I am late to strength.
it does not come easily
it does not sit well.
I still haven’t sent that letter I wrote earlier this month begging Michelle to take me back. I work on it a little bit almost every week day. I’m not sure why. The boys and I are better off without Michelle. I don’t trust her. I don’t trust her to do what is in my children’s best interest(s) if it conflicts with what Michelle wants. She is either not capable of seeing long term repercussions or worse, she does see them and is more concerned with her own wants and needs in the short term. Enough said about Michelle.
My mother wants me to come out to Arizona for New Years to patch things up with Patrick and Rae (that’s a funny coincidence considering my journal entry from yesterday). She said she feels like I have painted myself into a corner and don’t know how to get out. I got a bit short with her. I told her I haven’t painted myself into any corners. I said, “Patrick and Rae are fucking awful to be around. They talk shit about everyone. It is constant and it is stressful to be around. I am not in a corner. In fact I have reached out to them. They aren’t replying.” She told me she felt bad about the whole situation. I explained to her the ONLY part of this that I regret is how bad she and Dad feel. I know my mother went through a decades, long estrangement with her sister and they are both thinking about that.
I am still working on the same sonnet. Way more difficult than a haiku. I am still enjoying the exercise though. I assume this work is to Alzheimer’s what cardio is to heart disease or masturbation is to prostate cancer…preventative. I just laughed out loud writing that.
I sit and feel sorry for what is lost.
I dread and am frightened of what’s in store
Not knowing my loss’s ultimate cost
To my boys, myself and what was before.
Our lives were complete but now without you,
We feel insufficient, un-moored, not right.
We must search for (work towards) something that’s new
To sooth our pain and return to delight.
We cannot find joy in a new person:
She’d be inconstant, selfish, and hurt us.
I do not want us to lapse and worsen
We have come too far down this path to trust
She would want us and bring love to endure
That’s constant, stable, beautiful, and sure.
thought I was ready.
couldn’t be more wrong. I will
just keep doing the work
I’m not sending that fucking letter. When can I stop being sad about Michelle leaving? When will I stop thinking about her every single day? She has moved on so what’s the point of that letter from Friday?
I had a good weekend. I was home with the dog on Friday night. I went to a good friend’s on Saturday night. Sunday, I went Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, I washed and folded all of the laundry for the boys and I, did the most brutal squat workout, went to Brad’s soccer game, and then went to the movies. I was planning on working on my journal but I just didn’t have the time.
Monica and I continue to talk and text back and forth. That is something. I like her a lot as a friend and I definitely find her attractive. She has been clear that being romantic is something she would like to do. I know we aren’t what each other is looking for in a long-term, romantic partner. She’s a George Strait girl and I’m a Billie Holiday boy. Both are fine and super cool but ultimately not the best partners. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to get her naked and in bed. It also doesn’t mean I would use her and lead her on with implied promises of us being a couple. We’ll see. It would be nice to have a lover to share some time with.
So that is a bit of a change right? I’m hung up about Michelle but now I’m thinking about sleeping with another woman to fill that void. Jesus…I am a mess. I think I need to put more time between my relationship with Michelle and now before I entertain the idea of a new one.
it is about time
I turned the page. no one else
can. I might as well.
Driving home tonight I thought about my divorce. Specifically how I was able to move on almost immediately and Collette had a more difficult time. I had been thinking about (fantasizing really) about leaving her for a long time. We were so unhappy together, I wanted a different life. I know that is why Michelle has been able to move on so quickly. She had been thinking about (fantasizing?) leaving me for quite a while. She was ultimately not invested in our relationship. She went through the motions but was leaning towards leaving. I imagine it was the boys that had her holding on…that was the only reason. She doesn’t believe she could do what she wants to do in life while being with us. She thinks we would hold her back and stymie her ambition. I wish she had talked to me about it. I would have told her how proud we are of her and her accomplishments. I would have told her we could have made an internship out of state work. I would have told her I love her and we could make anything work as long as we were together. There is so much I would have said to her if she had just talked to me.
My drinking and her total lack of communication is what killed our relationship and destroyed the family we had built. The stupid, crazy, hopeless romantic in me still thinks it’s not too late. We could see a family counselor and start working on everything. That’s silly and naïve. Michelle is all rage and hate. She’ll never change that. It’s her armor. We are never going to see each other again. We are never going to speak to each other again. I will never find the intimacy and love we found with each other. We will find love again…someday but it will fall short. The only conciliation is what I said this morning, in 10 years I’ll remember how I felt but the feeling itself will be worn down. I hate that we are done.
I have been recording my blog posts in a journal. I am starting a new journal tomorrow. The one I have been using is almost full anyway. I’m going to put this one on a shelf, where it belongs, and leave it there.
I wanted to change
for three. I should work for the
two who deserve it.
I am surprised by the amount of boredom that comes with sobriety. I am bored…all the time! When I would normally stop off at a bar/friend’s house for a drink is just dead time. I can’t tell you how many times I say to myself, “now what?” The better I am emotionally, mentally, and physically…the more energy I have. The more energy I have, the more I am bored. There is only so much laundry to be done, I can’t clean the house all the time, the dog won’t go on endless walks, there are only so many books to read, so many movies to see, I can’t play games on my phone endlessly, I can’t work out more than once a day, it’s too cold to play golf…I am just bored, a lot. Looking at this from the outside I can see someone posing the question, “does being bored make you want to drink?” It doesn’t. That’s good.
Of course I think about Michelle and what we would be doing together. I’m not sure why I’m bothering talking about that…silly.
My therapist thinks we have reached the end of her usefulness. She pointed out several things that are different since we first met:
- Grief has moved (mostly) to acceptance
- Stress and anxiety are way down
- I am effectively using tools to manage the anxiety that remains
- My desire/need for control has abated
- I have been sober for 15 weeks
Consequently, I am happier than I have been in years…happiness is my “starting position”.
I have to agree with her on all fronts. I know I feel sad from time to time. I think about and miss Michelle in my life every day. Knowing she is happy and grateful to be free of the boys and me hurts and makes the “missing her” worse. That said, I wake up every morning feeling good. I don’t feel like a different person…just a better version. I started out doing this for Michelle (I could have become the embodiment of everything she wants and she still wouldn’t be with me. She left because she doesn’t want roots. She wants freedom.) This change is ending up being for my children and myself. I like this version. He is kinder, gentler, and more patient. The boys like it too.
Another good day. I feel great! I have nothing new to report in terms of my mood or sobriety.
I feel like I am getting a network of friends re-established. I have a reconnected with a bunch of people I lost touch with while Michelle and I were together (she didn’t like most of my friends. She made it pretty difficult, if not impossible, to maintain those relationships. Now that I think back on things…that’s disturbing behavior…right?). It’s nice to want to go out and be able to find a friend to join me. It wasn’t like that for a while after she left. I haven’t reconnect with everyone though.
It feels right to cut the toxic people out of my life. What’s sad is: at one point, they all meant something to me. They felt like a positive force in my life until I realized they weren’t. I don’t feel bad about it. It feels like a weight off of my shoulders.
I feel like Hedwig did in the last scene of Hedwig and the Angry Inch when he wanders out into an alley cold, alone, and naked. He is completely exposed and disoriented. He stumbles a bit but he keeps moving towards the end of the alley. In that moment, I feel hope for Hedwig. He is leaving this dark place and moving towards something better. Watching it, you get the sense that Hedwig is going to be okay.
I am nervous. I feel naked, exposed, and vulnerable. Even when I stumble, I want to keep moving forward. Luckily it is the only direction available to me.
the three of us are
closer than we were before.
we are happier
It is so good to have the boys back with me again. I always miss them when they are with their mother but it is brought into sharper focus when I have them…how much more fulfilled my life feels. I enjoy the time I get to spend with them. Our relationship has gotten better (and we have always been really close) since I have quit drinking. We laugh and have fun more. I still have that stern, “I’m your father and I have expectations!” thing because you know…I am and I do. It just seems easier, more relaxed…I don’t know what word fits best…not organic… somewhere between relaxed and natural. Whatever word best embodies that emotion.
I have to admit to a sense of pride in myself. I can look back on how I was doing, day to day before Michelle left me to where I am now and see a happier person. Don’t get me wrong, I am still sad about Michelle and I. The happiness is just a general, underlying state of being. The background noise is happy. It’s my first position (if I can use a dancing term).
Drinking has recently been difficult. The cravings have been more frequent. I went to dinner with some friends at a place that makes great cocktails and someone ordered their “Perfect Old Fashion”. I could feel the desire to have one in my chest. It was uncomfortable.
I am getting excited about Chicago.
I should throw and asterix on that statement. I wish Michelle was coming with me and she could enjoy the Hamilton ticket I got her for her 30th birthday. I was thinking about her this morning. The way I have approached sobriety is the same way I quit smoking. One day at a time, putting more time between the last day I drank till today. Create new habits, new muscle memory that is how I’ve been able to not smoke for 8 years, how I’ve been able to not drink for 14 weeks, and how I‘ll get over Michelle. The more distance I put between her leaving me and now, the better I am going to be.
I am getting excited about Chicago.* Hamilton is going to be amazing. There was an interview with the actor who played King George in the original cast production on Fresh Air the other night. It made me more excited to see the show. I wish the boys could come with me. They are with their mother.
I have decided for Christmas we are staying in Omaha. I had thought about going to Manhattan. I have to be honest with myself. The only reason I was going to Manhattan is I know Michelle will be in Brooklyn at the same time and I’d want her to see us on Facebook and feel bad. The boys and I are going to look at going over their spring break. That is the right reason to go. Not some lame/stalking attempt to ensure Michelle feels shitty.
Brad is being bullied at school. It’s by a girl he doesn’t know. She asked him to come over by her desk and then promptly kicked him in the groin. She got into trouble. The dean told him if she said anything to him in any way to let him know. He assured me they took the incident seriously and would not tolerate any kind of bullying. This morning I asked Brad if she has said anything to him? His teacher asked him to pass out a completed test. When he handed the girl’s to her she told him, “don’t touch my paper.” This is a continuation of her bullying. She is testing the waters to see what she can continue to get away with. What is most frustrating about this is Brad was physically assaulted and because it is a girl he is unable to respond in kind. We’ll see what comes of this. I’m pretty angry right now.
What kind of home life does this kid have? Her lashing out is just her way of venting frustrations she doesn’t understand or know how to deal with. Knowing that tugs at the strings of empathy…until it’s your kid she is “venting” at…so fuck her, that little asshole!!!!!!