Saturday, December 17, 2011

Part 1

At the bare minimum, the past year has been a rollercoaster of events and emotions.  2011 was supposed to be my year.  The year things finally went right and life was good and I shook off the misery of the past and focused on my bright new future.  It started out so well, but now I look around and I wonder what the hell happened.  Where did it all go wrong?   More importantly, why am I sitting here feeling just as crummy as I did before I told the ex to leave?  Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve wondered if I wasn’t better off before the divorce.  Realistically, I know I wasn’t, but at least when he was around I had someone who would occasionally help out around the house and take care of some of the day to day chores that I never seem to have the time or ambition to complete thoroughly.  As I’m writing this, there are dirty dishes in the sink, clean dishes in the dishwasher, dirty clothes in the hampers, clean clothes on the couch, 3 bags of garbage to take out, floors to vacuum, and a dog who desperately needs a bath.  Where am I?  20 miles away, sitting in an Alano club, HOURS before the next meeting starts because I dropped the kids off at their dad’s place and I couldn’t bear the thought of going home to my messy house and my bitey dog.  It’s all a little too overwhelming right now.  Besides, avoidance always works so well to deal with a problem, right?

My chaotic love life (or lack thereof) parallels my chaotic household.  After digging myself out of the pit of the parasitic relationship we called a marriage, I started seeing an amazing man.  It wasn’t a 13th Step, but we were both in the program, both in the process of getting divorced, both functioning as newly single parents, and both had been interested in each other for a couple of years but didn’t do anything because of said marriages.  This was the first (and only, to date) adult relationship.  We talked about everything and talked our way through the obstacles that popped up.  This was the most intensely sexual and passionate relationship I had ever been in.  We were completely open and accepting of each other’s quirks and kinks.  I felt like he was my prize for sticking it out in a loveless/sexless marriage for so many years.  He pursued me and slowly convinced me that he loved me and wasn’t going anywhere and that it was ok to fall in love with him because he would try to make sure he never hurt me. I wanted to believe him so badly that I turned a blind eye to the warning signs and end of times warnings that were starting to be quite apparent.  8 months later he looked me in the eyes and told me his heart was no longer into it and he had changed his mind about me.

Enter THE relapse.   

Just over 6 years of sobriety down the tubes.  He left me on a Wednesday.  I went to a meeting that night, but burst into tears right away and left.  I went to my sponsor’s, told her what had happened and talked and talked and talked until I was off the ledge.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Tried to go to the meeting the next night - same thing.  Friday night rolls around, I get into the parking lot of the meeting and see that HE’S there and knew there was no way I could go in.  Apparently my van has a alcoholic GPS that locked onto the nearest liquor store and made a beeline for it.  The entire mile and a half I kept telling myself that SOMETHING would stop me before I got to the store.  WRONG.  Then, I told myself that if I REALLY wasn’t supposed to drink, someone from the program would be there and would talk me out of it.  (It didn’t dawn on me until days later that if I HAD seen someone else from the program in the liquor store, we BOTH would have avoided eye-contact and pretended that we were not there.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dearest CAPTCHA - ScRewYou!

CAPTCHA is becoming one of the banes of my existence.  I get why they (yes, I've decided captcha is plural) are used, but the annoy the crap out of me nonetheless.  No one wants internet robots unleashing their unruliness all over people's blogs, but c'mon, really?  My brain has a hard time figuring out what letters are all morphed and smashed together in those little boxes.  If I were a robot, wouldn't I have moved on after the 3rd failed attempt?  Shouldn't I be granted access for persistence?  And don't even think about clicking on the box for the visually impaired.  If you do, some transit worker reject surrounded by white noise attempts to give me random words to type and hopes of cracking the infuriating code.  Have a mentioned I'm going deaf in one ear thanks to genetics? So...I can't SEE the words and I can't HEAR the words.  Lucky me.

The reason I point this out is because the soul-crushing cApTcha is completely limiting my ability to spread my twisted humor and sarcasm upon the unsuspecting human race.  Now before coming up with what I'm sure will be a prophetic response, I have to gauge whether or not it's funny enough to deal with the impending captcha doom and gloom.  I'm not being held back by The Man, I'm being held back by The Captcha!

If I had balls, and if captcha had a mouth, I'd most certain tell them to suck it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How do you un-learn something that feels as natural as breathing?

That’s the question of the day. Or at least ONE of the questions of the day.

I am 36 years old. Over the past 20 years, I have had only 2 relationships that haven’t started with sex on the first, second, or third date. Yes, I know what that means. I was a whore when I was in my active addiction. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on. I’m 36 and feel ridiculous that I don’t know how to have a relationship that DOESN’T start this way. I don’t know how to meet people and strike up a conversation. If I somehow stumble into that scenario, it doesn’t take long before I start gauging whether or not the person is relationship material and wonder how they’d be in bed. Once that though occurs, I start planning out how to achieve that as quickly as possible. Will he respond to coyness? Thrill of the chase? Bluntness? It doesn’t take long, we hop into bed and something changes in me. He’s automatically shifted from “possible relationship candidate” to “sexual escape”. Yes, I use sex as an escape. Just as I used drugs, alcohol, food, etc. Anything that makes me feel good can be used as an escape. Unfortunately for me, I can all too easily split the emotional from the physical and sex becomes a purely physical act that is devoid of feeling. It’s merely a series of biochemical responses that feel good. Romantic, huh?

So how do you break the cycle? When the majority of the compliments I have received in my life stem from bedroom performance (I’m not bragging, just reporting the facts), it is easy to see how I came to the conclusion at some point that my only real worth is what I could do for you in an intimate setting. I am not a people-pleaser…I am an approval-sucker. I make you feel amazing, you give me your approval, I bask in it for those fleeting moments before the negative self-talk starts, and then start looking for the next approval-seeking moment. If that’s all I’m good for, why would I risk losing that approval by saying “no” or “not yet”?

Even if “Mr. close-to-right” came calling, I’d still be screwed (obvious pun, not intended). If he slept with me, there would be no relationship. If he said “no”, I’d wonder what I did wrong or start thinking about all of the things that are wrong ABOUT me and then he’d just be an asshole.

Then there’s the whole issue of my gut instinct. Even if I KNOW it is wrong, I can rationalize and justify everything until I am MOSTLY ok with it. No matter what, I’m most likely going to do it, because, God forbid I disappoint you and you don’t approve of me.

Being fucked up is really getting old. I thought I had all these demons exorcised years ago, but I’m afraid I’m finally getting to the root of them and have no idea how to fix it. To top it off, I still think my screwed up brain and fix my screwed up thinking.

Screwed up, eh?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"I want it all and now so I can just move on with my life.”

"I want it all and now so I can just move on with my life.”

This sentence came out of my mouth a few days ago.  It’s been in my head for awhile, but finally made its way to the surface and erupted in a rant about relationships.  Rant is probably too strong of word, but it sounded less pathetic than a woe-is-me whine-fest.
Here are some conclusions I have come to:
While I have always supported people who choose to go to therapy (esp. since I have a degree in it), I have never had good luck with therapists and therefore choose not to go.  I had one therapist who spent and hour telling me that it’s not acceptable for a man to hit a woman, and then that night, when I was reading the paper, saw he had been arrested the week prior for domestic assault.  Needless to say, that therapeutic relationship ended abruptly.  Then there was the one that thought positive thinking is the answer to life’s woes.  Granted, positive thinking is HUGE, but I can’t positively think my way out of things that have happened in the past that spring up from time to time.  He eventually told me I was being too difficult and didn’t see a point in continuing therapy.  Again, thanks, but I’m out of here.  Oh, and let’s not forget the woman who was weird, but tolerable, who left 5 messages for me one night on my phone and then abruptly was “no longer employed here” when I tried to return her call the next day.
My inherent problem with the therapists & psychiatrists I have dealt with is that their tendency to hide behind their degree.  I’m not an idiot.  Reverse psychology doesn’t work on me.  I also have extensive drug knowledge (some book knowledge, lots of personal experience) and therefore won’t automatically buy into what they’re selling as the magic cure.  I honestly don’t pretend I know more than them, I just want them to realize that they’re dealing with someone who may be a little more advanced than the general client and therefore will be annoyed at any attempts to dumb things down for me.  Sometimes I wonder if that falls under “terminal uniqueness”, but I really don’t think it does.
So…back to the relationship and what the hell that has to do with the therapist thing.  I think I need help and so far no one in the program has been able to provide it.  I don’t know if I’m just resisting, or if it’s actually just time to call in a pro.  Therapist shopping is about as appealing as bra shopping when you are well-endowed.  Rarely does the first one fit right and even when you DO find a tolerable one, it’s still going to rub you the wrong way at some point.  If you, dear reader, are of the athletic male persuasion, will just have to take my word for it. 

I realized (when I said it out loud) that I had been looking for a man to plug into my life all comfy/cozy like.  I didn’t want the awkwardness of meeting, dating, and learning about each other and seeing if it would lead anywhere.  I just wanted someone who would finally show me what it feel like to be loved (or at least why I think it’s supposed to feel like) and who would treat my daughters and I well.  I wasn’t looking for perfection, just the right puzzle piece to fit in the empty spot.  I think that’s supposed to sound messed up to normal people.  I think most people find the getting to know someone process exciting.  Again, more proof that I am neither “normal” or “most”.
I had a date last Friday night.  He and I had been talking for about a week, his background check came out clean, and he seemed funny and nice enough.  Long story short, I invited him over (not smart, I know), things got physical (consensual at first), he roughed me up (got the fricken bruises to show for it), and I have been kicking myself ever since.  The light bulb finally came on (only took 3 failed attempts at dating), and I now see what the problem is…
This appears to be my dating S.O.P.:
1) Meet guy online.
2) Spend days and nights texting and talking. Start to think he’s pretty cool…maybe HE’S the one I’ve been waiting for.
3) Run a thorough background check (I do them for potential employees, why not for potential dates?”
4) Find him interesting and think we could turn into something.
5) Communication turns flirty and then morphs into talks about what we each like and don’t like in the bedroom. These conversations may or may no be filled with embellishment of one’s own abilities.
6) I end up in his bed or he ends up in mine.
7) I realize how annoying this man really is and just want to escape or have him sneak away without thinking horrible things about me. I tear myself to shreds because “I’ll never learn” and “I guess I haven’t really changed since my using days” and leads to “This is not the example I want to lead for my daughters” and eventually gets to “I’m a whore and unlovable. I desperately want you to love me, but in order to do that, I have to sleep with you. Once I sleep with you, all emotion and hopes for a real relationship flies out the door.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Friday night, my gut said, “don’t do it”, my head said, “It’ll be fine. He seems nice. You’ve been good, you deserve this,” and my body said, “Seriously, it’s been months since you’ve been laid. LET’S GO ALREADY!!” I’ve never been able to successfully tell myself “NO” and not went ahead and did it anyway. I don’t think I can physically do it. I don’t know if therapy can help that. So far the Steps haven’t done it.

My name is Tina, I share too much information, and I hope that my case of dumb-ass won’t be fatal.