Monthly Archives: October 2012

Diary of a Divorce: Oct 30th

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MEN GRAB OUR ASSES; WOMEN SAVE THEM

      Ah yes, but I was in a dark mood yesterday. I don’t even want to look at my last post to remind myself. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing that part of self-loathing is alive and kicking, even after all these years. That I would let a complete stranger knock me to such a low point once again. That I could doubt myself and consider myself unfit to breathe the air–all because some moron said he wasn’t attracted to me. The power of a man to sting…to injure…to kill my spirit. I don’t blame him–or any man. The responsibility is mine. I am my worst enemy.

       I can say that there were mitigating factors: Yes, I will be divorced from my fourth husband (actually three, if you don’t count the man I married and divorced twice) in fewer than three months. My mother has advancing dementia, and I have been consumed with finding an appropriate assisted living home in which to place her. BTW, I found one–and she’s agreed to go!!! That is a story for another time.

       And, of course, I am still grieving the loss of the true love of my life.

       My immunity was reduced by these intense pressures. I’ll give myself that. It’s comparable to the way we get a cold or the flu. We don’t get sick from being out in the cold without a sweater. We get sick when our immune systems don’t have the energy to fight free-floating germs that live constantly all around us. We breathe the air or touch the hand of someone who’s ill, and bam! Next thing we know we’re in bed blowing our noses, shivering with the chills, barfing in the toilet, and being generally miserable. I don’t get sick often..

        So I allowed the “bad germs” of a man’s opinion into my system and got sick. At least, it only lasted for about half a day yesterday.

        By early evening, I was entertaining my mother and the care finder who’d just taken her to visit the assisted living home. She promised that, once he took her home, she’d give him a deposit to hold her room for one month. Hooray! When they drove off, I hurried about to fix my dinner before my close friend came over. She’d had a bad day and needed to talk. I love her to death, and we are both good at pulling each other’s covers. I let her talk and I gave her my perspective on the situation. She cried a little but felt better afterwards. When I saw she was back to normal, I asked her if I could tell her about MY misery. Of course, she agreed.

        Without judgment of me and my issues, she simply rolled her eyes about the guy. What a jerk! She listened as I came to my own conclusions. How could I let a 60 yr old, never married, never lived with anyone, no kids, only child, man with a limp dick determine my attractiveness–or lack thereof? Did I even once ask myself if I was attracted to HIM? If I even LIKED him? No, of course not, I was too busy trying to get him to like me. Ugh. Triple ugh…

         We ended the evening laughing our asses off. A good friend always does that for me. We laugh at things that seem so important, so crucial to our lives, just minutes or hours before. We realized that we both suffered from the same illness: wanting others to like us, even at our own expense. We were both exhausted from our day..but renewed from talking. We gave each other a big hug at the door, promised to see each other next weekend, and waved goodbye as she drove away.

           Another crisis averted. No, it’s not as big as the storm raging on the East Coast. It’s the storms that sweep across our minds and hearts every once in awhile. Luckily, the clean up is so much easier.  No pails or brooms are necessary. Just a good night’s sleep.

          I am so grateful for my friends, who’ve walked with me to hell and back. They have saved my ass….and never once commented if they thought it was getting too big!!! The women are where I draw my support. Men? Well, they can be fun distractions– as long as I don’t take them too seriously.

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Diary of a Divorce–Oct 29th

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I FEEL UGLY…OH SO UGLY..tra la la la la la la la.

       So I lied last night when I wrote it didn’t bother me that this guy I met on the personals site didn’t find me attractive. Well, maybe I didn’t lie exactly, I just thought I had a stronger self-image than to let his opinion of me devastate me. Stage Two, reality, hit me with a thud today…big time.

       Why is it that, after all these years, I’m still judged the way I was in junior high school: by appearance? Don’t these guys ever grow up? Don’t they look for more important qualities after a certain age?

        And what is so wrong with me? Yes, my face bears the scars of cystic acne from a very rough adolescence. I’ve had three dermabrasions to get a smoother complexion, but I’m still far from being a model in a skin advertisement. And I don’t have cover girl looks. I have been called “pretty” by many, including…sigh….my last husband. He was great for my ego, always telling me I looked “great.” Was it all a big lie?

        Is it time to consider a few nips and tucks, a little Botox and Restylane? Is that what it takes these days to be attractive? An expressionless face without wrinkles or evidence of a full life, filled with good times and bad?

        Sure, I’ve filled out a little in my body, but I’m far from overweight. I don’t have that perfect body I had in my teens and my 20’s. I’m older now and things are drooping from having kids, taking care of men in my marriages, dealing with back problems, and going through normal aging. But it’s a GOOD body in that it allows me to walk, sit, stand, run, dance, and keep up with just about anyone. My eyes can see, even if I need glasses to read. My ears can hear. Sure, I’ve got a few more twinges in the morning, and I do still rely on meds for the back pain. But hell, I’m not an ingenue anymore…never was, actually.

         I’m just a woman, a woman with passion and fire over things and people about whom I care. I am very funny. My dearest friends love me “to bits.” This latest term was from a voicemail from someone inviting me to a party next weekend. She had no idea I was so blue at the time she left the message for me but made it clear she wanted me to come so badly that she called me personally instead of leaving me the flyer everyone else will get. Women love my strength, my ability to say what’s on my mind, my direct manner. Yes, they love me warts and all.

        But men? Are they still living with teenaged minds? Are they looking for that perfect girl, that sexy love goddess who is flawless in her looks, subservient in her responses to him, and in his life simply to build his ego? Or to hang on his arm like a trophy?

         Maybe I’m making too much of this today. Yes, it could be HIM and HIS issues. The guy can’t even get it up in bed, for heaven’s sake! But isn’t it like us, as women, to wonder what is wrong with US? If only we were thinner, if only our skin and bodies were flawless, if only we were twenty or thirty years younger.

          Have I really lost “it”? Are the best years over? Will I live alone, a single “dog lady” forever, unloved and unlovable?

          Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself today. Yes, I’ve got a bad case of the blues. It happens..

           But tomorrow IS another day.

Diary of a Divorce–Oct 28th

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FAILING AT CHEMISTRY

       In school, I was never any good at science. I did love Biology because it was truly fascinating to learn about the human body. But all the rest of it? Mixing beakers of  chemicals, dissecting fetal pigs, and memorizing formulas for oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen? Who really cared?

      But what does it feel like to fail at chemistry when it’s with another person? And what does it take to feel good chemistry? It’s like pornography. I can’t explain it, but I know it when I see and feel it.

     Tonight, I was blown off by a man I’d met on Friday. We’d corresponded back and forth a few times prior to that on the personals website. Frankly, when I saw his picture, I didn’t think he’d be for me.    From his photo, I thought someone should encourage him to rearrange his hairstyle and to find a new pair of  more flattering eyeglasses.

  We set a date to meet at the pier on Friday at 4:30 pm. I had little or no interest in the meeting because he seemed too “square” for me–too conservative, too Orange County-ish, even a bit too geeky. As I walked to our meeting place, I structured myself to stay open-minded and to consider the date as “practice.” Nothing ventured, nothing gained–or lost.

       When I first laid eyes on him, I was pleasantly surprised. He had on sunglasses, had a nice physique for someone his age, and his hair looked a lot more attractive with the wind blowing through it.  We hugged in greeting, but I felt like his hug was lackluster. Did I sense a lack of interest on his part? Stay present, I told myself. Be nice and pay attention.

       As we strolled along the pier, the conversation focused mostly on my experiences trying to find my mother an assisted living home. He’d gone through something similar with his mother and had placed her somewhere where she’d stayed until her death. As an only child, he’d been in charge of her well-being and care. I gave him points for being a good son.

       Red flags began to wave on the way back from the end of the pier as he explained how he’d never married and never had kids. His longest relationship lasted only 3 years. Pretty strange for a 60 year old man…but okay. No judgments on my part, but it did seem strange. Did he have commitment issues? I probed for answers in my typical “investigative” mode to see if I noticed anything making it obvious as to why he had never even lived with a woman.

        Then the focus of our conversation switched to medical problems. He has a bad back, as do I. We empathized with each other about all the different pains that seem to come with age.

        But were these the subjects of a man who was attracted to a woman? My gut instinct told me “no.”

        We stopped and shared some soft drinks, continuing to chatter without lags in the conversation. I’ve always been a good conversationalist and can draw out even the most reluctant of people to share their whole lives with me, so that was no surprise.  He revealed that a couple of women he’d met on this personals site had thrown themselves at him. One of them had invited him to her house for dinner and then had suggested they go upstairs to the bedroom.

         “How weird!” I said. “Did you go?”

          Yes, he said, he’d gone–but reluctantly–and then was unable to perform sexually. In her next contact with him by email, she told him they weren’t compatible. Another woman with whom he’d had his longest relationship of about 18 months, slipped him a note to tell him she wasn’t “into” him physically.

         Still, I didn’t see it coming…

         After watching the sun set, he asked me how we were doing. Did I want to join him in a casual restaurant for dinner?  I said I thought we were doing fine, so I agreed to go to dinner. During dinner, I learned that he’d retired. He has almost no support system. His parents are dead, and he has no siblings. He does play a lot of golf with some guys, but they don’t really talk about personal things. He doesn’t really have a lot of interests, other than golf and skiing during the winter season.

         So had he asked me to dinner because he just wanted some company? Is he so lonely and bored each day that he’d been pleased not to have to eat alone, for a change? Or was there some real interest???? I still couldn’t read him…

       After dinner, he walked me to my car. He asked if he could see me again today, and I told him I’d have to get back to him as I had a lot to do.

        He emailed me Friday night and told me what a great time he’d had. I fished around to see what he’d thought of me. Had he found me attractive? Did I misrepresent myself on my profile? I told him I’d actually found him quite handsome, a big surprise from what I’d surmised from his photo. We joked about his being a “geek” in his photos.

       His response to my questions was sort of vague. Yes, he said, I’d appeared just as I’d promised in my ad. I have a huge smile and I’m easy to talk to. He enjoyed himself with me…and blah, blah blah..

        I told him I wouldn’t be getting together with him today because I had a lot of stuff to do around the house. This was true. Then I put it out there, as specifically as I could. I asked him straight out if he thought we’d had chemistry. Was he attracted to me?

       It was really hard for me to ask!!! I felt uncomfortable and didn’t want to appear to be begging for compliments. But I wanted a plain answer to my questions.

        He responded by, yet again, being evasive. He admitted he had problems with E.D. (erectile dysfunction). He said he had “some” physical interest in me but wasn’t sure if he was keeping himself from feeling it to avoid possibly getting hurt.  I responded by telling him we both face the possibility of rejection, but that’s the price of a new “relationship” if we were to pursue one. I also suggested he call his doctor and get more info about those blue pills!!!

       He promised to call me tonight so we could talk further. Then, he called at six o’clock.

       He admitted he’d been evasive with me about the issue of chemistry because…..well….if he was being honest, he thought of me more as a friend.  And could I use another friend?

       Thank you very much, I said, but no thanks. I have quite enough friends. I was looking for a romantic connection, and, frankly, it hurt that he didn’t feel anything for me romantically.  STill, I realize that, if you don’t feel it at the very beginning, you don’t feel it–and you probably never will.

      Shortly thereafter, I ended the conversation.

       I don’t know what to make of being blown off by this guy!! It always comes down to my needing reassurance by some MAN that I’m still desirable. What does it mean that THIS man doesn’t find me desirable? Is it HIS problem? Was I too direct when I asked him if we had chemistry? Did I push too hard trying to get to the issue of attraction? Did I frighten him off with my level of intensity and honesty?

      OTOH, what’s his trip? Why did he extend our first meeting to include dinner? Why did he ask me out today? Is he just lonely? That’s not good enough for me anymore. I want a REAL relationship built out of a commonality of interests and of beliefs. Just to be with someone instead of alone is not good enough..anymore.

        You know, I’m surprised that I’m not more bummed about this. Frankly, I’m glad it came out early in the “relationship.” How would it be if I dated him for months or even years and he then slipped me a note admitting he’d never felt attracted to me? Better to rip the bandage off quickly than to develop feelings for him and to be kicked in the gut later.

       I even feel a little relieved. I won’t have to worry about, and deal with, his ED. He can take his limp dick to someone else for the cure! I’ve never had to deal with that particular issue, and I don’t want to start now. Good riddance!!!

      It helps that I have another date set up in a week and a half with a man who has texted me early each day and each night for the past week and a half with romantic screensaver messages. He says I seem like the “complete package” and he can’t wait to meet me. He has sent me numerous pictures of himself, and he looks absolutely adorable. All along, he’s been my favorite of the online profiles. The problem? He lives about two hours away…

        But the truth is that, even if this other guy and I have no chemistry, I won’t be devastated. Nothing any of these guys can say or do to me will ruin my life anymore. They are all simply distractions, simply fun fantasies that last as long as they do. If they should develop into something more, cool. If not, I’ve enjoyed a few meals, had some pleasant and some not-so-pleasant encounters, and met lots of different people. In the meantime, I continue to live and deal with my very REAL life.

          So I failed the chemistry test. I was never really good at, or interested in, science anyway. Writing was always was strong suit. I hope you all agree!

Diary of a Divorce–October 24th

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LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND–OR IS THAT MY HEAD SPINNING?

     I’ve been reading some blogs lately from people whom I follow. They are writing about love, and, perhaps, they are missing having love in their lives.

     I’ve known love–REAL love–and I’ve learned it’s not a feeling. It’s an action.  Let me explain.

     We all love how we FEEL when we’re first meet someone new and become infatuated with them. They tell us what we want to hear about ourselves–how lovely we look, how they can’t wait to see us again, to touch us again, to hear our voices again. We are walking on clouds, in a delirium of fantasy and excitement. God, I love that part of “love.”  The word “love” usually is uttered when one person in the couple announces at a romantic moment or right after sex that he or she is “falling” in love. It’s no accident that we feel we are “falling.”  We are in a trance, our cheeks flushed, the happiness radiating from every pore. We have fallen…Into a form of insanity!

      The truth is that what I’m loving is how HE makes me feel about MYSELF.  I feel beautiful. I feel treasured. I feel valued and lovable. It’s not really about him or about loving him. I love how he makes me feel about myself. I’m saying this twice so that I can hear it myself.

       The husband I’m now divorcing said he couldn’t help “falling in love” with me. Then he said the magical words: “I love you.”

        I wasn’t sure if I truly loved him, but what could I say?  “Oh, how nice! How flattering! Thank you so much”?

        No, I went against my gut and told him I loved him too. We had been together less than a month.

        I knew deep in my heart what true love was. I learned it when my previous husband (#2 & #3) got ill with brain cancer. I watched this once beautiful, sexy, strong man be replaced by a brain-damaged, dependent child who could no longer walk. His  thoughts revolved around food and sleep, the most elemental of primal needs, and it was my job to take care of all his needs. I sat for hours in wooden chairs in emergency rooms and hospitals, even after having major back surgery. I drove him to treatments, to chemo and radiation, while he argued with me like an obstinate 6 yr old–and while I worked full-time. I had no thought of myself or how I was “feeling.” I was a human savior, and it was my duty to keep him from dying. I cleaned up after him when he couldn’t make it to the toilet, I lifted his 250 lb body off the floor when he fell.

         No, I was no martyr. I cried and railed against the unfairness. I complained bitterly about what had become of my life, the darkness in which I lived, the fact that I had no time left for my own needs. When I didn’t think I could do it for one more minute, I did it for many more hours, months, and then years.

         During those days, weeks, months and years, I learned what love looked like. And I learned it had nothing to do with how he made me feel about myself. Love was truly about giving to HIM, about caring more about someone else than I did about myself, even when he wouldn’t and couldn’t reciprocate. I got no appreciation or words of love from him during the almost four years I took care of this man with whom I’d shared almost 30 yrs of my life. Before he’d gotten sick, he’d been there for me. He’d been my protector and had loved me unconditionally. He would ultimately follow me to the ends of the earth, at my whim.

       He had been the wind beneath my wings.

       At the ending stages of his life, I realized just how much I loved him. Not the fantasy of him, not the storybook version of the prince with the ruby slipper–but a real and very vulnerable man who’d stuck with me through thick and thin.

          He taught me the meaning of love. And then he died…

         I don’t know if I’ll ever know love like that again. But I do know that I’ll never again say it to keep from hurting someone’s feelings.  When my soon-to-be-ex told me he loved me, I should’ve said “Thank you for saying that,” or even “Thank you for enjoying how I make you feel about yourself” But love? No, I don’t think I ever really loved him. Now, I even wonder if I ever liked him.

          I already knew what real love was and is:  an action.   I still miss and ache for the one true love of my life. Even though at the very end of his life I made lots of mistakes, mistakes I’ll regret forever, I know I acted always out of love.

         As John Lennon said: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

          After we’re gone, the love we give is what we leave behind. In the words of another song, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” 

          Today, show somebody you love them.

Diary of a Divorce–Oct 16th

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MAKING A SPLASH!

       I have depended on the various men in my life to help with repairs around the house when something breaks, as it inevitably does. Husband 2/3 was a contractor who was basically skilled in just about everything related to construction. He was a genius at building and had an artist’s eye to create beauty out of everyday material. He turned our fixer-upper home  into a cozy, adorable, beautiful masterpiece where I just had to ask for something to be done and he’d do it (in his time, of course!) The house is a testament to his talents.

        When he was struck by brain lymphoma, I could no longer depend on him for anything that went wrong. Actually, I couldn’t count on him for anything anymore. It was beyond sad. This once virile, strong man ended up in a wheelchair. I became the one who had to make all the hard decisions, and I was suddenly cast into the role of fixer-upper around the house. I’m embarassed to say I’d never changed a lightbulb or unplugged a stopped up toilet when it’d been so much easier to tell him to do it.

        It took me HOURS to plunge my first stopped up toilet. I cried through the whole experience as s**t splattered on my walls and into my hair. I felt so inept and useless. BUT I did it! When it flushed normally, I cheered like a high schooler whose team scored a touchdown.

        Even before #2/3 died, I found a replacement in husband #4.  He was an engineer, but he still knew how to do things around the house. I thought I’d found my new prince! The problem, however, was that he never wanted to do any of these things and would procrastinate endlessly. I wanted to keep from being the screaming fishwife, so I sat quietly and stewed in my resentments. I even hired a handyman a few times to do things #4 was unwilling/unable to do.

        When I “asked” #4 to leave for the final time, I found myself dreading anything possibly going wrong around the house. The truth was that I didn’t want to learn about these mundane chores. I didn’t want to have to read an owner’s manual about what, for the “average” man comes naturally.

         Of course, things did start to fall apart with time. It’s part of the experience of being a home owner. As I struggled for hours, mostly in resistance, I finally undertook to fix little things around the house. Lightbulbs? No sweat. Picking lint out of a dryer so my clothes wouldn’t be wet after circling for an hour? Even a moron could do it (including me!)  One of the worst of the worst was when I had to use a trap to kill a tree rat and then lifted the bloody bag to dispose of the body. Yuccccck. But I did it. Last week, I came home to find one of my dogs had brought a barely alive brown mouse from the garden and dropped it onto my bedroom carpet. I wept as I had to scoop this half-dead mouse into a bucket, shoved it outside, and dropped a heavy rock on it to put it out of its misery. I knew that, if I didn’t, the dogs would use the poor thing as a toy until they killed it slowly and miserably.

         I didn’t (and often don’t) want to do all these things on my own. I want someone ELSE to be responsible…but there is NO someone else. It’s up to me now.

      I watched my gardener spend 10 minutes mowing my tiny front and back lawns and then blowing leaves with those infernally loud gas blowers. As I resentfully wrote my $65 monthly check to him, I decided it would be my last one.  I bought my own battery-operated, lightweight mower and I’ve been mowing my lawns ever since. It’s a snap! And good exercise! I love the blower. It’s actually fun, and it’s electric so no ear-splitting whines and no more inhaling those noxious gas fumes. I haven’t mastered the edger yet. You could say I’ve got “trenches” down each side of my lawn where a straight edge seems beyond my grasp. With time, I should master even that.

       Then the pump gasped its last breath in my outdoor fountain. Oh no! #4 had made such a big deal out of replacing the previous pump. For some reason, the one he purchased (after little hints from me for months and months) wasn’t the right one. He went back and forth to Home Depot before settling on one that became the bane of my existence. It filled daily with tiny leaves I’d have to pick out one by one.

         I was in terror! It was now up to me to find a replacement. I spent many hours on the internet last weekend gathering info on GPH (gallons per hour), size, specs, etc. In despair, I called several companies hoping they’d guide me in finding a replacement for my now discontinued pump. It seems that October is a bad month for outdoor gardening supplies. Few had them in supply anymore, and no one had a clue how to help.

        Finally, I took the broken pump to Home Depot and searched for a female “associate.” She was very blunt, very cut and dried–but extremely helpful. I told her I’m divorcing and don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I’ve done that before in HD when I needed a drill and a weed killer. The women ‘get” it and are so encouraging.

        I brought home the pump we both agreed seemed to be closest to what I needed. I held my breath as I twisted the tube into the existing hole. Impossible. It didn’t fit. I almost started to cry again. But then I lifted the plastic container and two size adjusters fell from the package. I figured why not see what they could do? As I wiped off the accumulating spider webs that landed on my hands and face from the fountain parts, I shoved in one of the adjusters. It fit!!!!

        I switched on the electricity and…..out pumped the water, making a delightful splash in the bottom of my fountain!

       As I sit here luxuriating in the serene sound of that lovely concrete fountain in the shape of a long-haired woman, I am beyond pleased with myself.

       Folks, I think I’m gonna make it alone. I’m feeling again like that Helen Reddy song title: I am woman, hear me roar.

        And I decided to cancel that date with the potential f**k buddy who requires several women to satisfy his appetites. I deserve better, so much better.

Diary of a Divorce–October 13th

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MY HEART, the LONELY HUNTER

      Loneliness is a dangerous place to be. It can trick my mind into thinking I need something or someone who isn’t good for me. I know that we women were intended biologically to be the gatherers, but modern day society has pushed us into this newer role of hunter. And this animal has been on the prowl–for relief from myself.

     I haven’t blogged for quite some time. I convinced myself no one really cared to read about developments in my life. After all, I rarely get comments when I do send posts to this site.

      What is lying under the  surface is a general feeling of being out of control and powerless to change circumstances. Most prominently is the advancing dementia of my 93 year old mother. She is great at deceiving everyone with whom she comes in contact, and, more importantly, my extended family, that her mind is just fine. It’s not. For the past dozen years, she’s been obsessed with a neighbor she’s convinced is trying to poison her.  She believes the neighbor is sending ants with poison on their backs into her house and that the neighbor pumps gas into her bathroom.

      She had convinced my son to install a security camera outside of her house to videotape any movements at her front door. When nothing showed up on the film, my mother berated him by saying the camera was defective. My niece then footed the bill for an alarm system which was programmed to shriek loudly should anyone get into her house.  Even with this intricate alarm system, which has never detected anyone in her house, my mother still insists the neighbor is getting in (through the walls?), stealing her property, and ripping her clothing just to devil her.

       Most of the family lives outside the immediate area, so they aren’t around to see how crazy my mother has become. I’m in the trenches, up close and personal. My mother has trashed me and raged against me for disbelieving her delusions. I made the horrid mistake once of going over to check out this neighbor. I concluded she has no issue with my mother. When I told Mom this, she accused me of being in collusion with the neighbor. Now, my mom calls the neighbor my “best friend.” In addition, all her other neighbors, who used to be her friend, are conspiring with the woman to inform her whenever Mom leaves her house.   These developments are so sad and scary. My mother’s mind has always been so sharp. She’s always seemed coherent and aware. It is all a big act now.

       In recent weeks, the paranoia has gotten more and more out severe.  A week ago, she told members of my family that the neighbor had poisoned all her food. She has stopped eating everything but matzos, with a theory that poison cannot infect matzos. Don’t ask.

       So my family has imploded, each member calling me and urging me to “fix” the situation. Although they doubted me and were in denial for YEARS about all the previous developments, now my sister has conceded she and the others “were wrong.”

        I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to handle this sad and frightening situation alone. I am depressed and withdrawn. I want escape from these things I can’t control. Since I can no longer drink or otherwise self-medicate, I’ve turned from reality to….well, these men I’ve been obsessed with on the personals site. None of the guys has worked out so far. The last one, with whom I shared a previous social worker and whom I discussed in my last blog, finally convinced me to meet him. Then, right before we were to set a date, he met with his therapist. She somehow convinced him he had some issues to deal with in his last relationship before pursuing a new one. Okay, no sweat. We haven’t talked since then.

        Message after message has poured in from new guys, none of whom sounded great. The ones who seemed nice and who promised to adore me were physically unappealing. Each of the ones who was attractive had one issue or another that prevented me from thinking they were right for me.

        One guy, with whom I might actually meet this Tuesday, is extremely attractive. The problem? He is not interested in a monogamous relationship and enjoys having many women in his life simulaneously. In effect, I believe it would be a strictly sexual thing between us, if we click.  Maybe that is what I need now, instead of the aggravation and energy required for a “boyfriend” or LTR. Maybe he’d be a “friend with benefits.” Doesn’t actually sound so bad–if I can pull it off.

       So what danger lies in all these developments–besides the obvious condition of my mother???

       I had a brief “relapse” a couple days ago. No, not one involving alcohol. One that involves a soon-to-be-ex-husband whom I allowed, one more time. to become a fantasy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could be here to hug me and hold me and promise me everything would be just fine with mom? He knows the family dynamics. He has a level head. And he could sure help with the financial straits I’m facing by supporting myself. Maybe I should postpone the divorce? Maybe I was too hasty?? Maybe he’s seen the error of his ways, misses me enough, and would reappear as a great guy instead of who he really is.

       We had contact again regarding the filing of our 2011 taxes. He’d gotten an extension until mid-October. It seems that every time we have contact, always through emails, I fall back  into those fantasies.  And yes, it happened again–right in the middle of this mom stuff, right in the middle of my anxiety and fears about putting mom into some sort of an assisted living place. My mother, my daughter, and I went to see one yesterday that had been highly recommended by a friend who’d put his mother there.

      The place was a nightmare. We couldn’t get away from it soon enough. Of course, we ended the afternoon and evening with a screaming fight. That’ how we roll.

       So I got nostalgic for the “good old times” with my soon-to-be-ex. I emailed him that I missed him and those times when we’d laughed at things only the two of us understood. I talked about the music we’d listened to together as we made love so beautifully together. The problem was that I hit the “send” button.

        He is like a drug to me.  The drug called Mark promises quick relief, but instead turns on me with a viciousness reserved for an enemy.  The drug called Mark is highly addictive. This drug plays with my mind, convincing me I need him in order to live. It convinces me that he’s my friend and has my best interests in mind while silently destroying everything I’ve built, all the advances I’ve made in shaking the addiction.

        We quickly moved in our emails from fantasy (“I’ll always love you; I miss you terribly”) to the typical ones that caused the marriage to fail, his accusations that I’m always looking for a fight, that I’m filled with resentments against him, that I hurt him every time he’s willing to share his true feelings with me…and on and on. It’s always my fault.

       Withdrawal from this drug called Mark is a nightmare. It keeps me ill, depressed, unable to cope and questioning everything I believe that is good within me. I begin to think I’m a worthless, weak, mean-spirited human being who doesn’t deserve to be breathe the same air as the rest of mankind. Best to keep to myself, better to shield humanity from my evil ways by secluding myself in the house.

        Oh yeah. I remember at last, after his latest accusations. Wait one minute! I remember that he is not good for me. He is not my friend. He is out to prove me wrong every time. He is a “right” fighter, and I’m always to blame. Oh yeah.

        So I sent him a brief email last night. I told him I’d accidentally slipped into a nostalgic mood. I admitted I’d written that last email when I was lonely. I told him to forget the whole thing. Mea culpa.

       Of course, he responded today with kindness, tugging once again on my heart.  How’s my back, he asked. How horrible about my mother, he empathized. His father had slipped and broken his hip. How awful about our folks.

       No. In the words of the Who song: I won’t get fooled again.

       Maybe this new guy is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe a purely sexual, non-emotional fling is what I need. Anything but that drug called Mark. Anything but having to deal with life on life’s terms, alone. My heart is indeed a lonely hunter today. Like the alleged poison wafting into my mother’s house, Mark is my poison, filling my head with sickness. This time, though, I’m not going to bite.