Monthly Archives: November 2009

it’s decided

I submitted to the Creme de la Creme a while ago, and I just submitted to the Golden Haiku.

My 17-word description for “Spring Cleaning” is:

  • Cleaning for Passover didn’t happen.  Instead, I prepared to escape the abuser.  Such liberation in letting go.

I was so torn, but then I figured that this post has a link to “Coming Out of the Narrow Place,” and *almost* everyone voted for it, so the die was cast.

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status change

My change in status, from married woman hoping to have children to single, (almost) divorced childless woman has sparked a whole host of growing pains and discomforts for me.  I now find myself in a completely different category, and at times I think that others aren’t quite sure what to do with me, what to talk about with me (no husband, no kids, hey, let’s talk about my dog!!!!) and I’m sure it’s not unrelated that many times I’m unsure about what to do with myself.

This is not as true with people I know well, but comes up with a vengeance with new introductions.

As a married woman, people knew how I “fit.”  As a single woman well out of her carefree twenties, well, it seems I don’t quite fit into society’s roles and rules.  And the fact that I am not alone in my position, the fact that there are countless other women in my shoes, so to speak, does not really change the fact that there is a bit of awkwardness in the small-talk circle.  You have a husband and/or kids:  they know what to do with you.  You don’t:  um, so how’s your job?

And I am coming face to face with the fact that I myself used to see (still see?) single and/or divorced women my age as somewhat pathetic.  Now I have crossed over to this category, and my own belief system has become exposed.  As Hirshmann and Munter say, “The world that exists outside of us exists within us as well.”  The prejudices of the world have been stamped in my brain and have become my own.  Unlearning them will be a big part of becoming comfortable in this new space called my life.

 

show and tell: playing handsies…er, pawsies

You can see what the rest of the class is showing and telling over at Mel’s.

So for this week’s show and tell, I return to my most frequent subject:  Miss Famous.

One of La Famosa’s favorite things ever is shaking hands…er, paws.  So often, when she meets a new person, in her excitement, she’ll just throw a paw up, and it’s so cute, the person can’t help but shake it for a bit.  The problem comes when they put it down.   She does not tire of this game.  She will shake your hand for hours if you’ll let her.

Last night she did not want to let me goof around on the computer; she demanded attention.  She—well, see for yourself:

And please forgive the quality of the video.  That’s kind of what happens when you’re the co-star and the cameraman…er, person.

under the surface

Just as I have been assailed by my bad body thoughts lately, it seems I have also been firmly back in the grip of compulsive/emotional eating.

What I have learned in the past is that this “hunger” that is not felt in my body but despite it, is not something for which I need to punish myself, but rather is a signal that there are some feelings that I have not been willing to face, some feelings I am wanting to push down and away, some feelings that are so uncomfortable I would rather feel the physical and emotional discomfort that comes after a thorough binge.

And it works…to a point.  I have been so unhappily distracted by thoughts of how terrible my body is, how bad I am for continuing to eat this way (thoughts so old and familiar that they seem to bring a cruel comfort) that I have had little idea of what is really going on under the surface.

These subterranean feelings are not totally hidden; I get glimpses of them every now and again.  Today I had a glimpse and was somehow able not to cover it over with cookies and ice cream and ohmygodI’msofat.  Somehow.

These feelings that peek out are painful.  It is so much easier to get caught up in the cycle of overeating and self-recrimination than to feel them.

Quite possibly not unrelated, I have also been thinking of last Thanksgiving.  Last year at this time.

It was one of the last good memories I have of my relationship with Mr. X.  My parents came to visit us, and as was his tendency, he put away the crazy so the company wouldn’t see.  I remember the day they left, however.  They weren’t half an hour gone before his moodiness came back, before once again I became the figurative punching bag for his unhappiness.

But Thanksgiving was nice.

Today I had a strange feeling, and I realized that I miss the good times, and I miss him in those good times.  I miss what I had convinced myself was the true nature of our relationship—but really was the mask.

And that missing is a feeling that I am not “supposed” to have.  I don’t want to have it.  I don’t want to miss this person who has caused me so much pain.  I don’t want to associate him with anything good, with anything happy.

I was asked today if I had any children, and for a moment, found myself wishing that I had had a child with him.

And then I remembered how things turned out in the end, how I realized I wouldn’t want him to be the father of my child, how his true nature came to the surface with a vengeance when I had the audacity to tell him “no.”

I spent so long worried about not being “wrong”—I twisted myself up like a thousand knots to make him happy—that the one thing I was really “wrong” about—being in that relationship to begin with—was the one thing I couldn’t see.  And now, mixed up with all my other feelings of yearning and grief is also the feeling of being a failure.  Of wasting six years of my life caught in his haze.

And I know that I did the best I could.  And I know that it is not my fault.

But the feelings are still there.  And they must be felt.

Healing is so complicated.

ICLW November

Welcome to my little corner of the bloggy world.  Make yourself at home.

A bit about me:

♦  I blog a lot about my dog.  A lot.  (But she’s so cute, can you blame me?)

♦  I am waiting on my divorce to finalize.  It could be any day now, says the lawyer.

♦  It was my decision to leave my marriage, because I realized that our “problems” were really verbal and emotional abuse.  It was the hardest decision of my life, but the best thing I have ever done for myself.

♦  One thing that brought the true nature of our relationship to light for me was infertility.  It was through the pain of going through IF that I realized how dysfunctional we were.  It was IF that led me to get emotionally healthy, and getting healthy served as a spotlight on the abuse.  It just took me a little while to figure it all out.

♦  Right now I’m working on healing and getting used to my new life, my new(ish) job, in a new(ish) city.  I moved here and started work in the middle of September after a few months at my parents’ house.

♦  I have decided on a post for Creme de la Creme, but am torn between two for the Golden Haiku.  It’s between Coming Out of the Narrow Place and Spring Cleaning.  I’d love your input.

♦  Have I mentioned my dog?  She’s really cute, especially in her Halloween tutu…

famous friday: clean those chompers!

Miss Famous is having her teeth cleaned today at the doggy doctor’s.  It’s about a year and a half past when I was first told she should have it done, so, yeah, it’s about time.

I tried to get her to pose for a picture to show you her not-so-pearly-whites, but all she wanted to do was hold hands (or paws as the case may be—note the preponderance of fluffy toe-fur):

Then she got shy:

Then she just got really bored:

So hopefully, after today, she won’t be at risk of this embarrassing situation happening to her:

I did find this one shot that kind of shows her teeth a little—she’s post-bath, hence the drownded rat look:

redrawing the lines

I’ve been having an assault of bad body thoughts of late.  “Bad body thoughts” is a phrase from When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies and what that book has to say about them has really changed my relationship with those thoughts and with my body, in general.  Hirschmann and Munter assert that “bad body thoughts are never about your body.”  That’s a pretty strong statement.  Never about your body.  I was a bit skeptical at first.  I mean, really, I know these feelings ar about my body.  This feeling fat, like I don’t fit in, like I should be better than I am, that’s about my body and only my body…right?  Right?

It didn’t take many times of taking a deeper look at my bad body thoughts to convince me that there really is something to this theory of theirs.  Let’s take the examples I just listed above, which are some of the thoughts I’ve been having lately.  Feeling like I don’t fit in physically, right now, for me is a reflection of how I’ve been feeling in general.  I noticed that after a couple of conversations with new people yesterday at a work function, this feeling was stronger than ever.  Well, those conversations danced around the edge of my divorce.  In one, I avoided the topic and said that I had moved back to this state to be close to family.  Which is such a small part of the truth that it felt like a lie.  I moved back because I split up with my husband.  Sure, I moved here because of family, but really, I was trying to find a way to not say, “I’m in the process of getting a divorce.”

The other conversation also stemmed from the topic of “where I used to live.”  I was asked why I moved there.  Well, I was married then, I said, and my husband’s job took us there.

Married then.  Not now.

Something I never, ever expected for myself.  Divorce is something that I have a lot of feelings about.  Not just my divorce, but divorce in general.  I don’t know that I could have known this or admitted it before, but I seem to have a lot of negative associations with the idea of being divorced.  Basically, it feels like failure.

And I know, I know that divorce for me is the best, healthiest, most successful path…but these old ideas grew up with me and they run deep.  So deep I didn’t even know they were there.

But they’re there.

This feeling that I fucked up somehow, that I don’t know where I fit in anymore, that I am somehow less than…these feelings are definitely there.

It’s just a lot easier to feel fat and obsess about my body than to look these feelings in the face and feel them.

I am working on new ideas of success, of acceptableness…it’s hard to discover that you are suddenly on the wrong side of some line in the sand you drew a long time ago.  Some line that says, “Those on this side are acceptable, those on that side are not.”

But it is—hopefully—just drawn in the sand and not in stone.  I can learn to re-draw these lines.

And if it is drawn in stone—I’m getting a fucking jackhammer.