Archive | August, 2012

Feeling My Feelings

30 Aug

Hurricane Isabel, as seen from the International Space Station – Or my swirling feelings

I know things have been quiet on my blog so far this week.  One of the reasons is that I have been trying to process all of my feelings.  Monday I was virtually useless all day.  I couldn’t get my mind off of my dog’s vet appointment the next day.  I don’t even remember one single detail from Monday.  Nothing.  I know I got up and went to work.  I can’t remember if I ate or, if I did, what I ate.  I have no idea what clothes I wore.  I can’t remember what I did that evening.  Mr. Mess was at school all day from 7 am to about 10:30 pm, so I didn’t even get to talk to him beyond a few quick check-ins.  I went through the entire day on autopilot, zoned out.

When Tuesday morning finally rolled along, I was glad to get the ophthalmologist visit taken care of.  I had to lead a conference call for work that morning on the way to the vet.  As I was getting Buddy together, loading the car, juggling my phone on speaker, a leash and my purse, driving to the vet, and trying to facilitate the call, I realized it was too much.  I was going to go back to work after the appointment, even if he had to get surgery, then come pick him up later.  Somewhere during that call I decided that was not going to happen.  I could not handle it emotionally, in the least.

The appointment was depressingly short.  The actual ophthalmologist (the other person I saw was just filling in for him during vacation), was very personable, knowledgeable, and gentle with Buddy.  Unfortunately, when he took the pressure in his eye it was still quite elevated.  A quick look inside at the optical nerve verified what he suspected – there really was no hope for Buddy’s left eye.  I had a sinking feeling all week that would be the case, so I should have been prepared.  I didn’t cry or get upset or even react much at all; I was just numb.  He said that they were ready to do the procedure immediately to stop fluid production in that eye, which would also lead to permanent vision loss.  While they had him under, the vet said he would confirm the diagnosis of glaucoma and check the other eye for a malformation.  With that, he walked out, one of the ladies from the front desk walked in, and I watched them take Buddy away to the back.

My Mom and I had already decided to have lunch together, so I gave her a call as I was walking out, even though it was only 9:30 am.  I told her what was going on, and she suggested that I come by her house right then.  Grateful for something to distract myself with, I headed her way.  Our original plan was to go shoe shopping, check out some clearance sales, and have lunch together – a few hours of mindless fun.  When I got there we started comparing recent purchases, and I talked her into keeping some really cute, cheap shoes that she had purchased the week before.  We talked about what kind of outfits would go with them, how sexy my step-Dad thought the red pair was, and other completely shallow stuff that was as far away from the anxiety-producing thoughts of my dog going under the knife as possible.

My Mom is great.  She can read me.  She understands all of the emotions I have bubbling just under the surface.  She offered her support and some calm reassurance.  She played to my rational side, and treated this like what it was – a minor procedure necessary to help Buddy be comfortable and more healthy.  She gave me a few minutes to call work and let them know I wasn’t coming in, then we moved right along with the business of going shopping in each other’s closets.

A few days before we were on the phone talking about random things, which my Mom is an expert at (we can literally have a conversation that lasts hours and isn’t really about anything in particular).  She told me that she has been looking for a pair of flat boots to wear to college football games.  Coincidentally, I had a pair that I purchased 2 years ago or so when I sprained my ankle.  They were cute, but I found that I really never wore them.  Those boots, along with light brown leather cowboy boots that were slightly too narrow for me and a few other adorable shoes that always seemed to be sitting in the back of my closet unworn went into a bag for my Mom.  Tuesday I unloaded that bag, and she tried on the various shoes.  She loved them all.  That meant I didn’t have to worry about donating them or listing them on eBay.  It’s great to have the same foot size as your Mom!

We then went upstairs where it was my turn to shop.  My Mom has been on the South Beach diet for the past 3 years or so (usually on phase 3, but sometimes going back to the earlier ones for a weight-loss boost).  She is about 2 sizes smaller than I am now, but there was a time she was in the same transition phase as me.  After losing approximately 25 pounds in the past 2 months, I also lost about 2 pants sizes.  That meant I could fit into some of the nice clothes that are too big for her and have been just taking up space.  I played dress-up there in my Mom’s big walk-in closet and found that her old clothes look amazing on me.  My ass is killer!  I ended up going home with 4 new-to-me pairs of pants, 3 sweaters, 2 cardigans, a fly-away jacket, a necklace, and an amazing pair of khaki colored boots.  Score!

We also went to lunch at an amazing little restaurant run by a well-known chef.  Right as we were completing our lunch order I got a call from the vet.  Buddy had come our of surgery well, was just now coming around from the anesthesia, and would be ready for pick-up in about an hour.  I fought my natural urge to jump out of the booth and go speeding over to get him.  Instead, we had a nice lunch followed by a trip to Sally’s next door where I picked up two new hair accessories and admired pretty-colored nail polish.

I had ridden with my Mom to lunch, so we returned to her house where I gathered up my bags of clothing.  After a quick pit-stop, I found a special treat for Buddy waiting next to my purse on the table.  If I weren’t so numb I probably would have cried.  I gave my Mom a hug, and thanked her for lunch and the great, free shopping trip, then headed out.

When I arrived to pick up Buddy they gave me some medicine to give him over the next few days and a piece of paper that said (in part):

Diagnoses Left Eye: Primary Glaucoma, chronic

Diagnoses Right Eye:  Narrow angle

Gonioscopic examination of the right eye indicated a significant risk of glaucoma

There it was in black and white.  I knew it, in my head.  I thought I had accepted it.  Buddy wasn’t making it a big deal.  So why did that hurt so bad?  The vet explained there was really nothing I could have done.  He said that usually by the time the damage is noticeable it is usually too late to do anything.  He said that it was a good thing that he is 9 years old when it first presented, not 2.  He also said that we now are ahead of it in the other eye.  We have medication to delay its progress.  We have an emergency plan and medicine in case his other eye acts up.  We are really in a much better place with Buddy’s health this week than last week or even the week before.

I guess it just made me have to recognize the fact that Buddy will not live forever.  I knew that, too.  I’m not a moron.  I am just very connected to him.  My husband has made fun of his sister for saying she would sleep in a tent before she got rid of her dogs, but I get it.  He is my family.  His whole body wiggles with joy when he sees me.  He snuggles up to me in the most adorable way.  He has been there for me through lots of tears, and he always makes me feel better.  When I got him home he was still groggy from the anesthesia, and he fell asleep on my lap.  He is so sweet and soft and wonderful.  I know he isn’t mourning the loss of his left eye, but I am.  I am mourning the fact that he is getting old and may die sometime sooner than I am willing to admit to myself.  He may have 5 years left, maybe more.  It doesn’t seem like enough.  Once again, I am faced with something I cannot control, and I do NOT like it.  Not one little bit.

Yesterday I had a long day.  I left my house at 5:30 am and didn’t get back until after 8:30 pm.  I had a training/ roadshow for work yesterday that was held 3 hours away, then had to play IT person when I got back because internet had been down most of the day and no one knew how to fix it.  I didn’t have a chance to think much at all.  The last week I have also been pushing my feelings down with shopping.  That worked for a little while, and I am definitely more stylish and confident today because of it, but that high finally ended.  Today I am crashing.  I am finally feeling my feelings.  It feels crappy.

I know, I know…  It’s necessary.  We have to sit with bad feelings, give ourselves a chance to mourn for things that are lost, even if they are intangible.  I have to get better about that.  I need to stop avoiding my feelings.  Today they caught up with me, and I’m feeling down.  That’s okay, though.  Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter.  In the meantime, I haven’t forgotten about doing at least one thing for myself.  Today I took the time to write this blog.  I also wore a cute new pair of pants, one of the flirty cardigans from my Mom, a teal, ruffled, lace shirt that I haven’t worn in ages, and these fantastic new shoes.

I hope everyone else is having a good Thursday.  If you have some good news, a funny story, or are having an especially great week so far, I would love to hear about it.  I need a little sunshine today.

Being Open About Sex

29 Aug

I wanted to reblog this topic today because it is still something we are dealing with, and a friend of mine is going through something similar.  Sex addicts trying to recover deal with a lot of fear around sex.  Spouses also deal with the uncertainty of not feeling wanted by the addict.  It can be a tricky time, and communication is key!

Being a Beautiful Mess

I have to warn you now, this topic is personal.  I have grappled a bit with if I should post it, but I decided to take my own advice from my last post and be honest.  I know this will probably make my husband uncomfortable, so I apologize in advance to Mr. Mess.  I just feel like I need to get this out there and talk about it so maybe someone else in a similar situation won’t feel like they are all alone.

I have heard from lots of people about their hysterical bonding after DDay.  That never happened for us.  We maybe had a slight upswing in our sex life a few months in, but nothing drastic or immediate.  Now things are back down to pre-DDay levels which is around 1-2 times per week if I’m super lucky.

I’m a very sexual woman.  I have always heard that men are…

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Fashion Friday

24 Aug

English: Ann Taylor Loft's sign in Hudson, Ohio

Today I’m feeling super, extra-special cute, so I thought I would share my Friday fashion.  Fridays are normally casual in our office, but I have to attend a meeting at our corporate office today.  So I decided to forgo the jeans and opt for a cool, summery look with white capri pants.  Last night I went shopping at Macy’s to take advantage of some great sales and clearance deals they have going on now (thanks Mom for the heads-up!).

I ended up purchasing a really great pair of semi-flats at a really great price (I love 75% off!).  As I was walking away with my new shoes I realized that I still have part of a Macy’s gift card left from earlier in the year.  I pulled it out and saw that I had written on the back that it still had $12 left.  Rather than go back and try to change my payment method for the shoes, I set off to see if they had any cute tops.

Instead I ended up finding two adorable flyaway cardigans.  They were marked at $20 (50% off the original price), but there was a third with a lower price listed.  The ones I liked were white and pink respectively.  The cheaper one was green.  I brought all three up to the cashier and asked her to check on the prices for me.  She told me that the green one was ringing up at $7 and the other two at $14.  She said that she would match the lower price for all of them (yay!).  I told her to ring me up for the white and pink, then pulled out my Macy’s gift card.  Apparently, just having a Macy’s card or gift card entitled me to another 20% off, so I ended up paying about $11 for both of them!  Talk about a deal.  🙂  I now have an entire $0.38 left on my gift card for later.  I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find something that will cover completely, despite how good of a deal shopper I am.

I am wearing the pink one today, which has 3/4 length sleeves with rouching up the arms.  I have also thrown on a long necklace that I picked up at the outlet mall and a beautiful teal silk top from Ann Taylor.  I added some blue topaz studs, a beautiful blue topaz ring that I purchased in Jamaica, and my new Movado Metio watch, which was a treat to myself during my vacation staycation.

So here are a few of the pieces that make up my ensemble today:

White Capris

New shiny brown shoes

Top, cardigan and necklace. I know you can’t see the shirt very well, but I couldn’t find a picture online and self portraits aren’t my forte.

Shiny new Movado watch (obviously this isn’t MY watch, but I couldn’t get my camera to focus correctly to get a good shot).

London Blue Topaz earrings

So, what do you think?  Too much or just right?

Milestone: 100 Followers!!!

23 Aug

I had a different topic in my mind for today, but then I logged into WordPress and saw this.  I now have 100 followers!  I could jump up and down like a little kid right now.  I know that sounds petty and childish, but I am extremely excited.  I have been inching closer to 100 followers every day and trying not to pay attention.  The truth is, I can hardly believe that 100 people enjoy my writing enough to sign up to follow me.  Little ol’ me?!

The excitement is not quite as shallow and selfish as it probably seems at this moment.  I know 100 followers is probably measly to some people out there with thousands or even (gulp!) millions of followers.  I don’t think I will ever get there, and honestly, I don’t really want to.  That number, 100, is ideal: it is comfy, but also varied.  I get to know each and every one of you in some way.  The individuals that make up my 100 followers are so diverse, open, and amazing that I don’t know how it could get any better.  Even if I never get one more follower, I think I will be content.

The number 100 means a lot to me in so many different ways.  For one thing, I am a sucker for milestones.  I am the sappy chick who remembers every important date, writes long, heartfelt letters to people on special occasions, catalogs mementos from tender moments, meaningful cards, small notes, and great papers in a shoebox (multiple ones, actually), and celebrates every birthday that anyone close to me has like it’s the most important one ever or their last (and who knows, it could be).  This is one of those special little moments that I want to hold onto in my head and heart.

Seeing my blog achieve 100 followers seemed like an impossibility when I started.  I was actually shocked when I received my first one.  Now my followers have grown, and with each one I gain a little nugget of wisdom.  Each and every one of my 100 followers has also touched my heart in some way.  Some reached out to me with a comment, supportive or challenging.  Some have given me encouragement through a simple “Like.”  Others have poured out their own souls and laid things bare in their blogs that have profoundly changed me.  All of you open up your heart to me – someone you don’t know at all except through the words I write.  It is actually making me tear up right now (I told you I’m sappy).  You have all given me support, advice, confidence, strength and affirmation.  I found a community, a support system, and sometimes a lifeline through my blogging.  It is something I could never have imagined.

I wish that I had the time and space to thank all 100 of you individually.  There really is something I could say about each and every one of you – a post that was very meaningful to me, a comment that changed my day, a perfectly timed “Like” that brought the first smile of the day to my face, and so, so much wisdom.

That 100 is also a validation.  My entire life has been spent striving for excellence, pushing for that 100%.  I was never happy, even when I did achieve a score of 100 because there was always the next test, the next hurdle, the next way that I had to “prove” myself.  The woman writing this post is not the same woman who started this blog in April.  That woman didn’t know how to put herself first.  That woman was consumed by fear.  That woman was insecure, questioned her self-worth, felt hopeless, and overwhelmed – like the whole world was swallowing her up and there was nothing she could do to stop it.  That woman also lacked a lot of self-awareness that has developed since then.  She didn’t know that she couldn’t fix her husband’s sex addiction.  She didn’t know that she was enough.  She didn’t know that she was codependent and needed to change some things about herself in order to find serenity.  That woman would still be exactly the same if it weren’t for this blog and especially you, my followers.

I wish that I had the time and space to thank all of you individually.  I really do have something I could say about each and every one of you, even my newest follower – ditchthemarriage over at Young and Divorced.  I have been devouring your blog all day.  I love your positive outlook and the way you are taking a bad situation and turning around into something so empowering!  I, too, am “fumbling back toward fabulous one day at a time.”  I’m not there yet, but I am so much closer than I was when I started.

There are also some of you that are so special to me that I have to give at least a little shout-out.  Ben at My Ideal Woman is the first person who showed me that blogging could be a fun and rewarding experience.  I started reading his blog several months ago, was impressed, started commenting and checking out other bloggers, and finally decided to share my experience and add my voice and unique perspective to this blogging world called WordPress.  Another blogger who inspires me and who I have become very close to is Samantha Baker at Repairing Shattered Pieces.  She and I have met up – the one and only person I have ever met from the internet.  Thankfully, Samantha is not a crazy ax murderer.  She and I have shared a bottle of wine, chatted over dinner, tried to attend an S-Anon meeting together, and, most of all, supported each other through the ups and downs of life.  Her blog is raw and real, and she helps to remind me that it is okay to let my feeling side out sometimes.  Other blogs that I am constantly captivated by include Persuaded2Go for her spectacular introspection and bold writing, Eat My Scabs which is so well-written and fabulous that it makes me jealous, bRaving Bipolar for her searching, honest account of living with bipolar disorder, and so many other people who have welcomed me into their world.  Thank you all – every single one of my 100 followers!

Being a Sexual Woman

22 Aug

After finding that hilarious picture and posting it yesterday I realized that I don’t share a lot of that side of myself.  Sure, I talk about sex a lot in the context of my husband’s sex addiction, but I think I have allowed that cloud to affect my self-perception too much.  Just because my husband has a problem identifying healthy sexual behavior and controlling his urges to act out in inappropriate ways doesn’t mean I do.  Talking about sex as part of a fun, healthy relationship is not a bad thing, and neither is really enjoying loving, intimate sexual acts with my husband – even if they can get a little kinky sometimes.  😉

I’m not really sure how Mr. Mess would feel about me sharing things about our sex life, so I won’t really go into specifics about him.  I do, however, feel the need to talk about myself as a very sexual woman.  I probably am not “experienced” in the traditional sense of that word – at least when it comes to my quantity of sex partners.  In fact, I’ve only had 2.  Pick your jaw up off of the floor…  It is possible to be a 20-something in today’s society who hasn’t slept around a lot.

It’s not for lack of opportunities, but more from the fact that I want my sexual relationships to be with people I have a deep, meaningful connection with.  I’m not really a one night stand kinda girl.  I am also not interested in a relationship with everyone who is interested in me. I’ve had my share of men who were infatuated with me.  I even gave some of them a shot and dated a few times, thinking maybe once I got to know them better they would grow on me and maybe then I would feel sexually attracted.  That’s not really how things work, though.

Another reason I have had so few sexual partners is because I “paired off” very young – at only 15.  That relationship continued into my 20s.  7 years to be precise.  It was also with a woman.  I think I’ve posted that somewhere in here before, but it’s possible I haven’t.  I know that I have mentioned that my family is staunch, right wing Christian. We almost literally lived in church.  We went to Monday choir practice, Wednesday night service, Thursday music rehearsal (my Mom played the piano for the praise & worship), and BOTH services on Sunday because my Dad was an usher in addition to my Mom’s piano-playing, choir-directing duties.  Even as teenagers when we could drive we were required to attend all services “as a family.”

Given all of that, it should be pretty apparent that they were not open to the idea of their daughter being bisexual (or a lesbian, since at that time I wasn’t entirely sure myself).  They found out when I was 16.  I lived in Hell for the next 2 years.  I graduated right after my 17th birthday, but wasn’t allowed to move out.  That year was the worst of my entire life.  I moved out at 18 (the very day), and did my own thing for almost a year without speaking to them.  Eventually, they came around.  Don’t get me wrong, they always said I was “going to Hell.”  But they grew to accept and even like her.  She went on family trips with us, came to Christmas, they bought her birthday gifts, and the whole 9 yards.

Even though that relationship didn’t last, for reasons that are neither here nor there, I did explore my sexuality a lot during that time.  I enjoyed all sorts of sex, and we discovered things together.  We bought toys, used blindfolds, even tied each other up or used handcuffs sometimes.  We had passionate sex for a long time.  Then things started fading in the bedroom – what many in the community refer to as “lesbian bed death.”  I have always had a very high libido, but her – not so much.  Once things fizzled and eventually died, I had really come into my own sexually.  I was ready to explore.

As a young girl (because face it, that’s what I was at 15) I was somewhat frightened by the idea of a penis.  I had, of course, never been faced with one before and at that time couldn’t imagine ever wanting to be around “one of those.”  Experimenting, using toys, and yes, watching a little porn and Queer As Folk (which is basically gay porn wrapped up in a storyline, albeit a really great one IMO), I became much more comfortable with the idea.  Curious and eager even.  I realized more and more that I am truly bisexual – it is more about the entire package, who a person is on the inside, than what their outside “package” might be.

When I met my now husband and realized that spark was there, it was game on.  I, unfortunately, didn’t wait as long as I would have liked conceptually before jumping into bed.  We were sexual after our second date (the third time I had been out with him since I’m not counting the night we met as a date).  We had hours and hours of phone conversation by then, but still…  I have that slightly conservative core that comes out now and then, making me feel ashamed for giving away the goods so fast.  Oh well…  Although he is a sex addict, that didn’t seem to spill over into our dating life in a negative way at first (until 9 months to a year later with the porn and affair and all of that mess).  While dating, Mr. Mess was a gentleman.  In fact, in the inebriated, horny state I was in the night I met him I was ready to go at it right there in my car, parked in the middle of a city block.  He politely declined, talked some sense into me, and we parted company that night with the promise of a real date.  I guess I was special to him in the beginning…

The deep throating comment from yesterday’s post is not untrue.  I have realized that I really love giving oral sex.   It’s just a fact.  Giving another person pleasure, feeling that power and excitement, turns me on beyond belief.  I can actually orgasm just from making someone orgasm.  I get all tingly just thinking about it.  I’ve probably said far too much for my husband’s comfort level.  He is a very private person, and fairly easily embarrassed being open about this type of stuff, oddly enough.

Back to me.  I am a very sexual woman.  I would gladly have sex every day for the rest of my life.  In fact, that sounds marvelous.  As long as I can throw in a few marathon days here and there.  One orgasm is great, but multiple orgasms are ecstasy.  I love variety, and I’m certain I could ensure things never get boring.  For now, though, I am pacing myself.  I am giving my husband time to rediscover healthy sexuality and learn to control his addiction cycles.  I am being patient and biding my time for when my husband’s brain is reset and ready for all the sexy fun I have to offer.

I would probably deep throat it

21 Aug

Hilarious!  Saw this on another blog, and thought it was priceless.  I love a little Tuesday humor to lighten the mood.  😉

Monday Stealing

20 Aug

There’s a lot going on in my head today while, simultaneously, there is nothing going on at all.  Confusing?  Yeah, it is for me, too.  I don’t really have any one particular thing I’m thinking about (not enough to make a coherent blog post, anyway), but I have too much going on to really focus.  Sooo….  I’ve decided to do a fun survey from Sunday Stealing – on a Monday, as was my previous tradition.

Before I start with that, I have a quick update on Buddy (my cocker spaniel).  He definitely has glaucoma.  We visited the ophthalmologist today, who said that his intraocular pressure (IOP) is still elevated.  Normal is about 10.  His was 70 on Thursday and 45 today.  He gave me two more drops to add to his regimen of medicine, and we have another appointment in a week to check everything out again.  Right now he has limited to no vision in his left eye and his optic nerve is damaged, although the doctor said it “isn’t the worst [he’s] ever seen.”  Most likely Buddy will have to get a shot in his left eye to stop fluid production, which will also cause him to lose all sight in his left eye.  Right now our focus is mostly going to be on saving the right eye, unless the next week produces some sort of a miracle.

Now for the silly stuff…

1.  How long have you been blogging?
I actually had to go to my blog and scroll down to the archives to answer this.  I have been blogging since April of this year, more specifically the 9th.  Although it has only been 4 months, sometimes it seems like this is something I should have been doing my entire life.  Blogging really clears my mind and helps me to understand my own thoughts.

2.  Did you go to college?
Yep.  I didn’t do the traditional college-right-after-High-School thing, though.  Lots of people thought I should, and I had grades and SAT scores that had lots and lots of colleges trying to recruit me.  Instead, I decided to travel (more on that below).  I made that decision partially for a really, REALLY dumb reason (teenage “love), but I’m actually glad now that I delayed things.  It allowed me to buy a house, get a fairly good job, and start establishing myself as an independent person.

When I was ready to go to college about 4 or 5 years after high school graduation I still got a full scholarship.  That was thanks in part to my grades and testing but mostly due to my writing and world experience (the scholarship was based largely on the answer to an entrance question about why you want to go to college).  My essay focused on being my own person, figuring out what I want for myself, and going against the grain.  It also talked about my travels and why I felt it was a good time to focus on academics.  Their gamble on me paid off, and I graduated Summa Cum Laude 3 1/2 years later with degrees in Criminal Justice and History.  Too bad I’m not actually using those degrees on a daily basis…  except for the critical thought aspect, which I find to be the most important part.

3.  Where have you traveled?
I traveled a bit with my family growing up because we always took at least one big family vacation.  The one that took me through the most states was a trip from Virginia to Oklahoma and back again, all driven in a large wood-paneled van with no air conditioning.  In August.  With my Mom, Dad, brother and sister.  The whole thing must have taken around 3 weeks.  We traveled through different states on the way there and back, stopping along the way at places like the Kentucky Horse Park where I marveled at Man o’ War‘s statue (on the way there), and the Gateway Archin St. Louis (on the way back).  We also took a car trip up to Maine, where I stayed for the summer with friends of the family.

In High School I got to travel quite a bit with my chorus group.  We went to Branson, MO and Disney (in Florida), but our biggest trip was to London.  That was amazing, and sparked my interest in Europe and history.  After high school I used money I had saved while working during High School to fund a trip all around Europe.  I traveled to 13 countries – England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Monaco, and France.  That was the trip of a lifetime, and I saw and learned more things than I could ever describe.  Unfortunately, I had a film camera back then, so I will have to get some of my photos and scan them in to make them digital so I can share them with everyone. I have also gone to the Bahamas, Cancun, Grand Cayman Island, and Haiti.  Unfortunately, I have yet to visit Canada.

4.  Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
Rose from Two and a Half Men.  The actress is named Melanie Lynskey, but no one seems to know that.  I get mistaken for her quite a bit, actually.  I think she is very pretty and quite quirky on the show, which I like a lot, so I take it as a complement.  Also, Mr. Mess should be well-warned that I could have a little streak of crazy in me that might bring me to push a serial-cheating husband in front of a train.  😉

5.  What are your three biggest pet peeves?
 People who are late (so rude!), people who drive without their headlights on at night or in the rain (do you WANT to be hit?), and people with illogical opinions about… well… anything.

6.  What is your favorite movie?
Like potato chips, I can never choose just ONE favorite movie.  I have one for every mood.  Fried Green Tomatoes is probably the closest to my “one” movie.  It is perfect when I want to laugh, cry, or just enjoy a great story-line with wonderful acting.  There are so many fantastic lines.  My favorite of all time?

Cover of "Fried Green Tomatoes (Widescree...

[Evelyn is cut off in a parking lot]
Evelyn Couch: Hey! I was waiting for that spot!
Girl #1: Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster!
[Evelyn rear-ends the other car six times]
Girl #1: What are you *doing*?
Girl #2: Are you *crazy*?
Evelyn Couch: Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.

I also love 28 Days Later if I’m in the mood for something scary or with zombies, 40-Year-Old Virgin or Hitch if I want to snort my beverage through my nose from laughing, House of Glass and Fog or Crash if I’m contemplative or need a good sob, and several others that I could watch again and again.
7.  What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor.  Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Water, water, and more water.  I drink almost 90 ounces of water most days.  I don’t really drink any soda, no tea, absolutely no coffee (gross), and very little alcohol.  I occasionally enjoy a glass of good, sweet white wine.
8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Reading.  I rediscovered my love of reading this past weekend on my fishing trip.  Since then I have devoured about 5 books.  I also really enjoy sleeping in and watching Grey’s Anatomy.  I’m pretty boring when I’m doing “me time.”  Sometimes I might leave the house for a massage or pedicure, but relaxing me is almost always at home.
9. What is your biggest phobia?
I don’t really have anything that I would call a “phobia.”  I’m not too keen on the idea of burning to death, but I love fire.  Give me a good campfire and I can be mesmerized for hours, plus the smell of burning wood is one of my favorite scents of all time.  I suppose I’m just a study in contradictions.
10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past?
Tell me why I would want to do that….  Nothing really comes to mind immediately, but I do know my Dad used to embarrass me constantly.  He was always the one yelling at the top of his lungs at every softball game.  He also used to look around at the scenery so much while he was driving that we once got pulled by a cop on our way home from church because of how much he was swerving.  That is a funny memory now, but I was mortified back then.
11. What day would you love to relive again? Why?
That’s kinda hard.  There isn’t one particular day that stands out as the one day I would want to live again because it was so fantastic.  I guess I will have to pick a day that I made a mistake that I wish I could undo.  I am keeping the exact day and mistake to myself. 
12. If your life was turned into a movie… what actor would your best friend think should play you?
This is a strange one.  Who has ever had this conversation with a friend?  Also, what am I – a mind reader?
13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
File clerk, J.C. Penney associate, call center staff.
14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
I did just find this horribly grainy, teeny picture of me from a larger, scanned picture of our entire showchoir my freshman year of high school.  Take out your magnifying glass!
15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
On a trip around the world, duh!   Why limit yourself to one location when you can pick everywhere?
16. Where do you see your life 6 and 1/2 years from now?
That is a really random number of years from now…  Let’s see…  I will be one month past my 34th birthday.  I hope that I am happy, healthy, and in a fulfilling marriage with a recovering sex addict who is 8 years sober.  I also hope that I have finally gotten a chance to see Canada!
17. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?
I don’t want to stay one age forever.  I look forward to growing old, changing, maturing, and experiencing every part of life.

18. What 5 songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? (You can pick “Middle School”, “High School”, “College”, “Post College” or any format you like.)
I know I have at least 5 songs on my blog thus far.  Click the “Music” category to the right and pick a few.  They are all there because they are part of my life.

19. Romney picked Paul Ryan to run as his veep. Any thoughts?
I can’t wait until this election is over so people will finally talk about something else!

Bad News and Continued Birthday Celebrations

17 Aug

The photo above is my dog, Buddy.  He was previously introduced to you all in another post (My Adorable Cocker Spaniel).  That cute, pooped look on his face after a session of tennis ball chasing is a little like how I feel today.  Buddy’s left eye has been really red, and yesterday Mr. Mess took him to the vet.  Unfortunately, we discovered that he has increased intraocular pressure that is pressing on his blood vessels, causing them to be red and inflamed.  It is most likely due to glaucoma.  😦

I didn’t know a lot (okay, really anything) about glaucoma until yesterday.  Now I’m scared.  Glaucoma in dogs and humans is basically the same thing.  In fact, it even uses the same medicine (it felt funny filling a prescription for a dog at a people-pharmacy).  I discovered that glaucoma is caused by increased fluid pressure in the eye, and cocker spaniels are one of the breeds most likely to inherit glaucoma.  According to Wikipedia,

“Glaucoma has been called the ‘silent thief of sight’ because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when the disease is quite advanced.”

Great – now I feel even worse.  If we had somehow been able to catch it earlier, it probably wouldn’t be as bad as it is now.  The scariest part is that there really isn’t a cure.  Again from Wikipedia, “Once lost, vision cannot normally be recovered, so treatment is aimed at preventing further loss.”  The worst-case scenario is that he could lose vision and both of his eyes.  Although only one is affected right now, according to eHow and every other source on the internet:

“…glaucoma can affect one or both eyes, but if a dog has glaucoma in  one eye, the chances are high that the other eye will be affected as well.”

Read more:  Glaucoma in Dogs | eHow.com

I’m going to stop quoting things because I am getting agitated again.  I will just summarize the rest of what I learned last night.  Glaucoma is serious, and possibly the most complicated and expensive disease to treat in dogs.  That, again, is because there is no cure.  We can relieve some of the pressure with eye drops and an ointment, which we have to apply directly to his eyeball, twice per day each with at least 30 minutes in between.

We will be taking him to see a doggy opthamologist (who even knew those existed?) on Monday.  From what I have read, no matter what he will most likely need a surgery.  The type of surgery will depend on how far along things are.  They may be able to open up the drainage area for the fluid, called aqueous humor, to reduce the pressure.  They can also do an “endolaser cyclophotocoagulation” (ECPC) laser surgery if he has enough vision left.  I’m not going to go into the process, but it sounds painful and is definitely expensive.  Other options include removing part or all of his eye and replacing it with an artificial lens or eye.  If he got an artificial lens he still may keep some limited vision.

Buddy is the best pet I have owned in my entire life, and I’ve had quite a few.  I picked him out as a tiny puppy (he peed on my shirt) not long after renting my very first apartment, and have had him ever since.  He is 9 years old now.  He is so sweet, and very gentle.  He loves cuddling (and long walks on the beach LOL).  He actually could be a vegetarian.  He will eat any vegetable, and I mean ANY vegetable, even ones I don’t like.  He is also a bit of a digger (oh well), but mostly to go after the annoying voles in our backyard.  He has these huge paws and an adorable face, and he loves me sooo much.

I know that dogs don’t live forever and pure-breeds usually have health issues, but this kinda hit me out of left field.  He isn’t dying, and they say that dogs adapt very well to not being able to see.  I still wish I could have done something to prevent him from dealing with this.  Apparently glaucoma is very painful, and poor Buddy is probably having migraines.  You just can’t tell when dogs are in pain the same way you can with humans.  He is whining or anything, but he does keep rubbing his eye with his paw.  It makes me sad.

On the other hand, he is probably loving life right now.  He got special food:  wet food that we don’t usually give them, and even people-food (chicken), which he never, ever gets.  He has also been getting tons of treats after eat time we have to put something in his eye.  On top of that, the drops should be working by now to reduce the pressure, so he should be feeling better.  He even got to spend a little time in our bed last night, something I swore to never do.  Pets have always had their own sleeping space and I’ve had mine, but I just wanted to snuggle with him a bit (until he got tired of me and jumped off the bed).  I’m sure he will be fine, I’m just worried for him and for us a bit financially.  I guess it’s good I like to save money so much!

Now for a much lighter topic…  We are finishing up the birthday celebration today.  I made reservations at Morton’s Steakhouse for tonight.  We love going there.  They have the most wonderful steaks, and a fantastic atmosphere.  They always make up special birthday menus and sprinkle confetti all over the table.  We have reserved a booth, which are usually cushy and romantic.  While I’m not feeling especially romantic, I do like to feel special and Morton’s  is definitely good at that.

One of the coolest things, though, is that they are having a special on 2-pound lobsters for $29.99.  Steak and lobster are both on my diet, and my favorite is filet mignon, which they cook to perfection.  It really takes a steakhouse to cook a proper rare steak.  🙂  I’m looking forward to dinner, and there is a special 3-course menu that comes with dessert.  I think I’m going to indulge, and maybe even share a bottle of wine with my husband.  Afterall, I have lost 20 pounds so far and those two pieces of cake on my husband’s birthday didn’t add anything!  I think I deserve a little food therapy tonight.  I will leave you with a picture of my two main men taken a few years back.

Being Judgemental

16 Aug

Yesterday I read an amazing post from the blog Blessed with a Star on the Forehead.  It was entitled Why am I judging? … am I perfect?  It is a searching, honest account of recent times where she has found herself judging others.  She went through 5 cases in detail, and I could relate to all of them.  In fact, it made me do my own self-reflection.  I replied to her post with an epic comment that she suggested could be a post in itself.  She is right.  I think this topic requires further delving-into, and I want to share my thought-process with all of you.

Photo Credit – (c) RoniLoren

I, too, can be judgemental at times.  I am guilty of thinking there is just one way – my way – of doing things.  Her stories yesterday reminded me of a recent circumstance in my family.  I have a sister-in-law who is in a lot of financial trouble right now.  She had an excellent, well-paying job for over 20 years with a financial institution.  She was let go due to a fairly complicated set of circumstances.  The simplified version is that she was transferred to a new division with a supervisor who didn’t like her because she wasn’t part of the “clique.”  You know, that group of office gossips who can’t eat their lunches alone, MUST talk about what happened to who on the Bachelorette or The Real Housewives, and stay out drinking at the bars after work.  That supervisor changed some rules, thrust my sister-in-law into a position she had no experience with, and hounded her every second of the day until her numbers were down and there was enough “reason” to justify “laying her off.”

My sister-in-law, let’s call her Susan from this point forward for simplicity-sake, was out of work for over a year.  Most of that time she was able to get unemployment due to all of the extensions.  I don’t know where she was looking for a new job or what kind of effort she was making during that time.  I do know, however, that she took in two of her sister’s sons (that’s an entirely different story), one son’s wife, and their infant daughter.  One of them was in school (the youngest), and the other is an ex-felon loser.  None of them had jobs.  She was the only one getting any income, and she was paying all of the bills.  A few months ago her final unemployment extension expired, and she was in the position of almost losing her home.

At that point Susan reached out and asked for help to pay her back rent and keep from getting kicked out.  Everyone in the family (all 7 of her brothers and sisters) refused.  They all said she should have done this better or that better.  That she should have gotten a job sooner.  That she shouldn’t have let the worthless felon nephew and his wife and child move in.  That she would have to find her own way out of the mess.  At first I had the same thoughts – “Why wasn’t she saving her money before she lost her job?  What did she do with all her unemployment in those months she was getting it?  The nephew and his wife at least got food stamps.  I could budget to get by with the amount they got.  How could she be so far behind?”

Then I got disgusted with myself.  Sure, I have money saved up that could last me a while, but not everyone does.  That saved money is a nice security blanket for me, and I wanted to keep it there for me.  It was selfish.  At the same time, I should be willing to give her something.  She’s family.  She had made mistakes in the past with bankruptcy and borrowing money that she never paid back.  Did that mean she deserved to be out on the street?  No.  And she wasn’t even asking for that much… just a couple of hundred.  Still, I was hesitant to be supporting the loser felon who sat around playing video games and fiddling with Facebook all day.  If they wouldn’t get a benefit, it would have been much easier… (more judging).

The whole family is on Facebook, and Susan was making some pleas there and talking about her dire situation.  Some of her posts were immature (wow… I’m so judgmental), but it was a way to reach everyone.  I started reading the comments and heard her brother talking bad about her on the phone with Mr. Mess.  My disgust turned to rage.  What bullies!  (Here I was judging again.)  Mr. Mess couldn’t help in time because he isn’t a saver, and wasn’t getting paid until after she needed the rent.  No one else was willing to help out.  I extracted myself from the discussion, decided not to worry about anyone else, and GAVE her the money she asked for.  I don’t expect it back.  Before I decided to give it to her, I told myself that there would be no strings.  No conditions.  Just support.

Susan now has a new job and things are turning around.  She told me last week that money I gave her was literally the only reason she got to stay in her home.  The felon nephew and his family moved out within 2 weeks of finally being asked to pull their own weight.  They are now mooching off of his wife’s mother.  I try so very hard not to judge, but I’m fighting a losing battle there.  I offered to pay him for doing work around our house – moving some plants in the flowerbed, painting a few rooms, and some other stuff that needs to be done.  He hemmed and hawed for weeks with various excuses about why he couldn’t come out to do anything.  After he moved without paying Susan anything for the 2 years he and his family lived there, I rescinded my offer.  Each time I find myself actively judging them, I try to just stop.  I don’t have to like them or the way they took advantage of Susan, but I can keep my advice and opinions to myself, try to feel a little empathy for a new family with no means of supporting themself, and remember that they are human, too.

The truth is, it feels better NOT to judge others.  Being gracious instead of overbearing has a lighter, more positive feel.  All of the judging in the world doesn’t really change anyone else.  The only person miserable from it is me.  Yet judging is a default sometimes.  I can find myself judging another person before I’ve really consciously thought about it.  How sad.  I try to be more aware of it and learn to see the good in others.  More often than not, I am the most judgemental of myself.  I am my harshest critic.  Self-criticism is possibly one of the most damaging forms of judgement.

In S-Anon the other day they talked about comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.  That really struck home.  When we look at someone and think, “They are so happy” or “I wish I looked like her” or “If only I was that put-together my life wouldn’t be so crazy” or whatever other little comparisons we make every day, we are comparing our insides to their outsides.  In reality we have no idea if the couple is happy or dealing with a lot of crap.  That woman might have been sexually harassed because of her looks or may have a medical condition (like a tall, skinny blogger I know with a lot of back issues who endured countless surgeries and daily pain).  People have all sorts of things going on inside that we can’t see or understand, and we shouldn’t judge ourselves against outside appearances.  We are seeing inside of ourselves to all of the mess we hide from others and comparing it to another person’s “best face forward.”

When we judge others negatively we are doing the same process in reverse.  We are comparing our insides to another person’s outside (“I would never do that”).  In reality, we have no idea what other people are going through.  We don’t know what has informed their decisions.  We don’t know what trauma they have experienced.  Sometimes it’s even as simple as the fact that I was taught financial responsibility from my parents and they weren’t.  That doesn’t make me better than them.  It just makes me luckier.  Or possibly just better at that one thing, in that one area.  I have realized that everyone has something special to offer.  I can learn for anyone that I give the opportunity.  All it takes is giving other people a second look, really trying to see them.

I guess that applies to my husband, too.  I am working on giving him the benefit of the doubt and realizing that his short-comings are a product of many things.  I had a minor trigger this morning, but I’m moving past it.  That is about me more than it is about him, so I’m going to keep focusing on making myself better.  His birthday yesterday was actually pleasant.  I even had two pieces of cake.  Diet be damned!  🙂

His Birthday is Tomorrow…

14 Aug

… and I’m in a funk.  We are barely speaking right now.  Turns out he finally picked up his prescription yesterday after threats from me and a night on the couch.  He apologized for his reaction and said that he hopes to get things under control.  Somehow it really doesn’t feel like a victory.  He also went to an IC session, which he said was available at the last-minute.  I have no idea what they talked about, and I am losing the will to even care.  I have to remind myself of the truth that he isn’t reliable right now.  I can’t feel safe if I’m depending on him to make me feel that way.  It’s just sad.

Image – © Caroline’s Cakes / Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

I am okay today: not great, but not miserable.  I am finding it hard to get back into the swing of working.  I have deep feelings of avoidance.  I look at the things on my desk and in my inbox, and that’s it…  I only look.  I have a few phone calls to make, some interviews to line up, and a bunch of miscellaneous things to take care of, and all I want to do is crawl in a deep, dark place to be alone with my thoughts and a few good books.  It’s not a very celebratory feeling.  I have no idea how tomorrow is going to play out.

I have to focus on today, though.  One moment at a time.  I need an S-Anon meeting pretty bad.  I should have gone to one last night, but the one on Mondays is about 45 minutes away.  Instead I read.  I bought about 10 new books over my vacation and have been making swift progress through them.  They are fun, light, and have absolutely nothing to do with infidelity or codependence.  Reading has been a great escape.  Today I’m going to do a little more reading.  I also wore one of the new shirts I bought on my outlet shopping trip.  I feel pretty and polished.  But also very funk-ish.  I know that isn’t a word, but I don’t care (I’m sensing a theme here).

Sorry for the dark mood and depressing post…  It’s just about all I can muster.  I don’t even get a good lunch break today because I have to go to a meeting that I’m not looking forward to.  I think his birthday tomorrow is just weighing everything down.  I have been preparing for a month now at least.  I was very excited.  There are presents and fun plans.  I’m just not invested in them anymore.  I’m trying to find my happiness, but it isn’t bubbling up to the surface.  I think maybe that’s okay sometimes.  Being authentic entails an entire spectrum of emotions, and I’m at peace with that.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

– Lewis Carroll

Paying Attention to My Gut

13 Aug

Since the last major discovery that fateful day in March of 2011 I have vowed to trust my instincts.  I have done well, for the most part, by using common sense and reason.  Judge Judy taught me a few lessons that served me well.  Still, I ended up in this most recent situation because I didn’t trust my gut.  My head has gotten so muddled with trying not to be codependent that I’m not sure whether to trust my initial reaction to situations for fear that it is coming from an unhealthy place.  I don’t want to be controlling, I want to let go, and I don’t want to live my life being emotionally tied to his decisions.  At the same time, I need to protect myself from further hurt.  I am living with a sex addict.  So where is the balance?

I’m obviously still trying to find it.  Where I am now is a perfect example.  Mr. Mess said he was going to take control of his recovery.  He had already been making his own therapy appointments and coordinating with me on our marriage counseling sessions.  In May things were progressing, slowly but surely.  We had one major fight, but were able to work through it in counseling and each learn a few things.  So when he said he was going to leave his medication in his car to take every morning on the way to work and keep up with the refills, I stepped back completely.  I decided that was his thing to take care of.  I felt a tad bit more healthy, and reassured that he wanted to handled one more part of his recovery on his own.

In mid-June and through July when I started noticing little changes in his behavior I attributed it to work or stress or minor annoyances… you know pretty day-to-day stuff.  He had also increased his prescription dose because he noticed it wasn’t having the same effect as before.  I figured some natural fluctuations in mood and temperament were fairly normal with changing medication dosage.  I wanted to ask if he was still taking his medication, if he had refilled it like he said he would.  But I stopped myself.  I told myself that was codependent thinking.  That he said he was going to take care of it, and I needed to let it go.  Refilling a prescription, picking it up, and taking the medication once per day is not difficult.  I have been doing it for years and years.  He is 47 years old.  He can do it.  He doesn’t need me to do it, he doesn’t need me to remind him.  Treat him like the adult he is.

So I did.  And every time I got that nagging feelings, I pushed it away.  On the weekend when I didn’t see him take anything, I told myself I wasn’t watching him every minute so how could I know?  When he had those “backward thinking” moments that were so common-place before his medication, I told myself not to worry about it.  I pointed my finger at the fact that he had finally started regularly attending SA meetings to reassure myself.  We went to Retrouvaille (which I know I never finished writing about – bad me), and were communicating pretty well in marriage counseling.  There was a big lying incident around money and he definitely didn’t handle his emotions well there, but for some reason the medication thing never popped into my head.  When he would react badly or blow up or have mood swings, the nagging feeling would pop back into my head.  But I kept telling myself not to be codependent.  Not to nag him.  To try to trust… that’s what I have been working on in this marriage, after all.

Of course, that all crashed and burned around me.  He stopped taking his medication right around the time he told me he was going to take care of it (within about 3 weeks).  So I dismissed my gut instincts as fear and trouble letting go of codependent behavior.  When they were really red flags that I should have paid attention to.  Lesson learned – trust yourself.  Don’t dismiss true gut insticts.

Telling the difference between the codependent thoughts and those flashes of concern over real issues is something I am still tweaking.  I think I will have to go with Judge Judy and Buddha on this one…  If it makes sense and agrees with reason and past history, then I will trust it.  If, instead, it is based on irrational fear or isn’t in line with common sense I will wait it out.  If it’s still there in a few days, I will take action and try to confirm or disprove it.  One way or another, I will determine what to believe.  I will not let anything cling to my mind unresolved for months ever again.

What I know for sure: Relationship Truths.

13 Aug

Wow… This really struck me hard. All of these things ARE so entirely true. What is resonnating with me the most is, “What you put up with, you end up with.” At the same time, “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.” Where’s the balance? Pondering that a lot today.

Gone Fishing

11 Aug

Literally. I’m heading out for a weekend of shopping and fishing with my Mom, sister and Grandma. We’re going to hit the outlets Saturday then take to the seas on Sunday. I’m so excited!! It should be lots of fun. 🙂

I’m still thinking about the things from my last post, just kicking them around in my head. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. It has really helped confirm my decision to make my own happiness.

I hope that all of you have a fantastic weekend! Do something great just for yourself. I’m going to leave you with a song that inspires me and that is very fitting for my upcoming weekend activities.

Lyrics:

I woke up early this mornin’
And I’m already runnin’ late
There’s a list of things long as my arm
I won’t get done today
Is it Tuesday? Is it Wednesday?
They’re runnin’ into each other
Somebody tell me, when is my day
Man, this life can sure be a mother

Chorus:
So tomorrow I’m takin’ me fishin’
Hang a sign on the door of my life
Tell the world that I’ve gone missin’
An’ I won’t be back for a while
I’m so tired of only wishin’
I could leave my troubles behind
I wanna be front porch rockin’
With a big sun droppin’ in a blue sky
Kick back an’ get high
On the livin’ part of life

They say to keep your spot on the ladder
An’ keep that money rollin’ in
They say keepin’ up with the Thiles, boy
You can’t back off one inch
But I been puttin’ in my time
An’ I built up a pretty good deal
I’m gonna spend some, maybe waste some
Before my time comes an’ I wind up dead

(Repeat Chorus)

When I get home tonight
I’ll open the window an’ let whatever roll in
An’ if there’s no breeze, that’s cool with me
I’ll just raise my sail, an’ wait on the wind, yeah

Yeah tomorrow I’m takin’ me fishin’
Hang a sign on the door of my life
Tell the world that I’ve gone missin’
An’ I won’t be back for a while
I’m so tired of only wishin’
I could leave my troubles behind
I wanna be front porch rockin’
With a big sun droppin’ in a blue sky
Kick back an’ get high
Kick back an’ get high
On the livin’ part of life

Accepting the Truth

8 Aug

It is hard to feel safe when another person’s actions can rock your world, and it is out of your control.  I am struggling to find a way to detach myself, my happiness, and my feeling of safety from the actions of my husband.  It is much easier said than done, but I have realized this week that it is necessary.  I just can’t keep living the way I have been, with my emotions so tied to what he does (or doesn’t) do.  I think that means I have to accept a few things that I’ve been trying very hard not to.

For one thing, I have to accept that my husband is unreliable right now.  I have to accept that he has a lot to do before he will be.  And I need to stop treating him like he is a reliable, trustworthy person that I can depend on.  Sound harsh?  Probably because it is.  But I need to accept that harsh reality and find a way to be okay with it if I’m going to move forward, stay in this marriage, and keep my sanity.

Another thing I need to do is make my own happiness.  I have been trying.  I even thought I was making good progress.  The truth is, I still measured my happiness, at least in part, on him.  That is wrong.  I am independent of that, of him.  His progress (or lack thereof) does NOT reflect on me.  I have to keep telling myself that.  One mantra I repeat over and over is: “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.”  When I think I have accepted that, reality comes back and slaps some sense into me.  If I am unhappy because of something he has done, it is my fault for trusting my happiness to someone who has done his damnedest to let me know, time and again, that he isn’t healthy enough to take on that responsibility.

How do you separate your happiness as an independent person from the actions of the man you have tied yourself to “until death do us part?”  I haven’t quite figured that out.  I am trying.  Boy, am I trying.  The way I have been doing it is to think of my feelings of disappointment, betrayal and hurt from what he did as separate from the joy I can create for myself.  That means I deal with those feelings for a particular amount of time, then set them aside and carry on with the business of living and enjoying my life.  Right now is my time to think about those things, feel the anger and fear, and get them out.  Once I’m done I am going to get my hair cut and maybe do some shopping.  I will do all of that with a genuine smile on my face and allow myself to feel how wonderful the world is and how much it has to offer.

First, the hard emotions, though.  I have been posting on After the Betrayal for the past few days to process my feelings.  One of our boundary agreements was “No angry blogging,” like after a fight, so I didn’t post at all the day this happened.  Now that I have some distance and perspective, though, I will elaborate a bit on what I told you all yesterday.  The particulars don’t really matter – the he said, then I said, then this happened, tears, yelling, tears… – so I’m going to skip over all of that.  The basics are in my post from yesterday.  The thing I am still reeling from is the discovery that he hasn’t been taking his prescription for 2 and a half months.

Mr. Mess is supposed to be on anti-depressant/ anti-anxiety medication to regulate his moods.  He promised ages ago to keep up with it and take it daily.  I stopped monitoring or asking several months ago as part of my step away from codependent behavior.  I decided to trust him to take care of that aspect of his health and recover.  Of course, he didn’t.

Additionally, he was supposed to have an ADHD and bipolar screening done at our marriage counselor’s office with a specialist.  It was brought up by our MC weeks (maybe more) ago.  After he took an initial screening (by answering some questions on a pre-diagnosis sheet that put him well within the range) he said he was going to do it.  Of course he never did.  That would entail being responsible, calling the office, talking to our therapist, and setting up an appointment with the specialist.  He would have you believe he is too stupid or helpless to do that.  I know better than that.  It is just laziness or maybe fear of finding out what is really wrong with him.  I honestly think he has a deeper mental balance issue (seriously), but I’m not a doctor, I can’t diagnose, and he has been avoiding the ones who can.

He knows about how you can’t just stop taking those types of drugs “cold turkey.”  We had an issue with him doing that early on.  This is not a new conversation.  We even read the warning together, and he said he understood how important it was.  In fact, in the one session I went to with his individual counselor he told both of us that recovery was a three-legged stool that requires individual therapy, SA meetings, and medication to stabilize his moods.  I just realized he has basically NEVER done all 3.  He started by taking the medication and IC, no SA.  Then he dropped IC.  Then he started back IC and SA the same time he dropped his meds.  What is wrong with him?!

The craziest thing is that he said he stopped taking the medication because he was feeling so good.  That’s the point of the meds, dummy!  Then he said he wants to be better without taking medication.  Too bad that’s not possible if you need them!  He also said he didn’t think the boundary we agreed on about taking prescription medication in the way in which it was prescribed meant he had to actually take his medication (what?!?!).  He just thought it meant not to abuse them, like take too many to get high.  Really?!

He also didn’t think it was lying to promise he would take his medication, then stop.  I bet he would think differently if I had promised to take birth control, then just stopped without telling him, talking to a doctor, or doing anything else medically to prevent pregnancy.  This is no different.  His wild mood swings and inability to regulate his emotions affect me.  The hugest thing is that I see a large upswing in his lying – no joke!  I can’t live like that – constantly on edge because of his shifting emotions and pathological lying.

I know that this is getting long, and I do apologize for that.  This is for me, though.  Feel free to stop reading at any point where you are bored or tired of hearing me rant.  I just need to get it out.  That is the biggest thing, but there are so many other little threads woven through this messed-up tapestry.

One is the anger he exhibited.  This, again, can be tied back to him not taking his medication.  He went from zero to sixty on the emotional scale.  He blew up, said “fuck you,” walked away, yelled, cursed, and carried on like asking for transparency was akin to assassinating his character, not something we had discussed and agreed upon – for both of us.  I wasn’t even asking anything unreasonable.  What I was asking for is basic information that any married couple would share…  As his wife I am entitled to know who is calling my husband at 2:30 in the morning and deserve to be spoken to respectfully.  Simple as that.

Someone from the forum did help me to understand it a bit more.  She is a wayward who is bipolar and acted out during a manic phase before she was ever diagnosed.  She said,

“I can say that when [my husband] questions me even the slightest, I get defensive (and hurt, and angry especially) – INTERNALLY.  I know that I made mistakes. I know that he has the right to question me whenever he feels the need to do so, and that is how we will move forward.  So I don’t let that side of me show.  It would be counterproductive.

I know that I’m not doing anything I shouldn’t do, but he doesn’t, and I have to respect that.  Even so, it’s one of the biggest, hottest angers I’ve ever felt. Probably because I have worked so hard to become stable.”

That helps me rationalize his anger, even if I can’t accept being treated that way.  I can see where that flash of hot anger could be the gut reaction.  She controls it, though.  She doesn’t let that be her ultimate reaction.  My husband doesn’t.  Maybe he even can’t.  Again, we’re back to the medication.  He needs to get diagnosed and on the proper medication to help him control himself.  I can’t control it.  I can’t cure it.  I certainly didn’t cause it.  It’s up to him to get help.

Another poster asked me a few more questions that really got me thinking.  Here are her questions and my answers (Again, please stop reading it you really wish I would just shut up already).

“He agreed to transparency right? Is his ducking around the issue normal or is it a new thing.”

Yes, he agreed to transparency.  I’m not sure how to answer your question because it depends, and I am on edge right now.  He has been getting better.  I will say that transparency is a major condition because historically he has not shared things with me.  He is also a huge secret-keeper.  Many times I have find out things the same time as casual acquaintances when he mentions them in conversations or by discovering them on my own.  He is very closed off, and he doesn’t seem to feel the need to share much with me at all.

The #1 reason transparency and truth is such a big deal, though, is because he has a habit of lying.  All the time.  Sometimes for absolutely no reason about things that don’t matter in the least.  It is by far the most difficult thing for me to deal with and the biggest obstacle to keeping this marriage working.  His medication helped with that because it balanced him out and kept him from going with his gut instinct, which is to hide and lie.

“What is your gut telling you about all of this?  Is it really work related or is he being sneaky about something else?”

That’s the hardest part.  My gut is throwing a temper tantrum because I can’t believe he keeps doing this to me.  I just want to scream.  I do think it probably was work-related (NOTE: I have since found out that he was, in fact, having an affair with a woman from work because after I kicked him out, he was suddenly in a “relationship” with her).  That’s not the point, though.  The point is that he was so secretive, that he blew up at me over something we agreed to, and that I discovered through this process that he has been lying by proxy for 3 months now about taking his medication.  It makes me feel so unsafe that I can’t trust him with such a simple thing as taking his medication like he promised.  I can’t keep living like this, and I can’t be his caretaker.  He is an adult and he needs to act like one.


So, there we are, 1,935 words later.  Back where we began.  He needs to take responsibility for himself.  I need to stop being a caretaker.  My huge fear is that when I stop caretaking he stops doing what he needs to do.  This is a perfect case in point. It’s his life, but it’s mine, too.  I have to live in a home with a man who can’t regulate his emotions or control his lying.  Actually, I don’t have to.  I’m just not ready to leave yet.  That is my choice.  I have to own it.  I’m not a victim here.  I have just been putting too much of my happiness onto him.  I am going to try not to be affected by him.  I know I won’t succeed all of the time, but that’s okay.  I’m going to enjoy life!  Here’s some inspiration:

Enjoying Myself

7 Aug

This is just a quick little update.  Yesterday was rocky.  Mr. Mess was home after working overnight Sunday into the wee hours of Monday.  I won’t go into details, but things got off to a rough start immediately when I found a 2:30 am call from an unknown number and he was cagey and secretive about it before finally admitting 6 questions in that it was a woman at work.  His inability to be up-front and honest caused a blow out (which mainly consisted of him yelling, cursing at me, and being an all-around sarcastic ass).  This all culminated with the discovery that he hasn’t been taking his mood stabilizing medications since the end of May!

Yesterday I admit that I got too caught up in all of HIS mess.  Not today.  After a night sleeping apart and a wonderful waking time of 9 am, I felt good as new.  My Mom called and said she had tickets to an Indian exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art, and I headed over to meet her.  We had a nice lunch, spent over an hour in the special exhibit, then a few more wandering through the rest of the building.  We saw tons of stuff, from ancient Greece civilizations to a real Mummy to Civil War relics and Renaissance art.  They have paintings, sculptures, furniture, and a solid silver carriage that an Indian king rode in.  I have to admit that I don’t get a lot of the modern pieces.  There was one that I swear was literally a bunch of junk from a dumpster and scrap yard piled on top of each other.  Weird and ugly.

Ok, so we didn’t go here… Still, it was a great time.

We also spent a fairly significant amount of time in the gift shop, which is almost like a museum of sorts itself.  I picked out fantasy decorations for my future dream home (once I have millions, since this stuff was expensive!).  I discovered that I have very good, very pricey taste.  🙂   I also saw some really cool pieces, like a purse made from soda can tabs and string.  So fun and cute!  I would own an adorable one with teal accents if it weren’t $250.  Eeek!!  I did, however, purchase myself a journal with an intricate, beautiful blue and silver cover and a girly, white onyx and pearl ring.

I spent some time on myself today, and it was amazing!  I’m looking forward to the rest of my vacation, including a haircut and shopping tomorrow.  Yay!!  I have already gotten a manicure and pedicure with gorgeous fuchsia polish that has a glimmer of purple when it moves in the light.  I’m afraid I’m going to get hooked on this because I already don’t want to go back to work next week.

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