The First Night

The quality of the sound is different, somehow.

The sound of the absolute silence of my house, for this, the first night of me officially living alone.

OnlySon moved out on Monday.

And EldestDaughter left with her horde today.

I’ve had days & nights on my own before, sure. Plenty of them. OnlySon went practically every weekend to his father’s house. I’ve had summers without the kids since the divorce.

It’s not like I’ve never had the house to myself…

But it’s never been this official.

And a part of me feels as though I’ve been set adrift. 

Unmoored, I am not sure which direction I’m headed in now.

I no longer have children to raise.

I have no spouse or SO to share with or answer to.

Some might think this is a reason to celebrate, to cut loose & go all “Yay Me” all over the place.

But, that means…they don’t really understand who I am at my core.

I am a caretaker.

I like and thrive on having people I care about around me to share my life with, be they children, an SO, Chosen Family, you know…loved ones.

When I’m alone… 

There’s no one to care for.

And there’s no one here who cares for me…so…

What’s the sense in staying?

Time to figure out how to get gone.


Truth Bombs

Dropped some truth bombs tonight.

I don’t know if it was Because I’m at the end of my tether, emotionally, or because I’ve been taking more of my antianxiety meds…or just because I’ve had more bullshit to deal with lately than I can successfully shovel…

But, I let the cleansing begin.

First, I talked to my Mom. 

We discussed a lot of things on the phone tonight, about what’s been going on in my life, what my parents have been dealing with (they’ve been helping a friend deal with the loss of her husband, and it hasn’t been easy), and about OnlySon’s graduation. 

While on that subject, I told her some of the family members I’d sent announcements to… And my brother was not on the list.

She wasn’t happy about that.

But, as I tried to tell her…

I don’t have his contact information.  Ever since he & his family moved, I’ve lost touch. We don’t call each other, don’t move in the same circles socially, & haven’t had much to say to one another ever since he wrote his venomous email to me a few years ago, which prompted me to cut off contact with him.

She tried to tell me that “He’s totally changed, & didn’t mean any of those things anymore”.

When I told her that he’d never said he was wrong, had never apologized or attempted to make amends, she said he never would.

So, I told her “And I can never forget, nor forgive, what he said. He destroyed any hope of a relationship he could have with me, so why should I have any consideration for his feelings? He doesn’t want me to be involved with his children, so why should he be involved with mine??. He once stated that his little sister was dead to him. He was right.”

And that ended that conversation.

Then… it was time to handle Truth Bomb #2.

I received an email from E today.

Begging for forgiveness, and threatening to take his own life if I don’t take him back and talk to him.

Emotional blackmail.

After having been emotionally abused in my last marriage, I swore that it would never happen again.

So I let him have it with both barrels.

He has a preteen daughter.

I called him selfish and a coward.

I told him that if he could fight for his country, then he could damned well fight for his daughter, pull himself up by his bootstraps, & prove to his child that she was worth sticking around for, instead of turning her into an orphan.

I told him that it was time to stop laying the blame of his feelings on me, and take responsibility for his own actions and choices.

And that, obviously, he’d never listened to anything I’d said, didn’t know who I was at all, & had some fantasy built up in his head of who I was, and that he’d better get over it, stop lying to himself & everyone else, go home & treat his daughter better than he’d treated me.

I also told him that I’d take responsibility for my own culpability, that I’d let him talk me into lying to family & friends about all the secrets he’d asked me to keep for him, but that he’d asked me to do that at all was reprehensible and morally objectionable.

Finally, I told him that, after all this, I’d been right to stop trusting him, that stooping to emotional blackmail was sick, that I had been right to put a stop to the relationship when I had, and that I wanted him to stop trying to contact me ever again.

The calls would not be answered, & would, in fact, be automatically rejected.

That texts would be sent directly to spam, & I would never see them.

Same with emails.

And I never answer unknown numbers, so trying to reach me from another phone wouldn’t work.

This – needs to end.

And if it means being a stone cold nuclear bitch from now on…

Bombs away….

Cooped Up

The wires are getting tighter.

Yesterday ended on a bad note.

Halfway through my day at work, I had a panic attack. Sudden, shaking, throat-clenching, heart, racing and pounding at the same time, chest tight with fear. I couldn’t look around, just knowing that everyone was staring at me. (They weren’t, logic tells me this, but panic doesn’t recognize logic)

I had to tell my supervisor I had to leave right now, and she understood. She knows what’s been going on, some of what I’ve been dealing with with E, & that my anxiety has been bad. But this panic attack kind of took the cake.

When I got home, it was all I could do not to crawl under my covers & hide. As it was, I had sharp, stabbing pains in my stomach, more blessings brought by the panic fairies, thanks, & had to curl up with a heating pad till they faded.  Thank all the gods for antianxiety meds…even if they make me groggy in higher doses.

I couldn’t even talk to my Beloved Nephew on the phone last night, it was just too much. I needed the silence, the darkness, the….nothingness….

And today, it seemed as though it lingered, yet. It’s not completely gone. But, then, until this situation with E is resolved, until I know that he’s out of my life for good, I will remain wire-tight…and that’s going to be rough.

Case in point…

I had to go to Hellmart today, to stock up on supplies for OnlySon’s graduation party. I wore my earbuds while shopping, as usual, so was OK for most of it. But, when I got in line, there was this one woman who got in line behind me, who almost sent me over the edge into another panic attack.

Or, I almost attacked her. 

One or the other.

See, I have this thing about Personal Space.

I like some.

Especially around strangers.

And she got up in mine.

Like, really CLOSE.

LIKEREALLYREALLYCLOSE.

As I maneuvered myself around my cart, putting some distance between us, she closed in again…and I angled the cart to prevent it. She glanced my way, as I quickly looked down to avoid her eyes. Eye contact is to be avoided at all costs to maintain personal space, folks.

For a minute, I thought she was going to move my cart, she came so close to putting her hands on it, I was actually going through responses in my head, ranging from a simple “Don’t” to a more direct “You need to take 3 steps back, Now.” And, I had a fleeting thought that, from the look she gave my cart, she really contemplated rifling through my stuff, including my purse.

My hands clenched, my face heated, my chest tightened, & I could feel my breathing getting shallower, the closer I got to the cashier. I needed it to end, quickly, so I could get the hell away from there, & her. 

As I told a friend, later, you could almost SEE the porcupine quills standing up off my skin as I stood there.

Luckily, I was able to get the cart angled across the aisle in such a way that the woman couldn’t get any closer to me, & I got my stuff paid for & escaped the store as soon as I could.

But, it was as close as I’ve gotten to losing my shit in public as I ever have.

Ever.

Not exactly feeling like the most stable chicken in the coop right now…

So, it’s back to the lab for the benefits of modern chemistry.

And a heartfelt prayer to KwanYin, for some serious guidance for one of her children in serious need.

Just Call Me Alice

What do you do, once you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, dusted yourself off, and realized you’ve followed that white-furred thing into a place you don’t recognize?

How do you get yourself back to a place of sanity, to some semblance of normalcy when everything around you seems to be running amok?

There’s a part of me right now that’s running on fear.

And I don’t know which way to turn.

But, there’s another part of me that fiercely screams out – We will NOT run away! We will stand firm & defend our ground! We will come out the other side of this stronger & better than we went in, even if the fire burns us, we will rise from the ashes as the phoenix! Get up, bitch!”

I like her better than the coward.

But, still, at times, I find my hands shaking, my stomach queasy, unable to eat, or think clearly. Anxiety sets in, and the panic attacks are coming more frequently.

It’s getting a little frayed around the edges, and I’m afraid that July is going to be a really rough month.

He’s coming here in July- or so he claims.

He was subtle, convinced me of so many sweet things, showed me such a bright future…Kept me dangling on such a long string with the pretty treats always just out of reach for so long.

Then came the manipulation. And the emotional blackmail. The secrets & the lies. The broken promises, the plausible excuses, piling up, until it was hard to crawl out from underneath them.

And now, he says he’s finally going to live up to every single word he ever spoke, all at once.

After I told him I was Done – I’m out. Finished. Full stop.  

He insists that he’s got to come, and nothing I say will stop him. 

He says he will right the wrongs, win me back, fix everything.

I said No.

But what the fuck do I know, right?

There is no going back for me.

I’m O.U.T.

Full STOP.

Go home.

Jen doesn’t live here anymore.

Call me Alice.


Exit Strategy

Graduation approaches swiftly, & I’m heavily in planning mode.

OnlySon has his cap & gown, & is eagerly awaiting the day he can kick high school to the curb.

He has requested Texas chocolate cake (a much-beloved recipe of our family’s) for his graduation party, which will be held at my house after the ceremony.

And…it’s going to be a joint party for my son…with his father, my ex-husband.

I know the ex really only wants to do a joint party because he doesn’t want to be bothered with having to plan a party, buy the supplies, host the damned thing, clean up afterwards, yadda, yadda, yadda… It’s always been his MO, to make me do all the work when it came to this sort of thing, while taking a share of the credit. Asshat. 

He says he’s bringing a second cake (he works as a baker at a grocery store here in town, so OnlySon requesting a homemade scratch recipe has wounded his pride, I’m sure), but I know his family… I’m making 2 of my cakes, just to make sure there’s some left for my family.

All the while, my anxiety has me in heavy emergency exit-strategy mode.

Except…

How do you get away from someone when they’re at your home? And they bring their family with them? Their very loud, very confrontational, very Greek, family? (If you’re picturing My Big Fat Greek Wedding in your head…Yep, you’re seeing the right people).

If anyone gets up in my face, I’m going to have a tough time holding my cool.  I will try, for my son’s sake…

But, as I’m passing out pieces of cake, I might be tempted…