Day whatever after the catharsis

I am not even sure what day it is but I’m pretty sure it’s Monday because I have therapy tomorrow.

I am still not back to my definition of “normal.” Dylan thinks that I will eventually come back to normal as I reintegrate with myself but I am not so sure. I certainly haven’t eaten or slept remotely enough in the past 3-4 days (because I literally can’t) so I’m sure that’s playing some role in this.

But I did tell him about what’s happened with me. I told him a lot of what I wrote about in yesterday’s blog, even a lot of the sexual stuff. I don’t usually talk to him quite that openly about sex but he seemed to take it in stride. He said that my description of what sex is like with Cat is how he understands that I know I’m a lesbian, which he didn’t know before. And he also told me that he has the same type of sexual chemistry with his girlfriend and that they have both thought about making a sexual exception to the long break they’re intentionally taking from their relationship right now.

So then I had to tell Cat that I had let him read the blog and I let her read it, too. It felt like almost a violation of her consent not to, but fortunately she said it was all fine.

I asked if my perception of how I described her and our relationship (whatever this is) was accurate and she said that it was.

So now I’m still trying to reintegrate with myself. But I have at least developed a sense that everything with Cat is intact and that I’m seeing it clearly. That is at least a powerful touchstone to hold on to.

Now I just have to figure out what to do next. Since I’m so out of my head, I can’t even find one of the meds I take every night (because I was also this out of my head last night), that’s at least something.

My insanely eventful and strange weekend

I spent Friday night with Cat. Everything went wrong from the start but it ended up being very eventful and now I am beyond emotionally drained.

I was supposed to go over to her house around 4 but I took an edible way too late in the day because I just couldn’t sleep. It was also a new kind of edible I hadn’t tried before plus I think I accidentally took more than I intended. I was clearly in no shape to drive, so she came to get me instead.

I could tell that she was experiencing a lot of anxiety as a result of how much I accidentally derailed our plans but I could also see how much she was struggling to keep it under control. So on the fly, I just realized what I had to do. I distracted her from her anxiety by telling her about some absolutely hilarious stories that Dylan has experienced at his new job. It worked.

But meanwhile, because I was still high, I was continuing to revise and sharpen and perfect my article to my MIL, even while heading down the highway with Cat. I had clearly unlocked some new level of myself that allowed me to speak the absolute truth with complete absence of any filter. It allowed me to create an absolute masterpiece of writing, something I had never been able to do before.

So then we got to the event we were attending, which was another reading by the local group of women who do readings in the nude. It was interesting and powerful, as it always is. But this one seemed to be even more powerful than the last one I saw with her.

They were telling stories on the theme of kink. Cat was already very interested in the topic. I was too but I was less familiar with the true depth of it.

I learned a lot, which gave me a lot of new ideas to explore in the future. She was incredibly aroused by the readings and I was too, but we were both already incredibly aroused because we had a longer-than-average break of not seeing each other, due mostly to Chloe’s illness and my desire to keep an eye on her. (It was really much worse than a normal illness and I just wanted to make sure she was on the mend. She’s not 100% better yet but it’s now clear that she eventually will be.)

So we wildly, passionately made out outside of the venue before heading back to Cat’s house, after stopping at McDonald’s of all places just to take some bare minimum of nourishment back with us. And then I took another edible and so did she. And that’s when everything began to feel like we were tumbling into another dimension.

Remember, I was still in that no filter state of mind. In fact, I’m still in it and it’s not wearing off at all, which is actually quite terrifying. I can’t even begin to explain how being in that completely unfiltered state affects having sex with someone that you are already perfectly sexually in sync with.

I’m still not completely sure what all I said to her and what I just felt instead. That happens to me a lot when I’m high.

I don’t remember what I said to her as she was dropping me off. I’m pretty sure that I told her that I loved her. And then I said that I knew how much that scared her because she knows how fragile I am and I know how deeply she’s been hurt too and I know she felt like it was way too soon to say that. Then I explained that my saying that I loved her didn’t mean I had expectations of her or whatever this is (meaning our relationship). It had nothing to do with the length of time that I’ve known her. I didn’t even need for her to say it back. It just meant that I had seen down to her soul and what I saw there was worth loving. She was crying as I said that but I don’t know if they were happy tears or frightened ones. I think and hope they were happy.

I don’t know how I did that. But it seems to be related to when I broke down my filter entirely to call the truth as I see it, which is enough to deeply move people emotionally. I’m apparently now this incisive truth-teller and I can’t turn it off. I’m really afraid I may be stuck with it, which feels terrifying.

I think that quite literally, I revealed a new part of my personality this weekend. I don’t really recognize this person but it’s also still clearly me. I bet this blog even sounds very different now. It’s the most concentrated version of who I was before. This is my new voice, unless it disappears or wears off. Dyl thinks it will wear off or mellow a bit but I am not so sure.

Everything about me is sharper, better-defined. It’s as though everything about me got boiled down to its roots.

This state seemed to be caused by a combination of two factors: getting high and Cat. Getting high took me just outside myself enough to see everything on a deeply spiritual level. But having Cat be a part of that was also very logical because of the connection we have.

I feel like she is meant to be in my life for a spiritual purpose and she agrees. I’ve never felt this before with anyone else and neither has she. I can’t even define what a “spiritual connection” means. It’s like I know what she’s thinking and she knows what I’m thinking because it’s like we’re almost two halves of the same brain. If I’m not directly thinking what she is, I can pop into her head and find out. It means that I know just what to do to make her come because I feel like I’m inside her body and know precisely where and how to touch her and with what degree of pressure, which varies. Then I continue to do it repeatedly until I can see that she’s reached a “certain point” where she needs me to stop. In that state, she’s unable even to form words. And she does a similar thing to me, only she knows exactly what I need to hear that will push me over the edge repeatedly. She’s always exactly right. And then we do it again and again until we both need to sleep.

Unlike J, she’s willing to wake me up when I’ve had way too little sleep just because she wants me again. She’s seen me in the worst stages of half-awakeness, even in the stage where my hair is wildly disheveled and I have to scrape the zombies of deep sleep out of my eyes. And she still thinks it’s worth it and seems to find it adorable. It’s worth it to me too but I always have to recover from it.

Although our sexual chemistry is undeniable, it’s not the only thing about her. My relationship with her “or whatever this is,” which I always say with a specific hand gesture, is so much more than that. It’s like she is beyond being my best friend, with the depths to which she understands me on a soul level. There isn’t a term to describe this kind of relationship, as far as I know.

We’ve gradually changed the way we talk to each other, especially recently. How I talk to her has become very natural as a result of how much and how often we talk. It’s almost like we’ve developed our own language that’s unique to the two of us. I instinctively know what will instantly make her laugh and vice versa. We share each other’s senses of humor. I know how and when to be a flirt, though that’s still developing. She knows when I am absolutely freaking out and need immediate help.

Just like what I had with J, actually. Only this also has the additional component of being totally sexually in sync, which is completely new. And I don’t know what that means now or what it will mean in the future. I just know that I had a relationship with J that was also deeply spiritual in the fact that it felt like God as I understand it put us together. J was so much like me in all the important ways and we were also able to so directly see down to each other’s souls. And now, the very first person I met after losing J became yet another relationship with a very similar (but still unique) essential dynamic, which I was not looking for at all.

I don’t know if I’m losing my mind or if I am just seeing things from an exceptionally clear perspective. But it seems like that’s more than a coincidence. It’s more like a neon sign.

It’s so fucking weird in every way but it also feels like I’m not guiding my own steps. Some other outside force is doing it. And all I can do is yield to its power because no matter what else I try to do instead, it has already proven that it is going to win.

Getting through my healing

I wrote an open letter to my MIL last night on Medium. I happen to know she reads there because she liked one of my articles so I wanted to get the chance to finally tell the whole truth about what really happened to J.

I don’t know if there will be any fallout (in particular, if I’ll still be welcome to attend my nephew’s wedding in California next year.) I’m sure he and his fiancée would be fine with it but I’m not sure about my SIL. It depends on how she reacts to my article. Since the last one I wrote about J’s abuse said it made her feel exposed and that she wanted to run away or get drunk (and she’s a lifelong non-drinker) I think she knows that I’m telling the truth and it makes her feel very uncomfortable.

She’s in a very difficult situation and I know it. I genuinely feel badly for her. Because if she really acknowledges the truth about how horribly J was abused, she’s going to have no choice but to do something about her mother. She’s been trying to play along to keep the peace with her and I think I’m forcing her hand. Not intentionally of course (because that would be manipulative) but because she does have a very strong conscience and she knows that what happened to him wasn’t remotely acceptable.

I decided that I had to write it anyway, consequences be damned. And I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

But I instantly felt better and made major progress in my healing process, so I can tell that keeping all that bottled up inside was actually very significantly interfering with my ability to heal.

Last night, I had my first dream since J died that he was in to a significant degree. He was showing up whenever and wherever I felt unsafe and trying to protect me. (He used to do such things in real life too, especially in the last years of his life when he became Mr. Wonderful.)

When I woke up, I still had a glow hangover in which I still felt safe and warm and loved and protected. But as soon as it wore off, I realized it wasn’t real and I burst into tears. I used to have that and now it’s gone. I’m actually really feeling now how much I’ve lost, which is absolutely devastating.

I don’t usually cry easily at all, especially about what I’ve been through with his death. But overall it was a very good and necessary thing in terms of my healing. I think that I have a lot more crying to do. That’s probably going to be a lot of what I do in Year 2 of widowhood, which is coming up soon.

I’ve gotten lots of compliments at Medium about my positivity and exceptional self-awareness and how good I would be as a therapist. I know I have to do it and I hope I’m ready by next fall. I just have to avoid giving into my fears, which are mostly about money. My money is going way too quickly, mostly because of my rent increase and very high utilities.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m going to see Cat tomorrow for the first time in two weeks. It should be a lot of fun.

I also kinda suspect that she might be falling in love with me despite her intentions not to but I doubt she’d admit it. She’s so guarded with her emotions. But unlike J, she’s in therapy and working on herself. (She always tells me to do daily affirmations and so does my mom. LOL) She messaged me several times while she was at an event where she was giving a presentation for her class tonight. Her group actually won the whole event, which had a top prize of $500 dollars. I wasn’t surprised that they won but I was very proud of her. She’s very good at what she does.

She only called me and her son with the good news. I think that probably says something (but I could be wrong.) She also said that she’s been looking forward to seeing me all week. She’s taking me out to dinner and a show.

She’s getting me a great gift for Christmas: a trip to go with her to a spa where you get a massage and a full body scrub and just total pampering. It’s hella expensive and I could never afford to go on my own. But she wants to share that experience with me. She feels like I deserve it.

In return, because she knows about how dire my money situation is now, all she wants from me is to make her some soap, which I’ll gladly do.

It’s funny because she is not at all who I expected to have this kind of a relationship with but it’s exactly what I need. I think it quite literally has kept me alive this year, when I didn’t know if I would make it otherwise.

She’s “good people” and I’m so grateful to know her. We even talk on the phone almost every day now, which is a huge deal because I normally avoid my phone completely. I usually despise talking on the phone. But not to her for some reason.

I’m so incredibly grateful for her. I think J sent her to me and approves and that’s amazing.

My therapy appointment

My therapy appointment was really, really awesome today. Unfortunately, I didn’t really sleep at all last night and so the rest of today has sucked (and tomorrow I have to wake up early to get Dyl from work.)

But anyway. I told my therapist that I got high and was very disturbed by what I realized during that experience. She actually thought that my realization was deeply profound and wholeheartedly congratulated me on diving so deep into my subconscious mind to realize what was really at the root of my “sleep disorder.”

As I pieced it together for her, I recalled that my “sleep disorder” took root when I was pregnant with Amy. That’s when J told me about how his Uncle Gary was in federal prison for killing two of his wives.

On some very deep subconscious level, I never felt 100% safe after that. Apparently Uncle Gary had a ton of suppressed rage over having been abused in childhood by J’s grandfather (whom I always knew as a “nice man,” albeit racist as hell) and when he unleashed it, it led to his wives being murdered.

To say that I feared that something similar might happen to me or one of our kids was not at all unreasonable. And given the fact that I was pregnant with Amy at the time, I’m sure my hormones were on overdrive and I was trying so hard to protect not only myself but also the kids from the unknowns that were J’s unresolved traumas.

According to my therapist, I was reacting in much the same way as someone who’s grown up with abuse; I could only relax and go to sleep when I knew it was safe and I didn’t have to be on guard for the kids.

Fortunately, J maintained very tight control over his anger through sheer force of will alone. But I never shut off that deep and instinctive fear. After all, it was buried so deeply within my brain that I didn’t even recall it until a couple of days ago.

But that is precisely WHY his childhood abuse can’t just be covered up or swept under the rug, like J’s sister wants to do. She herself is very strongly holding on to her denial that what happened to J was “just those scars from childhood that we all have.”

Bullshit! No, what happened to J was NOT just some stuff that we all have. Her experience working as a teacher of very troubled teens is skewing her perception of what’s “normal” and she flat-out directly told me that she doesn’t want me to convince her why she’s wrong.

But what J suffered affected him for his entire life and in turn, affected the rest of us, too. It’s not an exaggeration that it robbed us of a normal life with him.

I am legitimately incredibly angry and disgusted that his mom is continuing to deny it, even to the point where she told J’s sister when she came down to visit us when J died that she (MIL) had to be kept away from me. What the hell? I didn’t even say anything to her at that time, it was all Amy. I waited several months, until I knew MIL wasn’t coming to J’s memorial service, to go public about the fact that he’d been violently and repeatedly physically abused.

And MIL had to be kept from me?!?! Little did she know how much I was holding myself back even then. I have still treated her with incredible gentleness compared to how truly vile she is.

But my therapist also said that I’m already “building a tool kit” of therapy skills plus my own insight that will definitely come in very handy when I become a therapist myself. She said most therapists take years to start looking at such underlying issues, though I don’t know if that’s true or not.

What I do know is that apparently I do seem to have a gift for making connections between things that might be relevant to understanding people’s problems.

And she also said that it was extremely insightful to recognize where my sleep disorder actually began. The only thing that makes me wonder is what else might be hidden away in my brain, waiting to come out and unpleasantly surprise me?

When I told her about it, my mom said that on some level, I’ve made enough emotional progress to start dealing with this stuff now. But man, it seriously sucks so bad.

I loved J with all my heart but he was also so very broken for most of his life. And I’m only now beginning to realize all the steps my brain took to protect me when I didn’t really feel safe. I don’t know where this will lead me and that honestly has me feeling pretty scared.

Finding my way forward

I had some really unpleasant realizations while I was high the other night. Mostly they were things about myself that I didn’t really like.

A lot of them were things I did in the distant past and many of them don’t apply to me anymore. But it was still a very unhappy reminder of how I used to be.

For one thing, I remembered that I once felt very bad about J, particularly during the years that we were in Michigan. I remember feeling ashamed of him because he didn’t have a better job. I know a lot of that was due to the job market where we lived and that another big factor was his lack of self-confidence.

I am pretty certain that I never told him about how I felt because I knew that he was trying. But I am aware that I probably wasn’t hiding it as well as I thought I was, too. I’m sure that he still must have known how I felt.

I also got to thinking about the fact that we didn’t go to bed at the same time. At first, I thought that was just because of my sleep disorder, which I’ve had evidence of since high school at least.

But then I remembered that I used to go to bed at the same time that he did. Once it changed, it never really changed back.

I know that a very big part of that was because on some very deep level, I didn’t entirely feel safe with him. But I didn’t realize that until we had been married for a few years. I did know that he wasn’t having sex with me, which in itself became a reason to avoid going to bed when he did. It just hurt too much to be so unwanted.

When I stay the night at Cat’s, I always go to bed when she does, so I think my sleep schedule may be changeable.

On some level, I always knew that he was suppressing his anger SO much and I didn’t know if one day he would snap. (After all, he had a family history, with an uncle who killed two of his wives.)

But then I started thinking about how I’ve always liked having nice things and that I felt almost entitled to get them. And then I started thinking about times when I was really selfish and my thoughts just kinda spiraled from there.

I asked Dyl if I was selfish and irresponsible. He said absolutely not about the selfish part (I’m glad he doesn’t remember it—I wouldn’t dare ask Amy the same thing because I know she does remember.) He admitted that sometimes I do seem a little irresponsible but he also acknowledged how much better I’m doing with it now and that my efforts to be responsible are noticeable.

And then I texted Cat and she immediately called me to straighten me out. She said that I was being mean to her friend (me) and that I should stop. She doesn’t see me as selfish or irresponsible at all and if anything, it’s the opposite. So I am grateful to have a friend like her.

But let’s just say that I am really looking forward to my therapy appointment tomorrow. I have a lot to discuss. I either need to find a way to make more money or I have to learn how to be happy with a lot less. And being happy with a lot less would be hard for me.

Small victories

I got some stuff listed for sale on eBay today. That was a huge victory!

I’m clearing a good path into my closet. I don’t have any deadlines this week so I’m going to try to get a lot of cleaning done.

I’m very aware that I only have about 6-7 months until I’m looking to move (though I still don’t know if it will be low-income apartments in Denton or in Oklahoma.)

I’ve started praying that I’ll meet someone. I don’t totally believe in prayer but I figure it can’t hurt.

I just really need to get my shit together and start preparing to move. Or maybe I won’t have to move if I get a job, but I still have to be available to pick up Dyl from work, which doesn’t really work with most work schedules.

We’ll see if my new idea to really push myself will actually work or not. I just know that I’m really sick and tired of everyone having an opinion on how I spend my money and I want to prove that I’m not some helpless person who can’t make my own decisions.

Yes, I’ve made some mistakes, like loaning my friend that money. But I was newly grieving and it was a rare lapse in judgment. I just wish people would stop thinking they know better than I do about what’s best for me.

Indecision

I know I said that I had decided to move to Oklahoma for the cheaper cost of living but I’m still undecided about that.

I am reconsidering whether or not to move into the low-income apartments instead. It would be a little bit more expensive than moving to Oklahoma but I’m not sure about leaving the area yet.

My kids still kinda need me here, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. By next fall, Dyl will most likely be at UNT and he’s considering living in a dorm. He actually did fairly well with that at A&M.

But he won’t have a car because he really doesn’t want one. Denton has decent public transit and for anything he needs that requires a car, Amy would be there and may be able to drive him.

I don’t know what Chloe’s going to do, though. She says that she wants to move back to some place in the Midwest, maybe Ohio, because she has friends there.

But I also know that Chloe is not usually the most motivated when it comes to making big changes. She wants to stay with Starbucks and she can transfer anywhere. But for now she might prefer to just go to Denton instead of Ohio. I don’t really know.

I think a big part of it is just that I’m not feeling ready for changes like these yet. Maybe if I am going to live on my own, it might be better to still be in the same area as my kids for now. Not so much because they need me but because I still need them.

It just feels too soon after J died, I guess. Having an empty nest would have been enjoyable and fun if he were still around but he’s obviously not.

I guess if I were seriously dating someone and they lived somewhere else, I might have the courage to go off on my own. But I’m not dating anyone seriously right now so that doesn’t apply.

I just feel so stuck in between so many major decisions. And I really don’t want to do any of them. I don’t really want to move but I have to because I’m losing so much money trying to stay in this house.

I just want J back so desperately. Everyone says the first year of widowhood is the hardest but honestly I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.

Just zoning out

I got all my work done today (or at least the essentials.) I still have to hang the curtains in my office and put together my tiny 3-ft tree I got this year. It’s pink! For some reason that makes me really happy.

I have lots of stuff still to do, like listing things for sale on eBay and Poshmark. But that’s surprisingly a huge time suck, so I haven’t gotten around to it yet. But I also feel a bit of time pressure because some of them might be things people want for gifts.

I’ve thought about just donating all of this since the money was already spent but a lot of this is stuff with a high resale value. And lord knows I could use the extra cash.

This week has been kind of a clusterfuck already but that’s not too unusual. Maybe it will still turn around. I think Cat and I are planning to hang out at the gayborhood this weekend, where they’re having a pub crawl in onesie pajamas. I ordinarily am very anti-pajamas in public but this could be fun.

And meanwhile, I just got stoned and the edible is starting to hit, so that’s probably a sign to wrap things up. Dyl and I are both fairly big stoners (who knew? Seriously!) It just seems like a way to really relax and shut my mind off. My sleep numbers look better too (especially once I decided to move to Oklahoma; apparently deciding where I’d go next was really weighing me down, which makes sense because I’ve been so nervous about it.)

I can’t seem to do much in this state but maybe I could experiment with doses. Maybe a lower dose of weed will relax me enough to be in a creative state without making me sleepy. I know that I seem to have really great creative ideas when I’m high, though who knows if they’re really good or not. You feel like you can solve all the world’s problems but sometimes the ideas aren’t that great.

Tentative new plans

So I decided, based mostly on Amy’s advice, to stay on disability and get J’s survivor benefits in a little over a year.

I might still move into low-income apartments in Denton near the end of the school year; we’ll have to see. A lot of that depends on what Chloe and Dyl plan to do and if they’re ready to be independent by then.

I do know that I really can’t do it any later than that, though. I am bleeding money trying to stay in this house. Even with Dyl and Chloe contributing toward rent, I’m still spending about $1000 a month more than I bring in. That means that all has to come out of the life insurance money. At that rate, it’s not going to last very long.

I told Amy that my deficit was about that much and she wasn’t surprised. As much shame as I feel about not making the life insurance money last longer, it’s just not very realistic. She told me that if I go through most of it in the next year, it would completely make sense. So why am I beating myself up so much?

She understands the costs of things and knows why I can’t keep up. She feels the dramatic increase in groceries and utilities too. That’s somewhat of a relief because I sure don’t feel like I can cut back any more than I am.

I recently turned my heat down 2 degrees and I’ll set the AC maybe 5 degrees warmer once that weather hits us again. I am actually a super huge wimp and don’t tolerate temperature extremes very well. I am too cold right now and I know I’ll be too hot when it’s AC time again. But I just can’t afford the bills to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.

Amy suggested that I buy a cheap plot of land somewhere around here and put a mobile home on it. But I did some research and found out that mobile homes get very warm when it’s AC season and high electric bills are common, even though you never feel cool enough.

So I decided to go back to my original plan from way back when: moving to Oklahoma. It fits my criteria of being an hour and a half from a big city—this one. I could even keep my same doctors at UTSW and come down to see concerts here.

What’s even better is that I can actually get a house of my own. I’ve found several that meet the criteria for down payment assistance through a USDA loan. My payments in most cases would be well below $1000 a month, which I could actually afford on my own.

My mom is trying to discourage me from buying a house, saying that the repairs would be too much to keep up with. Also somehow (??) she thinks that I should have way more of the life insurance money left.

I suppose that I could rent a place in Oklahoma for a cheaper price too. But I see it that owning a house would be a sort of insurance for when I’m older. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my health. Maybe I’ll never get worse but I can’t count on that. If I own a house, that will provide a buffer if I ever get really sick and need FT care. The stories I’ve heard about what’s available if you’re on Medicare are pretty awful.

I know Oklahoma is still conservative and it’s identical to here in terms of weather. Sure, I’d love to be somewhere more liberal. But I’m also thinking about what’s realistic on my budget.

Oklahoma has legal medical marijuana and it’s easy to get a card if you’re a resident. They also don’t have the dumbass independent power grid like we do in Texas. Property taxes are like half of what they are here.

It just seems like it makes sense to me to plan on moving there.

I’m going to pull the trigger

I’m going to take my so-called “best friend” to court to try to get my money back.

I know she has lots of ways to pretend that she doesn’t have money but in truth, she does, she just doesn’t know how to spend it.

She may think I’m “being mean” but being mean isn’t my motive. She’s trying to DARVO me and act like I did something wrong by asking for the money back.

I have lots of documentation about how much she owes me and though she said she’d pay me back, all I’ve gotten in the past 7 months is 50 bucks. She’s not even trying and isn’t communicating with me.

Even if I never see that money back, it will be worth getting a judgment against her. You simply don’t do that to a supposed “best friend.”

She obviously doesn’t fear me because she’s not making an effort to repay me or even keep in contact with me.

This does really call into question whether or not I was really getting guidance from J. I’m not sure if I was or not and that’s quite embarrassing.

But what I do know is that what she did to me was absolutely unconscionable and I’m not going to let her off scot-free. She’s gotten away with that her whole life and I think it’s important to send a very clear message that you don’t take advantage of “friends.” ESPECIALLY when they’re weak like I was after just having been widowed.

Seriously, fuck her and the horse she rode in on. I’ve made lots of excuses for her but I really don’t think she ever intended to pay me back and I’m not going to let that stand.