My Britney Spears’ Moment

Remember when Britney Spears buzzed all her hair off and went totally nuts for a while? Well….

Yeah I know, I shaved my head at least 8 months ago at this point. But the shaving my head isn’t so much the imagery I’m trying to conjure, more the going totally nuts part. Maybe more specifically, an obscenely short lived marriage. Mine made it 7 months, how about you? Two weeks shy of dating for 4 years and a few months shy of being best friends for 8 years. I walked away from my marriage. 

I walked away from my future completely. It’s not like I don’t understand that I can get a new future. Believe me, with every diagnosis I have to reinvent parts of me to move forward in my life. But I never thought this would be a future I would walk away from. I had a husband who despite being dreadfully human; loved me and tried to take care of me, family that is ALWAYS there, professors who were possibly willing to work with my health conditions, an actual decision about what I want to do for a living (if I can hold a job that is), even knowing I am infertile I was comfortable with my next steps I was taking to make a family. I had every part of my life moving forward. Yet somehow I was still drowning and I hadn’t seen any shore yet. I’ve realized, that when it came down to it, I didn’t have any of those life thingies on lockdown. Starting with what was inside my own head all the way to what was going on with him in front of my eyes.

He needed help. Instead of helping himself, he placed me in the role of a parent practically, forcing me to carry him as he ever so quickly was spiraling into the Doldrums. Holding him up was like trying to keep the sand from falling between your fingers after a wave splashes over your hands. Not to mention my hands can only take so much before they cramp up;) –Spoonie joke!

He was so very scarily violent before medications. Only a few of our friends had seen him like this and never any of his family. The friends who had to sleep over in blankets outside my locked bedroom door to keep him from taking the door off it’s hinges to get to me while I was sleeping. Friends who would stay for days, because it wasn’t safe to leave me alone with him or him alone with himself for that matter. But once the medications started to work, he became somewhat functional. Someone who could even-out from his erratic emotions and behavior at times. He became a friend again. I still walked on eggshells, but I didn’t have to have protection outside the relationship anymore.

He prevented me from being able to be me, when the person you are with forever is supposed to strengthen the things that make you you. That was still a problem.

I’ve known I am polyamorous since I was in High school. I wasn’t sexually active until after High school, this gave me a number of years to understand what I felt about this. I knew part of what I was losing myself in with husband was denying the poly part of me. (I must point out that marriage does NOT affect the ability to be poly) Husband and I had always had an agreement that we would be poly, (I, already being so when he met me, and he was going to work on it for himself) but we needed to give each other some focus for awhile as per my policy with every new relationship. Awhile was supposed to be months and it turned into 3 and 1/2 years. Not kidding. With my health issues and husband learning to be my caregiver throughout the flareups and downs, his mental health issues coming to the surface, me having to go on Chemo, and our struggles with becoming adults in the outside world; there was never a good time to start moving our relationship into poly. But he did finally make a deadline after he proposed. I told him I had to be able to start moving into poly life again or I had to consider he wasn’t who I was supposed to be with. I thought that the marriage was a wonderful time for him to understand that he was my primary and another person would never be the reason he could lose me. He seemed to feel this would cement his “ownership” of me. I unfortunately didn’t realize this was how he saw it at the time. He set a date for a year after engagement to start opening the relationship and date other people. When that date rolled around he seemed like he had been hit by a semi truck. He even implied we hadn’t discussed it, ever!? Luckily I was able to get him to admit the bullshit behind that argument, originally anyway. Now that we are separated he is saying all sorts of things to previous mutual friends.

That’s the way break ups work though right? Especially as a girl with mostly male friends… They mostly sided with him. But that also tells me they are believing him when they’re told by husband that I would do particular not nice things, very nonfactual things interestingly enough. Stuff that if you know me you’d look at anybody suggesting them with a funny look. But apparently these friends didn’t actually know me, cause they sure seem to be believing his victim claiming nonsense. Yet they won’t believe me (other than the few who have seen him on the edge with his mental disorder) about his being mean or violent. Decidedly, could they have ever actually been my friends? It still hurts to feel this isolated when I was a victim of domestic violence, yet no one is willing to see him as an aggressor. To the point where they’d rather blame the victim as a liar.

I feel like I’m a stalled car in the center lane of a highway, trying to figure out which fork I take next, to actually get to any destination at this point.

I now definitively can say I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I know what I was doing, with him in my life, was worse for me, but at least I had a map to follow then. Now I’m struggling to understand what I actually lost when my back was turned so that I never actually saw it. Like the Silence in DOCTOR WHO, I always forgot unless I was looking right at it.

The biggest factors:

Being infertile- I always planned to be a Mom. I want to adopt so badly, always have. But I want to see what carrying a life feels like. Having lost so much in my life, having had so much of my self die inside me, it’s become extremely important to me to feel my body make life not take anymore of mine away.

Being a Burden

Not getting school done— I legitimately only have two excuses for not getting my work done. My frequently difficult health issues and my husband’s inability to do anything “adult life related” to take care of himself. When I had to help with his homework, his class scheduling, his doctor’s appointments, his, his, his…. etc. When in the world was I supposed to have time to work on my own work? Especially when the only times I wasn’t busy taking care of his real world stuff was because I was laid up in bed not in any condition to do anything but request help for even the smallest things (ex. picking up my water glass beside me so I can drink, it would get that bad).

Becoming socially isolated— Yeah, I know. That’s something I said I wouldn’t let happen again. That’s how my abusive ex got me under his control, why would I ever let myself be vulnerable like that again? Because when it comes down to it, I have to trust to love; and I really wanted the chance to love this man. So when he didn’t like me going out without him, because “what if something happened they can’t take care of you right,” I willingly conceded to his judgement. But in the back of my head I didn’t realize at the time, I was only doing this to prevent any “punishment” I would “deserve” otherwise. I was perpetuating the Abuse cycle myself. I didn’t stand up for what I wanted out of fear of the consequences. When did I become someone who was afraid of the consequences? What level of emotional, mental, or physical pain did it take for me to finally fold? Because I sure don’t remember the exact incident.

Feeling worthless— I still can’t shake that feeling of worthlessness that has been creeping up my spine all of these years. It doesn’t help that he would remind me regularly in much more clever wording; that I am indeed worthless and dependent on him. Even though he couldn’t even pick up his medications on his own!? When he was feeling worthless he did everything he could think of (not usually consciously) to tear me down until I felt the same way, brothers in arms I suppose? Well I didn’t want to be held in drowning arms any longer.

Still being abused— On some level I knew I married an abusive guy. Under no fault of his own is he like this though. Before you judge him, you have to understand, it’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He didn’t mean to ever be cruel and rarely remembered much of the cruelty afterward. Such are the symptoms with his disease. But to find out he is doing “so much better” medically and the way he was treating me wasn’t doing better… started to be a wake up call for me. This cycle was too unhealthy to live in forever. If he was unwilling to make a solid daily effort toward bettering his mental health for his own benefit and mine I couldn’t stick around and wait to see if I’d get suicidal in turns along with him. But maybe that’s what he wanted? He has certainly implied that before. Would that have “justified it all” for him? Probably not, it would have just given him another way to self-hate. Which is the last thing I wanted since I really was looking for the confident nonvolatile man that I was friends with 8 years ago. I knew after the disease was triggered he would never be the same. Not being nice to me so that my days consist of walking on eggshells and not being safe wasn’t part of the bargain for me.

Being Poly— He wanted all the bells and whistles like you see with a new toy in a commercial. But he didn’t want to deal with actually having to assemble a new toy first. He didn’t seem to understand that there’s a lot more trust and work that goes into a multi-partner relationship than most mono relationships (not because they don’t also need it granted). He loved the lip-speak all about being poly and swinging, he didn’t love the reality. That would be why I resent this fact coming out so late in the game. He wanted to be poly or so he always told me. Until I got to be poly too, then what he wanted did a pretty big reversal. When it came down to it monogamy was so ingrained into husband’s head he didn’t know how to be or think any other way. Before I asked to be allowed to get rid of any OPP rules it was just an acknowledgeable permission to cheat on his part. He enjoyed these liberties immensely. But when I wanted to be allowed to play without him like he could without me the ingrained belief that it’s still cheating reared it’s ugly head. He didn’t know how to think outside the guilt-driven patterns of his belief in monogamy and took it out on me. That’s ok, there’s nothing wrong with being mono, but I wish he’d figured it out a little earlier along in the relationship. I wouldn’t have poured all of me into him then. I wouldn’t have given him every weakness I have as a weapon. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things actually, there are even more things though, I would have done.

That’s what really kills me. Realizing that I stepped back into the abuse cycle when I started dating him, even though I’d been climbing the ladder out of the “abused women’s well” rather steadily at that point. Somehow he triggered me right back into it. To the point where I passed up opportunities that ranged from mildly entertaining to most likely life changing. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having been through what I went through with Husband. But who would I be?

Prolonging My School Hiatus

As it gets closer to August 25th my hopes for starting back to school this semester are dwindling. Even though I’m no longer on Cytoxan/chemotherapy, I still can’t seem to get my health back up to par for classes. I have no reason to go back to school if I don’t have the energy to make it through classes yet another semester. I’m not gonna lie, this is a blow to my self-worth. I know, I know, logically I have the same self-worth as before. But it just feels like one more thing that got stepped on by Lupus and I’ll just have to walk away and start new somewhere else. Currently I am maintaining my denial and am certain I will finish school… eventually. In the mean time I am still trying to hold on to the last wisps of the structure for my life I mistakenly thought would go as planned (way back Freshman year!), I have thought of a few things school-wise to turn my focus on.

I have a number of Incompletes that I need to finish for my major, bot to mention graduation. Instead of pushing myself, I will be focusing on two Incompletes for the entire semester. I don’t need to overload myself. On top of the Incompletes, I’ll be Petitioning the school to get my credits to Roll-over. The thing is… by the time I will be able to finish my degree, with the requirements for credits as well as the requirements for my health, I’ll have been “In school” for more than 10yrs!! Ouch! That was another blow to my esteem… it’s taking me more than ten years to get my Bachelor’s Degree:/ But I have certainly enjoyed the topics I’ve perused while attending classes on and off;) I certainly know what I want to do as a career, if I have the opportunity to work outside the home. With the way my Lupus is going, that isn’t looking to be likely! But I will always look for ways to try to get out there!

Are We Really PLANNING For a Baby!?!

I’m trying to wrap my brain around what my husband and I will be doing over the next few months. The plan will lead to our lives changing for… well forever.

 

I haven’t had a chance to really process the idea that I may not actually be able to have children if I wait, like I initially planned. I mean I planned to have my college degree first, hell even a dog!! But the baby is coming first if I want that option. Unless I’m willing to risk not having it…

 

From the persecutive I have of all the options in my hand right now, the only spade I have to play right now is baby first college after. But boy is that a scary persecutive. Especially since society claims the “proper order” is very specific, of which I won’t be following remotely in this situation. I think what scares me most is knowing this is something I am ready (as you can be) for, but I don’t know if my life with this guy is ready for a baby on top of the complications of his mental disorder and incorporating it into taking care of my health and a baby.

My Stagnate Life, Continues On

I honestly can’t remember at this point how many infusions I’ve had. But then again, there’s no guarantee I can name what day it is today either.

I am starting to get sick of feeling like every step forward I trip six steps back. How do other people keep their heads above the water when their stressors are too much? I mean, my health has to equate to other people’s stressors in some way?

Infusion #3- This Isn’t Fun Anymore

This isn’t fun anymore. Not that it was actually fun to begin with. But I have hit a point past my physical pain tolerance. Which is pretty hard to do when I’ve set my mind to it.

That sensation that alcohol causes burning into a cut to clean it? I like how that feels. The feeling that I have all over my body right now is burning and itching. It is so beyond my pain level I wish I could pass out so I don’t have to feel the pain anymore.

I had my third Infusion of Cytoxan on Monday. It seems to be an average thing for my functioning to start to come back around Thursday-Friday after the Infusion.

I keep wondering if this is really helping anything. My quality of life only seems to have gone down. What has it gone down for? Muy numbers on my blood work? But were those numbers really affecting my lifestyle on a level that the treatment itself is?

J Semester Class

What was I thinking.

This is what keeps going through my head as I attempt to reread for the 4th time the same damn chapter I read yesterday and still somehow have no recollection of reading it… other than that I did.

My college has a semester that is January only. Most of the classes are online or study abroad opportunities. I don’t get the chance to do the study abroad thing right now due to chemo. Well honestly, I probably won’t get the chance to study abroad due to my health in general.

But as many semesters as I’ve taken and then gotten sick, had to withdraw, or take Incompletes due to being so sick… I really want to catch up!

So I decided to try to take an online J semester class about disability. It is really interesting content-wise. I’m out of my league as far as functioning to get my reading and assignments done. It isn’t that I don’t do the reading, twice, three times, six, by then I realize my brain really isn’t working. I can talk about the topic I’m reading about, but can’t make connections between that and what I’m reading. What is wrong with my brain?!

AASECT Licensure

I officially started my AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) licensure process today! I’m so excited! My mentor and I went through the guidelines and I have to sign something that she puts together and sends in to request permission to begin my hours, then everything I do after that with my  mentor counts toward the licensure!

I’m really excited! I looked up stuff about the AASECT annual conference. This year it’s in Monterey, CA. Talk about somewhere I would love an excuse to visit! At the conference they offer the chance to take tons of seminars that meet a lot of my required hours toward certification.

——————————————————————————————–

To begin my day I barely got out of bed. Let’s not forget I have been turning into an 80-year old lady quite rapidly this week! My crippled stiff throbbing joints weren’t having it this morning when I tried to wrestle my way into an outfit. I wanted to wake up to work on more of my prep reading for this meeting, but managed to wake up with only enough time to run around like the hens when the rooster gets released in the pen! I stopped to get myself a coffee at my less preferred coffee shop in town (I don’t do chains, so screw Starbucks all together) cause I really want some pumpkin latte thanks. I haven’t had one yet this season, I deserved it! I’m thinking to save money I’m going to look for a pumpkin spice creamer or flavoring syrup at the grocery store tomorrow. . . if I make it there.

See I’m not sure how I’ll be doing tomorrow as I ended up have to leave my meeting to go puke a third of the way through :( . I am so lucky that I have the mentor I do! I’m not sure if it comes with being a parent or if she just has that go-with-the-flow personality, but my Mentor said, “Do what you need to do Iz. I’ll finish typing the requirements for your work this week.” Awesome right? So I go puke, get myself together. then I rallied baby!! I went back to her office and finished my meeting. I am soooooo proud of myself every time I do that.

There is always that moment when my head is pressed into the palms of my hands as I sit on the cold tile bathroom floor. I’m trying to get my temperature to go back down, and all of the energy I thought I had stored up has just been depleted, all I want to do is just lie down on the floor and not bother with the rest of my day. It can take a lot at those times to muster up energy that doesn’t exist, plaster a smile on my face, and go back to my day like it’s just another normal day. For me it is. But I don’t know anyone else who would go to class after that. Let alone function enough to build a schedule and road map for a class curriculum! I deserve ice cream for that!! Don’t you think?

 

I Got Your Back Iz

That was the best thing to hear on the phone when I picked it up to hear my messages. How did I manage to find these few professors that were willing to understand what I go through. Professors who are actually willing to work with my issues. They understand that I’m intelligent, that I’m trying, but I can’t always do it. The real problem is, why aren’t all profs like this? Why don’t they care this much about all of their students?

 

This professor is going to work with my health… not pretend like it doesn’t exist and create unrealistic expectations for my progress. This is what it is to be a teacher, truly to teach.