I can only let a little in a time. I read and write and cry. But then I have to eat and medicate and focus on new men.
It’s 4:40 AM and I’ve spent the last two hours really in it. I let my mind go all the way from “what would it take to repair the damage done” to “what would a divorce look like”, and it was not a fun thought experiment.
Most days, I live in a kind of fantasy world where I live this pseudo-single life. I’m dating and I’m working and I’m trying to focus on myself. But nothing can really happen, I can’t really move forward or work things out. That’s been ok and good. But tonight, for the first time I had a moment where I thought, rather I felt, “this limbo is untenable”. Before tonight I had been telling myself I could maintain this in-between life for quite a while and that was comforting. No need to make decisions now. Just keep on keeping on. I think I can keep living in that world for a while longer, thank god. I’m not ready for what has to happen next.
I can sell myself quite a story. It’s pretty cool; I believe everything I tell myself. It’s why I was able to stay in an unfulfilling marriage for so long. That only ended because the disconnect between my story and my experience was so great that my mind gave way to my actual experience. And the experience was: I’m extremely lonely and unhappy in this marriage. That seeped in here and there over the years and it was only once I fully gave way to the pain of my actual experience that I found the courage to do something about it.
I think it’s similar now. I’m telling myself a fabulous story about how good this separation is. And it’s not a lie. This is a good separation and I’m confident it is the right thing. But I’m lying to myself in thinking it’s maintainable for much longer and that became clear tonight, just for a moment, when my true experience poked through. And it fucking hurt. Luckily, it’s gonna take some more time for my experience to catch up to my story.
So my new plan? Give myself a pass.
It’s 5 AM now. Tomorrow is shot and that’s ok. This separation is not going to be the time when I find myself and lose weight and start getting up at a reasonable hour. It’s not the time for me to learn to cook and learn French. Right now is the time for survival and that is something I know a lot about.
When I was in the initial phase of recovering after being sexually assaulted, I took the advice of a therapist of just giving myself a pass. I let myself do whatever it was I needed to do to get by. In that time it meant drinking on an empty stomach, copious television, some risky sexual behavior and lots and lots of sleep. It also meant some serious reliance on support networks of friends and family who would love me unconditionally. But the most empowering thing I did was document the whole thing fearlessly and then share it freely.
So while the coping mechanisms this time around are different, Tinder is enough of an ego boost and safe sex is just as effective a distraction and television never fails me, I’m still going to document this journey fearlessly and share it freely.
So if you’re new here, thank you for reading. Something about sharing this with you is invaluable to me. I hope you’ll stick around for the funny and sometimes sad stories about coping and the inevitable difficulty that will come when my experience pushes through my story.
Tonight’s coping? Drinks with great girls. Toyed with the idea of a threesome I’ve been invited to and now, Freaks and Geeks until I finally pass out.