Let Loose The Bunnies of War

Cutest. War. Ever.

Hi friends. Time for your free ticket to the train wreck that may very well be my life.

I thought I’d be more melancholy and full of remorse and “woe is me” platitudes as July 12 is a few minutes away (for those that haven’t been following along, that day marks the one year anniversary of when my hope-to-be-ex-husband and I called it quitsies), but I am finding myself getting increasingly angry and bitter. This isn’t good. I think there’s a statute of limitations on this kind of crap, and I’m long passed that. I realize that everyone deals with major life changes in their own special ways, but really? One year later and I’m just NOW getting pissed off about this? Elisabeth Kubler-Ross would not be impressed with me now. “You’re fucking up my grieving process!!” And I feel like a total tool for applying divorce to the same model for dealing with death. Grant it, it’s like a death to some context–the person with whom you’ve spent so many years of your life with suddenly isn’t there anymore…and chances are you wish death upon them at some point, but still. I feel like I’m stealing the thunder from people who are legitimately struggling with the loss of a loved one. “Waa waa, my husband left me, waa waa.” (On a terrible side note, there were many times I wished he had died instead of us just growing apart–dealing with the certainty of death would be a welcome respite from knowing that he’s not here, but is still out there…I’m disturbed.)

Honestly, I feel I should be over this business by now, anyway, but I keep sliding backwards.  I also feel like a broken record at this point. How many times do I have to whine and complain about this crap? Get over it, move on. Jesus. But I can’t. Or I won’t. Probably won’t. I mean, I want to, but I am preventing myself from doing so, and that’s not healthy for me. Neither are some of the activities I’ve decided to engage in as of late–my drinking increased, my smoking has increased, my overall “I don’t give a shit about myself” attitude has increased, and I feel like I’m deliberately trying to kill myself in a very slow and tedious way. I’m overweight, I haven’t exercised in months, I wheeze when I breathe…in short, I’m a goddamn mess. I think I have the mentality of “no one cares about me, so why should I care about myself?” and by “no one,” I mean Jason. The one person to whom I cared most for no longer does so–well, at least not in the way I want and need to be cared for. I need to have a fuss made over me, someone to treat me like I’m the most important thing in their life, and I lost that. I want that back, but surprise surprise, I’m also preventing that from happening. Remember that date I went on a few weeks ago? Had I not been afraid to move on, that might have turned into something…maybe. Or I could have at least tried harder. There are other factors that played into why I didn’t pursue this further, though, and I really am not ready to date yet because I need to work on my deeper rooted issues. Putting myself and someone else through that is unfair to us both, so until then, single I shall remain.

Getting back to the Kubler-Ross stages of grief thing, I’m stuck in the depression stage, even though I take medication (when I remember), and saw therapists. I am, however, a manipulator. It’s very easy to tell people what they want to hear. I learned that very quickly last summer when I was in the mental ward of the hospital for threatening to kill myself. The moment I was admitted to the hospital, I wanted out. I did not belong there. I told my psychiatrist things that made it seem like I was not serious about committing suicide any more, and by the stars, he believed me, and by the stars again, I was released. Same thing for my therapy sessions. You  learn to pick up on the queues that make counselors say, “you’re making real progress.” The last time I visited my psychiatrist, he asked me, “so, how are you feeling towards your husband now?” Now, I had been sitting in the purgatory that was his waiting room for over an hour, and then hustled back to his office to wait for another half hour, so by then, I was tired, pissy, and just wanted to get the fuck out of there. My response? “I’m not angry anymore.” LIES!! BLATANT LIES!! This, friends, is why I do not see a therapist right now. Why waste my money and both of our time on something that isn’t helping? And besides, I fancy myself quite the self-therapist. I am fully aware of my actions, why I’m doing them, etc. For instance, today at work: everyone was annoying me to the point that starts scaring me. Those of you that know me also know that I’m probably one of the most patient people alive. It takes a great deal of effort to really miff me off, and by golly, today was one of those days where no one could do or say anything right. I could feel the anger bubbling up inside me, so I sat quietly at my desk all day and brooded. While sitting there, stewing in anger, I was analyzing myself. Why am I being such a cunt today? And then I looked over at my calendar, which I have taken a black permanent marker to July 12 and scribbled the shit out of it, and it hit me. I was suppressing my emotions about tomorrow–well, technically, by my clock, today.

How do I let myself be free of this horseshit? I’ve considered getting a hold of Jason–figuratively, as in call him up, not literally, as in strangle his neck–and lay it all out. Tell him everything, as I know I’ve said before in earlier posts, I never actually came out and told him about my affair, I just assumed he figured it out himself, as he is pretty smart for a complete moron. That’s mean…he’s actually quite intelligent, just has an amazing lack of wanting to apply that to anything. Anyway, I’m talking myself out of doing that because it would mean putting myself into a situation I loathed when we were married–getting the fucker to listen to me. I am recalling with no small amount of fondness one of the first “lover’s quarrels” we got into when we were first married. I don’t remember the exact cause of the argument, all I remember is trying to talk to him in our usual way: in the bedroom, laying on the bed. I may ramble on and on here in word form, but when it comes to actually vocalizing my emotions, I suck. I have perfect conversations in my own head, but I cannot for the life of me say what I’m thinking or need to say. It’s super fucking annoying. I digress again. So, we’re laying in bed, I’m trying to muster the courage to speak, my mind racing at all the things I need/want to say, and when I finally get the courage to speak up, I hear soft snoring…the stupid sonofabitch had fallen asleep on me. In the middle of our discussion. Hoo boy. Hey, you know what not a good idea? Fall asleep when you’re wife is trying desperately to talk to you. Yeah. Don’t do that. Good christ, that was nearly 9 years ago, and it still infuriates me whenever I think about it. So, point is, because there is one, I don’t want to talk to him because I know I will murder him in the process. I’ll ponder this some more. I need to get this crap out of my head finally. Open to suggestions on how to do so.

Let’s see…what else can I babble incoherently about for a while? How about complacency? Okay! I don’t blame Jason for a lot of things that went awry in the marriage, because like so many things with couples, it takes two to tango. I do,  however, blame him for my apathy; my unwillingness to do anything. I have always wanted to move away from Nebraska. Jason did not. I got tired of broaching the subject with him, got tired of trying to convince him we’d be fine on our own, that moving would be an adventure for us. I’m kidding myself into thinking I’m content where I’m at, and I’m not. My job is becoming tedious, I don’t like coming home, either, as I spend far too much time doing nothing. I need something different. I need a change of scenery. I need distractions. My sister-from-another-mister Jamie is moving at the beginning of the year. I have a bad habit of saying, “Yeah! I’ll do it! Let’s go!” But when that time rolls around…oh, what’s this? Yeah, guess who is a giant pussy and opts out? If you said “Erin,” you’d be 100% correct. I want this time to be different. I want to go. I need to go. I have precious little for me here anymore. I just need someone to constantly kick me in the ass to motivate me. I’m thirty-years-old for Christ’s sake. I’m having a third-life crisis. I’m too old to be playing games, yet too young to just sit and let myself rot in a town I really don’t like. Lincoln is fine, it’s been home for 8 years, but it’s not my home. I don’t belong here. I need to find a place I want to call home. And jesus christ, can I be anymore cliché right now? Fuuuck. 

Let’s switch gears for a second, or at least topics. It’s still going to be whiny, but damn it, this is kind of helping me out right now, so deal with it. Please.

Writing. I love to write. Sometimes, I think I’m actually pretty decent at writing, and some of you seem to agree, which is such an empowering feeling. Writing is difficult, and finding people to read what you’ve written is even more difficult. I have always considered it a hobby, as something I’d do every now and again, but I haven’t really taken it seriously until about 9 months ago. I met a person who encouraged me to write more, and got me involved with that Fictionaut site I piddle around on. It felt so good to be writing more frequently, and to be getting positive feedback (sometimes negative, too, which is also good). I view this person as my mentor and muse. I am eternally grateful for them and I swear to Jehovah, if I ever get published (my next point), I will give them full credit for my work and take them out for a nice sushi dinner. I swear it. Booger, goddamn it, if you’re reading this, I promise you this will happen. Buuuutttt…this brings me to my earlier mentioned point: I am so fucking lazy. I see my counterparts succeeding in their writing, getting published in literary magazines, shit, being bona fide authors, and while I genuinely am so happy for them all for their wonderful accomplishments, I am so freaking jealous of them, it’s a little ridiculous. I like to ask the question “are you jealous of other writers?” when I interview my ladies for HeartOnSleeve Review (visit the site at heartonsleevereview.wordpress.com!)(shameless plug in the middle of my own goddamn diatribe…awesome), and if I were to be asked this question, I would answer without a moment’s hesitation: Yes. I am. Green with envy. I think to myself, “I can fucking do that!” and oh, what’s this? I don’t. I let submission deadlines pass, I just sit and daydream about being discovered, which really fucking pisses me off because THAT’S EXACTLY HOW JASON FUCKING ACTED ABOUT HIS MUSIC. “Oh, I love to make music, it’s a passion of mine, and I’ll make some pretty sweet fucking songs, but that’s about it. I’ll just wait for greatness to find me.” BULL. SHIT. BULLSHIT. BUUUULLLLLSSSSSHHHHIIIITTTT. And the goddamn kick in the face is, I know this isn’t how you achieve notoriety. I would make fun of Jason all the time for being complacent. “Dude, a producer isn’t going to break down in front of the house and hear you dicking around on your guitars and fall in love with your music. You have to put forth an effort. Make a name for yourself.” Oh, hello, kettle. I’m a pot. You’re black. (that sounded better in my head…) But see what I mean? I want to have my stories published! I do! But I don’t do a goddamn thing about it! What the fuck! Have I mentioned I’m not right in my head? I hope it’s painfully obvious now. I should seek help…oh, wait…I tried that.

Seriously.

Here are the things I need help with, in no particular order:

1. Moving on.

2. Building bookshelves. Not really joking about that–I’m running out of room here, and I keep buying more books. Will I ever learn?

3. Cliche alert, but fuck it (heh…ahem): I am a good person, and I deserve to be treated as such.

4. Another cliché–things happen for a reason. This divorce? Happened for a reason…several reasons, actually, but what I mean is this: Jason and I were not meant to be together. Sad, hell–devastating to think about, but it’s the truth. We got married too young, we grew apart, we’re both happier now, to certain extents. My amazing friend Mary coined this phrase for her own first marriage: it was a training wheel marriage. And she’s right; this is. I was wobbly and uncertain with this one, and hopefully, I’m ready for my big girl bike. Or a guy that rides a motorcycle. I’m not against that at all. I’ll have to find a helmet big enough to house this giant German cranium of mine, though. Thanks, Dad.

5. I need to live. I do not want to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if I had done that?” and grow old sad and alone and pissed off because I missed everything cool.

6. Same applies to writing. I need to remember that editors to lit mags are not all my mom, and they won’t all love my stuff and tell me how special I am. Grow a thick skin, and submit the shit out of pieces. Just because one place rejected you, doesn’t mean they all will. Jesus christ, I sound just like Tom Pluck…

Seven. (shut up–the seven key on my keyboard jumped the shark) I think that was it. If I missed anything, please, let me know. Ass kickings are also permitted, but only for a short time. One per customer, and no double coupons accepted. You don’t get to kick this ass twice.

Okay then. That’s about the long and short of it.

As always, thanks for tagging along for the ride. Bless your faces.

Your humble servant,

E

 P.S. I’m not sure how this happened, but my spelling is atrocious these days. I used to be a champion speller. Ask my mommy.

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6 thoughts on “Let Loose The Bunnies of War

  1. Hey, I dig the Saul Bass look. I gotta stop reading this in an RSS reader.
    I don’t know you that well, so I don’t feel qualified to help. But I was in a similar situation when I turned 30. I ignored what I was telling myself for about four years. I plunged into debt. I became morbidly obese. I gave up writing in 2002, when I had a decent idea for a novel; the ideas no longer interest me, but I might have gotten it published, if I’d tried.
    When I turned 33, my “Jesus year,” as they call it, I had a sudden epiphany.
    I wanted to lose weight.
    I wanted to get out of debt.
    I wanted to stop chasing unattainable, selfish and damaged women.
    I have a lot of issues with my father, but he had died over 5 years ago. I had long ago internalized the belittlement and bullying and had taken to doing it to myself. Calling myself fat-ass. Berating my every failure. Every misstep, every procrastination.

    It was counterproductive.

    I became obsessed with one thing at a time. Lose weight.
    I went on Atkins, and lost 140lbs. I began by walking 20 minutes every night, then 40, then an hour. Then I took martial arts and began lifting weights. It took 18 months to lose that weight.

    When that goal was in sight, I tackled my debt. I sold all sorts of junk I’d bought for fleeting enjoyment, to distract from my self-loathing. Books I bought, but would never read. I still have shelves of those. I stopped buying books for five years, reading what I had. And I still have more.

    Seeing myself beat the lifelong battle with lard, and dig myself out of debt, gave me the self confidence to seek a relationship. After I focused on finding someone I loved and deserved, a few years later I was married, after years of disastrous relationships.

    My job let me blog all day without any personal reward or appreciation. I found another one where I was valued.

    Then I aimed at writing again, with a laser focus and brutal determination. I wrote a 115,000 word novel in two months. It was crap, but it was liberating. I could write. It was just too big. So I wrote flash. I compressed stories into 700 words. Then 1000. Then 1500. Then 2500, 3500, 4500.

    What changed? My image of myself.
    My image changed from a gullible, clumsy, pot-bellied kid who embarrassed his father to someone who could focus on a goal and chase it down like a vengeful water buffalo bent on goring the hunter who shot off its left butt cheek.
    I started small and focused on one thing at a time.

    Years ago, I’d met the first Commander of SEAL team six at a book signing. Big Dick Marcinko. He’d written a motivational book and signed it “Tom: find your target, aim, and execute.” I sold that book to help pay off my debts, but I remembered what he wrote. And it works.

    You don’t “Change your life.” That’s a monumental task. You do one task at a time, and you’ll find your life has changed. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’…
    Your writing will improve when your focus and self-confidence improve. But keep writing. It is a muscle that needs to be flexed.
    What would improve your self-image most?
    Target, focus, execute.

    1. For someone who claims he doesn’t “know me well enought to offer input,” you sure gave me a lot to think about, sir. My biggest character flaw is giving up too quickly. I’ll find something I want to do, eg write, exercise more, eat healthier, etc, and I will be gung ho about these for a while, and do fairly well at these tasks…then I get bored. I lose interest. I fall off the wagon. Then, months later, I’ll look at myself and become disgusted at what I’ve become. Enter depression and intense self-loathing (current state). Like I said in my blog, I have this “no one cares about me, so why should I care about myself?” mentality. I know this is bad, completely counter-productive, and in a word: asinine.

      I don’t want to be dependent upon someone, but in this same breath, I need someone to stick on my ass, to make sure I’m doing what I need to be doing, to make sure I’m on track.

      One step at a time. One task at a time. Take the Navy SEAL’s advice.

      Thank you, Tom.
      P.S. you know me better than you realize, friend.

  2. Little disturbing for a mom to read. Here is my advise, do what you do best and write Jason a letter. Let it all out, then hold on to it for a couple of days reread and then send it to him. I think one of the reasons you are going forward is true to being you …I will put it off……well you can’t move forward if you don’t take the steps……….and remember you don’t want to live your life like my sister………Love you

  3. E – what a gorgeous blog post. I read it last night in bed and found myself nodding along, wincing and overall just loving what you have written here. Thank you for sharing. Seriously, I feel how you feel sometimes. It’s therapeutic. Vomit it out.

    But remember, don’t be so hard on yourself – which is easy to say, harder to do. And yes, I’m all mom-ish but you’ll take it and like it. No?

    Anyway, this post just proves how good of a writer you are — there’s no set way. If you’re a lazy writer, so be it. I was. I am…? You’ll get where you need to be when you want to get there. Make sense? No?

    Punch me in the teeth.

    XO. Jules.

  4. Holy snot, my mom replied to this…in the like four years I’ve had this blog, Mother, you have NEVER replied to ANYTHING. Wow. Sorry it disturbed you, but just had to let it out. Please don’t yell at me for doing so in a blog and not calling you. You know how I am. 🙂

    And Jules, damn it, in your words, “you pamper me.” Thank you for reading this and your comments of encouragement–all of you, really. Thank you.

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