sheriff speaking. could he please speak to bill? what's your business, please? i asked, always the concerned paramour. he'd like to arrange a time with bill so that his divorce papers might be delivered to him.

the wife of 32 years was alive, well-fed and living 50 miles from here. he'd walked out of his family's home to come to me.

i couldn't even respond. had he told me he was married? i would have said, great, good-bye. no interest in married men who are lying to their spouses. getting a divorce? great. get an apartment, wait a year, and then give me a call.

so the man i'd been living with for over a year...was married. he'd walked out on his wife to come to me when she could no longer deal with the fact of his having another (another!) affair.
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during the rest of that year, he and i became closer. once, as he drifted off to sleep, he whispered 'i love you.' we started talking about a deb-less future. and i started feeling dishonest, that my relationship with bill had turned a new corner and she was no longer along for that part of the ride. i started making excuses to miss our saturday afternoons 'together' and bill began to visit me at my house. we got closer. i was uncomfortable with him not being honest to deb, but i figured that was really his business, and as yet i had no intention of becoming an exclusive relationship with him.

all year, the three of us had been planning a trip to my favorite place on lake superior, halcyon harbor. we'd made the reservations months in advance. i got more and more uncomfortable..i didn't want to fool around up there, bill and i were close. he decided he was going to tell her..as soon as we got home from the weekend.

the weekend was a disaster. i was jangly, deb was oblivious, she was determined to Play House..cooking, cleaning, caring for.. her man. i felt like shit. finally i took a walk and decided i was going to leave. it was insane that we were there and deb was making us dinner. bill found me out on the beach, and we talked. he ended up in tears, said it was obvious i was upset..that he loved me, couldn't leave me, and would die if i left him. he'd watched his wife die by inches, he said, when she'd recently died from cancer. i'd never had a man sob in my arms like that.

i forgave him. meanwhile, back at the cabin, deb had discovered the Akvavit. she was drunk when we got back- wondering where we'd been up to. she lit into bill, telling him he was a liar and a cheat. he was angry. later, she pulled the "i had no idea what i was saying." scam. neither of us believed her.

we went home. bill went to her house, told her it was over. to this day, she thinks he dumped her because of what she said at the lake, NOT because he and i had fallen in love and he wanted to be with me exclusively.

clang. clang.
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so i showed up at deb's house. i'm not going to go second-by-second, here, but rather fast-forward to the important things, frankly focusing on what SHOULD have been warning bells. loud. clanging. in different keys.

it was apparent from the get-go that deb was truly in love with this great bear of a man. and it was just as apparent that he did not feel the same toward her. it was obvious that i was being brought in to diffuse the energy between them and to try to make her not so clingy.

i should have backed out of the door, got in my car and got home. instead, i decided to stay.

i started hanging out with deb..my Fixer persona was all over this woman, and i decided to try to gently let her know that bill was NOT going to be her forever-love, much less, her husband. the 3 of us would get together on saturday afternoons. she'd talk without stopping, he'd listen (since nobody had a choice in that matter) and i would sort of casually observe the situation. he kept saying we were a Triad, that it was "one for all, all for one." it seemed he was getting used to me being around. their relationship seemed to be almost more friend or family than sensual. i kept waiting for something major to happen in that respect. we all seemed uncomfortable. i was disappointed.

bill and i would talk during the week during his breaks at work. he wanted me to become friends with deb, who needed friends badly.

i finally told him i wasn't paid enough to be a counselor, and if he had Issues with her, that was up to him. i also started feeling intrusive- they'd been together in this odd weekend deal for years, and suddenly a new person is invited in? i decided we needed to spend Quality Time alone- he and i, he and she. this started happening. he seemed to like me, we became lovers. he was an amazing hugger, which i loved.
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when i first met bill, he was already dating someone else. he was widowed (i asked him right away..no more falling in love with married men for me), lived about 50 miles south of me, worked here in the cities. he was actually looking, he said, for a 3rd person to compliment his polyamorous relationship.

i was coming off my 4th and final relationship with LDMMWP..Long Distance Married Men With Problems. i wanted something local, something fun, something safe, something that wouldn't turn into another heart-rending, soul-stripping disaster that would end up once again with the phone not ringing and the list of emails not containing the one name i'd been looking for. i needed to re-connect to my own day-to-day life, to get some serious SLEEP, and to see what was available in my own area code.

bill sounded strong, sane, stable. he wasn't looking for a long-term thing, seemed straight-forward about what he expected, seemed unimpressed by my computer-generated stories. he was experienced and older than me by 20 years.

we met for coffee. hmm, i thought, this could be fun. perhaps it was possible that i could, with bill and his friend, find a middle-ground somewhere, something in between the meaningless one-night jongian "zipless fuck" (which i never looked for and, thankfully, didn't have experience with) and the series of compu-generated relationships that started with 14-hour profound phone-conversations that left me dehydrated, both physically and psychologically and ended up with me sitting home waiting for that phone to ring. i was looking for some fun, some fooling around, some friendship, with logical grown-ups who had their own lives and weren't looking to take over mine.

the three of us decided to meet. we'd get together over at deb's for lunch. all week i was nervous as a cat..what was i DOING here, this is SO not LIKE me...on the other hand, after talking to deb on the phone and finding her to be pleasant, talkative, employed and easy to spend time with, thinking..if i wimp out here, i will probably regret this for the rest of my life.

in the evenings, i'd fantasize. in the clear light of day, i'd shake my head and wonder if i should go into counselling for some kind of sexual obsession. (i think society is JUST starting to perhaps entertain the notion that a MALE who is sexual is just 'healthy' and 'normal' while a FEMALE expressing the same..is somehow warped. i'll never believe in Equality of the Sexes until someone invents a female equivalent to the word 'stud' or a male equivalent to the word 'slut'.)

so i decided to go for it. after all, it was just lunch. these two had been dating for 2 years, and it was obvious that she was living and healthy, so the possibility of discovering bodies buried in the basement was very small. i said i'd be there at 2.

(to be continued)
spiralflames: (Default)
today..i think i finally, for the first time, TRULY...quit carrying my Ex around.

and i think i'll start writing a bit about our relationship, it'd be good therapy.

today, i was at dunn brothers, my favorite coffee place, sitting at the wooden table next to the 3 stain glass windows. i was writing in my paper-and-ink journal, chatting about various things..teaching, my dad, and NewMan. i was reminding myself that i would be All Right no matter how it went with NewMan, that while i'd LIKE a man in my life, i wasn't desperate..and talked about the "six hour rule"..which states that nobody of the Male Persuasion should be in my house more than 6 hours.

watch a movie and have dinner? 6 hrs. fool around? 6 hrs (and leave before morning)...whatever you need to do can be done in 6 hrs or less..any more just gives you pain and laundry.

suddenly, i totally flipped attitude- i'd been talking, joking, about my relationship with bill- which has been over for THREE YEARS now. he'd e-mailed me (this man is the epitome of cluelessness) to ask if i knew of a listening for college jobs, his new wife is finishing up her PhD and will be applying.

i wrote a 3 line "sorry, no info, have a nice day" return email, opened the journal, wrote other things, and then suddenly just started spewing invective. THREE PAGES of crude insults i've never SAID, much less WRITTEN..of course, he'd promised to support ME through MY PhD, i didn't deserve his lies, yadda yadda...i screamed, i bitched, i called him every name in the book...suddenly i stopped, put down my pen, and closed the book.

It Was Finished.

the light filtered a little brighter through the stained glass and i thought, you know what? I Don't Care any more. i really don't care. my life and future are my own and in front of me and i will no longer carry him with me, like the Unseen Guest At Every Table, into every interaction i have with any male on the planet. he's not worth it. i was hurt, he's a jerk..so what, i lived. and any more time i spend carrying him on my back causes me to unfairly judge every other male on the planet- which is awful-...and hey, he's a big guy. i can put him down, plop, NOW, and i am lighter, i can see better, i can breathe again.

NewMan...or anyone else...didn't stand a CHANCE with me carrying that big oaf around with me.

freedom!
spiralflames: (Default)
a few years ago, when i was miserable and ending it with bill, i drove to lake superior and sat in the wind, looking out to the infinity of Sea, and cried, and prayed, "give me my life back."

now i don't pray often...or, more accurately, i don't often pray directly in words.

what i meant was, i wanted my life with bill back..us, together, happy.
**
a couple years later, one morning, i was sitting in my favorite coffee place, which is a re-habbed historical mansion, surrounded by books and papers, eating a 7-layer bar and sipping on an indulgent double-mocha. i'd spent the morning sleeping in and practicing, and was sorting out my thoughts before teaching. looking through a stained-glass window, i finally realized my prayer had been answered...

i HAD my life back.

MY life. the one i loved before that troubled spook had moved in with me.

amazing how answers happen.
spiralflames: (Default)
well, i've had this journal for awhile now and proved to myself that i don't have to bend my own ear (much less anyone else's) by bitching about my Ex. in fact..3 years later (can't believe how fast time really does proceed)there are long swatches of time where i truly don't think of him at all, except anecdotally.

lately, though, he's been in my face- he's started showing up online, on AOL, and haunting chatrooms. his current aol profile says he's divorced and living in minneapolis. (he is very married and living in DETROIT with the new but clueless wife.)

i am fascinated with the phenomenon of the pathological liar.

after our relationship had self-combusted, i bashed myself for awhile. i'd always prided myself on my own awareness- of self AND of others. i can usually sniff out a bullshitter, even online, after a few conversational exchanges. how come i couldn't do this with bill? every time he'd come back with the story (usually delivered with tears, loathing and 'i will love you forevers') i would believe him.

some of that came from logic..why would someone his age BOTHER to construct entire universes of bullshit? why not just be honest, stay or go, love or not, but do it because you want to and are taking responsibilities for your actions?

i finally realized that the reason i couldn't bust him was..that when he was in the middle of them, he ACTUALLY BELIEVED his lies. when he screamed at me (2 weeks before he left) "IF THERE IS ONE THING I COULD GET THROUGH TO YOU, IT WOULD BE THAT I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!" i thought, OK, let's work it out. i couldn't sense the insincerity in his words because...at the time HE actually believed them too. no disjunct in the fact that he was currently training in my replacement, and that he moved directly from my house into hers.

(she later got him back by keeping the diamond ring he gave her and $14K that he'd hidden in her savings account to keep it from the IRS) (i can't be a TOTAL jerk, but i sure love it when someone else has the courage.)

i prize in myself that i can never truly be absolutely cynical. i need to, however, develop a filter that will weed out the pathological liar.

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