Category Archives: Self

Just This One

I stopped.

I stopped blogging. I stopped writing. I stopped communicating. I stopped socializing. I stopped attending church. I stopped caring.

I am not an expert in any field. I have nothing new to say about life as a mom, as a single mom, as a surrogate or as any other classification that hasn’t already been said or published. I have no great insight to offer anyone that isn’t already available on the internet. My life as a parent is no more special than that of any other parent out in the world. And as far as single parenting goes, there’s nothing extraordinary about a divorced woman living in an expensive town raising a child who’s pretty much raising herself. I have no extraordinary disciplinary struggles, no extraordinary health struggles, no extraordinary school troubles, no extraordinary life troubles. For what purpose should I put my ordinary life on paper/internet, in a web log. There is nothing extraordinary to be gleaned from my life.

I left Facebook and Twitter at the end of September, 2013. Twitter was a place I used to make myself feel heard, because most the people I followed – and that followed me back – were single moms. But they all had something that made them unique; a blog about their child’s plan to save the world, a blog about their crafts, a job where they were paid to write about their sponsored adventures with their families. I used Twitter to complain about life. And Facebook. I left Facebook because I couldn’t handle the jealousy. Every time someone posted about their new job, their new house, their new puppy, their new baby, their new boyfriend, their next trip, their freaking fabulous dinner at a restaurant whose name I can’t pronounce without spending $50… I couldn’t take it. There’s a saying by someone famous that I’m too lazy to look up right now about “no one can make you feel a certain way, only you can do that.” Well, that’s pretty much it. I was feeling so utterly low about myself and my place in life, that looking at other people’s happiness, I made myself cry.

I guess I didn’t really stop socializing, because that would imply that I had a social life to begin with. Until very recently, I was the only one of my “close” friends (cuz I don’t have friends because I don’t socialize) that had a kid. My “friends” have lives, friends they see on a regular basis, hobbies they can afford to spend their money on, trips they take to see family and friends because their only responsibilities are to themselves. And that’s great for them. But it leaves us nothing in common except we used to know each other in high school or in bible study or at camp or we like to get drunk and sing into the wee hours of the night when the stars align and we can all finally get together once every 6 months. I just don’t do “friends” because I can’t be there for them when if they need me, and there’s really nothing they can give me in return – we just don’t have anything in common. We’re strangers that get along.

I lost my connection to the “Almighty” so long ago I’m not even sure I had one. That quote about the definition of insanity? That’s what it was starting to feel like. Why should I go somewhere or pray to something when I keep getting the same results over and over again – or, more accurately, when I was getting the same no results over and over again? If others believe, that’s fine for them and that’s fine for me. I don’t respect them any less and I don’t judge them for it. In fact, I envy them. I envy their ability to “keep the faith.” But I have none. I have no faith that there is something or someone watching over me, keeping me safe, waiting for me to open the right door to the path he/she/it wants me to take. And actually attending church wasn’t making me any better. People would look at me with that soft eye and ask in a slightly quieter voice so others wouldn’t hear – “How are you? Are you ok?” No, I’m not ok, thank you for bringing that up. Because – and here’s the kicker – it wasn’t like they could offer any help. They wanted reassurance that I was better because I’d had faith. Their only response when I said I wasn’t ok or that I was hanging in there was “It’ll get better soon.” No solid advice on how to make it better. No personal experience they could draw on to convince me to “hang in there.” The only “real” suggestion anyone made was that I see a shrink. Thanks, Mom. Apparently it’s not ok to have self-doubt and self-hate for so long. Good to know, I’ll keep that in mind.

And it looks like nothing will really change much in the future. I’m still out of the house from 7AM until 6:30PM each weekday and 100% responsible for my kid on weekends except when she’s at church on Sunday afternoons. That gives me 2.5 free (as in not paying a sitter) hours to have a social life. “Hi, my name’s Michelle. I’ve been divorced for 9 years, I work 8-5 in a dead-end job, I live in an expensive city because that’s where my free babysitters are, I have babies for other people, and I’m only available to see you for 2.5 hours on Sunday afternoons. Want to go out on a date?”

So that’s it. That’s where I am.

I’m still miserable. I’m still angry. I’m still single. I’m still alone even though I’m “surrounded by people who love you.”

This is me. I’m the same person I was before. I just don’t care anymore.

And I’d rather just have a pity party for one, thank you very much.

I Lost the Battle, But Still Winning the War

There are certain words I never use in conversation because I’m not an ass, but this post requires it to make my point understood. If you know me at all, you know I mean no harm or insult by using this word here.

Anyone who spends more than 15 minutes with me quickly learns what my beliefs are and where I stand politically. I am passionate about the causes I support and have always been ready to argue my side, no matter how confrontational I think I’m not. But I’ve never really had the opportunity to do so, mostly because I surround myself with people who think like me. Okay, that sounds really weird, and while I’m a fan of being friends with people who have diverse thoughts so we’re not all bored out of our minds, I find that for me I enjoy life more when I am around like-minded folks. So when I had a chance last night to try to change someone’s mind about something, I hesitated. Could I really effectively point out to someone how they were wrong and could I bring them over to my side?

I wish I could say that I won my case, that this particular person saw the error of their ways and apologized, but I found myself up against a wall: a wall made out of a jerk who would do anything in his power to be the “bigger man.” There are some people you just can’t win over because they have to prove themselves right even if they might really agree with you.

Last night an acquaintance of only a couple weeks used the word “gay” as an insult. Actually, first he called someone a faggot, then he said the same someone was gay where civilized people would have used the word stupid or silly or dumb. He was joking around with his friend, meaning no true ill-will against him, but the fact that he chose to use those terms as derogatory angered me. Trying hard to be more “Randy Jackson” rather than “Simon Cowell,” I asked him to not use those words the way he did. He looked at me strangely, like he’d never even thought about it. Then for a split second I could see in his eyes that he understood how hurtful the words could be. And then he chose to argue with me – NOT in favor of using the words as insults, but to the fact that I couldn’t possibly know that he meant them as an insult in the first place. Which, of course, was a dumb argument because when someone tells a story about something they did and another person responds with “Don’t be such a faggot” or “That’s so gay,” there’s not much room for interpretation.

And I can kinda understand that if you grew up with using those words in that phrase and no one has told you that you shouldn’t and you’ve never really thought about it before, it might surprise you to learn that others, gay or straight, take offense. But unless you are anti-homosexuality, it shouldn’t insult you to have someone politely request that you not use those words in that manner. And this guy didn’t even argue THAT point – he never ONCE said that he hates homosexuals or that he thinks they are beneath him. He only argued how I shouldn’t have assumed he meant his words as an insult. Explaining to him how hurtful it is to me and to others to use someone’s identity as an insult or use a term no self-respecting 21st century ally would EVER utter made no impact.

I eventually just walked away from the conversation, not feeling defeated in the least, but disappointed in this man that I’d thought I might like as a friend.

But I did learn something about myself: when it really matters, I have no problem standing up for what I believe in, now that I’ve been put to the test.

Taking Back Myself

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do about this blog. After the hurtful comments and hacking, I came to doubt who I was as a writer, as a mother, as a (future) girlfriend and as a person. Who had I become to write such emotion-filled venom about my now-ex boyfriend? What had happened to me that made me think that I had any right to say what I wanted in a public forum? But the bigger question I’ve been pondering lately is this: what happened to me that I allowed people close to me and complete strangers to walk all over me, to tell me that I have no business sharing my opinion for any and all to see, that I have no right to be upset or angry, that my writings have no place in this world? When did I become such a push-over?

If people don’t like what I have to say, they have the right to tell me and they have the right to not listen. Just as I choose not to listen to extremely conservative Christians tell me that I’m going to hell because I believe in equality for all and because I divorced my husband. I do not agree, I tell them what I think when they confront me and I stop listening. That is my right. If someone doesn’t like who I am, they have the right to not be in any kind of relationship with me, acquaintance, friendship, romantic or otherwise.

While I haven’t brought back any of the posts I’d written in the past, even the ones that have nothing to do with my most recent relationship, it has been a painful two months not having the outlet to write about my life. Those who commented that I should just tell a friend clearly don’t know me. I am a writer, not just for myself but to share my experiences with others, both as an outlet for myself and as a way of letting other single moms, married moms or non-moms know that there just might be someone else who’s feeling the same way they are right now. I have never lied in any of my posts: everything I ever wrote was a brutally honest look into how my life is, how my brain and heart work and who I am as a person.

And if you don’t like who I am: I don’t care. If you don’t want to read what I have to say: don’t. If you don’t want to be a part of my life: don’t. If you really don’t like me, then all I have to say is this: why do you keep coming back?!? Every day people who are no longer a part of my life keep checking this site, keep looking for the posts I wrote that angered them, keep looking for the posts that their friend “Hacker” wrote. What the hell for? To see if I’m still upset about the end of my relationship with your friend or brother? To confirm that I am “crazy” to have loved him so much and thrown it away out of pain? To see if I’ve broken my promise and have started writing again? WHY DO YOU CARE? If I am no longer a part of your life, either by my choice or yours, because you don’t like how open I am in my life or because you think I’m a “stage five clinger,” WHY do you continue to check up on me?

If you’re still here because you love me, you like me, you care about me, you enjoy my writings, then I say thank you. I am truly grateful for the people in my life who love me no matter what. Your compassion and empathy have not gone unnoticed, though they have gone unacknowledged. Because I’m not done hurting yet. I’m still punishing myself for ruining a good thing, even though a big part of me knows that I left someone who didn’t want me as I was. I’m still angry at myself for not being able to let go, to move on, even though I’ve tried a little too hard to do so these past couple of weeks. I’m still lonely as hell when I go to bed – even though a beautiful soul posted on my Facebook timeline that I’ve already won at love after having donated a kidney and being a surrogate – that kind of love doesn’t wrap its arms around me at the end of the day, hold me close, kiss me and tell me I’m beautiful. It doesn’t soothe the pain I still have in my heart after losing not only a boyfriend but a good friend. It doesn’t change the face I dream of when I finally succumb to the exhaustion of depression.

I’m stuck in a place where I go back and forth over what I want. Some days I would scream “YES” in a heartbeat if he asked if I’d like to try again. Other days I want nothing to do with him or his friends, since I know I never really belonged with him or them in the first place. Some days I would do anything to be in a relationship with someone who loves me for me and so I look in all the right and wrong places. Other days I accept the reality that I am a 30-year-old divorcée who has a mediocre job, a mediocre face and is the mom of a 9-year-old brainiac – I can stare at the pretty men on match.com all I want, they’re still never going to talk to me.

Some friends have told me that I’ll find love after I start learning to love myself. Well, then I guess I’ll be single for a very long time. Only people with the grace of God can love me – and I’m not one of those people. The choices (and ultimately mistakes) I made in my early young adulthood have shaped who I am today and I have failed each and every time in my attempts to push past them. I know who I am, I know my limitations in life and while I’ve accepted them, it doesn’t mean I like them. And I know that I should try to change things I don’t like, but honestly? I don’t have the energy anymore.

I’m so exhausted trying explain why I can’t be what others want me to be. I’m not a scholar. I’m not a speaker. I’m not a teacher. And it seems I’m not a lover. In all of the long-term relationships I’ve had – with the exception of one – giving the other person all of me was never enough.

But all of me is all I’ve got. I can’t give more than everything without creating a black hole. That’s what happened 2 months ago and I’m still not sure how to recover.

 

So… if you’ll bear with me, I’m going to try writing again. My fingers ache from lack of use, my brain is so full of thought and my heart so full of emotion that they are spilling over into parts of my life where they don’t belong. I can’t promise that I won’t write about my sadness and depression since the end of my recent relationship, I just can’t make that pledge. This is where I am in my life. But I know that I will write about other things – I’m the mom of a FOURTH GRADER for goodness’ sake! A fourth grader IN G.A.T.E.!!

But I’m going to write. The only person who can stop me is me and I will no longer allow myself to be bullied by people who no longer have a vested interest in my life. And while it is selfish of me to ask, I am going to anyway: please be encouraging in your comments here. It still feels like cheating to start writing again after I said I wouldn’t, but stronger is the feeling that I am cheating on myself by not writing. But insulting and bullying comments will not make the journey to mend my heart any easier. And, really? It just shows others where YOU are in your life if you take the time out of your day to post hateful comments on a blog that belongs to someone you don’t care about anymore. I’ll try to grow up if you will.