It's Friday, and in two sleeps, I will get to hang out with Manfingy, who's been gone since March 25th. I am all kinds of excited and also anxious. There's a smidgeon of 'what if the tenderness and affection we expressed over the wires while he was away evaporates when he's here in the flesh?'.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz.
Those of you who are new to me will need a bit of context: Manfingy and I lived together for ten years. We broke up in February of 2014 (his choice) and I moved out in June of 2014. We spent the first few months afterwards trying to get over one another and move on. We've spent the last half year or so resting in the knowledge that, at the end of the day, we really love one another. Now, we're just trying to work out what the hell we are to one another. Joint therapy, lots of drives and talks and dinners, lots of come here/go away on both our parts.
The past few months have seen us saying 'come here' a lot more often. We say things like "I'm not done with you yet.", and "You're my person." We have dinner together every Wednesday. We snuggle. Once a week or so, he spends the night. We text daily. It's a thing. But what it is is unclear. Where it's going is equally unclear.
The uncertainty of it all is pretty heavy, and if you read yesterday's post, you'll know that I have a very complicated relationship with uncertainty.
My knees want to jerk myself out of uncertainty. That would look something like me forcing the issue somehow. Ending it altogether in order to avoid the discomfort uncertainty brings me. Moving to another city, province, or hell even another country.
I've been sitting in it instead. Feeling it. Sometimes numbing out over it, but mostly, I've been feeling it.
It feels like, no matter where this leads, it's leading somewhere...
Much like an art journal spread can start out looking like a hot holy mess until everything comes together and the heavens open and the light shines and the angels sing, this, too might end with a hallelujah chorus.
What I know for certain is the uncertainty, as uncomfortable as it is, will not only NOT kill me, it WILL make me stronger. It is making me the kind of person who can rest in a thing until clarity comes instead of closing a door with no certain outcome that might lead to joy in favour of a really empty, sad door that comes with certainty.
It's crazy to choose certain misery over uncertain but possible joy, but certain misery is the devil I know and I am struggling to resist the lure of certainty.
When I first moved into my own place, I spent a good three months having panic attacks pretty much nightly. The voice in my head kept telling me that I would never be loved again and I was going to die alone. For someone like me, someone who experienced early rejection and emotional abandonment by her parental units, 'never being loved and dying alone' is pretty much the worst possible outcome.
Whenever I would start to think along those lines (and I thought along those lines often and with fucking gusto), I would sink into a deep despondency. Hopelessness, despair, and a desperate need for relief from the burden of those feelings were my constant companions.
But it eased.
My therapist kept encouraging me to be with it, to let myself feel it, to acknowledge it instead of denying it and stuffing it, and as much as I hated sitting in it, I sat, and it did, eventually, ease. I spent October, November, and December coming up out of it. January was spent *actually enjoying my solitude* for the first time in my life. The panic attacks eased. The fear that I'd die alone eased. The fear that I'd never love or be loved again eased. I made art. I taught BOD. I engaged with people in person and in my virtual spaces. I got through it.
By February - the anniversary of our breakup - he and I decided to see one another exclusively. It was becoming obvious that we weren't finished and we both had some complicated feelings about how the energy of other relationships might impact the healing we were doing. On the one hand, he didn't want to hold me back from experiencing love and attention from someone who had it to give. On the other hand, he didn't really want me falling in love with someone else and leaving him behind with all the 'what ifs'. On the one hand, I didn't want to sit in the uncertainty of 'I don't know what we are but we're something, and can we just be something without labeling it for a while', but I also didn't want to succumb to my natural tendency to shut the door on possible, uncertain joy in favour of absolutely certain misery.
So we've been exclusive. Whatever that means. And he's coming home on Sunday, and he's pretty much going to land, deal with dog and kid stuff, and then head on over here for the evening - a fact which thrills me, because I fully expected him to say "I'll see you on Wednesday as usual..."
I feel pretty certain that we are entering a make it or break it phase of this whatever-this-is. I don't know why I feel that way, but working intuitively as I have been for as long as I have been means that when my spidey senses say "stuff is happening here", I have to pay attention.
And I'm a little bit scared.
And also a little bit hopeful.
But no matter what, I am absolutely 100% certain that I will be okay.
And that's me, your purveyor of fine TMI, on this Friday, April 17th, 2015.
Good Morning, Sweet Taters!!
Life Book opened up for registration for the 2015 season this morning, and in celebration, I fired up Random.org and did a lot of counting and established that THIS is our winner for the drawing for a free seat! YAY!!!!
Congratulations, mejewel54! I've already sent off a letter to Tam to let her know that you're the lucky winner!
I'm set to teach a class in December called "Sunshine and Roses" in which I will walk you through a doodle meant to a) chase away the winter blues and b) give you an opportunity to express and record your gratitude for all the good stuff you experienced in 2015. I can't wait to see you in class!
In Other News
It's been a while since I posted an 'Effy update'. As many of you might know, I turned 46 on September 30th, and while it was a very quiet birthday, it was really good. It was my first 'solo birthday' in ten years, and instead of moping and feeling sorry for myself, I spent it working on my baby, Radiant, getting it all spiffed up and ready to open up its doors on October 1st.
Radiant has been a real watershed moment for me. I feel extremely accomplished in having met my goal of over 500 students in the class. I remember being completely terrified to try something of this magnitude back when I came up with the idea, but Tam kept nudging me - especially when things were really dark with my breakup. "You should do it." she said, gently and with love. "It will be great!"
I'm glad I listened.
You can get the details here.
I have moved my studio out of my old house (the one my ex still occupies) and into my new place. It makes for very cramped quarters, but it also means I am beholden to *no one* for *anything* and that feels pretty good at this point in my life. I don't have to take an hour's bus ride to go to work. I don't have to see the ex unless I absolutely want to. It feels like a very empowered, sovereign choice to have made and though I'm still fussing about with how, exactly, to organize things, so far, it's working pretty well.
I also took some of the proceeds from Radiant and invested in an iMac and Final Cut Pro.
Changed my life.
My work flow has never been easier.
Thank you for that (because without you, this would never have been possible, and you have no idea how much I appreciate you!)
That's It For Me For Now
Now that Radiant is open and BOD is almost finished for the year, I will be blogging more. <3
We're calling yesterday 'the lost day' because I woke up believing with all my heart that it was Saturday. I stood up my therapist (completely by accident) and curled up on the couch with a heating pad because ANGRY NINJAS (which is my way of saying I had cramps TMI TMI OMG Sorry).
The very last thing on my mind yesterday was blogging. The very first thing was self-care. So, I broke my chain of blogging but I took excellent, excellent care of myself. We're going to call that a win.
It's Easter weekend, and while I don't celebrate Easter (not Christian, and really don't do secular holidays either), I do appreciate the quiet pace of a holiday weekend. Since I'm not in any way obligated to create a festive atmosphere or make a huge feast, I can just bag out, and that's what I'm doing. Monday, I'm back into the full-on swing of things, but with some adjustments. Less Facebook. Less on line. Less computer. More sitting out back with the dogs. More art. More laying abed with a book.
Because, you know? I spent most of Thursday off line and it was glorious. I spent most of Friday off line and it was glorious. I will spend most of today ON LINE but with a purpose - watching all the class videos I want to get caught up on. No aimless, purposeless surfing. Purposeful surfing.
My energy is precious. I'm learning to spend it where it really matters.
Some things fall apart so better things can come together. That's kind of my mantra right now and while it doesn't help much when it's 3 a.m. and I'm crying into my pillow because I'm so skin hungry I could *die*, it does help me get through the day to day. No one died, but dreams I've held for a decade now did, and even if Manfingy and I do find our way back to one another, we will not be the same people (one can hope) and our partnership will never have the same configuration (also a hope, because the configuration it held was one of chaser and runner, inundation avoidance and abandonment terror, the one who gave and wanted love and the one who withdrew and refused to receive love - a clusterfuck of epic proportions and one that left me skinless and with little in the way of dignity and self-esteem).
The come here, go away game has ended. The hot and cold running love tap has been shut firmly off. We do a dance of civility and friendship on the hot coals of a burned down marriage. From the outside looking in, we are very close, but the gaping divide between us is a sucking vortex of my need for intimacy and his inability to extend it.
Still, there's hope. And a deadline. We will live like this for a year, each doing our own therapy, our own thing. Each sleeping in our own spaces. Each seeking to have our needs met elsewhere. At the end of the year, we'll see. And there's hope in the work that's being done and the changes that are already taking root.
Hope and grief make strange bedfellows, but I'm riding it. It is what it is and all I can do - the healthiest thing I can do - is to keep my boundaries as strong as possible, feel my feelings in safety (which often means alone), and provide all the love and empathy I can possibly provide to my self by myself for myself.
This doesn't come naturally. I'm the type to take care of everyone else and graciously accept whatever scraps I can snatch as they are tossed from the table. This has left me very unprepared for this period of my life in which the task is to take exceedingly good care of myself and let everyone else do their own thing. My identity as a micro-managing partner and mother has dissolved and in its place there is this anxiety riddled, scared, uncertain-of-who-she-is, no roles to play, no one to take care of woman...
It's nice to meet her, but damn, she cries a lot.
No crying today, though, if I can help it. Art, and some grocery shopping and an intimate relationship with my heating pad.
Please share your link below if you blogged today, and if you blogged yesterday AND today, go ahead and post both if you like.