The Things I Never Had (and may never have again)

*Note: I wrote this post over 4th July holiday. I started several posts but just couldn't get around to finishing them! But I was able to finish this one as the kids and I go off on summer holiday. Long plane rides are good for

something, plus I got upgraded to First Class!

Forgive spelling and grammar since I'm

On the iPhone. I also intended to edit this in a more logical way but decided to leave it as written – stream of consciousness.

……………………………

I'm on the beach today with my kids. We take a little vacation every year to the same small beach town. I enjoy this time immensely as I rarely see them this relaxed and focused on nothing but family time.  It was always important to me to carve out these times during the year with my family. My x didn't see it the same way. He saw the cost of vacation rather than the memory making.

As I'm sitting under the umbrella watching my boys sleep on the blankets and listening to the sound of the waves crash and children playing around me, I can't help but think of Bennett.  

This post about Bennett is going to be boring to most but I wrote it for me. 

I know I have said it before: he is my perfect man. I think that's the killer for me. I had believed (at the time of my divorce) that maybe my x was right and I was never going to find someone who gave me everything I ever wanted.   Many readers (though interestingly enough, not local friends) say my standards are much too high and I should lower them. My x claimed that no man could ever keep up with the things I expected. But Bennett did, for a long time.  In fact, he probably raised my expectations.  

Yes, some things are so small they can go unnoticed – but that's not the person I am, nor is it the person he is.  I have said several times he was my reflection.  I never met a man who kept pace with my emotion in this way.  I had truly believed it had become improbable I ever would.   Then he came along.  Such surprise and delight at finally finding the man of my dreams.  The little girls Prince Charming and knight in shining armor. It's pretty tough to put these first fantasies away once you have what you have believed in your entire life.   Dreams don't always come true. But somehow, this one did in the most unexpected form.

Words are clearly my love language with actions a close second. Bennett knew how to speak to me in a way no one ever had before.  I know I'm going to cry as I write this but I have to get it out. All the big, small, silly and mundane things that endeared him to me forever.  

He was always worried about me. Constantly. He checked in with me all day every day to see what I was doing. He knew my routine like the back of his hand.  He knew my family, friends and coworkers name. Hell, he knew which seat I preferred on the bus.  

He would do research on things we spoke about. Brands, restaurants, places, ideas or movies.  Didn't matter. If either of us discussed something the other didn't  know about, he looked into it.  He didn't rely on me to "figure" something out. He helped me or did it with or for me.  

He checked the traffic and weather for me all the time when I was traveling.   Even when I was commuting. If my day-to-day was impacted, he knew.  

He knew the time zones I was in and my agenda for the day. He knew when I was nervous about a work presentation.  He knew that every Wednesday when I had to present the the CFO I was nervous. 

He knew when I me my new CEO and what we talked about. He gave me solid advice how to manage a social trip with him, alone. Something I have never had to do before.

He knew what I drank.  He never came to my house empty handed. If a liquor store had a brand of prosecco I hadn't tried he would buy them all.    He could tell if I was going to like a new cocktail before I read the menu.  

He would cut food for me and feed me. He served me.  He would eat anything I made for him and love it. He raved about my cooking.  He grilled perfectly.   He was a perfect drinking and dining companion.  He never ran out of stories.  Dining, drinking and laughing with him became an treasured event.  

He sang to me all the time. He recorded songs for me that meant something.  When he did a gig he would always tell me what he sang for me. Since we have broken up in January he had stopped singing my songs at a gig unless we were in a good place. It required him to make an entire new set list at one point.  He started to write a song for me but it wasn't finished as far as I know.  That makes me sad that he could never finish my song.   He said that no one had ever liked to listen to him sing.  He loved to sing to me and I loved to listen. At night he would take his guitar out and play and play and play for me.  

I could listen to his voice for hours. It was the perfect combination of calm confidence enough and sexiness.   I fell in love with the sound of his voice and his stories long before anything else.  He is entirely engaging. And he can make me laugh to the core of my belly.  Constantly.  

We could talk for hours and hours. Over nothing. Over everything. There was no lack of interesting conversation.  The fact that he thought about many things in a similar manner to me was fascinating to me.  

I could depend on him to communicate with me almost every hour. Usually not less than two, no matter where he was. He was also very clear about what he was doing and when.  I never felt disconnected from him, even when he was with his family.   That changed after May 4.  The entire pace of his communication dropped.  Some of the key notes of our communication cadence changed and I feel the immensity of their absence.

He would send so many photos. Of him, his kids, where he was, something he saw.  I loved it. I always felt like I was on his mind.  He would always check my IG and comment on my photos and commentary.  He knew who always liked my photos and would joke that Finnian still was checking me out.  

He is an amazing father. Exactly the type of man I would want to father my own children. The perfect blend of stern, serious, funny and dependable. His relationships to his parents as well as his children is admirable.  His children adore him and depend on him for good advice.  They have a decent amount of fear of his poor   opinion as well, which I believe is healthy. 

He likes the same type of family things I do and wants to invest in these things. Vacations, dinners, sports, games, time alone.  Things that breed relationship.  He is always available for his family.  He never puts himself first.  

He is immensely patient and kind. He doesn't like adversity.  He has taught me to be more careful with my words and actions than even he knows.  I believe he would keep all my anxiety at bay if we were together because he is like a rock, he became my foundation.  

He can fix almost anything and was always looking to help me in my home. It would make him crazy if something broke and he wasn't there to fix it. Nothing went undone.  He would leave me sleeping in bed to go take care of something just to help me.  He would run to the store to get what I needed.  Nothing was ever a problem or complaint.  It was never too much to help.  

He held my hand so tightly I would have to remind him I wasn't a child. He would put himself in front of me if we crossed a street or if there were people barreling around me.  He navigated the way for me – I could have closed my eyes in a large city and trusted I would be safe holding his hand.  

He couldn't go a couple days without seeing me and made that abundantly clear to me.  He told me I was the air he breathed. That living without  my kisses is like living without oxygen.  He always asked when he would see me next.  He would come to work and just drop off flowers if I couldn't meet him.  He would hand write the cards on the flowers with a special lyric between us.  When we are together we do not part, we are always touching and constantly kissing.  We are definitely the couple you gag over or realize they are amazingly in love.  That feeling of new love desperation has disappeared for him, he doesn't demonstrate that urgent desire since May 4. That saddens me so deeply.

More than once someone (a waiter or a cab driver etc) has commented how clear it was that my man was deeply in love with me.  It was  overwhelmingly obvious.  

He always paid. Without question. He didn't care how much we spent or where we went. He liked BBQ wings and beer as much as a Michelin star restaurant.  He could dress up or down without hesitation.  He always got an uber.  He knew if I was wearing heels there wasn't going to be too much walking involved.  I never asked.  He loved my heels.  I loved to dress for him.  

When he got us a hotel room in the city he always made sure I had a large bottle of water next to the bed and a bottle of prosecco on ice.  

He looked at a menu and saw things I would like and asked me about them. We shared food often. 

He always opened my doors and car doors for me. Every, single time. I always walked first into a restaurant or to a table. He always deferred politely – unless he was walking with me in the city in which case he always took control!

He knew exactly how to please me in  bed and went to great lengths to ensure I was pleased, multiple times, every time. He asked me about it. He wanted to make sure I was happy and sated.  He liked to play with toys – on both of us.  He liked new positions.  He could have sex 10 times in a row and never grew tired or soft.  He held me closely while we slept. He often would just watch me fall to sleep first before he would allow himself to sleep.  He loved my body just the way it is and told me so every single time.  There was nothing he didn't love about our sex.  He had no issue going down on me after sex.  His body, while not perfect, was perfect for me.  I know I did the same for him, nothing is off limits for me in bed when I enjoy a partner.  I was constantly pleasing him and wanting him to feel like a man.   We loved how we fit together so well.  

When I told him how sexy I thought his muscles were after some time working out, he worked harder to make himself even more appealing to me. He loved how turned on I would get by the change in his upper body. His strength was a massive turn on. He had gotten so strong towards the end that he had no issue moving me around easily during sex. 

When I suggested he try a different type of clothing to suit his shape better, he did. He now wears a very different type of fit head to toe and knows how much better he looks.  Even his underwear is all new.  His coworkers comment constantly now. 

He always bought me my favorite cologne and lotion so I never ran low. 

He would help me with work issues. He is so smart and so professional that I could depend on his advice to be bang-on.  He is the best kind of boss at work – totally reliable and easy going, but knows how to get what he wants.  He is highly valued in his role.  He loves his job but still has ambition.  His work ethic is impressive.  And just as importantly, he told me I was good for him And he could talk to me about his work.  I knew his projects, his coworkers and bosses and his history.  I enjoyed hearing what he was doing each day.  I admired his dedication and tenacity. 

He called me every morning for coffee chat and nearly every night before bed.   Not a day went by without good mornings and good nights.  He would always ask what I ate for every meal or what I was wearing.  

He enjoys his life and doesn't let money stand in the way. He believes in supporting his kids education.  He isn't a huge spender on the same things I like and he teases me about my "bougie " side but he also embraces it all the same.  That's the perfect balance for me – I just need someone to appreciate that I do like finer things in life and it doesn't make me high-maintainence.  

He told me he loved me so often and in so many ways. The way he would Look at me when we made love and sometimes cry out in desperation how deeply he loved me touched me like nothing else ever has. 

He loves his family, his parents and his life. He has created a great life and worked hard to achieve it. People admire him.  He is surrounded by many friends.  I find all of that immensely attractive.  

He noticed everything I did for him. I am a natural born pleaser and like to make sure my partner is happy and comfortable. I always made him his favorite drink, had whatever treats he liked, left him a clean towel and a bottle of water next to the bed.  I could make his coffee perfectly.  He knew exactly what my long-ass coffee order at Starbucks was.  He knew it took me forever to finish my coffee as well.  He paid attention to everything. Every detail.  

He is hands down the best kisser in my life. I could kiss him for hours and never tire.  His kisses could ignite a passion within me like no other.  I was able to achieve multiple types of orgasm with him because I was so confident and comfortable and because he took the time to pay close attention to every minute move of my body.  Our physical connection is undeniable. I cannot believe this man ever had sexual dysfunction.  

No part of my body has gone unnoticed.  I didn't know how much I loved my toes being sucked.  

I could sleep in the crook of his arm all night and not even move. He claims he worries I don't breathe because I am so peaceful. 

When I see him I am immediately calm.  He has an effect on me that creates a peace deep within me.  

If I cry and he sings I can calm immediately.

I don't love facial hair but I love his. I can run my hands across his cheek for hours and never tire of how soft it feels to me.  

He is an amazing provider.  His family has nothing to want for or to worry about. He doesn't complain when his children ask for something.  His wife spends as she pleases.  He manages everything. The finances, college, the entire house.  He cooks and cleans and does laundry.   He is equally as responsible for his children as his wife.   Both parents are equally invested in raising good kids.  

Somehow he understand me. He understands complexities I can't seem to see.  There are things about him I can see right through and I can call him on it.  We get each other.  We inspire each other.  We give each other a reason to get through a day- because the one we love is at the end of it.  

Bennett hits every single requirement on my "list" plus some I didn't even know I had.  I still find that unusual. What are the chances?  

Maybe that's why they call it soulmates or twin flames.  

He wasn't afraid to cry with me or tell me his deepest fears.  Maybe he had trouble communicating when he was most angry, sad or distressed but I was always able to pull him from the turtle shell he hid in. 

He apologized when he was wrong. 

He was thoughtful.   Kind. Generous. Intelligent.  In his own way his handsomeness grew on me.  Especially when he smiles.  

He loved the smell of me.  He understood it's uniqueness.  

We discussed many, many times how we both never had this type of relationship.  That bit was something we always wanted, always dreamed of.  To be able to give yourself entirely to a partner and get it back in spades.  To have the type of reprocity most can only dream of.   Getting everything you ever wanted without even having to ask for it. 

I never doubted the depth of his love for me until May 4th.  Now I do…and now many of the words are gone even though some actions remained.   This makes be believe that Bennett is the type of person whose words carry equal weight – he doesn't use them now because he has realized they held too much promise and I built a delusional future on those words and inherent promises.  

I miss the words and the connection.   I miss that depth of longing.  Holy fuck I miss him from before May 4.  

I know I can see him and have sex with him should I choose to.  I know he does love me.  But what built the bond between us is gone now and that's the pain for me.   It's frightening to me to realize he can't be mine in any way.   I work hard to convince myself every moment that I don't want what he can give me.  It will only hurt me More to be missing what I once had.  

Many people believe words don't carry the same power as action.  Maybe. In his case there was a combination of both that pulled me in deeply.   

It's hard for me to understand how he would be able to stop saying those things.  I don't know how to turn off my emotion so I don't know how anyone does it.  But stop it had. I suppose it's what's drove me to my final breakdown.  But I realize it doesn't matter what I say or do – he needs to be able to feel those things in his heart to behave that way.  And he knows he can't continue.  

I am trying every day to tell myself I can't continue either and it's so hard for me. Every day I do a little more emotional purging

But I am far from successful. I still text with him most days. We don't see each other as much which also limits any sexual interaction.

He's been very depressed as of late with both his children leaving for college, his younger son in particular. I've never experienced a man cry so often and he admits it's unlike him.

I don't know what I feel to be honest. The mistaken phone call was a big riff between us as expected. I have chosen not to focus on what remains between us partly because I am very afraid I will lose control again and partly because I cannot afford any distraction from work. I'm not in a healthy place, I know it, and I'm not actively taking care of my emotional health by continuing with him.

I know we can never go back but there are glimpses of the times before May. I realize it often makes me more sad than happy after the fact (during I'm just fine).

Checking In

I'm alive and well.

The good news is that I'm so busy and physically exhausted I don't have time or energy to write.

Here's a high level catch-up:

Work is off the charts crazy. A great kind of nuts but nuts all the same. I was worrying a lot about the changes but have chosen to focus on the path ahead. I don't have control over what comes next, but I do have control over how I show up. I have people supporting me and guiding me for the first time ever, so I don't feel like I'm left out to hang (as I have felt in previous roles). It will be one hell of a ride. Companies that are failing, really and truly failing, and trying to turn back to profitability, can be equal parts of frustration and excitement.

I went through a first date craze. Something like 7 dates in 7 days. I had higher hopes for two of them, but none of them warranted a second date. I started to write the post and never finished. There are some funny stories to be told and at least one crazy sex one. It's been a while since sexy M came out to play with a virtual stranger.

Bennett is still around. I'm still crying. Nothing has changed or is changing. Well, maybe he is changing. There have been lovely and sincere moments between us. I miss having sex with him but I realize I'm not ready emotionally to have it with anyone else. I also realize that anything I do now is my own poor choice so there's no sense in complaining in what he doesn't give me. So I generally realize the pattern will be: he doesn't come through with something I want, I realize I do all the asking, I get frustrated, angry then sad, and I cry good and hard for a bit. Then it passes until the next incident. I need to get in front of asking him for anything because it's just a set up for failure. He won't give me anything. Now he really does have his cake and eats it too. The whole phone call thing fell off the radar entirely (from the wife, not so much him).

I was due to have two weeks of vacation coming up but I booked only one due to work. My kids are not happy it's a beach vacation. Whose kids are these?

So that's it. I'm working super hard. I'm hanging onto Bennett for no good reason other than to not let my anxiety get the better of me. Life goes on.

Trixie Gets Hysterical

I have done something very bad, and if I were hearing this story from me I wouldn’t believe it either.

I admit, last week I had reached an emotional breaking point regarding Bennett.  I hadn’t spoken to him in a while and the last we spoke, we argued over nothing….or better put, I argued with him over nothing and got myself very wound up.

Much too wound up.  Enough to make myself sick for days.

I had been battling a stomach bug, but getting entirely panicked and anxious only exacerbated my symptoms.  By Wednesday night I was vomiting anything that I put in my body.  If I wasn’t vomiting, I had diarrhea.  Sometimes, I had both at once.  It was not pretty.

I made the mistake of letting my misery take control.  I called Bennett in the middle of the night.

On a landline, at his lake home, while he was with his brother.

There was some logic here, as irrational as it may have been.  I figured he was staying the night, I know there is no cell service, and his brother knows all about me.  I thought he would be mildly upset.

I was way, way wrong.

Not only was his brother with him, but so was his niece and nephew.  The problem with this was that by the time I called him, I was full on hysterical and there was no calming me down.  I should have taken two ambien and knocked myself into sleep, it would have been the right decision.   But I didn’t make a good decision. I was sobbing like a maniac.  I had no pride and no self-control.

The conversation turned ugly.  Every time he tried to calm me down I felt like I was being chastised.  Or, I felt like he was more worried about getting me off the phone because his niece and nephew would wonder wtf was going on in the middle of the night.  Nothing helped and I could only continue to sob.  Until he told me to “calm down and shut the fuck up.”

That did stop me in my tracks.  I have never, ever heard him with any tone of voice directed at me.  I had clearly pushed him beyond his ability to control himself.

I hung up the phone and instantly regretted it.  We got off the phone around 12:30, by 12:42 I called the number over and over thinking he would have to answer.  I tried his face time.  I pressed the buttons on my phone in a frenzy.

Until I pressed the wrong one.

Months ago, Bennett and I were having a conversation about his wife getting phone calls and text from numbers he didn’t know.  We spent some time digging on line to discover who the calls were from.   During that time, I said “let me check your wife’e number.”  He  gave it to me and I saved it.  (Point to note: Bennett claims this never happened and I somehow got his wife’s number another way).

I saved her number because I clearly had ill intent….what other reason could there be.  There is none, it must be why I saved it.  I saved it under his number and not a separate entry.  His name houses 6 different phone numbers.  Hers was the last one and it simply said “other.”  In m y hysteria, as I was pressing his number over and over, I must have pressed hers.  I didn’t realize I pressed it because the name on the phone contact is his.

When the phone was answered, it was pitch dark (on my end too) and I thought it was him so I said “oh can you talk now?”  When a woman’s voice replied that I had the wrong number, I replied “No, I most certainly do not have the wrong number (I could see his name on my phone screen – I know I didn’t dial the wrong number!) and then I said “please put your Uncle on!”  I think she said, “you have the wrong number because my Uncle isn’t here with me” and hung up on me.

Thinking it was his niece with his phone and now being mad on top of hysterical, I dialed back.  This time I think she asked me who I was looking for and I believe I said “Bennett” and she said “he’s not here”  (things start to get fuzzy now because I  believe I started to realize I was speaking to his wife and not his niece).  I replied “yes, he is, he is in xxxx, city!” and when she asked who I was I replied “his girlfriend.”  At which point she said something like this is his wife and hung up.

I passed out on my back deck from disbelief and exhaustion.  Sometime later I woke up and made it into my house and into bed.

At 7:30 am a phone call from “No Called ID” came through.  I suppose I knew in the back of my mind that it was her, and not him, but I convinced myself it was him calling from the lake house.    As soon as I said hello she hung up.

I received a text from him some minutes later “M – you called Callie?”

There were a few more calls that day from unidentified numbers, which I didn’t answer.  He asked me not to speak to her should she call.  I separated out her phone number and blocked it.  Some other numbers came through and I gave them to him and it turns out she asked her children to also call the number, believing it was a foolish prank, and I blocked them as well.  My voice mail is a generic greeting.

He had a long drive home from the lake house and spoke to me for a couple hours.  He was strangely calm and seemed much more worried about how upset I was.

I was sick through Thursday and and Friday, still vomiting, but I think more from the virus than the anxiety at this point.

Saturday I left to the city to spend with a good friend and Bennett and I only had generic text Saturday and Sunday.

He told me Sunday night he was in a very bad way and worried about losing his job in the morning.  When he said he was horribly distraught, I assumed he meant his job, but it wasn’t.  He had started to believe I was intentionally malicious and was getting himself sick over the situation he had placed himself and his family in.

I spoke to him Monday morning after he spoke to his boss, to find out there would be lay-offs, but his role was not at risk.  He called me soon after and the conversation started out with blame, and believing I had been intentional in the phone call.  I understand why he wouldn’t believe me.  If it was me hearing this story, I don’t think I would believe me.

And then,  seemingly out of nowhere, he utterly broke down.  I listened.  I have never heard a man break down like this, it was horrible.  I didn’t know what to do except to listen.  Now I think I understand what he was experiencing with me when I was sobbing to him on Wednesday.

It stopped me in my tracks.

I think between the stress of our break-up, my phone call and his worry over his job he just had a nervous break.  He told me he had been sobbing like this all weekend.  He is a wreck.

I know at one point when I was mad that I told him I wish he hurt like I hurt – then he would finally understand me.  I know now, beyond a shadow of doubt, that he does hurt like I do, maybe worse because he is potentially harming his family.  I’m sorry I uttered those words aloud.

I’m sorry I don’t have the patience to control myself and my mouth when I have something on my mind.  I haven’t fully grasped how to control my emotional outbursts.  I haven’t learned that once said things cannot be unsaid and you need to roll things around on your tongue and taste them before spitting them out.  I haven’t learned.

And I am so disappointed in myself.

I am disappointed that I broke the man I love.  If I really loved him, would I have pushed him to this point?  What kind of person am I?

Why did I save her number all that time ago?  To cause intentional harm?

If I really loved him, why would I allow us both to stay in this horrible situation?

I am so upset with myself for allowing all of this to happen.  Mostly for hurting him.  I never want to hear that pain in his voice again.

When he was crying, all he could really say was that he never wanted to hurt me, that he let all of it get out of hand and go on too long, and that he was so very, very wrong for doing what he’s been doing to a woman who, despite being a poor partner and wife, doesn’t deserve what he’s done to her.  He was ashamed that she may find out this way that he has been cheating on her.  As I just typed this I realize that was the emotion coming across to me: shame.  He was horrified at the man he had become and just realized who he really was, and not who he pretended to be.

It was horrid to listen to his realization.

As I write this last line I know things are over for good, he needs to be away from me to repair what he can, as best he can.  He deserves that from me.

And I have to find the ability to control myself so I don’t end up harming myself again and end up in the hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the Universe Speaks

I certainly wrote at a breaking point yesterday.  I left work a bit early (well, 6pm seems to be early these days) after hiding my crying for most of the day….cried the entire way home…then cried myself into a fitful sleep by 9pm.

I woke with an anxious tummy and a migraine and needed to stay home from work.

I debated with myself to call Bennett.  I walked through every possible combination of conversation I could think of but they all kept coming back to the same thing.  No matter what I say or do, he will say he loves me, and equally say he is not ready to leave his marriage.  I literally tried to convince myself of multiple outcomes and possibilities and analyze any potential weakness I think I might have glimpsed, but there were none.  His decision is made and this now sounds like no more than begging.   Besides that, my crazy is starting to show and it’s really not something I want people to be acutely aware of (even when it is funny).

It must be bad when I can’t even convince myself there is a reason to speak to him.

All I wanted to do was call him, the desperation was like a bitter taste in my mouth that  couldn’t rid myself of.  I kept trying to swallow it and I couldn’t.  I reached for the phone….and it rang in my hand.

Fortunately, it was my closest friend who also works with me.  Generally speaking she is quite tough on me (even tougher than Ann can be if you can believe it!) but I know they both doit because they care about me and want me to make out of the fugue state I am so good at keeping myself in.

Boo gave me an amazing pep talk.  She walked me through the anxiety, which isn’t fully related to him but also the massive amount of stress I am experiencing at work (and some divorce related issues for another post).   She lived through the agonizing end of Bobby in person and was sincere when she said she never wants to see any human, especially her friend, go through such pain ever again.  She just talked to me. Called me out on all the craziness that I am in a relationship.  Called me on the desperation and the anxious attachment.  Called me on my lack of pride.  She is the toughest friend I know, but she was so gentle with me, which reminds me why I love her so (because that toughness is an exterior).  She walked me through my recent success and the admiration and respect people hold for me in my current role.  And reminded how hard I worked to get to where I am – why would I ever allow a man to have such control over me?

Why do I?

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?  Why do I take so much pride in my ability to be a good leader and a good mother and lose that pride in relationship?

Boo decided we should call the delusional part of me that hangs on past expiration dates “Trixie.”  Trixie seems to be a separate entity that can derail me from logical choices and maintains the illusion there is still hope to be had.   Trixie doesn’t exist in my professional life, or with my children.  She only appears in serious relationships.

It’s silly, I know.  But the conversation pulled me back into reality, the migraine meds started to work and I was no longer feeling such sincere desperation to reach out to him right now.

Right after we hung up the phone, I checked my in box on POF.  There was a nice message from an electrician (ha! see I do speak to blue collar men under 6′!) who asked me about the story of changing jobs last summer…..which brought back a flood of memories for how grateful I felt last year.  Sure, Bennett was a large part of the reason I felt so good last summer, but it was the icing on an already amazing cake.  I was divorced May 12, lost my job May 13 and spent a lovely summer with my children.  Then I found the job of my dreams and was working by end September.  I had a summer full of fun, travel, sex and friends and found true love (maybe even a soul mate or twin flame).  It was an amazing time in my life.

The feeling of gratitude swelled up in my throat instead of the bitter taste of desperation and I remembered to be thankful.

I want to know why we, all too often,  forget about those great things and worry about the present trials and tribulations – my brain need to be wired to remember those things first so I can stop giving Bennett attention and energy he doesn’t deserve.

As Boo said – he is not worth me affecting my physical or emotional health of my career.  I must get him out of my head and allowing him to control me.

Lucky for me the universe helped me by inserting a friends phone call in place of a desperate call to Bennet and then reminded me what’s truly important in this life and where I should be focused.

One more step in the right direction.

Realizing It’s Truly Over

It’s finally dawning on me that it’s really and truly over with Bennett.  I think you all know me well enough to know how I hold on to things (especially things not good for me) for well past their expiration date.

I can hear it in his voice when I’ve spoken to him.  There used to be this quiet desperation when he was apart from me – it’s no longer there.  I think once he made the decision to remain married, he also realized he could say goodbye to me.  Ferns was right, he couldn’t look his wife in the eye and destroy her life (or his) when it all came down to it.  As much as I would like to understand this, I just don’t.

I know I can’t quite understand it because it’s not how I would do things and I thought he was so much like me.  I have said he was my mirror, but now I’ve learned he can’t be, if he is able to walk away from me.  I know I have an anxious attachment to people and he demonstrated that.  I know I get desperate in a relationship to maintain that relationship and he showed me that too.  Finding someone so much like me seemed to be unusual.  Almost improbable.  Then, there he was: a boy version of M.  It’s no wonder we clicked so quickly on an emotional level and built that over the past year.

I realize, in my head, I somehow believed that he still believed we could be together.  That he just needed the time to get his kids off to college.  I would argue with myself that I could: a/ wait through this period, or b/ see how I feel about him if he were ever to come back.  My mistake in both of these thoughts is having hope.  Hope that he believed in us the same way I believed in us.

He must not.

I know Ann has said to me many times that Bennett must believe in the lies he was telling.  I know he believed right up until he told his wife on April 30th, I am sure of it.  My mistake is believing his lies, perhaps even more than he did.  Gosh, I invested heavily.  Knowing he is such a good match for me is an awful thing to have to let go of.  I am not worried I can’t find love again, but to find the whole package is probably a slim-to-zip chance.  I knew all along there was heartbreak in this relationship but allowed myself to believe, really believe in him.    I wish I could be angry, really hurt and angry, but I am not getting there.

My stress at work is a bit overwhelming and I feel like I am hanging on by a thread, so having all this emotional disability isn’t helping.  I took a break today to write so I could remover it from my head and focus.  But now I am sitting here a crying mess.  I do understand that I am not addressing this loss the way I should be….I keep pushing it down….I keep feeling hope.  The fact that I know I could go back to him at any time for whatever he can give me is harder than I thought.  It’s probably easier just to hear someone say “no more, I don’t want you” than it is to hear “I love you but I won’t change my situation.”

I know every day is one foot in front of the other, but today it seems impossible.

I Think I am Obsessed with Teeth

Recently I have noticed a new hyper-focus of mine, and I certainly don’t need to add anything to my list of dating requirements, but I have found myself taking stock of people’s teeth.

Maybe it’s because I wanted to be a dentist, or perhaps because my birth father and sister are both dentists, but when people have ugly teeth I get fixated.  And I can’t seem to get past it!

If a guy seems to have wonky teeth in a photo, I get turned off and don’t swipe right.

When I meet someone and I notice their teeth when they are talking, I seem to get distracted by their teeth instead of what the person is saying.  A few girls who work for me have some sincere teeth issues.  They are attractive enough girls,but the moment they open their mouth I think “why haven’t you done something about that?”

I realize not everyone can afford good dental care and there are lots of people who don’t want to go to a dentist because they are afraid of the pain.  My brother has always been afraid, but I also don’t think he really brushes his teeth much and with the cigarette smoking he has the grossest looking teeth around.

Bennett could use some teeth whitening but otherwise his teeth are in good health and straight.

Dan has terrible teeth too and when he’s talking, I get turned off.  We were out to dinner Monday and as he was laughing I got a highly visible shot of just how crooked his teeth are and it really put me off. It actually impacted my level of attraction to him.

I swear I must be the most particular person around, but this is driving me nuts.  It’s bad enough I want them to be 6′ etc etc but now I need perfect teeth as well?

One guy, on Bumble,  claiming to be a dentist,  had the worst teeth in a photo I’ve seen.  I took a screen shot and sent to my sister and we are convinced he couldn’t have a very healthy practice because if you saw your dentists teeth be less than perfect you  should be questioning his ability to care for yours!

Anyway…random thought for the day.  God help me and all my limitations!

 

Broken Heart 

I realize my depression spiral is most likely related to Bennett. Everyone handles life circumstances differently. It seems the only two things that have ever pulled me deeply into depression are death and heartbreak.  I clearly do not know how to manage myself when it comes to romantic relationship.

Letting go of something not meant for me seems to be my ultimate struggle.  I am almost fully decisive in most areas of my life, except for this.

The pain of losing Bennett is different from the pain of losing Bobby.  It’s much deeper and more serious.   It worries me more.  I know I can’t allow myself to let go of my thin tether to reality this time and I think it’s what’s taking me longer to let go of him at all. The truth is, I still believe he is a perfect partner for me. I believe we would have an insanely blessed life together in every respect.  I need to get myself to firmly believe it’s never going to happen.

I think about the possibility of staying with him while I get on with the rest of my life.  I know that would be nice for a while before I end up mad and upset that I’m not his priority.   I don’t think he’s comfortable living two lives now that he has fully acknowledged there’s a real problem at home.   The times I speak to him, he sounds more confused than before.  Since he made the decision to stay married, I can feel how hard it is to hold back with me. Ultimately that makes me uncomfortable because it’s not how he acted the year prior. Even if all the things he said to me were wrong, it’s how the relationship was built and how I understood him. With those things missing, it no longer has the security it once did.

We have been talking and I have started seeing him again.  I know if I choose to stay here, I basically have to shut my mouth and not complain.  I don’t think I can do that – so why am I torturing myself?  I can sense when I do challenger him (with time mostly) that he pulls back and gets tense since he knows there is nothing he will do to change the situation.

My only answer is that the pain of being without him is worse than him not being in my life romantically.  I do realize that is lame, but I seem to be unable to extricate myself from this situation.

When I said I didn’t feel safe here anymore it’s because it’s the ONLY place I was safely able to lay out my crazy thoughts without backlash.  I know I am doing the wrong thing, yet I am not stopping.  Everyone is tough love on me, which is lovely in and of itself, but not when I’m confused and need help clearing out the muck. Is the only way ahead to simply shut every thought and feeling about Bennett out of my head and heart?  If it is, I am not yet able to do so.   I have gotten to the place where I am crying more than anything else. My temper is short. I’m distracted. And sad. Terribly sad. What is so wrong with me that, since post-marriage, I have chosen men who have been entirely unavailable to me?

I don’t have time for therapy. I don’t have time for exercise. My priority is my job and kids for the year ahead. I am working hard to establish my foundation in my new role. For me that means full dedication at the expense of other things.  I am, at least, starting to monitor my weight and making some progress in that area.

I spend my free time doing as much as I am able to take my mind off of him, yet I am obsessed over not losing him entirely.  Maybe I don’t know how to lose?

Whatever it is, I know it’s not healthy for me and my patterns are not changing enough.  I don’t know how people stay in affairs for years, but if that’s what I am setting myself up for – how do I even manage that?  How do those people not argue and simply accept the circumstances for what they are?   I always seem to need more and more and more.

Maybe I just need a lobotomy.

 

When Drunk Text Goes South

I have had my share of drunk texting that I am not proud of.  Generally speaking, my drunk text go to current boyfriends and definitely not men I have yet to meet or even date.  But this man felt it was appropriate to cross a few lines with me before he even met me, we were due to meet next Sunday due to a hectic week on my end.

John seemed quite nice, met many of my initial criteria and lived close by.  I wasn’t especially certain about his looks, but he was very charming in text and we had easy conversation.   We planned to speak this weekend by phone but his commitments over ran with mine and we just postponed for another day.

He was at a golf outing on Saturday and spending the day with his buddies on Sunday.

At one point during the day he made a comment about his hereditary, noting he was half Irish and half Italian – and that he looked Irish but the parts I couldn’t’ see were all Italian and he didn’t have the Irish curse.  I sent an “lol, that’s good to know!” and brushed it off.

He then asked if I was Jewish or not, and I replied that I was not.  Religion isn’t relevant for me,  but I understand it may be for some, so I didn’t think about it.

Then we were chatting about our kids randomly and how boys can be unkempt, but the conversation took the strangest turn:

 

Of course, John would have no idea how a weight comment would turn me off so completely.  It’s a full-on issue for me.  I have struggled with weight all my life, and only in the last few years have I gained an appreciation for my feminine shape and curves and realize that men will appreciate it or not.  My body, while it may be too big for some (including me) shouldn’t’ have a number that distinguishes it from a beautiful body or not.

I probably shouldn’t have replied.  I did, in fact, go to sleep when I said goodnight the second time.  I was just going to delete him but felt a response was in order.

How would you have handled him?

Date 7: The Date That Never Was 

Llyod and I matched about two weeks ago and started and easy conversation. Kids similar ages and divorced around the same amount of time. 

Our text banter was flirtatious and light.  We exchanged additional photos and agreed to a phone call. 

He hit all of my initial dating criteria but there was something about him that I couldn’t put my finger on.   There wasn’t anything specific, just a little nudge I felt inside. 

I should probably realize by now that the nudge is the first signal my gut gives to me to say “he’s not right.”

Our phone call proceeded much the same way the text had, easy and natural banter, light conversation.  We agreed to a date a week later due to scheduling and one more phone conversation in between. 

The days leading up to the next phone conversation had just enough engagement. I think we were both in a good place. He let me know when he had a long drive in front of him and I have him a time I thought I could call. 

But it didn’t work out that way. My commute home was endless and then my kids hadn’t eaten any dinner.  By the time I was done taking care of them I needed to shower and wash my hair. I was exhausted and fell to sleep early.  I had entirely forgotten to call Lloyd. 

As soon as I woke up the next morning I sent an apology text and asked if we could reschedule the call. I explained what happened and was truly sorry.  

Crickets. 

For the entire day. Finally, that evening I received a cursory reply which said “you have my number and know where to reach me”

A bit of back and forth over the next day revealed to me that he seemed upset with me.  There was no ulterior motive, I’m not juggling multiple men and text, and I just forgot. 

It took him some time to come around and I admit to doing a little cajoling.  We agreed to speak a day later and still meet the following week.  I realized I didn’t like how I felt trying to get him over being upset over a missed call. It was sort of ridiculous. 

Of course the time I am due to call him next, I am held up. I text and keep in touch with no reply and call about 3 hours later than I expected. The conversation was fine, as were all the ones preceding it.  We chose our date and time to meet the following week and he asked me to chose a place close to my work.  I said I had flexibility for either of two nights that week and he said he appreciated the offer but we settled on a Tuesday. 

On Monday he text and said his schedule changed and would I mind switching to Wednesday. I agreed and as it turns out, had to leave work abruptly on Tuesday for an emergency at home. I text him to let him know how it all worked out for the better that we moved our date and also sent him the name and address of the restaurant.  

Attending to my emergency at home and then falling dead to sleep from exhaustion, I didn’t realize he hadn’t text me back until the next morning. 

Then, not a word all day Wednesday. 

I didn’t chase or solicit. I deleted his name and number by the end of the day, removed him from the dating app. 

I have no idea what happened but I get the strong impression it was a spiteful move on his part. Maybe that’s what I sensed – a sort of immaturity and defensiveness.  

Doesn’t matter, no skin off my back. 

Whose Shoulder Do You Cry On?

For those of you who don’t suffer from depression or anxiety, I know it’s hard to understand what the downward spiral feels like.  How, no matter what you do, you get sucked into a vortex that feels like lead weights pulling you under water.  Try as you may, there is no escaping it because it has such a firm grasp on you.

Its something like addiction….you can’t stop no matter how badly you tell yourself you want to.  The quicksand of despair calls.

I’ve lived with anxiety and depression for about 10 years or so now.  I know it started after my 3rd child was born and around the time my mother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  I think it must have been around 2007 give or take.  The first incident started with Mono earlier in that year, then I recuperated but never really lost the overall feeling of lethargy.  I am almost always in a constant cycle of being tired.

The only two times that I truly hit rock bottom were when my mother died in 2011 and when Bobby ended it in 2014.   There have been other times that I have had periods of despair, but I’m generally able to work my way through them and out of them.

I have done my best to avoid allowing myself to fall deep into a pit of despair over Bennett and I have mostly done an ok job.  My job and my network of friends have kept me generally tethered to reality.

But, recently, I have the overwhelming feeling of dread and I know this feeling and it’s path all too well.  Tears are always at hand.   They don’t need a specific incident to start.  I am cranky and get upset very easily.    Nothing truly makes me happy and I am very, very distracted.    Being distracted doesn’t bode well for me at work.

I want to lie in my bed all day.  I have a constant feeling in my chest that almost feels like I am about to vomit.  I can take Xanax to calm myself but it dulls me and makes me a bit spacey.  I try and save that for when I really feel panic setting in.

I sit here and worry constantly.  I worry if I am good enough.  Worry why I can’t seem to find a man that wants to stick around.  Worry why my children behave like they do.  Worry I will have a job tomorrow.   Worry if I can pay for college. Worry about nothing.  Worry if I am ugly, fat or stupid.  Worry about everything.

I also used to feel like my blog was a safer place than it is today.

Now, I feel that because I made the mistake of Bennett, no matter what I post about him will receive negative feedback, which is quite hard to hear when I am so desperately in love with this man.  I understand the difference between right and wrong, but clearly something is broken within me.  I would like to write more about how I feel about Bennett – but the advice is canned and I’m not in the mood to hear the same chatter “break it off, move on, he’s still sleeping with his wife” even if it’s all true.  Doesn’t matter, I’m not yet done processing it.

People will say – get help – go back to the therapist.  But that costs money and time I don’t have at the moment.  I can’t even seem to find the time to exercise. I’ve gained so much weight that my clothes no longer fit and I can see the change in photos.  Nothing like being fat to add to depression.

And here’s where people who are more emotionally stable don’t understand – I can’t make it a priority when all I want to do is sleep and dream and some days, not wake up.   I don’t mean die or kill myself – just disappear into myself for a while.

This is where I know I need help, someone to help me, because I cannot seem to do this on my own.  I want someone to coax me out of this, hold my hand, be near when I can’t stand up to help me along.  You can only depend on friends for so long when you don’t have a partner.

Who do you cry to?  Who holds you when you just need to sob and let it all out?  Who helps pick you up off the floor and put you back together?  Maybe you will say you can do this for yourself -well, good for you.  I can’t and being alone for so many years must be reaching its breaking point in me.

I’m slowly cracking, I can feel it and I am having a tough time keeping it together to do what I must.  Days like this the depression has me convinced I cannot keep on at it.

Days like this make me want to run back to Bennett (and, yes, I already reached out to him) just so I can physically feel love again.  Even when I know there is nothing there for me, I want to do what I know will ultimately hurt me.