In a post from a few years ago (two posts, actually, under Going to Denver Because You’re Dead) I chronicled this transition of moving to Colorado to start a new life; again reinventing myself, with the hope of somehow finding my new place in this ever-changing, ever-challenging world. I got rid of three-quarters of everything i owned, packed a U-Haul trailer behind my Cherryot, and off I went. A journey that lasted 30 hours on many days of little sleep. By the time I arrived in Denver, i was exhausted, lost, and had this sensation of being on another planet. I was not used to driving in big city traffic, with all its interchanges and exits and geographic complications. I didn’t know how to get to this new apartment I had secured for myself by phone and online. I ended up off an exit in a bad neighborhood, worn out, my iPhone battery overtaxed and at that crucial moment, dead. I launched into a full-fledged panic attack, with some unsavory gang-bangers headed my way, and I dug the .25 out of the console and clenched it, hoping i would not have to use it. The gang-bangers wandered off, and i fell completely apart. I couldn’t go on. But then i realized that there was no one to save me but me. It was a familiar feeling. Somehow i managed to calm myself down, wait for my battery to charge, and checked the map against the street signs i could see, and re-route. I tried again to find where i was going, and got lost again. Finally i just stopped in the road and got out and approached the car behind me–several Latino guys in a jacked up car, and just point-blank told them i was lost and needed to find a a certain address. The driver was kind and helpful and told me exactly how to get there, and i did.
After that, i tried to fashion a life. I didn’t know anyone. I used the internet to meet as many women as possible, hoping to make new friends, find dates, and finally that partner i just knew had to be hiding here somewhere. Long story short, I dated 22 women that first year. All of them either I rejected or they rejected me. Then I met one who seemed genuinely interested. I wound up eventually moving in with her, and so began a nightmare of epic proportions that lasted another 9 months. Her mother would NOT move out of the basement as promised, her family hated me, my girlfriend quit her job started smoking pot every day all day, and drinking, (When she had presented herself as a non drug user and not a problem drinker when we met–and knew that was criteria I would not budge on) and not communicating, and hitting me when we had sex, and sleeping all the time, or having meltdowns where she would destroy the house and scream, all the while using my money to pay her mortgage and her truck payment and not paying MY bills. It ended with me calling the cops and she being arrested for domestic violence against me, and then me having to move in a few days, while injured and upset and exhausted.
There was so much more to that process but I’ll skip it all and just say it was another few weeks and months of stress and misfortune before things settled down. [For blogs about this situation, see Birthday Bash ; Fleeing Field Mouse ; Happy Effing Anniversary ; EXTENDED STRESS Hotel. ; Trauma Biscuit ; The Biggest Lies of All ]
Then I met someone else, four months later. Someone who made me feel things i hadn’t felt in 12 years. I was falling in love with her, and it had only been two months. My hope was renewed. I thought maybe it was my turn. That all my suffering had finally paid off somehow. But she could not feel sexual/romantic attraction to be 24/7–and thought she should. So we’d go platonic, and then she’d change her mind and want sex. I don’t get how someone can have sex with you 35 times in two months, but wonder if she had any attraction. Her attraction, though, she said, came and went, she said, and this became an on-again, off-again trial by fire. I continued to be patient and loving and kind and nurturing, and I made it all about her, and still, it ended. Trying to take the high road, as always, I agreed to be just friends with her, but then i saw very quickly that she could not be there for me. She could only handle her drama. All the while, I was dealing with my midlife crisis of getting older and facing that upcoming 50th birthday, and being reminded at a funeral for her friend’s girlfriend, that i didn’t get to go to my father’s funeral because my selfish petty family never told me he was sick or dead. And they left me out of his obit as a surviving family member. And i sat in that church–me, the atheist, listening to all that stupid blather, and wondering how many people would attend MY funeral. I realized it would not be many. And that also made me profoundly sad that I had gotten to this point in my life and didn’t have the fundamental things I should have by now. I had nightmares about my dad. Nightmares about me in a casket and no one there to say goodbye to me. Nightmares of drowning in an ocean with sharks circling me, and everyone I knew standing on a boat and watching, but not helping me. But she made it clear when I awoke from those nightmares the morning after that funeral service, that there was no room for my pain. She said “I really can’t take any of your negativity.”
But, like the stupid, honorable, high-road seeking fool that I am, I continued to be supportive and wonderful to her, swallowing my own pain…swallowing my heartache over her not returning my feelings, when it had been 12 long years of me thinking I could never fall in love again after that one gigantic heartbreak with the only woman who had been my first and last great love. I put myself aside again, while KR enjoyed my support, but gave nothing back. As long as i remained cheerful and strong and supportive, she was fine. I hoped it would all normalize and equalize somehow, if I was just patient.
Near this time, having not seen my best friend, JH, in two and half years, though we talked every day on the phone, I was looking forward to her upcoming visit. She knew me better than anyone on the planet and we had been extremely bonded for 11 years. She had planned to move here even before me, but I wound up having to go sooner before I lost my mind, being so unhappy where I was. Finally, then, she came to visit. First, in December. It was to be our bonding time. I had so much I wanted to share with her and i needed her more than ever–to talk to–in person. To help me figure out how to get my life back on track. But I introduced her to my two friends CW and KR (whom I had been dating and fell for, but was now just my friend). JH and CW had instant chemistry, and so it then became about them. I didn’t get that time with JH. But she assured me she was coming back the next month, to do that. Oh, and also to have me design her book cover. And of course, to see the new love interest, CW.
But that 2nd visit was even worse. Out of the 9 or so outings and plans, that were all planned by my best friend, JH–it was me and JH and CW. Or, it was JH and CW. I began to feel like a hotel, and a chauffeur. None of those plans were me and my best friend. My very missed and needed best friend. None of them. After several days of this, I voiced my feelings, and begrudgingly, she cancelled that date with CW that night and we got Chinese food and alcohol and watched a movie, but i never got the chance to talk with her like I’d wanted to for 2 and a half years. Because she preferred the movie, or talking about CW every few seconds. Another few days passed with the same paradigm. All these wonderful plans with CW, or allowing me to tag along with THEM. They had even made plans to go to Vegas in February, and New York in March for the CW’s birthday, which was near the same date as MINE. Finally I could not bite my tongue any longer. I had literally drawn blood in my own mouth biting my tongue. I told her how it made me feel (Again) and how much I had needed her, and how I had waited for this visit for two and half years.
Her response was, “Why are you trying to ruin my happiness?”
She was MAD. Actually MAD at me for expecting her attention, and some time together after all that time apart. I became so livid, I knew I would say something I’d be sorry for. I told her I was going to the store and would be right back. I spent an hour sitting in my Cherryot in the park, drinking a Hard Cider, smoking cigarettes I had sworn off of; and calmer, ready to have a rational discussion again, I went back.
She was gone. She had packed her bags and was just………GONE. She ignored my texts and my phone calls, (and after over a month, still no response). I even sent her a text that said “You mean I have lost you because I needed you?” I was met with more silence. Her new girlfriend, CW, then became my EX friend, because she ignored me too, except to send me the name of a counselor she had used. She had her own agenda now, and it no longer included me. In desperation, I tried to confide in KR, and I was an obvious mess, could not stop crying. She said she couldn’t help me, that I needed professional help. No. I needed a friend, and until that moment, I kind of hoped she’d come through finally, in my hour of need. But now, she was the third betrayal and abandonment within a few days. And no word from her either in all this time.
I called my VA counselor and could not get a regular appointment, because there were so many veterans now who needed help and they were understaffed and booked up. How could i be selfish enough to dismiss those soldiers who had their legs blown off in war, and suffered horrible psychological damage? So I called that counselor CW mentioned. I had a quick appointment the very next day and I thought it went well, and i started to feel like I would be okay. But then I got a call from that counselor, who informed me she couldn’t see me again because I owned GUNS. I am a single woman living alone, and only one of those was my usual one…the other two I had acquired quite by accident and never used. So now I was faced with my fourth abandonment and betrayal–by someone PROFESSIONAL, who I went to for help, because I knew I needed it. I tried to reason with her on the phone, telling her that taking away my guns would not keep me from killing myself if that’s what I wanted to do. There were a million ways to die, and it would have happened a long time ago, if that’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t go to her because I was suicidal. I went to her because i was profoundly sad and hurt and needed some help dealing with it. Help my “friends” could not give me because they were too busy walking in the other direction, after their own selfish wants. The email exchange is posted appropriately under the entry the Fourth Betrayal.
I now have this recurring nightmare of being bloody and bruised and broken, lying on the ground, and everyone who ever said they loved me, or were supposed to, are kicking me, spitting on me…walking away….
Now it’s February 22nd. My lease is up here on April 1st. I needed to find another cheaper place to live because I’m paying $1200 a month to live here. With more money, I could make other things happen–like fixing my credit that the last relationship ruined, and finally buying a home to call my own. I found a cheap apartment (even though it was up stairs and stairs destroy my knees), but maybe it was some rare good fortune, and I could just deal with it. Even though I didn’t even trust it; I chose to believe that things might be turning in my favor. Then I found out I couldn’t have my DTV dish there, and I was under a bundled contract with my internet, phone and TV. This, after I had already been packing and putting boxes in the garage for a week. I need a TV more than most people. All this time alone. And all those shows with familiar characters and storylines…it makes me feel in some strange way I have this virtual family…and I can also lose myself in the TV, and it keeps me from thinking too much about how I feel. I need that. I NEED IT like I need WATER and FOOD and SLEEP.
Honestly, I have not felt this degree of loneliness and heartache since 1999 & 2000, living in my van, crippled and fighting Big Brother, when all had forsaken me. It is the same now, lo these many years later. I feel crippled on the inside, and it’s no less harrowing and difficult than being unable to walk without crutches…I am lonely because the cold hard truth is no one loves me. Those who professed to, have forsaken me. My cats are the only living beings who I can say for sure have love for me, and how pathetic is that, especially at my age? My heart breaks from abandonment and betrayal. I have cried every day for over a month now. I don’t think I can ever understand or have any peace about what JH has done to me. It’s just three times the injury that CW and KR are also guilty of the same. Theirs is only a lesser crime perhaps because they have not been in my life as long. But does that really make it a lesser crime? The deed is done, no matter how I turn it. And yes, it does seem that JH’s crime is a capital offense. She and I have been best friends for 11 years…how is it that she can throw me away so easily, and for no compelling reason? She has been the only person in my life I could ever depend on. I would have taken a bullet for her. And yes, I realize that I have had her on a pedestal for some time because of that. I made a decision that i will never again need anyone so much, that when they leave, i can’t survive their absence. But it doesn’t take away the pain.
At the very least, it could be compared to a divorce. But it is also deeper than that. I am grieving over a death. The death of our friendship, at her own hand. And still, it seems more intense than divorce or death. When divorces and deaths happen, there are usually other people there to help support you, hug you, tell you everything will be okay and they love you and will be at your side. But what if what has been lost are all those people? What if you have no family and your friends have abandoned you? how much harder is it to pick yourself up off that hard ground, with no hands reaching to help you? There is no ameliorating force to dull the pain or provide strength. The only comfort and strength to be had has to come from inside the person on the ground. And what if that person is particularly sensitive? what if that person’s heart is tender and bruised to begin with? what if that person was reaching out for help with other pains when it happens? I feel that I have been beaten half to death and reached for my friends and they kicked me, and pelted me with stones. Where will I find the strength for this?
I have begun to make new friends, but that process is slow, and it is much too early to lean on those people, even though I desperately need to. They have been as supportive as they can, but it’s awkward to dump this all on them, since they haven’t known me very long. It’s not what I want to build new friendships on..and truthfully, I don’t expect them to stay around either. I fully expect them to just disappear too).
I have tried to keep busy. I have tried to stay in my left brain. I have ignored every painful thought that bubbles up in my mind. I have done all I know to do, and still it is not enough. I still cry every day. Sob. Bury my face in my sweet cats, and douse them with my tears. The medications I’ve tried are not working. The positive affirmations are not working. I am barely getting by. I don’t want to die, but this is killing me. I want to have hope. I want fortune to smile on me. Isn’t it time? Haven’t I suffered enough? Yet, to think this way is to somehow suggest that life is fair and there’s some balancing force that will reward me for trudging on. The truth is it’s all random. There is no fairness, there is only life, and what comes to you. It has little to do with how deserving you are, or how hard you’ve tried, or how good you’ve struggled to be. where does that leave me?
During this time, to have still another computer crash–which seems to happen every 6 months, is another thorn in my side. I was without a computer for a week, and this is not a good thing for me…it’s how I occupy my mind. But I had to sit in front of the TV and struggle through each minute, each hour, each day….I had to order a new computer and spend money on that which I needed for other things. And I am about to move again, in April, when my lease is up, to a cheaper apartment. I hope the extra money will help me reach at least one of my goals, which is to be able to clean up my credit so I can finally buy a home of my own. So now, in anticipation of that, determined not to injure myself by doing it all too fast, I have been packing up all the things I can do without for the next six weeks. I am surrounded by boxes and debris, the detritus of my existence, the things I carry around with me to set up in proper places to create this semblance of a life, but which has become merely the settings for a stage to serve a fictional play that is my life. Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts…” quite existential–and that’s how I am feeling. I will turn 50 next month. 50. I am closer to my death than to my birth and I still don’t have a home, a partner…and no one loves me. This statement is usually some lament that is not accurate, but shockingly, it is in this instance, TRUE. There is no one in my life who LOVES me. That’s got to be the worst feeling in the universe. Especially while facing this threshold of getting older. I’m afraid. I’m fearful of too many things, now. Fearful of being ill with no one to take care of me. Afraid of something happening to me and no one will know, or even care….terrified of dying alone.
If I give myself to someone in friendship and love, and am repayed with betrayal and cruelty, then I might respond by withholding the precious aspects that make love valuable…but by withholding the very nature of what love is, I garner no interest in anyone loving me, and so I am caught in my own trap of self-protection. So I either have to choose a life of giving with the very real possibility of betrayal and pain, against the choice of loneliness, but without betrayal and cruelty. Which is the more formidable negative? which pain is greater?
Last night I had the same nightmare, over and over. I kept waking up from it, going back to sleep and then dreaming it again. And though I know, emotionally, that it was awful, I can’t remember a thing about the dream.
I can’t just stop caring. Believe me, I’ve tried. And I just go on caring anyway. I wish there was a pill for that, I’d twist the arm of the VA docs until they gave it to me. Sometimes I need to not care so much. It’s really a burden to care. Caring means it matters, and if it matters, it hurts when things don’t go well.
So today, I made the mistake of trying to correct the failing Internet connection on my computer and when using it wirelessly on My Nook. I called Century Link, and the woman wasn’t making sense, had me crawl under unplug and move to other room after I had to hunt for another phone cable and then when i finally get it hooked up in other room she had disconnected me. I wanted to drive down there, find her, and bash her face in. Not the kind of emotions I like to have.
Then Tom calls about my apartment–I can’t have a satellite dish on 2nd floor where my apartment will be. I’m under contract and can’t get Comcast because I am disputing what they say I owe and trying to be in the class action suit against them. So can’t get their service and couldn’t anyway because I’m under contract with Century Link along with DTV, Verizon. But, he said, he will have apt opening up on top floor, but not sure when it will be available because they’re being evicted and might fight it and that will put me over my lease period–and also I can’t climb that many stairs, my knees will blow and moving, will kill me unless I can pay someone to do EVERYTHING. And the past moving experiences have taught me that I NEVER have the help I need, and I wind up injuring myself to the point where it takes me months to get back to normal.
Tom’s supposed to call back.*
SO while I’m waiting, I couldn’t find my charger for my ear bud, and need it, because my neck injury won’t let me hold the phone with my shoulder like some people do, and I keep dropping my phone and If I hold the phone with one hand, like many people do, my hand goes numb, and I drop the phone that way too. If I break that I’m fucked because an iPhone is not cheap to replace. I did finally find the charger, mislabeled among all the other thousands of cords and cables, and plugged in my earbud. My only stupid victory in months. And I fully expect it to start smoking and catch on fire.
All the while, I am stressed because I’m stumbling through the chaos of packing…and the place is a mess. I’m about to lose my mind.
I’ve been crying again, feeling lost and alone… popping Xanax, drinking Hot Damn and Mudslides and Hard Ciders. Last night I spent $36 at liquor store–had to walk there because I was afraid to lose my parking spot outside because I’m using my garage for all the packing, and if I return to no parking spaces–which is VERY common here, I will have to then move ALL THOSE BOXES in the garage again to make room, and my back and neck can’t take it right now. Now my knees and hips are killing me, because there’s a big hill on the way up to Ohio street by the liquor store, that I simply HAD to climb to get some damn alcohol to try to calm my nerves, deaden my emotions.
I’m afraid I’ll get cancer because I’m smoking again. And that means I’ll deal with dying alone for sure.
I feel fat. I feel ugly. I feel useless. I feel hopeless. I feel alone.
*ADDENDUM: Tom called back and said he couldn’t do it. SO good luck finding an apartment, sorry,,etc. SO back to square one. Square one seems to be my default position