after 'leaving'

3 am.

came downstairs from writing 'leaving'.

had no idea what was in store.

a huge discussion. i'd had four beers and a piece of a glass of champagne in the five hours that came before. two parties, attended alone.

he started it. i don't know where it came from. i guess it had been in his mind, but not in the front, until i climbed into bed. he'd called me downstairs from writing to get into bed, which i was too awake for, and not ready for. i was writing fluently, and was sad to stop. but i answered his call.

we talked. he still is convinced that i just dreamed up all these problems while i was home. that because i read a book, i was now believing that we had problems that i didn't think we'd had before i read it. like the book created problems in my mind. in the same vein that i diagnose myslef with various mental disorders when i read about them and identify.

i took plenty of time to remind him of the conversations we'd been having since at least easter. also in the years preceding, but especially over the summer, and constantly in these last few months.

he cannot come to terms with the fact that he isn't happy. he swears that he is. yet he can also acknowledge that he is lonely, underappreciated, and other things that point out ways he feels neglected. i kept trying to drill it into his brain that he isn't happy, based solely on things he says and admits. he won't have it.

that he needs to get out to realize it. that i want him to go away for more than just four days. because i want him to have the clarity i have. to come back with a fresh mind and a rejuvenated spirit. to know what will make him happier. that will motivate him to change the things in his life that are keeping him from happiness now. that i think he needs to get it all out of his system, all the things he does vicariously through his 'employees'. traveling in the same clothes, without bating out of necessity, not by choice. that his actions show me that he wants to do it, despite him denying it, much less realizing it for himself.

he repeatedly blamed my unhappiness on hormones. and depression. and on seasons. and on the book.

it was my idea to get help. to see a shrink and work my head out and figure out what to do about my life. with my life. that i write things down to process and delay saying them in the moment, when i edit them later. and i told him that i'm not going to go to a dr and take some pills and be magically happy. that i've been figuring out what it takes to make me happy on my own in the meantime. and that, because he doesn't join me when i do things that make me happy, that it means that i'm happier when i'm not with him. because i'm tired of not having fun. and tired of living a hermited life that he insists on living himself.

he didn't want to leave. he didn't want to be social. and that is fine, but that's what i had forgotten that i was. and i'd forgotten the happiness it brings me, to be in a social setting. over drinks.

i told him that i have huge problems with him drinking, even if it's only once a year. because he's an alcoholic, and i don't want to be part of his life if he's gonig to walk that path again. because i already walked that path with him, and it led to our one and only breakup while dating. i gave him an ultimatum then: me or drinking. and he chose me and quit cold turkey. he might be okay having a few beers every once in a while. he might be able to stop there. but it's a fire that i don't want to toy with, and i don't want him to want to do it. and i don't want to see him fail at it. because it's an addiction issue, which his entire life has been plagued with.

i told him that he can't think he's unhappy because of the drugs that he uses to protect himself from those feelings. that it started with his antidepressant. which he NEEDS. but he has chill pills (adavan?) and he takes them every single day. and i think he should only rely on them when he's anxious. and now, with the weed. i told him that he's constantly numbing himself to things that are painful, stressful, and bad for him. and that he can't see through the cloud he puts himself in the midst of. that he thinks of them as crutches. but it's more like being committed to getting around by way of wheelchair.

i told him that i'm aware that i've been using drugs to escape, too. and that i'm not proud of it. that since i started to realize that i was changing that i drink more than i used to, smoke cigarettes like a fiend. or really more than i had in years since we got married. i drank a couple times a week when we were dating, quit because he had to quit completely. and that i don't want to smoke weed every night. but choose to, and that i'm not proud of it, and need to stop. because it's blocking me from making decisions that rely on motivation. that it sucks that right out of me. that it feels fun, but leads to problems, on the most basic level, to financial problems.

i told him that i changed physically while i was away, that i couldn't eat because of the physical stressi was under as i was realizing all the things i couldn't see when i was here. he continues to believe, and said, that i just went home to goof off and to get my family to spend a lot of money on me, to run away from my problems with him, and to let my family buy me clothes and material things. i explained that those things were just side effects, because my mother knew that i'd never do it for myself. and that i NEEDED it to feel better about myself, my life, the position i hold in my job, the way i see myself when i'm staring myself down in a mirror.

it had to happen. i'd felt like white trash for so long before it, and it was something that $600 fixed. and what a small price to pay, to change the way you feel about yourself, lacking confidence that causes daily depression. i make super decent money. and cannot afford myself simple things, like new clothes that help with professionalism.

and i just needed to be nudged and helped along, to be able to do those things for myself, starting while i was there, and that i will continue to do in the future, because now i know now, for certain, that it is worth it.

he actually said some pretty alarming things. that, if i think i'd be happier without him, that i should just end it now. that if i want a separation or a divorce, that i just need to decide that, and do it. and i told him that i don't want that now, not so soon. that i need time to process (which i repeated repeatedly) and to adjust to what i'm figuring out about myself.

and then he said that it might not be up to me to end it. he said 'sometimes people don't have the control over calling it quits.' i was confused by that, and he clarified by saying that it might not be my decision. which really freaked me out. because it told me that he would end it if he thought i was going to; to beat me to the punch. he could preemptively end our marriage, if he thought that it was what i wanted.

problem being, he is a very heady guy. he thinks he knows what is going on in my mind. always. but he's only right a small part of the time. and the other part of the time, he's just deferring his issues onto me.

he said that he knew what he was getting into before he asked me to marry him. and that i am whining about it being hard to be married, and that it's too much work, that i don't feel like doing it. but we've been working on it for so long, this isn't new.

he said that he knew who he was before he married me. i told him that i'm just now figuring myself out, and that i'm not who i thought i was.

i told him that i didn't know what i was getting into. that i didn't really understand what marriage entailed.

he said that he knows the milestones of relationships. living with women before i came along taught him what happens at the one year mark, two year mark, and so on, to the five year mark. he did it twice, five year live-in relationships.

i reminded him that, not only did i not have that experience before marrying him, but that i was never in a relationship for more than two years until him, and that he's the five year professional. to cut me some slack while i learn all the things that i didn't know until i was committed. that we didn't see each other more than just on weekends until we got married and ran away to start our life together. and that it was SHOCKING.

i just had to keep telling him that i'm trying. and i'm tired of trying, but that i'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. and that, yes, it's tempting to take the easy way out, and just quit. but that i'm not there yet.

he said that he knew it would be hard. and work. and that he signed up for it. he didn't remember telling me that he thought it was a mistake to marry me, both a week before he asked me, and the very next day after. nor that he thought i was just getting married for the sake of getting married (i didn't remind him of this statement last night, i'm just remembering it now), which he also said the day after.

he blamed my desire to live my dream on hormones and seasons also. said that i bring it up a couple times a year, and that when i don't mention it between those times, that he thinks it's not important to me.

i explained that i just need to be on the path to that. and cried, saying 'i can't do that to myself. i can't think about that all the time, because it's a TEASE. it's a tease to tell yourself that you can have something you know you can't have.' i can't trick myself or have blind faith that i will get it. so i told him what it would take to get there:

to pay off our credit card debt, $15k. and to buy myself a years' worth of time to not depend on the income from my cafe, that i'd have to save up a years' worth of my salary. so that if it flopped, bottomed out, went under, that we wouldn't lose the house, just the business. i know these things from experience. it is what i know.

he said, 'what if i just went to work, making what you make now? so that you could do it. would you do it?'

and i said that it wouldn't work that way, because we'd be in the same cash-strapped boat that we're in now. just with a role reversal.

that we'd have to pay off our debts, and save up an additional $45k to make me feel like i could even try to do it. and that he'd have to be making what i make now to make that possible, with $60k socked away. that we have no retirement set aside, no savings, no 401ks. and that we're not getting any younger, and that we've set ourselves up to fail because it's not early enough to be starting it. that we should already have done it years ago.

i know that he's trying. but he doesn't think about money logically, the way that i do. the way that i know we have to, just to make the mortgage and keep the heat and water and electricity on. and that every time he throws one of his dreams at me, it is a huge mental setback to me, because it just adds to the money that we don't have, and can't obtain. and tacks on tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars, to the amount that it will take to live my dream.

that when he talks about finishing the basement by the end of 2010 (a $40k project, conservatively), and about buying another building to grow into and rent out ($100k for the half he thinks he can swing), that it devastates my dream.

he tried to downplay those daydreams, but it's about where his mind is. it's not on me. it's not on making my dream come true. it's about perpetuating the hobby that he calls his work. and he has no concept of income, and what it takes to survive. because i haven't made him pay bills. he doesn't get it. and probably won't until he is on his own, and doing it.

luckily, we are on the edge of a cliff right now. we got a call that really could change our financial situation exponentially. and i know that the opportunity is there, for him to be paid just now for what he's been working toward for the last seven years. it's almost payoff time. if his 'employees' don't fuck it up.

which i do fear. i am afraid that it's not going to happen on their end, and that it's going to blow a chance to change our future, financially.

he told me that he tries every single day to make me happy, by telling me that i'm beautiful and kissing me and hugging me and thanking me. and that i don't try to make him happy. i told him that every time i ask him to come to bed, and he declines, that i'm trying to make him happy. that cooking for him every day, cleaning up the house here. that these are my efforts.

that just waking up and going to work everyday is my sacrifice to make him happy by enabling him to live his dream out, in real life. which he didn't think of before that. and will probably promptly forget.

i told him that i am honestly trying. and that i need some space. and i had begged him repeatedly to not try to have this conversation last night, because i was too tired and angry and upset. and that my biggest fear in the place we are in, in our marriage, is to say something irretractable, out of tire and anger.

that he should know this, because he needs to 'sleep on it' practically every day. to take the time to think about the problem, whatever it is, digest it, and then decide what to do. that reminded him of times when he would have temper tantrums in the past, and i'd lock myself in a room away from him to give him time to cool down and get over it, so that we could talk about it later. he really used to freak out on me when i'd use that tactic. because he saw it as my way of running away from my problems.

he thinks that i think that my life will magically be wonderful, better, happier, without him. that if i left him, that i thought all my problems would disappear. that everything in my mind is his fault.

i told him that i am not so simple to really think that leaving him would equate to my happiness, when he suggested that this thought was in my head. i am not that stupid. i am honestly scared to death that when i'm alone, i'll 1. realize that i made a huge mistake in leaving him, 2. that i'll not be comfortable alone, because, at 32, i've never really been alone in my life, and that 3. i know i can't run from my problems, that if they lie within (which i am aware that some of them do), that they'll be with me no matter where i go, or who i'm with, if anyone. if anyone other than him.

i don't know. the whole conversation lasted over two hours, with two cigarette breaks. and two nose blowing breaks, from crying.

the last thing before we went to sleep for the night. i told him that, in the back of my mind, there was this little thing that had always nagged at me, tugged at me when i felt less than confident in our marriage. that when we were dating, he used to accuse me of cheating on him and on getting 'booty calls' (never had one of those in my entire LIFE - i'm nearly asexual). and that, in my experience, limited as it was, that accusations usually signified that the accuser was the guilty party.

that i got an std (don't know the name, guess it's the best kind, because you take one pill and it's gone forever) about six or eight months into our relationship, out of the blue. and that it had always made me wonder how i'd gotten it. i didn't tell him that my dr had told me it was entirely possible to get it from a toilet seat. i told him that it's a std. that you get it from having sex with someone who has it. and that, for the last nine or so years since, it had planted a seed of doubt in my mind. that, during the two weeks we broken up while dating, that i'd been fairly convinced that he'd been with someone else, one of his fuck buddies, to get even with me, and to get what he wanted. instant gratification, no strings attached. and that i'd never even know.

he looked me dead in the eye and said that he had never been with anyone else, the entire time i'd been dating him. that he hadn't seen anyone else since we met and started dating. that i should've mentioned it before now, because it's something that eats away at me, and fucks with me. and i told him that how ridiculous he made it sound that i could think such a thing, was precisely the reason i could never bring it up. but that i wanted to put it to rest once and for all. that i'd never even kissed anyone else since i started kissing him, that it had been six months before him that i was with someone else, and that person was a long term boyfriend, not some random guy.

the whole conversation now is so surreal. how do you move past that? he went about his day today (after a four hour nap lasting from 6 am to 10 am) as if nothing was wrong. that everything was fine again. i feel sick. can't eat. it's after dark, i've had nothing other than coffee. i'm just now needing to eat to stay upright.

he said that i'm giving him mixed signals. like push away, pull back. and i denied that, because i don't think i have. i told him that i'm not a fake person, i'm not a liar. that i don't care about keeping up appearances for the sake of the people we interact with on a daily basis, mostly his 'employees'. that i can't just pretend that nothing is wrong, amiss. and that i am trying to be true to myself and take care of myself so that i can get through this, and eventually past this.

but he made a very good, very valid point. at my birthday dinner, with kit, and mostly his employees, he had tried to sit across and down from me, at the table. and that i asked him to come and sit next to me.

at the time, i think now that it might have been for the sake of appearances. so maybe i am guilty of that. but it wasn't intentional. i thought at the time that he was leaving space for kit, who had yet to arrive. and i was trying to put myself between them, so i could sit next to both of them.

but it is what it is. it was the appearance of us being together. companions. after the last discussion we'd had where he threw around the words divorce, single life, and mentioned selling the house now, to get it over with.

when he said the piece about divorce and separation last night, he said that he wanted to get out before we hated each other, if that was where we're heading. i told him i could never hate him. that i truly love him very very much. and i meant it.

but i also know that loving someone isn't the solution to all your problems. in fact, thinking on it now, i realize that it just serves as a complication to potential solutions. because my heart will always get in the way. i will always delay something painful until i simply can't take it any more. just to avoid hurting myself or someone else.

lately, i've become more self-centered. until now, i have always sacrificed my happiness for what other people want or need. i'm the healer. i take pain on myself so that the people around me have less of it. and the thing is, i just can't wear myself so thin like that. because it's taking a physical toll on me, and it will kill me. or hospitalize me. so i won't do it anymore.

i'm glad to be going through this. catalyzed metamorphosis. i'm so glad that i'm on this path. and little things keep happening to me, showing me that i'm going in the right direction. that i'm doing what i'm supposed to be doing. and that things are going to change for me, whether they happen to me, or whether i make them happen. or whether it is a joint decision to just cut our losses. and fucking RUN.

i don't know what my future holds, but every day, i'm less afraid of it. and that is a healthy place to be.

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