I discovered two side effects to forgetting my drugs over the weekend.
One, I found myself angry. Not really angry. Not angry at anything in particular. Just a low-level ... angry.
The other is that, whenever the moments were still, I was rewinding and replaying my life.
You can likely guess what part of my life I was replaying.
Over and over, my mind ran back through the last few years of my marriage, trying to figure out what I could have done differently to save it, if it could have been saved.
Specifically it came down to a conversation and the ramifications thereof.
A bit of background: There was a point at which Squeaky was having issues similar to mine, and she would periodically get sullen and angry.
Being more than a bit paranoid about relationships, I would ask her if she was angry at me or if I'd done something wrong. And she'd get frustrated with me asking.
Finally, one day, she promised me that, if she had a problem with me, she'd tell me, so I didn't have to keep asking if her bad mood was my fault.
When this all blew up, I pointed out that, though I knew she was unhappy, I hadn't asked her if her problems had to do with me because of the promise she'd made years ago. In my head, this was at least partly her fault because she didn't do what she said she would.
But on the umpteenth go round in my skull, this idea gained a rider: If I knew she was unhappy, why didn't I ask anyway, especially considering the length of time she seemed unhappy?
The answer came today as I was waiting to get a replacement driver's license (don't ask):
The reason I didn't ask is because it was easier on me to put the burden on her to tell me something was wrong. Doing this meant I didn't have to think about the relationship -- I could do what I thought was right, believed was right, and if I was wrong, Squeaky would tell me.
Mind you, that isn't what I thought at the time; I didn't think anything about it at the time. But I've discovered recently that if there are parts of my life I can put on "automatic", for lack of a better word, I do it. That way, I can concentrate on aspects that can't be automated, like work or X.
The problem, as you likely can immediately see, is that putting a relationship or marriage on automatic is a really, really bad idea.
But rather than see this truth, I was more comfortable hiding behind the notion that, "Well, if she has a problem with me, she'll tell me." It's like programming in BASIC: If A, then B. If not A, then C. If she's unhappy with me, she'll tell me. If she doesn't tell me she's unhappy with me, then it's not me.
So now, I can see I made two errors: Not paying close enough attention to what the Celexa did to me and assuming that, if Squeaky didn't say something was wrong, then I wasn't doing anything wrong.
What drives me nuts about this error is that I know better than to do this. I wanted this to be true because it took the burden of avoiding mistakes off of me and required no work on my part -- unless there was trouble, we were fine. If there was trouble, I would be alerted and could work to solve the problem
But what I did was put an exceedingly high burden of the relationship's maintenance on Squeaky, who had plenty of other things to deal with besides being considered the authority on our marriage -- and I have to point out that I seriously doubt that she considered her promise to mean nearly as much as I deliberately took it to mean.
In short, I took a single statement made in a bedroom at the Breckenridge Apartments sometime in the late 90s or early 2000 and turned it into one of Squeaky's life/marriage responsibilities -- without her really knowing it. Or being asked to assume it, for that matter.
I know this whole realization won't be stunning to most people. But it was for me because it uncovered a personal flaw that I hadn't fully realized and forced me to reevaluate my status and role in the end of our marriage.
For me to assert that Squeaky should have told me that we were in trouble is fine, so long as I assert that I was equally responsible for not telling her that I thought we were in trouble.
But because of that "promise", I was putting more blame on her in my mind -- and that was, and is, patently unfair.
In the simplest terms, I was lazy.
I probably could have kept this whole post to myself, or just written it in an e-mail or letter to Squeaky alone. But I put this here because, much as why I always post fatal crashes on my Web site and whether the victim wore a seat belt, if someone out there reads this and learns from my mistake, then maybe a little good can come from a lot of bad.
I'd like to think that can happen.
And if you should happen to read this, dear, I'm very sorry for what I did. Zippy 7:22 PM
The problem with hate is that unless you can direct it at a person or task, it becomes very difficult to overcome the inertia of just wallowing in it.
I don't hate Squeaky. I don't hate me. I don't hate you. I hate this.
I sit, listening to X sing himself to sleep (tonight it's "Crazy Train" -- the Lounge Against The Machine version) and stare off into nothing and wait for the clock to reach a time that's reasonable for a 38-year-old man to go to bed.
Yes, Squeaky's out of the house, so I can't really go anywhere. But I can tell you that even if she were here right now, my actions would not change.
This isn't about the end of my marriage, or the diabetes, or anything I can point to. I'm stuck between two ideas that can't mesh in this world:
1. I'm desperately craving affection. Squeaky and I were having trouble before this whole thing blew up, so it wasn't like we were boinking like bunnies or anything. But we weren't hugging, kissing, cuddling or anything else, either, and it really frustrated me because those were the things I really wanted, but couldn't get.
And of course, if I thought we weren't doing that before, now...but again, that's not the point.
2. I want everyone and everything to go away. I don't want to be around people. I don't want to make friends. I sure as hell don't want to try dating (more on that later). Yet, if I can't get past #2, can't change my fundamental being, #1 will never happen again.
Which would be fine, except I hate #2, too.
I've brought this up to my therapist, but right now he's somewhat fixated on my three dads (biological, adoptive, step) and how all that shaped me. Whatever.
Squeaky thinks that I'm afraid of being alone. I'm not sure it's that so much as that I hate the thought that, when the day comes that I am alone, part of me is going to rejoice because I'll be all by myself again.
The other part will likely want to jump off Carew Tower. So those two halves should be fun together, I think.
But when Xander is with Squeaky, there will be days that I have all to myself, to do whatever I want...and I don't want to do anything. Which in turn, rather significantly decreases the chances that I'll meet someone else, which is, really, kinda necessary for affection to take place unless money is involved (and it will not be.). But it plays in well with the desire to be away from everyone, which I hate.
I know that I used to fear social situations and tended to avoid them. Now, I'm perfectly fine going...but I already know it'll be an unmemorable event because I'm just not going to be "into" it.
I don't know how you stop this. I don't know what sort of therapy or training is going to make someone want to be around other people, make friends, etc. I'm more than a bit scared that there is no solution, no answer.
I can't spend the rest of my life alone. While I'm certain I could pull it off, I think it's a flat-out bad idea that will get worse as time passes.
But Squeaky ain't coming back. I'm not putting myself in any sort of position to meet people. And let's just say the online dating thing is both frustrating and more than a little ego crushing.
So here I am, square in the middle of this, hating and loving it, with my head and heart spinning in opposite directions in different orbits.
And I know how this path ends. Badly. Zippy 8:30 PM