Drinking


Are You Crazy When You’re Right? 1

 

Most of you know the one side of the breakup: David/Romeo cheated. I know about 8 women, but other women are like roaches: for every 1 you see, there are 20 in the walls. I know that there’s more, but I don’t care to find out the details. I have alluded to The Dark Days and tried to make clear that I am far from blameless in our demise, but I have been too scared and ashamed and just generally clueless about how to talk about those things in great detail. In this version, I am a hero or a damsel or both. This was the story the world told me after my viral post. I was “admirably vulnerable” and “savage AF” and “standing up for all women” and did what others “wished” they had had the “courage” to do.

On the flip side, I’m prone to rewriting history to be the villain or martyr or both as well. The upside to taking all of the blame for what went wrong in a relationship (“Because I ____ that’s the only reason he _____ , so really this is all my fault.”) is that you don’t have to remember to wash your hair or shower or return phone calls because the ensuing depression is debilitating and trying to function is out of the question. This is the story I’ve been dancing with for the last 8 months. Since I found out about the other women in May, I have found every way possible to blame myself.

If I took all of the blame, that was infinitely easier for me to process and fix:

I am broken. I broke us. I need help. I will get help. I’ll go get help right now, actually- babe, you just stay right where you are. Now that I’m better, we can get better. Now we are better. Look! Everyone see how much better we are!

…Right?

But here’s the thing: both versions are true but neither are complete.

Back when I taught English, I would tell my students all the time that fairy tale hero and damsels and villains and martyrs don’t exist past kindergarten. In the really engaging stories- just as in really facinating people- there are hero that are deeply flawed, damsels that don’t want rescuing, villains that have emotional baggage giving them every reason to be even more twisted than they already are, and martyrs that are absolute monsters. Sometimes the main character can be all four at once. It’s not just complicated, it’s complex. But it’s closer to complete.

And so the other day when I was perfectly calm and telling David/Romeo that I had now made no less than 20 attempts to come to an amicable and fair resolution with our business, and he was backing us both into a corner that could only result in a nasty courtroom drama, he told me he wasn’t going to talk to me unless I calmed down.

“I’m calm,” I replied earnestly.

I was calm. I wouldn’t say I was even irritated, just explaining the facts.

And then it all hit me like wave made of rocks and garbage and all of a sudden I wasn’t calm at all anymore. I put down the phone and ended the conversation as it all started to be complicated and complex but more complete.

Let me back up…

I threw a glass.

One night shortly after I had moved in, Romeo and I had entire too much to drink at one of his work parties, we came back to the house and found ourselves discussing politics. If you read my previous post, you’re already aware of what a total asshole I am capable of being when it comes to politics. He’s just as big of a stubborn, inflammatory asshole but in my opinion he is even more insufferable because… well because he’s wrong, but also because he thinks he needed to convert me to Team Red, when I had long ago given up the idea of converting him to Team Blue and just wanted him to at least try to see my side of the conversation. But I digress.

We started fighting about politics, I started crying because that’s what drunk girls do when they “can’t even” but also what normal girls do when they’re still hormonally flooded from their new IUD and emotionally exhausted because in the past two weeks they have left everyone and everything they know- no matter how happy they are about that decision. And as I’m trying to explain this to David/Romeo, he starts in on me.

“Oh boo hoo, it’s so sad,” he said in a mocking cry voice. “It must be so hard to come move into a big, beautiful home. Fuck you are so crazy and ungrateful- you said you wanted to move here. Move back to Houston- I don’t give a shit. It’s better than listening to you bitch about it all the time (ahem- less than two weeks). Byyyyyye,” he nastily intoned as he pulled the covers over his head and told me to “drive the fuck home then.”

I threw a glass that shattered at the wall over his head. Good choices suffer when your primal brain is on overdrive screaming “WHO THE FUCK EVEN IS THIS GUY????”

He saw the most raw, terrified, wild-animal-scratching-and-hissing-in-the-corner version of me. He saw it over and over during The Dark Days.

 

Eventually that’s all he ever saw. Signs of emotion were treated as an attack. Any hint of humanity was accused of being crazy. Valid concerns were treated as verbal abuse. Even at my best and brightest, he would find ways to make me feel like I was never enough and always too much.

And the entire time, the question remained “who the fuck even is this guy?”

I would watch him lie to his own mother or best friend or boss so casually that it gave me goosebumps.

I saw him calculate people and calculate money and always choose money over people and the ease of those decisions would consistently leave me speechless.

Honestly I can list more things that I even feel comfortable with right now because I’m not trying to run his name through the mud, I am just trying to reconcile what’s complicated and complex and complete.

When my beloved Dr. Jekyll showed glimmers of Mr. Hyde behind his eyes, I would lose it. I would scream and say things that make my heart hurt to think about now and generally act like a crazy bitch. I would be overwhelmed with what can only be described as genuine terror and it always reared it’s ugly head while scratching and hissing like a wild animal unsure of what her captor is keeping her around for. If he could dispose of all of these other relationships and use all of these other people as stepping stones and emotional scratching posts without a second’s though, nothing was stopping him from doing the same to me.

So I’m left with this one haunting question…

Are you crazy when you’re right?

 


Eat, Pray, Fabio 2

When I was 6 years old, I ran away from home. I decided that the pressures of my impending 1st grade year were going to just be too much on top of being a big sister, and really I just had had enough of the tyrannical rule of my parents. No, I will not eat my peas, and I’ll show you who’s running the show around here, Mom– if that’s even your real name. 

I decided that I wasn’t going to be rash about this process, so I began to pack the essentials and prepare for life on the road:

  • Copies of Eloise, Madeline, and Rosie Runs Away… check
  • Extra wind shorts, tie dye t-shirt, and scrunchie… check
  • A handful of change from the laundry room coin jar… check
  • A box of Saltine crackers… A sleeve of Saltine crackers… after much debate with my mother who told me I couldn’t leave her house with her food, I managed to finally convince her that my blood would be on her hands if she left me alone to my personal skills to acquire food, so we settled on one sleeve and a few packets of mustard… check

When I was 6 years old, I was infinitely more prepared to run away from home than I am now at 31 when I have run away to Italy. My friend Nicole offered me a place to stay with her for two weeks, and without putting much though into it, I booked a ticket and 8 days later hopped on a flight.

  • Preparing international phone plan… oops
  • Researching basic Italian phrases… oops
  • Deciding where in Italy I wanted to visit… oops
  • Packing a bag large enough to fit everything I wanted to bring… oops
  • Arranging transportation to and from the airport… oops
  • Remembering to tell my mom I was leaving the country… oops
  • Getting the address of where I would be staying in Lucca… oops
  • Sexy black dress, new lacy bra and panty set, and heels for our weekend to Rome… check. Priorities, y’all.

So here I am now, after 36 hours of travel that included three hours of shameless crying while reading Love, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton on my first flight, two crying fits in the Madrid airport that were mostly due to exhaustion but also because I couldn’t stop seeing Romeo everywhere, and one missed bus stop that resulted in a full evening of repeatedly traversing a busy road with two weeks worth of luggage by myself while trying to find WiFi so I could connect with Nicole and get directions to her place. All of which are full stories unto themselves but will have to wait until another time.

Italy has always been at the very top of my Travel Bucket List and for the last 2.5ish years, Romeo had deposited money in a “Travel Fund” as my birthday/ Christmas/ anniversary/ Valentines present and would put money in there with the promise that as soon as we had enough, he would take me to Europe for my very first time. When we broke up and Nicole extended this incredibly generous offer, it felt like God placing a first step for healing in my hands and reminding me that our lives don’t stop when we are heartbroken; our lives usually begin in these moments if we let them.

Plus if it was good enough for Elizabeth Gilbert, it’s for sure good enough for me.

And I’m not going to lie. There was a little bit of a “I’ll be damned if I wait one more day for a man to follow through on a promise for anything and I’m taking my happy ass to do exactly what I want to do. Men? We don’t need no stinkin’ men.”

But then Nicole told me about Fabio, the painfully sexy man who works at the meat market downstairs from her loft and speaks just enough English to say things like “you’re too beautiful for a heart that is broke” and “here is more wine, my love” and “this dress make me crazy.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

I’ve still got my broken heart chastity belt on, but maybe the bra burning man hating side of me that was simmering below the surface can give it a rest now. After all, it’s a new bra with matching panties and that would be just an absolute waste.

Ciao for now.


“The Truth Will Set You Free…” 4

gloria-3

Let me start by saying this: this is my 7th draft that I have started tonight.

The first 6 were abandoned because they didn’t feel real, or honest or just … enough. They offered a very inadequate, some what glib look at a snapshot of my last few days/weeks/months and all felt as inauthentic as bad botox- in order to keep the peace and be polite everyone will pretend they didn’t notice, but get real Monica Geller- your eyebrows didn’t move after season 7. Nobody is fooling anyone.

So here I am. Promising to tell the truth, when the truth is ugly, and complicated, and not necessarily the same truth that anyone else has or even the same truth that I’ll have tomorrow. I’m still not even sure I know what the “truth” of this whole mess is, because I’ve spent the better part of two and a half years subconsciously doing everything in my power to protect myself from the truth.

At some point, the truth became my biggest fear and my mortal enemy. 

Tonight I’m refusing to let myself hide from the truth any longer. Pour yourself a glass of wine, light up a smoke, or just hunker down, because the truth is too real to be pretty.

The truth is that I loved a man that was sleeping with what I discovered to be no less than 8 other women over the course of our relationship.

The truth meant that I loved him with all of my heart and no matter what anyone says and no matter how it looks, I know he loved me with all of his.

The truth is that his love is dark and twisted and selfish and broken and slowly destroyed me.

The truth is sometimes I look back at all the awful things I said and did, and the heinous bitch I was to him during The Dark Days, and I think I deserve everything I got and more.

The truth is there are no less than a thousand moments that I look back on as pivotal chances to be more calm, gracious, beautiful, quiet, supportive, loving that would have saved us from ourselves.

The truth is there’s no use in praying and pleading to change the past.

The truth is I’m not sure anything could have saved us from ourselves.

The truth is the same day that he told me that he wanted only me, he slept with someone else- not even 24 hours passed.

The truth is I never for a second doubted his faithfulness.

The truth is after I found out about the first 6 girls all at once, I told him I would forgive him of anything but he had to come clean- had to tell me all of them and he swore on his dead father’s life that I knew about all of them.

The truth is there was one more.

The truth is when I asked him why I didn’t just tell me about her then, he told me he “forgot.”

The truth is that after I found out the first time, I told him I wanted access to our shared phone account and he wouldn’t give it to me.

The truth is that after he refused, deep down I knew it was still happening but did everything in my power to keep that voice medicated and meditated so that it wouldn’t wake up.

The truth lead me to drive my little beat up Corolla like the mother fucking bat mobile to San Antonio in the middle of the night because something in my soul woke up for a brief moment and told me that I couldn’t lie to myself about what I saw with my own eyes and that I had to, GODDAMNIT I HAD TO LOOK HIM IN THE EYES SO HE KNEW I KNEW.

The truth is I prayed the entire 3 hour drive there not that I would come home to him alone, but that I would come home to them in our bed so that I could finally set us both free.

The truth is he tried to lie even after he was caught- even after I saw him leaving the hotel room that was under her name, he tried to deny it for a solid week.

The truth is that I wrote that infamous Facebook post because I knew I would forgive him; it was the insurance policy I took out against myself to make sure I didn’t go back once I calmed down.

The truth is I sometimes wish I never wrote it so that I could back to being his favorite, if not his only.

The truth was I didn’t want to walk away, and sometimes I wish I had never found out.

The truth is sometimes I hate myself for wishing that.

I’ll throw my hat into the ring at an attempt at funny or witty again another time. But the truth is today, I have emotional vertigo; I don’t know which way is up or down or back or forward. I don’t trust my own instincts anymore and my truth morphs and changes and in the same second can go from damning to freeing to damning again. People keep giving me advice and comfort but it’s like when you’re so drunk at a party that you can hear your friends all talking about and around you while your head hangs in the toilet, and you kind of wish they would leave you alone to slowly die in peace, but you’re also so thankful they’re there because you’re literally not sure you would survive without them, even if they do keep trying to stick their fingers down your throat when you just want to sleep. Yes, I know I’ll feel better tomorrow if I get it all up now, but also I’m not sure I’m ready.

*Pours self another glass of wine.*

Goodnight.


When My Worlds Collide 2

Once upon a time, I was in a sorority. The greatest nugget of wisdom I gleaned from my time in a sorority is to never smell a shot before you take it. The second greatest nugget of wisdom is that when you are introducing two people who have never met before, always share with them something they have in common. For example:

Katie, this is Ryan. Katie is from Florida, and Ryan, didn’t your brother just move to Florida?

Daniel, meet Lindsey. Did you know she also is played tennis in college?

Erin, this is Taylor. My boyfriend cheated on me with both of you. (Still a little bitter. Whatever.)

So here I am now, with my worlds colliding in a good way, trying to figure out how to best introduce the readers of Terrible Poker Face to Whitney Holt, and the friends of Whitney Holt to Terrible Poker Face:

Readers, this is friends. You both like to read raw, unfiltered, occasionally witty commentary about the adventures and misadventures of Whitney.

Friends, this is Terrible Poker Face and its readership. It’s just like the Facebook posts you’ve grown to know and love, except that until now it’s been anonymous so that I could embrace my DGAF nature and let it all hang out. 

For those of you who know me in real life (or in Facebook life), SURPRISE!!!! All those times you told me I should start a blog? Well… umm… I did…. I just didn’t tell you about it. Check out the Little Black Book if any part of you wonders why I might be tempted to not shout this from the rooftops.

When I started this two years ago, I thought my DGAF was as low as it got. Turns out, posting about your boyfriend‘s infidelity in a very public, very vulnerable, very “only God can judge me” sort of way, is actually an even lower level of fucks given, which rendered the entire idea of anonymity for this blog to be rather useless. It’s time I start shamelessly whoring myself out to the blogosphere so that someone, somewhere will decide that they will pay me monies to write full time, and I can just stop pretending that I was ever meant for consistent, real life, public consumption.

So for those of you that aren’t new to me but are new to Terrible Poker Face, make yourself at home. I suggest you pour yourself a glass of wine, go watch an episode of The Mindy Project, pour yourself another glass of wine, maybe let the dog out while you let it all sink in, and then only after you have your wine coat on, start exploring my backlog of posts. I’d like for you to think of it like a two drink minimum sort of situation up in here.

And for those of you that aren’t new to TPF but are new to Whitney Holt, I’d say I’d like to properly introduce myself, but you know probably more about the ridiculous and salacious and dark and twisty and intimate details of my life than 97% of my acquaintances. I guess the only thing that’s been missing is putting a name to the man behind the curtain.

For anyone wondering what you can expect moving forward, well, I process my life through writing. Always have, probably always will. Right now I’m still reeling pretty hard from this shit show of a breakup, so it’s a given that the emotional post mortem will make the greatest hits list. I’m also about to move cities (to where? great question), change jobs for the 5th time this year (to what? great question), and reenter the dating world (why? because I’m a hopeless romantic and apparent masochist great question), so I can promise you’ll get to be a part of that inevitable roller coaster as well.

But for right now, I’m going to binge some Netflix, cuddle with some wine and pretzels, and enjoy getting to sleep like a starfish alone in this bed.

… Good night, y’all.


And on Wednesdays We Roofie our Book Club. 3

Last night, I hosted my very first book club. We read “The Girl on The Train” by Paula Hawkins, and I printed out discussion guides with color coded questions. I made caprese salad and Brussels sprouts and this delicious pasta I found on Pinterest that I only slightly over seasoned, and we all had matching dishes and wine glasses. I had a cheese tray on this cool slate and labeled it with chalk: “Artisan White Cheddar” and “Cabernet Gouda.”

Seriously, y’all, this was grown up as shit. (more…)


SURPRISE! I’m not dead. 2

Rejected titles for this post include:

  • My Brain Called in Sick This Week
  • Nobody Uses Homophones Correctly All of the Times
  • Is This Real Life?

Y’all. Reality is by far stranger than fiction. Life is so crazy weird and good and just weird right now that I can’t even write about it yet. I need a few more wine nights with the girls to even be able to find the words for my current reality because I’m pretty sure if someone put a gun to my head to right write a normal post write today I would churn something out alarmingly akin to this. (more…)


Romeo Part 1: Timing is Everything 7

Update 9/10/16: I realize that those of you that are just now joining the Terrible Poker Face story, you know Romeo/David and I for my Facebook post that went viral. I meant every word I wrote in that post. I also meant every word that I wrote in these next four posts. Even though I was living a lie, I had no idea. I did love him with all my heart and believed him when he said he loved me too. 

If you’ve been reading this blog for a hot minute, you know that Romeo is the man I was dating when I first started this blog. He was the someone special from my first post; he was the man that made me realize what everyone was talking about when they talked about finding their person; he was the man who broke my heart into a million little pieces.

(more…)


The Evolution of My Spring Breaks and Wet T-Shirt Contests 5

Rejected titles for this post include:

  • This is Thirty
  • Stay Home Moms and Vodka Chuggers Deserve More Respect
  • Where is Sex and The City: Season 7 When You Need It?

For Spring Break my senior year of college, thirty or so friends of mine and I went on a six day booze cruise through the Caribbean. It was full of the typical Spring Break fanfare – smuggling alcohol onto the ship, excessive amounts hot tub make-outs, drinking mystery booze from a man with a whistle, half naked dancing on beaches, and I’m pretty sure I made out with someone in order to get shots at what I later found out was an open bar beach party.

I’m nothing if not classy. (more…)


Why are you confusing me with somebody who makes good decisions? 7

The internet loves lists. Personally, I think English teachers everywhere should be crucified for not teaching the masses of our generation how to organize thoughts in coherent paragraphs that flow lucidly and logically without a numerical value being the only connection from one thought to the next. Maybe that’s just me.

Yes, yes, I know I’ve been guilty of my own list post, but I’m usually very vocal about my stance that list writing is the lowest form of writing and should be reserved for grocery shopping and keeping tracking of your sexual partners… or… ummm… er… I mean I totally know all my sexual partners off the top of my head. Just grocery shopping. That’s what I meant.

Whatever. (more…)


I’m pretty sure I deserve a hug and a slap from Stevie Nicks. 13

If you already don’t like me, this post certainly isn’t going to help.

Then again, if you don’t like me you probably don’t know about or don’t care about my blog, so really this post is only going to make people who already like me a little like me less, and make those who like me a lot reconsider.

The thing is, I really like to feel sorry for myself. (more…)