Category: Relationships

Not Going Back

Not Going Back

Seeing my newsfeed and Tiktok flooded with the leaked decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, I feel like screaming this from the rooftops: “WE ARE NOT GOING BACK!” This applies to that situation as well as many others in my life at the moment. I am not alone when I say I will make DAMN sure the women of this country have bodily autonomy for their own healthcare decisions. Women are not breeding livestock you can legislate to just keep pushing out babies. We are humans and we have rights too. I refuse to be silent when my daughter’s (and daughters everywhere) future is at stake. We are not going back to the time in our country when the only person considered in our laws and our society is a white man. Mediocre white man: your time is up!

I’m overwhelmed with rage about the state of things. This is on top of the ludicrous cries of corporate America everywhere to “return to the office” and we “need to collaborate in person”. Really?!? Working remotely worked just fine during the past two years of the pandemic, but suddenly it no longer works? We all watched as millions of people around the world lost their lives as a result of this pandemic. The world is not the same as it was before. We, collectively and individually, are not the same as we were before. The pandemic enabled me (and countless others!) to see through the capitalistic, hustle, and work-until-you-die grind culture, and I am no longer here for it. I refuse to give my mental or physical health to a company that would cut me in a heartbeat in order to make the numbers look better for their shareholders.

And I have recently left a marriage that drained me of my time, mental energy, money, health, and self-confidence. Studies have shown that women’s health suffers during the marriage, while men thrive. And when divorce does happen? The reverse is true…women THRIVE while men take a hit. Is anyone surprised by that? I am most certainly not. We are the supporters, the cheerleaders, the taskmasters, the organizers, the soothers, the doers, the love, the glue. We hold families together. All I can think now, having time to heal and repair some of the damage from my marriage is, what took you so long to decide to leave? And that is even without being 100% done with the divorce process itself!

I am fucking DONE. I am not going back to the way things were before. I’m not nostalgic for old times. I am here, along with women everywhere, forging a better, more inclusive, more empathetic path forward. Not just for women, but for all people. If you are longing for the past, watch out, because we are about to mow you down. Burn the whole damn system down to the ground.

(I Need) Sexual Healing

(I Need) Sexual Healing

Ah, Marvin Gaye. I realize I am showing my (old) age with that song title, but I don’t give a shit. This song came on in the car during my morning commute, and my grin spread from ear to ear. The universe and its serendipitous timing! All I kept thinking was, “THAT is exactly what I need!” Let me explain.

I am in the process of getting divorced from a 14-year marriage. And during the last few years of our marriage, I completely moved out of our bedroom, into the spare bedroom. Needless to say, our sex life, which was on life support to begin with, completely tanked. We barely did *it* anymore, and even in the times we did, it was never earth-shattering (at least for me). Part of that I attributed to how long we’d been together, but there was an underlying feeling that I was more or less a receptacle. Which I genuinely hope you, dear reader, never have to personally experience, since it is a soul-crushing feeling. That you could swap me out with any. other. vagina. and the outcome for him would still be the same. I didn’t feel seen at all, and I started to seriously wonder what happened to my sex drive. I know things change after having kids, but there was nothing there. I contemplated if I was genuinely asexual. Like was my sexual being dead inside?!?

Then when I finally managed to tell him I wanted a divorce, we lived together for several months while he was trying to find a place to move into. We spent our days trying to be civil to one another, often failing, as we navigated our feelings about our breakup while trying to keep it together for the sake of our daughter. I spent those months collapsing into bed from utter emotional exhaustion. Sex? The thought never crossed my mind. I was too worried about getting through the next day or stuffing down my rage over some shitty passive-aggressive comment he made so I could get up and do it all again.

Fast-forward to today. We are alternating custody and my ex has been moved out for almost 2 months now. Much to my chagrin (and complete fucking surprise!), my sexual being is not dead inside. Holy shit, quite the contrary…this mama needs some action! It felt as like some switch was turned off, and someone turned it the hell on. I am daydreaming of fantasies quite often. And as much as I can and have utilized battery-operated toys, that doesn’t even compete with the feel of another body pressed up against yours. Or someone gently kissing your neck. Or pressing you up against a wall.

Here is the conundrum I currently face. I haven’t had sex with another person in over 10 years. I feel so old and decrepit when it comes to the hookup and/or dating scene I’m not even sure what to start. Am I looking for a husband? Gawd no, I just sent one packing! Am I looking to seriously date? My lip grimaces as I type this so I’m gonna go with a big N-O there. But on the flip side, the thought of a one-night stand makes me cringe. As a woman, the thought of bringing someone back to my place is a non-starter just in terms of my own physical safety. And with dating apps, how do I being to weed out the misogynists, creepers, and abusers? Ideally, a friends with benefits option sounds REALLY great right about now. Except I don’t have a friend that would fit that scenario. SIGH.

All I know is I could definitely use some sexual healing. And soon. Until I figure this shit out, brb, while I go invest in some battery company.

An Emotional Week

This week has been emotional for me.  It’s been tough and I’ve been struggling with how to be a friend while trying to make sure I protect myself at the same time.

First of all, my girlfriend whose husband got laid off last month, lost her own job this week.  Long story short, she made a not-so-smart move, but had a boss that was looking for any reason to fire her.  They have two young children and have zero income now.  And since her and I have talked so much about finances, I know they are basically a paycheck-to-paycheck family.  When she called to tell me what happened, I felt sick to my stomach, because I immediately began to spin, thinking how they are going to pay for their mortgage, bills, food?  What happens when they don’t have insurance and one of them gets sick?

Had lunch with another girlfriend this week and she’s staying at her mom’s this weekend with her two children, in an attempt to give her husband a wake up call.  They recently had their 5 year anniversary and he didn’t even get her a card.  And in the past month, he got drunk and told her “he needed a break” and has stopped wearing his wedding ring.  She fought back tears telling me what was going on and I really felt for her, as she kept saying, “I just want someone to tell me what to do.”  Add to that, her mom thinks she somehow contributed to their marriage problems since she lived with them for awhile.  In the midst of dealing with her own emotions, she feels obligated to soothe and reassure her mother.  Then she has another friend telling her to be careful what you wish for, because she might find something worse out there than what she already has.  Not exactly encouraging words for someone who really needs them.

Then on Friday, I checked in on a colleague, whose aunt was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The initial diagnosis came two months ago, and she was hospitalized this week with breathing problems.  The cancer has been pretty aggressive, and her lungs are now filled with tumors, in addition to her spine, other organs, etc.  They put her on hospice.  My heart was breaking as my colleague told me how her aunt was heavily medicated, but when she would wake up, would yell “Help me!” to those in her room.  Even now, typing these words out, my heart feels so heavy for their family.  It’s both a blessing and a curse to be there as someone is dying.  I know as I watched my dad die from cancer.  On one hand, you are thankful for the time and opportunity to say goodbye.  On the other, every time you leave, the worry is that it’ll be the last time you see them.  Same thing with going to bed that night, even if you’re there.  You wonder, “Is this the last goodbye?  Will they be here when I wake up?”  Then there’s the dread waking up the next morning, as you wait to discover if they are still of this earth or not.

I’ve tried to offer as much support to my girlfriends as I can, and I worry for each of them because I love them so much.  The hard part about this though is the feeling of helplessness.  I can’t get jobs for my one girlfriend, or help financially support them in any meaningful way.  I can’t repair my other girlfriend’s marriage to prevent a divorce.  And as much as I’d love to, I can’t wave a magic wand to make my colleague’s aunt’s cancer go away.  It’s hard to watch your friends going through difficult times.

But I’ve also been thinking to myself, “Is this what our future holds?  Are we prepared if one (or both) of us loses a job?  Are we going to end up as a divorced statistic sometime in the future?  Are we doing all we can to stay healthy?”  We had a job layoff in 2016 (me!) and managed that one OK.  But the divorce and cancer parts?  I can’t say we are immune to either situation.  We’ve had our fair share of problems ourselves and I have a history of cancer in my family.

If I can name one positive, this week has been a reminder to me to be grateful. Thankful for what we have, and that at the moment, we aren’t going through a crises of our own.  Life is hard, and the moments without struggle are fleeting.

 

Running Away…for Girls Night Out

I’m running away tonight.  At least that’s how I feel right now.  I can’t get out of the house fast enough.  I’m meeting a friend/former colleague for dinner tonight and am so geeked to finally catch up with her!  We have a lot in common and have similar life situations, and find ourselves chatting up every topic under the sun.

I feel furiously angry at the moment, and I’m sitting alone in our bedroom while husband has the kiddo at the playground, trying to process my fucking rage.  He was on a business trip this past week.  Left last Sunday, and he got home Friday night around 6PM…just in time for him to change into the costume I laid out for him for a friend’s birthday / Halloween party.  I’ve managed the household by myself this entire week, which included 2 days of offsite workshops for MY job, which resulted in 3 hour round trip commutes those 2 days (the norm is less than an hour).

He’s been gone all week, barely got home in time for us to head out the door and go somewhere else.  He’s had to do none of the work related to our family.  No uninterrupted sleep because the kiddo woke up crying or the dog decided to make you his pillow at 3AM.  No litany of chores to do before even walking out the door to go to work.  Then heading into a job that is so ambiguously vague and with a boss who doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, just to up the anxiety and frustration levels I was already feeling at home.  I sobbed Tuesday morning before work, because I was tired and felt like I was running on fumes, and was trying to figure out how mentally I was going to make it through another shitty day.

We had a great time last night, but I feel like it all dissolved this morning.  Our child woke up at 5:30AM.  When I saw the monitor, she already had her bedroom light on and had toys out and was playing.  No going back to sleep for mom.  My hubby ended up sleeping until almost 9AM.  This afternoon he left 20 minutes before she woke up from her nap (both her and I were asleep), and was gone almost 2 hours running errands all by himself.

He couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want to take our kid and the dog for a walk by myself, without him.  I suggested a family walk and he agreed, but then said he had to poop.  I sighed in frustration, because the family walk would have to wait until his leisurely shit was done.  He jumped down my throat about how he can’t even take a poop without me getting pissed.

It’s not that.  It’s not the poop itself, it’s the cumulative pile of shit.  It’s the build up of frustration of me having no one to tap out to all week, and then continuing more of the same over the weekend.  When I thought it’d be my turn to get a break.  When I thought him coming home would bring some kind of relief.

What I really wanted was for him to say, “Let me get up with her since you’ve been holding down the fort all week.”  All I heard was his snoring beside me as I got out of bed.  All I wanted was for him to ask, “How can I help you unwind after this week?”  All I wanted for him was to think of me and how he could help relieve some of my frustration or irritation.  What I wanted is a little bit of the reprieve he had this week, being on his own.  I wanted a little bit of equality.

So yes, I’m totally fucking running away tonight.  Even got my running shoes on.