Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My alter ego

When I first saw this little cartoon girl I laughed.  I immediately texted it to my Best friend Tara and said I should be the poster child.   The more I looked at it though, this describes me to a T.  Anxious and assuming the absolute worst possible scenario.  I put some famous fiction writers to shame with the ridiculous scenes I come up with.  I really should just write a book based on some of the unfathomable things that run through my head.

This isn't true of every situation.  There are many aspects of my life where I am confident and content.

The one area that this cute little cartoon superhero comes into focus????? Relationships.

Every unanswered phone call, text, broken date, or changed plans send me into this tailspin of turmoil.  "If he isn't with me, and doesn't want to see me and isn't answering me, then he must be done, he must want to be with someone else"  Hellllooo crazy!  But I can't help it.  I don't have the confidence that it's anything but that.  This may not be true with the current relationship I am in but it was damn near close for a couple of others I have been in since my divorce. So you can excuse my fear and trepidation.

Another part of the issue is that I can't seem to accept the fact that there might be one person in the world who will take me as I am. Love me without fail.  Accept me and not point out every single thing that is wrong with me. (my ex-husband's favorite past time)  Why?  Because the minute you let your guard down, the minute you believe, the minute you become this happy, blissful person, life comes up and pulls the rug out from under you and laughs while you barrel roll down the stairs.
Yes I understand at this point I may need some intensive therapy.  I also know that those of you who know me and read this will want to grab me by the shoulders and shake me until my head snaps back.  I get it, I am not this horrible unworthy person, but.......

 I have a male friend (who is very happily married to an incredible woman) tell me that any man who doesn't want me is a fucking idiot.  In those exact words.  This was of course after he devoured some of my leftover garlic and rosemary chicken penne pasta, so that may have just been his stomach talking.

Anyway, this cartoon superhero and I seem to be the same person.

This has been the topic of conversation between my girlfriends and I for many a night over many glasses of wine. How do I get over this fear   Pray?  I say Joshua 1:9 on a daily basis.  I have scoured my Bible for Scripture on worry and fear and anxiety. Sometimes it helps.  Get over myself?  Oh I am over me, believe me.  I get going and I nearly jump outside myself to give me a swift kick in the ass.

Here's something one of my friends suggested: Lay it all on the line.  Oh great, thanks.  Because thinking about that is just going to end well.

Here is how this little scenario plays in my head: Said man walks into my house.  I greet him with a smile and kiss.  I say I really want to talk to you about something.  He begins to look uncomfortable and shift from one foot to the other.  I trudge on.  "I just have to know where we stand.  I like you so much (no, I will not say the other four letter word, that is just asking to be stabbed in the heart), I want to be with you and just you I want to know if this is what you want too?. You and me. At this point, I cannot imagine not being with you.  I want to make this work, make it last."   At this point all I can see is him turning on one heel, out of my house and out of my life forever.  Add some vicious laughter and that is what is happening in my head now.

This little ditty in my head keeps me from saying what I should,  When I can say what is on my mind in any other situation.  When the eloquent, biting, pithy words flow out of my mouth otherwise, when a person is deserved of a severe tongue-lashing gets that and then some.....this right here keeps me silent. 
I just can't risk being right.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Heart Shaped Box

I used to think God gave me an extra helping of feeling and emotions.  I could cry at anything and everything.  Sad stories, happy stories. Television shows, commercials, you name it.  I felt for people.  I loved, And I loved hard.

I still get emotional.  Sometimes.  Usually for the wrong reasons, so I have learned to shut it off.  Call it practicing being like a man.  I think I have gotten too good at it. 

I feel like I have learned to shut out any potential of anyone getting in.  I have emptied my heart of any feeling at all and carefully wrapped it up tight. Shrinkwrapped it so no air gets in, no light gets in, nothing can hurt or harm it at all. 

My head and my heart aren't communicating very well at all.  Instead of agreeing that we are fine and don't need anything or anyone my head believes it is possibly in love and is launching a full out assault on my heart.  

My heart in turn is doubling its efforts to be safe from harm, burrowing deep down, unyielding to the signals of my brain to actually feel and beat again.  My heart is too tired to try. It tried for years and years to love only to be rebuked and rejected so its not buying my brains story.

I went to a psychic once. As a whim with a friend and she told me I was closed off, that my heart was closed off to love and  I needs to open up.... Well duh lady, I know this. I'm fully aware of this and there's good reason.

It's not that I don't want to love someone, I do. It's that my heart is too tired to let someone in and them just be crushed again. I fear if it happens one more time it may never recover and truly just be that Heart Shaped Box that sits in my chest, empty and devoid.....

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cory's Mom

Sometimes when I tell a story I don't know where to start.  I go back and forth between then and the now hoping to make sense of my tale.  This story is going to skip from 1990 to now and back a few times......I have written about Cory here but this story is about her mom......

Cory and Nicole, two peas in a pod
Fall 1990:  The first time I saw Cory's mom was walking into school.  All I can remember is the slight frame of a girl, waist-length white blond hair, and a shock of red lips.  Add to that a bright red sports car and black leather jacket and I was hoping I had met my new best friend.  She was in my English class, and soon enough, along with my current BFF Jen the three of us became fast friends.  I can;t even remember anymore what we talked about, what we did, but we had fun and laughed and probably disrupted Mrs. Brown's English class all year long.

Today is the one year Anniversary of Cory's death.
 I can tell you that I was in utter shock because I knew that from that point on Cory's mom would never be the same.  No one could utter a word, make a gesture to change, comfort or make sense of what happened.  The next few days were a blur. Constant texts and phone calls. Driving home for the inevitable.  Walking into that wretched funeral home.  Drinking Margaritas with Jen that night trying to steel ourselves for the next day.  The funeral, the worst thing I had ever been through and then to the cemetery.  Nothing and I mean NOTHING could have prepared me for that.  Hearing my good friend of 20 years, wailing for her child. I was sure she was going to throw herself into the hole that they had just lowered the casket into.

1992: We were graduated.  We were grown.  W e were women now.  Working women at that.  Cory's mom had moved out with her boyfriend,  A scandalous affair, as her parents highly disapproved of this scruffy young man who showed up and swept their daughter away into a tiny, dingy apartment, in an old decrepit house in an entirely unseemly neighborhood.  Just going there to pick her up for work made me feel like I was doing something dangerous,.  Being around her boyfriend seemed exciting, I mean here she was making a home with this man and I still lived with my parents, no boyfriend to speak of.  I envied her life, I envied her freedom.  I was only slightly alarmed when she would retell some of the more "physical" occurrences that happened between her and Bob and was horrified to have her tell me that he cut one of her dresses to shreds because she had told him she wore that dress on date with another guy before she even knew him, but it didn't matter because he considered that dress "tainted'.  I wished now I had been smart enough to see all the signs, all the bruises.  But at 19 we didn't know any better and what would I have been able to do?  She became pregnant with Cory and gave birth in early 1993 and by then had gotten rid of Bob for the time being.  She had this beautiful little girl and all seemed right with the world.

It's so hard to describe what Cory's death has done to her mom. I understand it.  I get it totally.  People that don't know her and Cory don't.  Jen and I will look at each other or text each other and say the just don't "get it"   The death of your child could rip the heart and soul out of any regular person, but this is different.  All she fought for, all she struggled with came to a screeching halt on the pavement one year ago.

1995-2010  Even though we didn't talk a lot I still kept track of Cory and her mom.  Through Jen, and my mom who saw them all the time since they frequented the grocery store she worked at.  She met a good guy, got married, had Jake and had a great little family.  I had moved away in 1995 and ran into her occasionally, but with the Advent of Facebook we could once again re-connect.  We shared the details of our divorces, the hurt and the pain.  She shared with me how Cory was acting out.  She didn't know what to do because her behaviour was so erratic.  She was hurting herself and had hurt another girl badly, which was unbelievable to me since Cory barely outweighed her mother who may have weighed around 110 pounds soaking wet.  We comforted each other and encouraged and shared.   
She had always been one of the strongest women to me.  Alone with her baby girl at 19, raising her, trying to finish school, and work and take care of Cory.  I admired her tenacity, and only admired her more when Cory was diagnosed with Schizo affective Disorder at 16.  She fought hard for her baby.  She found a voice and strength she never knew she possessed all to make sure Cory got the best care she could possibly get. Although I knew Cory's death would destroy her, I knew it wouldn't defeat her. I was really scared for awhile.  I know she blames herself and I know that part of her wanted to die too, I would have felt the same way, but little by little she is coming back to Nicole.  The woman I have admired and loved as a sister for over 20 years.

 Right now, on the anniversary of Cory's death she is in Italy with her mom. a trip she longed to take with Cory.  I have been keeping track of her on her blog which you can read here      I encourage you to read it, in it's entirety.  It's raw and emotional and you will cry.  You will also laugh and cheer and wish you knew Nicole and would have known Cory and hopefully you will understand her fight and Cory's fight with this horrible illness that held her captive for too long.