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 (rancid and molding, left over for more than a month) and cleaned the fridge. His dishes were washed and draining, 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 since, 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 when I was mad at him, and he’s officially surpassed the length of time that I spent punishing him. I know we share responsibility for the choices we made as a couple. I know well the hideous difficulty of loving a person with this kind of illness. I was getting better. I invited him to a long talk, in which I apologized and ached for what I’d put him through. I promised it wouldn’t happen again. I was feeling the gradual effect of my meds, and putting my focus into packing, rehearsing, and moving. I was grateful to him and so sorry. Then, Carrie.

Jax alone is responsible for abandoning me when my illness got hard. He replaced me with a sociopath. He sees only the blameless damsel. I understand the satisfaction and purpose he must find in protecting her, but that has nothing to do with legally-binding contracts he made before she came along, and doesn’t consider at all the emotional promises he made. The shock has been how much enjoys torturing me under the guise of playing house. I hardly leave my room where they’re here. What’s to protect?

I’ve done nothing to these people. I’ve done everything I could to stay out of their way. They’ve created opportunities to brutalize me. I can’t stop crying today. It hurts.

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

What a sick, small, petty, mean man. They’re here for sport. 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 tormenting me 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 (but 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, is why. I’m sure he was right, that it was fine, but why? Just for the joy of doing harm, even potentially harmless harm. I will never believe that she didn’t leave the fridge on zero and my perishables out, on purpose. Jax wouldn’t have replaced a thing if I’d been none the wiser. I had come home with fresh veggies for a big, yummy hash with eggs that I’d been looking forward to all day, so I snapped a pic (ridiculed, of course) 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 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 satisfaction 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 bout of illness he helped create. 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 no 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 hippie 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 sets up. It gets a beer. It dances its ass off. 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!

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. No, really, thank you. That was the worst diet ever, but I’m gonna look amazing in my striptease!

(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 factor into my my life after Oct. 1, but she has affected me greatly, and continues to do so now.

Those people terrorized me. Carrie is just getting what she wants how she always has. Once I’m no longer in the way of what she wants, she disappears for me. That doesn’t mean she didn’t scare me, scar me, even, but it will all be over soon.

As for Jax, he mattered and won’t go away so quickly. I’m surprised at the depth of his cruelty. There’s a place in him that feels like he has rights that he has not. I’m really trying not posit myself above him, but dear god!

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…

That said, 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 vainglorious person I know. 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. 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. (The other was flat-out embezzlement! As the manager of a restaurant, he was  head of a theft ring from corporate. Fuck the man, I say, as loudly as anyone, but multiple thousands of dollars?! That’s beyond indiscretions like stealing time or office supplies. I took issue, but chalked it up to getting caught in group mentality and youthful self-importance. Now it serves to remind me to be impeccable with my character.)

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. She gave it to him, telling him to be careful with it.

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

I thought that was pretty serious and, more than once in our ugly departure, I shamed him for it. I should have listened then to what he was telling me. That’s hate and entitlement. I mean, he was lucky not to be convicted of a serious crime at the restaurant, but it’s seductive to convince yourself that no one’s really suffering for your crime. This was personal, and disturbing. And there was the delight I now know!

Jax bragged about it again in Florida when we were in line somewhere with his brother, who also found it unsettling. Never once did Jax express remorse. With me, he defended it. With his brother, he shrugged and laughed.

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 intentions on her boundaries. It mattered to her.”

He dismissed it. “She was a bitch.”

“Even so, it was her property!”

“You weren’t there,” was all he had to say about it.

How dare she assert herself? was the attitude. Woman, know your place. More importantly, 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! We can 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 finally out-shouted me, the first ever. And now that he had, he was getting it said. Just like my tipping point, verbal abuse was unleashed.

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.

(Ugh! “Fuck off” is NOT OKAY. I also called him an asshole all the time. On better days, I just called him a jerk, but that’s not anything to be proud of. 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 fighting that different, when I get triggered. There’s something more I can apply there to HALT. Name-calling is a rung on the ladder! It’s dehumanizing, and it’s wrong.)

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 just 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 he misrepresented his plans entirely. Stopping by is different from staying indefinitely. I felt tricked.)

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 the girl you traded me in for.

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. She’s was a good deal too chirpy for the the context of our meeting, but I can suppose she’s a nice enough girl.

(As far as I’m concerned, she sounds a little dim, frankly. Jax told me about how sweetly she was pitying me one day. [He’s obviously telling her very private things about my mental health.] “But she’s so pretty,” she said. What does that even mean? And – yet again, the dismissive pressure – pretty girls are expected not to feel pain or experience personal struggle? It’s just so dumb.)

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. Not a belly shirt. A fitted, under-the boob bralette.

Just wear a bikini next time, and spare the pretense. Honestly! I get that you love showing your shit. 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 looked great in her way-too-tight shorts, but I wouldn’t walk around like that in public, with all the legal skin one can show showing. But congratulations, and all that. Wag your little hiney for your fat man and make sure his ex-girlfriend sees it.

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. 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 shacking up. For weeks now. She spent 2 weeks in total with this man, and moved him in. He was still a stranger.

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. Single mothers are targeted by bad men. She should be more vigilant than any parent! Shame on that mother.

It just so happens that Jax is no threat, but that was luck. He’s a reliable man, strong, hard-working, likable. He’ll be a father figure to guide and mentor that little boy, maybe heal some of the things the kid’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 suffer the dismal sex life we had.

For me, he eliminated all invitations for intimacy 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 was loving. He didn’t want me anywhere near him. 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. Perhaps 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 chance, 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 devastated; He’s onto 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.

Mother/Daughter Date

I should be at the Hyrum, Utah, cemetery right now. My mom, grandma, and I had plans to visit the graves of our ancestors, Sarah Ann Haigh and Louis Frederick Miller. Sarah Ann survived the crossing of the Martin Handcart Company.

We had tickets tonight to the Utah Opera Festival’s performance of Pirates of Penzance, one of my favorite musicals. They’re going without me.

This time last year was grandma’s 90th birthday. I drove all the way to Idaho, only to have a nervous breakdown and leave the campground in the middle of the night.

I’ve ruined everything. What’s the point of living a life like this?

All I’m hearing about these days is the total eclipse of the sun passing over my hometown, Rexburg, Idaho. It will be a 91% eclipse here in Salt Lake, but I wanted to go home. I mean, what are the odds? 100%!

I’m so sad.

The thing is, I didn’t ruin it. I had a breakdown, but it was ruined already. I can’t live the lie when my defenses are down. I tell myself they love me. I tell myself they care how I feel, how I’m treated. But when I’m depressed, when I need anything from them, they tell me what I’ve always known. I do not matter to them. Shut up, Christie. Shut up.

On the other hand, my grandmother has nothing to do with this. Am I really just going to let her life play out and never see her again? I was so excited to share this day with her, especially after I ruined last year. And I did ruin it, for myself. They still had a wonderful party, but I’m sure it was painful for her to see me and then have me disappear in the night after being rude and irritable.

I shouldn’t have gone. I almost didn’t. I was so filled with regret, and I thought the drive would be cathartic, windows down, singing at the top of my lungs. I pictured myself joyful for having taken action, feeling immediately better for not depriving myself of the celebration. I’d organized a family outing on the zip line over Heise Canyon. I knew my mood would lift if I just got there. “Go, Christie! You’re punishing yourself because you’re depressed. Just go! You’ll be so glad you did.”

I thought I was doing the right thing, but it absolutely backfired. It was awful.

They forgave me. That’s something. That’s the thing, though. I’m sorry when I screw up. I take responsibility for my mistakes. No one ever apologizes when I’m done wrong, when I hurt. When I ask them to, they double down on the blame. It’s my fault. I caused or aggravated it, so it no longer needs to be accounted for. I deserve it.

Get over it, Christie. Shut up.

It’s maddening. It’s crazy-making. I really can’t survive there.

I’m so sad.

Down The Rabbit Hole

I’m swirling down the drain over here. It’s a new me and I don’t really recognize her. The old me would be in bed, unable to function. This one’s at work.

I’m actually better at my job in the midst of existential ennui. I’m nice.

I’m having the strangest feeling of having left the matrix, seeing things for what they really are, and returning to the mundane world. I feel like I have intel that few eyes have seen. I certainly never saw it before. It’s a cinematic moment.

Useless information, really. I learned that I’m a fucking idiot.

So, yeah. I’m creating a whole new persona over here. I don’t know what it’ll be.

I think life is about finding out what you’re afraid of. At least that’s what I’ve been doing. To restate, life is about nothing. What I’ve been doing is creating meaning.

I no longer think life is about finding any sort of answer or solution. It’s just what you look for. I’ve been looking for fear. I found it. My whole life has been a process of finding the scariest thing I can possibly imagine. The next thing to happen is I live it! Lucky me! What am I afraid of and what will it do to me? What won’t kill you.

That’s the end of that sentence. I have no cute platitudes for you.

Once upon a time – 5 years ago when I created this blog – I thought the meaning of life was to forgive. Why else would I have landed in such a shithole of a family? I was born to people who would abandon and abuse me before I could form memories, and never stop. Later, the abuse would become a uniquely mental form of torture called gaslighting. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. (Or look to the behavior of our prezident and figure it out from context.)

I’m afraid of pain, I know that. Now my only goal in life is to get out of it. I’ve conquered emotional pain, inasmuch as I’m in it. It won’t kill me. I have no expectations of relieving it, so I’m not trying anymore. I don’t need to. I know how to live with it.

I need nothing. I don’t need love. I don’t need money. I don’t need family. I have none of those things and I’m still here.

I need a roof. For now. I mean, if the apocalypse comes, well, on that day I’ll figure out how to live without a roof. We’re not there yet.

I feel like this blog has served its function. Five years ago, I moved here and created an address. At wildwesterngirl.wordpress.com, I intended to learn to forgive. I failed.

Whatever’s next, it doesn’t belong here. I won’t move until I have an idea what I want from my new experience. Til then, you can watch the transition, if you like, though I think that sounds unfathomably boring. For me, it takes the form of lists. Endless lists. Have at it.

I suspect my next goal in life might be to find out if I can get out of this new-ish physical pain. Interestingly, it entered my life 5 and a half years ago, just after the first divorce from my family of origin.

I might fail. I’ve done it before. I’m going to try.

My next blog will probably end up being an insufferable fitness journey. I don’t about you, but I’d rather indulge a stranger’s circuitous voyage through mental anguish than read online about how some bitch lost 30 lbs.

But I think that’s where I’m headed. I hate that girl already.

Hey! I know how to do that! Halfway there!

  • TASK ONE: Fucking downsize. I have too much shit.

It is nice that I work at an organization that takes donated items and does good with them. Or means to. I like that.

Oh, no. Intention does matter. My family means well.

Good for them. I’ll perch them above Hitler, Drumph and other despots on the spectrum of assholes populating or once populating the planet.

  • INSIGHT ONE: I’m still a fucking Pollyanna.
    Fuck.
  • INSIGHT TWO: I’m a nihilist. I believe in nothing. Even my angels are a lie. They seem to exist only to demonstrate what a fucking idiot I am.

My family killed Fun Christie.
End of transmission.

Fun With Numbers

Today, my odometer passed 144,444 when the trip meter read 22.22.

Last week, I saw license plates with double ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, and sevens. “Alright, angels,” I issued the challenge. “If you show me eights and nines, I’ll be impressed.” I found eights, nines, and zeros! (I watch the road, too.)

On Sunday, I saw a plate that said Y73 9LV, which I took to mean 1973 9 lives. I saw a reminder to hang on. I don’t really want to anymore, but that’s what I read. Maybe it meant, “You’re almost done.” I like that better.

I’ve been crying since Friday. I finally told my father what my sister’s husband did to me 5 1/2 years ago. Naturally, I thought he’d be disappointed in his son-in-law and feel for me, but he dismissed the whole thing as my “perspective,” which clearly deserves no credence or compassion. I told him to ask my brother, who overheard it (and didn’t even come out of the room). (There was time.) I told him to ask my sister, who held her husband off of me, though she still denies it came to that.

My dad told me that if someone crossed the line in his house, he’d make sure they left, too. “You’d tell them to leave,” I said. “You’d be firm. You might even be angry, but you wouldn’t scream and curse at them. If they refused to leave or became combative, you’d remain calm and involve the police. They’d understand you were serious about protecting your home.”

“That’s what I would do,” he agreed.

“You would never physically threaten, menace, and terrorize a woman, run at her from upstairs, with your chest puffed out, purple-faced, fists clenched, veins popping, in your holy garments!”

“No,” he conceded, “I wouldn’t.”

He wouldn’t, but he clearly doesn’t believe me that Dan did. That’s not the most hurtful thing right now. Dad’s unconscious bias favors Dan’s account, that I was out of line in some way. I wasn’t. I was talking to my sister. Talking. Is my dad sexist or is it just me he hates? It could be both. Like wicked Biblical Esau (also a redhead), I sold my birthright when I left the Church. I might have walked into the angel/whore dichotomy years ago that every wicked woman confronts. Did I disqualify myself from consideration – ever? – when my father could no longer hope that “Christie would come around”?

It’s true that Melanie and I were having a disagreement, but our voices never raised. I believe we would quickly have come to understand each other, if her husband hadn’t attacked me. I’m certain that my nieces, who witnessed the whole thing, didn’t notice the conversation between their mom and their favorite auntie at all. they were chattering and giggling in their sleeping bags. It wasn’t extraordinary.

He crossed the line! Even if Mel and I had been fighting, nothing can justify what Dan did. It was disgusting. It was violence intended to make me very aware of my vulnerability. I was meant to be terrified. And he didn’t tell me to leave the house. He just screamed, “Shut up, you bitch!” over and over and over. (I left.)

I told my dad that all these years I’ve dreamed that if he knew, he’d tell my sister’s husband he didn’t appreciate how he treated his daughter.

He defended him.

“Maybe you don’t consider me your daughter anymore.” He didn’t say otherwise. I really thought he’d find Dan’s behavior inappropriate. I would, even if I hated the person he did it to. It was wrong.

I don’t think I appreciated what that daddy rescue fantasy meant to me. It was ridiculous. My mother beat me for 19 years. He was there for 9 of them, and did nothing. When I finally punched her back… Well, she had me on the ground again, kicking the shit out of me. I finally stood up. Dad’s the one who kicked me out, and that was that. No one’s ever apologized.

(Incidentally, she had ripped my pajama top off. My father saw my naked breasts. In fact, he kicked me out while I standing there topless, still catching my breath.)

What should I have expected from the man who, when I confessed on my 17th birthday  that I wanted to kill myself, explained paternal responsibility to me?

My father said that when he married my mother, he had made a commitment to God that he would protect and provide for our family.

“I’m the head of this family,” he explained. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it. I thought he was about to say, “And without you, we wouldn’t be this family.” I thought he was going to tell me I mattered.

Here it was! He was going to tell me he loved me. I was special to him. To someone.

“Until you’re 18,” he continued. “I’m responsible for what happens to you.”

“Kill yourself next year,” is what I heard.

He was afraid of getting in trouble with God! He didn’t care about me at all. He should have wrapped me in his arms. He should have cared that I was in pain.

He thought of himself. I was nothing to him. I’m nothing.

Not one person in my family has apologized for what Dan did to me. Not to take responsibility; Only he can do that and he’s not sorry. But I want someone to see me in here, to see that I’m hurting, that 5 1/2 years later this hasn’t gone away for me. Not one person has hugged me, held me while I cried, or told me they were sorry to see me in pain. Not one person has said, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” No one cares.

I should have protected the dream, I think, and never asked them to.

I was stunned to learn how truly unloved I am. I really didn’t understand how complete their disregard was. As far they’re concerned, I don’t deserve their concern. I’ve chosen a life of sin; I don’t matter. They absolutely do not care.

My heart is breaking.

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt loved. I don’t know that I could at this point.

I didn’t expect to be so upset. I just didn’t get it. I was living in a fantasy world. Well, yeah. The angels speak to me through numbers, but I believed this one. I needed it.

I don’t think they’re awful. I know they mean well. That’s different from saying they did their best. They didn’t, but it’s still true that they’re decent folk. They mean to do good, but they’re profoundly misguided. They’re sick. I mean, I’m sick. There’s a reason.

It’s best to divorce them for good. I’ve tried everything. I can’t keep doing this to myself. They literally make me sick. I need to recover at last and let these wounds become well-healed scars. I know that others have survived worse things. Some have gone on to live fulfilling, joyful lives, so certainly I can at least get by without this searing pain.

I have 9 lives. I have to be close to the end of those. Surely, I’ve saved the best for last.
chosen family

Oh God, this just keeps getting worse. I just asked my brother Aaron why he never stepped up for me, and he said I’ve rewritten history. He said he doesn’t remember Dan ever saying, “Fuck you, you bitch.” Neither do I. I’ve never said that.

Aaron just told me basically what my dad believes. So they’ve talked about this before. HE’S REWRITTEN HISTORY, TO DEFEND DAN! He told me he doesn’t remember any cursing or profanity, and that Dan never raised his voice!

He did! He screamed, “Shut up, you bitch!” over and over and over. I know, because I was screaming back the whole time, “All I’ve ever said to you is thank you! Thank you for being a good provider! Thank you for being a good father,” which is easier than the truth, that my nieces know their daddy loves them, so long as they don’t deviate from his very narrow command on what they must be and act like. Over and over and over and over, until my sister screamed his name and I ran upstairs. (Melanie almost never yells, and she was pushing her whole body weight into her husband to counter-balance the rage of his violent lunge at me.)

A couple of times he said, “Don’t you ever stop talking!?” Hahahahahaa! and “You ARE a bitch!”  (That’s my favorite. He actually thinks I didn’t know his opinion of me. God, he’s stupid. All strong women are called bitch.)

“Shut up, you BITCH!” (I was playing nice for 20 years! I coulda made him miserable! “You call me bitch? Watch out! You’ve never met my bitch!”)

I didn’t say that. I just said thank you. Over and over and over until Mel yelled his name and I ran upstairs. IT HAPPENED.

I can’t believe this. I can hardly breathe. I was counting on Aaron. At this point, I don’t think he’s lying, but he is wrong. He was my only witness. I thought he’d step up for me, but he forgot the truth and sold himself and the whole damn klan a lie. He lied! To protect him! I’m losing it! They care so little they’ve rewritten a history that completely and utterly vilifies me. It nullifies me! It erases me.

Aaron, the one ally I thought I had left, has rewritten a history that protects that man.

That’s it. That’s all I can handle. That’s it. I’ve found it. I cannot handle any more than this. It happened. I’ll tell you what it is: It happened to me. That’s why it doesn’t matter.

And I’ll tell you who remembers: Dan. He knows what he did.

I’m not kidding, I can hardly breathe. Aaron was the one person I thought had my back. He was the one person I trusted. And he’s been telling them the whole time it never happened! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

I’m such an ass. Of course they’ve discussed this before. That’s what they do. They get together and judge me. Then they find ways to make it all my fault, so they never have to take responsibility for the things they do to me. Then they tell themselves they’re good people, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Oh my god, I’m so stupid. I don’t want to wait another 5-10 years for my cats to die. I want to kill myself today. Oh my god.

(Aaron took me to the bus station the next morning. “I don’t want to put words in your mouth,” I said to him, “but I wouldn’t mind if you told Dan you didn’t appreciate how he treated your sister.”

He said nothing. Now I know why. It happened to me, so it didn’t matter. And now he’s rewritten history. Worse, he’s forgotten. Dan first screamed, “Shut up, you bitch,” from the top of the stairs. He was right next to the room Aaron occupied with his brand new bride. What followed is not just my perspective. It happened. My brother heard it. Dan yelled again and again, “Shut up, you bitch!” until I ran upstairs and hid, crying, not sleeping until I could get online in the morning and find a bus. It happened. And, like them, Aaron doesn’t care. It happened to me, so he said nothing. He did nothing. He lies like all of them. And he believes it. They all do! I don’t matter. Period.)

I’d love to know what Ali thinks. I’m afraid to assume – now that I have a picture of how the incident has shifted, at least in Aaron’s view, and what he’s shared with our father – that she, too, has forgotten the seething, violent rage, the hatred of women-who-don’t-obey-men that Dan betrayed that night.

I can’t imagine it, though! She’s such a strong, self-assured girl. I just can’t fathom it. However, I also can’t imagine Aaron and Ali not discussing it thoroughly. They’re such a strong couple, with strong opinions, each, and respect and love for one another. I have to believe that she shares his memory of the event?

I’ll tell you, the only eye-witnesses other than my sister were my nieces.

My sister denied the whole incident completely, days after it happened, only to admit it when faced with evidence. Then she excused him, because I “didn’t act afraid.” (I was perfectly groomed after a life of violence to never show fear, duh. I’d die before giving him that. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t terrified. I was. It doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, simply because he failed to frighten me, or seemed to.)

My nieces were very young, but I can’t imagine they don’t remember the night Daddy’s thinly-veiled hatred for Aunt Christie finally boiled over into dangerous, violent rage. The night Mom yelled at Dad for the first time ever, probably the last. Melanie’s gentle, but she was scared, too. I can’t imagine the Christmas that Daddy called Fun Aunt Christie a bitch, over and over and over, at top volume, isn’t seared on their brains.

They don’t have challenging personalities and they’re all decidedly, devotedly Mormon. And they love him. He’s Daddy, their hero, as well he should be. I want that for them. That’s why I thanked him that night. I’d been thanking him, aloud, for years.

It’s true I’ve never liked him, or what he’s done to my family. He’s a shameless racist, homophobe, misogynist bigot. We didn’t spend every meal denigrating Others and explaining and rehearsing our hatred of difference until Dan joined our family. I’m endlessly disappointed my dad didn’t notice the shift in conversation, but instead joined and emboldened it.

Years ago, I consciously chose to focus on the positive. My sister was happy. Dan had succeeded in ways my biological father hadn’t. And he had a talent with animals, which says a lot about a person. So I started pointing out his strengths and successes. I even gave him a church magazine I found about Daddy/Daughter dates as the oldest, Rachael, was entering her teens. He didn’t know what to do with kindness from me, so after a brief experiment to reach out, I decided to live side-by-side in the same family, with no personal involvement together. I would always speak up against prejudice. It was never a secret where I stood or when I disagreed. It’s wrong not to speak out against wrong. And my nieces needed to understand that they were never alone, no matter who they were or would become.

There’s the slimmest chance Rachael would remember accurately. She’s the oldest, and she’s an artist. She’s had the most challenging relationship with her father, but that’s still cohesive compared to anything I’ve ever known of relationships.

Finally, I could never ask one of those horrified innocents to recall or report on what they witnessed. But having lost my one ally, I’m sorta dying here. My mind clamors for anyone else that was there, anyone to remember me. Anyone to see. Anyone to care.

They don’t. It happened to me. Disobedient women deserve it.

I’m a bitch. I had it coming.

Solstice Sunday

It sucks to be depressed on the most beautiful day of the year. We’re smack dab in the middle of the longest days, with a small cold front from the north. It’s only supposed to be 85 degrees today, in late June! I don’t want to go to the drum circle. I don’t want to go to Earth Jam. I don’t want to get out of bed.

Yesterday, I ruined the first drum I couldn’t recover. It sucks, too, because it was my first PERFECT piece, and then…

I’ve never made a mistake that I couldn’t modify or mask or turn into a surprise success. I told Jax, “There’s something I hate about every drum I’ve made, but she’s perfect! I love her so much. She’s perfect!”

I couldn’t leave well enough alone. One thing too far.

I gave her weeks of detached consideration. There were several small attempts at a fix that didn’t work, so I put her away quickly and thoughtfully, certain the answer would come. Finally, I found the solution, which I applied yesterday, to her destruction. There was no taking it back, no coming back, no way forward.

Many years ago, an artist friend told me the secret. “You just have to accept that you will hate 29 out of 30 things you do.” And I had, I thought, but I just can’t let go of how much I loved her. To lose her is killing me.

After the week of tolerating this awful user who just won’t leave, I crumbled. (SO much more to the story of the unwelcome couch-surfer.) I fell deep, deep, deep in the hole. At first I tried to watch the self-talk, but that only made me more abusive. Just be honest about the useless, talentless idiot you are. Stop killing yourself with that insufferable silver lining, and those unbearable lessons in the loss. Shut UP!

There’s nothing to my future but the last of my desperately clinging looks and a body that doesn’t belong to me. I fucking HURT! I have nothing and will die with less.

I’m so sick with this goddamn depression. At the worst time. It’s far worse to shut the door and draw the blinds when the weather is so lovely. I can’t get out of bed.

wind in her hair

If only I’d photographed her after finishing her body and limbs, and outlining her curves and edges. Something to remember her by before ruining everything.