Therapy


“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.


Forgive me Father for I am happy. 7

terrible poker face taco bell border sauce packet mild i love you too i can't stop pooping

Updates since we last spoke…

1. I’m still trying to figure out how the new site works. I really only know two tricks – clicking to add a new post and checking the home page.  I’m pretty sure I like it but the same way you like your new neighbor that seems really nice and a little more hip than I’m comfortable with. I feel like my new site could wear hats if it wanted and totally pull it off. When I wear hats people assume I’m trying to be funny. So that’s neat. But mainly that’s intimidating. I need to bribe my Digital Manager with another wine night but not actually drink the wine myself while she explains the functions.

2. My stomach issues have not improved, but truth be told I’ve eaten an inordinate amount of Taco Bell over the last 4 days, so I don’t think I can still blame the anxiety. 

3-79… and there’s SO MUCH MORE I want to tell you, but chronology matters in all these revelations. So first thing’s first, let’s pick up where I left off last night.

I’ve had that^ intro written for the last 5 days.

FIVE FREAKIN’ DAYS.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten from my boss is that when you find yourself procrastinating like whoa on a task, you need to step back and ask yourself why are you going so far as to sabotage yourself just to avoid this task? So I had to start asking myself…

When did the idea of writing stop being something to escape to and started being something to escape from?

When did I start dreading the idea of sharing my story – I mean I say almost exclusively stupid shit, so what’s so different about this stupid shit that’s causing me to find excuse after excuse to not post?

When did being honest stop being what I was best at?

I know I told you I was anxious to post in my last post, but it’s more than just being a little psyched out. It’s dread. It’s crippling insecurity. It’s fear of vulnerability. It’s realizing that the over-the-moon happiness that I’ve been feeling for the last month could be jeopardized by trying to share it.

So it’s time to rip the band-aid off…

Romeo and I are back together. I’m moving in with him in July in a state that is yet to be determined by the Air Force powers that be, which also means I’m quitting my job and leaving my home in Houston. We’re talking about getting married and yesterday I went shopping for rings with one of my friends because he told me to figure out what I want. 

There. I said it.

I should be using all sorts of flowery language about how happy I am. I should be explaining to you all the ins and outs of how we got back together and how he cried and told me that breaking up was the worst mistake he’s ever made and begged for another chance. I should be explaining why I’m not even the slightest bit scared to move across the country to a city where I know no one but him and don’t have any leads on a job because I’ve never felt anything was so right. I should be telling you how I honestly never knew I could love or be loved like this.

But instead I’m trying to not throw up.

I’ve always cared too much what people think of me. Somewhere along the line (I’m thinking around the $8,000 mark in therapy) I learned to be okay with embracing my negative emotions, but emotions like “happy” and “in love” and “calm” give me the same feeling I used to have as a middle school student dreaming that I had showed up to school naked: even the things I’m happy with behind closed doors make me wish I could crawl under a rock when they’re on display for the whole world to see.

The thing that’s really tearing me up is that I’m not just worried what my Terrible Poker Face friends are going to think; I’m having this exact same reaction in real life as well. Every time I share what I consider to be the best news of my life, I feel my heart beating behind my eyes and wonder if anyone would notice if I put my head between my knees for just a minute. Exactly 0% of this has to do with feeling unsure or unhappy with my decisions, and 100% has to do with assuming everyone is assuming the worst.

This is some of the stuff they’ve said, <but even worse this is some of the stuff I assume they’re thinking.> You would think that I think my friends hate me from all the filling in the blank that I’m doing between what they’re actually saying.
hyperbole and a half terrible poker face assume

“Y’all were broken up not even six weeks ago and now you’re talking about marriage…” <ooooookaaaaaay… yeah, that sounds really responsible.>

“I mean you swore Not The One was the love of your life less than a year ago,” <so you’re clearly just desperate to get serious with a guy. Why don’t you slow down?>

“The last time you moved across the country for someone was for The Psycho.” <Haven’t you learned your lesson? You don’t even know each other.>

“You’re putting your career on pause for an entire year so that you can follow him to go support his pilot dreams?”  <Worst feminist ever.>

“My boyfriend and I have been together way longer and we aren’t talking about marriage yet.” <You guys are clearly unprepared for steps this big.>

“Marriage is a big deal.” <You don’t understand what you’re getting yourself into.>

“I could never do that military wife life.” <I have no idea what makes you think you could do it either considering what a hot mess you’ve been with relationships in the past.>

I know my friends love me and don’t want me to move. I know they’re scared for me, not because they don’t trust my judgement, but because bad things happen even when people do all the right things, much less when people do things that appear reckless on the surface. I know they don’t want to see me heartbroken and that they want to protect me from myself because for so long I’ve needed them to do exactly that.

I know.

To those friends – real life or blog friends – I know. Thank you. I love you and am so appreciative towards you and grateful to the universe for putting people like you in my life.

I don’t have a nice neat bow to put on the end of this.

I will still assume everyone is taking over/under bets on how long it will be before I come back to Texas. I am still fighting the gut instinct to defend Romeo and myself and our relationship when I should just say “thank you, I’m excited and nervous too.” I still feel weird sharing happiness and feel terrified sharing this happiness because it doesn’t look like the A+B=C love story that is easy to cheer for. I still feel like middle-school-me showing up to school naked every damn time I tell someone our news.

boy meets world mr feeny terrible poker faceI wish I could Boy Meets World this shit and Mr. Feeny would pull me aside, give me some great life advice, and from now on I would be strong and unphased when I get the “you’re doing what” looks. I wish I could put up a filter that would tell me when having my feelings hurt by a reaction is justified vs. when having my feelings hurt is mostly in my head.

But for now I’ll take a deep breath and trust that everything will be okay.

Okay, that’s way too zen.

For now I’ll take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine, and probably get a Cheesy Gordita Crunch (with the fire taco) for the fifth day in a row.


Terrible Poker Face 2.0 Plus a FREE Scavenger Hunt (God, I really hope you don’t think this is spam…)

This post comes with a bonus scavenger hunt question:
How many Julia Roberts references can I make in 800 words or less?

Ready. Set. GO.

 

Once upon a time there was a girl who knew only two things for certain:
1. Calling her an awful liar didn’t even begin to cover it because the reality was she didn’t see the point in lying and instead walked around like her life was an open blog.
2. If she didn’t start writing soon, she would implode because you can only tell the same stories to your friends so many times before they crowd fund a trip to Italy, India and Indonesia therapist for you.
Spoiler alert: that girl is me.

 

So here we are on the five month anniversary of Terrible Poker Face, and I have huge, FANTASTIC news for you… (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…)


“… and that’s because none of us got enough love in our childhood.” 3

As a teacher, one of my favorite genres of writing to teach was the persuasive essay.

Maybe it’s because I worked at a law firm in college and fancied myself able to keep most of those misogynistic, self-righteous bastards on their toes. If I told you how many lawyers I’ve been in “relationshits” with, you would understand my not-so-thinly veiled loathing. AND I’M NOT YOUR “SUGAR,” MR. HOLLAND!!!

Maybe it’s because nothing is more entertaining than 150 preteens writing letters to convince you that the driving age should be lowered to thirteen. “My girlfriend lives on the other side of the highway and my mom won’t let me ride my bike that far” is as good a reason as I’ve ever heard.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been known to argue with a wall when I get bored. Let’s be honest… it’s probably that.

Either way, let me dazzle you with my persuasive writing skills as I explore the logos (logical), pathos (emotional), and ethos (credibility) appeals for why you should help me shamelessly whore out the Terrible Poker Face blog. (more…)


5 Minutes

I’ve mentioned before that I work at a school. More accurately, I’m an English teacher and librarian and literacy specialist. Yes, I just named three jobs that, in and of themselves, are full time jobs, but I manage to make it work. Most days.

I say all this just to preface that today I introduced a new daily journal writing activity to my kids. I told them you have 5 minutes where you have to write the entire time. (more…)