“…….I go out every night and sleep all day Since you took your love away, Since you been gone I can do whatever I want, I can see whomever I choose, I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant , But nothing I said nothing can take away these blues , ‘Cause nothing compares , Nothing compares to you”

KJ,

It has been 44 days since we broke up. That means it’s been 1056 hours since I last told you I loved you while we were together.  63,360 minutes since you were my guy  and I’ve now endured 3,801,600 seconds of complete heartbreak.

I vacillate between the stages of grief. The denial that surfaces when I’m at “our” bar and I’m expecting you to walk in at any moment and we’ll pick up planning our future where we left off.  There’s anger that you are more empowered with the demons that reside within than the love I gave you.   The bargaining that I do with myself that if you just come back, I’ll put up with whatever you throw my way, including the drinking and the drugs.  I go through the depression stage most of all, when it randomly hits me that you’re not my person and I’m walking through the grocery store and the pain is so great I’ll almost collapse. I thought I almost hit acceptance last night, when I finally deleted your number out of  my phone, along with those of your mom, your dad, and your best friend. I thought I hit acceptance when I hadn’t cried for two days, but my subconscious had other ideas as I woke up remembering the dream I had of you last night, and the lone tear that streamed down my face told me that the final stage of grief was nowhere near.

Kj, I have a picture on my phone taken the day before you went to detox.  You’re sitting behind me, arm wrapped around me, and just as I went to snap the selfie, you decided to kiss me. The pic just shows the side of your face with your lips pressed near mine. I’m looking at the camera and my eyes are bright green and sparkling with happiness that you’re going to get better and we are going to start the new chapter in our lives. We sat in the car and both cried because we knew it was going to be hard. We knew our relationship was going to change drastically from that point forward.   We were determined that we’d make it and despite the odds (40% to 60% relapse rate for substance abuse disorders), you’d make it too.

We didn’t make it though.  I had no clue what I was getting into. That loving you in recovery was harder than loving you as a drunk.  I could have never guessed that sobriety would change you so much, that eventually it would be for the better but in the short term but the process would be heart wrenching.   When you were drinking, you couldn’t get enough of my body.  When you stopped, it was all I could do to get you to make love to me once a week.  When you were drinking, you were in constant communication.  Sobered up, I could barely get a good night text.

Even though it was never confirmed that you relapsed, I knew you well enough to know the signs.  The forgetting, the meanness, the lies were all signs that were lit up in my face like the flashing neon Bud Light sign outside of  our bar.  I gave up on you KJ. I gave up on us because I needed to save myself.  I wish I could take it back and taken a chance dipshit (remember, this was always my term of endearment for you).  But this was one thing that you were determined that would be completely out of my control.  When we were on our road trip, you told me how much you loved me. That you never thought you’d be able to get someone like me.  That you dreamed of us being a family.  But despite all of this,  you promised that if you found yourself caught up in the alcohol and drugs again at any point, you’d walk away from me, because you needed to be man enough to make the decision to do what’s best for me.

I”m trying KJ, I really am.  I went on a date that was terrible. I started swiping again.  I tried to distract myself by talking and flirting with old friends. I started going out again to our bar and sing karaoke, even though I have to walk away when someone sings Bohemian Rhapsody and dealing with the pain of being ignored by our best couple friends is hard.  I try to do anything to not think about the fact that you texted me twice to let me know you’re okay, and I now haven’t heard from you in ten days. You let me know that you moved to another state after we broke up to get a change of scene to deal with your issues. You apologized for everything that you did to me. It’s not enough,. I work over 80 hours a week so I don’t have to think about the emptiness I feel when my brain points out that we are really over this time.

I picked this version of this song over Prince and Sinead O’Connor because of you. You played it for me while we were lying in bed one night. I had my head on your chest and I was forcing you to try Peeps (because how could you have gone 36 years and never had a crappy, marshmallow bunny?).  We were talking about how scared you were of stopping the drugs and alcohol and going into a deeper depression, which led us to the conversation of Chris Cornell,

I don’t know if you’ve found someone to take my place. I do know what we had was real.   I know time heals wounds.  I’m following the creed you would recite when you entered recovery.  One day at a time. That’s all I can focus on. Getting through each 24 hours without you. I hope you’re overcoming the fight within you KJ.

I love you always,

Ellie

“Seven forty two in the morning, Eight seconds before it all sinks in , Put your best face on for the world, Fake another smile and just pretend, But you’re just puttin’ off the pain ,Nothing’s ever really gonna change, So let it hurt, let it bleed Let it take you right down to your knees ,Let it burn to the worst degree ,May not be what you want, but it’s what you need, Sometimes the only way around it, Is to let love do it’s work, And let it hurt”

I started this blog because I was having fun. I was confident. I was hot. I was living my best life.  The tone has changed the past few months. It’s become something real. My therapy. My diary.  Of course, I have the insecurity of my readers thinking I’m some emo nutcase lately.  But it’s real life. It’s my life.

I’ve been anonymous so I don’t often go into details about who I really am, but it’s time to share that. I don’t mean my name or identifiers, but what makes me.. well, me.   I’m a mom of three boys and dogs. I’m in my early 40s.   I lost my great job almost three years ago, which led to me working both jobs just to make ends meet.

In self-reflecting, I’m beginning to evaluate and wonder how I went from stability to working 80 hours a week and crying on the bathroom floor over a raging alcoholic bartender who’s treating me like I’m dog shit that he stepped in.  I’m living my life on auto-pilot. The joy has gone out of my green eyes and I can barely fake it. In my prior life, I was surrounded by a posse of friends that I could turn to in any moment. In this second half of my life, my friends are 20 somethings who have no idea what I’ve gone through and the main person I text is my ex who also upgraded me and is replying to me out of pity.

I’ve been teetering on the edge of exhaustion and sadness the past 9 months. Then all it took was Hurricane KJ to come through and finally destroy me. But this time I have no one to help me pick up the debris that is my heart torn in pieces. This is the first time I’ve felt alone with pain.  I don’t like myself like this. I feel like a whiner and that’s not me. The real me is like the old Animaniacs, “tiny, toony, and a little lot of loony.”

I want to do like everyone tells me. I want to just focus on something else. I want to just move on. I want to be one of those strong women that say fuck it, and let it roll.  Mornings are the worst. I dream about him at night but sleep is a respite. Then when I wake up to no missed calls and texts, I feel like I’m being punched in the heart and then gut. KJ is constantly and obsessively running through my head like a movie reel. And I can’t force myself to think of anything else no matter how hard I try.  Because this movie was cut off before the ending.  The not knowing what happened is so unfair.   It’s been a week since our breakup. And no word. I need to know how the movie ends, even if its not a happy ending, just so I can get started with the sequel.

He. Destroyed.Me

“I know I’m probably better off on my own Than lovin’ a man who didn’t know What he had when he had it ,And I see the permanent damage you did to me , Never again, I just wish I could forget when it was magic, I wish it wasn’t four am, standing in the mirror, Saying to myself, you know you had to do it, I know The bravest thing I ever did was run”

“He’s just trash” “Fuck him” “You deserve so much more” “You just need to move on”

While all the above is probably true from well meaning friends, it doesn’t make it hurt any less.  Your person is no longer your person. Especially as co-dependent as KJ and I were. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol. I am addicted to him. I know I broke up with him. I know it was for the best. But he was gone days before I put it into words. And it was a toxic love. Oh so toxic.  I’m damaged now.  I wish I could just move on like everyone is telling me to.

I woke up to three missed calls from KJ’s mom.  He’d disappeared with her car yesterday, and she needed it for work this morning. That confirmed my suspicions that he’d been drinking again. She thought he was with me (apparently she didn’t know we broke up three days ago).  He was always so cautious with letting his mom know where he was and to make sure she had her car for work.  I confessed to her that I think he relapsed.  He finally returned home this afternoon. She let me know so that I knew he was safe.  But this is exactly why I broke up with him. I can’t go through the anxiety all day. And the rational part knows drunk KJ is a fuckboi.   The not coming home tells me he moved on. And the thought of kissing someone else makes me nauseous.

As I’ve mentioned in many earlier posts, Friday night was our night. Falling asleep, beard nuzzling my neck, hand on my boob.  Now I’m without him.  It’s almost like losing a phantom limb. I can feel something that’s not there. That something is him behind me with his arms wrapped around me.

I went to our bar the other night.  All our friends were there.  Who gets custody of the bar? Who gets custody of B and W, our best couple friends who we are supposed to be going on a trip with in two weeks? (Which reminds me, have to get deposit back for that one.)

I have so much anger inside me. I’ve had so much going on and this is what finally is breaking me.  TY (the assault guy) was at the bar. He’s got more than a foot and at least 80 lbs on me but the anger from him assaulting me on top of what KJ just pulled made me not care.  PJ had to pull me back from attacking him. I was also going to drive home. It’s like suddenly, I just don’t care anymore.

I cared and I looked like a fool. Fuck that.

 

Here’s another absolutely perfect song.

” I said I’d catch you if you fall. And if they laugh, then fuck ’em all. And then I got you off your knees. Put you right back on your feet. Just so you can take advantage of me”

“Hi, I’m KJ. I’m from the other location. My ex-girlfriend knows you.”  

“Hi, I’m Ellie. I don’t know her.”

                             Three hours later:

“Ellie, want to stay and have a beer with me since we are both off?”

“Actually, I do KJ.” 

Four beers later:

“KJ, this has got to be the best first non-date I’ve ever had.” 

“Same Ellie. Want to get out of here and continue somewhere else?”

“Yep, but I’m on a rebound so just drinks and friendship KJ.” 

“Ha! Ellie, you got it. You may not even want to be there with the friendship. You have no idea how fucked up I am.”

Instant connection.  But I wished I’d never agreed to that beer. I wish I would’ve never looked into those blue eyes.  Most of all, I wish I would’ve read my blog over and over so I’d always remember the hell he put me through and realized how likely the possibility of a relapse was.  Or the mood swings that come with the recovery.

I don’t know if he’s drinking again or just being an asshole.  Considering he avoided his mom and not just me for two days straight, I’m convinced it’s the former.  This past weekend he disappeared on me for two days. He hasn’t done that since his last bender, when he hit rock bottom, a few weeks before he finally got completely sober.  When I finally spoke to him, he was short tempered and couldn’t remember any of our conversations from two days prior. He also started going out after work with his current boss, his old drinking buddy.

He texted me after standing me up for the second time in two days (something sober KJ has never done. Drunk KJ didn’t really do it often.)  “Ellie, I need some space to think right now.” “KJ, are we breaking up?” “Ellie, I’m not sure right now. I don’t know if I want to be with you or not.”

Whoa, he was in love with me two days before. I was in shock. I knew I could’t go through the anxiety of waiting around to see if he was breaking up with me. I damn sure knew I wouldn’t survive the constant agony of him drinking again. I had to make the tough decision, I texted him (he refused to answer the phone for days, it had to be text), a straightforward, heartfelt, with a little bit of savagery thrown in text that it was over.  I made it clear that I wasn’t going to be the girl waiting around for him to figure out if he wanted me enough. I also made it clear that I knew my worth, and he was throwing away the woman that stood by him through hell when all his friends and family turned their backs, tired of their antics.

There was a study done about the physiological response to heartbreak. Scans were done on subjects who were given pictures of their exes to study to see what part of the brain lit up. Interestingly, the part of the brain that detects physical pain glowed along with the emotional parts.  Yes, the inevitable break up happened.  My stomach is crampy, I’m nauseous,  and I feel like doubling over from squeezing pain in my chest. Yet, I can’t sob and I want to so bad. I’m listening to sad songs and looking at pictures. Watching the video of our first kiss. All I can feel is pain and emptiness.  It’s so funny how with CS I thought I was heartbroken, and now looking back I realize it was more of hurt from feelings of rejection.  This is truly a broken heart.

He’s again gone. I’ve gotten no response to us breaking up. I deserve a response. I deserve closure.  I texted him to tell me something, anything about what changed in how he felt. Tell me he didn’t love me. Tell me he used me. Tell me he found someone else. Just tell me something. In a way I want to thank KJ.  I’m successful. I’m smart. I’m hot in a cougar way. I’ve got my shit together.  I invested so much energy, and emotion, and money into a raging alcoholic who couldn’t look past the bottle to truly see me. Now I know what it’s like to love a narcissist. Now I know what it’s like to love an addict.

When I was little,  I had a recurring nightmare that followed me into adulthood. It was my school bus then and my car now going over a bridge and slowly sinking into a lake. Slowly,  I was going into this water and gasping for air, barely keeping my head up. If I wouldn’t have woken up each time, I would’ve drowned in my dream.  That’s what it’s like loving KJ.  Every time I think I can breathe, he sinks me.  It’s time for me to wake up so I don’t drown.

“‘Til it happens to you, you won’t know. It won’t be real. No it won’t be real. Won’t know how it feels”

All around social media these days is “women’s rights” posts, and stories from different women on how their rights have been violated and how we are going back fifty years in this country. I am a total pro-choicer. I also never believed in blaming the victim. I know I’ve put myself into some precarious situations in my time, and I have been lucky so far. But it’s amazing to me how a lot of old school society has the mentality of “if she doesn’t want THAT kind of attention she shouldn’t wear that that” or “she knew she was a slut when she spread her legs.”   I just experienced that mentality. And at the hands of another woman.

I love Annie. She’s a no holds barred kinda gal in her fifties. She gives no nonsense advice and tough love as a former corrections officer and now bartender. We’ve been close.   She also warns me that I shouldn’t say things to “set KJ off” since he’s going through recovery and I should learn to zip it when it comes to talking back to him. I can handle that.  At our bar two weeks ago, she had another friend come out and get me to bring me inside because I was outside alone talking to two male regulars on the patio, whom I’ve known for awhile now. I told her “what? they’re my friends” to which Annie replied “No Ellie. They just want to fuck you. That isn’t going to look good to KJ.” (On a side note, I told my boyfriend about the situation-minus they want to fuck me part- and he just shook his head and said “Babe, I trust you a 100 percent and I know them. It’s okay.”) Annie always tells me “Girl, you got a sexy motherfucker and you need to make sure you do whatever you need to do to keep him, and that includes only talking to females.”

A few days ago, we were in a group after closing time at our bar congregated outside. TY (previous post from long ago–I hooked up with him before KJ and I were official because I was mad at KJ. It was childish and I’m not proud),  decided to hang around with us. I didn’t speak to TY all night, but he decided to hug me and grab my ass in front of Annie and my young, guy friend and manager PJ. I told TY, no, that was unacceptable.  He followed me to my car in the shadows where he pressed me against the back and forced a kiss. I got my head away and yelled “Get the fuck off me!”  TY stuck his hands under my shirt and I managed to squirm away and use the remote to unlock my door. He blocked me from getting in my car and said “you’re not leaving before we have a little fun” , while trying to force his tongue in my mouth and groping me between the legs. I managed to elbow him out the way and get in my car, where he tried again until I was able to finally use my knee and push him out.  I was yelling the whole time.

After this five or six minute ordeal, I was shaken. I pulled up where PJ and Annie were. They didn’t see what happened but PJ made the comment that he was coming over there if I would’ve yelled one more time.  I responded ” You should’ve come over there after I yelled the first time”.  PJ told me that I should know better and I should be leaving before last call with a guy from our group walking me out.   Annie proceeded to lecture me. She said “Ellie, this is what I’ve been trying to tell you. This shit happens when you talk to men. You hugged him so you let him believe that this was okay. You’ve given up to him before so he figured it was okay to just take it because you’re easy. ” I was stunned. How the fuck is almost getting assaulted my fault?  And both of you heard the whole thing and let it go on because maybe I ‘deserved’ it for acting easy?  Annie goes on to say “What if KJ finds out?” I answered “what if he does? I did nothing wrong. I’m not telling him because I don’t want him to go ballistic on TY, not because I’m guilty of anything.” Annie says “Why would you want to put him or us in this situation? Of having to protect you because you didn’t listen and you want to talk to all these men.”   Tears filled my eyes and I walked off.

You see, I was sexually abused by my mom’s boyfriend from the ages of 6-10. Most of my childhood is one big blackout where I’ve repressed most of it. When I finally told my mom at age ten, I told her it had only just happened twice recently to protect her. I’ve never told her the truth through this day.  He got pled down because I didn’t confess the amount of years I endured. And because my hymen was still intact because everywhere he touched me was external and there was never penetration.  And his family was affluent. And no one would listen when I tried to tell them the abuse was mostly because he made me do things to him. My first road head experience was at aged 8 for example.  And no fucking jail time. Community service and required counseling. I just had the same punishment for a goddamn traffic ticket. But that’s as in detail as I’ll get about any of that kind of trauma.

So me getting blamed for having my ass and vagina and boobs grabbed without my consent brought back the feelings of ten year old me. For some reason it was my fault and I’d asked for it because I gave out free hugs.  And for two days I’ve been holding all these emotions in with no one to express them to.  No one in my new life knows any of this, I left all that back home when I left my home state.  But now it’s all on the surface again.

It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault. I have had to replay that as a mantra to talk to my ten year old self and the me in my 40’s. I left home so I wouldn’t have to face my abuser again. Now, it looks like I’m going to have to avoid my bar.  Why do they fucking win?

“It’s funny that you’re calling me tonight And, yes, I’ve dreamt of you too And does he know you’re talking to me? Will it start a fight? No, I don’t think she has a clue”

Blue eyes. Over 6 ft tall. Beard.  Possesses the ability to give amazing orgasms. Nope, I’m not describing some sort of superhero.  I’m describing the last two (non-family) important men in my life, both KJ and CS.  This is where the similarities end.  I really shouldn’t be making comparisons between the two as relationships I had with CS and my current relationship with KJ is vastly different.  But I can’t help it.

The main reason is probably that CS is back in my life, by text, on a daily basis.  We’re friends with a tiny bit of flirtiness, and we know where the line is.  Of course if I’m going to be honest with myself, there are times when I’d still love to hear his voice, as it probably remains my favorite voice to listen to.

CS matches my wit better than KJ. KJ matches me better emotionally.  But there’s no such thing as a Build-A-Bro workshop in a mall.  KJ is truly a male version of me, while CS balanced me.  I’m not trying to “decide” between the two as that decision has already been made. I know who I am with and want to be with.  Maybe with the friendship with CS, I’ve got the best of both worlds now.

I’ve always had two theories, one of which I have disproven to myself.   The first is that there really is no such things as friends with benefits. I’m sticking to that.  Usually one person catches feelings and the other doesn’t. Or, in my case, after months of swearing we didn’t want a relationship, KJ and I fell for each other.  The other theory that I’ve disproven is that exes can’t be friends.  I do still have a slight emotional attachment to CS, but at the same time like where we are now.  And if I’m being super honest, there are times when I really miss him and would love to see him again. But don’t know if that would be wise.

Totally unrelated to the post but it’s a big deal so I had to include. Congrats to my man, my KJ, of thirty days of sobriety today.  I’m so proud of him, and I can still see when he struggles.  For example, we went to a huge event with two other couples last week with 40,000 people, who were openly walking down the street drinking.   He was shaking thirty minutes in but refused to leave because it was something I wanted to do. Little did he understand that his well being is way more important to me than being at any event,  Our relationship has its ups and downs. It’s not easy. But he’s truly killing this sobriety thing.

 

 

“Let him know that you know best, Cause after all, you do know best, Try to slip past his defense, Without granting innocence, Lay down a list of what is wrong, The things you’ve told him all along, And pray to God he hears you, And I pray to God he hears you”

At the apex of our partying days, KJ shoved me. Hard.  That’s not something I freely admit because I’m ashamed I did nothing about it.  That’s also a moment I’ve vowed never to bring up now that he’s in recovery.  One of the regulars we hang out with at our bar, HA,  had a different idea last night. HA explained to KJ how much better everyone likes him now that he’s sober. HA also told him what happened that night. KJ almost got in a fight with HA and another guy playing pool. KJ is (was!) a cocky drunk, and one who thought that  he’s ten feet tall and bulletproof. I grabbed KJ’s arm that night to try to get him to leave, he was in the moment and mad, and pushed me roughly.   That was only one story that KJ is hearing from our friends.

See, here’s the part about being the partner of an alcoholic or recovering alcoholic.  He almost has a clean slate in his head, while I’m having difficulty wiping the hard drive in my head.  He has no memories of the fucked up things he did and said while he was drunk or high on something, while I still have the burden of remembering them all.  I know I’m supposed to support his recovery and not throw things he did back in his face, and I don’t do that.  He doesn’t have the memory of telling a guy at the bar who asked were we together “Sorta, but you can fuck her if you want.”   Or after me driving for an hour to rescue him at a bar not in our town, answering a girl who asked the same question “Hell no, I’m not with anybody.” He doesn’t have the memory so he doesn’t understand why I’m insecure sometimes in this relationship.  When my best friend died of an overdose a couple of years ago, she lied to her parents to get money saying I needed it. I found this out after her death and felt betrayed. And I’ll never get the chance to resolve it or tell her how hurt I am. I almost feel the same with these things with KJ. Yes, he’s still alive, but that old drunk KJ personality is dead.  So I’ll never get the chance to resolve those issues.

Now, KJ is also missing a lot of our good memories that I can still think about that make me smile.  Our first kiss, which happened during a terrible drunken karaoke rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, that happened in front of all of our coworkers and the entire bar. And it was almost straight out of a chick flick after the whole bar cheered for that kiss, because everyone had been rooting for us to be together.(I actually have that on video).  Or the time KJ made up and freestyled a few rap verses in front of everyone that he made up for me.   The time that he started naming Jesus’s disciples to keep from finishing too fast but started saying them out loud instead of in his head and we literally giggled so hard our stomachs were hurting.

I guess at this point we concentrate on making new memories.  We ran into someone he’s known for years last night. He went to the bathroom and she wrapped her arms around me and thanked me with tears in her eyes. I told her she had nothing to thank me for, that it is his hard work and persistence.  She said “yes, but you were the one in the trenches, and supporting him with no obligation besides love. You deserve thanks too.”

So while I’ll never know what KJ is going through mentally now that the physical withdrawals are done, he’ll never know the baggage I carry for both of us.