Inversion Blues

I feel more strongly than ever that I need to get out of Salt Lake. My time here is done, especially now that I got everything I wanted from local community theatre.

Washington state has been calling my name all my life. As a child, it was Seattle. I soon learned that green requires rain, and I’m a desert baby. I get depressed without my sun. Light lamps, blah blah blah…. The inexpensive ones are ineffective, and that’s not the point. I want to play in hot summer. I don’t want to live in gray, cool drizzle. Plus, who can afford Seattle? (And who wants a huge mechanical eye-sore in the corner? I surround myself with beauty, thank you. I’m a Taurus.)

For years, I’ve dreamed of Spokane. I went there for a choral competition in high school and have never forgotten that beautiful small city. Now I just want some town in northern Idaho or eastern Washington. North Idaho scares me, because even though the Aryan Nation went bankrupt, they’re still there, and the reputation of the area attracts loners, rightwing hatemongers, and since the 90s, retired racist LA cops. Yuck.

(My sister’s husband picked Idaho out of a hat, to escape Mississippi. He didn’t understand that she’s 2 states: Northern beauty and Nazis, southern potatoes and Mormons [with their own history of racism that’s almost more insidious because it’s sublimated and denied. “We made that right. We gave blacks the priesthood.” Boom, done, no more work to be done, end of conversation]. Dan only knew that Idaho was white and he didn’t want to raise future children around black. Grosser still, he found empowerment, position, and status in Mormon priesthood – and a pretty blond girl who thought he was worldly because she’d never left her hometown.) (Never would.)

So… eastern Washington. Someday the market will crash again. Maybe 10 years. By then, I will have been without my cats for some time, traveled freely for a couple of years, and I can buy a home, sans property tax, and get a dog and cat duo!

I can’t breathe. I hate hating Salt Lake. It’s not right. It’s so beautiful here. The soul revolts in air that stinks, and stings the eyes, and pains the throat and lungs. I HAVE AN UNREMITTING HEADACHE LIKE CHINESE WATER TORTURE. Inversion sickens everything in me. I hate hating my beautiful 20-year home.

My goodness, what Salt Lake has been and done for me! It will hurt to leave! I’m a Taurus. I don’t like change. And I do dearly love this city, this beautiful valley. I feel so connected to the earth here, my ancestors, my history, my people. I love the strange cultural dichotomy of the pious and progressives.

The pendulum swings as far raucous as it does righteous in Salt Lake City. For years, I partied with the wildest. Now, I love the insistent voice that will not be silenced by money or Mormons, and says NO to the bigotry and crime of the Republican regime.

But the fact is, we’re a city in a bowl that experiences a weather phenomenon that traps and compresses smog. And… The wheels of change are too slow to ever make a difference in air quality here. Inversion is never leaving Salt Lake City. So I must.

My cats are so old. Do I drive them through Idaho to rent an apartment in a small city I pick on a map? Do I leave a good unskilled job that will never be matched for freedom and pay (I paint my drums here!), with people I actually like (who can stand me!)? You just don’t find that in the non-committal world of marking time for a check.

I have rare gifts here. The art and dance scene are so accessible and inexpensive here.

But I have few friends. My besties are all gone, have been for years. My chosen family has changed quite a bit with the obsession of one man, which prevents me from enjoying the company of my group. It devastated me to finally give up on the personal friendship I once treasured, because year after year he lies about accepting my boundaries. Eventually, again and again, he returns to sexual harassment and bullying until another screaming match befalls us, followed by months of not speaking.

Finally, I told him the truth: I give up. There’s nothing to fight for here. I have to accept your terms, too, and they are that you will not respect mine. It breaks my heart, I told him, that I can’t give you any of my love, because ultimately, always, you demand SEX LOVE. (He said that!) If you’d accept my love as I have it to offer, I went on, I would pour it out onto you! I love you, and being loved by me is really something! But I don’t have sex to offer you, so I can’t give you anything. I have to accept, so I do now.

I took a break from the crew during rehearsal. I was excited for the next gathering, to show him that we can be in shared space and even enjoy one another’s company socially, like we used to before his predatory obsession, but he throws tantrums like a child and ruined the whole party, pissed everyone off.

(He’s a Taurus, too! Day before me. We’ve shared our party for years. He’s a frightening reflection of the weak expression of Taurus, that I recognize. Check yourself.)

He fought everyone, and everyone left. It was a Halloween pre-party and no one went to the main event, because he was such a jerk! He went alone, and bitches about it to this day (from what I hear. I haven’t seen him). If he can’t force a woman into bed, he’s gonna make everyone miserable.

Or so he thinks. We went back to his house, with his wife, who’s always there when he’s chasing me like a rutting bull, and drank in the hot tub. We had a great time.

So sad.

So it’s time. I can get the cats sleeping pills, and drive. I think I’m moving next October!

****

Oh my gosh, I just realized something. I moved here 21 years ago this month. That means if I move next year near this time, I will have lived in Salt Lake for 22 years! And you know how I love my 2-by-222s! Now I have to do it! It’s now. It’s time! I’m going!

Okay. Mind, open. Washington state is a dream, but I’m listening to whatever is right.

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And Then The Weekend Happened, Part 2

I’m so tired. I can’t even come home starving from rehearsal and hope to feed myself without a curse-laden verbal assault.

The whole family was home again. The adults had thrown away Jax’s remaining food and cleaned the fridge. His dishes were washed and draining (rancid, molding, refrigerated leftovers for over a month), and they had moved on to laundry.

My food was still out sitting on the table. Why?

I opened the fridge. It was clean and turned all the way down to zero. Warm. Empty. Carrie hurriedly began to put my food back in the fridge. Jax was right behind her.

I asked him how long my food – milk and dairy – had been left out. An hour.

“An hour?”

Knock it the blank off, just a blanking hour, get the blank over it, get the blank out of here, we’re cleaning the blanking house, for blank sake, leave us the blank alone. And on and on and on until I left the kitchen.

I’d had a bowl of cereal 6 hours earlier, and danced for 4 hours. I’d forgotten my rehearsal snacks. I was shaking, I was so hungry. And he just launched into me, screaming and swearing. It’s illegal for a landlord to bar me free movement about the home I occupy, but the roommate loophole permits him to do anything. So he is.

I said simply, “It is not unreasonable for me to feel like you are wantonly destroying my property, because you are,” and went to my room.

They’re taking as much pleasure from warming perishable food as they are from freezing me out. (Why hadn’t she put it away and how long had the fridge been clean before I got home?) It’s been 59 degrees in the house for 3 days, until last night, when it dropped to 58. They finally turned the heat on today, for themselves, but she was bundled in blankets and sheets the other day when they were all here, yet again. Why didn’t he turn it on then? I think they came over that time just to see how cold the drastic seasonal shift had left the house for me. They weren’t here long, to my relief.

Jax came home twice after that, alone, just in-and-out stops, to drop off/ pick up whatever. He knew how cold it was. He wouldn’t turn the heat on for me. Or for his fish, for whom he used to heat the house during the day while we were both at work, to keep their water temp stable. He’s willing to torture his own animals to make me pay.

For what? His inability to remove me legally? He chose my departure date! I secured my new home according to his plans. I didn’t do this by myself. Any of it. Trust a friend, risk my health, wait ’til October to leave a once-loving home. I do not understand.

He completely changed personalities once the marriage was official, and he’s completely taken the reins, and great pleasure in it. I think he’s evil.

He followed me to my room, and barked mocking intentions through the door to replace my food, demanding a list of it. Look in the fridge, if your intent is anything other than bringing hate and fear to my one remaining safe place. It’s empty, except for the food I had perfectly planned to last one week. I told him to drop it and leave me alone, shielding myself from him with my bedroom door, as I opened the front door and left.

I ordered drive-through junk food and ate in the car, sobbing. I have nowhere to go! My friends all moved, and everyone else in my “urban family” is old and unavailable.

I’m so tired.

Only one more weekend. I won’t be alone. They won’t harass me in front of my movers.

I don’t understand. I just don’t understand. I was sick and abandoned when I was mad at him, and he has officially surpassed the length of time that I spent yelling at him for something he shared and abdicated responsibility for. I do not understand. I’ve done nothing to these people.

I’ve done everything I could to stay out of their way, and they’ve done their best to brutalize me all month. I can’t stop crying today. It hurts.

Shouldn’t he be happily newly wed? Why is he so obsessed with attacking me? Shouldn’t being in love and un-alone make it more bearable to tolerate space with a woman you hate? And why, if you’re so miserable around me? If not merely to aim for my suffering, for some form of bizarre vengeance, and otherwise for the pleasure of pure cruelty? She has an apartment! I hadn’t seen him for weeks until they decided to tag-team me in this gross campaign to – what? – kill me?

What a sick, petty, small, ugly, mean man. What are they here for? Torture! What else? They’ve cleaned cupboards and a fridge, just a couple of hours work that could easily wait until my lease is through. He knows how clean I am. He knows I’m not leaving this place a mess. It’s not a bit about prepping their home. It’s about making me uncomfortable while I’m in it.

They’re calculating, horrible people, and they actually have themselves convinced they’re victims of an unreasonable woman. You chose my departure date! How do you figure I have any control over this? My apartment is occupied until Sept. 30.

They’re here every weekend to party. WHY? I hadn’t seen Jax for a month, except for brief stop-ins. What’s changed? Only their first decision as a married couple, to torture a vulnerable woman – not yet stable on her meds – as a “family.”

I’m so tired. I’m worn down, depressed, and tired.

****

I came home from my binge, in a running car for over an hour, and Jax had, in fact, replaced the milk and mayo (not yogurt, sour cream, or eggs). Why do it, if you’re just going to save face after? They didn’t think they’d get caught, I imagine. He wouldn’t have done a thing if I hadn’t taken a picture of it (ridiculed, of course). I came home with fresh veggies for a big, yummy hash with eggs that I’d been looking forward to for hours, so I grabbed my phone from my purse before hiding in my room.
fridgeThey left me alone after I got home the second time. But then, I didn’t leave my room.

One week. One week.

Whole New Exit

So let me back up.

I felt sure Jax was taking his trip, because he spent the night in my house on Sunday, alone. Or meant to.

He hasn’t slept in the house for a month. Her car left; His truck has been absent as long as he has; I had no reason to believe I wasn’t alone in the house again.

After the box prank, I called my buddy to ask if I could hide yet more stuff in his stuffed shed until the move, and I unloaded all my rage and heartache over the kid and the awful parents who keep subjecting a child to that anxiety just to spite me.

“Christie, I’m still here,” Jax announced from the kitchen.

Well, naturally, I was mortified… but it didn’t last. I’m not ashamed to call bad behavior what it is. I wasn’t doing anything to him. I was experiencing my own life, and he’s impacting it. I’m allowed to shed tears and blow off steam to a trusted friend who’s getting me through this.

So… he was staying at his “old” house. We’re just 4 blocks from Trax, Salt Lake’s public transit, which goes straight to the airport from our place, in less than 15 minutes. His trip was scheduled for the next day, Mon. Sept. 18th.

He was going! Why else would he leave his family for the night? A drive first thing in the morning to the airport from their suburb could take over an hour round-trip, on a busy morning trying to get a kid to school and a woman off to work. All signs pointed to departure. I was going to be left alone! (I was a little anxious to be around her, now that she would no longer have to play “nice girl” in front of her new man, but the police had instructed me to have my phone on video, at the ready, and I planned on it.)

I wrapped up my call and set about – shaking – selecting “most important” boxes and planning to load them into my car, to deliver to Marko’s during lunch the following day. But Jax was in the driveway on the phone. Soon he got in the old caddy that sits in our drive, operating but unused, and drove away.

I didn’t pack my car for hours, awaiting his return, but he didn’t come back Sunday.

Or Monday, which was his departure date. No one came on Monday.

Today, her car was in the driveway when I got home from work. Imagine my surprise when Jax was inside, too, helping her clean.

Perhaps he had planned to go until he overheard me. I imagine he’s telling himself that I’m going to attack his innocent bride the moment she’s not protected by her big strong man, that he’s keeping me in line. (I see him falling in line.)

I suspect, however, that even he can see the act, whether he knows it or not.

(I’m understanding that a whole lot of Jax’s behavior is unconscious and convenient. Stale, old girlfriend of years lives down the street. Bright, new girl moves in and suddenly, she’s out, I’m in. Until I’m sad, stale, and old. Bright, new girl shows up at a holiday party and he marries her 2 months later over another holiday? I’m embarrassed I dated this guy!)

Deep down, though, Jax doesn’t trust Carrie not to aggravate the situation for sport, and he reasonably expects me to stand up to her, though I had already decided not to, and discussed with the police what I should do in his absence. I told them – with respect to their experience of people behaving badly – of my fear of duplicitous, dangerous women, and the fear that this might be a real one.

Perhaps he had spent the night Sunday at my house, because it was going to be ON starting Monday the 18th. They’d made such a big deal of me being displaced this week, it’s possible they were going to ramp up the pressure and discomfort, and I would have been facing a good deal more than the “2 more weeks” I was set to survive.

But he overheard me. It was the best thing for me.

I did notice that the boy was not in the home awaiting my arrival. Jax couldn’t deny that that behavior was reprehensible, and to continue to expose a frightened child to me would simply prove me right. And Jax will do anything to blame me for everything.

I did feel that sick flood of nerves I get every time they come to the home, upon seeing her car, and then finding him, but I needed to get a snack in before rehearsal, so I went to the kitchen, where they were.

Carrie was showboating; Jax was deferential. He really doesn’t remember taking that box, or her taking it, but he can’t insist anymore that it didn’t happen, because I’m right. He was that drunk. And he can’t deny their shoddy care of a boy he committed to parent. Fun-dadding in the back yard does not a quality father make.

Without any intention to do so, I shamed him into respecting me in this space.
Thank you, angels.

Rehearsal was brief (which freaks me out; We open in 3 and 1/2 weeks!) and I was home an hour earlier than they expected. That cute kid was dancing his heart out to some pumping music, on the coffee table! He saw me, jumped down, and ran to the kitchen. And Jax was ready to wrap it up, now.

“Alright, we’re done here. Let’s head home.”

But she hadn’t had enough time to shove her happy life in my face again and didn’t want to go anywhere. Trying desperately not to show me how hard he was trying to save face, and trying desperately not to have to tell her what I’d said about her shitty parenting, he played “cool” in the most sad, comical fashion.

Meanwhile, I was starving. I’d only snacked since lunch. I’d stopped at the store for late dinner. I needed to cook and be off to bed before midnight. I’m not hiding anymore!

In her mind, she’s finally got me just where she wants me, an audience! They’d started their home renovation by deep cleaning the kitchen, and she wanted to gloat. (I think she wants me to know she did theatre. Honestly.)

“Let’s go outside,” Jax said casually to his step-son.

“It’s dark,” he refused. He doesn’t want his mom alone in the house with me, bless him.

“Let’s smoke,” Jax said to Carrie.

“We’re replacing this stove, darling.” she told me her doting husband. “It’s disgusting.”

Jax chuckled at his happy new bride making her home hers. “Of course.”

Tomorrow! Get them here tomorrow! I want an estimate, now.”  *giggle, giggle*

“Tomorrow!?” *chortle, chortle* “Alright!” He picked up her purse. “I need a smoke.”

“I want that gone, and that! And this is disgusting!”

“Okay,” he obliged, certainly for the first time, because she’s saying all of this to him.

“I’ll pay for it!” she let me know. “I want these gone!” (In Brooklynese. Did she play Adelaide? I’m not kidding! Darling everything, and an accent.)

(More type-casting for Jax: Attraction to theatrical girls in need.)

Meanwhile, I’m cleaning veggies and barely containing a laugh. I mean, this girl is just stupid. She really thinks I care. Or that this is news to me! I knew they weren’t selling the minute I learned of their marriage. She wanted me out “yesterday,” because she didn’t want to pay a cent more on rent, now that she’s a homeowner.

She really is just dumb, and values her worth and that of all women only on how far looks can take them. (Like, dumb dumb: Post-it notes around the house reveal plans to “rechalk” the tub and fix “cabnets.” Perhaps she’ll have their 3rd syllable installed.)

For me, it was just a total shift. I feel sorry for her. I don’t need to. It’s none of my business, soon, and in my experience, a complex mind has a wrought a rather convoluted life. Whadya know? I do envy her! Simplicity looks nice.

People don’t do things repeatedly that don’t work. Shaking her tail has produced a desired result all her life. Hell, I’m a natural coquette. I resent that it works, because it’s sexist. I play it onstage for pleasure, and many festy personas are flirty for community entertainment, and my own. But none are dumb, because I love my brain.

For the vacuous cutie, ignorance is bliss.

Jax is a weak man, who doesn’t want a woman to “encourage his greatness,” we’ll say. He wants an easy life, sex, and love. And who can call that unreasonable?

I want so much more. Real connection is impossible for me without the whole self.

(Jax heard me tell Marko, “Their neeeeed to make me suffer their joy completely negates it, and they’re just too stupid to know it. I never loved him like that. It’s why I couldn’t begrudge him meeting a nice girl at a party who did! I wanted my friend happy, but he was never more than that and a potential co-parent. I wanted it to be more, but it wasn’t. I was settling, too. They think I’m just broken up over here, but it was never heartbreak for me. It was not dealing with me straight, and then skipping out. That’s not even a friend. That’s a lie. That’s total disregard for me as a person. It’s betrayal.”

I did also joke, “Never promise crazy a baby,” because I’m hilarious. Truly, though, I was a goner at the word go. I saw nothing else, not even how seriously depressed I was.

We were friends who loved each other, and saw an opportunity to maybe get the family thing right because it wasn’t complicated by intense romantic feelings. Instead, neither of us was bonded to the other, in spite of the intimacy we played at, and only one of us was bound to a goal, a dream, and, yes, love. The sex was disappointing, because we weren’t in love. And he’s a fat man of certain age. There.)

And I don’t fucking care. That girl’s a joke and her husband’s in his place, for both of us.

Because I’m right about what they’ve done and he can’t pretend it away anymore.

****

I’m so close to closing this chapter, I’m almost embarrassed to keep writing about it ad nauseum in blogspace, but because of the move and rehearsal, I simply don’t have time to also be recording cogent points in my journal.

I’m free-writing everything at this point just to document it for my personal progress. I’m reminded of my power and security – that connection to Source that they just won’t let me sever (They’re bigger than my big ego! I can’t fail utterly! I’M NOT ALONE) – and I still have so much to learn and chart about how I got so very far from my truth.

Also, I’m just not fucking hiding anymore. It helps me to process in this way, and I’m doing it. It’s possible I’ll send this all to the draft bin when I’m done, but I don’t know anymore if I want to “delete” him. He was a frightening lesson I needed.

I feel as far away from who I really am in this debacle, that the feeling today is almost as palpable as it was quitting cocaine 10 years ago (all by myself, thank you very much) (and my best friend, who refused to see me in the end, even when I wasn’t high). It’s as though I’m coming back into my body. I was GONE, then and now, and it’s frightening to realize that you didn’t even know it!

To have weak people victimize you when you’re vulnerable is terrifying.

(TENS YEARS CLEAN!!! I am BOSS!)

Don’t let your shield down again, but don’t let the shield be a barrier. Be wise. Be secure. Be joyful. Be brave. Be honest. You already are. 

I got this. So I created space and energy that drew sick and selfish people to me. I WAS SICK AND SELFISH. It’s Universal Law. Get up. Get out. Get right.

I’ve done it before. I know how. I already feel – in spiritual time – that this is over. Jax’s new behavior echoes my intuition. I’m safe. I’m out. It’s just a formality at this point, to leave on the 1st, and my healing this time won’t take as long as it did 10 years ago.

Luscious Jackson sang to me during the Cocaine Years, “It takes a strong man to satisfy a strong woman, yes it does.”

Well, I’ve been triflin.’ Knock it off, Christie. Don’t restore your strength to attract that strong man, but knowing that when you’re truly powerful and well again, you cannot abide the petty, for any reason, ever again.

Final Analysis

I’ve landed. I feel good. I’m back to feeling the improvements in my health. I’m back to productivity in my move and in rehearsal. I’m not distracted. I’m grooving!

I’m amazed! It took me less than a week! WOW. Well done, Christie!

This breakdown has taught me things and reminded me of things I hadn’t realized or had forgotten. The way they ended this relationship will actually help me in the end.

Right now, I feel an old ache – the one I was living with before abject terror replaced everything everything else on earth under heaven. That sorrow for loss of a dream, for mistakes you can’t take back, for failure to love someone in action they way you felt for them in your heart. Ache. Like a breakup.

What I’m realizing, however, is that Jax did me the biggest favor. There’s a satisfaction, too, in knowing that if he were aware, he’d HATE that he helped me, haha! Oh, that just made sad. Oh, this is so convoluted, ugly, and sad. All so unnecessary! *sigh*

It is what it is.

I cried all summer, and raged intermittently. I crucified him when I was angry, weak, and still deep in my illness. We made a decision together to risk me getting sick, and when I did he took off. He knows my abandonment issues. I’m not penalizing myself anymore for being exactly who I am. I’m not lying to myself anymore about my experiences, just to make them easier to bear. I’ve been telling myself that his indifference toward me in my hour of need wasn’t something he was doing to me, necessarily. It was just my own baggage, independent of him. But that’s not true. He knew exactly who I was. He turned his back on a girl he helped make sick. That happened.

I was abandoned before I knew what that was, and it’s who I am today. I’ve made a beautiful life since then, but I was sick and Jax abandoned me. The happenstance of meeting Carrie was unfortunate timing that hurt, but I didn’t hold that over him. It was the whole thing, before and after.

Yes, he’d found a new love, but he shouldn’t have left this one before he saw her safely through the mess he helped make. He did it anyway. He didn’t care. I wasn’t easy or fun anymore, so I wasn’t worth it to him. Whether that was operating in him completely, or with any level of awareness, is immaterial. That’s how he left me.

As I began to recover, I appreciated knowing how disposable a woman is to him when she’s not longer cute. Fair enough. Honestly, that’s fine. But I’m not apologizing anymore for being a challenging person. I realize with some anxiety that if I want to ever feel truly partnered and satisfied myself, I’m going to have to accept another, who is, like me, complicated and deep-thinking. I hope that person is also goofy as hell and laughs with his whole body. I hope he loves to dance. I hope he’s got a nice ass.

I also don’t care if I never meet “him.” I’m getting really excited to get on with my life, with me. I’m darling. I’m smart. I’m interesting. I’m devoting the next year of this new lease to music, painting, bellydance, drumming, yoga, and downsizing.

This is the real lesson I hope to take into the future with me: to love myself as the complicated, demanding person I am. I’ve confronted this mistake before, in the early years of festival life when I pretended to be the breezy, low-maintenance chick who goes with the flow. I don’t. I plan. I worry. I make lists to cross-check lists. And it takes us, too!

If everyone was just “Hey, man!” nothing would get done. With me, it lands. It gets set up. It gets a beer. And finally, it leaves no trace and goes home. I am who I am, and I’m a necessary cog, goddammit. The more I try to be someone I’m not, the more nagging my real traits become, truly! Just embrace and love them, and turn them into the strengths they were always meant to be. Geez, woman!

Silly Christie. (I’m slow, but I get there.)

The Universal Smackdown has precipitated a movement. Starting Oct. 1, I enter 365 days of Shucking The Superfluous Shit.

Oh, I’ve already lost 15 lbs! Thanks, assholes. Worst diet ever. No, really, thank you. I’m gonna look amazing in my tiny red striptease costume!

(P.S Don’t gain and lose weight in your 40s! Whose neck waddle is this!?!)

Red Flags in the Rear View

I “processed” but didn’t publish Hard Day when I wrote it, but after events of the previous weekend, my first impression of Jax’s wife is relevant now. I was unimpressed with machinations meant to tell me me who’s “got him now.” (Honey, this ex don’t care.) It wasn’t easy, but have at it. I honestly wished them well. I felt empathy and compassion for her, and I loved Jax once. I wanted him to be happy with a nice girl.

My co-worker had warned me to be mentally prepared: This new girl might want me out of the way sooner than Jax promised.

“Oh, he wouldn’t do that.” I answered.

I did pause, though, considered it, and thanked her. Sadly, my co-worker was right.

Jax is the author of his own behavior, but, boy, did I get a taste of his wife! I know exactly who’s fueling this push out the door. That woman scares me! Disingenuous, manipulative, gratuitous. I don’t care, so far as she doesn’t affect my life after Oct. 1, but she has affected me greatly, now.

Those people terrorized me. Carrie is just getting what she wants how she always has. I don’t care after I’m no longer in the way of what she wants. That doesn’t mean she didn’t scare me, scar me, even, but I don’t care… soon.

As for Jax, I’m surprised at the depth of his cruelty. There’s a place in him that feels like he has rights he hasn’t. I’m really trying not posit myself above him. I got dirty in that relationship, and I’ve learned enough to know, “There but for the grace of god go I.”

We are each capable of anything. All of it. There but for the grace of god…

However, I am seeing the red flags in his history. They seemed innocuous. They belonged to youth and arrogance, and Lord knows I’m about the most egotistical person I’ve met. It’s one of my primary life works, to balance the pull of superior/inferiority of an unhealthy ego. Certainly, too, my youth is nothing but “Error, error.” That’s youth!

But in the part of our relationship where we regaled one another with the adventures and follies of coming up in the world, there’s one story, in particular, that didn’t sit right with me. (There’s another that involves company theft that goes beyond the crimes we all commit of stealing time or office supplies, but I chalked it up to getting caught up in young, group foolishness and self-importance. Now it serves to remind me to be impeccable with my character and not feel “owed,” ever. You know how we all become a bit complacent and annoyed on the job. I can get a little more entitled than that.)

Jax didn’t like his friend’s girlfriend. One day like any other, the group was hanging out, and she was reading. Jax asked about her book. After she talked about it a bit, he asked to look at it and she told him to be careful with it. (I should have paid close attention to what he did, because I would ask that. She was probably a Taurus.)

And because she gave him orders, he took the book and ripped it in half.

I took issue at the time, and more than once in our ugly departure shamed him for it, but I should have listened then to what he was telling me. He bragged again in Florida when we were in line somewhere with his brother, who also found it unsettling and said so. Never once did Jax express chagrin. With me, he defended it. With his brother, he allowed the difference of opinion.

And what was his defense? I hadn’t heard the way she talked to him, he said. It wasn’t because the book was brand new, or even important. It was just to tell him what’s what, bossing him around, because she was in charge of everyone and everything.

You don’t get to impose intention on her boundaries. It mattered to her.

Nope, he argued. She was a bitch.

Even if she was brat about it, it was her property!

How dare she assert herself? was the attitude. Woman, know your place.
And it was his right to put her there.

Christie! It was always there!

In fact! Our first fight! Like me, Jax has a very powerful voice, and we both yell. I’m comfortable with that, honestly. I don’t want it. I want to learn together how to disagree better than that, but I hate it when I’m the yeller and my partner is just beaten down by my volume and veracity. Jax held his own. I needed that.

We did improve. We found ways to get heated, with raised voices but not yelling, necessarily, by our standards. There was progress in our relationship that made me feel like this was a partner who could not be bullied by me, but was amenable to taking responsibility – he did sometimes, when I pointed out misapplied blame – and strong enough to make me accountable when necessary. We were good for awhile.

Our first fight, however, was a shock to each of us, I think. Neither of us had met someone who could win just by being loudest. He matched energy, and fed it, too. We went fast from pissed to shocked to rage to fury.

Finally, his screaming shocked me silent, and I paused. “Whoa, Jax!” He continued. So did I. “Jax! Stop! Jax! Let’s reset! JAX!”

I really thought we could. I had never been able to settle myself in that headspace. If I could, so could he. WE COULD. He didn’t stop screaming and finally out-shouted me, a feeling I know perfectly. He’s the first to out-yell me! And now that he had, he was getting it said. I finally screamed at the top of my lungs, “STOP YELLING AT ME!”

His response? “You made me.”

“I’m not responsible for you!” I screamed. “I’m yelling because I’m yelling! I can’t make you yell! Fuck you!” I stormed off and slammed my bedroom the door.

(Blerg. “Fuck off” is NOT OKAY. I also called him an asshole all the time. I did try. On better days, I just called him a jerk. Sometimes I didn’t do any of my old behaviors! But I hate that I still haven’t figured out how to disagree with a boyfriend without disrespecting him. No, it’s the fights. It’s when I’m triggered. There’s something more I can apply there to HALT. Name-calling is a step up the ladder to abuse! It’s called dehumanizing, and I do not want to participate! Blerg.)

That day, I called my best friend in a panic, “Oh my god, is he misogynist? Does he really think I made him do it? That’s what abusers say! Is he just a child? That’s bad enough! I am not responsible for you!!!” I was alarmed and ready to call it off.

I didn’t and still don’t think that’s what he meant, and he did later acknowledge that it wasn’t up to me how he behaves. I still believe him. We were speaking in anger. And we all blame. It’s what we do. God knows I do! Impassioned, we are all the child. Patterns and beliefs come up that aren’t true. We own our mistakes, move on, and work together.

I saw that in him, the working together. It is in him. Not with me, but he’s not one-dimensional. After this weekend, though, wow. I’m more humbled and alarmed the more reflection I give it. Especially now that the threat to my belongings and babies is lifted, and the couple is back to their normal not-coming-around. I can “relax,” and the underbelly is surfacing of a 5-day terror campaign that worked.

She deserved it.

Jax was privy to the pain of the trauma with my sister’s husband 6 years ago, and before that with my family, from childhood to this very moment. I talked about it from the beginning of our intimate relationship, when fears and sorrows and confessions come out. He was there when I went through the heartbreak of “losing” my father and brother, who echoed the sentiment, She deserved it.

He held me when I cried. He knew I was suicidal. I did go to the ER for 2 crisis visits.

Right now, it feels like he didn’t comfort me because he cared, but because he was stuck in a situation where he risked a girl getting sick and she did. I imagine the whole time he wished he could go to Carrie, but she was with her ex-boyfriend. I thought I had a friend who cared that our choice was so painfully costly for me, but now he just feels like a guy who was trapped and long gone in his heart. Now I wonder if he was resentful of me already. He was partly responsible, so… “Guess I’ll suffer the bitch.” ?

What he did this weekend was worst thing anyone’s ever done to me. I’ve been back on my meds for a month now. I’m still depressed, but I have been experiencing pleasure and progress on set and at work. I’m functioning and moving forward toward optimum.

That was all derailed last weekend. I was panicked. I thought I might have to check myself in. I avoided it all summer, no matter how overwhelming the pain became, but I was ready to quit the show. I felt I could never catch up, and the fear and guilt of making myself available to a show that I cannot emotionally or physically honor right now swallowed me up. But quitting meant quitting. And my cats! Don’t get me started.

I was scared.

And that’s not looking underneath! How does one even begin? My whole life has been a sham, a joke. I’ve been so blind, careless, STUPID. I’m too old to change this. I give up! I was curled in a ball in my closet, scream crying. My cats were so scared. I couldn’t handle their panicked faces and efforts to climb up and comfort me, so I hid in the closet and shut the door. I could see their little feet pacing, and it made me cry harder. Sometimes I apologized through the wailing, and I could hear their desperate mews.

And on it went. I was in danger this weekend. I felt brutalized.

He knew. He knew what his behavior could do to to me. He’s seen it. He’s held me, contained me, comforted me, and the whole time he just wanted to get away.

Fair enough. This shit ain’t easy. But he endangered me this weekend, with malice and purpose. And she deserved it.

Today Is A Bad Day

Unfortunately, it was not a little to-do about Tenants Rights. It was a bloody mess that included an ambush by 2 people emboldened by their union and united in their desire to make me pay for not being easy and sweet when my heart is ripped out of my body during a deep, deep Depression.

They came to my room and stood 2-deep side by side to tell me how it was going to be now that she’s the property owner. The exit was fully blocked. I told Jax we had a contract and I found a place accordingly, available on Oct. 1. They both began to fight me and I shot back immediately, “I’m not emotionally equipped to discuss this with you. The law is the law. Please leave me alone.”

They did not.

I told them, “I’m back on my medication, but not yet stable. I’m very emotional and vulnerable. I feel threatened. Please leave me alone.”

They didn’t.

I begged them, “Please STOP! I’m starting to panic! Please leave me alone!”

When I tried to shut the bedroom door, his wife pushed it back in on me and stepped inside. I started yelling, “Get OUT of my room! You are not my landlord!”

“She’s my wife,” Jax gloated. “This is her house.”

“Your name’s not on the mortgage,” I informed her. “I’ve never payed you rent. I don’t even know your last name. Get out of my space!”

Carried rushed through another threshold door to my sunroom, where there’s only 2 or 3 feet for me to back away. I was pinned. And now I was triggered. “You are violating my privacy! I am not equipped to discuss highly-charged issues with you! You are scaring me! PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!”

She had her hands in my face, telling me how this is gonna happen now. I covered my ears and screamed, “I AM AFRAID OF YOU! GET OUT OF MY ROOM! YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW! YOU CANNOT PREVENT MY EXIT! LEAVE ME ALONE LEAVE ME ALONE LEAVE ME ALONE! GET OUT!!!!!”

I paused to hear her still telling me what’s what and see her still wagging her hands in my face. “I’m calling the cops if you don’t leave my personal space. You are violating my sacred space. I don’t have to listen to you. Get OUT!”

I heard her say, “I don’t mean you harm.” (Her finger was still in my face.)

“You’re doing harm! This has nothing to do with you! It’s a contract. You can’t change that. I’m doing the best I can. GET OUT!”

They didn’t.

“I’m calling the cops! LEAVE!”

She continued. The derision and delight on Jax’s face behind her terrified me. He was so satisfied to show her the shitshow produced by clinical Anxiety. See? 

So I pushed past them both and ran outside. I didn’t want to make a scene. I’m so embarrassed that this is my life. I called my mom. I’m not thinking clearly. What do I do?

Carried followed me outside! Right when my mom answered, “Oh my gosh, MOM. Jax got married and they’re evicting me. She’s following me!”

I turned down an alley. She FOLLOWED. “What do I do? What do I do?”

“CALL THE COPS,” my mother instructed me.

The alley turns into dry grass and then an impass, so I turned and ran around Carrie, full run now, screaming, “I am begging! I am vulnerable! I am sick! I have an illness! I’m not currently stable! I can’t have this conversation! You are terrifying me!” Jax has told me things about her I should never know, so I begged. “You have a personal and tragic understanding of how deadly serious mental illness is! STOP HARRASSING ME!”

I called the cops. So did Jax.

(Her son’s father killed himself in April, and here she is 5 months later, chasing a sick, terrified, suicidal woman – begging to be left alone – down the street.)

They told them to stay out of my private room, and all of us to speak respectfully and give space in shared areas. Jax walked up while I was speaking to the officers to intimidate me and control the narrative! They just spent 20 minutes talking to them together, a couple united against a crazy woman. I mean, what a joke, eh, officer?

I’m still mad that the police let him stay and listen. I asked them to remove him. I told them he was there to intimidate. I had respected the newlywed’s time.

This woman. Jax’s wife. Evil. I had put my intention and blessings into the picture of a nice mid-western girl who’s been through some trauma. She escaped an abusive relationship and left the “scene of the crime,” as it were, got that boy out of the state where his Daddy – whatever that relationship might have been – ended it. I admired and respected her. I saw a woman who was starting over, and met a nice guy at a party.

True, it was painful for me and I didn’t handle it well all the time, but I never bore her ill will. I struggled with Jax, but ultimately loved him and wanted his happiness, too. Whenever I could, I pictured them successful, finding peace and joy together.

She actually took her hair out of her ponytail and was flipping it around from side to side like a teenager, for the cops. She never stopped playing with her hair, unless her hand was on her hip, to hip to hip to hip, and back while she threw her head back and laughed loud enough for me to hear. Repeatedly. I was agog. I mean, it was so shameless, I’d worry the police would see through it and dismiss me outright. Play the innocent, sure, but this! She beamed and wiggled, giggled and chatted it up like they were her first guests in the new home she owns. It was scary.

When I walked back into the house with the police’ reassurance that they understood they couldn’t get me out “tonight” – Are they stupid? – and they’d been instructed to leave me alone, I happened to accidentally catch her eye when I approached the front door. (Jax’s access is in back, which is really the side.) There she was smoking, foot up on a chair, looking jubilant and disgusted, shaking her head through the sneer. I was a piece of trash under her shoe, and it was ON.

A bad man will hit you. A bad woman will fuck your life.

She’s excited to play now.

Well, thanks for the boost? I tore it up packing! That’s some energy! Oh my god!

The show for me – Happy Homemaker Hour(s) – was as gratuitous as it had been for the cops. “Darling” everything. 

They decided they had to spend the night now, to watch the property. I have numerous texts over the last month, including 2 days prior, in which Jax thanks me for watching his home and loving his cat. But now it’s under threat?

Around 9 o’clock, they finished their dinner party, homemade pizzas with her 10 yr-old boy. Isn’t it fun playing house in our house? Darling.

They settled in to the family room, separated into 2 distinct living spaces, and pulled up Netflix. Jax told me to go in my room. “We’re watching a movie.”

“I’m packing.”

“Just shut your fucking door! We want some alone time.”

“Then go home. I have literally 4 days to get this done.”

“You have the whole month!” (There! The police didn’t give you your way. Now I pay.)

“With work and rehearsal, I have 4 days for this.”

“STAY IN YOUR ROOM.”

“I’m packing. That’s what I had planned today. This was my day to tear it out.”

“Go the fuck in your room! Have some fucking respect!”

“I’m not disrespecting you. I’m packing.”

“Why do you have to be such a pain in the ass!? You disgusting, fucking bitch!”

“Stop talking to me! I have a right to move about shared space, and you don’t have to be here!”

“I’m protecting my home from an irrational woman!” He’s up now and bringing it to me. I ran to my room.

“Leave me alone! You have to leave me alone!”

“You fucking coward! You are so fucking stupid!” This time he’s holding the top door jam with his fingertips, making himself big, filling the entire space. I’m trapped.

“GET OUT OF MY ROOM. I’ll call the police.”

“Call ’em!”

“I don’t want to. Just leave me alone!”

“Maybe I want the cops,” he taunts me.

“Then call them. Just get away from me.”

“Shut your fucking door and give us some god-damned space,” he growled.

“I live here!”

“This is our house! You have no right to be here! Have some fucking respect!”

“You’re wrong,” I held.

“You’re wrong!” he shot back.

“You’re right! And so am I. WE did this, and here we are. I’m leaving. Leave me alone.”

“Shut your fucking door!!!”

I just looked at him, defeated. “What, Jax, what?”

“SHUT YOUR DOOR.”

“Or what?” It wasn’t attitudinal, or mocking, just done. STOP. I’m tired.

And he shrugged. You know, the shrug guys do when they want you to see them as unsure of what their rage might produce? He was having so much fun! Like, whatever comes next might be out of my control. I can’t say.

(Jax knows what my sister’s husband did to me, the terror and trauma that reawakened and compounded in me, and what going off medication did to bring the pain of family abandonment and disregard back to the front of my thoughts. Frankly, his indifference as my boyfriend struck that nerve, too, I see now. That posture was no accident.)

“Jax.” … What are you doing?

He stood silent and relished that contemptuous smirk. Filling the entire door frame.

“Are you gonna hit me?” It was more incredulous than anything, not goading. Just, really? (I told the 2nd dispatcher repeatedly that I absolutely did not fear for my physical safety. I felt guilty that they might get that kind of a picture in their head of him. He’s an unconscionable dick but he’s not a danger to my person. Just my inner nugget.)

“Jax,” I sighed. “Come on.” I was just so done. I’m ridiculous? I’m irrational? Give me a break. This is beyond. Enough.

He lurched in further, and that was it. I was done. “You respect my space, NOW.”

He stepped inside my room, put his finger in my face, stared and shouted as loud as I’ve ever heard him, or anyone, “YOU HATEFUL FUCKING CUNT.”

“I don’t care what you think of me. I know what I think of you.”
I pushed him with my whole weight, shut and locked the door, and called the police.

When they arrived, he knocked to let me know and said, “You called the cops because I put one toe in your room? You’re a fucking joke.” They had by now stepped away from the door to wait for me on the porch. Jax taunted me unheard.

They did refuse to let him outside when he tried again to stand over me while I lodged my complaint. I waited on the porch while they talked to the happy couple. When she bid them farewell, thanking them for the work they do, she apologized that they had to bother again. “Tax dollars at work, right?” Boys…

The officers told them the same thing the first pair had. Leave her alone. But they were very indifferent and brief. Told me to make other arrangements and leave.

As if I haven’t thought of that! I have nowhere to go and no way to store my stuff and move it twice. I pleaded, “Can’t you see he doesn’t plan to obey your orders?”

“Tenant/landlord issues are civil.”

“A landlord is in breach of the law if he harrasses or threatens me! And we were domestic partners!”

Just, get another place and move sooner.

The rest of the night was spent unmolested. They put the kid in front of the TV, picked a movie for him, and went outside to smoke and drink. Now, if your property’s so at risk in my care, how is it safe to leave your child unattended with me? A woman who scares him that he hates. That’s okay with you? A kid won’t show or necessarily even know that anxiety, yet, but that is so sick, selfish, indifferent, and disgusting!

This woman is abhorrent.

They chose “Full Metal Jacket” for the 10 yr-old. When he got tired, he fought and begged and cried to go home. “Not here!” he argued, rightly. “I want to go home!” What a piece of shit mother she is. Shame on both of them.

Jax is a step-father of less than a week and that’s how he demonstrates adult conflict management, by terrorizing a woman he knows is sick and triggered. That he helped get there! That’s how a man talks to a woman? A little boy can make it safe by positing blame on the crazy woman, but deep down, could he do that to mommy? Will he?

That woman let her child witness at least one violent relationship for who-knows-how-long that doubtless occurred in a home they occupied together. She delivered her kid to this one! If something like that began in front of any child I had links to, I’d get them off property immediately. How could anything be more important to her? Shameful.

He cried to go home. “I don’t want to stay here!”

I wanted to die. I apologized to him. “These are adult issues that you shouldn’t have to see and I’m sorry for my part in it.” I don’t know if that was adult. I don’t care that a tired, whipped-around boy blames me. He’s supposed to. I just felt awful.

They came back the next night and had another play day/ cleaning party. Darling, darling, darling. The boy played on a hand-held something for hours. Jax’s girlfriend before me came over and didn’t they just laugh and laugh. She stared me down. Got it.

Every time Jax approached, I walked into my room. “Oh, grow up! I’m trying to talk to you.”

“I’m not talking to you. This is done.”

“I’m going to talk to you when I have something to say.”

“Anything that needs to be said can be communicated via text.”

“You really are insufferable.”
“Pathetic.” “Loser.” “Joke.” “Irrational.” All night.

At around 10, he handed me a generic online “3 days to Pay or Vacate.” I am paid.

Are they really that stupid? This time, having learned that they don’t even care what the cops tell them – She’s right. You have to have a judicial order to kick her out and she’ll be gone by then. Just be respectful – I really was scared.

Jax has a truck. They’re not going to put my stuff on the curb. They’re going to ruin me. It’s going to the dump. What about my cats? They’ll be prepared for me to break in the regular way, through his bedroom window, and close it. They’re going to destroy me.

I don’t qualify for Utah Legal Services. The officer I called said the same as last night. “This is civil. Call us when they violate the law.”

This is harrassement. It’s intentional, malicious torture of a woman too sick to survive it.

I was abusive first, and I apologized for it every time, even though the words were loathsome to me, so cheap and empty on my tongue. I had to. It was the truth. I fucked up again and again but every time I went low, I took responsibility.

He was abusive last, and better. Quality vs quantity, I suppose. He risked my life, but I bore down relentlessly for 2 weeks straight (plus another volley of hateful texts after the meth head tried to rob us). We’re even, but now that he’s all in with her, I’m in for it.

They’re going to empty my house on Wednesday. I am afraid of these people.

My cats are so traumatized. I hate that man.

I’m not putting the blog spin on that today. I want it out of me. This is the real journal your getting these days, and I give up. I don’t have an ounce left. I failed. I never did get there, to my best self in the context of intimacy and vulnerability. I’m done trying.

I have one job. Outlive my cats.
I admit defeat. I’m not getting up again. I say when I don’t have to anymore.

Hard Day

Rehearsal was rough. These things happen. There was technical difficulty that pushed us behind by an hour and a half, and our music director was left to scramble to fit everything in after that.

First, let me say how much I love this woman. She is indomitable, and delightful! It was an example of “rolling with it like an adult” that I needed to see right now.

That being said, she quite accidentally ended up keeping me at a rehearsal that never even got to me. In total, with drive time and rehearsal hours stacked together, I spent 6 hours of my day to rehearse for no more than 20 minutes, and when I got home I had nothing left.

I’d hoped to come home to a nice solar-cooked meal, ready to tidy the house and pack just one box. Baby steps, but progress I could feel good about. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my scattered self to settle or do anything more than pace and move piles. I thought I’d be done by noon, but didn’t get home til 3, and my solar cooker didn’t get the rotation it needed, or the seasoning, it seems. I was demoralized by the failure even to feed myself like a grown-up, and spent the rest of the afternoon searching online for apartments or roommates with no luck, consequently worrying (panicking), and eating junk – chips chased by cookies – ’til I felt sick.

THEN… Jax let me know that he and his new, perfect, InstaDreamFamily would be stopping by to pick some things up and introduce the cute 10-yr-old kid to the cat they’ll be ripping away from me. It had, until today, given me a modicum of pleasure to imagine Jax’s beautiful boycat Ollie with a sweet little human boy.

They didn’t pick some things up and “meet the cat.” They plaaayed. Like, forever. In the house, in the yard, in the garden. I couldn’t hide from their joy, and I started to freaking lose my shit. I went into my room to cry alone, but it soon became clear that if I didn’t stop crying soon, I wouldn’t stop at all tonight – or for days! Who knows? – so when it got quiet and I knew they were outside again, I peered out of my room looking for Jax.

I was sick. My heart was pounding. My stomach was in knots. I thought I’d just breezily poke my head out and ask Jax to come “look at something.” Luckily, he was inside right then and I safely started crying in front of him alone, without disturbing anyone else or humiliating myself. I asked him, “How much longer?” and he was put out.

Look, I get that you own this home, but I live here, too. And there’s a difference between stopping by and shoving your family fun day in my face. (I had appreciated the “heads up.” It had been a herculean task to get that much from him, but I was grateful.)

Less than 2 months ago, we were still talking about our possibilities for family planning! It killed me to endure their bliss today. What don’t you understand about gradual exposure? He’s such a jerk! Just rude! He’s so inconsiderate, literally doesn’t even consider me. He never did, and I’m so ashamed and embarrassed that I didn’t have the sense to notice it before he traded me in for her. I was pretending with a man who not only did not love me, but didn’t even think of me! Even when he was here!

I did so well. I was actually grateful for a do-over with his lady love. When he brought her home for their first [only] overnight here – that he didn’t alert me to because, again, I never occur to him – I wasn’t able to meet her graciously. I didn’t throw shade, but I couldn’t manage anything beyond a terse, “Hello.” I did force a half-smile, but I wished I could be… different.

I mean, at bare minimum a decent housemate would let me know there would be a Walk of Shame in the morning. “FYI, just because you live here,” kind of thing, right? The real truth of that morning’s Walk of My Shame was a feeling of, “You’re out. She’s in, and here it is in in your face, no warning! ‘Cause the joke’s on you, stupid girl who screwed her roommate and then got screwed.”

Do you think maybe I ought to be aware that there’s a stranger in my house? If, for no other reason, than to give me the option, upon waking on a Saturday morning set to deep clean my home, not to sing out loud, talk to “the cats,” and humiliate myself in front of a woman who didn’t mean to but absolutely DID humiliate me.

Not even an fyi? Any flexibility there? No. A haaard NO. Got it.

Jax never cared about me at all.

Today, I extended my hand to her and apologized that I’d been unable to greet her more warmly then, and she accepted happily. A little too chirpy for my desolate and lonely mood, but she’s a nice enough girl?

(As far as I’m concerned, she sounds a little dumb, frankly. Jax – God knows why! – told me about how sweetly she was pitying me one day. “But she’s so pretty,” she said. Like, is that supposed to make me like her? And – yet again, the dismissive pressure to be different than I am – pretty girls aren’t permitted to feel pain? Duh!)

So here they are, playing, laughing, loving, lingering, and I’m in so much pain. How long would they have stayed? If I hadn’t said anything, my heartache wouldn’t have entered his consciousness at all. Not one thought for me.

Right now I feel like I hate him again, and I hate that!

A lot o’ tears and melancholy tonight.

And I can’t find a place to move! With nothing. I got rid of almost everything when I moved in here, and now that’s what I’m left with. Alone.

I did not get here alone, but I get to be here alone. And I hate him for that today.

By the way, I’m just gonna be catty about the way that girl was dressed. You could never convince me that that outfit was not showing the ex-girlfriend who’s got the man now. Those were the tightest, tiniest underwear-masquerading-as-jean-shorts I’ve ever seen. And a crop top.

Just wear a bikini next time, and spare the pretense. Honestly! I get that you love showing your shit. And she looked great! For real. But that was a “Who’s got him now?” moment if I’ve ever seen one.

I mean, I wear booty shorts. At home. Those were panties I would wear at Burning Man, except for the tacky denim styling. She wanted to show her goods to me as much as anyone. I really don’t trouble myself with her much, or even begrudge some woman her joy, but that was no mistake. That was for show, and for me.

She’s cute. She didn’t look awful in her waaay-too-tight short shorts, but I certainly wouldn’t walk around like that. And I wear crazy shit! But congratulations, and all that. Wag your little hiney for your fat man and make sure I see who won.

Got it.

For my part, I haven’t worn make-up in months, except to the audition. I knew they were coming, and I didn’t even brush my hair. ‘Cause I don’t give a shit and I’ve got nothing to prove! I’d gone to rehearsal with wet hair, and was left with that fuzzy, unstyled nest look, without product and not a stitch of make-up. Not even lip stain to boost my mood or compete with her age. I don’t care. I just want to live my life and be left alone by people who took my Everything, and left me to wallow in it alone and bawling. It was an illusion, of course, but I didn’t see that until they got together and took it away.

I’ve never cried so much in my life. That’s the truth. It’s been almost 2 months of tears. I am so tired.

Just get your shit and go. You know what? That’s how I feel about it now, and I’m letting myself feel it, dammit! Yeah, it’s your house, but it’s my home. You’ve already become a plug-n-play Daddy and moved out. So get out! And don’t bring your shit-smelling sunshine to my safe place and shove my nose in it. Unlike you, I have nowhere else to go! I’m crawling out of my skin as it is!

Give me an ever-loving BREAK!

One last thing I haven’t permitted myself to even think about until today is this: This girl – I sympathize with the things I know about her history that Jax SHOULD NEVER HAVE TOLD ME – ran away from an abusive relationship in the Midwest, after a trauma she endured in April that’s too horrifying to name. She proposed to Jax after they’d known each other for FIVE weeks – and for 3 of those, she had gone back to the abusive ex who followed her out here! If you don’t see red flags all over this girl… you will.

And it’s none of my business, so I haven’t even permitted these dark thoughts. I don’t want to spend my time hoping for their demise. I don’t hate that girl, and I loved Jax once. I want people to be happy, generally. These people, I just don’t want to see again.

There’s more.

I do feel a tremendous amount of guilt for the judgement in my heart on one issue: SHE HAS A SON. How dare you bring a man you do not know into a child’s life without any assurance that he’s not as effed up as the last guys you’ve dated? Do you know how much danger minors are in under the same roof with men who aren’t their fathers? Risk goes up further when he’s not even step-dad. Obviously, it doesn’t matter beyond her own romantic fantasy how “dreams” can become a nightmare for an innocent child!

She met Jax on the 4th of July, and they’re already shacking up. You’re a mother!

At that point, I’d stop dating, get my shit together, and care for my son. Period! That precious boy should be the only man in her life, not the men who come calling when that ass gets waggin! I’m sorry. It’s none of my business, but it was in my face, and that makes me mad. I was molested. I know danger. Single mothers are targeted by bad men. You should be more vigilant than any parent! Shame on that mother.

It just so happens that she hit the jackpot with Jax. He’s a reliable man, strong, hard-working, likable. I can’t think of a better step-dad to guide and mentor that little boy, and heal some of the things he’s seen that he didn’t choose. And Jax is in love with this girl, like he never was with me, so she won’t have the problems with intimacy we had. Jax unconsciously eliminated all invitations for closeness by coming home from work (in actual dirt) and marinating in his own stink, with headphones in to plug me out, until I gave up and went to bed alone. Nothing in his behavior invited intimacy or fostered love. I’m the idiot who thought we could make something work from that.

I’m the girl you fuck and leave behind when the Primrose Family moves to town. It sucks. He didn’t do it on purpose or with malicious intent, but that’s what I’m left with.

Geez, do you think he has a type? The girl you rescue, maybe? She obviously plays the damsel in distress much more cleverly than I do. He gets to feel like the protector, and why shouldn’t he? He is that guy!

For that young mother playing fast and loose with a 10 yr-old boy’s safety, that’s pure luck, and I sorta don’t have a whole lot of respect for her. I know, I know, it’s easy to judge when you’re not a mother, but that’s risky behavior, bottom line. A vulnerable child can’t choose for himself. He’s at her careless mercy. They’re lucky Jax is good.

As for this messed-up girl, Yours Truly, I’ll die before letting you see how scared I am, and how much I crave tenderness, without any ability – STILL – to generate it, offer it, or accept it. It’s just how my violent childhood shaped my energy into a sometimes very-aggressive response to intimacy. I push you away when I need you most.

Jax and I were both unapproachable, and stupid enough not to notice long ago how pathetic and hopeless we were. I’m embarrassed, bereft; he’s on to “next.”

It kills me. So that’s where I am tonight. With monstrous emotions of hate and envy eating me alive AND a prayer in my heart for this woman who stole my dream, and for her sweet boy who’s going to love the cat I’ll miss more than Jax.

I don’t hate Jax or his girlfriend. I don’t wish them ill.
And I hate them both. And hope they fail.

You know, the easy stuff.