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. (There’s another that involves company theft that went far beyond the “crimes” we all commit of stealing time or office supplies, but I chalked it up to getting caught up in group foolishness 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 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 intentions on her boundaries. It mattered to her.”

“Nope,” he insisted. “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 didn’t stop screaming and finally out-shouted me. He’s the first perston 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!)

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.

BLUFF!

He texted before my alarm went off. Naturally, I was jumpy all night and woke to every unusual sound. When I heard the ping, I went faint in my bed. I’m still shaking.

“Your cats will be fine. When will you be out?”

I was prepped for attack and misunderstood. “No. You have no grounds to remove me. The eviction remains unlawful.” Then, “Ah, misread that. Jax,” I continued. “You know when I’ll be out.”

“Just stop. When will you be out?”

“WE’ve said it a million times.” I’d be damned if I’d play into his fantasy that I’m holding some arbitrary date over their head when I have no option to leave before Oct. 1. We’ve discussed this so many times, initially in an effort to best meet both of our needs.

This was planned a month-and-a-half in advance, and he chose the date. I wasn’t being arbitrarily obstinate. I consider these conversations evidence now, and an answer might imply that I’m manipulating the situation somehow. I’m not willing to risk Lost In Translation in a court setting. He knows my move out date. He chose it, and it’s been confirmed innumerable times via text.

I’m not playing into ridiculous behavior, both as a matter of principle and to protect myself. I won’t risk inadvertently supporting their story. It’s a lie.

“I’m probably canceling my Europe trip,” he continued, “largely thx to you being unreasonable and unpredictable,” adding, “So thx.”

“You gave me the date to begin with. You are the unreasonable ones. You are the author of your own behavior. I’m not responsible for anything you’ve done this weekend or for the rest of my tenancy.” “And your trip has nothing to do with me, but thank you for thinking so highly of my sway and influence.” (Come on, I couldn’t help it.)

“I can’t even have my family over for dinner without you making theatrics.”

“That’s not what you did. You terrorized me and ruined your own night.” (And they hadn’t stopped by for dinner. He left to get the groceries only after they didn’t get what they wanted from the police, and decided to torture me the whole night by staying.) “Take responsibility for yourself. For all my fuck ups, I always did.”

“Anyhow, no reason to discuss with you anymore other than to say give us our space on the rare occasion we stop by.” HAHAHAHA! Stop when you’re beat, more like. BLUFF.

I’ve never done different! I begged – literally cried, screamed, and begged for space from them. The only alteration to this has been their egregious behavior.

I had been rapid-writing and didn’t even read that until after the volley was finished. I continued with the thread above. “You know damn well an illness is not theatrics. You know who I am and you know exactly what you did.”

I HAVE NEVER MISREPRESENTED MYSELF AND I ALWAYS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, even when I hate myself utterly for having to, repeatedly.

He’s willing to ruin his own joy to cling to their ridiculous narrative that I’m responsible for the weekend’s shameful events. I did everything I could to avoid it. I feel no guilt or ownership. I also feel absolutely no care or compassion for either of them, and no need to anymore. I don’t feel anything much more than shock and pity. You know how that’s thrown around derisively. “I feel sorry for…” whomever. I really do.

For god’s sake, take a trip! Nothing has changed but you. Take a load off and breathe.

I blocked him then, seeing that I would soon be unable to remain, in fact, reasonable in an emotional situation that has scared the holy fucking shit out of me. I survived it.

Oh my god. I can hardly stand today. It is ALL spent, the whole reserve. I’m tapped.

Fight-or-flight is still right under the surface. Tears, too. Passion and hatred have to hover close beneath, as well, but I just don’t feel the ugly burden of that dark prison right now. Maybe I will after the adrenaline fades, or when I safely land in my new home. I don’t know. This is brand new for me. Usually, it’s all I feel, immediately, to the exclusion of all else. It takes a looong time to process the protections of rage and hate before I can go, in Truth, and heal the wound underneath. Right now, I feel FREE. Almost.

What a gross man. He found a wife to suit him perfectly. I can’t begrudge a good fit.
And I don’t care about it.

Text of Desperation

My Last Hope:

“Before you act on this unlawful self-help remedy, please consider very carefully that we could be rid of each other for good in 2 1/2 wks. If you choose instead to take my belongings to the dump, displace my cats, and/or lock me out, know that that decision will propel us into a costly, protracted battle for… months? Years? I don’t know. Be reasonable. Be wise. Let me go. Above all, PLEASE don’t cast my babies out. If you choose to break the law in spite of the disastrous consequences that will invite, just text me to pick up the girls, please! After this weekend, you’re a stranger to me and I don’t know what you’re capable of. I have to imagine the worst case scenario possible and suppose you’ll do it. Please don’t hurt Penny and Cricket. They’re all I have. I’ve been good to Ollie, loved him with my whole self. Do the right thing, even if you choose wrong tomorrow. It didn’t have to come to this. The cops told you exactly what a legal eviction would take, and I’ll be gone before you could even see a judge for that signature. Which you wouldn’t get. You ARE wrong in this instance, Jax. Stop.”

All I have left beyond that is prayer. I can’t skip work, and I have about an hour at home before I leave for rehearsal. I’m scared, but calm somehow. For now. Who knows what tomorrow’s nerves will look like? Oh, god. It’s going to be a long day.

This is the hardest thing I’ve been through as an adult. It’s hard to say that, but it’s been constant and unremitting for 2 solid months – a grief, panic, anger, and heartache combo like no other – and building to the most ludicrous, horrifying, painful frightening weekend and subsequent 3 days, ever. This is ridiculous, but not dismissable. If only it could be so easy. I’m terrified.

I hold a spot of hope in my heart that they were bluffing, or that the intervening days have given them the chance to review their options, their odds – since doubtless they actually think they can prove their ridiculous claims – and realize the risk they run of keeping me glued to them for the foreseeable future. “There were 3 of us in this marriage” won’t belong to Princess Diana alone if they don’t stop their pursuit. They’re wrong. They’ll lose. And it will take forever. Bless your beautiful union – Darlings –  and shed the ex-girlfriend at the start. Your chances aren’t good, just based on the haste of it all, but add the stress of what we’ll go through together, and it’ll ruin you.

I won’t. Our legal entanglement will. And I won’t care.

Seriously. Don’t be this stupid! Are you really this stupid?!! Just leave me alone, you assholes. Fuck my ex-boyfriend. I’m not even sorry that his hateful wife will eat his heart out someday. He earned it. He deserves it. He chose her. Just leave me out of it.

And someday soon, I won’t need those thoughts anymore. It will all be gone. He really did me a favor, if I can just get through tomorrow first, and the coming weeks next.

Hang on, Christie. You’ll know by days’ end tomorrow.

****

Oh my god! I was home for 2 1/2 hours before I found this.
ripped

I printed it Thursday, when Jax first threatened moving up my move-out date before the end of our verbal agreement. (The subsequent text conversation made it a written agreement.) (Which isn’t even required for evidence. Verbal counts.) I didn’t put it on his desk for days, hoping he’d come to his senses or calm down. It was so out of character for him, I kept saying. Of course, I see, instead, that it’s who he is now.

It’s been sitting there ignored since then. I highlighted the info cops reiterated over the weekend before I left for work yesterday, and it remained, as ever, untouched, until today. Is it an indication of the path they’ve already chosen, regardless of what I say? Is this happening? Am I losing everything tomorrow?

Oddly enough, scared as I am, I laughed out loud. And they call me ridiculous. WOW.
to the landlord
to law enforcement

Mirror

stress

The same can be said of self, and it’s sobering. I’ve felt in recent years – this summer, particularly – like I’m incapable of beating back those demons. I tried. Admit defeat, and stop hoping for better. You can’t be devastated every time you fail if you don’t believe. And you stop hurting others! At this point, inflicting yourself on any intimate partner – family, lover, friend – is immoral.

Years ago, I had the insight that failure thus far was due, in part, to the verbage I applied to the battle. See? It’s a war. This is your responsibility, Christie, your fight.

I made a conscious choice to use empowering words – like toolkit in place of armor. It fit other efforts: Formerly a nonsmoker, I was now smoke free. Words have power. Words were used against the little girl, to much more disastrous effect than blows.

And now they’re her weapon. My shame, regret, and heartache. I can’t keep doing this to myself and others. Isn’t it time to say, “I tried. It’s okay to quit”? Peace can come down a different path and still be peace. Just don’t allow yourself opportunities for the stress that can trigger abuse, and you can love yourself! Solid, lasting, joyful self love.

The problem is that when I get there, I have so much love to give. I want to spill it out on everything. When I’m happy, you can see and feel the love in my home. Everything around me is cared for and pretty. (Every friend that visited after Jax and I started dating commented on how much better his house looked since my arrival. Every visitor, every time. Yeah, yeah, the touch of a woman, sure, but it was after the love was added that our home blossomed. Then he retreated to his headphones and body odor, and I grumbled and resented him, but blamed myself and tried to be different.) What would it take to put a partner in there, too, to trust him to partner me through my ugliness, and finally rise above it? Not never to face it, but to live!

There’s nothing like Christie, inspired. What does safety feel like when I believe it?

I’m not worried about that today. I really don’t think I’m going to try for that anymore. I really don’t think I have the right. Really. Wrong is wrong. This has gone on for decades. I know what I know. Is that acceptance or more draconian childishness?

Whatever.

Today, I’m just worried about tomorrow. It’s clear they consider me served. Nevermind that the paperwork and emailed links I provided show the legal channel as signed by a district court judge. Nevermind that officers told them twice that they can’t unlawfully evict me or violate my person or property. They either consider themselves superior to strict guidelines that govern everyone else, or truly misunderstand basic instructions.

I know what’s in each box (Moving Bible), and I’m videotaping my property every day. I have to work and rehearse. I can’t babysit. If they destroy me, I have renter’s insurance. After that, I have the law.

They think they’re selling that house? I’ll own it if they mess with me.

Pray for my cats. He would leave my cats, scared but uninjured, and text me to arrange pick up. He would not put them outside!

People can fuck themselves, but animals are actual angels on earth. It’s true I don’t know what Jax is capable of anymore, but I know we still match there.

Beyond that, I’m released. I was left carrying the bag. Sick notwithstanding, I abused a man who left a relationship that wasn’t working. I was aware that the long dark night of the soul was coming for me, as soon as my show closes. I was prepared to hate myself, cry, and mourn for months, ache for years, and finally heal, but sting, forever.

In the end, he didn’t risk my illness and abandon me when it happened. He got right in and filthy dirty. I’m not alone. I’m not absolved. Serious work remains for me, but attending guilt will not crush me. He agreed to carry half of it.

I got abusive when I got sick; He got abusive when he got even. And we are, equal in our crimes against one another. Which is horrible to face, but bearable now somehow, shared. Thanks, Jax. Weirdly, I mean that. Ugh, this is just so gross.

Pray pray pray pray pray.

I’m still so ashamed, and resolved. Fix this, Christie. Get right. Get up. Anything less isn’t good enough for you. You know that, too. You’re still alive. You can.

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.

All Strong Women Are Called Bitch

nasty-womanI woke up Friday morning, suddenly aware that my belief that election stress hadn’t gotten to me was, in fact, a coping strategy to hide from what now feels very much like trauma! It broke my heart to see how disconnected I’d become from my emotions just to survive this shit. It was alarming, because I try to look honestly at myself and what my feelings are telling me. I was hiding from pain!

Post-election is going to be ugly, too. There will be no ideal reconciliation, or even real workability, but thank god this part is OVER. The longest, most vitriolic election in modern history. I feel like I’ve been beaten.

I ached again for the little girl who grew up in a violent home, who developed that coping mechanism just so she could breathe. I read once that Depression isn’t merely a pervasive low feeling, but the absence of all feeling, eventually the inability to feel. A person crying “the tears of the damned,” I call them, will do anything not to feel them. Not to feel. They stop being able to feel at all, even the good stuff. It’s horrible, and it comes from hiding from pain.

I would have thought that I had a special radar for noticing when that technique was creeping into my life. I didn’t see it at all! You hear the buzz words “election anxiety” everywhere, and I had perched myself above it, in very much the same way I would leave my body during violence that I thought would kill me. When I saw it – her – I ached, and went in again to be the grown-up I needed when I was a terrified little girl.

I decided that I will no longer watch any news or footage of any kind until Wednesday, and I haven’t. Of course, it’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it. But I’m not permitting the sound bytes into my life anymore. I’ll know tomorrow what happens tonight.

At one point Friday, I was praying and dancing – with my new beautiful mandala hand drum – and putting peace and healing into the meditation/energy bubble I’ve described before. I had this vision of Hillary Clinton ushering in a reconciliation era. I felt almost elated! I danced and celebrated, and put all of my love into that vision.

The next day, I woke up feeling like such an idiot! I’m so stupid! Hillary won’t be permitted to lead our national recovery. They’re going to eviscerate her! They are going to make her pay so hard! They will never stop trying to SILENCE THE WOMAN. And they want the rest of us to witness what happens when we dare to speak.

I felt like crying. I felt hopeless.

And then I didn’t. Immediately, I thanked her again. She is the only woman who could break this final fucking ceiling. Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, SHE has opened the door at last for women to be taken seriously in U.S. Presidential races.

The United States hates women as much as it hates black people. It’s shameful that it’s taken so long for a woman to break through that insistent wall of fear and desperation. Germany has Angela Merkel. England has Theresa May, and the Iron Lady was taken seriously decades ago. Israel had Golda Meir a lifetime ago! She was born in 1898!

But not here. Never here. Here, they don’t want to hear. SHUT UP, said white male privilege to every woman and every person of color. “It is the existential fear of displacement from a world that has slowly – too slowly, for too long – been chipping away at white male supremacy.” -Rolling Stone

Hillary Clinton was the woman to break through that blockade, not because her place in history is that of a peacekeeper. That woman is a warrior! She’s strong enough to take anything they say and do to her. And only that woman can handle what’s coming after she’s elected. She’s a battering ram! And she’s willing to do it.

So I’m grateful. I don’t love her perfectly. That’s a childish world view. Politics is messy business. No one is 100% happy 100% of the time. That’s dictatorship. But Hillary Clinton has accomplished things across both sides of the aisle, that make the world a better place. Deal with it.

Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll see any of that ever again. This bipartisan bullshit is an attempt by the Republican party to bring down everyone if they can’t have their way, exactly as they want  it. It’s so dangerous. It breaks my heart.

I can’t get bogged down by the futility of it all. I just have to believe in my ridiculous mystical bubble – and I do – and send all of my love into it. I can imagine myself into real visions of peace and cooperation, and when that sight takes the pain from my heart, I pray and pray and pray. “Let the world feel this, NOW. Let everyone who sees this in their heart send the power of their healing into the bubble, too, and make it grow!”

It goes in the bin with the other shit hippie chicks say, but it can’t hurt.

“Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better.”
-Maya Angelou

drum

Tonight, I will go to a belly dance class, and come home to work on my next mandala. In this way, I’ll hear none of the nonsense that I don’t need. It’s done.

I’ve found that the repetition of each rotation brings on a trance state, where the mind forgets its being-ness, and what’s inside comes up. I’ve caught myself putting hatred and anger into these beautiful lines and curves, but I catch myself and stop. That’s huge. I’m developing the ability to watch my thoughts!

I want to pour love, joy, healing, humor, and everything beautiful about my inner nugget into these drums I’ve come to love so much. They contain prayers and magic!

Kumbaya, bitches!

womens-suffrage

An Anniversary I Didn’t See Coming

It was as simple as explaining to my therapist my history on the guitar, and why I’m not starting lessons tomorrow after all. (Yoga has aggravated my wrist a bit. I’ve decided not to add another stressor until it settles and I’m stronger.) It all came back.

I played the guitar at Boise State. It was a beginning class, and I excelled. “I don’t know why I didn’t follow through with it,” I wondered aloud. “Oh! Oh, my god! Uh, because my roommate tried to kill me and I was scurried to a cement dorm for one week, where I convulsed and cried, and aced my finals before going home.” (3.8 GPA, thank you.)

I regaled my therapist with the tale of The State of Idaho vs. Roger T. Black. I was the key witness. It’s pretty gross. (Read my history – How I Got Here – if you want the gory details.) The only thing that remained in the retelling was seething anger at my parents.

HOW COULD THEY NOT SUE BOISE STATE FOR MY TUITION AND RENT? I could have crucified that school with punitive damages, and I wish I had. I was too young and traumatized to think of it. I know if I were to ask my parents about it now they’d claim non-litigious humility, but Boise State injured me! I shouldn’t have to pay for the privilege!

I’m disgusted at the inferior adult guidance I had.

I had a nervous breakdown after my first semester. (I went back for more, but could scarcely get out of bed.) The difference in my wellness was marked. I’d struggled all my life in a bad relationship with my mother, angry and drowning in a tragically dysfunctional family, but I was perfectly absent after that semester. I look back now, stunned. I don’t know how I climbed out of that. ALONE. How could they not take care of me?

There’s a handful of circumstances in which they DID NOT DO THE BEST THEY COULD. I think that’s a bullshit platitude, and I’m sick of it. My parents failed to do their JOB. They consciously ignored a medical emergency. You should have seen me. When I wasn’t catatonic, I was flailing, fighting, trying to fix, clean, contain… something!

I know I slipped through the cracks in some regards because we just weren’t as sensitive to issues of mental health 20 and 30 years ago, but after Boise State I broke. Because of Boise State, I broke. It would been obvious in the 50s that the young lady needed a doctor.

WHY DIDN’T MY PARENTS HELP ME? EVER?!!!!! I’m so ANGRY!

And they’re in medicine! Sanctimonious hypocrites! They’re so smug about Obamacare. They know everything about how “socialized medicine” will fail us, because they’re in the business. THEY DIDN’T EVEN TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN DAUGHTER!

After that, there were 5 or 6 suicide outcries, a term I detest for the suggestion of faking. I meant it on April Fools 1997, learning at last the difference between an attempt and a cry for help, or simply the desperate willingness to do anything to escape that moment’s agony. I think I only tried to kill myself twice. I OD’d more times than I know; I knew as soon as I started swallowing gobs of pills I’d stop feeling. I became a machine. Then I’d try to lay down, but invariably ended up driving myself to the emergency room for a tube down my throat, wretching suction and a gut full of charcoal, never telling a soul.

Why didn’t The State of Idaho offer trauma counseling? What of victim’s rights?

What parent wouldn’t insist on care for their child after something like that? Even if I seemed fine? (And I didn’t!) They didn’t do their best. They didn’t do anything. I was in crisis! Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is real, and I already had it from growing up verbally, emotionally, physically, and sexually abused. I can imagine, though it’s a stretch, that they hoped my earlier problems were average adolescence, but when I got home from Boise I was a shell. I was spiking and raging all over the place, because there was nothing left in me. I was trying to force “me” … out! But I was gone. All attempts at interaction were like being in space, grasping but floating away. I was dead in there!

I was in danger, and my parents ignored me. Again.

Shame. Shame. Shame.

It wasn’t until I left therapy today that I remembered when it happened. Initially, I couldn’t even recall what time of year it was, but it didn’t take long to go back. I came home in that condition for Christmas break. Twenty years ago.

****

Goddamn, I’m an insufferable optimist. Yes, I’m angry that no one looked out for me. Right now, it chaps my hide that I could fairly have got my hands on hundreds of thousands of dollars for Boise State’s complicit indifference, which very seriously endangered my life and leaves me with scars to this day. I’m not the same. I’m suspicious, jaded, angier, harder.

That being said… Good god, I’m strong! I’m really amazed by me right now. Not just my survival. My thrival! I find beauty in everything! I still have enthusiasm and belief. I have hope and joy and humor. I see the good. I must. The fact that I can come through my life and be this playful, joyful and loving is amazing!

I see the good.

I often regret that I was so slow to start my life, but I spent 20 years re-parenting myself. Mine were pretty pitiful examples, if you ask me, so I literally didn’t know how. They’re not bad people. Good, in fact! But they failed me. They did not parent me. I did. And I’m a pretty good kid. Musta done something right.

~ BSU ~ Bullshit for You! ~
bsu