Where does the time go?

Last weekend I was sitting in a tree stand with my bow thinking I should write a blog about this… A couple days later when I looked, it’s been a year since I wrote anything.  A whole year?!?

Where has the time gone?!

Then I started thinking about how the past year of chaos has been spent… Absorbed with good friends, the stress and chaos of loosing the house I was renting and buying a place of my own, moving, work, learning how to be a homeowner and all the oddities that have gone into the first 6 months, the beginning and end of a couple romantic relationships, white tail bow hunting for the first time…. Yea, it’s been a busy 300 and some odd days.

Now I’m sitting at my kitchen table… I have room for a kitchen table!!  With the 4 new to me chairs I just purchased yesterday morning, looking out the slider door over my deck and backyard.  The late October Michigan sky is overcast of blues and grey, we had freezing rain yesterday and a little snow last night -the first of the season.  My heart is so in love with my life.

In late August or maybe early September, not really sure which, hell maybe it was even July…while hosting a bonfire at my house with friends; I decided I was going to host this year’s holiday party with friends.  Wait, whaaatttt…. I’m hosting the holiday party!?!!!  I have not hosted one since 2006, the same year as my divorce.  I’ve gone to a friends house once or twice for Christmas, but in the past 10+ years I have not willingly done much for the holidays.  In fact last year’s plans fell through because my friends’ kids were sick, so instead I barricaded myself in my tiny rental with a rotisserie chicken and pie, then decided to paint my bedroom. The year before I spent Christmas day with my phones (work included) turned off and snowshoeing.

Now this year, I am planning the Yule dinner with friends -yes it is going include a bonfire!  …and I am so excited about all of it.  Yesterday I was in Hobby Lobby and of course the Christmas decorations were 40% off, I bought a new tree topper and some bulbs, a table runner and I was smiling the whole time. Let that sink in, I bought Christmas stuff in October!  Me!!  The one who has been boycotting anything to do with the holidays the past 10 years.  Now mentally I am running over in my head how I want to set the house up, the feeling I want the home to give off with the decorations and oh crap I want to buy this or that… I need this…. I want to replace these for those….

Last year I talked about the emotional healing I felt I had gone through and that I had come to be in a better place.  Clearly what started last year has continued into this year like a snowball rolling down a steep cliff.  Proof of this can be seen in the smile on my face when I fill my house with the loud laughter of my friends.  The calmness in my soul on an overcast Sunday morning as I enjoy my morning coffee curled up in my oversized chair with my two dogs laying on my feet.

I still eat animal crackers with my coffee on a lazy weekend morning, some things will never change.

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I no longer instantlly start shaking, or have to fight off a panic attack when I think about you or when I see a vehicle that reminds me of yours.  I have, intentionally avoided any face to face interaction with you since March 2007.  Some days, that isn’t long enough.  An etenity would not be long enough. It’s been 10 years.

I can usually have casual conversations about having been married.  But the timing is of my choosing…  the other days, once in a blue moon, something catches me off guard.  In the past, being caught off guard, I could feel myself sinking into that dark pit.  The pit that would makes me shake inside, the pit that would I could feel myself choking on the bile in the back of my throat.

While catching up on personal emails, one email from Task and Purpose stood there, just blinking at me.  The subject line, an article I had already seen pop up on facebook, I was ignoring.  I knew what the article would say without reading.  I knew how the author would feel without knowing her.  I knew the panic.  The fear.  The embarrassment…

kept my abusive marriage a secret because marines are supposed to be tough

But you’re tough, that doesn’t happen to tough women. 
Yes it does.  It can happen to any of us.

I wonder if her family had spousal abuse issues. Not recognizing the drinking and violence as completely unacceptable suggests growing up in just such a home.
Really?!  Actually, I think those of us who did NOT grow up in such a home are at even more of a risk for these relationships.  Because unlike the girls who watched their mothers (or fathers, it happens both ways) beaten on a regular bases.  We don’t recognize the warning signs, nor do we normally attrack these men; in fact I would venture to say the majority of these men seem above average normal. It’s not until you are in the middle of it, do you realize just how bad it is.

Women are equal. They are totally equal to men. That’s why the President had put them in combat units like the Marines and Rangers. Under that logic, there is no way for a woman to be abused. She can equally fight and defend herself as good as any man. …..welcome to equality
What in the actual fuck… God I hate social media and the ability to share your jackass opinion.

I’ve been sitting with the “share to facebook” window open now, for the past twenty minutes… All the things rolling around in my head, all the things I want to say.

I was tired of pretending. 
I was tired of being made to feel like I wasn’t good enough. 
I was tired of being made to feeling guilty like it was my fault the things he said.
I was tired of being made to feel like I would not emount to anything without him…or that I was not strong enough to stand on my own. 

I’m tired of feeling like my family choose him

Yet none of it do I have the courage to type and post.  I know we still have mutal friends on facebook, tons of Army buddies.  Every once in a while I see a comment to him, even though I have him blocked.  I got to a point I wasn’t going to hide on social media anymore, but I also couldn’t deal with him.  I couldn’t deal with the fact that half my family wants to be social with him, welcome him into their homes at Christmas or Thanksgiving…. The first year that happened I threw my phone so hard across the room that the Nextel cell phone I had came to rest in the drywall of my mother’s dinning room.  Sorry mom. It happened again last year, I didn’t know until Christmas evening.  When my brother called my mom and then proceeded to put my 11 year old daughter on the phone. Surprise!! You can not begin to imagine my feelings.  My brother’s response, you need to just get over it.  My dad says he wants to have a relationship with his granddaughter, my father’s wife -oh don’t just DON’T get me started on that woman, let’s just skip her all together. My sisters avoid the conversation at all costs.

It wasn’t until one of Kyle’s particularly scary benders left me alone in our apartment, searching for places to hide our ammunition that I realized something had to change.

God if only I would have realized this when my ex walked around our Fayettivelle apartment with a pistol in his hand after a night of heavy drinking and tequila on base.  I couldn’t tell you all the details of that night.  I could tell you we argued, over what, who knows.  Probably some random guy I didn’t know said hello to me, or I was friendly with someone in line for lunch.  I stayed too late at work. The list goes on and on. Instead, I thought I could fix it, could fix us, could fix him.

I wasn’t rare or special in my attitude — women in the military are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to geographical isolation from family and friends, and the potential for social isolation within military culture in general. Evidence shows that violence against women is a pervasive problem within the military-connected community, and it is an extremely relevant issue for active-duty servicewomen. Among the branches, the Army consistently has shown the highest rates of domestic violence, followed by the Marines, Navy, and Air Force. In one study of active-duty military women, 21% of the women surveyed reported being on the receiving end of domestic violence incidents. VA studies show even higher reported numbers of 36.6%.

After the military we moved to Southern Illinios, were our daughter was born.  Just over a year later, we moved to Arkansas.  Neither location did I have family or friends; both locations I contemplated leaving him.  Each time, I thought, but where am I going to go?  I have no help and no where to go, I am completely isolated. When I finally walked out in the middle of the night, after we had been arguing for several hours.  I called a friend, she was on her way to Arizonia from South Carolina, she said I’ll met you in the next major city.  I have almost no memory of that drive or the following week.  I was terrified.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, or where I was going to go….but I knew I couldn’t go back. In fact I walked out at roughly 2am, at 2:30 am my own father was calling me telling me to get back home.

Anytime I have been willing to discuss the verbal and emotional abuse suffered; the majority of my family has shut me down and literally told me I just needed to get over it. To move on. Let me say just getting over it or just moving on doesn’t happen that easily and frankly it’s the worst thing you can say to anyone. In fact, I would say it makes the anger and feelings of betrayal even worse.

Forty-five minutes, the share to Facebook window is still open.  Why?  In the back of my head, I still hear, someone is going to tell him….One of your mutal friends is going to tell him. 

I’m not paranoid.  This shit happened immedatly after we seperated and even the first year of our divorce.  Cyber stalking, whatever you want to call it.  He contact the new friends I had made, would blow up my cell phone and even tried to call my Lieutenant a few times.  I specifically remember the night I muted his calls during our divorce proceedings. The sergant on duty saw me do it, he saw the look on my face, the deep inhale I took.  I still remember sitting in dispatch when I did it, with shaking hands.  I remember the sergant looking at me with a comforting look, “I’m proud of you, that’s a big step.”

There are still tons of things I don’t want to discuss and even the idea of putting it into the blog… nah, I’m good.  Maybe I’m not ready to face those demons yet.  Maybe I don’t think they need to be aired, even in a blog. This past August, was 10 years since our divorce.  It doesn’t haunt my daily life anymore. Five years ago that was a different story. Only once in a while, like reading this article do the old memories surface.

Your hair isn’t long enough, you look like a boy.
You look like you have leprosy (referring to my psoriasis, that at the time was horrible)
Why do you need makeup. Who are you trying to impress. 

There is so much more to talk about, so much left unsaid that just floats around inside my head.  One day I’ll have the courage to put it down on paper, to put it out on social media and not just quietly whisper it when the memories are too much.  When I don’t feel myself desprately clinging to anything to avoid those memories.  To avoid sinking into the pit.

It’s been a long while since one of those moments hit me, and even when I could feel those familar feelings, I look around and remind myself how far I’ve come.  How good my life is, without you.

 

Hour and a half later… the window is still there.
*click*
Now it’s on my facebook.
I can feel a pit of guilt in the back of my throat.

un-broken

**I’m not entirely sure about this blog.  It is something I have been rolling around in my head for a bit now.  I figure if I get going on one of my infamous rants, at some point I am going to offend someone…**

A month ago, a facebook acquaintance shared a short blog (here)

If you’re single, and you complain about being single, you’ll normally get some advice about learning to accept yourself before being able to be with a partner. The current model is work on yourself, “improve” yourself, when you’re alone then when you are sufficiently “un-broken” you will be able to attract a mate. To admit that you’re unsatisfied being single is almost like an admission that you’re not ready to be in a relationship; if you’re not “complete” when you’re alone, you’re not worthy of a partner.

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God isn’t that the frustrating truth when talking to your friends who are in relationships.  Or the ever annoying “don’t worry, there’s someone out there for you, you just haven’t found him yet.” Oh just shut up, shut the fuck up.

Now there are thousands of articles, blogs, facebook statues, tweets, memes and word poems about relationships.  I’m not talking love, but relationships; they’re two different things.  You can be madly in love with someone and not want a relationship.  Or still be deeply in love with someone and the relationship has passed.  Heck you can love someone with all your heart and not like them.

At this point, I’ve been single well over a year.  Most of the time I am fine with this, no I’m not just fine with it, actually I really like it, most the time I question the sanity of why others want to be in a relationship that is nothing but turmoil and problems -hey that’s what too many of y’all are constantly posting on facebook, what are the rest of us suppose to think?! That you’re actually happy? I call that settling.

Frankly, I rather enjoy my space, my routine and not having someone else drinking the last of the morning coffee when I’m grumpy and running late.  Not using the last of the hot water in the shower, or leaving a wet towel on the floor or bed. Snoring to such an extent that I cannot even fathom the ability to sleep -which, I snore myself so if you are keeping me awake…the neighbors can hear you too.  Oh god, and dealing with someone else’s family functions when I’m over worked and sleep deprived.  I say each one of these, because well, they happened and not once or twice but to a point I was ready to explode.

Then there are the very few random days I do miss the connection.  I miss the ability to lean on that other person when it’s been a rough day at work.  I miss knowing someone so in depth that all those little things, you already know the trigger signs and know how to get them out of their funk, or they have made up the excuse for you to miss their family function.  So out of sheer curiosity, and the fact it’s been a few years since I last tried, I signed up on a dating website.
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That lasted 36 hours and I deleted it.  Then I seriously questioned my sanity in a moment of weakness.  Between what people portray on social media now a days, the way they talk to each other, and the “what I’m interested in;” yea no, I’m good, I’m staying single.  I’m old fashion in the sense of dating and frankly, I hate what social media has done to the lost art of dating.

I was a child of the 80’s; I fully remember growing up with all the awesome 80’s movies like The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Pretty in Pink, Sweet Sixteen… and maybe the endless stream of these movies and similar ones that followed in the 90’s, is what set my unbroken and young heart up for failure… I can’t blame Disney, I never really bought all the fairy tail stuff as a kid.  I always thought Ariel (The Little Mermaid) was better off as a mermaid and not chasing some dude -pretty sure I actually said that at 10 or 11 years old too.

Or maybe I can only equal one adult broken heart to the one I suffered at 19.  One.. One guy, in my post divorce life has managed to reduce me to utter tears on my kitchen floor wondering where I go from here.  One guy got inside my heart, not my walls, but my heart.  One guy that I had been so in love with that I did not see my life without him in it.  In fact I remember clearly that day, I sat on my kitchen floor after getting off the phone with him, balling pretty much hysterically.  My dog Reese, was by my side instantaneously, licking my face and crawling his 60 pound puppy ass into my lap.  I had to work mids that night, I had debated on calling in, I didn’t.  Instead, I spent most of my shift hiding in my patrol car and on the phone with my sister from another mister, doing everything I could to keep from crying. Life goes on, you’ll get over this, eventually, I kept telling myself, just one day at a time.   There hasn’t been a guy come even close to that level, since.

…wow… That’s it.  Two heartbreaks.

Sure there have been plenty of let downs and disappointments, times where I’ve felt the void because someone I’ve talked to daily or quiet often is no longer in my life.  But hell, that “void” has been no deeper than the violent end of a friendship.  There was no random burst of crying, waking up in the middle of the night and feeling that pain or the need to keep busy to distract from the pain.  Even my own divorce… I worked my ass off, but that was because I was trying to figure out how to live an adult civilian life without being married, I was in totally new territory there.  In fact I remember fessing up to my mother, over the end of my marriage, that the void I felt was the disappointment and realization of the lie.

I don’t jump from relationship to relationship, I’ve never been that gal.  Hell I wouldn’t know how to.  So, seeing, especially, on facebook both males and females that one day they are dating this person, then suddenly that’s over and next week or maybe next month there is someone new… Or shit, the ones that get married… wait, weren’t you just in a relationship with someone different like less than 6, or was it 4 months ago…. what the hell….

Driving home from work earlier this week, I was randomly listening the the classic rock station (fuck I feel old some days) and a love ballad (yes love ballad you assholes) came on the radio, Aerosmith from the Armageddon movie.  This movie came out right after I had graduated high school…. I was dating, him.  The one who destroyed my heart for the first time.  I was foolish and happy, unbroken, I thought this was it, how it was supposed to be.  Then suddenly the rug was yanked out from underneath me and I was left on my bedroom floor balling my eyes out.

It’s been years.  Once in a while the memories of those relationships surface, I don’t regret either one of them.  Both were good guys, one a boy still growing up, the other in every sense a man.  I still respect both of them and cherish what was because there was a huge cause and effect in my life and without both of them, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  Now I don’t expect every guy I meet to have such a profound effect on my life, but lets face it…if you are not contributing good to my life, douces dude, there’s the door.  But on the same note, those two now phantom figures in my head hold a standard.  How these two guys treated me, at 19 and ten years later… If a guy today can’t match that, then I’m not interested.

However, I often wonder, how that early 19 year old girl would view this world we now live in… The one who existed before her heart was shattered for the first time.  The one who knew Jake from Sweet Sixteen was just a movie, but secretly hoped.

 

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  -Inked Amazon 💋💀