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My late lack of posts notwithstanding, June has been a very “full” month. Or maybe it was so full, I had no time to put into words all that has been happening.

First came LARPing.
This may well seem a normal nerdy/geeky/dorky activity, but it entailed going back to my ex husband’s hometown, more precisely, to the exact same location where we got married. I entered the same garden, after some 400 days, all dressed up and made up again, holding a sword and a shield instead of a tulip bouquet. And there I rewrote history. What was supposed to be the quintessential remnant of failure became the symbol of new beginnings, of clean slates and second chances. It became proof that things can change, that stepping out of the loop is possible and that I am in power to manipulate my life to lead it wherever I want, even retracing steps I thought had collapsed.

Then came Vietnam.
Not Mexico, not Indonesia, Vietnam. The first proper journey after my honeymoon, my first time in Asia, my first time travelling for the simple sake of experience. And the Nth time I had to loath my mother because she HAD to say that she was scared about Maddie and I going alone, regardless of the terrorism she always triggers. Nonetheless, we are going.

Then came Marcel’s revelation.
Enough said in my previous post.

Then came the separation hearing.
I decided I didn’t want to think about it. Or rather, I just didn’t, as I know all too well that I can’t really control where my thoughts are headed. It was basically like getting married: it’s not the ceremony, it’s the decision to do it that changes the state of things. So yeah, it felt like a mountain on my shoulders to say “no” when the judge asked looking straight in my eyes whether a reconciliation was possible. But it didn’t change things, it didn’t feel as if it was wrong, or too soon, or uncertain.
Later that night I had dinner with my ex husband and we talked a lot, probably more freely than I’d ever done before. Because I have analysed the whole situation more, because I feel more detached now, because it is plain to see that it was the right and the only choice. The fact that he is desperately trying to get a new job at the other end of the planet does scare me, because even if he denies it, it speaks volumes of what he wants from me right now. And while it’s true that not much would change in terms of practical arrangements, it makes me wonder whether a do-not-resuscitate approach would be smarter and more proper.

Then came New York.
The reign of tanned, tattooed, trained, totally awesome biceps… and ugly faces.
Every one asks me if I liked the city and I don’t really know what to answer, because really, it wasn’t that much about the city. It was about facing an intercontinental flight alone for the first time after 13 years, it was about strengthening a friendship, it was about doing something good for myself as travelling can be. And I did like the city. When my flight approached JFK I had a glimpse of the skyline and all I could think about was “why the hell haven’t I thought of this sooner?”. But it wasn’t just for the Empire State and the Chrysler, it was about wondering why I had stopped travelling altogether, because this is something I have so rarely done with my ex husband. The excitement that a new travel brings is unparalleled and I needed this sweet escape the day after my separation hearing. And yes, I couldn’t help looking at men while I was there. It must have been the whole Sex-and-the-City effect, I thought men in NYC would be great. I was wrong. Don’t get offended, I am sure there are plenty of wonderful males out there and I just lacked serendipity but I was just a little disappointed, I expected… you know… the American dream. Sorry guys, Europeans do it much better.
But oh man, the sushi was great!

Then came my new therapist.
In retrospect, June was a “good” month: I was relatively calm and positive, probably due to all the innovations and the decisions taken. But May wasn’t and in one of the deep pits where I fell, I realised it could be a good idea to join group therapy sessions. So I asked my current therapists for a reference and ended up at my first appointment. It is all part of that master plan where I physically need to engage in attempts to help myself get out of this hard place where I have found myself in for the past few months. It was uncommon and foreign, but somehow illuminating.
He acts like the typical psychiatrist: he spits out comments and conclusions about your life which you cannot contradict, regardless of their accuracy; because he’s the doctor and if you don’t agree it’s just because you’re not accepting the reality of things. After three years of therapy and being the introspective person I am, one who’s no longer afraid of even the darkest and scariest truths of the human mind, I don’t really appreciate that, but I suppose it won’t be such a burden in a group environment. Plus, thank Sa, his conclusions were mostly correct in the first place.
The interesting thing was finding myself wrapping up the effects of a three-year-long journey through my mind and soul and discovering just how many things have indeed changed. How many things I managed to change. Perspective gave me hope. Once again I could see that I am the kind to get what she wants, I usually do, and this is no different. I wanted to get better, to change, and I have. My troubles right now are very different from what they used to be. Surviving is not a problem anymore, the task at hand is rounding the edges, getting closer to perfection, getting reality closer to dreams and desires. The way I can see my issues now… I am so much more perceptive. Every day I get closer to new answers and new revelations. And it surprised me to no end that what I have been trying to do for myself in the past six months was indeed correct. I have been praised for the idea itself of seeking a group therapy, since relating to peers is exactly what I need to get out of my cage. In order to step forward I need to step back, reconnect to the very place where my past took a wrong turn, where I became anxious to be a grown up and skipped the rest. That rest, where you take relationships with the opposite sex lightly, where you make mistakes to learn from them, where play is more important than being serious, where my peers help me choose my beaten track, not people from other generations.

So at 32 I LARP, so I get a tattoo, so I try to meet and know and talk to as many people as I can, so I try to seduce strangers and fuck as many different men as I can, so I skate to give my little-girl-self the satisfaction to wear a costume and try to win a competition.
So I regress. Because I need to step forward.

I hate my life right now.

I hate my job, because I can’t be bothered to do it, I don’t like my colleagues and I’m not friends with them, because I can’t concentrate and do anything but my job, because I feel overwhelmed by the things I haven’t done in these past few months, because I can’t find another one and because I need one, because I am not motivated, because it’s cold in the office and because I never talk to anyone and feel alone in here.

I hate my social life, because I never take part to social events, my always so few friends tend too stand me up, because I don’t have any more time to arrange to see them, because I don’t have a group of people with whom I can always go out, because I wish I could take part to hundreds of courses or events where I could make new friends but I have no time nor money to do it.

I hate my love life, because it’s only just mine, because I like too many guys way too soon and too strongly and I never get to be with any one of them, because I thought I had changed and that my love life would have been different while it’s totally not, because just so little time ago I was happy or thought I was and never had to worry about these things, because I seem to have lost a good guy out of no reason.

I can’t hate my sex life just because I don’t have one.

I hate my parents because they’re supposed to be the only people who are always there for me but in truth the relationship we have completely prevents me from relying upon them and being with them only ever ends up being a stressful activity.

I hate myself because I can’t seem to shake off this depressing state I’m in, because I used to be a bomb of life, happyness, carelessness and optimism and now I feel like a restless ghost, because I can’t change as quickly as I would like to, because I can’t find a way to help myself any more than I am doing, and what I’m doing hardly is enough.

In a way I hate my skating too. It’s the only thing that keeps me up, everything that could bring me some joy, some satisfaction and personal fulfillment, everything that fills my days and my prode with the progress I’ve made, but I can’t deny that I don’t like the way I look while I skate. It’s just another thing I would want to improve so much and I don’t know if I ever will be able to, and if so, it’s going to take just so much time.

I hate the fact that I don’t like my life right now and it seems that I just can’t change it in any way. I hate to see the time flying by and me waisting days doing nothing good and feeling like a wreck. I miss a purpose, I feel like when you try to run in your dreams and no matter how hard you try you can’t even move a leg. I feel useless and a loser to spend my days at home baking and watching TV while the world keeps on turning out there, and the worst thing is that I used to feel good about it and I realise I don’t anymore just because I am in a twirl of pessimism and agony. I just want to shake it off, any way I can. But nothing or nobody seems to help.

And in all that, I have also lost the only thing that gave me some hope and strength…

Again, maybe I’m just obsessing while I should just realise I am nothing but heartbroken.

Words are a private thing to me. When I write, I tear down every barrier between my brain, my soul and my hands. When I read, it’s like a private conversation between me and the author, who suddenly becomes my best friend, muse and spiritual guide. I think and meditate much more while I write and read than during any kind of conversation. Talking is more like venting, the magic happens when I’m quiet and thoughtful.

I have read “Eat, pray, love”. Read, because watching the movie wasn’t enough. I thought there was some serendipity in watching the movie, since that happened maybe just a couple of months ago and the reason was just that Renée had told me about Javier Bardem, who I had never seen before and I was curious. I was fascinated because it talks about divorce caused by not so practical reasons, just like my separation, but I didn’t see any other connection. I just hoped I could end up like her and find someone else to love.

Then came Hector with his yoga and his meditation and Sybil with her plan to change our summer destination from Mexico to Indonesia. Then it hit me. So I said to myself: ok fine, you win, I’ll read it.

Read is not the correct verb though, what I’m doing with this book resembles more what a religious person might do with Holy Scriptures: a mix of reading, studying, interiorising, comparing the contents to my own life, learning from it, exploiting it as a guide. Ms. Gilbert has become my teacher, as only someone who has “been there” can be.

I try to spot differences and similarities so that I can evaluate if I can adopt the same strategies or avoid the same mistakes. I don’t know if it’s a useless waste of time or if it may actually help me in the long run, but at least it’s keeping my mind occupied with a potential plan towards healing.

Divorce

It’s not the fact that she tells about her divorce, a divorce can happen for hundreds of reason, the interesting thing is that she wanted to leave her husband for personal reasons, for introspective reasons. He didn’t cheat on her, he didn’t mistreat her, they didn’t fight all the time, she just realised out of the blue that it wasn’t working anymore and she had the courage to step out of an otherwise functional relationship,  an average marriage which may have been completely satisfactory to most wives, basically on a hunch.

And I understand. It’s the exact same choice I’ve made and I understand the doubt, the conflict, the weight of being the one to splinter the glass castle out of what seems to be no reason at all, although we know, with every fiber of our body, that it’s the necessary step to take.

It might be too early to tell, but I am just grateful that he’s not making it so hard; I have no idea if she ever doubted what she was doing, if she ever had second thoughts, but I am led to believe that if she didn’t, it was also because she realised it wasn’t worth giving a second chance to someone who turned out to be an enemy. This door is still open to me, but I haven’t decided if I want to go through it yet. Leaving someone behind is easier once you see their real face is way uglier than you thought. When this doesn’t happen, there will always be the shadow of doubt in the back of your head that the choice you’ve made might be wrong. But you still know it’s not good enough either.

In my case, the problem is the opposite: he is not making it hard, he is making it too easy. He accepted everything passively not trying even once to say no. He is still never making his voice heard. Not only he doesn’t talk about what he thinks and feels, which is perfectly in line with his nature, he doesn’t even try to stop the process, to prevent us from growing apart. He is just not there. And in the back of my mind I can’t help but thinking about all the times I have wondered if he would have fought for me, given the necessity, and how scared I was at the idea that he wouldn’t have. Because somehow I knew he wouldn’t have.

David

The strange thing is that it looks like rebound, but it’s not. I haven’t found my David yet, and I wonder if I ever will, may he be an actual rebound or not. At first, I thought it would be Coach, but obviously it hasn’t turned out that way. Then came Hector, but it didm’t turn out that way either. And the list goes on and the title hasn’t been awarded yet.

She stated she was one of those girls who always had a boyfriend, practicing the famous Tarzan Move: grabbing the next liane right after if not even before dropping the previous one. So it’s perfectly in style that she found another partner right after the former. It’s never been like that to me. My partners were like islands in the Pacific, rari nantes in gurgite vasto. I’ve never had a rebound, or if I did, it was only in my imagination. Just like Coach.

She needed to break the spell and try to be alone because she had never been alone in her life. Do I actually need the same treatment? I realise I have to overcome this ancestral fear of being alone; as I know I do, do I necessarily need to be alone to make it? Of course, I mustn’t make the same mistakes again, I have already dwelled in a relationship too long for fear of being alone. This means, I shouldn’t and won’t move in with the next guy straight away, I am going to need months to think this over. But then again, who knows when the next guy will come…

Will the next guy be a rebound? I guess it depends on when he’s coming around in the first place, if it’s going to take 4 months, it couldn’t be. If it’s now, maybe. Or maybe not, considering all of the thoughts of my awakening. Maybe what I need to find is peace of mind more than peace of body; I need to learn to find balance, interest, enthusiasm and tranquillity even when my heart is completely empty, when I couldn’t name a single guy I am interested in. I need to find focus on projects which have nothing to do with love.

Depression

I am not the only one. I may venture a guess and say that all of this story is so meaningful to me just because my story just like hers was full of mental issues. I am not sure I can say I suffer from depression, I have actually never been clearly diagnosed or rather I have never cared to know the diagnosis, but concentrated much more on what I could do to get better. She had to resort to therapy and antidepressants because of the pain brought by the divorce and the tumultuous relationship with David, so after. I’ve done this before. And I’m still doing it.

I wonder, and deeply hope, that this is going to prevent me from hitting rock bottom. It’s the last thing I need. This is supposed to be the  beginning of a journey and I would very much like to treat it as such, not something I’ll need the next two years to recover from. This is supposed to be me all grown up and aware of myself choosing another path, it’s not supposed to be the monster which is going to eat away all of the progress done in the past 3 years. I wonder if it would be a good idea to consider drugs right now, because I can count on very limited resources and unloading some of the weight might be for the best. Cutting myself some slack, for a change.

Loneliness

Of course, when you’re single you are lonely, or rather, you tend to feel lonely, but in this she has a clear advantage over me. It looks like she has a way with people and everyone ends up liking her. She has friends in every corner of the world, she admits to having a keen proclivity towards making new friends everywhere; even this thing of always being in a relationship is astounding proof of her marvellous social skills (yes, I am severely envious).

Mine suck. Not only most of my anxiety comes from the very idea of being alone, I find it extremely hard to connect with new people, either for friendship or romance. If I were to leave for an unknown country, or rather three, for a whole year, I could well be institutionalised after a couple of weeks of mutism. The first time loneliness crushed me I was in Germany, alone, in a godforsaken village where I knew nobody and had nothing to do all day. Being alone to me is not just boring, it can turn into a nightmare. I’ve always made a point of doing things on my own, the truth is I hate it and end up doing it just because the alternative would be doing nothing alone, instead of at least doing something alone.

I can’t think of bouncing back from all of this if I don’t learn to connect to other people, but it’s against my nature and changing takes a really long time. I try, any way I can, I am thoughtful while conducting my relationships with anyone. I try to absorb from them and try to improve my behaviour, but I don’t suppose I am going to chat up a stranger queuing in front of me anytime soon.

But at the same time, I perfectly understand how the ultimate goal should be to learn how to be alone, instead of how to avoid loneliness. Connecting to others is fundamental, but it will never saw a patch where my own soul is torn.

Pleasure

The whole concept behind the Italy phase is learning to enjoy pleasure. She probably didn’t even know that herself before leaving, but in the end, that’s what emerges: you need to learn to indulge, to act for the mere sake of pleasure. That pleasure is mainly in food, being Italy not only the cradle of one of the best cuisines worldwide, but also because of the typical aggregation that the ritual of eating involves.

I thought of this very specifically a few weeks before I started reading the book. I need to learn to pamper myself, just like a boyfriend would. I obviously and unfortunately will never be able to give myself the sensations that a comforting body next to mine could bring, but much of the rest, I could. Buying myself gifts, cooking myself beautiful dinners, watching my favourite movies, going to the spa every now and then, cuddling my body and soul as best as I can.

Food has always been a very ecstatic experience for me, and I will probably have to come to terms with gaining a few pounds – hopefully just a few – where I haven’t lost any to begin with. In this plan, Cartier’s delicacies – no stones involved, that’s the nickname the local greengrocer won for his prices – should help, with peace of mind of the piggy bank. My fortune is I don’t need to fly to the other side of the world. I can do this at home.

And pampering myself includes gaining some self-realisation and personal satisfaction through the act of preparing food. Not only I am finally challenging myself with recipes for my own dinner, I have taken up baking cakes for anybody. I would have never thought it could be so easy and never thought of the pleasure of letting others enjoy your creations.

The sabbatical

I was actually thinking of doing most of it from home. Liz is lucky, she may have lost all of her possessions due to the divorce, but she also has a job which allows her to leave for a year-round journey and still have a job when she is back. More than that, a job that paid for said journey on a guess: that her book would be a hit.

We all have our personal journey through divorce or separation, close to nobody wrote a book about. Most definitely, none of us went on such a trip. We can’t. We don’t have the money, we don’t have the means, we aren’t allowed. But the journey can still be done without moving too far from home. It’s enough to have a project.

I am not a spiritual person. I don’t believe in God or any other divine entity, I never have, I’ve always been like St. Thomas: if I don’t have evidence – and I mean scientific and tangible evidence – I won’t believe in anything. So the whole idea of praying goes too far for me right now. But situations brought me to evaluate the concept of oriental philosophies and practices and all of a sudden, meditation seems to have a very valid point. It might help in calming me down, in detaching myself from situations, in learning a bit more optimism.
It has worked out for others, I don’t see why it shouldn’t finally help me too.

 

So I admitted that this whole feeling of hurt and loss is not clearly identifiable and that it is composed of a core of heartbreak and a surrounding of older wounds. This mix makes it particularly difficult to identify the precise cause of sorrow and to quantify the dose of circumstantial heartbreak and of general emotional distress.

Maybe the wisest thing to do would be just to accept the pain and let it flow for as long as it needs until it is exhausted, instead of deconstructing it in atoms trying to understand it. But if I can’t understand the source of my pain, its reasons and its implications, how can I hope to overcome it?

Unfortunately, that’s not all. There is one more terrible effect to this fixation of trying to analyse every single drop of pain. When the analysis is extended to other emotional states other than pain, it’s pretty obvious that there is another aspect to it: I just cannot determine the source of my feelings, i.e. I can never know how much I really care for someone, if I have feelings for them, how deep they are.

How do I start and manage a relationship with someone if I can’t understand whether I love them for them or if other impulses lead me to believe what I am feeling is love while it’s really some other kind of need? How do I know if I like someone for how they are or if I like them just because they are available? Was my break-up with my husband really a step forward towards acknowledging what I really want or a step back to major uncertainty?

Once again, I feel like I am deceiving myself. I thought this was gone, I thought I had reached an indissoluble connection to myself, while I still can’t get a damn thing. One could argue why it is so important to understand, why I don’t just take what I feel for what it is without asking too many questions. The reason may probably be because once already I mistook my feelings and hid behind them, lingering in a relationship that wasn’t working and the idea of doing it again is terrifying.

I like Simon. Or do I?
Let me rephrase: Simon is in my life at this time, and has a pretty central position in it and in my daily thoughts.

I look at him objectively and see he is not handsome, definitely not a hottie as coach. Still, I feel attracted to him. Is this true attraction or I feel this way just because I needed attention and he was the only one who seemed to provide it? And if it’s the latter, how bad is it? Can it be reason enough to let it go further or should I just dismiss the whole thing? Should this sense of urgency to be with him be considered real interest or just need of attachment?

How will I ever be able to distinguish between feelings for someone and feelings triggered by someone?

I don’t know him enough to know whether we are really compatible, whether I like every aspect of him and his behaviour, we haven’t shared enough to say I have feelings for him. Then what is the rest? How fascinated am I by what he does and says and how much by his mere presence? Why do I hate so much the idea of losing him, when his absence would not make that much of a difference in my life? Why is the hope of a happy ending so important?

This I suppose is the same feeling that made me miss my husband when he wasn’t there but didn’t make me feel as happy as I expected when he would finally be back. The harsh reality of things is that I am starting to suspect that, although I have been head over heels dozens of times, I have never really loved. I am not sure I can.

Accept your life and you might survive it” Robin Hobb

The first time I read this sentence I was in the middle of my marital crisis. I was riddled by what I should have done, accept that I didn’t love my husband anymore and let go or try to wait the phase out. It made sense, back then, to accept things. Now I can’t accept it anymore.

Now is the time when you evaluate your life and realise there is something that isn’t working. Now it the time when you have to accept that something isn’t working but accepting the way my life is now would mean living no longer.

Change is needed, once again. It’s probably the same exact change that was needed before, only now that the first step is done, it’s manifesting itself in a different way.

I feel the all of the weight of loneliness now, and while I realise life for any single is at times lonely, I also understand my reaction to it is not healthy.

I gave some thought to one thing my therapist said the other day, that I probably tend to get so involved in relationships with men even before the relationship has started because I hold back so much from any other relationship.

What I need now is some balance.
My way of diving head-in in boys is not just unbalanced, it’s basically arrhythmic. My fear of loneliness brings me to have an extremely full life, where no empty minute is allowed, but what I would like to do is reach the point where being with friends is a pleasure, not a necessity, and so are silence and alone time.

I don’t know what I have to do to get to that point. The problem with change is that it takes time, while time is everything I don’t have the patience to wait for. It’s a process, I know that, but surviving with this sorrow every day makes me feel on the edge, it makes me say “I can’t go on like this any longer”, while all I need is time to adjust.

The only way to fight this anxiety is having a plan, knowing that I’m not just waiting with idle hands but that I am actively taking fate in my hands to make my life what I want it to be. The more I don’t like my life, the stronger is the need to steer it clear of everything that isn’t working.

I am in therapy, that is something, but right now I unfortunately don’t have the money to increase the frequency of my sessions and I know anyway how slow and unpredictable that process is. It changed me radically, but it might take years, I need to do something more to get out of this impasse. That’s why I thought to turn to meditation or self help groups. I need a direction and I need to concentrate on that purpose to contain my impatience.

Right now all I want is to be with people who I can talk to about this mess I have inside, but I can’t do it. Even tough friends are supposed to be there through good and bad, I don’t want to become a dead weight, I don’t want to call just because I desperately need help, it doesn’t feel fair.

My problem with meditation and 12-steps groups is God. I understand how believing in God is one of the most powerful weapons to defy anything in life, but it’s not like a t-shirt you can buy, whether you have faith or you don’t. I have always been too rational and material to accept the idea of an entity whose existence cannot be scientifically demonstrated. Moreover any idea of God that I may have interiorised is too strictly connected to Catholic precepts, which for too many reasons I cannot make my own. I have never believed in God and when the reasons are this logical, you can’t just decide you want to believe from tomorrow on.

I believe in a feeling of sublime and peace with the world. I believe in the power of nature, I believe in the power of will, I believe in love. These are my Gods. Are they enough to turn to for help and find serenity?

At times I wonder if I’m making this much more difficult and complicated than it really is. I have been so used to blaming my psyche that maybe I can’t recognise simple sorrow anymore. What if there is really nothing wrong with me but I am only and simply heartbroken? Can I still understand when I am heartbroken? A heartbreak has never been just a heartbreak to me, there has always been some sense of abandonment, some self deprecation, some older wound still hurting. Now it’s just the same, but maybe, just maybe I am blaming it too much on mental issues. Maybe it’s nothing more than the natural grieving process after a break up.

And probably, I have been thinking about myself and my transformation way too much where I have given way too little space to the thought of my husband and the relationship I have left behind. But probably it would have been too early before, it needed time to settle and digest the earthquake, before I could work through the shock.

Now it may be time to do it.

I feel like a PC with too many applications open, I’m going to have to close one by one if I want my RAM to be free.

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote. Maybe that’s why I feel alwrong – that should be the correct opposite of alright.

Things have been weird and I feel weird and I have broken down in savage tears a couple of times too many for my liking. But that’s ok, it’s probably all a big step forward. Although I actually feel much more stuck than I thought I would ever be.

I spent the day with Simon.

I don’t know how to handle this. It has caused such an unreasonable amount of distress I can’t help thinking that I’m not ready for this yet. When I say “this”, I mean dealing with men in general, dealing on a level that far precedes any relationship, I mean dealing with the commotion and chaos the mere fact of liking someone brings to my soul. With “distress” I mean all of the very different emotions that have defined my days ever since I met him. With “ready” I mean the hardest thing of all, because I don’t know how to get ready, nor if I ever will.
I was in such panic I called Maddie. I talked this over with her and she was right. I take all this matter, boys, in the wrongest way of all: I expect or hope to find love. I can’t really deny it, I do. And it’s been like that forever. And I know I would be so much calmer if I didn’t. Now some hopeless romantic might say it’s the only way to proceed, and as far as I am concerned I would appreciate the answer, but the harsh reality is that it hurts too much to be the right way. For my own sanity’s sake, I should avoid it.

I wish I could find someone who likes me for who I am. Not for my body, not for my presumed easiness, not because of anything else. I tend to like people for how they are, sometimes more than what they look like. I like the possibility of sharing things with them, I like the way they think, the way they make me feel, I admire the way the live, I assume they could teach me something. Sure, I most often like how they look like too, but it’s rarely all.

I wish I could find someone like that, someone who likes my blue eyes just as much as the way I talk, someone who appreciates my body as well as my sense of humor. I thought he could be like that.

Ever since I met him, there has been great turmoil inside of me. It’s been very different from the others before, different from Alex, Hector, even Coach. We’ve texted extensively every day since the day we met, although it was strange, unexpected and probably premature, I liked it so much. It made me feel safe, he made me feel wanted and appreciated. I loved the fact that he liked me and I liked the fact that he is the kind of person who can like someone like me, for the qualities he saw the night we met; the ones that make me too little feminine, too aggressive, too spontaneous and unexpected.

It was safe seeing him not disappear day after day, it was good reading what he liked about me and how sure he seemed of what he wanted and how he pursued it. It was alluring reading his provocations, his allusions to sex, his impersonal propositions. He sounded like a man confident enough to lay it all out there with no fear of being judged.

Still at times I was scared. Scared of how much it could mean if it was true, scared of how I could react to finding someone like him so soon, scared by the possible complications if nothing were to go south.

The first trauma came when I suspected he had invited himself to sleep over. It was basically a misunderstanding, or so it seemed, but it was enough to break the spell. I plunged into panic, because I suddenly thought I had it all wrong. All the qualities he had seen in me might simply equal to someone who lives sex like a man, and the idea of being pursued just as an easy fuck killed me. Not because of the idea as such but because I really didn’t expect it from him. Nor would I have accepted it. But when I proposed a change of plans to accommodate my discomfort he didn’t flinch, acknowledge the misunderstanding and accepted new plans straight away.

Then, several texts and virtual conversations later, the day got closer, when we were supposed to meet and the night before I was newly in panic because I started worrying about the fact that he may not come at all and stand me up. And this was unreasonable and unmotivated but it was enough to make me start sobbing like a crazy person. So I called Maddie and as she tried to calm me down; she started saying how she wouldn’t trust someone who was so keen on writing since the very first start and that he probably just wanted that one thing and quickly. And I just started to believe it too. So again I felt stupid and naive for believing he might like me more than just for that.

And then along came all the past with First Fred. It was just so obvious it all came from there. The fear of being abandoned, the shame of believing a lie, the preemptive worry of erratic and unmotivated behaviour… the fear of realising how much damage that experience has done to me and how much I am going to have to suffer for it in the future, again and again until I can finally break the spell, if ever. I can’t allow myself to be the stupid girl who believes nice words, I cry and I panic because I don’t want to believe I am the same silly girl now at 31 as when I was 17. So I started hoping he wouldn’t even come, I started hoping he would reveal himself for the prick he supposedly was and just disappear before he could perpetrate any damage. I went to bed empty and disillusioned.

So the morning after, when indeed he confirmed again he was coming, my attitude was that of someone who wouldn’t give in for anything in the world. I was ready to play catch, to lure him and deny him, to defend myself from someone who would make a very obvious pass on me for the only reason of wanting some sex. I was ready to fight and win the battle. I expected someone like Anthony to start charming me with the same captivating words used in his messages. I had turned myself into Maddie.

So when I walked him to his train at the end of the day and he didn’t even try to kiss me, I was shocked. Worse, I was hurt. Because that definitively changed everything. Of course my fighting attitude didn’t last long, because it was very obvious there was no battle, but at least one kiss, I did expect that. I longed for that. In light of everything he had written me, of how excited he seemed to see me again and given that the day was good. Or seemed good.

One thing became very clear to me however: he was not at all what Maddie expected and her advice was completely pointless. As stupid and obvious as this may sound, I should have trusted my guts more. Because one thing is sure: I may still make many horrible mistakes, but I can read people and intentions much better now than when I was 17 and if in the end I trusted this person to be different from the others and if I believed what he said, maybe there was a reason. It might be stretching it a little too thin, but maybe he did write to me so much because he just wanted to get to know me while we couldn’t spend time together and maybe he pushed himself in some bold texts because he knows he wouldn’t have the courage to do it face to face. Because he is a nerd, in the end, just like me.

But that missing kiss… All it meant to me was he had changed his mind. That would unfortunately not be a surprise. Every member of the aforementioned trio changed his mind about me, I wouldn’t know why it should be any different with him. And that is probably the very worst thing right now, because with the others I couldn’t actually be sure of how interested in me they were in the first place; in this case, I know. I was suddenly terrified I would never hear from him again.

Unreasonable exaggeration? I still don’t know. But right now I am not only extremely disappointed at the idea of having lost him too, I am deeply scared at the idea that this is no way to deal with the whole dating matter and have no way of overcoming the problem. I am hurting myself way too much with my attitude. And while I could force myself to be celibate, if I wanted to, I can’t refrain from liking men. While I perfectly know I could do without him since I’ve done it so far not even knowing him until last week, I don’t have the faintest idea of how I could ever survive the next crush and the next and the next after that without being crushed myself.

Sometimes you end up counting only on yourself.

You know you can always rely on your parents for money but you can also rest assured they will keep asking the wrong questions about your life, just to quench their own curiosity, whenever you need it the least.

A night out with friends will always be the best cure for blues, but you will inevitably find yourself alone in your office at 9.30 am on Monday.

The people who move your soul and have the power to make you happy with one simple word will always disappear one second after you realise how much they mean to you.

Some days, you have a list of significant others and destiny’s pen keeps crossing out every item in it, until all is left is the Saxon genitive in the title: yourself.

When that yourself has a cold, PMS and hasn’t slept nearly enough – in months – things get tough. Plus, it’s cloudy, rainy and the heating got officially turned off, regardless of outside temperatures close to 10°C. And the Boss keeps his windows open as if it was Honolulu.

But it’s ok, it’s to be expected. It’s been a long while since my last down, considering it’s April 22nd, I’m in a state of bliss. Maybe it feels too much like winter today and when it’s cold I need to be warmed outside and inside.

My friend Stephen is a pro. He met this girl last summer in Iceland, she lives in another continent, but they’ve been together ever since. I congratulated him the other night. He’s the only person I know who believes in dreams so much to make it a way of life. We should all learn from him. Somehow he makes the magic happen. I’ve known him ever since high school and he’s always been like this. I should have learnt from him a long time ago. It’s not easy, but he is so not scared. Looking at him makes me believe Alex and I are possible. But then again, I am not Stephen and Alex is not Kelsey.

Managing all of these boys – just in my head, that is –  makes me feel alive, but it has wearied me out already. I need feelings right now, because it still feels like I have been forced into feelings by my head for so long, I’m just looking for some redemption. At the same time, I am somehow relieved to be free to give and take away as I please, instead of being locked into a relationship where you suddenly have obligations and responsibilities towards the other person’s feelings.

I am scared I have lost touch with my feelings. I am scared that they might disappear all of a sudden just as it happened last time, I am scared that they might not be true in the first place, I am scared not to be able to feel and love anymore – if I’ve ever been able to. But at the same time, I feel liberated by the fact that I am allowing myself to feel and dream as I please. Still, dreams scare me, because once you dream your dream you admit to yourself that making it come true is something you wish very badly and the idea that it may never come to pass is dreadful.

I feel stuck in between. I am happy to dream and be a feeling person more than I used to be, but at the same time I am so scared I wish I wouldn’t dream at all. I’m a dog on a leash. I am not caged and I can wander around to some extent but I am not really free to go anywhere either and I am just not gutsy enough to bite on the leash and go.

Maybe it was easier when it was all in my head, all contained in a bubble-like environment. All of my test subjects were meteors, it was me, them and the city, nobody else. Others people around me only got to imagine the deeds through my narrations. In a way, it wasn’t that different from fantasising. In my outside world, they didn’t exist, and if they touched by chance the rest of my world, efforts would be made for them to be deleted as fast as possible.

This is different. This is my hometown. This is my friend’s buddy. Someone who doesn’t live in my city, smokes, at the age of 30 still lives with his parents, has an improbable job and well… is not that cute, objectively speaking. Still, this happened.

This made me realise how stupid and pointless the whole online dating is. Not because it’s useless, not because it doesn’t work, but because it’s so limiting. I like this guy and apparently he likes me, still if I had seen his profile online I would have never contacted him for a long series of reasons and probably wouldn’t have even been bothered to answer back had he contacted me. And probably, it would have never clicked if we had met through an online dating service, because the first encounter would have been much more awkward, none of us would have felt free to just be who we are, I for one wouldn’t have felt free to drink two beers and a shot. And since we’ve already met and talked, if he acts like he’s interested now, it’s because he has seen the real me, not just a virtual image.

So I wonder where is the lesson in that. Should I just give up online dating? Should I give many more chances to all the e-guys I don’t like who contact me? Should I stop excluding profiles just because some of their characteristics don’t match my requirements?

The house is emptying.

First it was the boxes full of newly Amazon ordered stuff, then a few kitchen appliances, then clothes and toileteries. It feels different. It doesn’t look like my house anymore, it looks like something is missing.

Indeed, what it isn’t anymore is our house, and what it officially is is my house. I need to get used to the voids, used to the order and cleanliness that were never there before. I need to take the time to rearrange it as my place.

I slept alone tonight. It wasn’t frightening, his physical presence was the one thing I didn’t really miss. It’s the stuff, the change I see in the environment around me.

The first weekend alone in the house. The first full day of loneliness. It’s so hard I can hardly breath.

I went out with Maddie last night, we went clubbing to a place near her home, in the hope of finding someone she used to know and reconnecting to old acquaintances. That obviously didn’t happen, plus it was one of the hardest nights so far. I realised how hard it’s going to be to meet someone new, to make new friends, especially with no money or little time.

I hate clubbing. I hate the fact that the music is so loud that you can’t even talk, I hate the fact that you can’t see around because of the lights, I hate the fact that people is supposed to go clubbing to meet new people and you end up even sadder and lonelier once the night doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.

At the same time, I really don’t have the money right now to do any other thing that could bring me to meet people. Any course I might enrol in costs more than I have, if I want to go to New York to Sabrina and I just can’t fathom what would be best in the long run.

Luckily at least, we ended the night talking in Maddie’s car in front of her house as I used to do when I was 18 with Faith. That’s one thing that can always make me feel good. Apart from when she made me realise how wrong it is to rely so much upon a partner as I need to.

I see the two sides of this thing. I know how wrong my attitude could be, because, as she says, you can’t really trust men. But on the other side, you just can’t try to build a serious and deep relationship without relying on them and trusting them fully.

I understand the way my heart functions, I understand and I see that I can’t connect to friends the way I connect to a partner. I know it shouldn’t be like this, that I should learn to rely on other relationships as well and that this is how I felt in the beginning of my awakening. I don’t know if I lost it because it was all a lie or because of the grief I’m feeling right now. I don’t know how much of what I am feeling is normal and to be expected or if it’s my issues.

I feel lonely because I am missing all the feelings I used to have inside. There is a hole there now, instead of what was filling it and I have no idea of how I am ever going to be able to fill it if not with the same kind of feelings. This is why I feel the need to love again so much.

I miss the way it made me feel. The safety, the tranquility. And I wonder how much of that feeling was granted by the mere fact that there was love and companionship or how much it was my husband as a person to grant me that. As long as I can’t change the fact that I need to have a partner to feel whole, I have to wonder whether any person I am in love with could do or if different characters may not give me what I need. I am for the first time wondering if there was more to our relationship than I can see.

But then again, I don’t know if it’s the grief talking or the truth. When I feel well, when optimism can break through I feel hope and I feel like everything is going to be ok, but when I’m not all I can think about is being with him, calling him, seeking help with him. If I need to rely on a man so much, shouldn’t I be with someone I can trust completely?

Will time be enough to heal or will be difficult as it has ever been?

I don’t know what to expect. I’m feeling so bad that I can’t figure out how I’m ever going to feel better than this. It feels like it’s going to be like this forever. And probably it won’t, anybody would tell me it’s going to go away, but the truth is I don’t know that. I have never gone through this sort of break up, I have no idea if I’ll ever work this out or if I’ll just end up being frustrated and angry with life just like I was before.

There is no doubt on the fact that I am in pain. I should rejoice there is at least this certainty in my life right now. Of course, I do not rejoice about pain, even if it’s healthy, even if it meant I am healing, like a itchy crust.

Because I don’t feel like it’s taking me anywhere. I might use it to lift myself up and grow further, but as it is, it feels useless and static.

http://ruthrutherford.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/the-cavities-of-the-heart/

This post tells a very important truth about pain: just like karma imbalances, pain is there to let you know something is wrong. I completely agree with that and this definition fits perfectly for sorrow as well. Only, in my case, it’s not that easy to understand the source of the pain. Of course, there is the pain connected to the separation, but there is also the pain related to the poor status of my mind – or soul, or spirit. Understanding which has to be fixed in order to get rid of the pain is a challenge.

I was seriously wondering yesterday if I’d have gone all the way with the separation, had I know what it entailed in terms of suffering and uncertainty. The point, 6 months ago, was that I felt great. For the first time in my life I felt optimistic, full of hope, strong and confident. All of that is past now, none of it fuels me anymore, or rather all of it turned to its opposite, dragging me down in an even worse state than before I was illuminated.

I am back to the state I was in three years ago, when I started my therapy.

I keep wondering whether that sprout of optimism wasn’t completely crazy instead, totally otherworldly. I don’t see second chances, I don’t see a bright future, that enables you to fight the difficulties ahead for the sake of its arrival, I don’t see myself better off without my husband. Of course the situation got so unbearable at home, there is really no other way now than catching our breath on our own for a while.

What if I keep misjudging which part of me I have to mend in order to be free of the pain? All of this introspection I think I need comes from the necessity to clear at least partly all the confusion in my head and heart. I always fear I won’t be able to understand what I really want, because of all the noise my mental issues create around my true feelings. How do I understand how much I care for someone, if the fear of being alone fills up all the rest? How will I know when to fight for someone, if my pessimism is always telling me to let go? How do I make life changing decisions if I don’t believe in myself enough to be sure to overcome any difficulty?

I am also barely able to withstand all the pressure around. I can’t concentrate on work, I can’t bear for more than 5 split seconds all the things I regularly hate of my job, I can’t stand the fact that I can’t find another one, that I need the money more than ever, that there is no way I can get a leave of absence when all I’d rather do would actually be checking myself in at the nearest asylum and stay there free from external influences until…

And “there falls the donkey”, as the Italians would say, there’s the rub. I’m starting to believe that there will never be a time when I’ll be healed. I will have to live with this wounded mind for the rest of my days like a cancer patient: at times I will need treatment, at times the tumor will still be there but it won’t bother me much, and with time who knows, it may recede spontaneously… or metastasize.

Maybe it’s ok, maybe it’s just the way I am and I will have to learn to live with this, but I can’t let it spoil all of my decisions, I can’t end up a wreck like this every time I go through hard times. Hard times are hard on their own, I don’t want to add to it.

The separation is what brought on the crisis, so it’s only natural to think that if I get back with him, part of the pain will go away. But the problems would stay. I could ditch Hector and Kolya, leave Coach behind once and for all and close my online dating profiles. I still couldn’t refrain from eyeing the cute passers-by. I still couldn’t start liking him the way I used to, because I just don’t like him that way anymore. He is an anchor, he is a life raft, he is a handhold, but he is not my lover anymore and I can’t force myself into believing anything different. I guess, he is the closest thing to a functional family I have. I love him in a way, I trust him, I feel somewhat safer around him. But I can’t see him as my partner anymore. I only very much wish I could.

I guess I should be happy and relieved to see that the last time I fell prey to anxiety was in November. When I opened the editor this time I needed a way out very badly, and I remembered I had done this already, writing to take the edge off, so I went to check when it was. I suspected it could be a few weeks ago, seeing it was more than three months ago did make me feel relieved.

Anxiety has a way of distorting everything: space, time, feelings, rationality, everything. All you need to do is calm down, but you just can’t reason, you can’t take the spinning things in your hand to stop them, you just keep spinning. When you finally do calm down, you are so exhausted you don’t even remember what got you spinning.

I know what did, just now, because it’s not gone altogether. It’s something Hector told me, about living alone. Understanding the causes is easy: it can be anything really, in this case I’m tired, I am in a difficult phase of my life, I am all shaken up by the fact that I met someone I really like… it’s everything, but it doesn’t matter.

The fact is, up until now and now still, my reaction is giving in to anxiety. It’s probably just like stating the obvious, but I can’t control it. The fact is, up until now I’ve had my husband to turn to whenever anxiety pulled my strings, now I won’t have that anymore. And no, I don’t think it’s enough to stay with him, because yesterday I tried again, to be with him when I was in the middle of a crisis, and it’s just not the same anymore. True enough, we can’t be close now as we used to be when we were a couple, but it’s slightly more than that: I was talking about what scared me and he just didn’t answer accordingly, he thought about his anxiety. It was as good as talking to a wall, with the difference that when you talk to the wall, you know you can’t expect an answer.

The fact is, I am ashamed of my anxiety. More than any other thing in myself. If I make an effort, I can decide to let out parts of my feelings and thoughts which I usually keep within, when the time is right, when the listener is right. I’ve learnt to do that. But I still can’t think of calling anyone when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack. Maybe I could talk to Faith, because she knows the topic so well, she wouldn’t be taken aback, but my first reaction is wanting to hide from the world.

Anxiety is something so private that I can think of partly letting it out only with someone I share an extremely deep bond with and I can rarely think of someone else rather than my partner. Which means, I don’t like calling my parents or my sister either when that happens. In this sense, now I need to face it all by myself. And this scares the shit out of me.

How do people do it? They say, anxiety is basically the most widespread condition af all in developed countries, I guess I can’t be the only one. How do the others do it? Do they keep it for themselves, do they use massive doses of drugs – either legal or illegal – do they talk to someone and if so to whom? I need a plan.

It won’t be this bad every single day, it’s going to swing back and forth and from what I’ve seen in the past few weeks, it can be good, it can be better than it used to be before I even met my husband. But the lack of a plan in case of need automatically alarms me enough to make me anxious. It’s a vicious circle and the only way to step out of it is finding a cause and working on the solution.

I realise I am tackling a fundamental problem here, when I say some things I can share only with a partner. But I still don’t know how to work around it. On the one hand, it’s wrong to charge a relationship with such a burden. On the other, I am human and as such I must accept the fact that I need other people and human relations to survive. Is it unrealistic for me to expect I should learn to count only on myself? Of course I need friends, I need social interactions, but should I learn to cope with “the serious stuff” by myself or should I rather learn to split the burden with someone else? And if not a partner, with whom?

I have deeply suffered the lack of a profound communication with my husband, probably exactly because of this. Because I expected him to be the one who should act as a repository for these troubles and in fact he no longer was it and because I hadn’t trained myself to do it with anybody else. Throughout my relationship with him, I managed to distance myself from my parents, in a way. This may sound like a very bad thing, truth is it’s not, not given the relationship we have and the kind of people they are. I am happy to be independent from them, or rather, from my mother. The problem with it is, I suppose I managed that because I had just created a family of my own on the other side. Once that broke too, I am completely on my own.

I suppose, my situation is different from that of the majority of people. I normally fear loneliness much more than others do and at the same time I have fewer resources to reduce my loneliness to a minimum. It’s the hard way, the one I always seem to choose, maybe the only one I know how to navigate. I have begged myself to cut me some slack, but I can’t seem to understand how I should do it. I agree that I don’t need to be perfect to be happy, on the contrary, it might make everything worse, but I can’t get out of the loop and act accordingly. I can’t make those necessary mistakes that would make me feel better. Or maybe I’m doing just right and can’t expect to always feel fine. Maybe this best I can do which I’m doing is really just enough and I can’t do any more.

I keep thinking about all the things Hector said. I can hardly find anything wrong with it, it seems such a wise way to go. I envy him and I would like to copy his ways. It seems to have worked out for him and I need a project so much, some path to follow to give me some hope that I will really get where I want to go… I understand how I tend to get excited pretty much about any guy I meet lately, and that it’s hard to believe this has more reasons to it than just the heat of the moment… but I really feel he could make a difference. But from his point of view, I could be completely wrong. If I want someone to lead me, why shouldn’t he want someone like that too? Why would he want to be with a wreck such as I am right now, someone who could lead him back in the depths instead of someone just happy to live and ready to give instead of taking? I am not sure how much I can give right now, not because I don’t want to, not because I don’t need to, just because… not because of me, because of him. I want and I need to share everything I learnt along the way and I suppose once I share everything with someone he will learn something from it, maybe something I don’t even recognise as a lesson worth giving. It’s just that what he could give me is so big that I don’t believe I could reciprocate that. And I may very well be wrong. If nothing else, because he might not be aware of all of this.

Again, this is why I say this is all psychobabble: all of this is just in my head and he may have well forgotten my name by now.