Saturday, July 21, 2012

dream invention

Last night I dreamt of an invention that showed how long an addict had been sober. It was all very sci-fi - a set of embedded lights under the skin in two lines, like a landing strip, from collarbone to the bottom of the ribs. These lights glowed bright red when the addict's acting out had been recent, and as the days of sobriety racked up, the lights would gradually dim. 

Once the lights extinguished altogether and remained out for a given period of time, they would begin to glow green - very soft at first, and then stronger with each passing day - to indicate the addict's progression toward a healthy life.

If only this were so.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

howling for a miracle

Kyd is going to work with his father. The last time this happened a lot of bad shit went down and my sister had to drive from her college and pick him up. Pick up a shivering, crying, hurt and angry teenager. I then spent the next year dealing with the fallout. Understandably I have deep reservations about this arrangement, but per the usual Kyd has backed himself into a corner, burned his bridges, and watched his options shrink and fade. He feels he has no other choice, and from where I'm sitting I can't offer much to the contrary. 

Perhaps more importantly I have to tread very carefully with my thoughts around this. I am acutely aware of my fragility around the powerlessness I have to protect Kyd from both his own self-destruction and fragility, and the people around him who wound him more. I'm also acutely aware that I  am deeply angry with those people - Roi, my ex, my exe's family, Kyd's girlfriend, and the people and situations he chooses for himself. 

Two months ago I tried to coax Kyd into applying to live in one of the many intentional communities in the area. There are organic farming co-op living situations where you can work for your room and board. There are at least two contemplative communities. Places where Kyd could grow, be around more positive people, live more healthfully. He shot my coaxing down. And now he cries and laments that he has no options, so yes, I'm angry at Kyd too. Angry and frustrated that he keeps making the "wrong" choices and I see him hurtling down another entangled, mine infested path. 

In this case he'll be around his father - a deeply troubled man who descended headlong into drugs, alcohol, and violent relationships after our divorce. 

So I'm here, hanging by my fingernails over a pit of despair and helplessness, howling for a miracle.  

stupid things

Realized this morning that if I DO get this job I applied for and I DO move out that I DON'T get to have the holidays in this house. Not even one set of holidays. 


Monday, July 16, 2012

my sophie's choice

When I don't write here it's sometimes because things are going well enough that I don't need this secret space of mine. Sometimes it's because I'm frustrated that the situation is the same. 

The situation is the same. Roi is an emotionless robot (he says so himself), Kyd is emotionally unstable, Lexie is doing ok but full of anxiety and dragging her feet on leaving the nest, I want to leave but am financially dependent and despite multiple resumés having hit the inboxes of hiring managers for jobs I am qualified for I get no call-backs, and every option I consider leaves someone hurting. 

It's like a lesser version of Sophie's Choice. Roi doesn't want Kyd here at the house - at all for six months because he was too chaotic, doing drugs, not working, and not meeting Roi's standards for how much work he should be doing around the house. Same story, different day on all fronts. 

So Kyd managed to find a job and a summer apartment, but lost the job and his apartment sublet is ending in two weeks. Predictably he's now depressed and angry and wants to come home and I can't let him. Even if Roi hadn't put his foot down, or I was on my own, I'm not even sure this would be the right thing for Kyd. I have gotten him into treatment numerous times only to a) have the therapist tell me/him that Kyd is fine, b) have the "expert" tell me Kyd is the worst case they've ever seen, they don't know what's wrong, or how to help, or c) Kyd sabotages it in some way. This last time I got him into neurofeedback and he didn't show for two appointments (once because he was fighting with his girlfriend) and he was doing drugs while getting treatment. So really, is letting him come home actually going to help? 

And yet not having the option tears me to pieces. Not having the option feels every kind of wrong. 

In itself this seems enough reason to leave Roi. Yet if I leave Roi now it means going to stay with my mother or father - both options mean taking Lexie out of her school and away from her friends, her life, her boyfriend, and everything she knows. 

Hence the Sophie's Choice. Which of my two young adult children do I say, "sorry, can't help ya"? There are some who would say "BOTH" because they are both technically adults. This should end the my having to make decisions based on their needs dilemma. There are some who would say, "Kyd" because otherwise I'm enabling him. I will never understand the distinction between enabling vs. loving-kindness, but that's another post. And still others would say, "Lexie" because it's time for her to jump the nest. 

The fact that the answers differ tells me one thing. No one knows shit about shit and reality is far more complex than advice.

p.s. I realized that last line may have sounded like an aggressive swipe at commenters loving support, but it was really about the line-up of "experts" who insist that we regular folk don't know what we're doing and they do. That still doesn't make it sound any less aggressive but I have my days where I'm tired and fed up and feel completely helpless and I get angry that there seems to be no help right here, right now. 

Sigh. I probably shouldn't be allowed on the internet right now. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

rain falls

After too many days of dry, parching heat, the rain has finally come. I'm not sure all of our vegetation will spring back, some of it looking rather...dead. Beyond repair. 

I can't help but compare by making this an analogy of my life at the moment. So long a dry-spell without love or genuine kindness. Too long with the lies and manipulation and control. Far, far too long away from myself having gotten lost. Is there a way back now? Is there a rain fall coming for my soul? Or is it simply just too late. Self too far gone, too damaged, beyond ability to receive the rain if it does come? 

I was given a clear, and quite powerful sign around the job search. An opening at an organization I've drooled over for years - since college. I've sent in my resumé, made contact with folks who might know someone. And now I must wait. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm in Trouble

I'm in trouble. I have been floating in this limbo with Roi for so so long. Not floating, that's the wrong imagery. Locked into it, trapped in it, wishing to flee and holding that wish down with an iron grip the way one grits their teeth and locks the tongue to the roof of one's mouth to hold back bile. 

Lexie and I speak in code: "LBR" - life before Roi. How we were dirt poor and struggling but found happiness and beauty despite it. How now we live in a luxurious home so full of light and so devoid of happiness. She wants out too. 

The trouble being, as its been, my lack of a secure job. I've sent out resumés to no avail. And every silence makes me despair but I press on. This is not the real trouble. The real trouble is when my tongue slips and the bile rockets forth through my gritted teeth and Roi is made aware of just how much I can't tolerate being with him. Because then what? He wants to dissolve but I have nowhere to go except home to my parents, ripping Lexie from everything she knows where she is. Her school, her boyfriend, her friends. And while she wants out it is not so intolerable to her that she wants to leave the geographical area. She wants us to find a sweet, bright little home nearby - but that's not within my means now. 

Amidst all of this I am still employed by Roi and I have such resistance now to that work that it makes my skull ache. Every time I sit down to do the work I want to scream and break things, throw my computer out the third floor window and watch it smash on the lawn below. Tears leak out from the corners of my eyelids and I try, I try, but in an 8-hour work day I wring out an hour's worth of work - two to three on a really good day. And Roi hates me for it, is so resentful. I get that. It makes every sense in the world that if I need money that I should at least do the work I have in front of me. Beggars shouldn't be choosers. 

And while Roi and I agreed that the best thing that could happen for this situation is for me to find a job, he squirms every time I make the littlest progress. If I take a day to job search, to send out a handful of resumés, and I feel good for a second, like maybe I can do this, he calls a meeting to talk about work and our finances. Every time. If I call him on it he twists so that I can't find anything wrong. He's just trying to do what's right, and then I feel crazy, unhinged, damaged, and helpless all over again and I have to dig my way back to a bit of stable ground to catch my breath and start the process of resistance and force anew. Strap on the nearly empty oxygen tank and hope I have enough for the dive.

Kyd is struggling again too, and he needs my oxygen tank but I can't spare a drop. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Magical Patterns

It is late. I'm a wee bit tipsy lying here on the couch wondering where I should begin from where I left off. An hour ago I texted Kyd, a playful nudge to make contact. It's been nearly a week since I've heard from him. 

Roi kicked him out of the house, twice. That's a complicated story, and I'm still sorting through the notes to piece together how I feel about all of it, so I'll get to that later. The uncomplicated parts are that it turned out Kyd wasn't sober - hadn't been the whole time he was living with us - and he wasn't working nor looking hard enough for work. 

I was convinced it would be disastrous to throw him out into the world like this, and it was disastrous for a brief time, and then he found a job and an apartment. 

Let me pause here and notice something with you. I live in two states when it comes to Kyd. I'm either in crisis/panic/everything-is-a-complete-disaster-and-it-will-never-be-better mode, or I'm in oh-my-god-don't-anybody-move-don't-anybody-breathe-lest-this-good-thing-get-screwed-up mode. In my defense, this is clearly a response to a pattern of crisis followed by brief hope-filled reprieves that do not last. 

When I didn't hear from Kyd for a couple of days that then turned into a week - well, look, I knew, I knew that something in his new utopia had gone wrong. Mother's intuition, or whatever you call that sixth sense that partners/family members of addicts develop. But really, if a pattern repeats and repeats, is it really all that magical when one can predict what comes next? 

I don't want to be right about such things. Not these things. I want the pattern to stop existing. I really really want to be proven wrong. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Safe Sex

Various conversations and readings in the last few days have me thinking about sexual trauma. It's a given (depending on who you talk to) that being a partner to a sex addict causes relational trauma, but I feel sexually traumatized too.

Before SA I was comfortable with my sexuality, I think as comfortable as anyone can feel in such a confused culture. I was comfortable with what I liked and what I didn't, and didn't think about or particularly care about what others were up to.

After SA, I see sickness and confusion everywhere.

If Roi Had a Blog

I found this in drafts from about a year ago.

I'm experiencing a lot of anxiety over this work situation. I've got to do more sales and bring in more work, yet I'm depleted of the necessary energy after having to manage my recovery AND Briar's complete dysfunction around work. She's screwing up royally but I can't talk to her about it. She is unable to take direction or criticism. 

We went to lunch today where I hoped to extract from her her intentions around work, and come up with a plan that might work for everyone involved. She couldn't look me in the eye and stubbornly refused to share her thoughts on the matter. Next thing I know she's bawling right there in the restaurant and I don't know what I've said. 

admin-style purging

It is officially summer. Officially the most triggering time of year since my life with Roi. I had somehow convinced myself that it's been forever since any indiscretions but then I just went back through this blog and realized that it's been about a year since any acting out with sex addiction and a mere 4 months since another breach of trust with prescription drugs. 

This is what happens when I spend too much time with Roi and not enough time in my own reality. All the crazy gets normalized and I end up feeling like I'm the problem. I'm the crazy. Like, what is my problem already, everything is fine. I forget that 5 years of nearly continuous addiction leaves its mark and there must be proper time to heal. 

What I don't forget is that despite sobriety, there's still a lot of crazy and the events of the last several months seem impossible, insurmountable to write about. Too many interwoven complexities that I can't possibly unravel in one blog post to catch you up on all things. Let's just say that I'm coming to terms with how ill Roi is and how ill I got and how far I still have to go and how Roi is probably done growing since he's been in denial for pretty much the whole show.

Sorry that this isn't all more poetic. I always need to do a bit of admin-style purging before getting to the writing. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

pray you never

I'm sitting at a cafe waiting to pick up Roi. He spent the weekend in New York and then extended his stay by two nights. Without asking. Certainly without respect to my schedule, or my triggers. He was decidedly unapologetic about it. Heck, he went so far as to guilt me. 

But then, I know this. This is Roi, and this is how he does life. It's good to no longer be surprised by his absurd behaviors. Better still to be focusing on what I want to do, where I want to go next, and how I'm going to get there. Sometimes I wonder if Roi was sensing my movement away from him and felt compelled to buy a house, not JUST because the market was right, but because unconsciously he may have thought I would never leave if there was a house.

I'll admit. I had a brief few weeks of worry about this - that I wouldn't want to leave for love of a house. 

As my last post indicates, I no longer worry about that. 

Right now the only thing I'm worried about is Kyd. Those worries could fill three volumes, but in the best summary I can give. Kyd is facing 90 days if he doesn't come up with a pretty large sum of money between now and next Thursday. This is for the DUI and accident he was in 3 and a half years ago. He's not been able to find work, nor be stable enough to look properly or present himself as a desirable employee. 

I don't talk about Kyd much. I'm not sure why this is. It seems to be wrapped in fierce motherly protection, denial wrapped in clutching hope, bottomless feelings of helplessness that don't like to be poked, the brain-crunching juxtaposition of feeling no empathy for Roi and wanting desperately for Kyd to not hurt others the way Roi has, and god knows what else.

In fact, I find I can't really talk much more about him even now when I set out to do that. 

Neurofeedback is saving my life, keeping me sane amidst what would bring the best of us to our knees. I'll just say that. And ask that whatever form of prayer or good energy you practice, if you could send some toward this corner of the world it would be much appreciated. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dear Blog

It's me again. 

Here we are at the new house. And it's lovely. More than lovely. It's solid, and grounded, and peaceful, and grand. It holds a gentle energy within its walls. It sits on a hill on a quiet street, meeting squarely the mountains across the way. 

Kitten has found all the best nooks for naps, including nestled in beside me in my office chair as I work. 

All of my friends and family are agog and gushing with congratulations and wishes for long happiness in our new house. 

I take it in stride. This house, for me, represents the place where I will transition to whatever comes next. No matter how we try, Roi and I cannot seem to fall into any kind of harmony with one another. Verbally he pronounces it is all he wants, and yet strife follows nonetheless. It is now clear how exhausting of any good energy this relationship has for me, and if Roi weren't in a perpetual state of denial (is denial a personality trait?) he would probably feel the same. 

And despite how much I love this house, because I really do, I feel no pain at the thought of leaving it. Only that it seems wrong that Roi should live in it, that he may in the future have someone else live in it with him. 

I've explored this feeling thoroughly, rooting around in its soil, looking for any trace of jealousy or resentment. I do still have resentment, but it's not there regarding him living in the house. It just feels...wrong. As though the house wouldn't want him, would never belong to him no matter how much money he laid down. 

I only want to know that where I go next will be me, will be mine wholly, and that what this house gifts me will come with me. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

a room of her own

Kitten 2 is still alive so far. An hour ago we found her quivering under the bed again, breathing in short raspy breaths. The landlord had come over and frightened her into hiding with his deep baritones. 

Now she sits up against me cleaning herself, her fear forgotten. 

I am thinking about the new house and the extra bedroom. It's tiny and yellow and full of sun and I've claimed it for myself as my "writing room".  Which sounds heavenly under most any circumstances, but more so because I haven't had even a bedroom in over a year, never mind another room all to myself. Roi and I simply can't sleep in the same bed because he's such a light sleeper that even a small snore from me will set his teeth on edge the whole night, and while I'm a heavy sleeper he has such severe restless leg syndrome that he rattles the windows with his kicking. Only a corpse could sleep through that.

Now I will have a separate bedroom and the writing room. 

For however long I'm there. 

It was not my decision to buy this house. Despite what Roi thinks are good intentions it doesn't seem within his realm of abilities to think of us as an us. He thinks he thinks this way, but in reality he operates as though I'm along for the ride. He wants my approval on things, but that approval always has limited options created by him. 

Roi decided the market was right to buy a house and suddenly "we" were house-hunting. And what a roller-coaster that was for me, the ups and downs of which Roi seemed oblivious to. I had say in what I wanted, and the house we finally chose makes us both happy. And because he's buying it with his money and credit I'm not taking on any financial risk (I couldn't anyway even if I wanted to) but this makes it feel like it's "his" house and not ours. And given the ever present relationship problems, particularly around trust, it's created an emotional landscape of fluctuating hope and despair. I'm trying to ride the waves of these emotions with some amount of grace - trying to let a cool head prevail and look at only the logic of it. 

(to be continued...I have a neurofeedback appointment to run off to - let's see what funhouse of emotions this session leaves me with.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

character defects

Let's talk about my character defects for a moment. 

I'm stubborn to a fault. My mother used to tell me I would cut of my nose to spite my own face. Granted, I would shoot a venomous look her way and say, "what does that even mean?!" I wasn't big on reflection. It is difficult to label this only as a character defect since my stubbornness has also gotten me through very tough times when someone else might have given up. It got me into the college I wanted, and it ensured that I was able to do original research at an undergrad level. But there's no doubt, my stubbornness gets me into a lot of trouble too. 

Then there's my temper. On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate it at a 7. I don't throw things, break things, hit people, and most of the time I don't say really mean things that I regret later. Sometimes I kick things - things that can take it and won't break, but that's happened all of 3-4 times in my life. But I do yell, and I too often tear out of the house yelling things over my shoulder. Usually petty, childish things like, "you don't care", or "I hope the roads are slippery". Essentially, I act like a 10 year old who's running away from home because my parents said no to a new pony. 

I've had this temper, as far as I can remember, since I was a teenager. But it is specific. I've never "lost" it at work (not counting working for Roi, because, well...), or in a public place, and I don't blow up over people leaving their laundry around, or forgetting to pick up the milk, or things not going my way/according to plan on a superficial level. I lose it when I feel I'm being attacked, when I'm trying to talk about something that's bothering me and I'm not getting the response I think I need, when people in my life are doing things that I feel are affecting my right and ability to make decisions for myself or otherwise affecting my life in a damaging way. Or when I've had a calm conversation about something that bothered me and the other person agrees it was wrong, and then they do it again. And again.

I can't quite figure out how to handle this and where exactly my responsibility is. I guess it's in the walking away, but that still leaves me with no solution to come to resolution about the things I need. 

Then there are the bigger and more complex character defects that come together to glue me to addicts. We'll just label that codependency for now, for lack of a better term, even though y'all know how I feel about that label

And finally, there are the "character defects" that I'm not sure are defects so much as a response to trauma and sadness and living with other crazy people.  For example, my utter lack of planning or taking care of business. Instead curling up into a ball in my bed and hoping that "tomorrow is another day" and I'll get it right then, but not now. My lack of self-care. My waiting for something to be a crisis before I start dealing, and then grasping to other people to, "please help". These things are relatively newish (the last few years). 

I'm thinking about this because Roi and I are fighting a lot lately. Moving is a stressor, Kyd is a stressor, losing a kitten to an ugly disease is a stressor. I get that. We're all stressed. I'm just trying to figure out what's what, who's who, and how I can keep my side of the street clean before I'm living on that street with a garbage bag of my clothes and Lexie sitting next to me with a black cloud of "you fucked up Mom" hovering over her head.

Friday, March 2, 2012

neurofeedback and brain states

My post of the other day reflected a somber mood. Not long after that post I descended into a blubbering mess over a restaurant getting my order wrong and Roi feeling accused when I wasn't, in fact, accusing him of anything. 

I was in a bad brain state because I had just started a new Neurofeedback protocol, and even though I had given Roi fair warning that the new treatment could set me "off" for a couple weeks, he forgot when faced with the actuality of it. 

Neurofeedback had been tremendously helpful to my c-PTSD but I was still struggling some, particularly given new events with Kyd and the ongoing struggle to repair a relationship devastated by Roi's sex, opiate, and alcohol addictions (and all the wonderful isms that go along with those). All exacerbated by the stress of moving and the tragic death of a lovely, sweet, beautiful little kitten - because really, kittens dying is 500 kinds of wrong.

Therapist is very committed to Neurofeedback and attends a lot of training. She had just started a new protocol that works on a deeper level to "reset" and stabilize and wanted to try it with me. While there are standards, it is still trial and error just like medication. There's no way to know what the right frequency is for a given person, so there's an exploration period. The wrong frequency, just like the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, can put a person in a bad way. 

That happened to me for a few days. My last session was much better and I'm feeling like I have my feet under me again. 

I have more I want to say about the move, the new house, and how I wish I was Julia Child (at least the movie version). But more on that later. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

some things change you forever

That was my reply to a comment on one of my last posts. Which?

It's been a while. You probably thought I was gone from this blog forever.

No. Just positively overwhelmed by life in these last few months. I've been trying to swim in the great tidal wave of life folks. Probably just like you but, funny, I manage to always convince myself that my problems are more complex, my feelings wider and deeper and more fragile, and this my friends is exactly how we get into too deep waters alone without a lifeline.

The sixish month old kitten I adopted is sitting quietly blinking at me with her night-time black eyes by the firelight. I can't tell if she's grieving over her lost sister who we buried just yesterday. I am. Grieving particularly hard that I couldn't stop her illness, couldn't find the right alchemy of love and medicine and herbs and such, had to watch her die rapidly, helplessly and hopelessly holding her tiny head to feed her useless concoctions written by our last-hope-vet. Grieving (absurdly, I know, I get this) that I failed her.

And perhaps my mind uses this grief a little too much because at least it's grief I can handle, instead of letting sink in all the way to my marrow just how messy Kyd's life is, how I have so little control over that, how I failed him too (yes, again, absurdly brow-beating myself -- it's what we mothers do). Though it is in my marrow. I never escape that swirl of guilt, sadness, hope, frustration, anger, and love. I am driven to an awful distraction.

The fire is waning and I'm mostly here to purge. I have work left undone that must be done by morning and instead of doing it I have slipped into that familiar paralysis that accompanies self-pity. This is a predictable formula. Self-pity = paralysis + procrastination = more self-pity. I don't need to check the math on this one. 

I got an email a couple days ago from a Buddhist list-serv asking for tonglen practice for this woman's sister-in-law who in the last year was foreclosed on, ended her 15 year marriage, witnessed a drug/alcohol induced suicide off her own balcony, and then just recently was beaten to within inches of her life by two robbers who stole away with a measly $150. She will need facial reconstruction surgery and may lose her sight, at least in one eye.

And it knocked me into perspective for a moment. My god the suffering life can heave upon one person's shoulders in such a short amount of time. It hardly seems accidental, does it? 

My own life rushed back in, as our lives are wont to do, in short order. The sick kitten who needed tending, the grief and rage over her life being stolen no matter how fiercely we wanted her to live. Kyd shifting from helpful and pleasant to raging and toxic without warning, without clues. And the packing up house to move, something that is supposed to be joyful. We, or rather Roi, bought a new house and it's beautiful.

I have so many feelings about this house, about moving, that I can hardly keep up with them. Instead, I become mute, fold in on myself, find comfort in the physical activity of packing boxes, and then lay sleepless on my bed wondering if I will ever feel ok again, or if indeed as my comment suggested I have been changed forever.