“All this time you were pretending, so much for my happy ending”
That’s how I feel these days. I guess now is the time to explain myself a little more clearly. Since the shock is wearing off and reality is setting in, I think my thoughts are finally clear enough to express myself.
I found out on Tuesday that Adrian and I are no longer together. I took a friend of mine to the tattoo shop where Adrian’s roommate, (my good friend) Leslie works. Leslie is an old soul…sometimes I think he’s older than I am. Anyway, I took him a piece of art to draw for me and we were sitting around talking about life and just catching up. I made a couple of comments regarding Adrian and I and I could tell that Leslie had something he wanted to say, but he was holding back. Leslie isn’t a man who likes to be pushed…that works out well since I don’t like to push people…anyway, I just ignored the little pause there and we moved on to other subjects.
About 15 minutes later, Adrian walked into the shop with a girl. He said nothing to me…no recognition of any sort, actually…except his eyes. The first look was a “deer in the headlights” terror…quickly replaced by the coldest look I have ever seen in his eyes. I believe that one was meant to say, “Don’t make a scene…just don’t fucking say a word” though it could have just as easily doubled for “you’re the biggest whore in the world”. Either way, to say that I felt like I had bee run over by a freight train would be an understatement. I didn’t have any words to make a scene even if I’d wanted to.
I still didn’t know what was going on. They got what they needed and left again…a quick goodbye to Leslie and then they were gone again. If you hadn’t seen Adrian’s eyes, you would have never guessed that we knew each other at all…let alone that we had been in a serious relationship for over a year.
Right after they left, I realized that in all the drama inside my head, I had let the parking meter run out. A parking ticket was NOT something I needed on top of it all. Anyway, by the time I got back from the car, Leslie had already brought his cigarettes outside onto the shop’s porch to smoke and I sat down next to him.
He put his arm around me and waited…after a minute I just looked at him and said, “So that’s how it is, huh?”
Then, with the most bitter tone I’ve ever heard out of Leslie (and that’s saying something since I sat through his divorce with him), “Yeah Audrey, apparently that’s how it is and it’s fucked up.”
Leslie told me that he didn’t know Adrian and I were still together. He’s always worked really hard to stay out of our relationship…and honestly, he’s done a damn good job of being Switzerland. But he assumed that when Adrian brought her home that he and I were through. Leslie also told me that it hadn’t been going on for that long (I think I know how long but it’s immaterial) but that Adrian seems to think it’s serious.
I laughed at that, “how serious can it be? Just a month ago he and I were going to buy a vehicle together.”
Leslie talked to me for quite a while and he let me cry, he let me yell, he let me be hurt and angry and confused. I suppose if this had to happen the way it did, there is no one else who could have been there for me quite the way Leslie was. I am truly thankful for him. Leslie has always told me that he informed Adrian upon meeting me; that no matter what happened in the future, Leslie would win me in the custody battle and Adrian would just have to deal with that. I can’t express what that means to me now.
The thing that hurts the most is that Adrian didn’t have the courage to tell me himself that he wanted out. It’s the only thing I ever asked of him…if he wanted to be done, do me the courtesy of telling me…don’t make me find out from someone else…and he couldn’t even do that. I’ve got to say, I never thought I would get to the point where I could utter the sentence: “At least Clark sent me a damn text message.”
Right now, I feel like a person who lost a limb to a train. See, when you lose a limb in a train accident, the trauma is so fast, so decisive, so forceful…there is no bleeding. The trauma cauterizes the wound instantly. You still have immense pain from the trauma, but the wound isn’t open. That’s how my heart feels. Adrian ended our relationship so coldly, so definitively…my soul is cauterized already. I am still devastated…but there isn’t much else there. I don’t even have a ton of anger even though I have every right to be angry.
I don’t even hate him. I hate what he did to me…but I don’t hate him. TO hate him would mean that I hate a part of myself…and I won’t do that. I accept all of me and I don’t regret any of the choices I made with him. I wouldn’t undo any of the last year.
This is the poem that has been at the forefront of my mind for the last couple weeks. Written by the brilliant Henry Rollins from the book, One From None:
I am weak Looking to get stronger When I open my eyes all the way It's all there is for me Kindness is strength It's easier to close a door, than to keep it open Hatred is easy Frustration is life on pause These are truths that are hard for me to deal with I learned a lot this year I think I am stronger than last year Self-creation is painful Trying to take my parent's blood out of mine Trying to stand on my own two feet Without leaning on someone else Looking to myself for total strength To be One From None
I'm not going into details on here but Adrian and I are over. But I will get stronger again and I will become all I am supposed to be. For now though, the shock is still sinking in and the pain is more than just fresh.
Sometimes even a slight return to normalcy can be enough to keep you off a ledge. That's kinda the way I feel today. I'm exhausted and my body is screaming at me; and yet, I'm happier than I have been in weeks.
I actually feel like there is some hope. Last month I had a few horrible experiences with a physical therapist who turned out to only be a "physical therapy license applicant" who not only had no idea what she was doing but couldn't even speak enough english to understand my needs. She ended up damaging my spinal cord again. The muscle seizures have started back up again and I am on more Baclofen than I would like.
There is good news here too though; I now have a new physical therapist. He has a private practice and he's awesome. I'm already seeing small improvements and he seems to really understand my health issues.
On that note, I've also been reading and researching a lot about Transverse Myelitis. There isn't a ton of research out there and only one research center exists in this country. Johns Hopkins has a center in Baltimore that is making great strides. All I know is that if I get sick again like I was in February, I'm going to Baltimore. If you're interested, information can be found here: Transverse Myelitis or here: Johns Hopkins
The last 48 hours have been one drama after another. I swear I thought the sky was falling yesterday. From work to family to life to emotions...everything seemed out of place and I felt like with the karma I had I must have bombed an orphanage in my past life.
I had a meeting in the morning that was supposed to be nothing more than "crossing the t's and dotting the i's" but it turned into a cluster of epic proportions. As of this afternoon, 90% of the drama is resolved...thanks to the world's best caterer and a fantastic six year old.
In the afternoon yesterday, Adrian and I went to look at bikes of the motorcycle variety. Adrian has wanted a bike for a long time and he and I have had all the talks and after everything, I am behind his decision completely. That's huge for me...most of you know how I feel about bikes in general. Anyway, we went to this place where supposedly his friend had hooked him up...not so much. These people were shady. We picked out the bike, "It's not a Nighthawk or a Nemisis...it's a NINJA...black...like my mood" we wanted and got to the part where they run my credit. The salesguy leaves for about 15 minutes and when he comes back he has a copy of my credit report. The conversation goes something like this: Salesguy: you have really good credit. Me: I know. Salesguy: You qualify for all the promotional offers. Me: I figured I would Salesguy: You don't qualify for a loan. Me: Que? What? How's that? Salesguy: Two of your credit cards are near their limits. Me: Are they maxed out? Are they in arrears? Salesguy: Well, no. Me: Are they in good standing? Salesguy: Well, yeah. Me: Then explain to me how I qualify for the promos, I have excellent credit and I can't get a loan. Salesguy: well...um...you haven't had credit for that long. Me: I'm 26, i have a good job and 7 years of excellent credit...that's unheard of. I can't be any older than I am. Salesguy: well...you could get a co-signer Me: Um, in case you missed it: I AM THE CO-SIGNER!! Salesguy: well you could come back with someone else Adrian: Uh no. We're out. Thanks for being shady. Babe there are other bikes in this town.
OY!! And Adrian was so disappointed too...that sucked!!! Grr. And I haven't even started to go into the actual drama of the last two days...perhaps when there is some resolution...
It's kinda how I've felt the last couple months. It's been about survival and I'm tired of just surviving. It's time to start thriving again. One little step at a time. My health may or may not improve any further...I'm not sure I care about that part anymore. I have learned to get by and still be me. Besides, that which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger. Is it the Marines that say, "Pain is just fear leaving the body?" Yeah, I like that...I think I will hang on to that for a while.
Everywhere that I go There’s someone waitin to chain me Everything that I say There’s someone tryin to shortchange me I am only this way Because of what you have made me And I’m not gonna break
You can push me out the window I'll just get back up You can run over me wit your 18 wheeler truck And I won't give a fuck You can hang me like slave I'll go underground You can run over me wit your 18 wheeler but You can't keep me down ~~P!nk "18 Wheeler"
I'm done with holding back all the things I want to say and all the things I want to accomplish just because it might make other people uncomfortable or insecure. I am working my ass off, day in and day out, through incredible pain sometimes and it's an accomplishment...and definitely something I should be proud of. I'm learning that I don't have to apologize for being good at something. Adrian helped me to remember that I don't have to apologize for being smart or for educating myself. Now I just have to come to terms with workplace success. I am my own worst critic...I always have been. I have always held myself to higher standards than anyone else. Now it's time for me to stop standing in my own way. I'm proud of the things I've done in the last year.
The pain and heartache of a year ago is over. I have put it behind me...I have broken free of those demons and now I can move forward. I think it's about time to get that tattoo to commemorate it all...
I hope everyone survived "Drinko de Mayo" intact. I didn't actually celebrate anything this year; I just laid low and it was kinda nice. It's the first time I haven't had to tend bar on the fifth in several years.
It's nice to be back in the swing of things at work, but as I am taking on more responsiblity again, I am back to working on the weekends. It's beautiful outside today; I'm at my friend and coworker's house (staying with her son for a few days so she could attend a training) and I am working. Well, obviously at this minute I'm not working...but I have been and I will be again in a moment. I'm trying to prepare for the Pandemic Influenza TableTop Exercise that I'm putting on for the Department of Corrections.
My "Train the Trainer" project came together really nicely and consequently, I was tapped to create the whole Pandemic Influenza presentation. I'm trying now to cut down the 200 PowerPoint slides to a reasonable number...death by PowerPoint is just not acceptable. Certainly, not the most exciting of tasks, but I'd like to have it done before tomorrow.
My whole day will be shot in different meetings. One day I really will disavow all knowledge of the rare and mysterious gift called typing...but until then...it's nice to feel like one part of my life is normal.
Ok, so for something fun...here's something I am totally digging right now: Shano has a new product and these are awesome!!! I love 'em!!
Ok, back to work I go. Hope the hangovers aren't too bad today.
I never intend for so much time to pass between posts. It's not as though I have writer's block...or that I am so insanely busy that I don't have even thirty seconds to hammer out a quick post. It's really more a matter of slowing my mind down long enough to write coherently.
So I guess I should start from the top.
Recovery: I have regained sensation throughout my body and the nerves in my spinal cord are working overtime to repair themselves. Along with the regeneration of nerve and synapses connections, I am also having severe muscle spasms in my upper body. I have been assured that, while not exactly normal, these spasms are quite common with the type of spinal cord trauma I sustained. I have muscle relaxers targeted specifically to these types of spasms and I am generally better than I was a month ago.
Work: I am back almost full-time in the office. (As a side note, I was finally able to sublet a parking spot from a coworker and now I only pay $200 a month instead of $400!!) I have been busy with more projects than I can count, but I have also had to opportunity to work with a couple of truly fabulous people whom I love dearly. The last week has been spent developing a "Train the Trainer" briefing for the Training and Exercise Planning Workshops our office is responsible for teaching to the agencies we work for. It's been a definite learning experience and I'm hoping that my work now will reflect positively in the future when I apply for an Exercise Coordinator position.
Love: Adrian and I are doing much, much better than we were a few months back. Adrian is almost back to himself and he and I are happy together. In the recent weeks, he has been all the things I need him to be,and it's started to restore the faith that I have been so lacking when it comes to believing the men I love will be there when I need them.
Life: I don't have much of one, socially at least, these days. My life seems to be consumed with work and surviving...and sometimes Adrian. So, I decided that my birthday a couple weeks ago would be the perfect time to have a little fun. I don't usually celebrate my birthday in any big or meaningful way...and after this year's debacle...I remember why. It was beyond a comedy of errors...beyond an exercise in Murphy's Law...it was straight into a disaster of Biblical proportions. I don't want to rehash it all, but suffice to say that half the people I care about bailed on me at the last minute or made my life so difficult that weekend that I wished they had bailed. Actually, of my friends in this area...I think Jean, Grace and Adrian are the only ones I am still on good terms with. Birthdays are completely overrated. I remember that now. Maybe if the birthday was that bad, the year will be really good. I have hope that is the case or I would give up now.
On to the crazy part...I know it's a full moon and I know that my life has been a bit out of wack lately, but I think I had an extra helping of crazy today. I woke up fuzzy-headed and by the end of the evening tonight I found myself wanting to crash my car into anything and everything. I didn't hit anything or anyone, so ya'll can relax...I just wanted to is all. Perhaps tomorrow will be better...maybe I will feel more human again...one can only hope.
I am so blessed to have this lady as my other half (I think Rollins must have known her well in other life because: I could never pound words into lines to match the velocity of your presence); she is such an amazing woman and it is my ferverent hope that this year she will finally begin to receive all of the good things she so richly deserves. I think this is going to be a big year for MOH. It seems to me that pieces are falling into place exactly as they are supposed to and I expect that great things will happen in the near future.
So, without a lot of fanfare: Here's to you, MOH! Happy Birthday!! May you have all the love and light possible both now and through the ages.
"I was asked to act when I couldn't act. I was asked to sing 'Funny Face' when I couldn't sing and dance with Fred Astaire when I couldn't dance - and do all kinds of things I wasn't prepared for. Then I tried like mad to cope with it." ~Audrey Hepburn