Friday, March 13, 2009

And I was doing so well

Just so you know, I had a really great post planned. It was about how I was doing so well lately. One about how things were getting better and how I had decided to reclaim my space and my nights. And more importantly to reclaim my voice, because I can't seem to tell people how I feel in the real world and I want so much from them and I don't know how to ask. I was going to say the things to my friend that I should have said while he was here. Namely, that he should have held me without me having to ask. And I was going to give myself a pep talk about how to go about asking. I was going to talk abut that moment on the couch, watching him struggle with the lock when I started to think and feel and not fight it. When I said "It wasn't supposed to be this way" and he said something about it being a stupid lock. And I nudged harder and said "I wasn't talking about the lock" with a soft and strained voice. I leaned forward and I wanted to cry, probably needed to cry. But I couldn't tell him that. I was too scared. Scared of nothing and everything. Scared of looking stupid and vulnerable. And I have to reclaim myself and fight for what I need and tell people then, instead of telling them later. Hidden behind this screen is no way to live, and its not fair to me or to any one else. I had a great post planned that would have made all of this sound so much better, more sincere and elegant. Instead of all this rambling. That's not all I had to say either. I need to go into her room. I haven't been there since she left. And I can't go in there. I was going to talk about how I'm stronger. About going in there. Sitting on the floor in that pale pink room and just letting the horror in. And then letting the pain out. I was going to talk about how I was ready to start to challenge myself, how I want to lay under that crib one more time because I know it will break me. And I was feeling well enough to do that to myself. Maybe with some help, but still. Oh the beautiful post I was going to write so you guys could all stop worrying.

But I don't have that post right now. I don't have that strength. I ain't got shit but a keyboard, and some new locks and I am waiting for the sun to come up. I am fucking scared. Better than a few hours ago, but just because adrenaline can only last so long. And it's been a long night. Fuck, it's been a long night. I came home from my lovely job, relatively happy, so would say perky. Because things have been better. Because I haven't been scared. Irritated, sleep deprived, and pregnant with a blog that needed to come out. But not scared. And here's the stupid part, where it's time for me to take my blame. I forgot to lock the door when I left. Fucking forgot. But this is the first time. I came in and the TVs were left on. Except, I didn't leave them on. The cable boxes are gone. And my pictures are gone. But I'm still holding my own, no worries. He's been here. He's gone now. Then I think of why he is so mad. It's not about changing the locks. He planned on seeing my daughter this weekend and he wanted the truck to take there and I refused. I think he's going to run with her soon and I'll be damned if he thinks I'm helping him do that. So I'm worried, and I walk over to where the I keep the spare key, and it's gone.
At this point I am annoyed but I can handle this. I'm mad but I have worked the problem, and I have a plan.
So I take the elevator down to the truck because I'm going to go to the 24 hour Kmart and buy The Club. Then it doesn't matter if he has the key. And I'm reasonable proud of myself, hell, I probably have a little smirk on my face. I get in the car and I smell the faint odor of cigarettes. I hate cigarettes. Never would have dated my ex had he smoked. But he didn't when we met. Like all good bipolars though, he picked up the habit, and became one of those strange people who develop nicotine addiction much later in life. But he hasn't been in the car for at least a month. There is a faint flicker of a warning there, but in my hubris, I let it go. Then I put the key in the ignition and turn it over and hear...Silence. Oh. Shit.
Oh shit. This truck worked not ten minutes ago. And it has a new battery. He put it in himself not two months ago. Oh Shit. He's here. He's real close. He's gotta be somewhere in the fucking garage. This car has been fucked with. It's around midnight. Everyone else in my complex is asleep. No one's going to open that basement door and walk in any time soon. I lock the car doors. Pick up the phone. And I'm fucking beside myself with terror. There is nothing else but terror. My car is disabled. No one else is around. I am cornered in a parking garage with that man. You can't watch all places at once. Can't look out the back and the passenger side and the drivers side all at the same time. Trust me I tried. I'm looking everywhere but seeing nothing all at the same time. I have this realization, this flash forward, that I will only see him a a second before he has me. It's this flash forward now I see every time I close my eyes. I'm fucked. I am dead in the water. I am the fish shot in the barrel. Fuck, I didn't see it coming. Out maneuvered, out gunned, out of options. Fuck. I hear that line in my head in his voice. He used to say all the time, I heard it everyday, until it became a part of me. "How can someone so smart, be so stupid" I hear it everytime I want to speak up and express how I feel. I'll know the answer in rounds and I hear that line and I don't answer because maybe, just maybe, the answer got changed when I wasn't looking and I don't want to open my mouth and be so smart and so stupid. And I know he's in my garage. He is watching. He's enjoying this. And he is laughing to himself.
Fuck. I have my phone and I am debating how best to use it. I could call the police. But say what, my car won't start and I'm stuck in a parking garage. I have had several run ins with my town's police department and to say that they have let me down is an understatement. I will tell you one day, how I didn't think I could get any lower and I didn't care anymore if anyone found out. I called them and they did nothing. Worse then doing nothing, they taught my husband and me that it didn't matter if I called. I thought I was holding a pretty high card, that domestic violence card, and when it got real bad I played it. And when those officers walked in and then left me there as they walked out, I realized just how rigged the game was. Fuck that. So the police are out. I have but in place the Mother of all Hail Mary texts in my phone. It is my name, my address, and it directs the receivers to send the police and ambulance immediately. Having called 911 from my cell phone I know that it is a process to get some help. I'm guessing I won't have time to jump through those hoops. And I have planned accordingly. Except I know that text is only designed to go out once. I'm being terrorized but not brutalized, so that is out. I low ball a smaller Hail Mary text, try to keep it light. My car is disabled, I'm stuck, who's up? I'll leave out the heart pumping, white knuckled, animal trapped in a corner part of this situation. I get pinged back in rapid succession and a phone call from someone who has always been there.
That man would love me if I would just let him. But tale as old as time. He wants me, but I don't want him. I know I should. He is the quintessential nice guy that always comes in last. I wish he made me feel safe and protected, I wish he helped me feel not afraid. And I have tried to lay in that man's arms and fall asleep, but I can't. I haven't even let him read my blog, though he knows a great deal about my situation. I texted him once, barefoot, soaking wet from the sprinkler, hiding from my husband in the bushes in front of my apartment. "If I needed you to come get me right now, could you?" "Of course" And out went my address. He must have been so hot in that car, with the heater on full blast as I sat shivering in his passenger seat. He would have listened but I wasn't willing to talk. Would have held me, but I couldn't stand to be touched. We talk, he is not a dumb man and he knows I'm in trouble. We decide to get me out of the car while still talking to each other. If the phone goes dead, he'll call the police. I pop the hood and the battery has been disconnected. Fuck. This must be how the gazelles feel approaching the water hole. You know it's a trap, you know it's a set up. But you still have to do what you have to do. I reconnect the battery and jump back in the truck. And lock it. The truck starts right up and I creep out the sliding gate. One eye glued to the rear window.
Both replies ask the same thing. "Are you okay?" NO. No you assholes I'm really, really, really, fucking scared. I'm really hurting and I'm scared. And I'm scared of getting hurt. And I can't believe this is my life. I can't believe this has happened to me. I don't know how I fell of the edge of the earth but I did and there is nothing but fear and sorrow on the other side. I am so tired of living my life waiting for the bogeyman to come get me. And I am tired of pretending everything is so fucking okay when it's not. I'm not okay tonight, I'm not okay, I'm not fucking okay. FUCK.....I text back that of course I'm okay. Because what else do they want me to say. If they gave a shit they would have called. Would have checked in to see if I was crying, or my voice was quivering. To listen for themselves if I was anywhere close to being okay. But instead we all hide behind a 160 character limit on our humanity and wonder why are lives are so adrift. How's that for reclaiming my fucking voice.
I get the steering wheel lock and a spare battery at the store. I walk through the children's section to try to hide the peculiarity of my shopping cart with happier things from happier times. I'm not quite sure what to do. Do I go home? Do I sleep in my car? Is it safe? And if it's not will it ever be? What was his plan? Was he going to take the truck. Or was he trying to thwart my escape from some confrontation he had planned? I don't know. Maybe he was just trying to scare me...and it worked. It worked really fucking well. I am as hyper vigilant as I can get. I can't sleep. I can't even turn out the lights. Every sound is him. Every car that goes down the alley. And I had been doing so well too. I had considered spending some time with a man but now I can't be near them again. I'm a fucking wreck. I feel like I've been knocked back to the bottom of the ocean after I had been swimming so hard to the top. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I thought things were getting better. Just so you know, I had such a great post planned about how I was doing so well.....

Monday, March 02, 2009


I'm not entirely sure the benzos are helping. I certainly sleep more than I used to and to all the world I seem more composed, but there is a post sedation fog that I really don't like. A dampening effect on my words and thoughts that others seem to appreciate. But I am worried. There is probably a good reason for all the pain I'm going through and will probably emerge a better person for having gone through it. I am giving birth to a new me and a new future. Ask any doctor, give pain meds to soon in the process and the labor will stall. Ultimately becoming more prolonged and dangerous. Taking a shortcut to the other side is probably a bad idea. I find I don't dream on the drugs. No nocturnal defragmenting of my mind. But, no waking up in the middle of the night sweating and shaking either. My soul is simply a light turning on and off. Awake, asleep, then back awake again. No tossing or turning; no thinking or remembering. I don't know if it's better. I wondering if I'm just setting myself up for a harder fall. Mother nature has vastly more experience than I, and I don't like circumventing her. Perhaps, I need a series of small earthquakes to avoid the Big One. The fault line in my soul is certainly still there. Still active, and like a Southern California architect I continue to build my future on this unsteady ground. Betting that when the rumbling starts I will be spared.

I started taking them after my last visit with my daughter. We went to the zoo and horseback riding. Slept in the same bed, sharing the same breathe back and forth. Oh what beautiful sleep it was. Not this sugary sweet, artificially sleep concocted by pharmaceuticals. But it had to end and the goodbye was devastating. Devastating. Children have not been forced to suppress emotion, to acquire a public persona that hides pain and sorrow. No, when they hurt it is raw and real, and savage. Even now, partially sedated ,I can feel her hot sweaty fingers clinging to my neck as my sister peeled her off of me. "I wonna go wif you Mommy. I wonna go home" Oh baby, I want to go home too. I just don't know where it is. Despite her pleas I closed the door on her. Her face frozen in horror and shock with the realization that her Mommy left her. All she wants is to stay with me and I closed the door on her. Then we both broke down, sobbing. Me on one side, her on the other. The door shaking as she is throwing herself against it, trying to keep me there. My mother held me, but her mother didn't hold her. And my heart hurt. It's been years since I felt that tangible heartbreak, a dull pressure and squeezing in my chest. The physical manifestation of an emotional wounding. Driving to the airport I get the familiar buzz of my cell phone and I am so thankful because I have set up a friend to take care of me tonight. To not be alone and in pain. Because I knew that leaving her behind would be one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I am correct. But, he has called to cancel. As hard as I try to prevent these nights and these heartbreaks I keep failing. I have reached out above and beyond my comfort zone, clearing saying to all those who will hear me that I can not keep shouldering this burden alone. That I will carry my sorrow and tears away with me in the morning, if they will just hold them for me tonight. But I have failed to offer enough in the negotiation process to seal the deal. At some point I will have to trade sex for comfort, to fulfill the age old contract men and women have always penned in the wee hours. But not this night. I am still bound by my previous contract, the marital contract, if only because it is a bit of familiarity in this still foreign world.

Arriving at the airport, the flight attendants won't let me on the plane. I am a walking disaster. My face is flushed, tears continue to stream down my face. I can't talk without my voice squeaking, then cracking, and finally I dissolve into tears. There are some women who cry beautifully, like a motion picture, that solitary tear can contain their sorrow. But I am not one of them. I am a wet, snotty, sobbing mess and I can not fly like this. I make the other passengers nervous; as if my agony will infect the plane and bring us all down. So I start taking shots of vodka, trying to numb myself up. When I can hold a conversation without falling apart I return to the counter to plead my case. I board last. And as the wheels lift off the ground I feel my soul splintering. Half in one state, half in another. Some on her side of the door, some on mine. Some in the Before, some in the After. It is parcelled out like so much candy on Halloween. Until the bowl is empty and there is nothing left for me.

I will make this trip again in four days. And this time I drive straight from the airport to the ER. Where I am expected to be whole person, and a selfless doctor, instead of the comminuted fracture I have become. This is why I must be sedated. This is why I have the benzos. I'm not sure they're helping though. Deep down I know this is a shortcut I should not be taking.