“Thought I knew what love was, what did I know? Those days are gone forever, I should just let ‘em go…”

Have you ever gotten news about someone you used to know that just kind of sits in the back of your head and low grade bothers you for days? That’s where I’m at right now. In order to explain why it bothers me, I need to talk about one of the most horrible things I’ve ever done. My ex boyfriend and former best friend, Jack, was married. He was also my boss. I know that no one has any sympathy for the mistress. I was stupid, selfish, and young. He was selfish and manipulative. It’s weird the way I can still remember the first time I heard his voice and the first time I saw him. I was sitting in my car at panera bread when I first heard his voice on my voicemail, and I remember thinking he sounded hot, and wondering if he would be. When I met him at my interview, I most definitely decided he was not hot at all. His ears were so big! It took me such a long time to really see him, but once I did, he was the only person who could catch my eye. It started slowly, with a look when we were passing in the hall. I was in so much pain from this horrible on and off relationship I was in, and on that particular day, I was really feeling it. He looked at me with so much empathy in his eyes, like he wanted to take my pain from me and bear it himself. It wasn’t like I developed a crush on him then, but I decided that I liked him as a person. He wasn’t just my annoying boss anymore. Then a few months later we started emailing back and forth at work. It was summer 2012. A few days before the 4th of July, my car started overheating and broke down in the mall parking lot on my lunch break. I had to call AAA and have it towed to a repair shop. I called jack to let him know I’d be late coming back to the office from lunch, and he offered to come pick me up. He also drove me back after work. That was when I started to think that maybe I had a crush on him. It was one of those crushes where I just liked to think about him, but I wasn’t sure if I would ever really want anything to happen. We started emailing more and more after that. His wife and kids were staying at their lake house up north for the summer, so jack had plenty of time to email me. One night when I stayed late at the office, he came back to see me. We sat there talking until 11:00 at night. When I left, my whole body felt like it was buzzing with electricity. I was so infatuated with him. I’ve never felt so dizzyingly drunk on another person in my entire life. I was sure that nothing would ever come of it though. He was married! I was so sure his wife was a cold hearted bitch. He told me all about how awful she was and how trapped he was because she would take his kids and all his money. He told me about how badly she treated him and about how boring and uptight she was and how she was mean to his oldest son. I was so stupid. I still didn’t quite believe that he liked me as anything more than a friend when he emailed me after work on August 7th 2012 and asked me to meet him at b-dubs for dinner. That night changed everything. We got drunk. We ended up at this little dive bar in a nearby town, drinking and playing songs on the jukebox. When we left, I told him that he needed to hear the cover of The Boys of Summer by the Ataris, because we both had this thing for Don Henley and the eagles. We got in my car and drove down the backstreets of the town, and then parked in front of some houses. I don’t remember exactly what was said or how it went, but I remember him brushing some hair out of my face and saying, “this could get very complicated,” and then I didn’t let him finish. I kissed him. We kept it together for almost two years before things started to go sour. We were so in love. I can’t drive through certain areas without flashbacks of him playing through my head like a movie highlight reel. I remember the sound of rain on my window AC unit in my Royal Oak apartment while we were lying in bed together in the dark the first time he ever came over. I remember our secret meeting spot in the basement stairwell of the office building. I remember the day we had a snowstorm so bad that he closed the office early. I can still feel the snow hitting my face as I ran blindly through the freezing white air to his car, and the way for a few seconds when I closed the door, everything was so silent and it was just him and me, hidden from the world in the middle of the snow. I remember our trips. I remember running through the pouring rain in Chicago to get into the aquarium. I remember our breakfast place in California and walking on the beach. I remember all the nights we spent sitting in the dark in his car just talking. I remember how high I felt every time I saw him. I remember the way his eyes turned green when he was sad and all his irritating nervous habits. I remember when things started to get bad. I remember how crazy he got over other guys. He used to drive past my ex boyfriend’s house several times per week. I remember the morning he filed for divorce in October 2014. I had finally decided that I’d had enough and refused to talk to him for days. He filed that morning, and I knew when I saw him standing there in the parking lot looking terrified. I remember the next three months. His wife insisted that he wait to actually serve her the papers for some reason. She used the children against him and told their oldest son that it was his fault that his dad was leaving the family. I remember how I suddenly became very afraid of how real things were getting. I was afraid that his kids would hate me and that it would be years before he would ever marry me. I was afraid that he’d decide he wanted to date around. I was drowning in fear and doubt. And then I remember when the three month mark came where he had to either serve her or the divorce would be canceled. I remember texting him on the last day and asking if he was going to stay in his marriage. He said, “for now.” I went home and laid on my couch in the dark crying and repeating his name over and over into the dark. Things got so ugly after that. 2015 was when I started tearing myself apart. After Jack let his divorce get canceled, I started openly dating other men. He was still my boss, and we were still best friends and still engaging in the affair, but I was no longer all in. He started getting really crazy. He would show up at my apartment every morning and almost every night. He started making my life a living hell at work. He started giving me assignments that he knew I couldn’t possibly do. Like he told me he wanted me to basically redesign the company’s website. I had no experience in web design and didn’t know html. I told him this. He just smirked and said, “teach yourself.” Then I got raped. I don’t even know how it happened really. I had been talking to this guy for about two months, and I invited him over to watch a movie and drink wine. It was my mom’s birthday, and I’d had a glass of wine with her several hours earlier. When he came over, halfway through my second glass of wine with him and my third glass that day, I suddenly became very, very drunk. The last thing I remember is falling and spilling my wine and him catching me. The next thing I knew I was waking up the next morning and he was lying behind me with my pants partially pulled down and his dick was inside me. I immediately freaked out and made him leave. How did that happen? How did I get blackout wasted on only three glasses of wine? Was it my fault? I made a bad choice, inviting him over and getting drunk. But why did he have sex with me while I was sleeping? Was it my fault? I don’t think that question will ever stop haunting me. I just started drinking after that. I drank and drank until that question stopped ringing through my head. I drank until I forgot that there must be something wrong with me. I drank until I stopped thinking that guys don’t rape girls who are truly beautiful and worthy because they respect them and see them as marriage material. I drank until I stopped thinking about how I’d probably be alone forever.

And Jack, well he fucking watched me tear myself to pieces. He watched the light drain out of my eyes. He watched me become this cold, angry person who hated men and trusted no one. He watched me die a little more inside each and every day, but he was so selfish that he didn’t care. He never cared what he was doing to me or to his wife. We were collateral damage. The only people that mattered were him and his children. In September 2015, I decided that I was done choosing men based on love and attraction. I decided that I was going to choose a man based on logic. I was going to be sensible, and I was never going to let myself be with anyone who could hurt me ever again. So I chose Vince. Vince was a guy who had been chasing me for years. He was responsible, successful, tall, handsome, and boring in my eyes. Vince was the all American jock type of guy. He jumped through hoops to be with me, so I decided to give him a chance. This made Jack really lose his shit. He started basically stalking Vince, and he would do things like text me photos of Vince’s license plate from the parking lot of my apartment while he was over. One day he called me freaking out and crying saying that he was sitting in his basement with his gun in his mouth about to shoot himself. He walked into my apartment one day and smashed the TV that vince gave me. He’d storm in and destroy any gift that vince gave me. I was still falling apart. Between jack going absolutely insane on me and still trying to drink away my PTSD from the rape, I landed myself in rehab two days after thanksgiving. I shouldn’t have gone to rehab, because alcohol wasn’t the real problem. I didn’t know how else to get a break from the chaos of my life though. I didn’t know how else to ask for help. Rehab gave me a temporary reprieve from jack’s madness. I remember how fucking amazing it felt to be able to hang up on him and him not be able to call me back. It was so satisfying to slam down the phone and to not be bombarded by calls, texts, and emails. He slowed down on the crazy for about two months after that. Things started to get serious with Vince. I really started to fall for him. He was just such a good person, and he was so different from Jack. Naturally, developing real feelings for vince scared the crap out of me. We had a pregnancy scare, and the way he reacted terrified me. Instead of reassuring me, he asked me if I wanted him to leave so I could be alone. He was always so terrified of scaring me away and of being too clingy. For days things were weird between us. I felt that for sure he was going to leave me and that I’d end up a single mom if I were pregnant. He finally came around and said that he had just been trying to give me what I needed. He said that he truly loved me and that it would actually make him really happy if I were pregnant and that he couldn’t imagine anything better than having me and having a baby. The damage was done though. I was scared to death, and I decided to “run” in my own fucked up way. This is how I met my husband. I met him on tinder. I was on a chuck palahniuk kick after meeting someone in rehab who had the same favorite book as me, Invisible Monsters. Matt’s opening line was, “This is the best relationship of your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. That’s a play on a line from Fight Club, for those who don’t know, if anyone has actually read this far. I almost didn’t go out with him. I was lying on my couch ready to cancel, and I decided to leave it up to Jack. He was desperate to get rid of vince, so he said, “if it were me, I’d go.” So I went. And I fucking knew the second I saw him across the room. The side of his face was so fucking beautiful. I was hooked instantly. This is when shit really got crazy. I was going back and forth between Matt and Vince. Jack was losing his mind trying to hold onto me. There was a lot of back and forth, and then finally I chose vince. I was going to stick to my plan of choosing logically. Matt was a gamble. I was so sure he’d hurt me. So I quit my job at Jack’s company and moved in with Vince, but I couldn’t hold it together. I couldn’t stop talking to Matt. I couldn’t stay away from him. So one night when I was passed out drunk, Vince went through my phone and saw that I was still talking to Matt. The next morning he said he was done. He was sick of me cheating on him and putting him through hell. I called Matt, and he was there within thirty minutes to get me. Less than three weeks later, we got married. It’s crazy to me how it all happened.

I know I sound like a horrible person, and I guess I am, or at least I was. My intentions weren’t evil, but I did terrible things to other people. Vince, Jack’s wife, Matt, my parents. My fear doesn’t excuse my actions. I wish I could change it. I wish I could tell vince how sorry I am. I wish I could go back and never get involved with him in the first place. I wish I could go back and say no to meeting jack at b-dubs. I wish I could take back the pain I caused others. I can’t go back though. All I can do is learn from it and never ever lose myself that way again.

I miss Jack as a friend. I am happy that I ended up with Matt. I could never feel anything but a platonic love for Jack ever again, and I ended up with a better man, but I still miss my best friend. Thinking now about the thing that was bothering me when I first started writing this entry, it doesn’t really matter. I guess there was no point to writing all of this except to get it all out there. I know that if anyone actually reads this, they probably hate me by now..

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Yesterday I woke up feeling terribly anxious, as is the norm lately. I decided to try to get into a psychiatrist. It turns out that even though I have an HMO now, my plan is actually amazing for mental health benefits. I don’t need a referral for counseling or to see a psychiatrist, and I have an unlimited number of visits for $30 each before the deductible. That’s about as good as it gets. I called almost every psychiatrist on the list of in network providers, and most weren’t accepting new patients or were booking into November. One psychiatrist called me back though, and he said that he would maybe accept a new patient depending on the issue. I told him how anxious I’ve been, and he agreed to see me this Friday! He sounded really nice, and he has great reviews online. Just knowing that I have the appointment makes me feel a little better. I really hope he can help me with my anxiety and ADD. I wonder if I’m also somewhat depressed at this point.

I’m having some issues with my stupid weight still. I’m still terrified that microneedling might have damaged my thyroid. If it’s not that, I’m having some fucking awful water retention. I think that might be it because I wake up so puffy and my weight seems to fluctuate so much. I’ve always had really bad problems with water retention during PMS, but I just got off my period. What is going on with my body? This is like torture for me. I need to at least feel like I’m in control of my weight and like I’m not doomed to just gain weight slowly and uncontrollably for the rest of my life.

It’s weird how little tasks have become such a huge burden now. Simple things feel like climbing a mountain. I’m sick of Matt whining at me that he’s hungry and asking what’s for dinner. I’m sick of cleaning the litter boxes. I’m sick of having to do my hair and brush my teeth. My father in law is coming over today to try to fix our dryer because the repair kit he ordered wasn’t here on Saturday when we originally planned, and I’m dreading it. I really hope he doesn’t bring my mother in law. My mother in law is a nightmare. I’m fairly certain she’s a narcissist, for one thing. She is obsessed with appearances, and I’m not talking about her looks. She cares so much about what other people think and about the image she and her family put out to the world. This is why Matt believes that his worth is based on his achievements and why he’s so fake to everyone but me. The last time my MIL was over here, she told me what a fat failure Matt’s younger sister, Kate, is. I love Kate. She’s my favorite member of his family. His older sister, Jen, is the golden child. She’s beautiful, makes tons of money, married a guy her parents approve of who makes great money and waits on her hand and foot, and is about to pop out her second perfect child. I don’t really have any real reason to dislike Jen, but she’s just not my favorite person. The constant “look at me! Look at me! I’m perfect!” thing is annoying. I wouldn’t care that much except that Matt is competitive with her and I think he secretly feels inferior to her because MIL approves of her and her choices much more than she approves of him. I’m so sick of Matt talking about how his mom just can’t understand how anyone can be happy unless they are doing what has made her happy. He keeps saying that he’s trying to make her understand how he can be happy with someone like me when I am not like his family or like his ex wife. I wish he’d stop trying to make her understand and tell her to mind her own fucking business instead. The woman needs boundaries and for everyone to stop scrambling around trying to win her approval.

To be fair, I’m not exactly what most mothers dream their sons will end up with. Parents generally hate me. I’m introverted and unfriendly. I never want to be pregnant or have kids, I’m awkward, I can’t contribute much financially, and I tend to make the men I’m with behave irrationally. I get why MIL doesn’t like me. Matt was living a life she understood before me. He was logical and cautious. He made Amanda wait ten years before he married her. She had a great job and was just like his mother. Then when they were going through their divorce he met me and asked me to marry him after just a few months of knowing each other. I was in and out of rehab and couldn’t stop losing jobs. I wasn’t stable at all until a year ago. Maybe I am the problem.

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed…

I woke up feeling like shit today. Lauren texted me at 8:30 to ask what time church is this morning. We had made tentative plans earlier this week to go today, but I really don’t want to now. I woke up too late to shower and do my hair, and I feel fat and bloated. I’m also still upset about my fight with Matt last night. I know I should go to church. Truthfully I feel like I have to go so that everything goes well with everything I’m stressed out about right now, but I don’t think I can fake being happy right now. I think I’m getting depressed. I haven’t been depressed in years. I just don’t even feel like getting out of bed most days. I’m so tired. I want to cancel on Lauren, but I’m scared God will punish me if I don’t go to church.

I don’t like this version of myself. This version of myself is overly anxious, submissive, and meek. Does anyone else feel like different people bring out different traits in you? I love Matt very much, and he’s done so much for me, but sometimes his personality seems to stifle mine or something. He’s so controlling and dominant all the time. I can’t even so much as sass him without him getting all serious and demanding that I not “disrespect” him. He disrespects me all the time. It’s weird and I don’t know how to handle it. I’ve never been in a relationship with someone who acted this way before. Matt says that I make him more himself. I think that’s because of how he grew up. His mother has a lot of very narcissistic tendencies. She rarely ever told him she loved him or that she was proud of him. Everything was about achievement and the image their family presented to the outside world. Strong negative emotions were unacceptable. He played tons of sports, was a piano genius, took all the AP classes he could, was an Eagle Scout, went to U of M, and then went to law school on a scholarship. His mom made him and his sisters clean the house constantly every week. No one really knows Matt. He puts on this fake personality for his family and the rest of the world. It’s this mask that I can actually visibly notice. Fake Matt has a different smile and a different voice. No one knows how much he drinks. No one knows that he spends like 4 hours per day playing video games. No one knows that he’s actually pretty messy and lazy. Except for me. I am the only genuine connection he’s ever had. As a result of his mother being so unaccepting of any sort of unacceptable emotions or traits when he was growing up, Matt has always sought to avoid rejection by altering himself to fit the desires of others. His ex wife was very much like his mom. Absolutely obsessed with cleaning the house and forcing Matt to clean. Constantly wanting to do stuff with other people. I believe she was also somewhat anorexic or bulimic, but I obviously can’t say for sure. She was even skinnier than me (that’s saying something because I’m 5’7″ 110 lbs), obsessed with exercising, and when I moved in here, the house was just filled with tons of laxatives. She had them everywhere.

I don’t know what my point is here. I love my husband. I’m happy with him. Normally I can stand up to him and be myself, but right now I just feel too weak and it’s like I’m just fading away.

I don’t want to leave the house. I just want to go back to sleep.

Well, I just flipped out on my husband. It was such a stupid fight. My friend, Sean, sent me a message on Facebook, and Matt was like, “You don’t have a friend Sean. Why are you talking to some random guy on Facebook? I don’t like it.” I explained to him that Sean and I have been friends for years and that we were friends long before I ever even met Matt. I explained that nothing has ever happened between us and we are just friends, and Matt was like, “I guess I’ll just start talking to all my old girl friends online.” I got really upset. I’m so sick of the double standard. He has all these women friends that he hangs out with all the time from work and texts with constantly, but he always finds reasons that my friendships with guys are not okay. He says it’s different for him because he’s a lawyer and his job requires him to be going out drinking with these people and that he has to make people like him so they will give him business. It’s not fucking fair. I would never cheat on him, I’m not fucking interested in Sean. My anxiety is just so fucking bad and I feel so isolated that a lot of my friends tend to be people I interact with primarily online. I think that Matt feels like I shouldn’t need to have other guys as friends and that he should just be enough for me. I just feel like I have no one sometimes. My very best friend when I met Matt was my ex boyfriend, Jack. It was a very complicated relationship, and I understand why Matt was uncomfortable with me being friends with him. Jack did everything possible to try to keep me from being with Matt, and he was a little bit insane, but he was still my very best friend. He just got me in a way no one else ever has or ever will. We had so much fun together. It’s very unlikely that I will ever click with anyone that way again. I get why Matt was uncomfortable with our friendship though, so I stopped hanging out with him. This thing with Sean is uncalled for though. It’s so fucking unfair that he gets to do whatever the hell he wants. He drinks a gallon and a half of vodka every week and constantly texts his work friends, and I’m not allowed to fucking talk to my guy friend on Facebook? It’s bullshit. I love Matt more than anything. He’s a wonderful husband and a wonderful person, but sometimes he can be so controlling. I hate arguing with him. He just turns everything around on me and I get so fucking confused. The way he says things sounds so logical. So then why does it feel so unfair? I feel like I’m losing my mind sometimes.

The problem is that I really have very few friends. I have my friend Jessi from high school who moved to another state 8 years ago and rarely answers my texts, and then I have my friend Lauren, who is a really great friend and I hang out with sometimes, but I don’t necessarily talk to her or connect with her the way I used to with Jessi or with Jack. I just feel so pathetic and lonely sometimes. I love Matt, but sometimes I really want to have more friends too. It makes me feel so pathetic every time he goes out drinking and I’m sitting at home with the cats.

Anxiety Attacks are the Worst.

Yesterday was not a good day. I had two of the worst anxiety attacks of my life. I’m anxious all the time, but these were full on attacks. I went to my mom’s yesterday morning, and I called to make an appointment at a doctor who specializes in medical marijuana. I hate weed with a passion, but I’ve heard that CBD oil doesn’t make you high and it helps with anxiety and ADD, so I wanted to try it. Then I started researching on my phone and found out that employers can still fire you or not hire you for failing a drug test even though medical marijuana is legal. With the field I’m going into, I can’t risk having that happen. I can’t go $40k into debt on grad school and then not be able to get my license or lose my license. That’s when I panicked. Medical marijuana was my last tiny shred of hope. It was my last chance at finding something to help my crippling anxiety without horrible side effects that I can’t live with. The anxiety attack lasted two hours. I just sobbed the entire time. Finally I was able to get home and drink some chamomile tea and take a nap. Then at night I had another one. I’m not exactly sure what happened. It just came out of nowhere. I got so physically sick from the second one that I thought I might be dying. It was terrible. Today I feel drained, weak, and sad. And I’m terrified that I’m going to have another anxiety attack.

Why am I like this? Why can’t I just be normal like everyone else? I was supposed to go out with my husband and his work friends tonight, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m so socially awkward, and I feel terrible about my appearance right now. My husband’s one client will be there who is obsessed with him. She’s the kind of girl who buys $10,000 purses and is always dressed super fashionably. I’ve never been good at fashion. I’m a sweats and hoodie kind of girl, and generally it works for me. I’m the girl next door type. I don’t look good in the “jeans and a dressy top” look. I’ve never understood how to pull that off. It would also be horrible being in a situation where everyone is drinking and I can’t. I’m already so incredibly awkward, and I know my husband has told people about my past alcohol abuse. It’s so fucking unfair. It’s not like I was ever a real alcoholic. I got fucking raped and I drank to deal with my horrible PTSD that turned into a full fledged anxiety disorder because I was so fucking poor that I could barely afford to eat, let alone to go to a psychiatrist or a counselor to get help with what I was going through. I never had a physical addiction to alcohol. I don’t crave it. If I had a drink, it wouldn’t be hard for me to not have another. I don’t drink at this point because I just don’t want to. It’s unfair that I have to carry around this horrible alcoholic stigma. It’s not fair that my husband can’t keep his big mouth shut. These people don’t know that I went through hell. They probably just think I’m some party girl with a physical problem. There is nothing more shameful.

I feel so overwhelmed today. I need to clean the house really well because my father in law is coming over tomorrow to fix our dryer, but I can’t seem to motivate myself to get moving.

I hate introductions

I’m here because most of the time I feel like I’m drowning in anxiety. Writing has been therapeutic for me in the past, so I thought perhaps I would try it again. My life shouldn’t feel this bad. On the outside, it looks like I’ve got it all. I’m 33 but most people still think I’m in my late teens or early twenties (thanks Mom!), I’m about to start my third semester of grad school in a field I’m deeply passionate about, I’m tall, thin, and pretty, I have two parents who love me more than anything, and I’m married to the kind of man that every girl hopes to end up with. I have the kind of constant anxiety that won’t let me enjoy my life though. Every waking second, my brain comes up with ways that I could lose everything. It wasn’t always like this though. I mean, I’ve always been kind of anxious, but it wasn’t like this until a few years ago, when I got raped. Everything changed overnight. It was like the part of my brain that had been holding back this constant flow of anxiety just gave up. I woke up the next morning and just started drinking. I just wanted to shut my brain off, to drink until the memory of what happened wasn’t so sharp. I ended up in rehab a few months later, and again less than a year later, and again less than a year after that, and then a few months after that I tried to shut the thoughts off permanently with a bottle of norco and a bottle of vodka. That night changed my life. I fell asleep expecting never to wake up, but I did wake up. I woke up with a failing liver, and I didn’t go to the hospital until over 24 hrs after I swallowed the pills. I was lucky. God was watching out for me. They were able to reverse the damage I had done to my liver, and then I had to spend three nights in a mental hospital. I haven’t had a drink since, but the anxiety hasn’t gotten any better. I’ve rebuilt my life completely. I live a good clean life now. I eat healthy, I started grad school and I have a 4.0 so far, I’ve been going to church sometimes, things are good with my husband, and I’m volunteering at a local nonprofit helping survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. But I’m constantly buzzing with anxiety. My body practically vibrates with nervous energy all day until I finally pass out from sheer exhaustion.

So what am I worried about? Everything. Mostly I’m terrified of losing my looks, of getting fat, of starting to look old. I’m scared to death I’ll accidentally commit a crime and end up in jail or prison, and after losing my freedom so many times to rehab and to my stay at the mental hospital, the idea of ever losing it again is terrifying to me. I’m scared that I’m going to fail when I finally graduate, that I’m just the type of person who can never be good at anything, that maybe my looks are all I really have. I’m scared my husband will stop loving me. It’s just past 8 in the morning, and I’m already exhausted from all the worrying I’ve done today. I need to do something about this. I need medication, but no doctor will give me anxiety medication other than SSRIs, and I refuse to take them because they cause the rare side effect of memory loss in me. I can’t remember much of anything when I take them. I’ll go somewhere and not be able to remember the drive there. Everything feels like a dream and I can’t remember what actually happened. I can’t be on an SSRI and be in grad school or work. I need my memory. I don’t know how to fix my brain. I need a miracle.