Poor assumptions

8:00am

I feel terrible about the assumption I made with Dad. I assumed he was going to lecture and try to bully me. We spoke on the phone last night for over 30 minutes. It started out with “This has gone on long enough. It needs to be fixed. The kids and your mother and I are upset about it. Etc. Etc” I explained to him how I felt. How stressful it is to be around Patrick and Rae. How they talk shit about every single person they know (without exception). How they go out of their way to make others feel like shit. How they just aren’t good people. I asked him…what are we going to do, sit down with them and make them stop being terrible human beings? He said, maybe. I told him I have my own shit I’m trying to come to terms with. I have my children I need to be concerned about after this brutal break up with Michelle. I told him I was in a good place about everything and the only reason (and I do mean the only reason) I am even entertaining an idea of reconciling with Patrick and Rae is because of how horrible my parents feel about things. I told him I can’t help that they feel terrible. I don’t feel good they, my kids, and Patrick’s kid’s feel stuck and trapped in this. But I can’t help that not having Patrick and Rae in my life (at least for right now) is an absolute good thing.

So the feeling terrible (about the assumption I made) part comes in now…he listened to me…and he didn’t try to tell me I was wrong. He didn’t try to tell me I was right…he just listened. I felt good putting it all out there with him. It felt freeing…like an unburdening. It felt like it did when I was in therapy and had a few break throughs.

A wonderful trip

 


08:00am

New York…what a wonderful trip. It was nothing like Chicago. I was so happy to be there. I worked on my journal and a poem for over 2 hours Saturday night. It was great to have that much time to sit in a corner of the hotel bar by a window and just write and think. MoMA is an amazing place and The Met is unreal. I can’t wait to go back for another visit. What an amazing city. If I was 15 years younger I’d move there.

I got home Monday night and ended up at a couple friend’s for the New Year. I haven’t been there in years. It was a cast of the same old people from the neighborhood. It was nice to be there. I ended up chatting with Kathy off and on for the majority of it. She texted me when I was in New York as well. I have to say, she is a remarkably attractive woman. It isn’t just that I think she’s beautiful and sexy, it’s how smart and funny she is. I’ve always had a thing for Kathy. Anyways…it’s nice to have an intelligent, funny, drop dead gorgeous woman to talk to at a party. I’ve always gotten the impression I’m someone who she tolerates but borders on the edge of mild contempt for. It’s like half the time I feel she hasn’t decided if she is angry at me but thinks she might be. I don’t know. Sitting with her and talking and her looking so beautiful just puts thoughts in my head about “what if” type scenarios. Silly I know. I love her hands. They are so delicate, elegant, and expressive. The same can be said of her neck. She has a woman’s full, perfect figure and her skin looks so soft. Her laugh is loud and when she is funny borders on the absurd…snorting is on menu. To top it all off she has some very unlady like habits that she manages to keep quiet and to turn feminine. We were in the kitchen and she just started to burp…quietly kind of to herself but not at all embarrassed about it (which…why would she be?). Anyway…Kathy Wilson is a stunning, sexy, intriguing distraction and a woman who is squarely out of my league…if for no other reason than she is completely uninterested in me romantically.

I don’t have a lot of time to journal because of how busy I have tasked myself to be this year. If I had more time to write today I would talk about the fucking conversation my Father and I had last night about Patrick. Suffice it to say, I would rather moon over how much I want to make-love to Kathy than I would analyze (yet again) my relationship to my family.

 

Off to Manhattan

7:30am

I have been super sick and at home since the 26th. It’s nice to be back at work. I’m a bit nervous about work and 2019. They have raised our goals by a significant amount. By significant I mean like over 50%. I have a lot of room as far as efficiency to get that…but it’s going to take a lot of effort. Journaling every morning and afternoon as I feel the need is going to have to stop. Writing poetry at work is going to have to stop. All of that said…boo fucking hoo …right? Woe is me, I have to work while I’m at work …my life is awful…I’ll be fine.

On the spur of the moment I have decided to go to Manhattan for a day and a half. I just booked a flight for tomorrow morning at 6am. I’ll be in Midtown by 1pm tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be at MoMA by 2pm. I have reservations at the Russian Samovar for 7pm and nothing else to do. Sunday I don’t leave until 4pm so I’m going to the Met. That should take up my afternoon and then I’ll catch a cab to the airport. I’ll have a book, my journal, and some E.E. Cummings to to fill in the time. I’m in great shape. It’s not going to be a shit show like Chicago was…all sad and weepy, alone, on a national holiday. I will be back in Omaha by 9:30pm on Sunday. It’ll be a nice trip to take. There is supposed to be a snow storm, I’d love to get snowed in again. I think I’d rather be home in time for the boys on Monday so we can have the day together.

That’s enough journaling for today. Hopefully I’ll have way too much stuff to think about in NYC!!

10:00am

I had a wonderful Christmas with the boys. It was a simple affair. We did presents, lounged around the house, I put together the turkey for dinner, and then family friends came over to eat. It was a great day. I didn’t realize it until this morning but I’ve never done Christmas at home, on my own before. I was either with Collette or Michelle and they did most of it (except for the cooking…I always do the cooking). When I wasn’t with them the boys and I went to Arizona. I’m glad we had fun.

The only difficulty was I am super damn sick. It started out as strep throat and has turned into a chest and head cold. I’m at work today and just miserable. I have a doctor’s appointment in an hour so hopefully I’ll get some drugs and that will be the end of it. I’m not going to have much in the way of a journal entry today.

 

A sonnet

You may pick the idiom of the day
To dramatically highlight your part
To express the thing you want most to say:
To describe your mind and reveal your heart:
I will turn the page – over a new leaf
When one door closes – you’re breaking new ground
On a new foundation – new lease on life
They’re silly, they’re trite, they’re rarely profound.
My wish: begin as if never begun
With all my failures and wisdom retained.
Exempting the hurt which brought me here first
That memory I wish to be restrained.
Then my heart would be open, less wary
I would not be me but the contrary

Back on the market (I guess)

7:45am

I went to the professional match maker yesterday afternoon. It was a really nice office. You go through an hour long interview. She was nice and asked a lot of questions about my relationship with Collette (ex-wife) and with Michelle. Why did the relationships break down, how did we meet, etc. She asked questions about the types of women I found attractive, what I’m looking for personality wise, all what you would expect. After the questions she went into her sale pitch for me as a client. So it’s fairly expensive. You put a $399 deposit down and then it’s $189/month for a 12 month membership ($2667 total). They do all the work as to recommending women, setting up the dates, they provide feedback on your dates, they will give you advice on your outfits, it’s pretty comprehensive. I liked the idea. I told her I wanted to pause until Tuesday and give it some thought. She tried to overcome my objections…she was good at it. She offered me a discount etc. I was firm. She got blunt. She said, “I like you, you’re a nice guy, and to be honest…I need a man like you in my data base. We need tall, nice, handsome men.” So I thought…okay, flattery isn’t going to work on me. I told her has much. I promised I would call her with an answer one way or the other. I drove home and was getting ready to get on the treadmill when I got a text from her offer then entire year for $725. I took it. I guess she did need a nice, tall man in her data base. I felt really flattered and complimented that she tried so hard to get me. She discounted her normal fee 73% to get my business. So that is happening. I guess I have put myself back on the market.

I’m feel sad it’s even necessary. But what can I do right? This is what’s best for me. One thing I told Courtney (the owner of the matchmaker company) I needed was someone that had their own shit. I explained one of the problems with my relationship with Michelle was the power dynamics were unintentionally screwed from the beginning. I was 13 years older, she was a bit immature, and I make almost 7 times what she does in a year. Those three things made parity difficult.

I have good friends

2:00pm
I have good friends! I was discussing my journal entry from this morning with an old childhood friend of min. He was floored by what I had put up with Michelle. He then said:
“You know what? Instead of a ‘reasons you shouldn’t be with Michelle list, how about a list of things you want in a relationship. You need to quit looking behind you and look to the future. All you’re doing is spinning your wheels thinking about how things went wrong with Michelle. You’ve done the therapy. You’ve effectively addressed (and continue to address) your anxiety and drinking. Move on man.”
He is right. I am just hurting myself and wallowing in what was…like another friend said a few days ago. I need to look towards the future. I have my meeting with the Match Maker this afternoon. That is a step in the right direction. I was thinking this morning I was going to cancel the meeting. I am not. I need to take steps forward. Not keep looking the in the rear view mirror.
I’d like to amend my last sentence this morning from, “fuck me for being so obtuse and stupid for so long!!!” to “fuck me for being too focused on the past and not looking towards my future for so long!!!” I’ve handled my mistakes from my last relationship. I’m a better man for the next one. Hopefully, I’ll find a wonderful woman who will love me and the boys. Someone we can share the love and joy the boys and I have have together.
Like I said…I have good friends. He told me exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I feel a lightness in my chest. It’s where my anxiety usually is.

The Greatest Hits!!

8:00am

I want to think about something my friend Jill said (2 weeks ago) when we were talking about my drinking. She said if I was happy in my relationship, that she doesn’t think I would have been drinking like I was. I didn’t agree with her when she said it (and I told her as much). I didn’t/don’t want to think Michelle and I shouldn’t be together…that we aren’t great together. Since then, I’ve thought about Michelle’s rage and anger issues…especially since she sent me that letter on the other day. I don’t know why but I’m reluctant to talk about Michelle’s rage and anger issues and how they made me feel. They happened all the time and I’ve lied to everyone about that. I tried to minimize how often it happened and how scared it made me. Here are the some of the greatest hits:

  1. The reaction she had the night Dad was in town over a woman being rude to her about a friend of Brad getting hurt and needing a bandage…she was upstairs screaming into her hands and a pillow. She was out of control. We actually took a break from each other for a week. I was really freaked out then…it was the first time that happened.
  2. The time she lost her shit over my ex-wife and the custody issue (I was considering suing for full custody and decided it would be too traumatic on my kids…she disagreed with me). I had to call her mother because I was scared and didn’t know what she was going to do or how to help calm her down.
  3. When she lost it (over how terrible she thought a friend of mine was to her husband) driving in an Uber from one pub to meet different friends. She was so out of control, screaming and ranting in the car, the driver tried to kick us out of the care in -10 degree weather. I had to beg him to help me get her home. She raged on for hours and into the next morning. I had to sleep in Brad’s bedroom that night.
  4. The time we had an argument (I forget what happened but I’m sure I was on the wrong end of the argument) and she demanded I apologize. She was literally jumping up and down (at the bottom of the stairs) screaming at the top of her lungs over and over again, “apologize, apologize, apologize!!” I had to leave (my own home) because I was scared of what she was going to do and just couldn’t handle it.
  5. Another episode where she was so far gone screaming and yelling that I was scared and had to call her mother. She came over, sat with her, and calmed her down while her Dad and I sat out back.
  6. Her hate filled rant on Facebook about her brother that ended up getting us uninvited to Boston. She was upset and raging about something he posted and ended up calling him a racist amongst other things…it was pretty awful. I asked her to take down the post and she wouldn’t for about 30 minutes. Once her family started calling and texting she did. She ended up completely broken down and tears with me holding her for an hour.
  7. Arizona this past summer. I sent her away instead of helping her. I didn’t know what to do and I was drunk.

I talked to her about getting help and she just took some pills and said she was fine. My mistake was internalizing all of my anxiety. These events were so stressful. Each new one helped crystalize this was life with Michelle. They weren’t “one-offs”.  If I was going to be with her I was going to have to accept that Michelle’s rage, on occasion, would be uncontrollable and scary. I was lying (to myself?) about how it made me feel. She scared me sometimes. I wasn’t afraid of her physically (I’m 6’5” and she’s 5’4”)…it was just fear of how terrible and out of control she was. She would say the most horrible things to me during these “episodes”. Not addressing it compounded my anxiety, increased my need to be controlling (if I control the outcomes I limit my anxiety…right? Bullshit!!!), and increased my desire to drink (to mute the anxiety).

I’m not going to sit here and blame Michelle for this! I am a 40+ year old grown man of above average intelligence. My anxiety, my controlling behavior, and my drinking problem are all on me. They were my reaction to stress and anxiety. Michelle wasn’t the only source of anxiety. On occasion she was the largest…but not the only.

I can say this. My stress/anxiety is always going to be there. I needed to and have learned to handle it in a healthy, productive way (exercise, reading, writing, being with my boys, talking with friends). Fuck drinking…fuck controlling every outcome…fuck me for being so obtuse and stupid for so long!!!

Too selfish to be their mother.

9:00am

Jesus Christ!! Michelle stopped by the house yesterday afternoon while Brad was there. He called me and was really nervous and upset. She was dropping off cards, presents, and a letter for me. The notes in the cards were nice and positive. I let them keep the cards and read them. They didn’t want the gifts. The letter she left me asked questions: Why did I make her leave in Arizona? Why didn’t I come to the hotel and get her in Arizona? All questions I have asked myself a million times. She answered those questions with this: “the answer is I have come to realize you are my abuser and I am your victim.” She has accused me of being an abuser.. I am without words…my post from December 11th (questioning whether her isolating me from my friends was the early signs of her being emotionally abusive) is so poignant.

We had the following text exchange:

Me: Brad just called. He said you’re at the house. Is that true?

Michelle: Yeah I dropped off Christmas presents and there is a note for you in the front mail box.

Me: You terrified him. Collette is at my house right now and she said that he is shaking.

Michelle: I didn’t think he would be home.

Me: Yes you did. We lived together as a family…you know when he gets home. Collette says he is so upset he is shaking all over.

Michelle: Did you let them read the letters or did you throw them away, or let me guess you read them first to make sure they are okay. Like a person who can never let go of any control. Notice she doesn’t acknowledge how upset Brad is and her part in it.

She timed her “dropping off” of presents when she knew Brad was going to be home. She could have put a stamp on them. She doesn’t think about what is best for Brad and that he might be made super upset by her just showing up…she only thinks about what she wants. Just selfish.

As I was rushing home to be with Brad I had a thought. What if she was there to talk? What if she wanted to talk about us and maybe us working on things? I got a sick, nervous, dread-filled feeling in my stomach. I think the emotional (heart centered) part of me is catching up to my brain. This moment is definitely part of my closure with Michelle. It is forcing the reality of our end to sink further in. Not the reality…the necessity of it. She is too selfish to be a step-mother to my children.

This morning I had the following exchange with a good friend:

Me: I was thinking about Michelle’s nonsense yesterday as I was driving into work this morning. Ugh…what a jerk!!

Derek: Just laugh about it! Even after 4 months she is still thinking about you!!

Me: I guess

Derek: Well. I guess you could wallow in the fact you were a dickhead at times by being too controlling and drinking too much. In other words…you would be just like Michelle in that you would become bitter and angry about the past without making the future better. Such as you have done by recognizing your behavior and controlling your drinking.

All true. I am lucky to have good friends to give me perspective. I feel better about the end of my relationship with Michelle than I have.