So, I am not feeling particularly bad about divorcing my ex-husband right now. In fact, we belong to the same Buddhist community and he introduced to this form of Buddhism. Our community is divided across the city into smaller groups or Districts. I am now and have been the Women’s District leader for the group he had practiced with since moving here about 8 years ago. Upon the divorce, he made the choice (thank the powers that be) to move to another District because I sure was not going to give up my group because of him, although I did try for other reasons. But, I was shot down. So, at any rate, for the past month or so, I have been in and out of a fairly intense mixed episode. I cry at the drop of a pin, I am manic as all hell with the motivation of a seriously depressed person. It’s cool. Fucking rocks (pardon my French)……the problem is I still have to do shit.
Actually, sitting here listening to Pearl Jam’s “Ten”, the song “Alive” is playing. Always one of my favorites, ever since it was a new song (yes, I am an aging Gen-Xer, and was around to see the very beginning of alternative rock and Grunge.I am getting old…er). Anyway, this particular lyric has always gotten to me, probably because I have been Bipolar for 20+ years and did not know it. At any rate, here’s the lyric: “…..Is there something wrong, she said. Well, of course there is. You’re still alive, she said. Oh, and do I deserve to be? Is that the question? And, if so….if so… who answers…who answers….” (Pearl Jam, Ten “Alive”) For some reason, this lyric has always touched a nerve. Maybe because I don’t feel worthy of life, worthy of happiness (my marriage certainly validated that feeling), worthy of a happy life. Somewhere along the path of my growing up, I decided that psychological torture (both by self and by others) seemed to define the “norm” of my life. This is how confusion has been reached. Confusion is not a state I find my self in often. At least not about emotions. I just choose to not have them if I can possibly avoid them.
However, confusion and complete discombobulation is where I find my self. I do not like it. I do not enjoy this. I choose not to feel for a reason. Feeling has caused me nothing but pain over my lifetime. I do not hold much hope for the same reason. Every time I have dared to hope, it has gone dramatically and catastrophically awry. I seem to find my self in a position where I am actually feeling bad that I divorced my ex. Neither of us put much into marriage counseling (it, I believe was too far gone by then), and as a consequence we paid co-payments for psychologists that couldn’t help by that point. Initially, I thought, he was falling asleep on the couch because he was staying up too late, and then, it gradually dawned. He didn’t want to sleep in the same bed as me. I have these questions that goes around and around and around in my mind: was it his porn addiction or my having Manic Depression that caused the rift? Was it a combination of both? Was it my reaction to what he saw as normal and healthy? He blamed the whole thing on me, always telling me that I was all talk and no action (I had actually been thinking of divorce for a year or so).
Then, the “deal-breaker” fight happened and he threatened me with bodily harm. Lethal bodily harm. I have PTSD. I have an intense fight or flight mechanism; it depends on the situation which one steps up. I also have a fairly “distinctive” career as a substance abuser (see post: “Self-Medication” in the archives). When he said that I was lucky there were no lethal weapons in the house, he was clearly thinking about guns. Idiot. I felt this really scary calm come over me. I have only felt it a few times, and it always involved a threat to me of some sort. I just looked at him, and found him pathetic. I, mean, how dare he threaten my life? As if I was going to let him hurt me? So, I looked at him much like you look at a specimen of algae in Biology class. He had become a non-entity; something to be disposed of. I looked around the room from my position on the sofa, and I could clearly see at least 10 lethal objects not to mention the knives in the kitchen. I asked very calmly what did he mean there were no lethal weapons in the house, that I could see about 10 from where I sat. He was clearly out of his element. I had been a fairly violent child, and it got even worse as my substance use led me further and further down a very dangerous path littered with human land mines. I told him the conversation was over, and I was going to bed. It was 2:00 am. I spent an hour trying to fall asleep, and in that hour decided that I was leaving. He really fucked up when he threatened me because a vital part of my self shut down, and part of that part was my love for him.
Which gets me to where I am now. Confused. And emotional. I feel bad for divorcing him because I know he thought I would put up with his shit forever. No, sorry, even my self esteem has a point at which I say no more. I mean, he clearly was hiding from me. He would spend all day locked away with his computer and his porn. Didn’t leave much room for me. So, I filed the first of the paperwork 4 days before my birthday and one month after our anniversary. I have always had a great sense of timing. I think what is bothering me now is that I just don’t feel that bad about it. In my eyes, I was protecting my self from further damage. I isolate the word “self” for a reason. It was the “self” that was being attacked and damaged. I have spent far too much time in therapy, in the hospital, getting medically “stable” to watch it all go down in flames. Maybe that makes me a cold person, but I do not think so. It makes me a survivor, and it makes me someone who wants a life. I feel bad for him, but, at the same time, I do not feel anything. That’s new; I have never just not felt anything. Maybe its because it is the Holidays, and I feel so much that it feels like numbness.