“I Wear This Crown of Thorns Upon My Liar’s Chair, Full of Broken Thoughts.” (TW)

Note: The lyrics for Hurt by Nine Inch Nails can be found here. You will notice a discrepancy in my title and the lyrics, as I chose to utilize the lyric from the video I posted.

Note: I will attempt to place specific trigger warnings prior to a triggerable incident. However, I cannot make promises if I’m in the thick of this, as I assume I will be.

This is the entry I’ve been dreading since I began to do this shadow working. It’s this particular aspect of my past with my ex-husband that makes it supremely difficult for me to move on in any context. This is where I get to show everyone that not only is he at fault in the downfall of what we were together, but I also get to show you how I managed to survive. I did not do good things in order to survive. I was not a nice person to other people in order to survive. There are days where I look back in my grief and pain, in my terror and horror to those moments where I knew what I was doing was not about living in ma’at but about survival. I am not a hero in this. No one came out of this situation as a hero. We all did what we needed to in order to survive.

The Doorbell Demon incident was a turning point. Prior to this, it was easy to shrug things off. It was easy to assume that my ex-husband was just having a bad day or he was having a bad week. Working for the company that he did wasn’t exactly a cake walk. He saw a lot of things that ate him in a place that I had no ability to heal. However, he’s always been a control freak. Whether that is a quirk of personality or a quirk of how he was raised, I honestly cannot say. All I can say is that he began to try to influence both myself and the Sister in what we thought, what we wore, and what we believed. At one point, he accused the two of us of the Doorbell Demon incident with our very occasional, far-between rituals together. As he had allowed us to have a ritual at Samhain in the house, then that meant we had asked for something to enter our house. We made it worse by practicing divination.

Odd thoughts for a supposed Taoist, if you ask me.

I’ve said before, rather nastily, that he proclaimed his religious affiliation with Taoism. I don’t know a damn thing about Taoists or Taoism to be honest, but from the bits and pieces I’ve gleaned over the years, he was not a Taoist. After the incident with the Doorbell Demon, his beliefs were intrinsically tied with his childhood religion of Christianity. He professed otherwise, but how often he was to denigrate both the Sister and I for our divination practices, our rituals, and our beliefs say otherwise. I don’t think he ever went so far as to quote that stupid, incorrectly translated Bible passage about not suffering witches to live or anything at us, but it was pretty obvious that’s how he felt about it. It was easy to place blame on an outmoded Christian belief – that by seeking alternative forms of religious practices is to “invite the devil” in your home – but it was really and probably just attached to his conflicting, angry roil of emotions.

Whatever the case may be – demon, monster, abusive – we all suffered for it.

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real

The Sister really integrated well with the friends she made in college. I’m more of an outsider, wallflower persona so I didn’t mesh nearly as well. She was quite fundamental, from my perspective, in that group. She has this knack to bring people together that don’t necessarily belong. It’s weird. I don’t know who suggested that we all go to the Goth club on Fetish Night, but this sounds like something the Sister would suggest. The ex-husband, the Lumberjack, the Sister, and I were all going to go, meeting up with the college friends we had made. Plans are all fine and dandy, but they end up breaking all the time. That wasn’t going to necessary prevent the Sister from going to Fetish Night, though.

I believe it was just prior to this group date that the Lumberjack broke up with the Sister. She was inconsolable for the first few days after the break up, but I think the ex-husband’s “on high” proclamation that she must have fucked something up there that made her get over it. She wanted him back because she didn’t want to be alone – not because she loved him, not because he was the best sex of her life, not because of anything other than the fact that she wanted to be in a relationship that was not with ex Demon Boy. I feel this so hard it’s amazing. That’s probably why the ex-husband and I were together as long as we were, honestly. It doesn’t matter. The first part of the group date plan got a little fucked up because the Lumberjack. The other was because of my ex-husband.

His best friend, who we had lived with prior to our move to Texas and his best friend’s move to join the air force, came up for his first visit to Massachusetts since joining the air force. He had one night to hang out with his best friend and that night was Fetish Night. The plan was that the ex husband, his best friend, and someone else would all meet up with us at the club a little later. The ex husband and best friend decided they wanted to stay at home and play chess or maybe they were going to do their roll-playing online game thing together. I don’t remember. But, it became that the Sister was my date and we were going out in style.

Here’s the weird thing about this. The ex-husband was nominally okay with this. I think it’s because his best friend was there, so he couldn’t quite fly off the deep end in front of him. I honestly do not know. However, the really weird part was how much the ex-husband freaked out over the Sister’s outfit. I was wearing a long slinky skirt, boots, and a tube top that barely covered my tits. She was wearing a pink-and-white corset with a pink skirt that was kind of see-through. Technically, we were both wearing the same amount of cloth on our bodies, but it was the Sister’s outfit that made him flip out. “You can’t go out in that,” I believe he said at one point. This illustrates a few things to me.

He had realized that he needed to begin controlling and manipulating the Sister. I think he decided this because he had begun to realize how much influence she had over me, possibly in regards to our tacit agreement about how ridiculous his Doorbell Demon shtick was. He thought he would start with innocuous things first. He apparently had not actually met the Sister in any way prior to this. If there was one thing that she would never budge on, it was going to be how she deemed fit to dress up when going to a club. He had realized that he had fucked up in letting her live with us. This point is dependent on his being aware, even in the remotest of his consciousness, of his controlling behavior. But he realized that he needed to start forcing his opinions on her, possibly because the Lumberjack was no longer around to do so.

Funny story of all funny stories, guess who showed up at Fetish Night.

During the month of November, our computer stopped working. I don’t remember what was wrong with it, honestly. It could have been a virus. It could have been the Internet. It could have been a lot of things that caused the Sister and I to be unable to use the Internet. In my more Machiavellian moments, I wonder if the computer was broken at all and this was just another attempt of my ex-husband to control the two of us. To me, it is sad and depressing to even remotely be able to think that about someone who you used to profess love for. However, it would be one more act that he committed in an effort to get whatever he wanted.

The computer was down for about a month. And in that time, I began to very quickly become the introvert I used to be. I had an online blog that the ex-husband had complete access to. He was able to read it at any time he chose and he could easily, easily find out what the password was. I never kept anything hidden in that blog, but I think he thought I did. I did not create certain categories that he would be unable to see. I did not create a new blog to bitch about him in. The blog, however, was yet another way in which he could not control me. I could write and say whatever I wanted, when I wanted, on that blog. So, really, it would not surprise me to learn that the computer was “broken” for that long on purpose.

So, in that time as I became more and more introverted, more and more quiet, more and more lost in a world of fantasy that I created in my own mind, I finally broke. I had to speak with someone outside of my home. I began to talk, at this time, with TH on a more friendly basis. He was, you see, part of that group of college friends. The Sister had other people she reached out to, but I chose TH. I don’t know why or how or when, really, but he became pretty fucking important.

The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

As I’ve said, I’ve always had a very wallflower persona. I may have been a core component to some high school groups I belonged to, but I didn’t really say anything. I was just a figurehead, or more appropriately, I was just always there. To not have my presence in that group would have been like walking out of the house without socks. This may have been the case, later on, with numerous groups of friendships I had. In fact, there are days when I think of how much the Sister got along with our group of college friends and how I had one or two I spoke with frequently. It was this intense desire to keep my trap shut about everything, to internalize anything I was feeling at any given moment, that I ended up bottling up a lot of stuff.

The month of December was hell.

The original start date for my depression of that year was October. I know that clearly. I had not prepared myself in any way to contend with working, going to school, a mentally not-all-there husband, and the memory crush of a really awful month. I think I was able to push back the side effects of that time period and all of the non-preparation I did for that month after years of being away from really having to face any of it. (I know I’m being hopelessly vague but my next shadow working series will contend with how much October sucks and why.) However, after the disaster with the Doorbell Demon and the Sister relying heavily on me to fill in the “I don’t want to be alone” gap that the Lumberjack’s leaving created, I had no real-time to at least mourn or at least attempt to confront my pains head-on. And it was easier to put it off in the face of the oddity of my ex-husband’s behavior.

TW: Depression/Suicidal Ideation
I let that depression eat at me in many ways possible. I did very little eating. I did very little speaking. I did very little of anything except to either read or watch television. I did learn how to knit, although I’ve forgotten most of what I learned back then. (Even though the Sister has re-taught me twice since then.) I did a lot of things with my depression except to face it. When I finally began to realize how morbidly and frighteningly depressed I was, I began to experience severe suicidal ideation. As someone who had been a cutter and depressed before, I knew the signs. It would get to the point where I would fantasize about taking the Neon out for a drive and wrapping it around a tree. When I realized what was happening, I knew I needed help.

I don’t know who began the conversation first, myself or the ex-husband. I remember trying to address what was happening to me with him. It wasn’t the first time in our relationship that I had tried to explain my feelings to him and failing utterly. I may be good at writing things, but I am not so good at saying those very items out loud. The worst part is that after confessing that I needed help, that I was scaring myself, and that I needed some fucking help in all of this, he said to me, “You’re behaving like every other section-12 I’ve ever had to transport.” This is a double slap in the face. A section-12 is a mentally ill patient and paramedics do not take any section-12’s comments, concerns, fears, or statements seriously. Maybe this has changed in the last seven years, but back then, that’s how it was for my ex-husband. And that’s how I’ve come to see it in most paramedics.

I bowed my head low and said, “I need help,” in the face of his accusation.

I was reaching out and trying, and he was accusing me of making everything up. I honestly don’t know what caused him to say what he said. And I can only speculate about how he actually meant those words. I can only comment on how I felt when he said that to me, which was that my problems were not real, they were imagined, and that I was not important. He quickly realized he had messed up and reached out to a therapist in our area and got me in to see her a month later. But, the words had been let out. He had said something very, very, very fucked up.

It hurt. /TW

I still had a month until therapy, though, and in that time I tried to use my friendships as a good bouncing off point to ease the ache. I made it abundantly clear to TH that I was morbidly depressed. I honestly don’t know if he was able to figure out what was actually causing the depression – holdovers from past traumas coupled with an unsupportive husband – or if I told him. It doesn’t matter. He didn’t really say anything, which was a boon. He just listened. And he had the best hugs to provide: broad shoulders for crying and snot, gentle hands to relax the tension in one’s back, and the right noises to keep the skittish from bolting. I didn’t have to tell the Sister anything. She lived with us, heard the fights, and invariably I told her about them on our way to school or late at night. Besides, it wasn’t difficult to discern that the deep bags beneath my eyes were simply from lack of sleep.

The Sister had her own stuff at this time that’s important. She got back together with the Lumberjack. This was a bad idea all around. She’ll admit to everyone that this guy was a mistake, not the capital M kind, but it was just not a good idea. I’ve stated before that this was an act to get away from her ex as much as possible and the Lumberjack was his total opposite. She succeeded in that regard. However, the Sister is a very passionate person in all things and the Lumberjack was not. I think his passions went to Naruto and the Dresden Files. Part of me believes that some of the aches and pains she began to suffer during this time was due to the fact that she was forcing herself into a situation that she had no business forcing herself into.

One night, she just fell the fuck over in the middle of our kitchen. The paramedic didn’t react. Her boyfriend didn’t react. I rushed over and started flipping the fuck out. I wasn’t the one who was supposed to know what to do in a situation like this. My ex husband was supposed to be jumping up and doing his paramedic thing. However, I think at this point he had decided that everything and anything that the Sister said was a lie or a made up story. I think he also felt that whatever she did was a lie. This is a recurring theme, I think, with him. It’s possible he was aware that she was already cheating on the Lumberjack with ex Demon Boy and maybe he thought her guilt was forcing this on her. I don’t think that; I think she was in some damn pain.

We took her to the hospital – as I said, she was in a lot of pain. Neither the paramedic nor her boyfriend stayed with her. I did. I read Timeline by Michael Crichton to her, I think. Or maybe it was another book about time travel. She still had a lot of kind of wacky ideas in her head placed their by ex Demon Boy and time travel was something she was still very interested in then. I don’t think she is now, or not nearly as much as she was. I held her hand as they made her loopy on drugs. I did my best to get the nurses to listen to me when they tried to give her 4cc’s of morphine. Drugs react fast in her and I wanted them to give her a half dosage. The mean nurse wrote down 4cc’s after I told her not to do that. The nice nurse who administered it gave her a half dose, which was even better because we found out that the Sister was allergic to it. It was also really great that the nice nurse was carrying around some anti-morphine shit in her pocket because she had had 2 people experience allergic reactions to it that night. Later, we made jokes about how she would never be a heroin addict.

That was the first real time we told official people we were sisters.

The next week, I barely passed through anything. I was in my own little world. The Sister did not bother telling me about her reopening of her relationship with the ex-Demon Boy. Later, I would get incredibly suspicious. But at that time, I was very much lost in my own head. I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my own misery. It was around this time that I was asked not to use my cell phone so much because we “didn’t have the minutes.” It meant that the two out-of-state resources I had – my ex-Christian friend and my mother – had suddenly become off limits. TW: Suicidal Ideation I began to feel extremely isolated and more depressed than before. The thought of wrapping my car around a tree was looking very very very appealing. /TW

I was invited to a party, actually, by TH. His girlfriend-of-the-time had decided on a huge, huge party for their six-month anniversary. Never mind the actual feels of what TH wanted – something quiet and romantic – but she decided, “His house will be empty of parents and little brother. Yes, we need to have another excuse to behave like children.” It’s one thing to behave that way when you were TH and most of the people we hung out with were 18. She had a kid and was only a year or so younger than me. She had no right to behave like some moron who was going spring breaking for the first time. But, I had been invited. I said “no” because I had to work and then because the Sister wasn’t going to go for whatever her reason was and then because I was sure the ex-husband wouldn’t like it.

But, I had to do things for myself, sometimes. There were moments when I could stand up and say, “I am a human being and I will do things like human beings.” As TH pointed out to me at one of his last minute, “please please please come to my party because everyone is friends with [girlfriend’s name] and I want someone who is my friend there for me.” And I was one of his friends… so I went.

It was nice. It was that night that I realized why I had always felt like I knew [girlfriend’s name] before that. She was a year or two younger than me. She had gone to the high school down the street. And she had slept with my boyfriend-not-boyfriend in my bed. It’s more complicated than that, obviously, but that did not predispose me to liking her. The fact that she treated TH like complete shit after taking away his virginity (yes, he’s slept with two people – me and her) and using him like everyone else in her life? That really didn’t predispose me to liking her any more. It would only get worse with time.

So, I went to the party for a little bit. I wasn’t there long because I had to drive back to my own house. I had a while to be free and quiet and without anyone else around. I was looking forward to the drive home when TH walked me to my car. We both talked a little bit in the ice cold of winter, snow on the ground and sparkling under a very lively moon. We hugged and pulled back and there was a moment where time froze. You know those moments? Time freezes because you will it to or just because it forgets how to move forward. And in that moment, I could have kissed him with his girlfriend inside and my husband at home and it would have been much too insane. The moment passed and we ignored the awkwardness of our final goodbye. We didn’t say anything about that almost-kiss.

Stress is a funny thing. It makes people do insane and crazy things. I began to get severe nervous stomach issues. I’ve always had a nervous stomach. Even though TH and I had not kissed and even though my ex-husband was completely unaware, it made me nervous. Coupled with the fact that finals were coming up, I was often feeling incredibly nauseated and generally nervous. The Sister was having her own issues with nerves since, you know, she was busy cheating on the Lumberjack under our noses. We all had our problems. None of us would have known what the ex-husband’s were since he didn’t confide in us. It doesn’t matter what we were all feeling at this point. There’s still no excuse.

The ex-husband and I were arguing about the dishes. I believe the Sister was making dinner at this moment. I think we had requested that he do a load of dishes because she needed something to cook in. I don’t remember. He told us that all we did was go to school, so we could do the damn dishes “once in a while.” This is hilarious – I did the dishes a lot. The Sister did a lot of our cooking, so she was mostly exempt. This left dish duty to the ex-husband and myself. None of us were good housekeepers (though I would like to think that the Sister and I are better at it now) and we knew that going in. The ex-husband and I had volunteered for most of the dish duty and I had promised I would clean the bathroom. (I like cleaning the bathroom, I guess?) So, at this point, I felt that the ex-husband was pretty fucking obligated to the do the dishes especially after telling us we were lazy layabouts, more or less.

TW: Threat to Personal Safety
We started fighting about it. The Sister was behind me at first, I think, and he turned with a sharp knife in his hand. I think I had started maneuvering myself out of his way or I had been leaving the kitchen because the argument wasn’t doing anyone any good. I don’t remember. I just remember turning around for a final snotty remark when I saw him holding a knife towards the Sister’s midriff. I know I didn’t realize that he was threatening her with it right away. And I know for a fact it didn’t dawn on me until much later that he had started the threat at me. I don’t remember what she said to him about it, but she does. “What are you going to do with that? Do you know how many people will kill you if you so much as touch me?” I think he may have said something snide about her having no one in her life. I blocked out the rest, I know, but the Sister says that it continued along the lines of, “I am not under your thumb. I will scream to high Heaven and tell everyone what you did. And my father, my grandfather, my uncles, and my brother will kick your ass from here to the equator.”

Or something.

I don’t remember.

I don’t remember him threatening me.

I don’t remember him as anything but holding the knife while the Sister stood in front of me. I was back towards the door to the hallway and she was between the stove and the kitchen table. I don’t remember… it’s a theme. I block it all out. And I know it’s for my safety because I’ll wake up one night, screaming as my mind goes over the edge. The man who swore to love and protect me was threatening me. And when my best friend got in his way, he threatened her, too.

He played it off, of course. “It was a joke.” But is threatening to stab someone ever a joke?
/TW

At the end of the month, TH confessed he had feelings for me. I know I openly reciprocated. I remember writing a very cryptic blog entry about it in my old blog, in which I mention that I wouldn’t say a damn word in case the ex-husband was monitoring me. I do know that I internalized the fear and anxiety of someone who was cheating… even though I wasn’t cheating. It felt that way, in a way, that I was doing wrong. And after his threatening our safety, I began to really fear the ex-husband. I internalized this with more nervous stomach. Everyone thought I was pregnant, at school, and I laughed at them. I laughed like a hyena in all of their concerned faces. “I can’t get pregnant; the ex-husband said so.” I’m not sure if I told anyone that, specifically, but that’s how it was.

I can remember running to the bathroom one day in between finals. And I can remember trying to throw up. And I can remember TH’s [girlfriend’s name] coming in to check on me. And I knew she wasn’t there because she wanted to be there, checking up on me, but that she had been ordered to check on me by TH. And I was grateful that someone cared as to why I was throwing up bile in the toilet.

“You’re Killing Me, Killing Me; All I Wanted Was You.”

Note: All lyrics for The Kill by 30 Seconds To Mars can be found here.

One of the issues I have found in finishing this project up is that, as I grow closer to the end of my time with the ex-husband, I find it harder and harder to be as neutral as I think I should be. This, I feel, is borne out in my last post on the subject (linked below) in which I feel that I was more accusatory and victimized than I had hoped the entry would convey. To me, part of the point in shadow work is to be able to look at the whole experience objectively. I’ve spent the last six years ignoring the victim I had become and being angry at the whole of it. By entering the realm of shadow work, I should be able to see it all from each perspective, I think. In not being able to do so, I worry that I’ve failed at the work in question.

A few weeks ago, my co-worker and I were discussing one of the telltale traits of an emotional abuser. This trait is that, invariably, they will separate you, whether you know it or not, from your friends and loved ones. As I thought about my and my co-worker’s conversation later, it really hit me that, if nothing else, my ex-husband is supremely guilty of this. I’ve said it before, in various arenas, that there would never have been any evidence of his abuse because it was all the mental and emotional variety. However, after this conversation, it was really brought home to me that I really am an abuse victim and that I survived, magically. What makes it ten times worse, as I’ve mentioned to the Sister about this particular blog entry arc, is that I have to come to grips with the fact that I was a victim. Me. A victim. I was victimized. I let it continue on and on, well past the time when I should have said, “hey, I’m done now,” and that really irritates me.

By not being made to remember what an emotionally abusive person will do to you, I was able to shrug the whole thing off easily. I can’t shrug it off anymore. I have to face the facts: I was a victim.

If I ever had to legitimately guess as to where my ex-husband made the mistake, it would have to be with the Sister. For months and months after moving up north, he had been on me to become friendly with her. While I’ve outlined some of the funner highlights of what an emotional abusive person will do, I’m left with the evidence of his failure based solely on the Sister. He pushed me to be friendly with her. He allowed her to move into the apartment we lived in. This leads me to believe that he was not consciously aware of the emotional abuse, which is possible. You don’t just wake up one day, I would assume, and say, “I’m going to emotionally abuse my long-term girlfriend/wife today!” If not for her living in our house, I honestly have to wonder if I would have ended up dead, either by my own hand or his.

Really, the Sister saved my life.

What if I wanted to fight
Beg for the rest of my life
What would you do?
You say you wanted more
What are you waiting for?
I’m not running from you

We moved into the new apartment together, the three of us. It was a matter of days before the Sister and I went back to school. We were both going for our liberal arts degrees with a focus on history since we’re both humongous geeks. My passion is Russia, Medieval England, and ancient Egypt; her passion is the Civil War and Victorian England. It is through her that I’ve come to realize that as much as I want my history degree, I never knew what I wanted to use it for. But, she gave me the idea about fact-checking and I can get behind that. I could look up random facts. In a way, that is exactly what I do at my job now, but that’s a different tale for a different time. Both the Sister and I began matriculating at our local community college (local being a completely relative term as the school we were going to was a 30 minute drive through ridiculous amounts of traffic) with a new lease on life. We were both pretty excited and positive about things.

One of the ways that the Sister has saved me is by going to school with the intent of making new friends. That was not my intent, at all. I wanted to go to school, get my damn degree, and leave. I didn’t want to be nice to anyone. I didn’t want to do anything with anyone new. I didn’t want to have discussions, hang out after classes, or anything. I just wanted to be that asshole with the heavy backpack, a frown perpetually on her face as she walked from one building to another. The Sister was under this weird impression that she needed more friends – I believe this was a holdover hang up from her ex Demon Boy – and so, she made new friends. She demanded that I meet them and it was through that initial meeting that my life changed irrevocably in numerous ways.

School and my job took up my life, which didn’t go over very well with my ex-husband. He was needy in a way that I can’t even begin to describe. The weirdest part is that he really wasn’t needy before as all of that. He may have required that I be the center of his universe, and vice versa, when we were in Texas, but “needy” isn’t really how I would describe him. However, there were people and places that I was a part of that he was not a part of, for once. Even our jobs, in Texas, were nominally tied to one another – and he would often regale me with how I got the job at my condo’s front desk “because of him” – so we were one functional unit, not just on the island and with the people, but even so far as the condominiums we each worked for. With me going back to school and having a job that took me off to it on weekends, I had no time for him to be the center of my world. And frankly, as much as I hated the job thing, it was kind of nice to be on my own for the weekends… even if it meant I never had a day off and that 90% of the calls were ridiculous.

That first month of us all living together – September of 2006 – was a honeymoon period. The three of us were getting to know one another in ways that we hadn’t had to get to know one another. I had been living with the ex-husband for almost the entirety of our relationship at that point, but I had never seen him as a paramedic before. This was new. As we got used to our new schedules, living with a new person, and generally trying to survive what we were putting ourselves through, the ex-husband’s job was already beginning to take its toll. He would come home from the job and just stare some nights. Other nights, he’d hop into the shower with his boots, pants, and shirt on. And still other nights, he would come home and smoke my entire pack of cigarettes after claiming to have quit. It was eating him alive.

The thing about paramedics is that they will only ever meet you on a really bad day. You may be able to meet a firefighter or a police officer on someone else’s bad day and not yours, but that’s not the case with paramedics. You will only ever meet them when you or someone you love is hurting, was hurt, and are having a very bad, no good kind of day. I believe it was that month that he came home, staring blankly at the walls. He said, “I had to transport a vegetable today to Boston. The boy… he was twelve and his mother beat him so badly that his brain barely works. And all because the system thought a mother was a better care provider than a father.” I remember the haunted look on his face as he told me in paramedic language – using words and acronyms to distance himself from the situation, like “vegetable,” that he had to see – of all the horrors he could. No names. No specifics. Just generalizations. And it ate at him. I don’t know if the Sister saw this eating at him as much as I did, but it did.

And I honestly believe that’s part of the reason he was the way he was at the end.

With new friends came a whole rash of jealousy the likes of which I cannot even begin to convey. Both the ex-husband and I had been insanely jealous towards one another and towards opposite sex friends in previous years. However, I had rapidly revised my stance on jealousy over the years. I used to be, before I was with the ex-husband and his constant cheating on me, a rashly jealous person. If you so much as looked at someone, then that meant you were thinking of leaving me and I didn’t have the tact to shut my trap about it. However, one of the positives of his cheating on me, as if there could be any, was the fact that I managed to learn how to temper my jealousy. However, one of the side effects of being a chronic cheater is a sudden and intense belief that your significant other is cheating on you. I wasn’t, but it was a conversation that happened often. With the addition of new names in my and the Sister’s vocabulary, it became commonplace for him to demand if I found anyone good-looking or if I was looking for My Ex-Husband Number 2.

There comes a point where, when constantly accused of cheating, you begin to think about it.

The thing is that I was in a nasty, nasty, and deep sex-depression at this point. I think this, more than the fact that we had new friends, was why he became so jealous and would lash out with it. As someone who had been raped and molested, I have severe issues with sex. As in, I don’t have it. It will have been a year in July since the last time TH and I had a sexual encounter. As the Sister has often said, I was “in a sex-camel phase.” Yes, well, this phase had long-lasting consequences. I’m still reaping the benefits of that, but that’s for later.

Now, let’s talk about the changes. At the end of September, all of our college friends hung out together at a party. The Sister and I took our significant others of the time – she was with the Lumberjack – and everyone got along. The ex-husband brought a friend for one of our single college ladies and they hit it off. (Considering how that relationship ended and what I know of that person now, I wonder if their relationship was as bad as she made it out to be. But, there were times where the stories I got from the Sister about that girl’s relationship with the ex-husband’s work buddy could mirror shit the ex-husband had done to me. And if there’s any truth in that, then I wonder if it is just a paramedic thing or if my ex-husband was only friendly with people like him. I don’t know.) The ex-husband was slightly mollified that nothing would happen between me and any of these new people. He also seemed pleased that I had friends and we went off with the understanding that no one but him meant anything to me, minus whatever the Sister’s and my relationship happened to be.

The month of October is a bad month for me and it was no different being back in places where memories are stronger. That was part of the reason I was such a sex-camel. But there’s so much more to October… and I’ll get into it one day with these entries, when I get that far. But suffice it to say, I flew very deeply into myself and prevented myself from caring. The ex-husband’s jealousy rants began to take off about then, I believe. And I think it had to do with the affair he was having with his paramedic partner. I’ve met her and as with all the other girls he was with “behind my back,” she was tall and reminded me a bit of “the one who got away.” He also began talking to “the one who got away” around that time.

November was when the shit hit the fan, though.

On November 2nd of that year, the Sister and I attended a haunted tour of our college with John Zaffis. During that tour, while on the grounds of the college and in one of the basement areas students are not allowed to go, I saw a little old man who I dubbed, “Father Time.” I think the Sister saw him, but I’m uncertain. He followed me home and I was frightened. Dead people, astral people, whomever or whatever this old man was… I didn’t know him and prior to this any “cracking out” I may have done was fantasy living only. Nothing had ever followed me home and I was at the point where I was never, ever going to see the dead as much as I may have wanted to. (My father was dead so, you know, wanting to see the dead was kind of important.) I admitted to the ex-husband about this man following me home and he flipped his shit. The argument we had about it later was of epic proportions.

I don’t really remember the start of the argument, but at one point, he said to me, “This is why I shut down every fucking house I’ve ever lived in from spirit fucking contact. But our house was pure and I didn’t have to do it. And now? Now I have to do it, thanks to you.” The ramifications of this statement hit me like a slap in the face. I can remember crying in the entry way with him on the stairs and screaming, “Thanks to you, I’ve never fucking felt or seen my father in all the time we’ve been together when before, he was a constant presence in my life. I hate you.” It was as though he was taking my father away from me all over again.

As a child, and as a teenager, I had been able to sense my father’s presence. My mother and my little brother, to some extent, had similar experiences with him after his death. But in all the time I had been with the ex-husband, I had never felt him around me unless I was alone on the beach or with my mother. I just thought our relationship was changing or something, but to learn that the man I had tied my life to was the reason he had stopped coming around? It really and honestly felt just like he had stolen away my life in that moment.

In a kind of repentance for being with the ex-husband for so long and being without contact with my dead father for so long, I think this is why akhu veneration is as important to me as it is now. The psychology behind it holds, as well as the fact that I do enjoy venerating some akhu. But, now as I think back on it, I think the reason it’s so important is because of those six years where my father’s ghostly influence was incredibly minimal.

The argument could have, and probably would have, escalated but the Sister diffused this argument, as she would in future with the rest. I hate it when mommy and daddy fight. She had told us this was what she would do whenever we fought. She had wanted to do it when living with a [previous] married couple, but I don’t believe she had ever had the ability. All I know is that it was what she was going to do with us, as she had forewarned. And for a while, it worked. It stopped the rages in the two of us for a while. There’s something ridiculous about a 24-year-old woman whining this at two other adults.

Come break me down
Bury me, bury me
I am finished with you
Look in my eyes
You’re killing me, killing me
All I wanted was you

For a minute, let’s break while I talk to you about the Sister at this time frame. Her story is intensely tied to my story and it’s tantamount that some things are known before I move on.

The Sister, as anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time knows, was diagnosed as bipolar disorder, type two in 2007. We were living together prior to her official diagnosis and she was not on any medications for depression. She did have Ritalin because she is also ADHD. It is because of this living together pre-diagnosis that I am incredibly able to handle her disorder and be her buddy. If I could survive her deep depressions and her insane manic episodes prior to medicating them, then I can survive anything she throws at me.

One of the joys of her diagnoses is that she also suffers from extreme paranoia. This started due to her ADHD and people being unable to follow her conversations. Quite often, she would stop in our conversations – as she does less so now – to ask me if I understood how we went from discussing window treatments to a philosophical religious conversation. I have almost always been able to follow the pathways of the conversations, as someone who has lived with ADHD people all my life, and as “a buddy.”

Since she was undiagnosed as bipolar for so long, quite often, she will have days where she thinks she is “crazy.” The diagnosis is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, we have evidence as to why she would hand over her bank card to me, periodically, and say, “Stop me. I want to buy a tuba.” And we also have evidence as to why the next day, she would lie in bed as little more than a blob and hate the world. However, the diagnosis is public knowledge and now, most people are less likely to listen to her about anything real. They tend to equate bipolar disorder with “liar,” “manipulator,” and “story teller.” While previous doctors, prior to diagnosis, probably just thought she was psychosomatic with her aches and pains or possible a hypochondriac, now everyone chalks it up to her bipolar diagnosis.

In one instance, she was never listened to because she was a hypochondriac. In the next instance, she is never listened to because she is bipolar. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I tried to be someone else
But nothing seemed to change
I know now, this is who I really am inside.
Finally found myself
Fighting for a chance.
I know now, this is who I really am.

In November, the Lumberjack was a constant feature at our home. If the Sister wasn’t going to the boonies where he lived, then he was spending the weekend at our home. The Lumberjack is exactly as he sounds. He was a very tall, meaty guy who favored jeans and flannel shirts. He was incredibly simple in his wants and desires, but he was also incredibly complicated as an individual. He and the ex-husband became very close, very tight friends during those weekends. They would talk and giggle and just generally have the manly version of pillow fights and scary story-telling whenever the Lumberjack was over. It was around this time, not long after our haunted tour at the college, that the doorbell started ringing for absolutely no reason.

I have to assume that the ex-husband had “spiritually shut down” the house by this point. I know he didn’t ask either of our opinions on it, but neither the Sister nor I were pleased. I’ve already illustrated why I was not happy about this above. The Sister disliked this idea because she has had her own ghostly happenings with her grandmother. She liked feeling her close by and I don’t really fucking blame her. It was these little visits the Sister had with her grandmother that could bring her out of some of her deepest funks. But, the ex-husband had his own ideas on the matter and we were not asked our opinions on this. So, anyway, the doorbell began to ring after this and I laughed heartily. At one point, I believe I said it was my father since he had a habit of ringing the doorbell at the house I grew up in whenever his cat wanted in.

My ex-husband wasn’t particularly pleased with this. Whenever the doorbell would ring, he would run to the door to see who was there. At first, he went the rational route. He thought some kids were playing around or someone was mistakenly at our door. However, no one was there. This happened a few times during one of the Lumberjack’s weekend visits. It got to the point where my ex-husband completely, and with back up from the Lumberjack, decided that it was a “demon” who was ringing the bell. Looking back at it now, I often wonder if he wasn’t correct in this summation.

Earlier, while thinking of some of the other bits I need to discuss with this entry arc, I have had to wonder if a demon didn’t actually end up taking over the ex-husband at some point. Maybe he was correct in his [possibly mistaken] belief that it was a demon at the doorbell. It didn’t matter. Both the Sister and I made copious amounts of fun at the two of them. “What?” I believe I said at one point. “It’s the fucking Doorbell Demon?” I went to the door and looked outside, opening the door. I called out to the alleged “Doorbell Demon” and found nothing going on, felt nothing outside.

Life would go back as normal, I suppose, but the Sister and I would remember this moment years later and giggle uproariously. It was either that, or I scream in horror at the pain and terror of the next few months.

To be continued…

“Just Gonna Stand There and Hear Me Cry.”

Even though he often told me that moving back up north would “fix things between” the two of us, the real reason that my ex-husband wanted to move back up north was because he was never comfortable if he was too far away from his family. I never really understood his insane need to be near his family, considering all of the things they had put him through. The worst part was that it was because of me that they had any real relationship to begin with. If I hadn’t come along and explained to him the importance of family, then I can only imagine how horrific things could have or would have degenerated between him and his family. I find it very ironic that because of me, he fixed the issues he had with his mother… and that made him her perfect little angel again… which made him ten times more resistant to the idea of living in Texas for the rest of our lives.

The problem with moving back up north, in my eyes, was the fact that I had a lot of PTSD that I was not over because of high school. This isn’t the story for those things, though they will come up sooner or later. The thing is that my mother told me moving back up north was a “bad idea.” She did that, again, with me this last time I moved back up here, but her reasoning has entirely been the same. “It’s bad for you; you can’t survive up there.” She was right about that the first time, with the ex-husband. I couldn’t survive up there, but not for the reasons she was harping about.

The real reasons why I couldn’t adequately survive up north are enumerated in a few little ticks. The ex husband; his mother; his family. I think if I hadn’t been nearly as close to them as we were, we may have been all right. But, there is the fact that my ex-husband very really went pretty damn close to insane towards the end. So, he is also included in the entirety of why, by the end, I was going to run away to my mother in Texas without a note, without even a slight comment in his direction.

When we moved back up north, I had a set of blinders on from the beginning. In looking back now, years later, I can see all the things that I had been fearing that were happening. We got married; immediately, he starts harping about moving back up north. I always worried that he had married me for the express permission of trying to… force my hand… into moving back up north. If we hadn’t gotten married, it would have been the final straw between us. And there are days when I just go, “Man, I really wish I had stuck to my guns before he married me and things turned really bad.” But, I made the mistake. I moved back up north and I suffer the guilt from that every day.

The worst part was that, by this time, I knew who he was and what he was able to do. He could sell hay to a farmer. He could make you do and believe anything he wanted you to do or believe as long as he was right beside you. I cannot begin to convey how manipulative he could be or how his charisma made it easier for him to get what he wanted – thus why, I think, he was the favorite of the family. His charisma made him instantly liked and adored, but it only really worked when you were around him. If you had a few moments alone, as I had when he had gone up north to visit his family just before we got married, you began to see the holes in the story. But he had to get near you in order to make you forget about those holes. So, even though I say that I “wish” I had stuck to my guns, I don’t really think I had much of a choice in this. He would have made me see his way and been very convincing or compelling or what have you about it. He had already decided that we would be together “forever” by that point and I couldn’t just so easily walk away.

It’s so insane cause when it’s going good, it’s going great
I’m Superman with the wind at his back, she’s Lois Lane
But when it’s bad it’s awful, I feel so ashamed I snapped

One of the biggest lies of our marriage, besides our marriage itself, was in how the ex-husband got me to move back up north. He constantly harped and enumerated on all of the “great things just waiting” for us to move back up there. And then, really, he forced the issue by beginning to job hunt up there in the paramedic field. The problem, really, was that he was mostly looking for fire fighting specific jobs since he hadn’t finished his paramedic training. He could easily pass the national registry tests mandated by Massachusetts, but he never finished his clinical training. So, on that one little sticking point, he began looking for both paramedic jobs and fire fighting jobs. And he “found one.” In fact, there was no job but he applied for it and “got it.” However, when we made the 2,000 mile move up north, of a sudden, there was no “funding” for the position he had been “hired for.” And now, he was jobless and I had been ripped away from my comfort zone on a lie.

But I had forced him into swearing that when we moved back up north, I would go back to school. I had been itching to go back to school, but with the working hours I required at my base rate of pay to help us pay for our car, I couldn’t afford to go to school. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it with the few hours of sleep I managed while working full-time. So, I told him that I would go back to school to get my history degree and he would support me while I did that. I was very specific with what I required out of this deal. I should have, probably, made more demands, but I am one of those people who are very much forced into blinders when something important rears its head. I wanted a degree and that’s the only bargaining chip I threw in there. I go to school; he works full-time and pays for all the bills. I should have been more specific… maybe he wouldn’t have stopped paying on my credit cards and the cell phone in my name. But, then, he was supposed to have had a job when we moved back up north to pay those bills, so… the horrible credit I currently suffer probably would have happened anyway.

The thing is that if you start off a “whole new life together” on a pack of lies then that’s what you get for the rest of it.

Who’s that dude? I don’t even know his name
I laid hands on her, I’ll never stoop so low again
I guess I don’t know my own strength

We moved in with his parents because we didn’t have any start up capital to live in our own. That wasn’t really so bad at first. I hadn’t had to live with his parents before, however, and living with his younger brother would take some getting used to. His little brother had a lot of issues, but the biggest was the fact that he was severely ADHD and suffered from severe Asberger’s syndrome. We were also bringing our three dogs into their four-dog established household. It was going to take a bit of getting used to, especially since we were all moving into a three-bedroom ranch where privacy was not really a big thing on the builder’s to-do list back in the 50s. After having had an entire half a house to ourselves, more or less… there were a lot of changes.

I tried very diligently to just focus on going back to school… and finding someone to talk to.

This is actually how I met the Sister. She was dating or living with VB by this time. And of course, one of the “best” things about moving up north [for the ex-husband] was that he would get to be with all of his little friends again. I had no real friends remaining up north. I had spurned most, if not all of them, when I had started dating my ex-husband. I will admit that I didn’t really want to get to know the Sister. The boys kept going on about how we would get along great because she was “a pagan.” (Amazing how if two people profess to be pagan, then they must be besties according to outsiders.) But really, the whole reason why I didn’t want to get to know her was that I didn’t want to have to like her and then have to get rid of her when VB finally did his usual thing of breaking her heart. Considering how much my ex-husband had been screwing around with my friendship with my [now ex-] Christian friend, it seemed like this could be the ultimate result. So I decided to hold her at arm’s length.

Ha.

There are a lot of things that I should, at least, mention as being grateful that I was able to take away from my relationship with my ex-husband. My friendship with the Sister is the only thing that really bears any weight when I measure it up against the other things: owning my first car; my dog, Jasmine. The Sister was there throughout the rest of this story and she’s still around. I have a friend who will not judge me for my religion. I have a friend who knows the horror of my relationship with my ex-husband and will let me rant about it when I need to. I’ve parceled it all out to different people over the years, but never explained the entire story to anybody and that includes TH. While he may have heard things from the Sister or possibly in passing during our conversations about things, but even he doesn’t know how horrific it really was towards the end there. But the Sister was there… and that relationship, I thought all those years ago, would dissipate or fall away as the rest of them had.

So for that, I should admit, at least, that I am grateful.

While living with his parents, the Sister would take me out once a week so that I “got out of the house.” In case no one has been paying attention the last three years, I’m an insane home-body. You have to literally drag me out of the house to get me to go anywhere that is not a room in my house. This was unacceptable to the very sociable people who were my ex-husband’s family. So, she would take me out and we would go swimming at her grandfather’s or have rituals at her house or just generally not be in our different living situations for a while. The one time I tried to do this on my own, I learned a very valuable lesson: don’t do it.

I reached out to a few friends I had left over up here. I didn’t have many left over from high school because of my ex-husband and our relationship. But there were a few left that didn’t judge me so heinously or harshly. I reached out to that one and hung out with him a few times. According to MEH, he was fine with this even though the guy in question was a boy who I had been in unrequited love with for years before I got together with my ex-husband. I’m not sure if this was an act or if he parlayed his fears of what “could have” happened into his little brother’s ear. Either way, the one time I brought that friend to the house for a barbecue, MEH’s little brother was very verbally abusive towards us until I was forced to bring my friend home.

Later, MEH’s little brother both physically and verbally attacked me.

Whatever fractured peace the two of us had been living was shattered by that. The comfort of living in that home, of which there was little, was completely gone by that point. The ex-husband had all but admitted that he had lied to me to get me to move up north. The ex-husband had been behaving like a foolish child. His mother had been having literal temper tantrums (the kind that would make a five-year-old blush) about us living there. And everything else was looking like I would not only be able to go to school, but have to pay for part of it as well as have to get a job because the ex-husband was big on breaking his promises: I wasn’t allowed to just go to school, I had to help out financially if I “wanted to move out of his parents’ house.”

Even though the situation there had become incredibly uncomfortable for me because of his family members.

Even though the situation there had become horrifically awful because I had been brought there on false pretenses.

It didn’t matter.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie


Since the Sister was being thrown out of her house with VB because, as I had predicted he got tired of her, the ex-husband and I decided to have her live with us. The ex-husband and I wanted to move back to Easthampton because it was a nice, quiet, and friendly place. He had friends in that area and the job he really wanted was in that city. He felt it would reflect positively on his ability to get the job with the fire station if he was already established in the city. The job I had acquired – because of my ex-husband’s friends, actually – was nearby. So, the Sister and I began looking for apartments there. We found a townhouse within our price range in the very building the ex-husband and I had lived in before. And we could bring the dogs with us.

It was supposed to be perfect.

To be continued…

Related Entries

  1. Shadow Work with the Ex-Husband (TW).
  2. “High Off of Love; Drunk From My Hate.”
  3. “I Love You; I Hate You; I Can’t Live Without You.”
  4. “I Am Just as Fucked As You.”
  5. The Empasse Would Have Been Religion.

“I Am Just as Fucked as You.”

Last night, I was looking for the right song to work to when I wrote about my next batch of shadow work. Nothing seemed to be working. Earlier in the evening, I had thought that I needed a more melancholy and morose song set to work to. It seemed to get me going when I would listen to songs that were intrinsically linked to my relationship with my ex-husband or that, after the fact, upon hearing them, described so much of what we had gone through or what I had gone through. It was only after the sixth depressing song came on – funny how we can get what we ask for when it’s something inconsequential like a sad batch of songs – that I realized that the depressing mood set wasn’t going to work. I wanted something angry because, for fuck’s sake, I was fucking angry.

And that’s when I realized that this particular shadow work wasn’t going to follow the same feel as the others I’ve done so far. This isn’t about trying to see him as a multifaceted human being. This particular batch isn’t about trying to explain how we were both wrong. In this portion, I’m not looking to sit down and say, “Here is where we fucked up, here is the reason why I screwed up and this is why I think he did.” Oh, no. This particular little section is about how motherfucking pissed off I am at the whole fucking situation. And that even years later, I can still feel my blood boil when I start to think about some of the really fucked up shit he both said and did to me.

You see, the two of us were just not good together, but some of the shit he did is completely inexcusable. These are the instances that I can clearly recall that just make me want to… punch something.

I know your life is empty
And you hate to face this world alone
So you’re searching for an angel
Someone who can make you whole
I can not save you
I can’t even save myself
So just save yourself

TRIGGER WARNING.

So, once upon a time, he dated a rape victim. Apparently, her experience was “more harrowing” than mine. He never really came right out and said that, but I felt like I wasn’t a “real” rape victim whenever he talked about this ex-girlfriend. I also felt that it was a rousing commentary on the state of society when you can go through your life and date two girls, in rapid succession, who have been the victims of sexual assaults. I didn’t think too much of the whole thing because, you know, why did I care about ex-girlfriends? Of course, he was probably using this to incite a riot of jealousy in me or merely because he’s a tactless douche a lot of time.

I’m going with B.

So, apparently, his one crowning achievement with this girl was that he evidently had given her the very first orgasm she had ever experienced. Now, I can’t say if it was her first one in her entire life or if it was her first one since her sexual assault. In either case, I have to wonder why I’m being told about this. I already felt like I wasn’t a “real” sexual assault victim when he first (A) mentioned her to me and then (B) explained in rapid-fire detail about how much “worse” her situation was to mine. Of course, I have to admit that he never came right out and said that my experiences were lesser than hers. It was just a generalized feeling in regards to the story. So, anyway, not only does he tell me about how he was so awesome with the orgasm, but I can’t help but wonder why the fuck he was telling me this.

Is that some big huge crowning achievement?

It’s not like I hadn’t had one of my own before. In fact, I can clearly recall multiples all over the fucking place with previous boyfriends as well as the one who had to tell me this pointless tale.
But, that was something that he mentioned to me repeatedly, so I’m assuming, he thought that by telling me this, it meant that he could make my body respond in ways that it should instead of my body shutting down because of some random trigger that could or could not happen. This happened early enough in our relationship (and then had repeated moments later whenever he wanted me to “try something new”) that I should have realized that he was a selfish dick bag right there.

TRIGGER WARNING OVER.

I know that you’ve been damaged
Your soul has suffered such abuse
But I am not your savior
I am just as fucked as you
I am just as fucked as you
I can not save you
I can’t even save myself
So just save yourself

The cheating thing really pisses me off for a number of reasons. I rather feel like I’m being two-faced about this, though. I did, after all, give him permission to do so. I think the reason I get so pissed off about it is because I told him, implicitly, that I did not wish to know about his sexual conquests. But we lived on a small island and while no one flat-out said, “You know he’s fucking around behind your back,” you can just tell. I think it was the snotty, haughty looks his sexual conquests would give me if they saw the two of us together. You know how it is. You’re out with a group and then, a girl the guy slept with comes up and checks you from head to foot, making sure you’re all made up and dolled up nice so that they can see why it is he’s with you instead of them? Yeah. I got that look from two or three girls when we were living down south, so it was fairly obvious.

And then he always made sure to tell me how much he didn’t cheat on me when he would be away for fire school. I’m not an idiot. I talked with all the guys on the fire department and there was, maybe, one guy on the whole department who didn’t cheat on their significant other. It’s almost like you have to be a card-carrying cheater to get on the fire department or something. They would all go to the bar and then things would happen and then, they’d go home to their arm candy or their wife (because the two were not mutually exclusive) and that would be that. It was like, “Why are you telling me this? I already know you have sex with other vaginas. So, why do you have to pretty much lie to my face about it?”

But, the real big issue I have here is two-fold. One, he would buy me shit all the time to replace him in my affections. I got so much jewelry after he ended a torrid affair with someone. That’s how I got my dog, Jasmine. That’s why I was able to buy the camera that I wanted instead of settling for something less than what I wanted. I mean, there are other little instances where it’s just like, “Wow. Gee. Buying me off, are you?” And yet again, I often wonder if I have the right to be angry about it. I mean, I did tell him it was okay. Yeah, I said it in a fit of rage and whatnot, but the invitation was set out beneath his nose, so…

And yet again, another thing that really gets to me about this is that without fail, if you’re cheating on someone, then you tend to assume that the other person is cheating on you. And I’m one of those idiots that can be faithful until I figure it’s over and done with (whether I mention it to the other person in the relationship or not is an entirely different kettle of fish). So, I got accused, a lot, of sleeping around behind his back when I wasn’t. And how do you prove that you aren’t doing that? I honestly don’t know if he thought that I kept a love slave at work or something, but there were quite a few arguments that started because he insinuated I was sleeping with someone else.

And then there was the time when he told me that the fire chief told everyone that while I was claiming I had a boyfriend up north (you see, the ex-husband and I didn’t move together down to Texas; I went first and then he came down a month or two later), but I was obviously easy and looking for dick. And apparently, the fire chief felt the need to share this little tidbit with him over a couple of beers at one of the bars and then, man. Did I hear about that when he got home? It was fucking ridiculous. He was so stuck on his own cheating ass that he just assumed that not only I would do it, too, but that rumors that had no bearing on fact were true about me. And seriously? What the fuck would I get out of cheating on a fire fighter on a tiny fucking island where everyone would know within seconds?

For fucking serious, douche bag; how dumb do I look?

My life has been a nightmare
My soul is fractured to the bone
And if I must be lonely, I think I’d rather be alone
I think I’d rather be alone

Yet another issue that always pisses me off whenever I think about it is his ex-girlfriend. This is “the one that got away.” And he would always refer to her that way to the point where I ended up using that as her name instead of her real name because I couldn’t stand the bitch. And it wasn’t even that I couldn’t stand her because she was a complete whore to him and used him all over the place (pawned the platinum and diamond engagement ring to get to online boyfriend she was fucking behind his back; demanded that he take her to get an abortion after she had unprotected sex with him and her at-the-time boyfriend within the same day; called him up for booty calls while we were together; would make him jealous by talking about all the guys she fucked; and I’m pretty sure she got money out of him when she went into stripping to pay the bills and I think that money was given on a private donation basis, if you catch my drift). I honestly didn’t like her for the one year I knew of her in high school. Everyone thought she was just the cat’s meow and really, she was just a selfish whore.

He always threw her in my face whenever shit got bad or just because he was hoping I would get jealous and fuck him silly.

Like, seriously, what the hell does she have anything to do with what we’re doing? He told me when she would inform him that I was “using” him to get things. And I’m like, “Really? He gives them to me because he fucks dirty bitches behind my back. So, really, if anyone is being ‘used’ here, I think I have the right to that word and not him.” For example, the night that we broke up and decided to get divorced..? He went over to see her and didn’t come back until, like, four in the morning. And then, upon coming home, he immediately jumped into the shower before going up to bed. And it’s like, “Really, like I don’t know you just fucked your ex skank? How often were you doing that since we’ve up here and she has too?”

But, you know, I think what really pisses me off the most is the fact that I supported his every decision when it came to “what” he wanted to be. He decided to go back to school fairly early on when we were living down south, and I supported that. I helped him pay off the money he owed WNEC so that he could get his student loans reinstated. I helped him to pay off other bills that he accrued with his friends over band-related materials (like the sound system that he put on a credit card and never paid off). While he was in school to be a mathematician, and then a computer sciences major, I was there to hold down the fort. I made sure he had quiet time for homework and urged him to do something he absolutely loved as opposed to something that he only kind of liked (math versus computers). He ended up going with the one he could make more money on (computers).

And then, I supported him through every variation of fire school. That included all of the class time for becoming an EMT-basic. That included all the times he got to spend a week or two at College Station with hundreds of other fire fighters (who were “not” cheating on their wives back home) across the state. And that included when he decided to go for paramedic and had to drive to classes forty-five minutes away with his new side twat. And that included picking up shifts at the EMS base and making sure he made every fire call. That included when he failed to make all of his clinicals for paramedic and then moved us up north, lied about all of that, and had to shell out half of what was left in savings to get his national registry done for paramedic in MA even though he never actually made paramedic in Texas. And. And. And.

I never got a thank you. It was my job, I guess. But, I told him as a kind of way to get me back up north that he had to support me through my next foray into college. That meant that I would not work. That meant that I would focus entirely on school. And immediately, I had to get a job. And immediately, he wouldn’t help me with the homework he promised he would help me with. And that meant that I had to suck dick to get my car to take to school. And that meant a lot of things that pretty much account to the fact that what he had promised in return for all the hard work and support I gave him never came back to me because I shouldn’t have been in school again but relying solely on him for support.

Yeah…

I’m not sure when his 1950s version of what our marriage should be came around, but I can tell you, it didn’t go over well.

You can not save me
You can’t even save yourself
I can not save you
I can’t even save myself
Save yourself
So just save yourself

So, those are just some of the things that I’m still pissed off about. Never mind his crazy, scary stalker vibe. Never mind the fact that he would blow up my phone if he didn’t get a hold of me right away (even if I was in class). Never mind the fact that I was cheating on him throughout the entirety of our relationship, which is a falsehood. Never mind the time that I had to lock myself in my room to hide from him while he tried prying the door off its hinges to get at me and the Sister had to stop him from doing something crazy-stupid. Never mind the time he threatened both me and the Sister with a knife. Never mind the time that he turned over, sobbing, from a nightmare where he killed me – the same nightmare I had just woken up from, myself. Never mind the fact that I had to ask him to use the money in our account, even though it was our money. Never mind the fact that he wanted to turn me into some house bound motherfucking slave.

I guess you could say that I’m still pretty pissed off about all of that.

“High Off of Love; Drunk From My Hate.”

There comes a point in your life when you can stand back, slightly removed from the past, and see all of the things that you’ve been ignoring. You can see the subtle maneuvers of fate and decisions come together to make things into what they ended up. It’s in those moments, which can be either few or often, that you begin to wonder what it is that made you do the things you did. This isn’t always the case, of course. Some moments you’re just so busy wondering what was going through their heads and the desire to see what their fate and their decisions were that causes you to muck up the progress. I’ve been wading through the mud and the shit-slinging. It’s time to open up this particular wound and let it bleed out.

I first met my ex-husband through a guy I was seeing at the time. They were best friends. I’ve talked about in him various outlets before. Most people who have been following this blog know him as Demon Boy or Void Boy. Yes, before he fucked over the Sister in ways unimaginable, I was with him. This was actually before he went completely insane. (He was kind of nuts, but not fully down that road yet.) I liked hanging out with Void Boy. It was freeing and exhilarating for reasons I won’t get into. I liked the man who I would one day marry from the get-go. He had [legit] fangs. He wore a leather jacket. He was fixing his big ass Chevy Blazer when I first met him. His hair was buzzed short and his eyes were a green-blue. He was sexy as hell. I wanted him almost immediately, but I was trying to be serious with VB. What I didn’t seem to realize at that point was that VB was not serious about me. So, maybe, I got him back a little…

…by spending time with his best friend and the one guy who could always incite his jealousy to riot.

In a way, I was doing it because I was hoping to get a reaction out of VB. I was also doing to fly in the face of convention. Some days, I sit around and just think that I was experimenting with a whore phase. In other moments, I tend to think that I was just hoping someone would step forward and say that I mattered in some way. What it really comes down to, in all honesty, is a complete lack of self-esteem. I was so low at that point that I would have done a lot to get attention, in any way, even if it meant that I had to use my body to do it. Not as a kind of excuse or anything, but when I met VB and my future ex-husband, I had been raped only two years prior to that and it hadn’t even been a year since I had been molested in my sleep by someone I considered a close friend. (One day, we’ll discuss those things, but today isn’t it.) So, I had very little to no self-esteem after going through a trial and after being asked to go through a second one and being unable to. I was suffering in other ways due to low self-esteem, which all actually had everything to do with both of those sexual assaults. I’ve always had low self-esteem (for whatever reason) but the lowest of the low points for me are intrinsically tied to the sexual assaults and the aftermath after both.

But, those few months where the man I would marry and I would sneak around behind his best friend’s back were some of the best months of my life. I know that sounds seriously fucked up. I wasn’t technically serious with VB or anything, but I was seeing his best friend without telling him? There’s more to that story, but it’s neither here nor there. The rest has no bearing unless I get into other things later. What matters now is that I felt very much at peace and myself when I was with MEH. After a split-second decision, I ended up with VB on a semi-permanent basis for a while. That didn’t last very long and neither did the next guy. I ended up going back to MEH on a spur of a moment thing. He used to call me when I was with the guy after VB for a booty call at like two in the morning, on his way back from the bar or something. I always turned him down. When I finally was free to do whomever or whatever I wanted, I went right back to the guy who made me feel like I could be anyone when I was around him.

The actual decision I made to head back in the direction of my future ex-husband actually had little to do with him or the freedom I felt when I was with him. I wasn’t quite so intent on my own happiness. I was feeling low (sound familiar) and I wanted some comfort. At this point, I was beginning to associate sex with comfort. I was also bored and tired and sad. I wanted to get back at VB for something (I honestly don’t remember what) and I knew that hanging out with his best friend would set him in a rile. Either I was trying to get a reaction out of VB because I was hoping he would get serious, for once, or I was just missing out on high school drama. I honestly don’t know what the real reason behind all that was. The point is that I ended up going to hang out with my future ex-husband at a party… and just didn’t leave.

It wasn’t supposed to be serious or anything, but you know, I opened up. I told him how I felt about it all. I told him about the situation with VB. I told him about how I was feeling old and prickly. I told him about how I felt washed up, used up, and that I was probably going to die from alcohol poisoning one day. (I was an active alcoholic in high school and continued, with brief spurts of being sober, into my first forays at college.) And he was just there to help me pick up the pieces. A sort of way station of sorts, but the thing is that fate and past lives have more sway than I’m willing to admit. And, too, I had a possible relationship starting with someone who I knew I was sexually compatible with. And you know, the past life thing.

I can’t tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it’s a steel knife in my windpipe
I can’t breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it’s like I’m in flight

When we lived together in Easthampton, we didn’t really fight. Oh, we had them. It wasn’t… big. They were minor. They were most caused because of lack of sleep or my being bitchy for whatever reason. Sometimes, our fights were based off some of the most inane moments I can clearly recall. I don’t think he ever understood that I was just entirely insecure. I still am, but I was very, very insecure because of the sexual assaults and because of the fact that I had managed to choose really bad guys for me before. Not to say anything negative about my mom here, but she told me that this one wouldn’t work out any better than any of the rest. I mention this because it has resounding effects later and because it was part of my own insecurity – my mother was just voicing it aloud.

The thing is that I wanted him to bundle me up and hold me and tell me that he would always take care of me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want a cohesive bond, but I was beginning to associate relationships – like real, adult relationships – with a 1950s mindset. I honestly don’t know why or how got me started in that. I still have issues with this, to this day, but I don’t know where it stems from. It’s possible, armchair psychology moment here, that it stems from watching my mother struggle after the death of my father and never wanting to end up like that. But, for whatever reason, I was beginning to see this relationship as going further than the others and that he would just… take care of me.

The thing is that while I was still very young and immature, so was he. He put on a very good act about being “a grown up.” I’m not denying that he wasn’t more mature than I am in quite a few arenas. He had been living on his own since he was seventeen and had been able to keep his head [nominally] straight while his family fell apart. But he didn’t understand what I needed anymore than I understood what I needed at the time. I needed a strong, sexy Prince Charming to bundle me up tight as though I were a piece of fragile glass and protect me. If that meant that he needed to protect me from myself, then we would have issues, but he needed to protect me from the evils and hurts that had placed bags beneath my eyes and had given me a prickly exterior and had put wisdom in the depths of my eyes that shouldn’t have been there at eighteen.

I started off well in our relationship. By well, I mean that I started off with things working almost as clearly and easily as I thought they should be. As I said, we fought about stupid things but it was all right. He asked me to marry him fairly early on. I was given a beautiful sapphire engagement ring. I loved that ring. But it didn’t take long before I began to near the precipice of my own insecurities and failures. If you ask my ex-husband, he will tell you that this push towards disaster was because of the people I associated with. They were inferior and wrong. They were not people he would have chosen for me. If you ask me, I would say that it was just me finally letting my insecurities, my fears, and my pain catching up with me after pretending that everything was going smoothly. It really doesn’t matter what the reason – I ended up drinking heavily to the point where, one night, I had to go to the hospital.

We ended up moving to Texas shortly thereafter.

High off of love, drunk from my hate,
It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I’m about to drown, she resuscitate me
She fucking hates me and I love it.

Things started off at the same even keel that they had been when the ex-husband and I first moved in together. It was like we were using this as a fresh start together. We didn’t have his family squabbles to contend with. We were starting over. I really tried to think of my moving to Texas as a fresh start, but the thing is that the same old things started to crop up. It wasn’t so much that I still needed or desired him to take care of me. I think the basis for most of the shit that ended up going on in Texas was that I did a complete 180 on things. I went from the needing to be cherished and protected and cared for that I had initially decided I needed to somehow magically fix the pain I was still feeling to thinking that I needed a full on, one hundred percent fresh start and having my ex-husband around was a glaring indicator that I had past actions that I was not proud of – namely, how we initially started seeing one another and the stuff I did when I was with VB – and I couldn’t let them go with him around. It’s not like I could verbalize any of this anyway.

I ended up having my first and only blackout while we lived down in Texas. This is what started me on my 180. With this complete change, I went from not caring to caring too much. My emotions were at a higher surface than they had been in years past. I had suppressed them so that I could have sex and have fun and move on without feeling like a dirty, used up whore. The drinking, I think, suppressed all of this in a way that I hadn’t ever realized. So, along with my no longer drinking, we no longer had sex. At one point, when he tried, I freaked out so badly that I told him I didn’t care that we weren’t ever having sex again and he could fuck whoever he wanted with my full consent as long as I didn’t know about it. Our relationship had gone from a tumble off the cliff to a plummeting to its death. We just hadn’t realized that and wouldn’t for some time yet.

Wait! Where you going?
“I’m leaving you”
No you ain’t. Come back we’re running right back.
Here we go again

He took my suggestion to heart. I don’t know when the cheating started. I’ve often felt conflicted about this in a way that I can’t quite understand. How is it cheating if I technically gave him permission to do so? It’s not that my ex-husband took what I said to heart or at face value. The thing is that I had told him time and time again that I could not and would not have sex. I was frozen in this asexual hell hole I’m actually currently in. And no matter what I said or did or thought or dreamed, I could not break out of it. As anyone who knows anything about men, when they’re in they are in their 20s, they are highly sexual creatures. I was effectively asking him to be celibate with me. And I think he wanted it in the same way that I wanted it. We were so tied to one another by this point and not just because of life experiences that we had gone to together. I think this is when it becomes more and more prominent just how completely tied together we were via our past lives together. He disgusted me. I probably disgusted him. It doesn’t matter.

Our fights had gotten fairly bad. I was trying very hard to keep them quiet, but I’m not fooling myself when I say that we managed to keep them under wraps. They would get so bad that we would both go around and destroy one another’s things. I had broken CDS and DVDs and books of his; he followed with like courtesy. There were a lot of times when I said that I wanted it to be over and I’ve talked about that time when he was visiting his parents and I had tried to end it then. I think what it really came down to, on both of our parts, was a multifold thing. We didn’t want to fail at yet another relationship. We wanted to be able to say that we weathered the storm. We wanted to be able to laugh uproariously in our old age about all the shit we did “in our youth.” But what it really comes down to is that we were both scared of what it would be like to have to start all over again. I’ve dreamed, a time or six, about what it would be like to live on my own without any help from anyone. I’ve never actually had this and neither had he. We weren’t read to separate.

Our souls were entwined, too, by this point. It wasn’t just the fights and the things he tried to help me with or the things that I tried to help him with. There was an all-pervasive need and desire to be together. It wasn’t just the people who told us that we wouldn’t succeed or anything, but we just felt that being apart… we were less than we were together. And in a manner of speaking that is the truth. Two is greater than one. But our souls had entwined by this point to where there were moments where the thought of leaving, on either our parts, would make it hurt so badly that we would literally be curled into balls with the pain. I watched him go through that. I felt it myself. As much as we both wanted to stop all of the insanity we were incurring in our lives, we physically couldn’t do it. It was impossible.

To be continued…

“I Love You; I Hate You; I Can’t Live Without You…”

Note: All lyrics are taken from here.

I’ve read from others about how the gods or spirits or whomever can play around with the shuffle features on various iPods and radio lists. I’ve never had this happen to me before. That isn’t because I didn’t want it to happen in so much as I didn’t have a place to go and listen to music. (I am really not that technologically advanced. My laptop is from 2008.) If I wanted to listen to music, I tended to just YouTube it and watch the videos or have songs that I selected playing in the background. Today, though, I finally downloaded the Pandora app for my new tablet and let it go to town. I ended up choosing a Shinedown station to listen to and went about my business. Now, really, if you know Shinedown then the song that I’m getting ready to discuss isn’t going to be so shocking in the fact that it came up. The happenstance here is the fact that prior and after this particular song, numerous songs reminding me of my ex-husband in some capacity or another – their having come out when we first got together or having been ballads to discuss our relationship in some form or another – kept coming on. The one that threw me for a loop was Always by Saliva.

I remember when this song came out. I believe I had just moved into the ex-husband’s apartment. I was jobless. I was trying to find something that I could do, but I wasn’t actually trying. I would sit at home and stew while he and his best friend went off to work all day. I believe it was the height of fall when the song came out, or at least it was when I liked it best. I can remember having the song stuck in my head on a fairly regular basis, or just letting it blast from the speakers with the windows wide open while I let in the beautiful fresh breath of chill breezes in the middle of autumn. I can remember the smell of the leaves as they frolicked across the sidewalk and I can remember the intense feelings this song arose in me. And what makes it all the more bittersweet is that if I had been paying attention to my instincts, which I never did a single lick of while we were together anyway, I could have possibly stopped the horrible horror of our relationship.

Unfortunately, when you end up in a relationship where shit is fated and tends to repeat over and over again in various lives, you may not really have much of a choice about how shit plays out. Maybe if I had just been more aware… but while I’m sitting here and writing this whole, “maybe if,” I can’t help but remind myself that just because people can see the future doesn’t mean that they can change it. In some cases, it can be truly and willfully fated – there is no way to change the events. There are ways to influence and connive and blunt the sharpness of it all, but you have to be really gifted, me thinks, to get that going. And back then, I was little more than a child. I had all the gifts of a baby realizing that those things that flail around in front of me are actually body parts attached to me. (If you’ve never had children or been around children who discover their hands or feet for the first time, you are missing out on a truly magical and amusing time.) There was no way I could actually achieve the goal of blunting anything, much less escaping from the havoc of replaying the same old shit in a different life.

I hear a voice say, “don’t be so blind.”
It’s telling me all these things
That you would probably hide
Am I your one and only desire?
Am I the reason you breathe?
Or am I the reason you cry?

Often, you will hear me discuss our relationship as “bad in general.” This isn’t actually the case. Most of the time, I say this to explain that things were just never very good between the two of us. There were a lot of fights and a lot of anger. I can remember some of our fights getting so explosive that we would destroy one another’s things since neither one of us would attack the other. Yes, it was that bad. But when I think about the relationship and I go on about how horrible things are, I tend to give other things the injustice. It wasn’t all bad.

Recently, I was talking with the Sister about her past relationship with a certain someone. She told me that she’s begun shadow work to remove that kind of shit from her. She was approaching her primary goddess, Aphrodite, and asked to help heal all the hate from that relationship. Whatever ended up happening, the moral of the story is that a goddess told her that everything wasn’t all bad. Everything wasn’t all tears and pain. She had to mourn the one to mourn the other, I believe is what she was told precisely. The second she said that to me, I started having my version of a panic attack. (And if she reads this, she’ll claim I was not having a panic attack, but I was. I was.)

I talk about my relationship with my ex-husband in the form of absolutes. It was absolutely this and it was absolutely that. Unfortunately, when we talk about things in absolutes, we forget that reality is actually shades of gray. My relationship with my ex-husband was gray scale like everything else. Perhaps it had more darker shading than some other relationships I have been in and have ended in the past, but it was still done in shades of gray.

I just can’t live without you
I love you, I hate you
I can’t get around you
I breathe you, I taste you
I can’t live without you

He took me horse back riding on the beach. He took me to a really expensive inn to “get away” for the weekend. We were only in the next town over, but it was still really romantic (in principle). He had no problem explaining things like the Golden Ratio to me over and over again, knowing that I never fully understood what it was he was talking to me about but trying nonetheless. (If he hadn’t succumbed to financial and outside pressures, he would have been a math major. He wrote a mathematical theory in high school.) He came and “rescued” BFTX and I when two males followed us from bar to bar to bar on our girl’s night out. He never commented on the relationship I had with my mother, whether it was negative or otherwise. He pushed me to write all the time. He let me watch television and never complained when I was watching my City Confidential marathons. He didn’t make fun of me when I told him I kind of liked to watch InuYasha on Adult Swim late at night. He bought me my Jasmine.

I just can’t take anymore
This life of solitude
I guess that I’m out the door
And now I’m done with you

One of the things that we, as humans, do is make everything in terms of black-and-white sketches. We look to our past with a single, narrowed viewpoint. I think we do this to save ourselves the humiliation of choices gone wrong. I think we also do this because we want to absolve ourselves of any guilt in any negative situations. I’d like to say that I was guilt-free when it came to what happened in my marriage. This isn’t the case. I haven’t quite reconciled myself as the person my ex-husband probably views me as and comments on now. (If he comments at all.)

I tend to still remark that I was “quite young” at the time. This is an able excuse – we hear it all the time when eighteen-year-olds get married and then end up divorcing a short time later. It’s not just that. We forget that these people, and myself included here, had raging emotions at the time. They were a confused muddle. I remember what it was like just shotgunning my wedding in less than a day. (We actually had to get a special dispensation to get married because, standard, you’re supposed to wait three days from the second you sign up for the license to the day you get marred in case there are any “regrets.” Unless the SO is in the military.) I was confused and excited and nervous and scared and worried and sad and angry and happy and thrilled. How do you pick apart those threads at any age? Even today, I have a hard time separating out what emotions are raging inside of me at any given moment. And while I wasn’t exactly eighteen when we got married, I was still young and new and childlike in my naïveté. I was pretty aware that I was probably making a mistake, but it was mine to make.

A lesson learned, I suppose, and a little too learned. I see myself as keeping quite the distance from marriage for a good deal longer than I tend to realize. In fact, I don’t really see myself as getting remarried again, even though technically, TH and I are engaged and have been for years.

I feel like you don’t want me around
I guess I’ll pack all my things
I guess I’ll see you around
It’s all been bottled up until now
As I walk out your door
All I can hear is the sound

On so many different occasions, I told him it was over. I can clearly remember saying this to him half a dozen times during the nearly six years we were together. In the grand scheme of things, six years isn’t too long. But at least once a year, I talked about ending it and he always talked me out of it. I often wonder if it was like that in the other lives that we were living together. I often wonder if I tried to leave but it just never ended up working out the way it was supposed to. I’m not saying that my ex-husband is conniving, in so much as he knew how to push the right buttons to get what he wanted. While I do admit that I had as much failing in all of this as he did, I can say that while I’m manipulative, I paled in comparison to my ex. He just always knew the right thing to say. I can clearly remember the one time when I thought I would get away just about scot-free. He was up north, visiting his family and I was down in Texas. And I could feel the relief at the thought of being able to end it and just mail him back his things, piece meal.

Obviously, that didn’t happen. (We got married not long after this episode, so…)

I left my head around your heart
Why would you tear my world apart?
Always, always, always, always

Sometimes, I sit up and I look around, trying to figure out what it was that kept me with him. In those moments, I look around for a clear indicator at what it was that was keeping me holed up in the tiny box I wanted to place myself in. Let’s be completely clear here: I was in a box. It was a bit of his design and a bit of mine, but I was in there. I often wonder if it was just a comfort zone thing. I was terrified of being on my own and I still am. I am serial monogamous in my relationships. I jump from relationship to relationship, but they are always long term. So, I occasionally decide that it was just fear of the unknown that inhibiting me. In other cases, I just decide that I was being young and silly. And in other moments, I decide he was a master manipulator. I probably won’t ever be able to clearly figure out what it was that kept us together…

…except that I tend to get stopped up when I remember we’ve danced this dance in so many different lives together.

And how many of those lives ended with me running for my life?

When I remember how many lives we’ve played this game, I tend to think that it’s all just the lessons I harp on about. I know people are probably tired of hearing all that drivel, but it feels like the gods’ honest truth. I feel like I had no choice. I had to keep repeating it over and over again until I figured out where it was going wrong. It’s not so much the why here that is the most important aspect. While I would love to know what it was that kept attracting us to one another in various lives, it’s really just background noise. It’s not worth the time and energy to put into the why. We, humans, spend all of our time trying to figure out the why about things that we tend not to realize how much energy we put into the question. It’s not worth all those spoons, as evidenced by how draining the experience of pondering why can be.

The only thing I want to know is when I’ll realize the ultimate lesson: that it’s officially over. In the mean time, shadow work… here I come.

I just can’t take anymore
This life of solitude
I pick myself off the floor
And now I’m done with you

Shadow Work With the Ex-Husband (TW).

You know how you set down some guidelines or plans to get shit down and then more shit comes in and blows all that shit out the window? Yeah, that just happened. You see, today, I was supposed to post my “offerings 301” post that I’ve been slowly working on all week. I was supposed to sit down and hold some hands (metaphorically speaking) and tell it to you straight. And I’m still going to tell you straight but I think the hand-holding will be more like you trying to comfort me instead of vice versa. The reason being because last night, some seriously fucked up shit happened in my head… all while I was trying to compose a comment to someone else’s blog post. It’s funny how random things like that can cause you to have MIND BLOWING REVELATIONS but it’s the little things, I think, that can bring on the biggest changes. To start this post off, let’s talk a little about my ex-husband.

TRIGGER WARNING AHEAD.

My ex-husband came from a really troubled family. There were four children and two parents trying to make it through. The entire family went shitting down in flames when he was in high school. I’m not quite sure how old he was when his family fractured unbelievably the second time, but I know that the first mind-fuck was when he was a teenager. It came out that his step-father was molesting his sister, who wasn’t really his little sister but due to physiological issues and mental issues she was pretty much his little sister. The step-father preyed on the quietest and most unlearned person in the house to fix his control issues (he found psychological help in jail and figured out what his issues were). The family was completely devastated. The step-father went to jail. The mother went into a deeper bout of depression than she was prior to the molestation starting (which is partly why the step-father preyed on the girl in the first place or so the theory goes). The ex-husband went out to fend for his family. He did the “man thing.”

One Christmas, he came home to find his step-father in his house. There he was, just hanging out like nothing bad had happened at all. He had been the man of the family and then, in one move by his mother’s decree, he was being pushed back into the realm of a child. As if the whole previous situation wasn’t enough to fuck up a young man’s psyche, we can pretty much imagine that not only being pushed back into the realm of “child” after being “a man” can do. And then add to that the fact that his mother was willingly bring the man who had molested her daughter back into their house to become a happy family again and you’ve got some serious fucked up. This is when the family fractured.

The molested daughter was, in effect, kidnapped by the ex-husband’s grandparents to move her out of the situation with the step-father (and on that, I can never truly say if that was a good thing for her or a bad thing for her but I can tell you that they sure filled that girl’s head up with some fucked up LIES about her mother after the fact). The ex-husband wandered back and forth between which side of the family he wanted to be on. He lived with his mom and step-dad, he moved in with his grandparents. When he lived with his grandparents, he had his name legally changed from his step-father’s name to a familial last name (which is my current last name) from two or three generations back. And then moved back in with his mom before moving in with his best friend’s family. His eldest sister was on the fence and came down heavy on the side of her mom and step-dad because they helped her out, cared for her, and didn’t treat her like a “fat slob” as her grandparents did. And his younger brother had no choice, but stayed in the care of his mother and father.

END TRIGGER WARNING.

So, the family is all fucked up and the ex-husband has “the one who got away.” This happened in conjunction with the entire family’s fracturing. She and he had been together since they were freshman or sophomores in high school. They were “meant to be together” or whatever. Their senior year of high school, she started talking to some guy from an online forum the whole group of friends frequented (let’s also keep in mind that I am using the term “forum” but this is before forums, as we know them, happened… so like ’97 or ’98). She started Internet cheating with some random guy before it was cool to do so. She had a really shitty family life – I don’t know or care why personally – and she decided to run away. So, the father files a police report about her running away since she was only 17 and the ex-husband is called in to unlock her computer for the cops. So, not only does he find out she was cheating on him after he bought her a platinum diamond ring but he also has to print out the conversations, line by line, for the police officers. Talk about some serious mind-fucking, right? Right.

Why am I telling you all this? Why am I unleashing a man’s personal secrets in this blog? What did this have to do with anything? I’m saying all of this because I want to paint the picture of the man who I met when I was eighteen and he was twenty-one. I want you to see that what I say about the shadow work that happened isn’t a happy-slappy band-aid to what happened between us. I want you to know that he had issues before everything that went down between us happened. I just want you to know that he was as fucked in the head as the rest of us are and what I’m about to say isn’t because I want to fix it or that I want to be able to look at things differently. I, also, don’t want to paint myself [entirely] in a negative light here, so let’s not think this is all altruistic drivel or any of that bullshit. I just want you guys to know that I got with a man who had some serious demons.

And we were working on them. When we first got together, there was a night that we spent at his parents’ house. He wasn’t all that recovered from what had happened in his family. I remember him being awake and kneeling above me, a butcher’s knife in his hand. “What are you doing?” I remember asking him.

He looked at my funny, like I had said the most retarded gibberish ever. “I’m protecting you from him,” he said to me.

So, no. He was not healed. He was not fixed from his previous ordeals. I did start him down that route. I started to talk to him about this stuff and he was open with me about it. We had good conversations, working through his stuff. Yes, he had issues. And yes, he really sucked at handling women who had been sexually abused. And yes, he probably still has issues. But the thing is, he can speak civilly to his step-father to this day because of me. I think, too, the living in Texas thing helped tremendously. He wasn’t always reminded that shit was so bad or that shit had happened. He could speak to his step-father, or not, on the phone. And there was always the fact that his parents did a lot to help us out. They let us live in their house until we found our own place when we moved back up to MA. They gave us not one, but two cars. They gave us money. So, the distance helped, but I think I had a pretty big hand in it, too. And you know what? The only reason I didn’t want the fracture to deepen wasn’t because I wanted to help him but because I honestly feel like, if you have a dad and the dad is trying to make amends, shouldn’t we at least try? I don’t have a dad so I don’t get that chance. Selfish bitch – that’s me.

(Yes. I know that not everyone’s daddy situation is fixable or amends can be made and all of that. I’m just saying that if the chance is there, maybe it’s not so insurmountable. And no, I won’t comment back to anyone who has anything to say about it because I respect that everyone has different views, different opinions, and different situations. I’m just laying out what happened with me and the ex-husband.)

So, let’s stop getting morose and talk a little about the ex-husband and me. (Okay, so maybe getting away from morose isn’t going to happen here…)

We weren’t good together, at all. If you just look at our astrological signs, it’s pretty fucking obvious. In the western zodiac, he was an Ares and I am a Leo. Those two are both head-strong fuckholes who aren’t interested in listening to what anyone has to say if isn’t telling us that we’re right. (And I should have known this because my mom? Ares.) So, you can imagine the explosive fights over stupid shit and over big huge shit that happened since neither one of us was wrong because our astrological charts say so. In the eastern zodiac, he was a metal monkey and I am a water pig. (Ew. I hate that shit.) So, while I can’t possibly comment on how the eastern zodiac formulated who we are – and I will steadfastly avow that I am not a fucking water pig – I bet that says something to other people out there. But, really, without bringing that stuff into it, we were not good together. We had good times and we probably helped each other out a lot in various ways, but you know, we just butt heads more often than not. I can remember thinking on numerous occasions before we were married that things were over between us. Yeah, if you can think that, then maybe, they are.

And I just didn’t quite get the memo.

Or, he was really good at talking me out of major life decisions.

You know, either one is possible and probable.

So, anyway. Let’s move on to today before we head back in time again.

Today, Lady Imbrium wrote a blog entry that really knocked me for a loop. I was all like, “RIGHT ON, MUTHAFUCKA,” and reblogged that shit like I was a two-bit blog whore. And then I started formulating a response besides the “excellent” I had put up there. I started writing this out in my head and of course, I mentioned my ex-husband because he was a firefighter and paramedic before we got divorced. (I PUT HIM THROUGH THOSE SCHOOLS DAMNIT. I DID IT EVERY FUCKING YEAR AND I WAS GOOD ABOUT IT. I DESERVE A COOKIE.) And that’s about the moment that I had a really fucked up epiphany. That moment is when I felt like my world was swirling all around me as a thought expanded past any comments I may have been making. That thought that expanded and filled my field-of-view for a good fifteen to twenty seconds was, Maybe that’s why shit went down the way it did.

Okay, so here’s this man and I’m with him. And he decides to go be a firefighter with the volunteer department on the island we lived on in Texas. (Yeah, there are islands in Texas and no, not just Galveston.) This meant that he had to get his EMT-basic to continue with the fire department down there. After that, he decided to go into paramedic because, why not? The money was better and he wanted to use what he was getting from the fire department to buy me a house where he could shut me off from my friends and family keep me happy while making me his pretty little arm candy. So, we did the schooling and we moved up north and he got a job at AMR. (If you don’t know what that means, Google fu, bay-bee.) After that, he began looking for paramedic positions and whatnot. But the thing is that even at AMR, he began to change.

The job sucked.

He was just hired as an EMT because he was mid-process with his national certification for his paramedic. In AMR lingo, that pretty much meant that he was driving sick people to their appointments. One day, he came home from work and smoked my entire pack of cigarettes. This was because he got to travel the distance of the entire state with a vegetable boy who had been put in that state because his mom won custody of him and then took a baseball bat to him when she had a psychotic break, after the dad proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would have one. Yeah, it was a shitty day. Another day, he came home and jumped in the shower with all of his work uniform on (this was at a different city’s company and when he was a paramedic) because he had to work a suicide that was not just messy but fairly ripe, if you catch my drift.

I’m sure there are lots more days like that, but I wouldn’t know about them. Those were the only two instances he ever told me about his day. Otherwise, he buttoned up like “the man” he was. That’s the thing that gets taught to these guys in this line of work that shouldn’t be: you don’t discuss it. To them, you joined the men’s club, so you go to a bar and get fucked to shit and then call your wife to pick you up. Or, if you’re in a small town, maybe a police officer on duty will take you home in his squad car. Whatever. That’s what these people are taught and that’s just wrong and stupid. The ex should have been open about the shit he was seeing and the shit that was eating up his head. But, he was “a man.” And, so he didn’t.

And while I know he had issues. And I know that they were probably around and were causing him to do his fucked up shit (being a control freak, for one) before the job. But maybe he changed so dramatically and drastically in the less-than-a-year we were together and in Massachusetts because of the job. I’m not denying that he wasn’t already fucked up in the head and that, probably, I couldn’t have fixed it. But I think shit went so sour so quickly because he couldn’t handle what his job was and what he was seeing. And in all honesty, I wasn’t the person to help him with that. I wasn’t the person then that I am today. I couldn’t or wouldn’t have seen it as anything more than him being a selfish prick. And while I could help him with his daddy issues and his mommy issues, I don’t think I could have done much more than, “Hey, that sucks. Let’s go out to eat tonight,” to help him out. And it would have eaten him up anyway. And probably me, too.

The thing that this shadow work shit is beginning to teach me is that things aren’t black-and-white. Before today, I would have said that he was an asshole control freak who wanted me under his thumb because then I couldn’t do to him what his ex-girlfriend did to him. And yeah, maybe that is part of it.

But it’s not the whole enchilada.

And that’s something I’m rapidly realizing.