Wednesday, October 13, 2010


it's getting harder and harder to write about this honestly, even on here. it's too painful to think about, so i try to avoid it. but every other year of my life, that's how i've handled it, so it never got better.

doing the real work of changing is much different and a million times harder than i thought it was for the past year. i thought it just involved talking to someone once a week.

it doesn't. it means changing how i live, learning how to take care of myself so that i can live alone (i've always lived with friends or boyfriends), being regular about meds and my morning work routine, going to group therapy, adding more structure into the life of someone who is fundamentally a free spirit and who barely brushes her teeth consistently once a day :) i feed and water my pets more regularly than i take care of myself. this is gonna be hard. it got so deeply rooted so long ago that fixing it, even admitting it's a much bigger challenge than i thought it was, is hard to do. it scares me more than almost anything.

i have to make a phone call i am nervous about tonight. i have to call the XO. well, i dont have to, but i want to. there are a couple of things that happened this weekend between us that i need to know more of the truth about.

we went out to dinner, he mentioned his "dream sheet." (i will explain this later.) i excused myself and went to the ladies' room to text my best friend. i wrote, "how can he be so dopey as to bring that up during a date?" she wrote back, "he's a guy. i hope your nite gets better." the XO said that he doesnt like thinking about it either. more on that later too.

by the time we got home, we were having fun again. we always do get along very well. he was smiling, kissing me, looking up at my face, and i said, "i love your shoulders, i love your face, i love your kindness and intellectual curiosity." he smiled with real happiness and said, "It sounds like you love me."

i couldnt believe it. i said, "is that okay?" he said, "yes. i love you." i asked why. he said, "Because you're a wonderful person. You're sweet, kind, and loving. And....." i wont write the rest, but it involved him thinking im cute too (i find him incredibly attractive).

that's all i can handle for now. but that moment made me so happy i couldve just died in his arms right there. he wanted to know i loved him, and he told me he still loves me too. i wasnt really thinking id ever hear that from him again in a romantic way.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I still love the XO....

and I think I need to tell him. I told him last night I still had feelings for him and asked if he did for me. he said that wasnt a hard question, of course he still has feelings for me or he would just stop seeing me altogether. I explained to him that if that should change, I would want to know so that I could say goodbye for awhile and have time to heal and then come back and be friends.

I love him so very much. It is hard to put into words. I don't think I can. I just know if there were anything I could do to make him smile or make him happy, I would gladly do it. I miss him. I miss his smell. I miss his body and his arms around me and being close to him and going bowling with him. I miss everything except the distance.

He said that he misses me when I'm not around. I asked him if he ever did, and explained if he didnt, I would need to know so that I could change how I act around him and deal with my feelings. He knew what I meant. He said yes, he does miss me sometimes when I am not around.

Tonight I asked out a Coastie I met on Match-- he's just a ship maintenance guy, not super smart like the XO-- and he drove an hour down to where I live to see me. I asked him out because I know he's worked on the XO's ship, he met the XO once, and he's part of the same life the XO lives without me. I asked him out because I wanted to be close to the XO tonight because I missed him so much, but didn't dare tell him that, and couldnt, out of pride-- he did dump me.

I just wanted to have beers with him, but we ended up in bed together. It was great until I just all of a sudden curled up in a ball and started to cry. I explained to him it wasnt him, it was bc I felt like I had betrayed the XO. I said I was still in love with him.

This guy thinks I am very sexy and loved being with me, but had never met me before and I knew that I would not be hurting his feelings. Besides, I had to tell him the truth. I couldnt let him think he made me cry. That would have been horrible.

He was nice about it. He said he was fine, there was nothing to cry about. Then he put his hands on mine, and I felt the same calluses the XO has on his fingers, in the same places. I said so and started to cry again. He said, No, I don't want to make you cry! I said no, it's cool, I like the calluses. It's okay. I dried my eyes. I laughed about it a little.

Life is so difficult. Or not life. Love is. You can't make it do what you want. He said, "See, all these guys ruin it for guys like me. They make you women all gun-shy and sad." I think he was trying to be sweet or flatter me. But it was nice. He behaved well throughout.

I would like to see him again, but not until I can do so without crying. I told him that. He kept kissing me and saying I had such soft lips. He really made me feel good about myself in a way I had forgotten men do, the way the XO used to do, the way the XO did the last time he came to my place, when he kept calling me beautiful and saying other special things to make me feel wonderful, not just like we were loving each other.

I am pretty confused except that I know I love the XO.

This week, my new therapist told me she thinks I need more help than she can provide, and she thinks I need a partial outpatient hospital situation. I was terrified, panicked, and flabbergasted. She said my depression is too much.

Now work is threatening me about it. I got a scary email today. I have a scary meeting on Tuesday about my poor attendance during the short term disability for the anxiety, and the HR lady was so mean to me on the phone that I did not do a good enough job of defending myself. I wrote an email later in response to hers, did not send it, re read it hours later, revised, and sent it. I felt it was better to be truthful if I am going down, than to say nothing at all. It is better to try. I explained my doctor told me this week she thinks I am in the midst of a medical crisis that may result in hospitalization, and that the doctor said I should know by Tuesday morning whether I will be OK or not. All of this is true, the doctor said all of those things-- I just couldnt tell work in my email that it was psychological hospital treatment, round the clock therapy for depression. They probably think it is surgery or something. But it is as medically dire as surgery. It is keeping me from living an independent life. The doctor said if I cant learn to manage my depression, I will not be able to live on my own.

Nothing she could have said would have scared me more than that. It has been my greatest fear ever since growing up and seeing my crazy grandmother at every holiday. You dont understand. I was so frightened I couldnt breathe or speak.

And in the midst of this all, still, I feel this overwhelmingly calm and pure love for the XO, almost like agape but not really because I am in love with him, but as close to agape as I have ever been with a boyfriend. My feelings for him are something I may never be able to fully articulate, understand, or share with him. He was the first good, smart, intellectually curious, attractive, successful, interesting man who ever loved me. No one can ever know what that means, or how much I admire him and like just being with him, talking about history and politics and cooking and art and books and dogs and everything under the sun, how good I feel when we are just hanging out being together and being kind to each other and sharing an interesting conversation. I've never had that.

I love you, Mr. XO. I can say it here, but I can't say it irl. But at least saying it here lets me express it somehow. There's so much love inside me sometimes for the man he was to me when we met that I feel I will burst. I don't understand. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

red flag

im re reading what i just wrote and realizing that this week, bc i have other issues stressing me out (my family and my work), im losing my perspective over this relationship. over the past 2 weeks i had overall been in a pretty positive and balanced and honest place abt it w myself and w him.

i have too many big things going on at once this week, and that is always what triggers my major anxiety symptoms. always. for all my life, im okay when i have several little things or one big thing to handle, but if 3 or 4 big things (by big i mean things that emotionally matter very much to me, for whatever reason) come up at the same time, i crumble.

this is what i need help with. i need to tell Catherine this tomorrow. im considering printing out some of these entries for her to read later. she just met me. it will help her get an idea of how my mind works and what's going on with me. i suck at talking.

took my meds but feel like im having a panic attack

havent heard from the xo since this sunday. if he doesnt text me til saturday i will feel like he really doesnt have feelings for me anymore and just wants to hang out to hang out or bc he is trying to be nice or likes being friends w benefits even tho he told me it was dating not friends w benefits.

i am getting to some sort of crisis point here where i need to tell him im still in love with him. yeah im on a dating website. yeah i m talking to guys about coffee dates, to begin the slow process of getting to know a new man as a friend first. im not jumping into anything crazy. i am so far from ready and i know that.

but idk why exactly but i am freaking out. i feel like he is being taken away from me. or like his heart is. if that is really what is going on in his heart, i need to know. he said there was a possibility, that he still had feelings too, just wasnt ready and didnt know if i was the one (how can he know w the mental state hes in? he cant).

but now im asking myself if he ever loved me at all.

my male friend would say i dont need the answer to this question today, to give things a few weeks to evolve and then make a decision based on the xo's overall behavior.... character arc... whatever you wanna call it ;) that was a sad wan smile, attempt at a joke (the character arc).

but i feel like i am going further and further down a downward spiral and need help. i have therapy tmrw a m . idk what to do btwn now and then. i keep wanting to call him, and i know he'd be as honest with me as he is able to, but id like to stick to what ive been doing lately-- not contacting him unless he contacts me first. i feel like it makes me more attractive to him and also, it helps me learn abt him, and it helps keep me from feeling totally, 100% pathetic.

i am lost. idk what to do. thoughts? anyone??? :-( i hardly ever have actual panic attacks, just general anxiety, so today i am really freaking out physically and mentally. i feel sick. i just realized i was going to write "i feel sick with worry" and then edited that mentally bc it sounds shameful, like i am crazy. but is that not the definition of having anxiety? literally being sick with worry?

somebody please help me...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

today, my blackest day yet

for some reason, idk why. okay i lie. it's bc im wondering whether the xo's unsolicited texts every few days are just him checking up on me as a friend. i need to find out, next time i see him or before he leaves again, whether he still has feelings for me like he said he did when he dumped me, whether he still loves me like he also said when he dumped me, or whether that's all evaporating into a pile of oh we re just friends goo. i dont really believe that to be the case bc things were always intensely romantic btwn us right from the beginning and bc we have too many similarities for that to be true, and i also dont wanna ask bc then if whatever hes working thru has the poss to work thru and include him having feelings for me again, i dont wanna wreck that.

but all day today i just felt empty. like he was gone. and hes not. im seeing him saturday. but derek wants me to hook up with him and i wont bc of the xo. if a cool guy asked me on a date id go, sure. a date is just fun. but sex? no. im-- that's still part of what the xo and i are doing. and i cant do it with anybody else if i am doing it with him. because i love him, i still am in love with him, and i still have feelings for him. i cant. i lay there and cuddled half heartedly w derek-- both of us had our clothes on, of course-- and he mentioned that all i'd talked about since i came over was the xo. i smiled and said maybe another night. to be nice. i like him. he's a decent neighbor and a good kid. but i have more interest in going to the dentist right now than i do in random sex with some guy, even a friend.

i have already told the xo, the last time i saw him, that i would let him know if things became physical with anyone else. and i asked him if he was seeing anyone. he laughed and said no. i think he wants freedom from all emotions for right now, and knows he really fucked things up with me, so isnt looking to hurt anybody else. that's based on my knowledge of who he is and things he's told me.

im babbling. i realize im babbling bc it's late and im depressed and i love him and i know at some point i need to tell him my feelings for him havent changed even one tiny little iota.... but for now, im pretty sure he knows that or he wouldnt be acting as gently as he has been.

we'll work it out. we're both kind, good people who shared something special and still care for each other and always will, at least as dear friends, even if we never see each other again after his redeployment i know i can count on him to wish me nothing but happiness, and never to be petty. pettiness is not one of the xo's faults. that much i have learned.

i love you, sweetie. good nite.

Monday, October 4, 2010

imaginary sand dollar on my wrist

how do you give up the sea and the stars once youve found them? how do you find them again? you make sure you keep them in whatever form theyre willing to appear. if they become your friends, you are better off than if you lose them completely. because by them, you are able to see better who you are, whom and what you admire, and where you want your life to go. maybe they're the only sea and stars youve ever really had, and that experience is something special no matter what.

i want one more tattoo. so that i will never forget what i have learned, even if he ends up being nothing but a friend. i want the sand dollar he found me, with the words "explore" and "remember".

i admired and respected him all along for how he lives his life. it's more what i want to be like than what im like right now. not his personality, i like my personality. but his strength, his strength of character, his logic, his courage, his willingness to explore life and see as much as he can and be himself and do things as much as he can.

meeting him is important to me regardless of what happens between now and june. and regardless of how much i love him still and am in love with him, if i am honest.

otherwise, he wouldnt have been the person i admired so much i wanted to spend the rest of my life with. to me, he will always be the sea but especially the stars, navigation, math, thoughtful analysis of anything he comes into contact with (except his own emotions).

also, he has been gentle with me, and kind, and tried to make me happy in little things. i notice them. i do the same stuff for him. we're trying to be kind to each other. it is a form of caring. i dont know if on his side it is love. it is on mine. but i havent hidden that from him. im just myself with him now. i stay positive and balanced, but i let him see the emotion behind it too.

i told him ething last week. so far, i am glad that i did.

how can someone change how you think so much and teach you so much without even trying? it must be because im ready. sometimes the same thing happens with my hot friend who gave me the t pass. but it wasnt until recently that i realized all along, the same things have been happening with the XO too. ive been learning things from him that ive been starved all my life to learn. and since he is a good person overall, no amount of romantic pain can keep me away from keeping on learning those lessons as much as he will let me before he leaves in june. knowing certain people changes your life. he is one of those people for me. he is not the only one. ive met at least two others this year. but he definitely is one. and that is why i maintain a relationship with him even though my friends think that is nuts, and part of me agrees with them.

the truth is, though, as real as all these reasons are..... love is behind them as much as anything. i am still in love with him. i have to admit that to myself. i am still in love with my baby.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I can't go out on the balcony to look at the stars, because you love the stars, you navigate by them, you have a constellation app in your iPhone that you scrolled through on every date to show me which ones had me dazzled that night. So on my balcony seeing two stars tonight I cried. Saturday I saw the same one, very bright, and asked you. You said, "It's Venus." I laughed and teased you and said no, Venus was right here beside you. You said No, that's Aphrodite. I laughed again.

I can't go walk on the beach where I used to watch for your ship in the far distance on its way up to Portsmouth, where you used to text me as I walked, where you told me you had a surprise for me when I was sad, and the surprise was that you were coming home the next day.

I can't swim in the water where you held me, arms straight out, letting me ride on the current but keeping me safe, where you were almost pathetically eager to find me a sand dollar because I mentioned once how I wanted one and had never found one on my own.

The night I heard from you finally, I didn't want to, but I picked up that sand dollar from the tiny blue Chinese dish I kept it in, someplace beautiful to keep something precious, and crushed it in my fingers til all I felt was the sand sliding down my skin into the sink. It was gone. I'll never get it back. I'll never get you back.

I should never have asked to see you in your work clothes. You looked so handsome, such a natural leader, radiating authority and intelligence and confidence from those blue eyes lighter than the blue of your officer's uniform. It stopped my heart. You smiled and said you were distracting me from getting changed myself, and turned and went back to the living room so that I could put on what I had brought for you to see me in. But you in that moment were so beautiful and no longer mine that afterwards, I couldn't stand it. I gently kicked the blue pants under the bed. I softly pushed the blue button down flame retardant blouse over the other side of the mattress. One arm stayed on the bed, the rest hanging. I stretched-- the bed is wide-- and shoved it once, twice. Finally it went over the edge. I couldn't look at it and think of you so handsome in it and know that you no longer looked at me the way you did the day you were desperate to find the sand dollar, the way you looked at me the day I was feeling unsure about you and you looked so upset I came wading back to you through the surf and put my arms around your chest and squeezed you tight. I just wanted to see you smile again.

I don't know what love is if this is not love.