Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When You Know You've Lost Your Way

Lately I just haven't been feeling like myself. I would have bouts where I would just cry for no particular reason at all. I spoke to the Boss Man recently during one of our now infrequent check ins and he asked if I was feeling sad or lonely. The truth is, I was neither sad nor lonely. I just had a lingering feeling that something was not right with me. So weeks went by. My sleep got worse. I would fall asleep OK but wake up several times during the night. Hell, one night I even peed the frikking bed!

So yes, I know. I have been suffering from depression. Why? My symptoms began sometime when my sister was sick and eventually passed. It had been worse since then. Recently, it has affected my relationship with Mr. Man and my close friendships. I was just withdrawn and spending entire weekends in bed. Whenever I wasn't in bed I was drinking, at home. I hit a rock bottom when I felt myself become insecure and let my feelings cause me to do something I wouldn't otherwise do in a confident state of presence. I am so ashamed of myself that I cannot even bring myself to say what I did, I just know that I will never do it again. But, I doubted this man. I doubted that he could love me how I needed to and I began to withdraw. He in turn began to doubt me and reportedly began evaluating our relationship as I did the same. Our findings were mutual. We cannot be without each other. So the question do we be with each other without driving the other away?

I became very introspective. I literally had to coach myself through the nights and will myself to live. Not just to breathe air and go through the monotony of life but to be ALIVE! It finally hit me that I have been living but I have not been ALIVE. I have been doing everything that everyone else asked of me. I have not done much for myself. I have been a great employee. I have been a great mother. A great lover. A great friend. A great steward of the community. I have not been a great friend to myself.

And so it is with this realization that I have lost my way and I need to find it back, In the past I took solo trips to find my balance and I would return energized and ready to face whatever love or disaster that was waiting in the wings for me. I used to exercise, eat right, socialize more. I have love. I know that. I have the respect of my friends and colleagues. I have a great job. What I don't have is me so I am on a journey trying to find myself . Well, rediscover myself.

How do I go about doing that? So far, I am trying to do more things by myself while at the same time, trying to get out and do more with others, if that makes any sense... More with others outside of my bubble that is. I have become too caught up with Mr. Man and his drama that it has inherently become my own. Same could be said about my best friend. Same could be said about my community involvement. Lastly, my job. I have already started winding down with my job and my community involvement. I quit working overtime and running to and from meetings.  So here's to finding my way and hopefully being able to navigate the rocky roads which lay ahead.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Desperate Housewife meets the Young and the Restless

We had just come back from 5 glorious days in Negril. Our time there was spent between making love and enjoying the sights, the foods, the people. On our last night there, we made love in the midst of a sea of emotions as I questioned the state of our relationship. After a very emotional discussion he came to the resolution that he was going to divorce her.  We returned home and became immersed in our newfound projects and began to work more closely on getting this startup company off the ground. One evening, I was at his office going over some documents and stepped out to make a call. In came this older woman who I found to be rather pretentious and nosey. I was on my call and she lingered. She introduced herself while I was on the phone. I held my hand up to signal to her that I would be right with her when I was done with my call. The pushy broad insisted on knowing my name. Once I told her she flew into the man's office and started pounding on him. I was horrified as it finally occurred to me who she was and I ended my call abruptly. If it ween't for the fact that my laptop and car keys were on his desk I would have flown out of there. I was stuck. I made a decision that I could do one of three things: call the cops, use said phone to clock her if she came near me, or just wait and see if the man would restrain her enough so I could get my shit and go. He did. All this while she was cussing him, cussing me, calling me all sorts of filthy names and asking me if I think he was going to leave with me, bitch!

Fast forward, three months later he wrote her a letter saying that it was time for them to go their separate ways. She responded by running out and immediately filing the petition to divorce the same day. Since then it has been hell. She has been driving by home home, showing up uninvited to our events, cussing him out every chance she gets, taking his stuff, accusing him of bullshit, cleaned out his business account, and has had the cops called on her ass more times than I care to count. The thing is, now she realizes she had a good man and he is gone. She even tried having talks saying they should go to counseling. I suppose she thought that he would come running back once she filed the divorce and that the newness of my pussy would wear off and he would come to his senses. He has. But not in the way she had hoped.

He saw her for what she was. A user. Expecting him to do any and everything, pay all the bills and bow to her every desire without her ever having to invest herself. She was emotionally abusive and I later learned that she was also physically abusive. He put up with it in stoic silence all in the name of maintaining a public image and out of duty to the family. He did that for a little over twenty years and there is only s much a man could take. I do not believe in breaking up happy homes. I would have never gone out with him if I knew he had no intention to leave. When I met him I saw a man who was broken and yearning to be loved. A man who had so much to give even after having to give so much of himself to get nothing but hurt in return. He has broken down in tears more times than I would like to admit. I have held him in my arms and I could see and feel the toll of the burden he has been carrying all this time.

So here we are, I am loving this shell of a man. Nursing him back to life. Trying to nurse myself back to life too. The time we have spent together has been precious. We have traveled together quite a few times. He's become a second dad to my kids. They love him to pieces. He tucks them in almost every night when he can and has been to their concerts, first day of school, etc. He has gone out his way to make my life as comfortable  and happy as can be. I cannot complain, I am enjoying the perks but sometimes I have to wonder at what cost?

See, this man was in an unhappy relationship for so long and when men are unhappy they go roaming. And he has admitted to roaming in the past. I have seen conversations between him and his ex and he has female friends who he sees and talks to on a regular basis. I have confronted him about it before and he knows that he needs to curtail his activities as his romantic situation is now different. To say the least, I don't know if I can say I can fully trust him and that is a problem. I am working through it and we have been having open discussions about it. I told him that I understand that he did what he did out of necessity but what we share now is different. He no longer has to search for attention, approval, and emotional connection because he has all that with me. But I understand that sometimes that it is hard to cut ties with someone you've shared something with for a long time. Now I come on the scene and to drop someone just because of that would be inhumane I guess but he has to learn to go back to being just friends and being flirtatious is hard to unlearn. There is a fine line he has to tread carefully, as do I with my male friends and former lovers. He claims he hasn't been physical with anyone since he has gotten serious with me. I try hard to believe him and I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can't say the same for myself as I've dabbled with a few exes, mostly out of anger from what he had done. I don't feel right about it so I don't do it anymore. Not recently anyway. Boss Man came over one night to help me with something and I gave him a hug when he was leaving. He in turn kissed me on my neck and then lips. I said nothing. He had me feeling some sort of way but I quickly snapped out of that haze and returned my focus to what I had in front of me, which is this man. He knows about Boss Man and I being close but there has always been speculation about how intimate we were. I have never confirmed it. He has admitted to being jealous and I try in every way to reassure him that there is nothing between us. I am not sure he buys it but he pretends to be OK with us remaining friends. And I must pretend to be OK with his friends too. The only exception is that my conversations and visits are never kept secret.

 The amazing thing about our relationship is that I can sense when he is not being straightforward with me and hiding something. He is usually forced to come clean...well...the clean version of the truth. I let him know that I know way more than he thinks I do and it scares him. Keeps him in check for the most part. But I don't want t have to constantly keep him in check. I do worry that fate is destined to tear us apart and that he would enjoy his newfound freedom and feel bolder and want to step out in his new boldness. I cannot stop that if it should occur. I can only love him and love myself enough to know that if that is the case then he does not need to be a part of my life. As it is right now, I have no doubt in my mind that he loves me. He has never denied me to his family and I respect him for that. We have spent the last Christmas together, and he has invested time and money into not just me but my children who have also grown to love him. I see a great future for us but I am by no means naive to what lies ahead. I am prepared whichever way the axe swings. I am just trying to play this smart and should our union belly up, I should be able to land firmly on my feet regardless.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Not so Married. Not so Single. PT. 3

So the allure of being in a long distance committed relationship began to wear off around the 6th month of us being together when all my internal alarms started going off, alerting me that something was not right. In the midst of me being ridden with anxiety and telling him that I needed space (we live over 1,000 miles apart) I started seeing a man and consequently fell in love and became involved in the most beautiful, loving, challenging, fulfilling, emotional and dramatic relationships I have ever been in in my entire life!

Mr. Man

I had known Mr. Man a while back by that point, I just never had the opportunity to get to know him better until I came aboard on the board of directors for this organization. I'd always regarded him as a distinguished gentleman but never considered myself suitable for him as I was not in his supposed league. You know, the league of doctors, lawyers and successful entrepreneurs who attend numerous fundraisers and golf together on weekends to shoot the proverbial breeze. I was not his type, and he was not mine, or so I thought.

It was late winter when he had started pursuing me. Quite often I would run into him at the bar and he would buy drinks for me and my friend. Eventually he wanted the digits but I did not give them up. Weeks later, I don't know what made me decide to cave but I gave him my business card, which was my subtle bot not so subtle way of letting him know that I was just a professional acquaintance and nothing more. Maybe I decided to cave when my anxiety about my relationship with Harry was growing deeper. I don't know, but I did. Curiosity got the best of me.

Our lunch date was more informative than romantic. I was feeling him out and he was feeling me out as well. We talked mostly about nonprofit woes and about people we knew more so than us. Finally, after all the bullshit I asked him if he was married. I already knew the answer, I was waiting to see the response. He said yes, and explained that it was less than ideal and just circumstances holding it together. I asked him to divulge and he promised to fill me in at a later time. It was at that point I asked him what the purpose of this meeting was. I wanted to get straight to the heart of the matter and not waste any time. He was very taken aback by my forwardness. He said that it was to get to know me better since we were going to be working together. I did not buy it and I was not satisfied with the answer but I said OK. After that, our lunch dates were weekly, then a couple times per week, then it got to the point that we could barely go a day without seeing each other. I was determined to hold out on the intimacy until my birthday. He was kind to me and he was generous. Even gave me an early birthday trip to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, by myself. I went and had a great time but I missed him, and I wanted him, and I decided that once I got home I was coming for him. I did. On top of his desk. It was unplanned and fueled by alcohol and lust and when it was over, I could not believe how badly I had behaved. I was disappointed in myself for not being able to hold out for another week or so for my birthday. I was disappointed that I had let him know so soon...that I loved him.

I vividly remember uttering the words once he entered me. It was as if I could not contain all that I had started to feel for him and I know he felt the same way for me too. I had predicted a month earlier that he was going to love me. I knew it. I felt it in him. But like me, he was afraid. He told me not to say that but I told him it was true and I had to let him know how I felt. He told me he loved me too. And it was over. I woke up the following morning staring at the ceiling wondering what the fuck did I do? I had silently hoped that he would not call me and we would both pretend that this never happened, but he did. And so we made plans for breakfast the following Monday, only he did not know that I had planned on making it myself. He was surprised I had invited him to my house and did not realize where he was until he was actually there. Needless to say, breakfast turned into a late lunch as we spent hours in the bedroom making love and everything else in between as I enjoyed the newness of making love to a man 28 years my senior, and he, wallowing in my youthful tenderness. I was and still am surprised at his stamina and recovery time. One of the best I have ever had. Usually a good round would knock a man down for a good twenty minutes. Not him. He was in great physical condition for his age and was just a great lover overall.

My birthday came and went and the sex just got more and more intense. We took a trip to Jamaica in June and spent 5 days in heaven with each other. We made love so many times in so many places. Early in the morning, the warmth of the sun would radiate our skin as the waves of the warm Caribbean Sea rocked our intertwined bodies as we enjoyed our surroundings and each other. We came back, alive and exhilarated from our getaway vacation until the disaster that awaited him at home unleashed a fury that remains a sticking point in our relationship to this day, a year and a half later.

Not so Married. Not so Single. PT. 2

In the middle of the Boss Man and I ending our intimate relationship, I happened to just fall into a new one. I can't say that I was on the search, actually I was rather skeptical in the initial phase. Eventually, the Boss Man's shadiness would lead me into his arms. First, my decision to give him a chance and my full attention that Labor Day weekend when I saw Boss Man with a woman I had long suspected him of having "things" with. Finally, my complete and absolute decision that there was no turning back and I was in it for the long haul when I saw the Boss Man again in NY with whom I don't know but he was clearly trying to avoid me. Haven't regretted a thing since then and definitely haven't looked back.

When Sally (I) Met Harry (Him)

I can't say I met Harry. And for all purposes of maintaining anonymity I will call him Harry. Harry was always my favorite prince anyway. Not quite as handsome as the other one but boy he sure is a firecracker. Knows exactly how to enjoy the hell out of what would otherwise be a dull and miserable life. Kinda like my prince. Had to kiss a few frogs before finding him. And no he is definitely not as handsome as the older one, but you know the saying that beauty is only skin deep?

As I was saying, I did not meet Harry. I knew him before; since we were 6. We went to the same elementary school. His mother was a teacher there and he would get away with murder because of such. He used to hang with a clique I could not stand and would often tease me and dare me to do dumb shit. I couldn't stand his ass. We both left to attend other schools after 5th grade and I never saw him again. Saw his FB profile a few times through mutual friends but had no inclination to add him as I did not really care for him. It had been years since I last saw him.

Almost twenty years later, here I was on the planning committee of one of the largest annual events in the state, booking performers for the show. In the process of booking the air travel for an artiste, I happened to come across the personal information of the artiste, his wife, and manager. I saw Harry's name and said to myself that I once knew someone by that name and immediately dismissed it as a coincidence. No, it wasn't him. How wrong I was on the day of the show. When I got backstage I saw him standing in a small group. It did not take me long before I decided to approach him.

"Excuse me. Are you so and so?"

"Yes," he smiled.

"Don't you remember me? I'm so and so from so and so."

"Yes of course!" his smile got wider.

We chit chatted a little bit and he introduced me to his artiste. We were both working. He managed his artiste while I managed the event. There was little time for talk. Towards the end he approached me where I was sitting at the rear side of the stage and happened to see my kids around me. He asked me jokingly if I killed their dad. Almost intuitively I responded:

"No, but I wish he was dead."

We both laughed and he shook his head. He told me he was about to leave and we exchanged numbers. He said he wanted to see me before he left. I said neither yes or no but I told him to call me.

Later that night I got home pretty late and I was dog tired. The Boss Man, who also happened to be working at the event, called me to talk about what transpired throughout the day. I was so exhausted I pretty much rushed him off the phone to take a shower. Once I got out the shower I realized I had a couple of texts from Harry.

"Hi Sally, it's Harry."

No response from me so minutes later he texts:

"Wake up! lol."

I informed him that I had just gotten out of the shower and was about to go to sleep. He urged me to come out and meet him for drinks at the hotel where he was staying. In between my eyelids slowly closing and opening again I told him that I definitely was not going anywhere and would prefer to meet him for breakfast in the morning. He conceded. The following morning he contacted me about 8:30. I had not even gotten out of bed yet but I woke up and made breakfast for the brats and my guests. I told him I would let him know when I was on my way which was two hours later.

So we had breakfast. We were joined by his artiste and his wife. His artiste had been on the scene for decades and dominated the conversation with talk of his career and his viewpoints in life. It was a pleasant breakfast that came to an end because they had to leave to fly back home. And guess who was taking them? The Boss Man.

He called me when he was on his way to get them. He was surprised to find that I was having breakfast with them. He asked me in astonishment how I got over there. I told him I drove with my smart ass self. SMH. I took my call in front of them and the artiste remarked that I sounded like I loved Boss Man. I laughed it off and shook my head. Damn! Was it that obvious? Sigh..

So after we said our goodbyes I left them loading into the truck and thought I wouldn't be hearing from him any time soon. Wrong. He texted as soon as he got to the airport. And again When he landed. And the day after. And the next. And every day since then. The conversations became frequent. I was a bit taken aback at how into me he seemed. I just couldn't understand it. I used to hate this dude. OK. Hate is too strong a word. But I couldn't stand him. And here it is that we were having these long conversations daily via phone, text, Skype, and whatever medium we could find. I was still undecided as to whether or not I was going to take him seriously. That changed when I saw Boss Man with that chick. By the end of that month I had literally fallen for him. The "I love you's" were constant. The conversation became more and more intimate as we learned about and yearned for each other. Then three months later he came to town for work and it was total magic. All that was pent up between us was released in a series of very steamy romps. It was a bittersweet feeling for me because that same weekend was when I saw the Boss Man with another chick, deliberately trying to avoid me. That was when I knew it was definitely over and I no longer wanted to give myself to him in that way.

And as happy as I was with Harry, I felt a growing anxiety beginning to form in the pit of my stomach once we started discussing my becoming his wife and us joining our lives. It would most likely mean my having to leave this country to be where he is and starting over with very modest means. Did I love him? Of course! You can pet a rock everyday and eventually grow to love it. But he was not just a rock, he was my rock when I hit bottom during the Boss Man saga. He was a great friend to me. He was there with me through everything I went through during my dad's passing. He's been a friend to me ever since. I will always love him for what he has been to me in the time we were together and beyond. But deep down, I knew my anxiety was nothing more than my intuition alarming me that this man, as good as he was, he was not the one for me. I would find that out right at the beginning of the end of our relationship when an unlikely suitor began to pursue me.