Got the Blues

Actually, it’s more than just the blues.  I’m in a deep, dark depression and I have no idea how to climb out of it.

I can pull it together enough to go to work Monday through Friday. And then I walk in my door every evening and face plant on the sofa.

I was thinking about it on my way home from lupper with my family this afternoon.  I miss loving my ex-husband. I miss knowing that he loved me. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing I can think of that would make me go back to him.  The love really is gone.

I hope that there will come a day when I will once again feel love for a man who loves me. I hope that maybe I can be a step-grandmother and have children and grandchildren to love and spoil. But right now the loneliness and emptiness is all I have.

My amazingly incredible sister is taking me on a much-needed vacation next weekend.  I’m taking a couple of days off work and we’re going down to the beach.  I’m going to try to put all the bad things out of my head for those 4 days, and just enjoy life.

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Life Lessons Learned from Les Miserables

Dang, it’s been quite a while since I blogged.  Not that anyone except my amazingly awesome sister Elizabeth will read this. But I guess I’m not writing this for anyone else.

I have Bipolar II — also referred to as Bipolar Depression.  It’s really not fun, trust me.  Four or five years ago I successfully got off all the medications and was doing really well.  Lost a lot of weight, left the Mormon church, and ferociously defended my beliefs and passions against people (okay, a person) who thought, and still thinks, that there is one path to god and tried to get me to go back.

Since that time, we began divorce proceedings, I was having some money issues, and other assorted crap in my life. When the day came that I ran a hot bubble bath and soaked in the tub, only to find that I couldn’t even generate enough energy or will power or whatever it was to get myself out of the tub. I either called or texted my sister, don’t remember which, and she told me she was going to be at my house in 15 minutes.

I wouldn’t like my worst enemy to have to see me naked, so I got out of the tub, dressed, and listed to what would be several much-needed come to Jesus talks. I had to face it that my depression had become overpowering, and it was time to get back on medicine for the bipolar. The thing with bipolar depression is that you have to have more than just an anti-depressant. You also need some mood stabilizers, I think that’s what they are, and the medications work together to get me stable. I’m also on a metric fucktonne of other medications to help control my back and knee pain. And right now I have what I think is tendonitis in my left arm. It just keeps coming and coming.  I’m a weeble. I’ve definitely been wobbly and fear that if things don’t change soon, I won’t be a weeble anymore. I’ll fall down and not get back up.

I said all that to say this: one of the symptoms of bipolar depression is that you get fixated on something, and that’s all you do, until one day you get up and don’t care about that anymore, and you’ve got another object of obsession.  I have ADD in addition to being bipolar, so I usually juggle 2 or 3 obsessions, and if you don’t think that’s nuts, try it and see.

Lately one of my obsessions is Les Miserables.  I’ve been listening to various cast recordings on repeat at work, and must look quite the idiot, sitting there with my earbuds on and working away, whilst simultaneously silently singing, “2! 4! 6! 0! 1!” I’ve also watched the unsatisfactory movie a few times, and yes it’s on right now, and I was delighted to find out that Les Miz is on the Bass 2018-19 season, and I will be there.

Watching the scenes and listening to the scenes where Fantine is forced into prostitution after being kicked out of Valjean’s factory infuriated me.  I hate how the men take it as their prerogative to fuck anyone they want to, but the person they fuck may as well be a blow-up doll. The women are not allowed to say no to someone they don’t want to have sex with. When Fantine defended herself against an obnoxious wealthy man, she ended up scratching his face, he lied to Javert about what happened, and if Valjean hadn’t been at the right place at the right time, Fantine would have died in prison before her trial, and if not there, she’d have died afterward.

I really, REALLY hate this double standard. Men are not vilified for frequenting prostitutes nearly as much as the prostitutes. That’s wrong. If it is acceptable for a man (or woman, of course) to hire a prostitute, then the prostitute shouldn’t be treated like scum.  So many prostitutes become addicted to drugs as a way to live with the conditions they’re forced to live in.  Violence against prostitutes is incredible. Think about Gary Ridgeway and how many prostitutes he murdered. Of the 90 that he is presumed to have killed, many were prostitutes and sex workers.  And despite what some really horrible people have said, a prostitute can be raped. It’s rape. It’s not “theft of services,” which isn’t even a funny joke.

Why not make prostitution legal? Take it out of the dark corners of the world. Recognize that people who are prostitutes are humans and deserve basic human rights. Give them health insurance, regular screening for STD’s and condoms and other protection against pregnancy and disease. Take the stigma away from it.  Because let’s face it–prostitute isn’t called the world’s oldest profession for nothing.

This is already longer than I meant it to be. So I’ll breeze through the rest of this.

Javert is such a tragic character because he looks through spectacles showing absolute black and absolute white. He’s determined to overcome the circumstances of his birth and tellingly reveals that he was born in a jail and comes from the gutter, just like Valjean. But he thinks that once a sinner, always a sinner. He refuses to even consider that people can change.  When Valjean shows over and over and over how he has changed, all Javert sees is a convict who broke parole and must again be imprisoned, this time for the rest of his life. His rigidity leads him to reject Valjean’s gift of life and he killed himself. He could not bear the thought that 24601 was a good man and who did a lot of good. He loved Monsieur Le Mayor until he found out that he was indeed Valjean.

I detest the love at first sight between Cosette and Marius, because how can you love someone at first sight? You can be attracted, but love takes a little bit more time.

OK. It’s bedtime. Peace out. I’ll try to write more often. I’m actually working on a book, so it may be sporadic here. You know, like it wasn’t already horrifically sporadic.

 

 

Want Some D? I’ve Got Plenty.

Depression.

Technically I have bipolar depression, which in my case consists of reasonably high peaks but very low troughs that tend to last for a long time. There are times when everything seems so hard that I want to just lie down and sleep so I don’t have to deal with everything.

Defensive.

One of the outward manifestations of my depression is that my  house can get messy in those times when it takes everything I have just to get up and go to work every day so I can keep body and soul together. I’m still trying to finish up my move because there was so much more crap in the house than I realized. My father and stepmother paid to have a dumpster delivered  yesterday; my sister, one of our very good friends, and said friend’s middle son are meeting me at the house tomorrow.  The kid will be hauling plenty of loads of junk to Goodwill. We will be throwing crap into the dumpster. I will load up my car, and my sister’s car if necessary, with the last remaining things that need to come here to my apartment.

Today at Thanksgiving dinner my father, who is very concerned for my well-being, gently suggested that I not let my apartment get into the condition my house got into. And I teared up and was immediately on the defensive. I made my dad feel bad, which wasn’t my intention at all. The situation felt like when I was visiting a beloved aunt & uncle and went to Sunday School with them, only to learn the lesson was about the sin of divorce. I sat there silently weeping and it took me a while to get myself calmed back down afterward. The lesson was the farthest thing from mean-spirited and I knew that it was not intended to be harsh and condemning.

Divorce

Heaven help me, I used to think divorce was taking the easy way out. I was so stinking ignorant. My mormon patriarchal blessing had a line about how my future (now soon to be ex) husband would hold my heart in his hands and keep it there warm and safe.  That is so not what happened.  Basically, he tore it out and threw it on the floor and jumped up and down on it until it was squashed flat.  Don’t get me wrong–I am far from being the virtuous perfect wife, and I absolutely made my share of bad decisions and bad behaviour in our marriage.  However, I was willing to try, willing to go to marriage counseling, whatever it took.  He wasn’t.

And contrary to my original belief that divorce was easy, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It is NOT, however, harder than remaining married to my STB-ex. I’m exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally. I’m just so. fucking. tired.

Despair

I don’t know that the despair is something separate and apart from the other Ds but it’s a real thing.  Despair that I’m alone again (naturally), despair that I will never find anyone to build a relationship with, despair that I’ll die alone and unloved, or undiscovered, by my soulmate, if there even is such a thing.

I’ve done almost nothing today besides sleep. I was at my parents’ house for the parade and dog show. I slept through the last bit of the parade and almost the entire dog show. When we got back from dinner, I went to the house to pick up a couple of things and then came home and fell asleep on the couch. I’ve fallen asleep whilst typing up this post. I hope that once the house is completely empty and we’re able to get it on the market, and then once it sells and once the divorce is final, maybe I won’t be so depressed. Maybe I won’t be so exhausted.  For now, though, if the strain on my entire being dictates the need for rest, I’m going to rest and try (ha!) not to feel guilty about it.

 

Guilt

Hey, wait–didn’t we just talk about guilt? Wasn’t that like one of the first posts (not that there are a whole lot here to read just yet)?

I have a dog.  Her name is Coco, and she is a hyper little monkey. She’s a Heinz 57, but I know she has some dachshund, some Jack Russell, and some chihuahua in her pedigree. Like I said, hyper little monkey.

Before the move, we had a routine going.  I’d get up in the morning, let her out of her crate, make sure she had food and water, and then head to work. She had the run of the main part of the house. When I got home from work, we’d snuggle and play, and then at 8:00 I’d say, “do you know what time it is?” and she’d get all excited and I’d give her special treats and tell her to go to bed, and she’d run into her crate, I’d close it up and tell her good night.  So she was crated for about 9-10 hours.  Every now and then she’d want her treats so badly that she’d voluntarily go to bed early, which I found amusing.

So now we’re here in an apartment. With carpet. I’ve kept her crated during the day because I don’t want there to be problems if anyone from the complex has to come in while I’m away.  And then she’s usually crated at night because that was the routine.

And today the guilt hit me.  That’s just not right to confine a living being to a crate for that many hours.  I started wondering if I needed to find a new home for my baby girl, one where she’d maybe have kids, or other dogs, to play with. That thought makes me happy to think of her having so much fun, and it also makes me miserable because I adore her.

So we’re trying an experiment. I let her come to bed with me tonight. Currently she’s alternating between rolling around on the bed in bliss and jumping off and sniffing every square inch of carpet. I’ve got a pee pad out for her, not that she’ll use it, because she loves carpet, and she’s already pooped. If this works, then she’ll only be crated while I’m away from the apartment, and I feel a lot better about that.

I’m concerned that there is not a door shutting my closet off from the rest of the room, and if she gets up to explore while I’m asleep, she could really wreak havoc. She kind of specializes in that.  But I’m hopeful that she’ll fall asleep with me, and this new routine will work.

She’s probably not going to be thrilled about having to be boarded when I go out of town, but there’s not a lot I can do about that.

So I guess I said all this to remind myself that sometimes a little guilt can be a good thing. It reminded me to think of the health of this little dog that I am responsible for, and her happiness, and to try to find a solution from which she and I will both benefit. The importance here is to recognize guilt can be helpful when it’s about something you can affect and change, and guilt is a worthless drain on your energy when it’s about something you can neither affect nor change.

❤ Love and joy and lots of doggie kisses ❤

Ch-Ch-Changes

This is my first post since the move on Saturday.  I must confess, however, that “the move” is not quite accurate.  Maybe it should be “the move of the furniture and most of the boxes I had packed and a metric fucktonne of big black garbage bags full of clothes and miscellaneous crap.”  I say that because i still have a metric fucktonne of stuff at the house that I have to figure out what to do with.

My apartment is tiny.  Teeny tiny. My china cabinet ended up being too large to fit, so I’m giving it to someone who will enjoy it. My washer and dryer are a million sizes too big for the space allotted, so I’m paying $33/month plus tax for a rented stacked apartment sized washer-dryer unit. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining about that.  The washer-dryer will be in my closet.  So basically I can take off my clothes, toss them into the washer, take a bath, toss the clothes into the dryer, and then hang them up or fold them and put them away.  I like that kind of space and energy saving.

It only takes me about 15 minutes to get to work, and since I’ve been getting up at the usual time, it means I have an hour in the morning in which to make the bed, put on makeup, make and eat breakfast, make a big travel mug of coffee, play with the dog, wash the breakfast dishes, and still get to work when I want to. It only takes me about 15 minutes to get home from work, which is really nice because I’m usually beat by the end of the day.

I don’t like having to create my dog for as long as I’m having to.  My original plan was to let her sleep with me at night. However, she is up and down and all over the place, which means I don’t sleep.  We’re still working on the whole housebreaking thing, and the fact that I have trouble walking adds to the difficulties, but we’ll get there.  And I don’t dare leave her uncrated during the day; to begin with, I still have boxes and bags for her to wreak havoc with (and I’ve seen the kind of havoc she can wreak, and trust me–she’s an expert). Also, if anyone from the apartments needs to come in for some reason, having her uncrated would not be good. So for now we’re working on it. She gets a good hour out of the crate in the morning before I go to work, and then she’s out from the moment I open the front door after work until she’s ready to go to bed.

I start my new position at work next Wednesday. I’ve already filled out the paperwork to get my corporate credit card. My laptop has been ordered. And today I learned that I’ll be going to Arkansas next month for work. I’m driving out with a co-worker. It’s exciting, and a little scary. But I do so much love learning, so I think the excitement will win out over the twinges of fear and panic.

Apropos of nothing, I have discovered something interesting since moving.  When I was at my house, I cleaned my face morning and evening with either micellar water or with witch hazel on a cotton round. At the house, I regularly went over my face with two cotton rounds, sometimes even three, before my face was clean. Here in my new home, it just takes one cotton round, and that one round will be cleaner than the second or third at the house. I’m guessing there was just a lot of dust and dirt in the air at the house. I’ve also noticed that I’m not having as many allergy issues. I am allergic to dust and dirt (that’s an unofficial diagnosis by my doctor), so the difference is marked. One more reason to be glad I was finally able to make the decision to let go of the house.

So yeah. Lots of changes going on. Change can be good. I think these ones are definitely good.  Here’s a little David Bowie to send you off with.

❤ Love and peace and joy ❤

Ginny Lee

David Bowie – Changes

Judgy McJudgerson

My ex used to look at me with almost a sneer curling the corners of his mouth, and invariably the next words that came out of his mouth would be an insult. Sometimes it would be a veiled insult wearing the guise of kindness, but there was no mistaking the judgment underneath. And sometimes it would just be an outright insult worded to slice deeply and sting for days, weeks, years.

A few years ago, I met someone that I liked a log. She’s young enough to be my daughter; we shared some geeky interests in common; and I think in a way we were both lonely. I thought we were friends. She decided I was her mother substitute, as her mother lived in another state. We grew pretty close, and I cherished our traditions. Her father had moved here; he and her mother were separated, and she made a very awkward attempt to set me up with her father. I thought it was sweet of her, even though I had no interest in the man and he and I were both married to other people.

Then her sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and mother moved out here.  At first it didn’t change things a whole lot. My circle got bigger, as more people came into my life. She added some friends and my circle got even bigger.  We still had our traditions, even though they happened less often.

And less often.

And less often.

And then I realized we’d gone months without any contact. It felt like she didn’t have room for me in her life anymore. Her parents had reconciled–and I’m genuinely happy about it. She spent all her spare time with her family and with her new friends, and there was no longer any room in her life for me.

That happens, and I’m not as bothered by that as I am by the fact that she just sort of ghosted me. Every now and then, when she wants something or when someone kind of gives her the come to Jesus talk, I’ll hear from her once and then nothing again.

The thing that really got me, though, was the day I had taken my puppy to be spayed. I ended up taking the whole day off work, and my friend was at her place of employment.  She had said something about needing a few clothing items, so since I was out, I found a couple of cute things and got them for her. I went ahead and took them to her, probably along with a soda or coffee or something, and there was nothing going on so she and I sat and talked for a while.  And as we talked, I saw her eyes move from my face down my body to my feet, and I saw the lip curl.  Damned if it wasn’t the exact same sneering scornful expression I have seen on my ex husband’s face more times than I care to remember. I cut the visit short and left.  A few days later I called her on it and told her that I felt like she was judging me, and she made some lame excuse and I dropped it because there was no point.

Both of my roommates are/were her friends. One of them moved out without telling me. I finally messaged her a week or two later to see if she knew what was going on. Turns out that roommate had moved in with her. It took another month for said roommate to finish getting her belongings out of my house.

The other roommate is still here. He’s likeable. He’s moving out, of course, since my ex and I are selling the house.  I am under the impression that she’s dropped this guy as well, although I could be wrong.

I’m not going to lie–it stung to see how easily I was replaced.  I thought I had been replaced by the new friends she’d made.  But my sister made it really clear the last time we talked about it.  Where I thought this young woman was my friend, she thought of me as a mother. So naturally when her mother moved out here, she no longer needed me.

Here’s the deal. Shit happens. Life takes all kinds of sharp curves and you may end up missing an exit and going back to Kansas when you were headed for Colorado (“Man, that John Denver’s full of shit!”).  Don’t ghost people. Face them. Let them know that while you love them or care about them, life went in a different direction. And if you don’t like them anymore, let them know. People change. At 53, I’m mature enough to understand that.

So yeah, I lost a couple of people I considered to be friends.  Is it the end of the world? Of course not. Just like my ex no longer knows where I live and doesn’t have my phone number, just like I have blocked him on Facebook, these people won’t have my address and I’m probably going to block them on Facebook as well. Not because they’re bad people. It’s because “I haven’t got time for the pain” that comes with her sporadic messages and then subsequent disappearances.

Also. No one, and I mean NO ONE, is allowed to look at me with the scornful sneer. No one is allowed to scream at me because I took a different route home from the airport than he’d have taken if he had been driving. No one is going to make up stories about me and pass them off as truth.  That ends here and now. If someone gives me “The Look,” I’m not going to cut our conversation short and tactfully leave. I’m going to bluntly ask them what is going on. If you scream at me while I’m driving, I will not be driving you anywhere ever again. I’m done.

It’s also made me have even more appreciation (not that I lacked it) for those people in my life who are tried and true friends. I’m fortunate to have such amazing friends, and I cherish them. EW. EFD. GC. TL. NL. SGW. SA. BVS. DDF. WG. DR. JM. MC. TS. The list goes on, because each time I think I got everyone, I think of someone else.  That, my friends, is #blessed.

❤ Love and good will ❤

Guilt

The Mormon church traffics in guilt.  That’s one of the tools they use to keep people coming.

You made out with your boyfriend? Confess all to your bishop, get married immediately or never see each other again, whether you’re mature enough to decide to wed or not. Make the decision to get married because damn it all, you love each other. Move as soon as possible so you never have to see that bishop again.  Feel guilty if you do. Feel guilty when you have sex with your husband because you’ve been taught all your life that sex is a sacred thing not to be taken lightly.  Feel guilty when you don’t have sex with your husband because it’s your duty as a wife to have sex and procreate and produce lots of new little Mormons.

Your boyfriend never wants to hug you? And when he does, reluctantly, you can tell he’s really uncomfortable.  Complain in your journal about it and then say that you need to be more understanding.  Complain to a friend about how your boyfriend doesn’t like to hug you and has never kissed you. The friend tells you that’s a good thing, because your boyfriend is keeping the law of chastity. Feel guilty for wanting more. Feel guilty that your husband–because of course you married him–doesn’t want to have sex with you. If you were slimmer or taller or prettier or something else that you haven’t figured out yet, you just know it would be enough. Feel guilty that you can’t get pregnant, even though you’re lucky if you get laid once a month. Feel guilty for thinking of it as getting laid. (Sex is sacred; see paragraph above.)  Feel guilty for having endometriosis.  Feel guilty that the very expensive IVF procedure didn’t work. Feel guilty that you had to have a hysterectomy.  Feel guilty that you’ve had sex with your husband once since the hysterectomy, and that was in a wave of fear and sorrow after 9/11/01.  Feel guilty about your husband’s “issues,” because if you were a better wife, he wouldn’t have the “issues.”  Feel guilty that you’re happier when he’s gone.  Feel guilty when you try to talk him into taking a few extra days while he’s on a business trip.  Feel guilty when you cry because he screamed at you on the way home from the airport. Feel guilty when you leave him, because you’re sealed in the temple.  Feel so guilty that you go back to him even though nothing is resolved. Feel guilty when you finally and definitively make the decision to divorce.  Feel guilty that you feel nothing but numbness and terror at the thought of having to see him. Wonder if you’re broken because of that. Feel guilty when your mother tells you that the numbness is called “flat affect” and it’s a serious indicator of mental illness, even though you know that the reason you feel numb is because he has torn everything he can out of you and turned you into a shell of a person who has only one reason for existing: guilt.

There just is no escaping the guilt.  Five years after I left the church, two years after my soon to be ex-husband took a job in another state and I knew that I’d never live with him again, I still feel guilty all the time. I apologize incessantly.  So does my sister. We apologize for things we have no control over. We apologize for things that don’t really merit apologies.

Guilt. It’s a terribly heavy burden.

It’s paralyzing sometimes.  It’s the night before I’m moving to my new apartment, the first place I’ve lived in the past 26 years where my ex never has and never will set foot. He doesn’t have the address. He doesn’t have my phone number. It’s exhilarating. It’s terrifying.

I don’t have my house ready yet for the movers, who are due to be here in 7 and a half hours.  I’m about to frantically throw everything in my bedroom into black plastic bags and shove it all in my closet so the movers can get my bedroom furniture out of the house. Then I have to frantically empty out my china cabinet and finish emptying out the bookshelves and taking all the crap off my kitchen table.

There will be no sleep tonight.

I hope that as I move into the next phase of my life, that the overpowering load of guilt I carry around will slide off my back so I can leave it on the curb for the garbage pickup on Monday morning. I think that if I can shed the layers of guilt, the layers of despair, the layers of feeling stupid and inadequate, maybe the real me can finally emerge.

I have a new home. I have a new position at work, starting November 1st. I’m making new friends while clinging to old treasured friends. It’s time.

It’s time to find myself. It’s time to lose Faith.  And now I am Ginny Lee. No faith. No guilt. Just me.

❤ Peace and love ❤