Tuesday, October 25, 2016


The world feels surreal today, from the steady ticking of the analog clock above my head, to the cheery conversation my co-worker is having on the phone in the cubicle next door. She lost her husband recently, and she does an admirable job most days of appearing to be ok. But I've also witnessed her moments of heartache and break-down. I've seen bits and pieces of the brokenness behind the veneer. And I hurt for her.

I slept well last night, but am so very tired this morning.

I want to string glittering gems of language together, but my head is as stuffed full of gray clouds, as the dreary fall sky today.

I want to crawl back into my soft bed and warm blankets, to drift and dream on gray clouds, until the sun melts them into pale blue Fall skies.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mourning the Dead

It seems I do some of my best thinking away from the computer. I string together words for my own amusement, tell myself tales, and silently record details which will never fully archive in this brain of mine. We recently had a reading assignment for my English class. In the story, there was a library for every book, ever. The ones unwritten, unfinished, unpublished, unspoken. I would love to visit such a place, to remind myself of some of the stories I have told myself. Words never uttered aloud, or recorded by hand, simply thought out in poetic streams, as some ritual to keep anxiety in check.

I am finding the strength this year to do a lot of things I didn't feel I could before. It is difficult to say if it is the stability in life in general, the medication, or perhaps a shift in maturity which might be to blame for it. Perhaps it is a combination of all of the above. Or maybe, I'm simply living the perception du jour. I feel daily ever more like the person I have always wanted to be, and it is encouraging, despite the dark moments I simply want to retreat altogether and rest.

That in and of itself is odd. I'm not sure who I have wanted to be. I spent so much of my life trying to prove other people wrong about the person they assumed I was. I have always struggled not to be pressed into anyone's box or mold, which is fine, when you're dealing with genuine and honest people. But manipulative ones can use such a need for non-conformity to push you into a box all the same, while allowing you to believe you are defying their assumptions about you. So this whole idea of figuring out who I want to be vs. who other people don't want me to be is quite an interesting concept for me.

I used to spend a lot of time here talking about the break-down of my first marriage, of my flight from it, my anger, my despair, my sense of betrayal, and my frustration at wanting to heal so badly, but feeling nothing but hurt by the way it all turned out. I made a decision last night to delete access to things still tying me to that relationship, to that former partner, in whom I had so much of myself invested.

I have this bad habit of seeking out the accusations, and the criticisms, the names, and insults which still seethe onto the internet from the other party. It's an unhealthy behavior on my part, but it has worked in some way to help me to develop a thicker skin to it all. I'm at a point now, that I recognize it as unhealthy. Well, the truth is I always have, but I no longer feel the need to torture myself. I no longer feel a need to remind myself why I left.

I have spent a lot of time comparing the life I've built myself, and the person I have worked so hard to grow into, to the person the other party claims I am, even these many years later. I've never been able to reconcile the disparity. I asked myself tonight, why it matters so much? Why am I looking for the truth in words which have no intent but to assuage a bruised and rejected ego?

I spent so much of my time trying to be someone I was not. I was working with someone who, looking back, was very black and white in their definitions of a desirable partner. I allowed it to define me for so long. I've tried so hard to break free from that. In some ways I have. In others, I'm not sure I'll ever be free of it. Refusing to allow the barbs to reach me is a good start.

It matters to me there is some recognition that I was never a villain. I did not set out to be vindictive or malicious, that I both loved and hated the man I was married to, that I both felt I couldn't live with him, or without him for much too long.

I have no desire for him to ever be a part of my life again, but neither do I have any desire for him to suffer either. Kindness on my part, seems to be misinterpreted as an invitation to be friends again. And I have to apply the alcohol to the wound, and painfully set a boundary. It will not happen. I will not be lulled back in to such a dynamic.

Perhaps I am also looking for some hint of a sincere recognition of the harm done in the relationship, and something of an apology. One offered with a desire to close old wounds, and not as a manipulation. One has to recognize their actions as being harmful, before such an apology can be proffered.

It would seem that I will always be a villain, a demon, a vessel of pure feminine evil. So fine. Let me be the villain. What do I care anymore? I have been far worse things in my life than some of the names thrown about. I've been cut deeper in my youth than by baseless accusations and attacks on my character. I no longer love this person, or look to them for a definition of who I should be.

Why should I care anymore? It's ancient history. I have moved on. Life is so much better now, than I had ever hoped to imagine. Why after 8+ years do I still find it even a little painful that my former lover thinks so very little of me as a person, as a mother, as a woman?

I care, because in some ways it still haunts me, that dream which slowly eroded over time. The failure of it all still makes my eyes well up. The path not taken, at times still beckons to me, and some foolish notion that it could have worked, some dreadfully delusional optimistic shard, still stabs out of nowhere. Maybe as that dream continues to be replaced with good things, wonderful moments, and brilliant memories, the care will wane away, and the optimism will redirect itself as an investment on what is working, rather than what might (or most likely would not have) worked.

Halloween is nearly upon us. Why should it be surprising that I am haunted by the past? Any of my past? I still mourn things which have died, even those that needed to in the end. Endings bring about new beginnings, but they still sometimes leave hollow places which feel as if they can never be refilled.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Three Years Later,

It was three years ago I quit posting here. There have been other blogs, but none suited me quite so well as this one. I'm not sure why I feel at peace with coming back to it now. I just do.

I've been married to the man formerly known here as "The Beau" for over four years now. I turned a corner with my discomfort over step-parenting earlier this year. I finally found an anti-depressant (or rather my doctor did) which seems to help long-term, instead of for a brief period of time. My anxiety and racing thoughts, although not entirely gone all the time, are manageable. This is the first time in my life I've had a quiet mind. It's been novel. At times my depression still creeps back in, and it frightens me. It frightens me that so much can be going right in my life, and I still have moments where I long for nothing more than to escape it.

I had a moment the other day on the way to school. (Oh yes, I'm going back to school part time as well, but more on that in a moment.) I have everything going for me at the moment, but I was hit with such a moment of despondency, out of nowhere. I internally chided myself, the admonitions of other people definitely buried in my internal dialogue. "Don't be ridiculous. You're just feeling sorry for yourself. You're just looking for attention."

But then I wondered who I was seeking attention from, in the privacy of my own vehicle, and having said nothing to anyone about it; even my family. How were unvoiced thoughts at all attention-seeking behaviors. That made no sense.

Then there was the internal criticism, also a learned self-dialogue from various sources over time, "What the hell is wrong with you? You have a house, a great husband, a good family, a good job. you're going back to school. You've made peace with your mom, and with yourself. You're living a god-damned dream.What do you have to be so dreadfully despondent over?"

It was the words of a friend from Facebook, who posted a picture. The gist of it was essentially telling someone they had no right to be depressed if they had any of the above going on for them, that they were simply ungrateful, and they should just go ahead and kill themselves. Her response was an angry one at the lack of understanding that depression is a chemical issue in the brain, and can strike regardless of environmental or situational factors.

Somehow the reminder that it was only a chemical imbalance in my brain, and that life really is good right now was all I needed to be able to ride it out. It didn't snap me out of it, by any means, but somehow the ability to combat the emotion with logic, and sit down and analyze what exactly I was experiencing, instead of being swept away by it, helped. (I give the anti-depressant, and my now unimaginably vast network of supportive friends and family all the credit for it.)

It also helps to remember it's October, which in some ways is cause for anxiety all on it's own. Halloween is a PTSD trigger. Sometimes I cope well with all of the decorations, haunted houses being advertised, ghouls and goblins, witches, etc. But there are times I can't anticipate the moment I might walk around the corner and catch sight of something that sends me into a tailspin. Although much of this has been easier to deal with on the medication.

Most nights now I fall asleep with a smile on my face, grateful to be living a fulfilling life, that I once could never imagined was possible. Oh it's not all unicorns and rainbows. In fact it's a lot of hard damned work. But every bit of it is worth it. And then I have moments when I experience a sudden and inexplicable chemical shift. The difference is, I can now recognize them, and cope, rather than feel overwhelmed and controlled by them.

It also helps I have people I can talk to about it without fear of being judged, ridiculed, or immediately committed. I have found unconditional love. I wasn't sure it really existed, but it seems I have found it. That is probably the most healing medicine of all.

I have a family; a clan. Something in my earlier years I never felt a part of. In some ways, I was afraid to be a part of one. Now, I'm glad to belong to not just my own, but to several, on varying levels.

So yes, back to school. It was odd the way it came about. Our department manager pulled a bit of a disappearing act. Upper Management seems to know what the circumstances are, but it's private, and all we've been told is he had some family issues and tendered his resignation. I applied for the position, didn't get it, which actually is a relief in many ways. But the Company Treasurer encouraged me to go back, as the lack of a degree was one of the factors which counted against me in consideration. So I've gone back in pursuit of an Associates in Business Accounting, and our new Manager is awesome. His experience and attitude was something our department sorely needed, and with my lack of experience in management, I was not certain how well I would adapt to the role.

The trouble is, I'm realizing, I really don't want an accounting degree. I once had planned to work at the company I'm at for the rest of my life. Going back to school seems to have reminded me that there are other paths I can choose to pursue. As the kiddos creep ever closer to adulthood, I feel the cliché sense of running out of time to do the things I really want to, and I don't want to waste time on something I don't plan to pursue as a career.

Oh, I'll likely plan to stay at my current job a few more years, at least until my youngest graduates high school. I'd planned to go ahead and get the Associates in accounting anyway, because my company has a tuition reimbursement program. But now I'm asking myself, so what if I seek out courses that won't be reimbursed because they aren't related to my job? I don't want to move into management there, and I don't think I want to spend the next 20-30 years of my life there either. Maybe 5-10, but not much more.

I'm toying with Geology. There are a diverse number of jobs and specialties in the field for this state. Finding employment in that field would not be a concern. Particularly if I were to pursue something along the lines of reclamation and remediation. I've always been fascinated by rocks and geological formations, and I want to work somewhere outside. I'm weary of sitting behind a desk. Unfortunately, there are nine months of winter in this state, and typically speaking the ratio of field to office work is heavy on the office side.

I've also played with the idea of being an English major, possibly considering teaching literature and English at a high school or college level, as my ultimate pursuit. But so much for getting away from that desk, if that's the path I take.

It amazes me, at 36 years old, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I really thought I would have that figured out before my kids grew up.

Once Upon a Time...

It was time to begin again. Years later, the tales returned, before the falling of the snow, during the dropping of the leaves. The Storm Dweller smiled, for it was time to sing and spin stories to release to the snow.