Fall to pieces

I reread some of my old blog today.  Posts from last summer, from our first “separation” that lasted all of five days.  We moved back in together, not because we realized that we were making a mistake, but because he got caught doing something he shouldn’t, and he wanted me to forget about it…and because I had a complete nervous breakdown and couldn’t handle it.  Or didn’t want to.  Whichever.

Rereading those entries really drove two points home to me.  The first being that we’re making the right decision, because being put through the wringer like that by someone you love is unacceptable, and should never be acceptable.  And the second being that I am afraid — really afraid — of falling to pieces again like that.

Of course, the chances that this will happen are slim, and I have to keep reminding myself of that.

1. The “divorce” has already happened.
Nothing is going to change except that, by law, David and I won’t be husband and wife anymore.  This has already happened.  We live in separate apartments.  Our finances are separated.  We have no bills together — except our cell phone bill, which we retain until January so we don’t have to pay an astronomical fee for breaking our contract.  The only time we encounter each other, really, is in our social strata. 

2. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this for months.
Separaion #1, in July of 2012, was something that occurred after three months of talking about separating.  I hadn’t prepared myself for it at all.  In this case, I first brought up “I want a divorce” in September of 2012.  It has been nine months since then.  Everyone knows about it, nobody is going to be shocked (I think — although I did just run into someone from church who hadn’t known), and I’ve had time to think about it and wrap my brain around it for quite some time.

3. Nothing is going to change.
Except my name.  I won’t be “Megan B.” anymore.  I’ll be “Megan F.” again.  That’s…it.  Everything else that is going to change, already has.

I’m not going to fall to pieces.  I’m not going to let myself fall to pieces.

I’m in a sort of depressive funk right now, but it won’t last forever.  And I’m wondering if that’s more because of this horrible dreading of anticipation.  That we’re only a week and a half away.

I just can’t wait for this all to go away.  And then I’ll be okay again.

Strength

We are coming up on the end of this journey.  Within the month, D will be my ex-husband.  Except…only on paper, because he’s been my ex-husband since November 18th, 2012, when I moved out.  I keep reminding myself that we’ve been divorced, physically, mentally, and emotionally, for seven months now, and that the court date is only a mere formality.

So why I am so afraid of it?

I couldn’t tell you that.  Maybe because, to me, it’s too ceremonial, it reminds me so much of a mockery of our marriage.  Something we so lovingly cared for and crafted and planned out, dreamed of, rehearsed, and found such joy in…eradicated in ’30 seconds’ (which is what the court clerk assured me yesterday).  Four and a half years with someone…burned away to nothingness?

Yes.  All of that.

You’d think I’d be excited.  You’d think I’d be happy.  The things that he’s said and done in the last eighteen months were heinous.  He has not treated me the way you would even expect someone to treat a casual acquaintance.  To quote one of my friends “there is a difference between murdering someone and torturing them to death”, and when it came to how our divorce was handled, he definitely chose the latter path.  His reasons for doing so, I will never know.  I’d like to think it was all misguided fear of hurting me.  He didn’t want me to know.  He didn’t want me to be hurt.

Or I could choose the more likely scenario — he was protecting himself.  His ego, his reputation.  He didn’t want the world to know what we were, who he was, what he really thought of me, what really went on behind closed doors.

I feel so old beside him these days.  And it’s not even because he’s 28 and I’m going to be 30 in just three months.  I just feel so much older than him.  I remember when we first started dating, how weirded out I was by the fact that he was a mere four months older than my younger sister.  Over time, I stopped sensing the almost-two year age gap between us; it didn’t seem relevant.  And in the last two years…it’s there like a massive rift between us.  It’s not even that I’m so much older than he is (I’m not), it’s just that I want so many different things than he does.  I was ready.  He was not.  And it fell apart.

I hate when people say “well, you kind of rushed into marriage.”  We were dating for two and a half years before we got married…I don’t really call that “rushing.”  And you can’t really put a time limit on something like this.  My parents were engaged after only six weeks and they’re going to celebrate their 33rd anniversary in October.  It’s not a “one size fits all” sort of scenario.  And I think that’s been the most difficult thing about it.  There’s no rhyme or reason, nothing I could have done.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  The end.

 

All I want now, is strength.

Strength to get through the court date — July 8th — with my head held high, and no tears.

Strength to know in my heart that I am making the right decision; the only decision.

Strength to look beyond July 8th, and see that the world isn’t ending.  This world, maybe.  But the new one is coming, and it’s brighter and more complete and fulfilling than this world was.  Even if I can’t see where the path leads right now.

Strength to hold my anger, my pain, and whatever bitterness I feel inside, because releasing those thoughts, those words, out into the world, solves nothing…but it may destroy something.

Strength to be classy.  I never wanted to be trashy, I always feared loud confrontation and drama and theatrics.  Please, when this is over, let me have the strength to have carried myself in such a way that nobody will be able to say anything about me except that, through it all, I redefined “class”.

And above all…

Strength to never reproach myself for what has occurred, for any of the choices I have made.  They may not have been the easiest decisions, but they were the right ones, no matter how I felt at the time.  I may not be happy with them now, or with the direction that my life has taken.

But oh, I believe, I believe with my heart and soul, I am not done yet.

There is beauty left in the beyond.

 

Scar Memory

“You know, nobody even notices them, except for you.”

“If I didn’t know where to look, I’d never even see them.”

“I don’t notice them anymore.”

My scars.  The perfect example of the fine, fine line between love and hate.  The last tangible reminders of the day that will remain etched in my memory until I take my last breath.  The lynchpin moment of my entire existence, a seemingly normal, beautiful late summer afternoon, when a split second decision forever altered the course of my life.  And my face.

Nearly eight years and one surgical procedure later, they are all but invisible.  I coat my face with moisturizer and sunscreen year-round, in order to maintain my pale skin — not out of vanity that would put a Southern belle to shame, but because the slightest tan brings to life those long-forgotten weals, making them stand out a stark white contrast on my right cheekbone.

Gone are the days when I would catch my mother tipping her head sideways to examine them, her eyes sad, “I can’t believe I did that to you.”  My unspoken response, “It wasn’t your fault.  You didn’t see the other car.  I don’t care.  I don’t care.”  Trying so hard to relieve that guilt, but unable to do so, because it was my face.  It has been years since I wore my hair deliberately long, hanging over my face, so that coworkers didn’t ask about my “road burn” or try to reach out and touch them.  I didn’t want anybody touching them.  They were mine.

Like a tattoo you once noticed every single day, but now forget you have, the scars have faded from the forefront of my mind.  When I do my makeup in the morning, my primary concerns are correcting uneven skin tone and covering any pimples, not the delicate pattern on my upper right cheekbone, close to my eye.  Most of the time, it never crosses my mind.

But driving home late at night, turning up the volume on the stereo in order to drown out the thundering of the rain outside on my windshield, I am distracted by a faint itch. I reach up and scratch it, absently, and then, like a wall of water that suddenly washes over me and threatens to drown me in its depths, the memories return.  I can feel them under my fingers like the tiny white bumps, the traces in my flesh.  They’re there.  Eight years and one surgical procedure can’t eradicate them.  Nothing ever will.  They may not be visible, and nobody notices them anymore…but they’re still there.  The scars, and the memories.   Under my skin.

Even if the sky is falling down

I am…not in a good place today.  And I couldn’t tell you why.  I got home yesterday feeling low, and it hasn’t improve one bit since then.  If anything, it’s gotten worse.

I mentioned in my last entry that, while I was at Wildfire, my hair caught fire when I was doing a trick with my fire staff.  I brushed it off as “no  big deal” and at the time, it really wasn’t.  One of my friends said “I don’t understand how setting yourself on fire is ‘no big deal’.”  But I really wasn’t trying to be cavalier.  It just…didn’t upset me as badly as I had thought.  Well, karma had it in for me, because on Saturday night, I really did catch on fire, and it was not good.

I was spinning fire staff at a friend’s house.  My safety was my friend Drea.  The treeline at my friends’ apartment is low, and I didn’t properly “spin off” the excess fuel on my staff before beginning.  During a trick, I accidentally brushed the wick of my staff against my shirt.  And my shirt went up in flames.  Drea, who hadn’t been safetying long, saw the flames and froze.  I tried to brush them off but I only succeeded in making a bad situation worse.  With nothing left to do, I threw the staff aside in order to “stop, drop, and roll”, like we’re taught when we’re little kids.  Until age 29, last Saturday night, I’ve never once had to do that.  But it was instinctive, and it worked — sort of.  There were still a couple of live flames on my shirt when I hit the ground, and those were quickly beat out by a couple of my friends.

Unbelievably, I wasn’t burned.  My left side was slightly singed, but the pain stopped after a couple of hours.  I’m very fortunate.

I have been feeling off ever since this happened.  There are so many stupid, ridiculous, painful feelings right now.  Something that usually makes me feel so powerful, so happy, so free, is frightening to me.  That primary rule “respect the flames” — I feel like I only thought that I did, but I wasn’t taking it seriously enough.  How could I have been, to have screwed up so badly?  I’m lucky I wasn’t severely hurt.  I’m embarrassed that I screwed up, and so badly, in front of my friends, most of whom are much more experienced than I am.  It’s also two times I’ve set myself on fire in two weeks.  The first time was no big deal — a lot of people screw up tricks and hit themselves with their wicks, especially when learning.  The second was a stupid, stupid mistake — an incomplete spin-off that left an excess of fuel on my staff, which transferred to my body and set me alight — that could have easily been avoided.

I don’t know why it is hitting me so hard lately, but I feel like an overwhelming failure.  Which is a complete 180 from where I was a couple of weeks ago.  Back then I was feeling powerful, strong, smart, talented.  Now I feel…empty.  Useless.  Weak.  A failure.

There aren’t too many lower points that I’ve hit, than lying on the ground, crying from fear and pain while my soon-to-be-ex husband frantically beats the flames out of my shirt.

 

 

In any case.  I’m fine.  Everyone’s fine.  I’m just…not where I was a couple of weeks ago.  The path my life has taken in the last eighteen months has been very “two steps forward, one step back”, and sometimes…I’m just not in a good place.  Like right now.  I hate that, but it is what it is.

The good thing about the low points is knowing that — like the high points — they’re not forever.  Life is a series of ups and downs.  I am out of the horrible darkness I was in a year ago.  I am not quite where I want to be, but I’m in a better place than I was.

 

And when the darkness begins to lift once more…I will spin again.

Little Victories, Week Twenty-Three (with bonus Wildfire recap)

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week MOST weeks (let’s not even kid ourselves anymore), for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

I really should have come in here after Wildfire and do a proper recap, because it was an extraordinary trip that really lit me up (pun intended) and left me feeling fantastic.  I definitely suffered the “post-WF crash” after coming home (I didn’t start feeling like myself until around Thursday), but all in all, it was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to (hopefully) do it all over again in August (if I get a ticket! — we’ll find out on June 23rd)!

I talked a really big talk about being so assured that David and I would be fine going to Wildfire together, but NOT together (as in, hanging with the same people, but not actually camping together or being together at all).  The first night, my anxiety was almost crippling.  BUT.  I pushed through it, and we had an amazing time.  All of us.  There was no drama, there were no issues.  It was truly wonderful.  I’m so glad that we were able to put all of that baggage aside, so that we each could have a kickass weekend.

– I learned how to do fire staff at Wildfire.  I took four classes, I was kickass in two of them, and managed to keep my head above water in the last two.  I also did an impromptu affinity class with David and my friends Lyndsey and Matt, on Sunday, just playing around and practicing different tricks.  It was a lot of fun.  I lit up on both Saturday and Sunday evenings (Friday evening I did fans), and even though it was terrifying, spinning fire is one of the greatest natural highs you will ever get.  It’s like playing Prometheus or something.

 

 

Unfortunately, on Saturday night, while attempting a round-the-world with my brand new sexy staff, I accidentally clocked myself in the back of the head.  No harm done, but I did (briefly) catch my hair on fire.  I had a safety (David) who put the flames out instantly, before I even realized my bun was on fire.  The smell of burning hair really shook me up WAY more than the fact that dear God I just lit my hair on fire.  Lesson here, kids — if you have long hair, spray it down well with water before you spin fire.  Or just do what I did when I got home:

And cut it all off!

It was high time.  I had singed hair in the back, my hair had gotten seriously long (people were commenting on it) and because I can’t straighten it in the summer, I said “fuck it” and cropped it.  I. LOVE. IT.  It takes me about five minutes to get my hair styled in the morning.  No more messing with a straightening iron or tons of brushing or binding up when it gets too frizzy.  Love it.

– Set up my appointment to discuss the THIRD round of edits to my thesis prospectus, for next week.  Argh.  If the prospectus itself needs three edits (at least, who knows if it will need more?), what’s going to happen when we got to the actual thesis?  Can’t think about it, won’t be able to cope.

– This doesn’t TECHNICALLY count as a “little victory” for this week, but last week I ran C25K Week Five, Day 2…and did it the first try!  I can now run for 8 minutes at a stretch, no sweat!  (Well, okay, there was a lot of sweat, but I DID IT!)  Because I took a week off of running due to Wildfire and a particularly glorious sunburn (that made bra-wearing impossible), I’m going to dip back down to C25K Week Five, Day 1 today, and see where that takes me.  I made up my mind to not try and put a time limit on how fast I complete this, so I’m okay with holding back a little bit.

– Crazy Bruce has decided that after three years of weekly therapy sessions, I have finally “graduated” to bi-weekly sessions.  Instead of going every Wednesday, I will go every other Wednesday.  I was a little nervous at this idea, but he pointed out that, had the crap with my separation and divorce not happened, I would have reached this point a long time ago, since the reason why I first started seeing him (my anxiety and panic attacks) were almost entirely a thing of the past.  So rather than be nervous, I’m pretty proud of it.

PLANS FOR THIS WEEKEND!  My friend Jess is having a Tastefully Simple party tomorrow (really more a get together than anything) and we’re going over there tonight to help make up the samples.  Tomorrow: gym again (with any luck) and then cleaning the apartment, Jess’s party, and then off to Joe and Lyndsey’s for a spin jam (if the weather cooperates) or Cards Against Humanity (if it doesn’t).  Sunday I’m going to Mass at the retreat center with my father (it’s a once-a-year occurrence), and then…who knows?  Hopefully relaxing at some point.  Knitting has completely fallen off the radar in favor of fire spinning.  I really should try to get back into that…before throwing myself headlong into yet another round of prospectus rewrites.