Saturday, June 3, 2017

13 Reasons

I haven't written a post in awhile....I have started a few, and then let them sit.  I have always been a person who just "puts it out there"....and tries not to sugar coat reality.  Lately, however, life has been kicking me in the ass, and I have found that I'm afraid to put my thoughts down in writing, much less out there for the world to see.  However, sometimes it seems that using yourself as an example is the best way to make others aware of how ones actions can lift up or tear down a person when they are most vulnerable.

I have been binge watching 13 Reasons on Netflix.  I finished it yesterday...and felt like I was going to melt into my couch with all the tears I shed.  (If you haven't watched should.). I think there were two things that hit me the hardest: 1. The mothers reaction when she found her daughter....first the denial, and then the fear and utter despair. And 2. Hannah...(the main character) at the moment of her suicide.  Of course, everything leading up to it was so devestating....but the despair at the hit home so damn hard.

The past six months for me have felt like the adult version of this series in so many ways.  It's crazy how you can just be trying to live your life, minding your own business, yet somehow your world just starts to crumble around you.  People who disguise themselves as friends interject themselves into your life, acting like they truly care, and are "looking out for you."  When in reality, they are just digging for as much dirt as they can get their hands on...and once they have it, they turn against you, twisting your words, shaming you, even blatantly lying to you.

My headache specialist (whom I adore) has become my pseudo therapist as well.  Her comment regarding divorce (as she has experienced it) is "you will see your friends start to fall away...they seem to think it's contagious."  I remember how things changed for my mom after my dad died.  She was only 47, and she felt like some of her friends no longer wanted her around, because she was now single...and married women don't like single women hanging around.  So, not only was she dealing with the sadness of being a widow...but she lost friends because of it.

One of the most difficult things to deal with is the lies and rumors.  I have owned my part in this divorce.  I have never thrown Mark under the bus, nor have I blamed him for anything, because I am just not going to go there.  However, I think we can all agree that no one leaves a perfect marriage.  And I am not going to pretend my marriage was ever perfect.  From before it began, there were issues, and they were issues that I am NOT taking the blame for.  There are two sides to every story, and what has been very hurtful to me is that in our story, only one side is out there.  And in that story, I take all the blame.  I own it, I won't pretend I didn't make mistakes, however, there are solid reasons that led to them, and those are conveniently still hiding under the rug.  Because of this, I have watched our mutual friends walk away from me.  I see a complete change in behavior toward me from people whom I have been friends with for years.  I used to walk into a room filled with people I know, and be greeted with smiles and hugs, and people who wanted to talk TO me.  Now, I walk into that same room, and see people avoid making eye contact, as they appear to talk ABOUT me.

This is what happens in high school cafeterias when rumors are spread.  And clearly, when those high schoolers grow into adults, those behaviors don't change.  And, when you become an adult, and are the one on the receiving end of that behavior, you really do feel like that 17 year old girl, who can't wait to get out of that room, so you can get in your car where no one can see the tears in your eyes.
And you really do feel like that teenage girl, when out with a friend, and you look over to see other people you know walk in...but they quickly look away and pretend they don't see you.

And what is even worse is when you walk through your front door,  and your teenage daughter is sitting at the table, and you have to try to hide your tears, because you are supposed to be the mom...not the "teenager" falling apart.  And the biggest irony is when you get to your room, and completely break down, and your soon-to-be ex tries to comfort you....when he is the one who made you out to be a horrible person to his friends, because he spoke to them when he was feeling angry and resentful, and tells you he wishes he could take it all back.  Funny how words work.  Once they get put out there, you can never take them back.  So even when you speak a falsehood....the person who hears them thinks its the truth.  And those series of words put together have the ability to destroy someone's life.

I woke up at 4 this morning, and just laid here in the quiet, thinking about, well, everything.  If I could choose one word to describe how I feel these days, it would be "alone."  I have also come to a place where I realize that words mean so little to me anymore.  Talk is cheap.  I can't begin to tell you the number of times I have been disappointed by the things people have said to me....promised me. The fact that people I considered friends have turned on me over WORDS or ASSUMPTIONS also baffles me.  Not one person who is currently avoiding me, or whose behavior toward me has changed has asked me a single question.  No one has said "I heard this it true?"
I have been asked "are you happy?"  Currently....not really.  I dont know how I could be.  But man, I am sure trying to figure out how to be.  I feel very confused, paranoid, judged, sad, emotional, stressed, and exhausted.  I really don't get excited or feel passionate about anything right now....except sleep....but that isn't even working very well for me.

My point in writing all of this is not to make anyone feel sorry for me....or to have a self proclaimed "pity party" as I have previously been accused of.  My point is this:  if you know someone who is going through a difficult time....please be gentle with them.  If you have heard rumors or gossip from someone other than the is just that...a RUMOR. Or GOSSIP.  If you have only heard one side of the story.....there is always another side, and believe me, it is not going to be the same as what you already heard.  Especially when there are hurt feelings and anger involved.
Just because someone looks like they have it all together, don't always believe it.  I have never put more effort into NOT having a break down in front of people before in my life.  Thank God my car has tinted windows.
For those who think I have moved on and am blissfully happy......I would happily offer you a day in my shoes.  You would quickly understand why I have constant headaches, my hair needs to be colored every two weeks, and just leaving the house is a huge accomplishment.

One thing I have learned is that whenever people need you, or when you fit neatly into their "box of what is acceptable" you will have a large circle of friends.  And it feels good to have a big group of people who seem to like you and want you around.  However, once you no longer fit in that box (you get divorced, you do something they consider unacceptable, you speak up and disagree with someone who can't handle conflict, you say the wrong thing to the wrong person, and they turn everyone against you, etc) suddenly,  you are back in high school, and it's a live episode of "Mean Girls."
What the hell are we teaching our kids?  Attack anyone who doesn't fit your criteria?  Act superior, because you are so much better than everyone else?  Really?  Play the religion card?
How about we all just come back down to earth and agree that we are doing the best we can?
We all just want to be happy, and want to be able to look back on our lives when we are 90 (God willing) and say "I didn't just settle.....I really LIVED!"
How about we support each other instead of tearing each other down?
How about we stop spending so damn much time worrying about what other people are doing, and judging them for it....and start thinking about what WE are doing to maybe make this world a little kinder, a little friendlier, a little more loving?
Maybe, rather than talking about people, we talk TO them?
Perhaps, instead of gossiping about the latest scandal, we actually reach out to that person, and make sure they are ok?  Chances are, they could really use a friend.  A REAL friend.
And maybe, rather than pretending we don't see someone, we just walk over there and give that person a hug.  Cause guess what....there is a good chance that person has been feeling pretty damn invisible for quite awhile, and could use one.

Being nice is easier than being mean....and it sure feels a lot better too.
Dig deep people.  You don't know what is going on, truly, with anyone but yourself.  So, instead of pretending you do, or assuming you have any idea what anyone else is feeling....just stop yourself, remind yourself that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and be kind. ❤️