Emotional Quicksand

Ok. So, it’s been a bit. My reasoning for that is that I have been incredibly mopey, stuck up in my own head and honestly, everything I have written lately feels like it belongs in a fifteen year old girls diary – and not the head of a thirty two (Good God I am actually that old) year old woman.

So, It’s roughly eight in the morning, and I’m sitting here writing to all of you, getting caught up on GIRLS (and still wondering how I could be so much like a neurotic and shameless fictional character) and drinking what can only be quantified as an obscene amount of caffeine.

It would appear that my life is getting uprooted once more.

I’ll be moving to a new place – once again. I am not even sure how I feel about any of this. Once again though, I don’t have time to really think. When I was with my former partner, we moved a ton. We just..uprooted ourselves from his parents very wealthy house in Northern Illinois and went to live in Northern Minnesota. We literally had a few bags of KIND OF clothing and that was it.

When we FINALLY got an apartment, he went down to Illinois to get all of our stuff and I was fired from my job while he was gone. It was an INCREDIBLY small town and everyone – literally everyone knew each other. They all grew up together and the men outnumbered the women 3:1 – the actual literal running joke was – when a couple split up – you didn’t “Lose your place, you just lost your place in line.” Like the women were some kind of carnival ride.

There were people who got divorced and then re-married after marrying other people because there were literally no other people there to marry.

Living with this partner – was really interesting (to say the least.) He was the first person that I dated after the most abusive awful situation that anyone could imagine. He was EXACTLY the opposite of the guy who hurt me. He was sixteen years my senior, he behaved like a wild, free spirited teenager.

I was initially incredibly attracted to that – someone who wanted to take life for what it was and ride it out to the end. No matter what happened. Unfortunately, that meant that he never held a job for more than a year and a half, every time he got the itch to go – he would QUIT HIS JOB, sometimes without any notice and he would just want to throw everything into boxes and “Figure it all out later.”

The first few times it happened, it was actually spontaneous and kind of endearing. It was almost sweet to think that there was this person in my life that was just ready to hold onto life and go with everything that was happening. By the third time though it just felt like running. Honestly, It felt like I was running away from everything. He had this awesome job up in the North Woods where we had housing – yeah, we had shitty internet that I couldn’t game on, that barely worked and we were unable to stream music on. Yeah, we were about hours from the nearest McDonalds or a supermarket that wasn’t owned by someone in the town that was jacking up the prices for everyone…but it was a home. It was a starting place. I had to tell myself that I hated it after it all ended because honestly, moving away from something that I had actually put myself into – the family I made for myself up there, everything, felt like ripping open a wound to leave.

I still think about those people every day. I wonder how they are doing, and I want to go back and see them – not as someone’s girlfriend, but as me…whatever that means.

My whole life, I’ve always surrounded myself with people who I thought shined brighter and more vibrantly than I did. Using the excuse that I wanted to learn from them. Honestly? It is because I have never (And especially after the abuse) – I have never really felt like I had much to offer.

In my thirties, I am looking at how all of this is turning out. The former fiancé (He had asked me to marry him. I had a ring and everything) now is back in Illinois, living in the house he’s been running from his entire life with his ailing mother in the wake of his fathers passing.  He, on the look of it has a rather cushy life. His parents routinely fed us a couple thousand dollars a year while we were together, at his birthday and on Christmas, which he would often spend on things like snowmobiles, or travel, or more things…We were often in debt, not able to buy things like cat food, or people food – and yet, these were the things which were important to him.

I saved up my paychecks for weeks to buy a new laptop. He talked me into upgrading beyond what I could afford and offered to pay the difference. At the time I thought I was going to marry him. I really thought that my life was actually going to be, what I thought I wanted. I thought that I wanted to be married, settled down, in love with this crazy man who was endearing as hell and still kind of is.

A few months after purchasing the laptop, I had gotten back on WoW, I was Roleplaying a lot. Immersed in the game and the community – I had friends that were mine for the first time since before the abusive relationship. He had serious problems with how much time I was spending In a “Fake World” and he was very vocal about it. To the point of doing things like unplugging my laptop in the middle of RP events. Making comments about how I had “Made My choices and now I needed to pay for them.” One night it happened.

I couldn’t sleep. I got up in the middle of the night. I went to check my email. He had been drinking that night, as he had become very prone to do. I think it was one of the nights when I had bought a bottle of cheap vodka that I had intended on lasting for a good while. It was gone by the end of the night. Sure, I had a few drinks myself but he was often very difficult to stop once he had gotten going.

He came into the room with his bloodshot eyes, and was raving. Screaming “You had better not be on that damn machine you lying bitch” I had told him I was going to sleep. I was unable to do so, I was stressed beyond belief. The relationship I thought that I wanted so badly was crumbling before my eyes. He was prone to leaving me – telling me everything was over and within a couple of days deciding that things were better with me. Apologizing and taking me back. Usually with conditions on things that had to do with my behavior but rarely with his. He had been married before. Twice. And his second wife was very prone to making his drinking the central issue with the fights between the two of them. I was never allowed to express concern about his drinking because I was “Trying to control him” and he would “Never allow a woman to control any of his behavior again.” To say that his second marriage ended badly would be like saying that the holocaust was an accounting problem or a small dispute over religious beliefs.

He pretty much ended it with an affair with one of the women that worked for his former wife. An affair with a woman that he later became engaged to and that relationship ended with her taking the engagement ring and flushing it down the toilet.

Anyway, that night, he stood before me. Bloodshot eyes. Staring me down. Yelling at me. Calling me names. He surged forward and unplugged my laptop. Weapon – which happened to be an axe – in hand, Yelling about how he was going to destroy my laptop “For my own good.” He was screaming about how he bought it, and how he was enabling me in my “Addiction”, how nothing in this new world I was in, nothing about these people who would become my friends was real and how I was single handedly destroying everything that was Important.

I was a mess. I was sobbing. I tried, defiantly to take the laptop back – $300 of it was mine after all. He yelled at me, told me he would give me my half of it after he cut it in half and had the satisfaction of destroying the “One thing that was keeping us apart.” Keep in mind that I had just spent two years of my life living with him in an extremely isolated area doing the things he wanted. Living the life he wanted. With his friends. And I watched him piss away two jobs. The only time I have ever been fired in my life happened twice when we were living up there. Once, by a crazy Jehovas witness who wanted to pay me $6.25 an hour, work me 60 hours a week and never let me keep my tips or give me overtime wages (Because that is how things were done up there) and the other by a woman who owned a bar and restaurant up there on the trail who was angry, had a reputation for being fickle, crazy and verbally abusive.

He was staring me down. My hands were shaking and I was looking at him with tears in my eyes. Begging him not to destroy the nicest gift that anyone had ever given me. I was on the ground, my hands were shaking. I was sobbing. Having flashbacks to every god awful abusive situation I had been in with the man who came before him. Things I never spoke about aloud until recently for fear of what would happen to me if I did. He had told me he would kill me and my family if I ever told anyone and I still to this day honestly believe that if he were not in prison he would.

I was crying. Begging. Being told by the axe wielding man that I was the problem. That I was the one who was waking his mother, making a fool of myself. That I was the reason that all of this was happening. He still had the axe in his hand and was turning it with his wrists. Telling me that it was HIS house. HIS computer and the only reason I had any of it was because of HIS charity and mis-judgement. He told me that he was done with me. That he was wrong to have “Wasted four years of his life on a dumb bitch who would rather spend her time in an imaginary world that with him” he waxed intellectual about how games like this (games he had never played and still to this day doesn’t understand – no matter how much he speaks loudly with authority on – as if reading a few studies by some right wing Christian hack scientist on how it is destroying the world could help him understand what it was all about) were destroying the world by making people desensitized to each other. How all of this was ultimately going to rot the world from the inside out and usher in Armageddon. He was doing this seriously – and yet he was the one with an axe in his hand and I was the one on the floor crying.

It dyed down around 5:30 am. He still had my laptop. I packed a few things and went to stay with one of the only girlfriends I had in the area and her then boyfriend.

Later that morning. After he had slept it off, he came and got it. We had a very tense 4.5 hour car ride back to Indianapolis, back to my parents in which he lectured me about how all of this was my fault. About how stupid he was and how he wasn’t sorry for what he did. How ultimately it was for my own good, and someday I would see that. How he couldn’t believe he was stupid enough to want to marry someone as selfish and childish as I was. How playing a game like this made me desensitized to his needs as a person, and was ruining our relationship – had ruined our relationship – because I wasn’t even trying to give him what he needed.

Later that day, hands shaking, I checked myself into a psych ward for suicidal thoughts. I spent 4 days there getting my meds straightened out, talking about how everything was my fault – because I honestly believed that. I believed that I had driven the only man who would ever love a mess like me away. I didn’t tell any of the doctors the part about the axe, or the claims that were made. All I told them was that I was very depressed. I was playing video games for about 15 hours a day. I was hiding from the world.

When I got out the man in question had been sleeping at my parents house. He didn’t destroy my laptop and low and behold, he was ready to take me back. He had forgiven me for all my indiscretions,  and he was willing to work with me as I “Fought to get better.”

I stayed with him for 3 more years. Through the death of his father, countless more fights, countless more nights where we started out having just a drink or two and he ended up drinking the whole bottle and finishing up the wine as well. He even used one of my epi-pens one night – the last one I had in my allergy kit mind you –  just to “See what it would do.”

I stayed with him through all of this because this was supposed to be my Happy Ending. This was the man who had helped me find the courage to get out of one of the deepest pits of hell that anyone can ever be in. I’d have followed that man to the ends of the earth on broken bloody stumps if that is what had to happen. 

It is difficult to love someone who can’t love you back the way you need to be loved.

I tell this story because looking back on it, that moment was the moment when our relationship died.

I play it over a thousand times in my head. I try not to be angry, I try to let it go and forgive. I re-play it over and over in my head and try to see it from his point of view but all I see no matter how much I try is me on the ground, crying, begging not to be abandoned. Not to be left. Apologizing. And him, standing there with the axe.

I tell this story because it highlights a much larger theme in my life. My biggest fear – Above death, above anything else – is abandonment. That man knew, maybe before that moment that he didn’t love me like we needed to love each other in order to make a marriage or even a friendship work. He knew that any time we continued on was borrowed at best.

Yet, we both kept on. We both put on our happy faces and put one foot in front of the other. I smiled through the drinking, and the fights to come just like he tried to smile through the anger and my inability to function in many situations due to what happened to me before I ever met him. I was unable to communicate my emotions to him in general, let alone in that situation.

So, there I was, fighting to hold onto something I’m not even sure either of us wanted to continue. He later left, at another point in time that I really needed him. He quit a job that my mother had stuck her neck out to get him, left with no notice and while I was in the hospital, he went home to Illinois.

Do I think that he was a bad man? Do I have regrets? The answer is no, he wasn’t a bad man, but he wasn’t right for me. The one regret I have over everything is that I stayed with him after the relationship had died. He became someone that I didn’t even recognize. I watched us become strangers who shared a bed…and I never found what I needed to find in me to forgive him.

Now, we try to remain friends. We text cordially, and we try to stay open to being friends. I have so much anger, welling up in me over things that I can’t control. And some nights, when I am laying in bed, My mind drifts back to that night – like it did last night. He texted me about being miserable, working on cars and being stressed out about where his life is going – and all I remember now is the sound of me begging not to be abandoned and him standing over me. Axe in hand and saying “No.”

I wish I could be the bigger person, and have the compassion that I need to move on, but in light of other things that are happening. One of my best friends from high school passing, the man who abused me finally going to prison – finally confronting all of the things I need to about the abuse I lived through – I find myself just thinking of him as yet another asshole who put me in a position of ever being on the floor with an axe. It’s like a gigantic metaphor for everything going on with everything.

I am so tired of looking at that damn axe.

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7 thoughts on “Emotional Quicksand

  1. Endlessly we struggle, time and time again we are knocked down and reminded that people in this world can be cruel, even if they aren’t in the beginning. We fight and fight and it never seems to get easier, we just keep swinging until our arms fall to the wayside and our bodies lay broken. But we do not stop there, we bite and kick, we never stop fighting…

    I haven’t been through a lot of what you have, the pain, the abuse , the utter bullshit of humanity that seems to pop up in your life so repeatedly. But i do hope there are more people in your corner, perhaps more than you know, and i hope there is a heart to hold onto and a voice that calls to your ears and says “Keep fighting, together we are unbeatable.”.

  2. I love your reflection on this point in your life, how you’re evolving past it. Strength is not power we wield then, it’s what we take from it and make our own now. Be strong Lexxx ❤

  3. We are family, that little gaming community of ours, no matter what anyone says. We are always there for you, and you know that. That’s what matters.

  4. Hi Lexxx. Glad I visited here now. Kind of gave me the courage to keep digging in. I mean, it’s just debt. I’m not even planning to have kids, so I have plenty of time to pay it off. I’m starting to realize I don’t need to fit the mold I’ve seen around me all the time. Mortgage, car payments, a big over the top and money out the ass expensive wedding, all just such traditional ideas that clearly need shaking up. Imma do me, and Imma do me the best I can.

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