I don’t even know what rhymes with “ukulele”.

Here we are, once again, in the midst of The Week of Awesome Decisions. Deciding things isn’t really my specialty, this is pretty known in my circle of friends. But once I decided to get married. That was May 22nd. That didn’t work out. Years later, I got proposed to, and I decided to say “yes”. That was on May 24th. The wedding was on May 26th. And look at me now, not married. See? Not my thing. (Also, to be clear, I’m not mad about the no longer married part. I’m just saying I have a shitty track record.)

I originally chose to try to celebrate this week by focusing on the good decisions I make. Or making small ones and taking a moment to bask in that glow (don’t judge me, you people that always know where you want to eat. Some of us need these tiny victories).

A while ago, I decided to actually deal with things, rather than continuing to cram them into a smaller-than-comfy space, and pretend they didn’t exist. While this sounds like a hoot, it means that while I do (and it takes a fucking long time) this shit is right on the surface. So there I am, minding my own business, when someone says something that sounds like “ukulele” and OH MY GOD THAT REMINDS ME OF THAT DOUCHEBAG I MARRIED. HE HAD ONE OF THOSE. I BOUGHT IT FOR HIM. HE WROTE ME A SONG WITH IT AND PLAYED IT WHILE HE PROPOSED. THAT WAS 4 YEARS AGO TODAY. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT WHY AM I ON THE FLOOR IN A BALL NOW? Except I’m really not in a ball on the floor (what a twist!) I’m sitting on the couch next to my adorable boyfriend, who has already suffered through too many “hey I was married to a psychopath once” stories. I want to pretend it doesn’t bother me, but that’s not who I am, and I don’t think that’s who we are, so I’m confused, and I just stare at him. Saying nothing.

It’s too much. I don’t know where to begin. Mostly because I don’t want to begin this fucking story again. It’s over. I want it to be done. But this week, man. This fucking week. How do I look at it and not feel like I’m unlovable? How do I not see that I am the common denominator in all of these failures? How do I not tell this sweet, loving, hilarious man on the couch to run far, far away?

I decide to just breathe. To give myself space to be hurt in. To remember that there was abuse, and that doesn’t just go away magically. That my story is mine, and if others are tired of hearing it, that’s fine, but I’m not going to be shamed into silence with myself, again.

I wanted to make this fun and upbeat. I wanted to stand tall and declare myself victorious over those decisions that previously haunted me. Maybe tomorrow. For now, I’m just going to sit on this couch, now by myself, wrapped in a scarf the adorable man left for me, and watch a sappy movie. And remember that I’m not just lovable, I’m already quite loved.

 

 

Rehashagram

I joined Instagram. I had held off for a long time, because I don’t want pictures of my food to be the sum of who I am. But my bestie recommended it (that’s a nice way of putting being told I had to get it right that second. But she’s my boo. That’s how we roll.) as a way to balance out all the terribleness happening in the world. Follow a bunch of adorable cat pages, and when the world seems hopeless, just hop over and gaze at their ridiculous floof until you can breathe again.

I’m happy to say that it works! I added a few hilarious meme generators to my followed list, and I find it’s a great mood changer! Kittens and sarcasm. Perfect.

I also follow a page dedicated to narcissistic sociopath awareness. I came across something they posted, was comforted by the relate-ability, and decided to add them to my feed. It’s not so much a comforting distraction, but it does help in a weird and uncomfortable way. Sometimes, I scroll past their posts without reading, because I just don’t feel like it, or they don’t particularly apply. But the last few days, every single one has been spot fucking on.

My take away from this is that the Anal-Dwelling Butt Ferret isn’t special. I mean, I knew this, but one of the things he prides himself most on is how unique he is. He’s eclectic and unexpected. Something to be in awe of. Except… nope. He’s just like every other douchecanoe on the the Bullshit River. Like they all graduated from the same course in Asshattery. It’s eerie.

The first one that really got me was this:

flirting

This happened constantly. If I wasn’t hearing stories about women from the past that had hit on him because they just couldn’t help themselves, I was hearing about the women he worked with, or my friends, or coworkers… they all wanted him. At least that’s the way he tells it. If I did think on my own that someone was flirting with him, he’d confirm it. He’d tell me how lewd they were being, how disrespectful to me, how angry I should get. Then, when I did, he’d tell me I was being insecure and dramatic. Also, no one was ever flirting with me. Because they could tell I belonged to him, and I was dressed frumpily.

Then, there was this one:

Hearts

Well really, it makes total sense. If all these dickwads are the same, it would reason that they all go for the same type of person. But again. He’s just so unoriginal!

Today, there was this:

3 years

We split up a month before our 3rd anniversary. And in the comments, there were a good amount of people who spent 3 years with the person of their nightmares. I’m sure there is some sort of formula at work that hasn’t been discovered yet, but it’s just weird.

It helps, though. There is comfort in knowing that I’m not alone, sure. But there’s really quite a bit in knowing he’s not, either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting a larger assclown population in the world, or in any way saying their abusive ways are helpful. I’m saying that knowing he’s so very unoriginal is… nice. He isn’t clever. He isn’t special. He’s a cookie-cutter, bitch ass little ferret.

As you can see, following this page also means I deal with thinking about him often, as well. But really, I already was. Stuff comes up all the time. It’s much easier to brush off nowadays. It doesn’t knock me down nearly as often. But sometimes it will. And that’s alright. Because there was also this one:

Not a victim

 

 

Also, in case you were wondering, I’ve posted zero pictures of my food. It’s all nerdy t-shirts and fancy socks.

Fishicide

Today is the 2nd anniversary of The Great Fish Murder. Don’t worry if you’re feeling in the dark about it, there’s only a handful of people that aren’t.

So, I was married, but I’d decided to leave. I’d found a new place, packed up all mine and my kiddo’s things, and was going to move out the next morning. My ex also had to move out, because he couldn’t afford the house without me. I was feeling relieved that it was so close to being over (we lived together for a month after we technically split up, and it was pretty fucking weird) to the point of near-giddiness.

The toilet wasn’t working. This wasn’t especially noteworthy, as our house was complete shit, but it was foaming, which was odd. I didn’t think much of it, even when my ex started yelling at his son for causing it. That, too, was pretty normal. Other than that, he was also in a good mood, and we were making small talk about moving the next day while he got ready to take his bath (during The Weird As Fuck Month, he took a bubble bath every single day. Usually while listening to Norah Jones, which was then sorta ruined for me.) I told him I’d noticed our fish were gone, and asked if he had moved them to the new place already. “No, I couldn’t. So they’re dead.” “Oh… could you not have an aquarium at the new place?” “I could, but it was too much work to get them over there.”

There were about nine 4-5 inch long fish in a 60 gallon tank, so the fish would’ve had to been taken out, placed in a temporary home, the tank drained and moved, set up, water cycled through, and then fish moved back in. It is a pain in the ass, but as he was moving a block away, his best friend whom we’d gotten the fish from and who had 4 or 5 extra tanks ready to go at his house lived about a mile away, it was quite doable. I started to say this, and he cut me off, saying, “Nope, couldn’t be done. I tried everything.”

“So you killed the fish?”

“Yep. I cut them up and flushed them. They got stuck, so I poured in some Drano.”

At this point I’m just staring at him, terrified. “So… that’s why the toilet was foaming?”

“Yeah”, he said, laughing, “didn’t work so well.”

“Aannnnd… so your son didn’t break the toilet, it was you? You just let him think he did it?”

“Yep! It’s pretty funny really. They don’t even know what happened!”

There was a look on his face that I can’t really describe, other than as maniacal. He was pleased with himself. Not just because he’d pulled one over on us (if there was a sticker chart for criminal masterminds, I bet he would’ve awarded himself two that day) but simply because he had killed them. Some of them were mine. They had names. I liked them.

When I quietly snuck out as he was sudsing up to “Turn Me On”, I realized that this, in a terrible way, was the closure I needed. For most of our relationship, I’d been manipulated and otherwise mentally fucked with. I had no idea what to believe a lot of the time, because when I expressed concern over something I saw, he’d tell me that I hadn’t seen it. If I tried to stand up for myself, he’d belittle and berate me until I lost my nerve. He’d tell me I was terrible, lazy, fat, and ugly, but that he alone loved me enough to see past all of that. I knew he was crazy, and dangerous. But I wasn’t entirely sure I wasn’t just imagining it.

This confirmed that I wasn’t. This settled the fact that everything I knew about him was real. Fish is the least of what he’s capable of, (which I’d always known, but didn’t want to believe. Even when the bloodstained proof was on my floor) and I lived with a monster. It wasn’t really even that comforting to have my hunch proven to be correct, because it wasn’t good news, and I still had to spend the next 12 hours with him.

Obviously, though, I made it. I learned a thing or two, grew like a motherfucker, and call that shit out when it happens now.(The mental stuff. Nobody else has gone all American Psycho on my pets) From the little I hear, he hasn’t changed. Though I don’t take a lot of joy in it, I’m not surprised at all. (Though I would like him to advance in careers, or at least stop working at restaurants I like, dammit.) He’s a sad, broken little boy, and he probably always will be. Turns out, it’s not my fucking problem. People can’t be “fixed” and I have no desire to try. To keep things fair, I never ask or expect anyone to fix me, either.

 

Later, I found out that prior to this when he’d get angry with me, he’d kill my frogs. I knew the fish didn’t eat them! Little fucking bitch.

I’ll never be perfect, but at least now I’m brave.

It’s finally done. Paperwork has been submitted, signed by a judge, and filed. I carried around a certified copy for two days, just to remind myself it’s over. I’m divorced. For the second time.

There was, of course, one last verbal skirmish with the Butt-Ferret before it was all said and done. I had to file additional paperwork, take some more time off work. But it was beyond worth it. Whatever needed to be done to see that judge’s signature on that page, I was happily volunteering.

During our marriage, especially towards the end, I had no control over my life. What I ate, wore, read, who I talked to, where I went and how I got there, it was all subject to his approval. Or simply handled for me, without my consent. By the end, I was merely showing up to be counted and had no idea what was going on. Most of the time, I was daydreaming about someone noticing my plight and whisking me away to freedom. (At night, I dreamed of watching movies with male friends, and woke up crying because someone being interested in what fucking musical I wanted to see seemed so far from what my reality was.) I had shut down, almost completely. I still put on a good show for friends and family, because if not I’d be accused of being an attention whore, or being insane.

One day, I was taking a shower. I had remembered to lock the door, so I actually got to be alone (My bathing habits were also under constant scrutiny.). I was replaying my favorite scenario where a strong, sweet man rides up on his gleaming steed, steals me right from under Butt-Ferret’s nose, and gallops away. About the third time through, a tiny voice, one I don’t hear often, said as clear as day, “No one is going to save you.” That was it. I lost my shit, and spent the next 10 minutes sobbing on the tub floor.

Then, I got up, dried off, and went about saving myself.

Recently, I ended another relationship. While doing so, I was told that I had now become controlling. It was understandable, given what I’d been through, but in protecting myself against situations like it, I had now become what I fought so hard to get away from.

No.

I control what happens to me. I control what I will accept and what I won’t from a partner. I control what I do, where I go, how I spend my money, who I talk to, what I wear and how I look. I know what my needs are, and I make it clear what I won’t tolerate in my life, or the life of my child. THAT is being independent. That is taking care of my damn self. That is not controlling another person, telling them how to act, think, feel or be. It’s just uncomfortable and unfortunate for others that I know what my needs are and don’t have time to waste on not getting them met. It’s not a character flaw, it’s just part of life.

I no longer need, or even remotely want, to be saved. I got this.

 

Don’t scratch the wall, Sammy.

I had this theory, that if I only had certain feelings on certain days, I could maintain them more successfully. Clearly I was drinking when I came up with this.

Actually, it wasn’t a conscious thought at all. I recently noticed that I do this. I hoard my little feelings until I think The Time is Right, let them out somewhat dramatically, and then skip merrily away, declaring myself cleansed. When my grandparents died, I didn’t cry at all between the initial finding out and the funerals, because it wasn’t time yet. When I think about them now, I only get upset on the anniversary of their deaths. There has to be times and places, or my emotions will just run wild. (Yes, this entire time I’m pretending like they don’t already control most every move I make. I lead a rich fantasy life.)

To help all these feels stay in their place, I build little walls to hide them behind. As long as the walls are not tampered with, everything works as it supposed to. Picture me here dusting off my hands triumphantly.

The biggest of all the walls is The Ex Wall. Reliving my second marriage is not my favorite. Mostly, because it wasn’t all bad. But a great deal of it was, and the betrayal that I feel because of that makes the good parts so much worse. So all of it gets tucked away, and I try to ignore the fact that he’s out there, continuing to exist. Ever so rudely.

Last week, someone scratched at the wall. I had to recount details and justify my choices to a complete stranger, because she was at risk of having that big ol’ wad of crazy aimed at her. One of my fears in doing so came true, and he found out that I had talked about him (and subsequently ruined his chances to bringĀ  his special brand of manipulative, narcissistic bullshit into someone else’s life .). He contacted me, and called me a liar. He said he’d never abused me, that I’d made it all up to get attention.

This week, I filed for divorce. The timing was purely coincidental, I was already on my way to doing so when this all happened. Though I should feel free, I don’t. Because it’s not done. He could still do… something. I don’t know what, kill more fish? Fake cry to make me feel guilty? Write more terrible Missed Connections submissions?

So here I was, trying to cram my wall back together while I wait for shizz to be finalized so I can tell someone about it. Weirdly enough, my containment plan turned out to be complete shit. Who knew?

When he text me to tell me I was wrong to call what he did abuse, there was a moment where I second guessed myself. I thought, “Well maybe I am overreacting. Maybe he didn’t really mean it the way I took it.” It’s been over a fucking year, and this shit STILL gets to me. Fuck that. Being told my opinions are shit, that I’m fucking stupid, that my friends don’t really like me, that if I get too confident he’ll knock me down a peg so I stay dependent on him, that’s abuse. Being kept away from those friends and family because he didn’t trust me to leave the house alone, also abuse. Being angrily accused of sleeping with every man I talked to (or looked at for any length of time) and called a liar when I said I wasn’t, hey guess what, more abuse. Being guilted into eating food I didn’t want, then passive-aggressively made fun of for my weight gain, ring-a-ding-ding, we’ve got a winner, and it’s abuse. Being told the he didn’t need to ask for sex, I was his wife, and “when he’s hungry, he eats”, that’s fucking creepy, and yes, another shining example of abuse. Oh, and then later being told that I must be gay or cheating because I wasn’t givin’ it up on the regular, well that’s just plain stupid. Guess what, dillhole, there’s a third option: I DON’T WANT YOUR STANK ASS NEAR ME.

Nope, he never hit me, never put his hands on me in any kind of violent way. But there’s still plenty of scars.

Because of them, this probably won’t be the last day that I rehash this incredible drama of absurdity. I won’t stop warning potential girlfriends when I get the opportunity, and I won’t cower in fear over what his crazy ass could do if he doesn’t like the things I say. I don’t give two shits if anyone believes me, I was there. I know what happened. (He could say the same, I suppose, but I’m also not a self-admitted sociopath. Points to me.)

 

So, Butt-Weasel, just in case you stumble upon this, and it’s still not clear, let me say this in parting: Fuck you, you insecure, controlling, self-serving, uneducated, weirdly racist, misogynistic, lying, conniving, completely fucking worthless piece of shit. You don’t deserve to live in the same hemisphere I do. Not because I’m so amazing, but because you’re so useless. Do what you want. Stalk me, fuck with my car, burn my shit down, attack me. It won’t change that at the end of the day, you’re still you.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m like, the most scared person whose alive.

Every Monday night, I go to a friend’s house for dinner, we chat, we laugh, she makes amazing food, and then we watch a horrible show together. Currently, we’re watching Girls. At first, I kinda hated it. It’s only redeeming quality seemed to be that it made me feel a little better about my own overwhelming awkwardness. I may have fallen off a curb for no reason at all last week, but at least I’ve never been stuck in a closet while my cousin has sex with a random a few feet away. Pat on the back to me.

The show is growing on me, though. I have become fond of a few of the characters, and even root for a couple of them now and then. As much as I want to hate the main character and her whiny hipster ways, I just want her to be loved by the weird guy who never wears a fucking shirt. In one of the episodes we watched tonight, there was something he said to her that stuck with me.

https://i0.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5tbjzgmVT1qf34gmo1_250.gif

In response to his yelling this at her, she says that she does not love herself at all, and she’s scared of everything. My inner self raised a fist in solidarity and shouted “fuck yeah, I got your back.” Then I got to thinking. (And yes, I realize that he’s wearing a shirt here. Maybe “never” was a bit strong.)

I’m always working on loving myself. But I’m too scared to actually do it. It’s like the beginning of most relationships, it starts with the flirty fun part. I’m weirdly obsessed with myself. I stare at my face in the mirror, I find mundane things I do fascinating, I feel the urge to share each thought that enters my head as if it’s some sort of genius idea that needs to be recorded for future generations to marvel at. But once I finally settle down enough to love myself for who I really am (spoiler alert: not a fascinating genius.) I get bored and wander off. Later, I’ll be caught off guard by some funny or sweet thing I do, resume the chase once more, and the cycle continues.

Well, me, it’s time to grow the fuck up. Love isn’t exciting. It’s not shiny and pretty and noteworthy. It’s boring and takes work. Even when it’s just you… and you. Loving yourself means knowing you’re enough. It’s not putting on a good show of it, in hopes that someone else will notice and fall in love with you too. It means not giving two craps who sees all the quirky and adorable things you do, because you enjoy just doing them.

It’s getting past that fun and fancy free beginning, and still wanting to put in effort. It’s caring enough about yourself to make sure that when you do work to catch someone’s eye, it’s for the right reasons. These hardly ever include “needing attention” or “not wanting to be alone”. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea how to find the “right” person, what it feels like, or if it’s even a thing. (If it is, I’m pretty sure it’s not limited to one per person per lifetime.) The more I think about it, the less I care. Nobody can love me like I would, if I’d just give myself the chance.

My cape was at the dry cleaners.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. When last we left, our heroine was struggling with reacting to uncomfortable situations appropriately. Let’s review in a bit more detail, shall we?

I went on a date. On paper, everything was good. We had talked extensively beforehand, and there was much clicking to be had. But, trying to focus on reality and not get carried away, I needed the actual date to happen before any real decision making was to be done. Surface-wise, it was great. We talked, we laughed, we shared a basket of bar food. We decided to go watch a movie together, which seemed alright, given the clickiness.

First, he kissed me. Now, I’m no prude, I have kissed a gentleman before. Except this was not gentlemanly. In what I’m sure he thought of as a romantic gesture, he pounced (no really. There was jumping and everything) and attacked my face with a very intense barrage of liplockage. It was painful. Physically, as there was teeth involved (FYI – bad plan for a first kiss.) and somewhat mentally, as I have a personal space bubble, and it was popped quite forcefully. All I could think was, “I thought he claimed to be a feminist?”.

Then, some time later (because unbeknownst to me, the numbness that is my oldest and most hard-to-break coping mechanism was already taking over, and I was totally fine with still being there) we were getting cuddly and I said something sassy. I don’t remember what it was, some snarky comment that I make all the time, I’m sure. His response? A slap to the face, and flirtatious giggling. Again, I’m sure that in his mind, he thought he was ever so coy. I…. thought nothing. Other than “No sudden movements.”. So when he asked me if that was alright, I said “Yep.” and when he asked me if I wanted more, I said “Nope.”. That was it. That’s all I could do. Somewhere in my head, a little voice asked “What just happened? Are we really okay with this?” but it was immediately shushed, and silence resumed.

Upon later reflection in the safety of my once again intact personal bubble, I decided that no, I definitely was not okay with that. Aside from my hatred for domestic violence, WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT ON A FIRST FUCKING DATE?!? WHAT IN THE GREAT GREEN FUCK WAS THAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Anger set in. At him, for being a tool, but mostly at myself, for doing nothing about it. In his head, that ended on a good note, and he chalked that up as a successful date, surely to be the first of many. Me? I just wanted to vomit. How could I just sit there? Why didn’t I say anything? What is wrong with me?

As it turns out, nothing. Every human has a flight, fight or freeze response to shock. More often than not, mine is freeze. That’s just how I’m programmed, it’s not a flaw or failure. I just need to allow myself to resume normal thinking, and reflect on the situation from a safe distance. When I do, if I’m not alright with it, that’s perfectly fine. That’s all the justification there needs to be for me to walk away from something.

So I did, and I feel much better. Yay me.

Then, yesterday, the inevitable happened. A friend informed me that my ex is dating someone new. There were even pictures accompanying this news. I looked at their happy faces, at her pretty hair, and I felt nothing.

This time, though, it was a different kind of nothing. It was a relieved emptiness, knowing that these people have no affect on my life. I don’t need him to be miserable, and I don’t care if he’s happy. I don’t despise this woman who took my place, nor do I feel like warning her of what could be in store.

I made my choice. I chose the life I now lead, in this little apartment with this adorable boy, the two of us making our own way in a crazy ass world. Sometimes we’re broke, and have to eat terrible concoctions of cheap food, because there’s only one person to pay all the bills. Sometimes we have no one to do the heavy lifting, or the nasty chores we don’t want to do. Sometimes, we feel a little alone. But there is not one day in the whole lot that I ever wish I had chosen differently.