“I move away from the crowded room. That sea of shallow faces masked in warm regret.”   Leave a comment

Missed another week. I’ve gotta get on the ball with this. So last week both sucked and was lovely simultaneously (because, life). When I last wrote I was mentioning that I was going to see my sister and new niece and wasn’t jazzed because I had to fly…well, apparently I jinxed myself pretty badly by even talking about it because I freaked the hell out, had a bunch of panic attacks, and couldn’t go. I have no desire to rehash the whole thing, but luckily my sister, my brother in law, and my mom were really nice about it and very supportive (helps to have others in your family who suffer from varying degrees of mental illness!). It sucked that I didn’t get to go see them, but my plane ticket was super cheap so I didn’t lose much money at least. The upside of it though was that Payton was absolutely wonderful and supportive. He really took care of me and made sure I wasn’t too hard on myself. We spent the weekend in together just hanging out and enjoying each other so I’ll take my lemonade.

The only other thing that kinda sucked this week was that I went to see a show at the community theatre where I did my last performance. Several of the folks involved in that show were in the current one so I went to be supportive. This is a big thing we’ve always done when I’ve done theatre in NJ and NY so I thought it would be a nice thing for me to do. There’s a certain etiquette around doing community theatre that I probably can’t adequately explain, but it definitely involves being gracious, making small talk, and being appreciative. I dragged Payton with me, even though he wasn’t entirely feeling it, and the show was…well…not great. Partly because it wasn’t to my taste in terms of humor and genre, but also because it wasn’t great. I let Payton go home at intermission because he was struggling through it and there was no reason to force him to stay and be miserable. I also wanted to stay around afterwards and say hi to my former cast members (part of the all-important etiquette). So I stood and waited and waited and waited…several other cast members came out but not all of them. It was starting to get awkward, when I finally saw one (of the like five people I know) and it was just awful. She didn’t even try to make small talk — barely even recognized me it seemed (the show we did together was less than four months ago!). Then the next one came out and she was equally weird. So, rather than wait around for the others, I just got the hell out of there without really saying good-bye to anyone.

And then I just felt awful, upset, and homesick for my northern theatre people. Maybe I’m getting old and set in my ways, but there are norms for this. Maybe not down here. But, where I’m from, you make your damn small talk about the show and the experience, you thank someone profusely for coming (even if you don’t care if they did), and you graciously accept their compliments (sincere or not). And, most importantly, you get your ass out to the lobby in an acceptable period of time. It’s not other people’s obligation to sit around forever while you preciously change. Either come out in costume or you put on your street clothes as quickly as possible. That’s just polite. I don’t know…maybe this is wrapped up in my whole not being able to make friends thing, but sometimes I just feel like I’m missing something socially down here, which is weird to me because I’m really good at that sort of thing normally. Part of it is, I think, that I’m starting to feel my age in some ways and I really need to find friends that are my age or older. I’m like a stranger in a strange land recently and I don’t love it.

39-40/52

(Today’s quote…”Lost” by Sarah McLachlan)

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“I’d rather take a seat down there than a throne up here up above 30,000 feet”   Leave a comment

I am a bad blogger and I missed last week. In my defense, I had to be on campus six days, which included a day-long workshop on Saturday that I led. Needless to say, writing was not my first priority. I did not get to deal with stuff with Payton right after I wrote the last time as intended. We did, however, end up having a good conversation last Saturday night and hammering out a bunch of the things I wanted to deal with. The timing turned out to be much better so I’m glad I waited and that we were both in a good, productive place to discuss it. Aside from work, I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing other than reading (I’ve decided to comfort reread a bunch of my favorite books this year, especially as all of my physical books are now in our library and easily accessible in ways they haven’t been in years) and getting dorkily excited about the fact that I bought an exercise bike so that I can attempt to stop feeling tired and awful and hating the way I look. I’m staying very realistic and not pushing myself too hard to go from zero to exercise queen. So far, I’m starting with about 20 minutes on low resistance as many days as I can (every day, if possible, but not strictly) just so I can get into the habit. Then I’ll attempt to make it tougher on myself.

I’m leaving on Friday to visit my sister and my new niece, which I would be much more excited about if it didn’t involve flying. I’ve probably mentioned it on the blog before, but I really do not like flying. It sucks especially because I used to not have any problems with it at all and it’s almost harder remembering that it was so enjoyable at one time and now it’s just terror-inducing. Also, my doctor’s office sucks and I could only get them to prescribe me a mild anti-anxiety medication (also, only two pills, one for the way there and one for the way back so I can’t even try it out to see how it makes me feel — how generous). [That is, if I can get it…I’m currently fighting with them and the pharmacy because the doctor who prescribed seems to not normally work in the office where I saw her and everyone’s confused. I told the doctor’s office I will be at their door when they open tomorrow morning if it’s not taken care of — don’t fuck with an anxious person.] I’ve taken stuff to get through flights before and it definitely helps but there doesn’t seem to be anything that makes it significantly less horrible. I genuinely wish we had a way to make ourselves completely unconscious and then easily woken. That would be amazing. Luckily it’s a short flight and it looks like weather won’t be a factor, but regardless, it still sucks to live through. And I’ll have to fly two more times this year, if not more, for my NY professional organization because I can’t drive up every time I have to attend something. Having a phobia is awful and anyone who doesn’t have one just cannot grasp it.

37-38/52

(Today’s quote…”Airplane” by Indigo Girls)

“And I am feeling so small. It was over my head. I know nothing at all.”   Leave a comment

Oof, it’s been a long, weird week. I was out of town (sort of, just in Atlanta, so not super far) for work. It was a meh conference. I’m super, totally over my job, my field, education in general. I’m just like, what else can I do with my life because clearly this is not it. I was looking at people doing presentations and they just seemed so happy to be there and so excited about their work and I am just not. So, yeah, that issue just hasn’t gone away and it’s only exacerbated by being away apparently.

Things on the home front are not exactly great either. Despite being away all week, I’m just still increasingly feeling discontent and weird and paranoid about our relationship. I was pissed off even before I left. I was planning to leave Tuesday afternoon and wouldn’t be back until Saturday afternoon. Normally, Payton works his second job Tuesday nights, so I was hoping we’d have Monday night to hang out together. We’ve been oddly (or maybe not oddly) very physically disconnected and haven’t had sex since New Year’s Eve. The weekend was a wash for various reasons so I thought, ok, Monday night then. Sunday, he comes home from work and tells me his normal night has been switched and he’s working Monday instead. So, yeah, I was pissed off…not even so much for the sex thing, but for the fact that he shouldn’t have agreed to switch nights knowing I was going away for a week. It was annoying, but I guess not the end of the world.

The week went pretty fine…we chatted a bit here and there; he was being sweet, sending me cute gifs and saying he missed me. But, then on Friday, on our doorbell camera, I saw some woman I didn’t know coming into our house. The only reason I didn’t completely freak out and like call the police is because I recognized that she was using Payton’s keys. I immediately texted him and was like who are you letting into our house? He said oh my friend, she’s picking something up for me. And then he got annoyed and defensive that I was annoyed that he gave some rando keys to our house. I tried to be understanding, but honestly I was super pissed.

Then, I get home on Saturday and something was off in the house. Everything was weirdly tidy and stuff was put away that wasn’t put away before I left and stuff was cleaner (some other things, too, but I won’t bore you with details). I was going to ask him what’s up when he got home from work, but as soon as he does, he’s like, oh I don’t have time to talk because I have to work my second job tonight. Another thing he didn’t tell me and sprung on me last minute. I was just livid. And again, I wanted to confront him last night, but he’d worked literally all day and I could tell he was tired and cranky and I knew it would go very badly if I tried to bring it up. He’s working again today, so I’m waiting for him to get home so I can try to figure out what’s going on.

The thing is, I’m not mad that he let his friend into our house or that he had people over while I was gone — I’m mad that he didn’t say anything to me about it. Not to like ask my permission per se, but to have the courtesy to let me know that people will be in my house. It’s my house too and I’m not super comfortable with people I don’t know being there (because, of course, I barely know any of his friends, which is a red flag that’s always been a part of our relationship). I would never ask people over without letting him know. It’s rude. Also, it’s indicative of this bigger problem of him just not telling me stuff and then me figuring it out and having to confront him. Like, just be honest with me! By not telling me things, it makes me more suspicious and more likely to feel like he’s doing shady things behind my back. And I don’t know how to make that clear. It makes me feel like I’m his mom that he has to keep things from because I’m going to ground him or something. It’s just annoying.

36/52

(Today’s quote…”Say Something” by A Great Big World)

“Like something that seeks its level, I wanna go to the devil!”   Leave a comment

Boy howdy, I’m having a shitty, cranky, depressed week.

I’m not even entirely sure why, I just like hate everything and everyone right now. I have zero motivation at work, despite having more than plenty to do. I’m on the verge of a toddler temper tantrum at least once an hour. Payton was trying his damnedest to be so sweet and loving to me last night and I was barely tolerating him. I’m just so out of sorts for some reason!

And, not helpfully at all, feeling like this has me being all kinds of dramatic. I’m like totally overthinking everything, feeling all kinds of inappropriate ways, annoyed at every little thing, imagining doing lots of not ok and out of character stuff. I don’t know what’s up with my brain. It’s like I’m bored and blah and have nothing exciting to look forward to so I’m manufacturing imagined drama in my head. The problem with that is, I’ve been known to sometimes not let the drama live in my brain and instead to let it turn into behavior. And I ride the edge of being simultaneously scared of that and excited by it.

Example…I’m going away to a conference next week for four days. It’s close by, but far enough to stay in a hotel. Some folks I know in various professional capacities will be there and this will likely lead to at least a night or two out having drinks. When I drink, I’m a straight up stereotypical dude in that all I can think about is sex. Like, all. If you’ve followed along here at all, you’ll know a couple of facts about this: 1) That’s always been a problem for me and 2) I didn’t have sex until I was really old and I got together with Payton about a year after I did start having sex. There’s a part of me that regrets that I never got the time/opportunity to really explore that part of myself (though of course, obvious caveat, I love Payton, etc, etc). And so now, when I drink (which is honestly not much at all), I become very, very tempted to be awful and to give in to my thoughts that he’s probably cheated and so why shouldn’t I. It’s terrible. Even typing it feels terrible. But, also…not terrible?? I mean, hopefully this will pass and it won’t even be an issue, but there’s always the worry that maybe it won’t. And because I can’t not think about, I play out possibilities and consequences to the end. Needless to say, I’m in a bit of a spiral. (Also, possibly arrogant, in thinking that even if I wanted to have sex with someone else while I’m away that it would be a realistic thing.)

So, yeah, welcome inside my brain this week. I think maybe it’s making me more sympathetic to the fact that Payton feels he needs to continuously engage with other people. There’s a fantasy factor that you no longer get when you’re in a long-term relationship that’s fun and exciting and makes you feel like maybe life isn’t going to just beĀ like this forever. Maybe those people are right when they say that humans aren’t really made to be monogamous. But it just seems so emotionally messy not to be. Especially if half the fun of cheating is the sneaking around, not just the sex (which I suspect is a big part of its appeal). It’s never encouraging to realize things as cliche as seven year itches and mid-life crises might actually be real.

35/52

(Today’s quote…”I Wanna Be Evil” by Eartha Kitt)

“Is it enough to have some love small enough to slip inside the cracks. The pieces don’t fit together so good with all the breaking and all the gluing back.”   Leave a comment

I feel like this writing is getting harder and harder every week. I so desperately want to have something interesting to say and I so clearly do not.

It’s been a somewhat tough week. Getting back to work after a long break has been near to impossible and on Wednesday I just said fuck it and took a mental health day. It doesn’t help that my boss has been sick and out herself and so I can’t move anything forward. This compounds my exasperation with my job because I should be able to move anything forward that I like because I’m perfectly capable of doing this work without someone hovering over my shoulder. Payton basically told me the other night that I need to stop being a wuss and make a move if I want to. I wish it was that easy. I really do. Part of the problem is that I’m not consistently, 100% unhappy. I have days where I very much enjoy what I’m doing and the place I work so I don’t always have the motivation to bolt. The commute is becoming tough and starting to take a toll on me physically. Aside from all the weight I’ve gained, I just feel tired all of the time and that’s been making it harder to be motivated to get out and do things and meet people. I had tickets to a concert on Friday night (that I bought three months ago!) and I had serious thoughts of not going because I was enjoying a book and really didn’t want to interact with other humans. Luckily, I kicked myself in the ass and went (and was glad for it!) but I definitely considered not going for far longer than I should have.

I got to Facetime with my sister and new niece earlier in the week and that was lovely. I’ve been having some good talks with my sister, though I feel bad that she’s struggling through some emotional post-partum stuff, which I’m sure is normal but feels huge to her. I made plans to visit at the beginning of February, which should be fun (and tough because, you know, my dad).

Something else kinda big happened with Payton this week, but I’m not ready to really process it or talk about it here yet. It’s sort of related to what’s been going on lately, but not exactly. Suffice it to say, it might mean a big change for us — the outcome of which is a crapshoot. It could be amazing or it could be a nightmare. When I can figure out how to discuss it here (especially with the appropriate level of privacy/anonymity), I will.

34/52

(Today’s quote…”Astronaut” by Amanda Palmer)

Posted January 13, 2019 by aviewfrommybridge in Daily Life

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and the daughters of Life’s longing for itself.”   Leave a comment

As of this morning, I’m an aunt!! It’s very exciting and I’m very happy for my sister and brother-in-law. I’m having lots of feelings and am contemplating going to visit far sooner than I expected, but not sure yet. Just…lots of feelings.

After all of the drama of the past couple weeks, the last one was pretty quiet. We had a very chill New Year’s (we rarely do anything) and I went back to work on Wednesday (still a ghost town). Payton took a second job back on so we didn’t see much of each other, but he’s been especially sweet and attentive. Not sure if that’s because he knows I think something’s going on or what. But I’m not going to question it because it’s nice. I’m just feeling kinda blah and lonely. I’ve said it a hundred times on here, but I’ve got to make some friends. Especially with Payton working more, I’m going a little stir crazy on my own. I like being alone — probably more than most people — but, I need some social interaction! I’m thinking of starting a book club maybe. I’m back on a non-fiction kick right now. Even though I read a ton, I basically only read romance or non-fiction. The one time I’ve been in a book club it at least encouraged me to read other stuff, some of which I liked and some of which I didn’t, but at least it was different. I can’t seem to make myself do that on my own.

I’ve also been doing a lot of work for my other “jobs” — I consult for a non-profit and I’m the conference co-chair for the organization on which I sit on the Board of Directors. The consulting gig is coming to an end because, even though the money is nice, it’s a ton of work and the people who run the organization are not always the easiest to work with. I believe in the mission and everything, but I commute three hours a day and don’t particularly feel like spending tons of my weekend time crunching numbers. As I mentioned in another post, much of my ambition has gone by the wayside of late and so I’m not especially inspired to do tons of mental work on my off time.

I did the conference last year as well and I naively thought that it would be a lot easier this year with the experience under my belt. To a certain extent, it’s true, but for some reason, everything seems to be taking twice as long to accomplish this year as it did last year. So while I’m ahead, I feel behind. It’s weird. I love my co-chair and we’re having a good time planning, but after a lot of the mistakes and breakdowns of last year, I think that I’m way more cautious and less inclined to think things are going well even when they objectively are.

That’s all the updates. Sorry for the snoozefest.

33/52

(Today’s quote…”On Children” by Sweet Honey in the Rock)

“Suspicion torments my heart. Suspicion keeps us apart.”   Leave a comment

Definitely missed last week. For some good and not so good reasons. I should have written earlier in the week — it was relatively benign. But, then Wednesday rolled around and from then until now, things have been…honestly, I don’t even know how they’ve been. That’s how confused I am. Let’s start from the beginning….

Ok, so last Wednesday Payton had off work (fine, normal). This wouldn’t be remarkable at all except for what I saw on our video doorbell (we got one a few weeks ago since we’ve been having trouble with package thieves and also because I’ve become an anxious, paranoid panda of late). I say sincerely that I wasn’t specifically looking for anything on the video, but I get an alert every time there’s motion detected. Since it’s still pretty new, I’m in the habit of looking at every video (I’m sure I’ll get over that). But, there were two motions relatively quickly in succession in the middle of the afternoon, so I took a look at them. I saw the second one first, which was someone delivering take out. No big deal — if he was off work and wanted Chinese food, that’s fine. But then I looked at the one before it and it was Payton, in his bathrobe, peeping his head out the door and then saying to someone “I thought it was the food” and a female voice responding something I couldn’t understand. Now obviously he knows we have this video doorbell so it’s not like I was spying or anything. But, I kinda lost it. I’m not proud to admit it, but I of course jumped to all of the worst conclusions. I was alone at work (a few days before Christmas break, it’s always a ghost town), so I decided to leave and, I don’t know, catch him? Confront him? I’m not sure what I was thinking. Especially because I work an hour and a half from our home so it’s not like there could be any immediacy to my actions.

On my way home, I called my mom because I needed some advice. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. As I’ve alluded to before, this isn’t the first time I’ve suspected that there’s something going on and our relationship does not historically bear out the fact that this was an impossibility. I say that also saying that I have zero concrete proof of past infidelities. Just a lot of suspicious things that I think would lead most reasonable people to that conclusion. I’ve ignored it, I guess. It’s not a deal breaker for me. I know a lot of people won’t understand that. It’s not that it doesn’t bother me, but it’s the sneaking around that’s more offensive to me than the having sex with other people. I am really pragmatic when it comes to sex. It’s a physical thing. Yes, it can be more than that, but I don’t see the location of his penis as the be all and end all of what our relationship is. And, he’s been through a lot of stuff (I won’t go into details, but let’s say a significant amount of trauma) and so I know that his brain doesn’t exactly work right in this area. My mom and I discussed all of this on my way home — luckily, being a therapist and an open-minded person, she wasn’t squeamish or weird or judgmental about it. We came up with a reasonable plan that basically was that I was going to confront (for lack of a better word) him and say I wasn’t mad, but that if we needed to rethink the parameters of the sexual relationship in our marriage, I was willing to do that. I stopped before I got home and wrote down some thoughts. I was calm, I was ready to be an adult and have a conversation.

When I got home, there was still a car in our driveway, and I realized I was not a big enough person to have some kind of physical confrontation (and maybe I didn’t really want to see anything and have it be real). So I texted him and said, please tell whoever is at our house to leave and I’ll be back in ten minutes. He responded that it was just so-and-so (who apparently he thought I would know). I didn’t reply and just drove around for a few more minutes then went home. He came out the back door as soon as I got there and had a whole story. Someone he’d known from growing up who he hasn’t seen in years, in town for the holidays, dropped by to say hi and see the house, etc, etc. So, now I was stuck — if I confronted him with my original thoughts, I would basically be accusing him of lying, which I had no proof of. The bathrobe was incriminating, but he had an explanation about that and pretty much everything else I brought up. I had to pretty much leave it as, I wish you would have told me you were having someone over our house and also think about how it looked to have you talking to someone in your bathrobe. He apologized and agreed. What more could I do?

I got really sick with strep throat the following Saturday so I was concentrating on that and getting well before Christmas —Payton’s favorite day of the year and I didn’t want to ruin it by being sick. Luckily, I was able to go to the urgent care and catch it early so I was pretty ok and we had a quiet, but nice Christmas Eve and day. I lapsed back pretty hard the day after and really only felt 100% again yesterday. (Strep super sucks by the way, if you didn’t already know that!) But, I’ve just been so unsettled and suspicious since this incident. And I HATE feeling this way. When the trust gets shaky, everything comes across as something shady, something to be worried about, something to contemplate confrontation. So I’d been thinking maybe I should just have the conversation about sex and our marriage anyway. If he’s completely innocent and doesn’t have any desire to be with other women (ha!), it’s kind of an awkward talk to have because then it makes it seem like it’s something I want. I’m honestly not opposed to it in theory though I’m not sure how I’d be in reality. But, if he is already and/or that’s what he wants, then maybe it’s more productive than feeling jumpy and suspicious all the time. So, back and forth, back and forth in my brain.

We ended up having a pretty big confrontation over a related but not related issue on Friday night (money, of course, the other big black hole in a marriage). But, in essence, it was actually about lying (or omissions) and how he’s been kind of sneaky and furtive lately and it makes me suspicious. Part of that is his phone and how I feel like he’s always trying to hide it from me. (I didn’t specifically bring up the excessive texting at that moment — I thought he would get the implication, but he either didn’t or he ignored it.) And he said he feels like I’m always intentionally looking at his screen and sometimes he’s just looking at dumb stuff he doesn’t want me to see. I conceded this, but said who cares if you look at dumb stuff, we all do that. It went back and forth, but eventually I said I would try not to look on purpose. (To be honest, I mostly don’t look on purpose or because I’m trying to catch him. If he’s next to me on the couch, sometimes it’s hard not to see!)

Last night, we were again sitting there watching TV and I glanced over (seriously, not intentionally, I swear!) and I’m pretty sure he was on Tinder. My heart sank but for some reason, I didn’t confront him right there. I hate how timid I am about this stuff! I wish I’d just said something — what a perfect way to open that conversation I’d been wanting to have. But I wimped out and said nothing and was just pissy for the rest of the night. I can’t stop thinking about it and I know I have to do something. Especially because (and this sounds shitty of me, but it’s true) we live in a relatively small town (not in sheer size, but just that everyone is somehow connected one way or the other) and a lot of the people I’ve already done theatre with are on Tinder. I don’t want to be embarrassed and have to make up excuses for why my husband is on a dating site and/or be secretly pitied by people who see him on there and don’t tell me (which may already be happening for all I know).

So, I’m in a real quandary here, readers. I don’t want my marriage to be over. I’m not going to end it. But, we’ve got to figure something else out, because living like this is not going to cut it.

31-32/52

(Today’s quote…”Suspicion” by Terry Stafford)