Thursday, February 11, 2016

15.

Just when things seem so crazy (and I feel crazy!), things calm down, slow down, and look up.  Most pain is bearable: It doesn't even really hurt.  That's because I realize I am lucky to have what I do, and be where I am considering all the life-stuff that would break most people.  I write a lot about the many things that challenge me, and challenge Sam, and challenge my family...  But everything, all things, lead to a strength and understanding that helps all of us prevail.  We remain.  We keep going.  We are okay.

2001
February 9th was the 15th anniversary of Sam's and my first date... Well, our first "official date."  As the retired principal of Mount Holly School commented on my FB page, "Weren't all those visits from Sam while you were working at the school considered "dates?"  Haha.  Sam did come to switch the school over to DSL, which was a big deal for the little school in 2000-2001.  And he kept driving all the way to the little school to "check things" and "work on things" and "test things," when he would really be sitting on the floor with me and a group of first graders cutting out construction paper shapes or watch me work with students in the tiny computer lab.  He would tell me I looked beautiful that day, and ask me silly questions, which were far too obvious, like:  "So you really like children, huh?  How many kids do you want to have?"  Sigh...  I thought he was silly.

And I told the principal, back then, that I was not dating Sam and I wasn't going to.  We had been friends in high school.  He was a nice guy.  I just wasn't interested.  I didn't think I was.  The principal thought it was all very funny.  I'm lucky he was such a wonderful man, and so understanding.  If Sam had made trouble for me at work, I would have been very frustrated with him, and never agreed to go on any dates with him, official or unofficial!

Our first date wasn't that great.  It was actually really weird.  He brought me to a VTel retirement party for a man I didn't know... actually I really didn't know anyone there... and, although there was a dinner, there were also many, many speeches for the retiree, and I was bored... and I couldn't even talk to Sam.  We had to sit and and listen and clap.  He didn't kiss me goodnight.  I wasn't sure if we would go out again.

But Valentine's Day was so soon afterward, and he took me out to dinner, alone that time, and we drank too much red wine, and could barely eat our dinner.  We had fun talking, though.  Sam was funny.  He asked me if he could kiss me when he was dropping me off at my parents' house (I moved back home after college to be with my little sister, who was 12), in their kitchen.  I said, "Well, now it's weird.  You're not supposed to ask, you're supposed to be romantic and seduce me, not just ask me when you're standing 4 feet away from me."  

He tried to then be suave, and I told him, "Okay, now this is even more awkward, you dork.  Try again next time we go out."  Yet, as I walked to the door to say goodbye, he turned around on the porch and grabbed me and kissed me.  It was still a bit silly, because I wasn't expecting it, and he was really trying to sneak up on me, so our faces banged together at first.  But that was okay. 

2013
And then we were a couple, quite easily and comfortably, he came over to my house and hung out with Mikhaila too... We were often all together: the three of us.  I remember Sam telling us that his aunt and uncle had a condo in Naples, Florida and said he could go stay there, any time.  And there we were sitting around the computer in the dark family room as school April vacation was approaching and we thought it would be a good idea to bid on tickets to Florida on Priceline.  We didn't read the fine print, or even the directions, really.  We even put in my credit card number, which we thought was, you know, just for... whatever... Duh.  We put in a really low bid for three tickets, saying that the days were flexible, and suddenly it popped up that we had purchased non-refundable, round trip tickets for weekday flights to Florida, leaving before the school break even started, and not returning until after break was over.  Teachers are not ever supposed to "pad" vacations with sick/personal days unless they have a really good reason... And Mikhaila was going to miss 6 days of school?!  My parents were watching TV in the front room, and we were all like children, sitting there realizing we had been very naughty and wondering how we would tell our parents what we had done.  Bad kids!  
Ha!  We sent Mikhaila in to first ask if she could go to Florida with Sam and me during April vacation... they weren't even agreeable to that at first... then we had to tell them it was actually longer than the vacation, and we would be missing school.  They weren't so happy.  And the principal sighed, and shook his head, "Aren't you supposed to be a computer expert?  How did you buy tickets on the internet by mistake?"  He had to be the one to talk to the superintendent...  We promised we would just not go and lose the money.  It was okay!  We understood it was a mess.  But we ended up going.  

Sam and I went on a two week vacation after dating for two months... with a little chaperone, but it was still very crazy.  Mikhaila and I had never been on a big plane before, and certainly never to Florida!  Our family always went to Maine or Massachusetts for two day vacations in the summer.  That was it.  It was all so new and exciting.  Time really didn't seem to matter, things moved fast... 

But here we are, 15 years later, with 9 year old twins.  Our 14th wedding anniversary will be this June.  Life is so strange, and wonderful, and scary, and sad, and funny.  On this anniversary, of our first date, I really understood that Sam and I are in this together.  We are in life together.  And we are great parents.  And we have two really amazing kids.  So, no matter what happens, or how we are challenged, we have been blessed in many ways.  


Monday, February 8, 2016

Cry me a River...

I believe a person is always haunted by his or her mistakes and past.

Anything I did to hurt other people, will come around to hurt me right back, and I can't do a damn thing about it.  I pushed the start button, and the cogs of that terrible machine started grinding and then moving faster and faster.  Cry me a river, when I'm hurt in the very same way I hurt someone else.  I earned it.

But, that's a scary way to live... looking in front of you, waiting for the come uppance... It's scary, to not know how to break the cycle, or if it's even possible to stop the forces of nature from doing their work.  I asked for it.  I was asking for it.  What do I expect?

I know what I expect.  I want to think I'm better than my mistakes, and what I did in the past, the things that tore me into a million pieces, weren't me, or who I wanted to be.  I want to be more than any of that.  I know I'm more than that.  I'm not a sin, I am repenting my sins.  And I want to hope that the people in my life are better than the equivalent of my sins and my mistakes.

Pain.  The deepest, most soul-ripping, excruciating pain causes us to do things that hurt others, sometimes.  I mean, good people... Good people have to have a dark and staggering pain to hurt anyone they love... I do know that.  I know that.  I'm not sure how many people escape any of this.  Are some relationships immune to crisis and ghosts?

You know, I think my views of all things in life are skewed by my depression and my PMDD.
Of course even the healthiest people have some problems, and all relationships require work and understanding and trust, but a marriage between two people with mental illness is kind of fucked.  Maybe not fucked, as in, there's no way it could ever work, but fucked in the sense that there will be a lot of fucked up stuff to deal with, and both people will need to have a lot more understanding, and trust, and hope.  Way more work will always be involved... Which is kind of funny, (in the most not funny way of all), because how much harder is it for people with mental health issues to be hopeful, and understanding, and be faced with fucked up, stressful stuff to handle and work on?  Maybe that creates stronger bonds when all is said and done?

I'm crying me a river.



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Clean.

I think I'm okay, then I know I'm not.  I'm not okay.  I'm not better.  What was I thinking?!  Stupid girl. Stupid.  Wait...

My luteal mind is getting me mixed up.  I know I feel detached and I see things wrong.  I feel things wrong.  I convince myself I am fine.  I am okay. I am alright.  And when the negative phase of PMDD comes back to me, once again, I know I'm not any of those things... I'm really a mess.  And I act like a big mess.  I think like a big mess.  I feel like a big mess.

The world looks different through these eyes... my luteal eyes...  I try not to look in the mirror, because when I do, all I see is a reflection I don't recognize...
No.
I know her well.
I know my reflection:  I see all the dirt and grime and filth on me.  And I keep wanting to wash it off.  I keep taking hot showers, or baths, and I scrub my skin clean, as if the water can dissolve time and sadness and ugliness.

When I am under the water, and rubbing my skin, I feel like there is some hope I will emerge, face the mirror, and be happy with what I see.

But truly, I do remember, even in my worst state, that my reflection doesn't matter.  Truth is what matters, not perception.  Does it matter what some people think about me?  Does it matter how others have treated me?  Does that define me?  Of course not.

Yes. It does:  Right now, it does.

You see, I look in the mirror for all the reasons people in my life don't want to be close to me.  I see why people leave.  I see why people shove me away.  I see why I'm not worthy of their attention.  What I can not wash away is visible.  It is so clear, when I am so crazy.