February 12th, 2011. 2 Barriers: Now 1. The “Emotional.” Grief block.

I am livid right now.  I am sick and tired of Erin’s bulshit.  We got into a huge fight today because she would not send me her work schedule.  Now, before you sit here and think, “She is her own person and doesn’t have to send you her schedule,” or “She’s entitled to her privacy,” or “She’s not obligated to send you her schedule,” understand that Erin has betrayed my trust multiple times –flat out lied to me, and here is where it comes into play — listen closelyErin agreed to be honest with me about some things and she also agreed to share her schedule with me since she has lied multiple times about the hours in which she’s worked.  Granted, I had to pull a tooth and a nail for her to agree to this –to simply be honest, which I am greatly resentful for because I do not believe that it is, or should be, my responsibility to hold her accountable.

If someone is dishonest they should agree to be honest and follow-through with that agreement; if they choose to not follow-through, they are a coward.  Repeatedly, and quite honestly, I should not stay (this is where my problem comes into play, and that’s a whole other issue).  I am not saying this judgmentally, but quite simply, literally.  Look it up.

She has lied to me and has posed no solution to correct the behavior.  I have had to come up with solutions because she refuses to take responsibility for her actions.  So story goes like this… I come up with solutions; she agrees to follow them, and then bails.  I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and of holding her accountable because she refuses to take responsibility for her behavior.  I have, since I have known Erin, always said to her, “I wish someone would hold you on the ‘wall,'” and what I mean by this metaphor is that I wish someone would hold her accountable for her actions because she refuses.  After all, Erin (quote) “Does what I want when I want” -Erin S.  Her selfish behavior prevails and blows my mind.

The reason I have stayed, and I have said this before and will say it again is because I am living here with her and am trying to make the most out of this situation.  I am living here for two reasons:  1, financial, and 2, emotional (illusion).  Financially we have agreed to just be roommates, and 2.  There are still “hopes” (on my part; likely on hers, as well — in some realm) that things will work out.  I strongly detest interpersonal conflict and wish to have it resolved right away, so I am trying to make the situation right.  I cannot seem to accept the fact that things cannot and won’t change.  I seem to think “There’s always a way.” Well, the truth is, there may not always be a way, because there’s a time and place, but in my mind, there is, and I cannot seem to wrap my head around it or understand it any other way.

The result:  I keep on trying, similar to the card “2 of swords” in the tarot, which namely represents denial.  I am in strong denial here, and I sort of feel like I have to be (8 of swords) because I do not feel like I can afford to live anywhere else (except for Korea) and because my emotions are so incredibly involved and the thought of separating from Erin physically devastates me.  To say the least, I am involved in a highly codependent relationship and situation.  I am extremely bothered and know that I have options but am lacking the courage to act on them.  Between fearing that I cannot financially support myself and being extremely attached to Erin, I stay put.  I keep saying that if “X, Y, and Z” happen then I will leave…

The assumption is that “X, Y, and Z,” ie: another person, the lottery, inheritance, etc. would happen to me then these things would give me the strength to leave.  To  be honest, however, I am not sure that even an inheritance would help me to walk away from this situation because the emotions would still be attached.  So then there’s the “You could date someone else” response which my counselor actually suggested.  I keep on telling her that I do not feel like this is a viable option because I do not believe that it would be healthy.  I basically need to be (emotionally and physically) on my own.  Emotionally detached from Erin but obviously maintain (first form lol) friends and support, ie: coworkers, etc.

But my counselor keeps suggesting the idea of dating someone new.  At any rate, I do not think this would be a good idea.  Needless to say, the result ends up being that I stay locked in one place.  I bitch and complain to “Bobby,” “Rob,” and “Dorthy” (examples) and yet I stay stationary.  I sit here, and I honestly ask myself, “What is it going to take for me to move?” I have this amazing Korea opportunity which everyone seems to favor (not that their opinion truly matters in this situation because I am naturally actually starting to trust and use my own logic to think things through) but I am too scared to leave because of the emotions involved with Erin… so financial independence as an option aside, the problem now becomes the emotional ties.

It has not helped that Erin and I have been really close lately physically… remember, as long as I live here, or we live together, the “peace” will attempt to be created thus causing enmeshment, fighting, wishful thinking, etc. because in my mind that is the only option for living together; I need “peace.”  Erin and I have been spending a lot of time together the past few days and have been getting along exceptionally well.  At any rate, she tried to kiss me last night, and I actually went through with it.  Granted, it was just a little peck (no tongue) but I did not use my head like I normally would.  I think what ends up happening is that things will be really bad between us and then when things are good, I give in.  It would seem that the worse things are, that when she “throws me a biscuit” so-to-speak, I dive right in.

It’s this weird “cycle” that I can’t describe.  All I know is that it never changes, and I feel like a tire spinning in the mud.  I am clearly stuck like the song “Sick cycle carousel:” I posted on my blog about a year ago back in May or July.  So the solution is courage… and that is what I seem to lack.  Korea is always an opportunity… they hire year-around; however, I want to leave in March or April because that seems like a good “time” for me (I love the spring, and it’s a time of new beginnings and starts) but the emotions (attachment issues) with Erin are keeping me from acting.  I am somewhat happy that one part –the financial, is already taken care of, because now I just need to work on the emotional so that I can free myself of this mess.  The problem is I don’t know how I’m going to free myself of the emotional baggage except through someone else which is what my counselor has been suggesting.

I told Nadine that I do not think this is the “right” thing to do and she seems to disagree.  She keeps giving me the impression that if I find someone else with whom I am compatible, emphasizing the compatibility issue and further reinforcing the fact that Erin and I are not “compatible” –that has the qualities that I am looking for, ie: honesty, respect, communication, accountability, and commitment then it will be right.  “But…” I ask as well as say to myself… “…”  “What will I do about the grief with Erin?” Dating someone else is not just going to make it go away!  I want to say, “Don’t we have to alone with the grief?” ie, single and outside of a romantic relationship.  One could argue “yes;” another could argue “no.”  I mean, I guess we all have baggage that we carry around and we always will have baggage so/but I imagine we can’t just stay alone (single) forever, right?  …until we’re finally over each and every person and each and every incident in our lives?  See, this is where I am torn.

So yeah… if it’s presumed that the financial will be taken care of, ie: Korea, and the emotional is the only problem, how can I resolve and tackle this issue?  Another rebuttal counselor Nadine brought up when I indicated disapproval to the dating someone else idea was just spending a lot of time away from Erin, ie: in my bedroom, etc.  Honestly, that’s nice in theory, but I am not sure how feasible it is.  Whenever Erin and I are around each other in the house, I want to spend time with her, and yet whenever we are apart I am constantly worrying (for legit purposes) that she is out pursuing someone else, and it does not matter if we are not technically “together” or not because of the unresolved hurt which keeps me engaged in the cycle.  There is so much pain, attachment, and grief that it’s nearly impossible to move forward… I honestly think I am going to try and read more “grief” articles and articles on separation and divorce because this is what it feels like for me.  Apparently I do have serious attachment issues.

Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of wasting my life and potential being stuck in relationships that are unfulfilling and not what I want, ie: in line with my values (honesty, respect, communication, accountability, and commitment, and shared interests) yet I am not necessarily too “afraid” to physically leave here per se, especially now that I have an opportunity to go to Korea, but rather, have zero clue about how to get past the emotional piece… the grief.  I honestly feel like my emotions are/have gotten the “best” so-to-speak of me, and this is honestly where and why I wish that Ashley was in my life right now as a best friend… honestly, any beautiful woman who’s intelligent and encouraging because I think it would inspire me.  I just need someone who I see these beautiful traits (honesty, respect, communication, accountability, and commitment) in so that I can know it’s “out” there and then begin to move forward.

Am I going about this backwards?  I can’t think of any other solutions… it is pretty laid out… I am fortune enough to have this opportunity in Korea where the financial piece is taken care of, but the emotional is proving challenging.  It would seem the solutions are pretty simply laid out:  1.  Spend time away from Erin physically or 2.  Date someone else.  1 is extremely hard for me and 2 would seem and feel wrong.  I often feel like Erin starts fights or gets upset with me to have “reason” to emotionally and physically be away from me.  She literally will get to close to me and things will be going “well” –whatever that means, and then the next thing I know, she’s pushing away, furthermore engaging in this push/pull cycle.

I hate that Erin is not honest.  I hate that she makes false, empty promises that she cannot keep.  I hate that I am in this situation because I, in many ways, do not feel that I have another choice.  I obviously have objective 1 taken care of, ie: the financial, yet objective 2 I cannot seem to get past.  There is always a barrier it seems.  I need help.  If I can’t seem to stay away from Erin when we’re physically around each other then what else am I supposed to do?  …latch onto someone else as my counselor had suggested only worded and intended more maturely?  My counselor actually conveyed the message that it would be a good and healthy action/experience because the person would have the qualities that I am looking for, but how can I even begin to attract this if I am not more independent?

I understand that is a fear of mine, ie: “If I am not independent I will not attract anyone,” but it is a legit one… How can I possibly attract a beautiful young woman if I am in a dependent spot?  And what am I supposed to say to her when she asks, or it comes up in conversation, “Where are you living, Emily?” Imagined response:  “Oh, with my ex girlfriend and her father…” Do you know how unattractive that is?  See, what people don’t understand is that I am actually very independent; I am naturally a very independent and strong-willed person, but I am just in a bad (less than favorable, rather) situation right now, and I am afraidI don’t know how to overcome my grief (The problem!).  I don’t know how to stay away from Erin physically first off when we’re in the same house, which seems pretty damn basic, and I don’t know how to grieve, especially when there’s a constant threat of her “acting out,” ie: dating someone else, hooking up with someone, signing up for a dating site, etc. and me feeling/experiencing the rejection (she has acted insensitively for all but 4 months of our 3 year “relationship” now) all over again.

So I feel trapped although I know I am not.  At any rate, it would be fair to say that I am trapped in my feelings, or more accurately, grief.  I am frozen with indecision and inhibition.  I am paralyzed.  I am angry, resentful, in denial, etc. –just wanting things to be okay, and the the truth is, they’re not.  I just don’t feel like any woman is going to be attracted to me given my current situation.  I mean, I cannot imagine a healthy woman dating a man who is still living at home, and especially not a man who’s living with his ex, and so why on earth would anyone see or treat my situation any differently?  I will tell you right now however, that if I did date/find a woman, I would be loyal 100% to her.  I do not have a problem with loyalty.  When someone has swept me away and captured my attention, I am theirs 100%.  I will not play games with someone who treats me right.

I often say, “If Ashley ever took me back, I would be back with her in a heart beat and she would never have to worry about the things she did before,” ie: me leaving her because I had not grieved my ex.  Granted, I was 19, but that experience nevertheless changed my life.  Honest-to-God, if Ashley ever came back to me and asked me to be with her again, I would be with her in a heartbeat, and I would be 100% faithful to her.  Faithfulness has never been an issue with me.  My problem was that I left Ashley when I was 19 to go back to my ex with whom I had unresolved grief.  Ashley and I ended up rebounding with one another.  We were both in rocky situations, where in my case, my partner was cheating on me with my ex-best friend! –and Ashley’s partner too busy smoking weed all day to give her the attention she deserved, and Ashley and I turned to each other as friends for solace, and ended up dating about a month later.

At any rate, we both became involved too quickly, and I had not grieved my ex, Sarah.  Sarah could not stand the fact that I was with Ashley and she tried everything in her power to get me back.  I had not grieved Sarah, nor was I very mature at 19, and so I naively and regretfully took her back only to be cheated on again by her with the same woman a month later and then several others, both men and women, in the course of the remaining 2.5 years that I would ‘choose’ to stay with her!  During this time, I put up with things that I never should have allowed myself to put up with.  Although there is no excuse for this, in retrospect, I think I subconsciously allowed this because Sarah constantly guilted me about leaving her for Ashley, but she was cheating on me so anyone would have wanted to get away from that!  But the right thing probably would have been to be alone, and honestly, that was my –and Ashley’s intention, but it ended up turning into a relationship.

Sarah was very selfish.  I also stayed with her, because similar to the situation with Erin, I wanted things to be better between Sarah and I.  I had felt rejected for being cheated on, and I took it personally.  The same exact thing has happened with Erin.  Instead of taking these women’s behavior personally I should have been able to step back and see it as their problem and completely unacceptable, but I didn’t –I let my emotions get the best of me.

So here I am… 7 years later, and I have an opportunity to do things “differently.”  Do I?  Have I?  No.  Why?  Up until 1.5 years ago, literally, I did not know what I wanted in a relationship… I had no clue what a healthy relationship consisted of.  Now, after having dated Erin and having had the negative experiences I’ve had, I know what I want.  Additionally, I think I have attachment issues.  I have a hard time letting go of an unhealthy, unfulfilling relationship… I think this is because it sort of mocks the relationship I had with my mother and the “messages” that I learned from her growing up.  I learned from my her that I was not worthy of deserving to be loved.  My mother was not emotionally available to me and would often say and do very hurtful things to me like call me a “bitch,” hit me with the remote control, throw it at me, pull my hair with the hair brush, slap me, stand me up, etc., and so this was the behavior that I learned and along with that came subconscious messages, which I carried with me into adulthood and into all my relationships.

I can recognize this on an intellectual level, and I am just beginning to recogize it on an intellectual level, but changing the behaviors and messages is an entirely different story and requires work.  I need someone to help me with that work; the problem is I don’t trust anyone to help me because the very people I have trusted most –into my inner sanctum–, ie: Syndee E. have hurt me beyond measure.  Syndee, my former “therapist” was a sociopath, ie: antisocial personality disorder.  If you are unfamiliar with a sociopath I would suggest doing a little research on it.  At any rate, she sucked me dry for over $5,000 out-of-pocket in therapy and left me with more than a scar.  I ended up regressing at the end of our 3 year rendezvous.  The case went legal.

So yeah… when trust, something so very basic, has been shattered, I am honestly not sure how, and if, and when, it will, or can be regained/re-established.  I am really going to need words and actions to match up and for “actions to speak louder than words” when it comes to folks in order for me to ever trust again.  And people honestly wonder why I hang onto Ashley and Ashley’s and I’s “relationship” and that’s because she was the only person who ever followed-through on her words.  She was very big on fulfilling and living up to her potential.  I could always count on and rely on Ashley, and I highly respected her.  She was warm, sympathetic, supportive, and always there –firm and steady.  I need that in my life, and want to attract people like that.

Yet another cold and [baffling] reality “hits” me as I write tonight and that’s that Ashley is not here… ie, in my life.  The last I heard from her was on New Years Eve when she stated to me: “Don’t text me” after I had texted her expressing my feelings about how lonely I was and upset that Erin and then my friend dumped me off, when just a week prior to that she sent me a Christmas text saying something along the lines of “Merry Christmas,” which I found out through her ex with whom I was the matchmaker for 7 years ago that she sent that to “everyone.”  At any rate, a few months prior to that text I heard from her via phone because she called me and told me all about this guy who she was obsessed with and who she could not get over the fact that he reminded her so much of me.  It went something like “Emily, omg, he reminds me so much of you…”  “Oh my-God Emily, he reminds me ‘so much’ of you.” I was not sure what to think of this when I heard this, as I had mixed feelings, but my final conclusion was “She still has feelings for me, ie: unresolved grief because there’s transference going on, etc.”

Additionally, the last time I saw Ashley (Summer of 2007) it was apparent that she and I still had feelings for each other.  At any rate, I heard from her then, then again at Christmas, and when I decided to text her on New Years Eve, she responded to me with a suprisingly shocking rude text message.  I did not text her for months afterwords and then I just recently –yesterday in fact, sent her a Valentine card and cd with new music on it.  I told myself and Erin (because I am trying to set an example for Erin) “This will be the last time I reach out to her.” I am serious about this because I am sick and tired of the relationship with Ashley being one-sided now.  Ashley, for the last 4 years or so, has been very about herself — “me me me,” and I have just sort of went with it because I felt like I guess I deserved to just listen to her go on about herself because I was “lucky” (I would tell myself) to be having her contact me after what I did to her 7 years ago, ie: leave her for my ex.

So in my mind I was thinking, “Wow, it’s nice to actually hear from her.”  The truth is, however, we were never able to establish a reciprocal relationship because she was so busy always talking about herself and would never reach out to me or make time for me, ie: my feelings, sharings, experiences, etc.  So I would just listen to her for hours with a sympathetic ear feeling grateful and delighted for her to be contacting me.  I must admit, however, that it did hurt me that she would hog the conversation so-to-speak, and honestly, I really would have liked to have developed a friendship, 2-sided with her.  I expressed this to her clearly many times.  I guess there is only so much you can do before you just have to realize that someone is not going to change.  I always think, “Maybe Ashley will come around some day,” and who knows– maybe she will, or maybe she won’t.  All I know is that I hold onto the image of Ashley and I and what we had, because it may be 7 years ago, however, that “relationship” sadly, whatever it was, was the only not “good” per se, thing that I had, but it was a relationship in which someone else was respectful towards me and we shared similar values and interests.

To say the least, the compatibility was strong and now I look for that (Ashley, and Ashley and I’s relationship served as an example) in other relationships.  So here I am… and this is all about the relationship with myself and what choices I have… and now I just need to somehow get over this insurmountable barrier with my emotions in regards to this situation with Erin so I can move on…  I am somehow going to need to get space (physical) from her and learn to grieve without driving myself crazy with all the worry and “what-if’s,” ie:  “What if ‘x;’ what if ‘y'” to where I cannot get the peace or clarity/room to be myself.  I “am haunted by the hero that I could not be” just popped into my head… a lyric from the song “Rescue me” by Digital Summer, which keeps replaying in my head and in my dreams.

Speaking of “Rescuing me” songs… I have been having many dreams, left and right, about rescuing others, etc. and I honestly think that they are about myself… and with me needing to rescue myself.  The two songs that come to mind when I think about this are “Rescue me” by Digital Summer and “Far away” by Nickelback.  Both of these songs I can sing to my inner child.

Since I have already posted “Rescue me” twice in this blog, recently, I am going to post “Far away” one more time to reflect what I’m referring to.

February 1st, 2011. Dr’s visit/Erin/Show tonight.

I went to the dr. today to get my blood drawn and they drew everything but the Lyme test.  The facility refused to use the Lyme kit I obtained from Igenix, a state-of-the-art Lyme facility, in Palo Alto, CA, stating that they do not typically send blood “elsewhere.”  I now have to try and go to another facility to get it tested and sent off.  Mind you, I am paying for this test privately because insurance does not cover it.  The test is very specific and has to be performed on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday due to its contents needed arrival time at the facility.

On my walk back home, I recorded my thoughts…

“I’m so tired of life and this situation and it just seems so unreal.”
“There isn’t much left for me –Erin is moving on, and I just seem to be falling behind…”
“I came here with the intent to find work prospects, and it’s just ended in disaster.”
“I don’t feel much of anything, and things just seem unreal…”
“People are out working hard, and I just feel like I’m falling by the wayside.”
“Colors are bright; noises are bright.”
“At times it feels like it’s all a dream, and I’m going to wake up, and reality is going to hit me…”
“I know that it’s real, but it seems baffling, and I wonder how the hell did I get myself in this situation.”
“There is little left and colors just seem to fade.”
“I am going out tonight, and I am not even excited.  Life seems to have lost its shine.”
“I am ready to feel something, not nothing.”
“The world looks so decadent.”
“I see people that live passionately, and I envy that, and I want it; it’s good to see it, but it just reminds me of where I am now, and how I don’t have it.”
“I can’t possibly know what’s best for me when I’ve fallen this low.”
“I’m tired of feeling this way –so down and out… life is meant to be enjoyed, not despised.”
“I’m tired of hiding in the shadows; I want to say I’m “finished” with my past, but the reality is, it will keep coming up, and I just have to work through it.”
“The only way out is “through,” and I will just keep on plugging.”
“Why do we try so hard to make our lives perfect; I know for myself I learned “perfectionism” very early on… the fact is, life is not perfect.  Perfection only leads to failure.”
“I’m tired of living some mediocre life.”
“I would like to re-capture my essence and be resurrected.”

I think it is apparent that I am depressed.  Like, right now for instance, I am exhausted, and I just want to sleep… but I know that if I sleep I might be groggy for the rest of the evening.  I am supposed to be going out tonight to a Soul Harvest –an open mic/poetry event.  I’m going with a “Sister’s” meetup group here in Philadelphia that promotes sisterhood.  We’re all going out to eat beforehand.  I am exhausted though and just want to sleep… I am excited to go, but tired and depressed.  Erin has been gone all day at a training so that she can become “serve safe;” it is required by her employer.  By the time she gets home I will be leaving to go to the event and will not return until late.

I am depressed and annoyed that Erin has more fun with other people than me, yet she has not even tried to have fun with me.  I am still so angry at the relationship… at the fact that she pursued me until she “got” me and once she had me she became a self-absorbed prick –porn-ridden and fantasy-obsessed.  Do you know how much of a slap in the face this was?  Imagine it still being because the heart has not mended.  It’s just like grief, only it’s prolonged, and it’s making me sick… I want to get away, yet I don’t, because I want to “fix” things.  I hate that my “fixing” instincts are coming into play… I don’t want them to.  I just want to walk away from her.  My instincts apparently are stronger than my own self-control.

I know that I cannot make this relationship okay, and the simple truth is, is that it’s not okay and it may never be.  Why do I spend my life trying to “fix” things?  One cannot fix what’s broken… it would seem that only time, growth, and healing can do that.  I do not see myself healing anytime soon because I am, for whatever reason, too afraid to leave this situation behind.  Why is it so difficult to walk away?  I am going to end up having to be forced to walk away because I cannot pull myself to do it because of the perceived failure.  I was in this situation once before when I went back to Vermont for two months back in August, and I am in it again, only this time it’s due to my own free-will, or unresolved grief, whereas before it was because Erin was trying to retain some power-trip.

Anyway, she has time for everything but me and has little desire to spend time with me… such a 180 compared to when we first started dating up until I said, “Yes” to her marriage proposal.  And yes, that was very premature on my part, and no, I did not end up marrying her –thank God!  She is a sucker and would have bled me dry.  At any rate, I cannot “keep” her as far as I can throw her.  It is hard enough being in this situation and being unable to let go when I am constantly reminded of things that have happened and been unresolved.  Things keep happening with Erin, and I am triggered all over again.

It is so sad to know that nothing I do can change anything… no single action, no series of multiple actions… I also need to remind myself that I did not do anything wrong except maybe “enable” by staying too long.  I should have left the moment I saw the first red flag.  I didn’t however, and now I am finding myself with someone very lousy, unable to even be a decent person (honesty, respect, communication, accountability, and dependability) and I am too stupid to walk away and would rather hold out on the empty “promises.”  ie, “Emily, I will follow-through; I won’t yell and rant, etc.”  It’s all a joke, and yet I still hope for it and hold onto it because it’s the only way to make living here together remotely “manageable.”

I feel like a fucking object because I was pursued and then just dropped like a hat.  Erin has some major problems, and I’m not sure what that says about me other than I must have some serious self-esteem issues and “need to be needed” for me to continue putting up with this behavior.  Honestly, what does that say about me?  I should just start telling myself and actually trying to believe it that Erin does not deserve me, because the fact is, she doesn’t.  She is a coward (literally) and manipulative.  Me needing/wanting to feel special should not be enough of a silly “reason” to stay… I think once I start treating myself with respect, ie: walking away from unhealthy people and making better, wiser choices for myself, I will start attracting respect.

What this says to me is “door!”  I need to somehow head for the door and stop deluding myself into believing that she will “come around.”  I am not wanting some magical cure… I am not idealizing her.  I am not trying to “change” her, either.  I am not telling her that she can’t do things.  I am simply wanting, demanding honesty, respect, communication, accountability, and commitment (to self) and she refuses to be able to deliver.  If I wasn’t living here then I would say the “hell” with her, and I would have cut her off by now, but while living here, I am trying to make the most out of the situation.

Nevertheless, all of this self-denial will exhaust a person, and I am beyond that point.  I am going to lay down now and close my eyes I think… I just want the hours to pass… I just hope that I am still in the mood to go tonight… I really have no interest in anything except for sleep.  I enjoy dreaming.

July 8th, 2010; Power Struggle.

I woke up with this song playing in my head, so I’d like to share it…

“Open Up Your Eyes”

A single rose left to remember
As a single tear falls from her eye
Another cold day in December
A year from the day she said goodbye

Seems it’s only been a moment
Since the angels took him from her arms
And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow
But as they laid him in the ground
Her heart would sing without a sound

For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
And no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes

A single lifetime lays behind her
As she draws her final breath
Just beyond the door he’ll find her
Taking her hand he softly says


Just open up your eyes as I lay you down tonight
Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry


After I awoke, and with this song running through my head, I could not fall back  asleep, and I also could not stop thinking, or what might appear as “obsessing” (grief- stage 1) as I described it, about Erin and I’s relationship ending… I expressed my grief to Erin via text stating:

“I can’t sleep, am obsessing, and am tired today/I’m obsessing about our relationship ending and the reality setting in and starting this new chapter of my life. I feel like in many ways I’m still holding on… I am just scared/I’m afraid to take this next step… But I know I need to.  Buying out time, trying to sort through my feelings… I don’t know what’s best for me because I’ve never had to do this… Afraid, because I’ve always had security.  Just wanting to hold on/Can’t clear my mind fast enough sometimes, often; lately… Not at all, and don’t want it to come as a shock… where I’m here and then I’m gone and had no time to think, feel, or process.  Where it just sneaks up and then I regret it.  “How do we ever know if we’re making the right decision?”/Trying to make sense of it all.  Don’t want it to hit me before I know it… I’m sick to my stomach because I feel like it’s all hitting me now and we’re prolonging it by being together.”

Erin’s response:

“I understand, I am too in a way.  I do agree that we are prolonging the inevitable.  This is going to end and it might hurt worse because of our actions/We’ve been in each others lives for so long the idea of you gone is something I can’t wrap my head around./I know it’s for the best but it still hurts and scares me. I don’t want to make a mistake and cut each other out of our lives.”

Response to Erin:

“I know, I can’t wrap my head around it, either… I feel like we’ll always be in each other’s life… I’m just not sure in which ways.  A part of me, a big part, thinks it would be best if we just go our separate ways until we heal our broken hearts… And then if we get back together, meaning meet up again, we meet up, but there’s too much pain right now… This relationship hurts like a thorn in my side… Because it hurts to be close to you… and it has most of our relationship.  The closer I get, the more you push me away… and that hurts me.  I can’t take the push/pull cycle anymore… I mean, it hurts to be close to you, Erin… I never know when you’re going to walk out… you’ve threatened it so many times…” (she demanded I take her to Recycle North once after we had had a long day of errands, and I said “I promise I will take you tomorrow,” and she threw a fit and packed all of stuff impulsively with the intention of moving back to PA).

Erin stated:

“I understand completely.  I don’t want to lose you forever but it’s in our best interest to be apart for a while. The sooner the better I think because we’re going to make it worse in the end/I understand em, and I’m sorry for making you feel that way.  I think living our own separate lives now would be best.  It would ease the initial shock and start the healing process. “


What I’m talking about in the first stanza, in the beginning, when I say, “And the ‘reality’ setting in…” I am referring to the reality that this (Erin and I’s “relationship”) is really over.  We have been back and forth for so long, and on top of that, in close proximity, literally, that it’s been difficult to get any space, clarity, and/or closure.  So the “reality” is, or (and) the fear is that it’s ultimately over… And yes, I know this needs to happen for our hearts to heal, but it’s scary… it’s new and scary.

In the second stanza when I say “…and I don’t want it to come as a shock,” ie:  “Can’t clear my mind fast enough sometimes; often, lately… not at all.  I just don’t want it to come as a ‘shock,'” once again I am referring to the break up, but particularly me leaving… physically, ie: going back to Vermont, or elsewhere.  Just physically leaving.  I don’t want the emotions to come on like a heatwave. In the next sentence, the”it” I’m referring to, ie: “Where ‘it’ just snuck up on me…” is the terrible grief… the “monster” in my closet.  The “I don’t want to regret it” is the actual leaving…

When I say “Don’t want it to hit me before I know it,” part of me knows I’ve been avoiding it… there is some consciousness here.

In the stanza where I say, “I can’t ‘make-believe,'” I am once again referring to this break-up and the pain I have experienced… In a lot of ways I think I’ve chosen to stay in this relationship because it’s easier to be in denial and in love with the fantasy, or the hope/belief that Erin will come around and be on mutual playing ground than to be not involved and disrespected.  I am disrespected either way though because Erin does not love herself and has commitment issues, but at least (this is my subconscious frame of mind) if I am in a relationship I can pretend (“make-believe”) that it’s okay.”

Song interpretation:

As far as the song interpretation, I am not sure exactly what it means, but it reminds me of another song, by Nickelback, called “Far away.”  Far Away was (still is) one of my favorite songs, and the song Far Away actually initially reminded me of two women very close to me in my life… Jen and Ashley… but several months, maybe years (I believe) later did it occur to me that the song is actually referring to myself…

The song itself may actually be about a relationship that the lyricist experienced, but as I said, it wasn’t until years later that I realized the whole time the song was really about the “relationship” I had with my self.  Very ironic,  nevertheless surprising!  At any rate, I feel like (this is the impression I sort of get) that this song by Daughtry, “Open up your eyes” may be about the relationship with myself.

The beginning of this song is very confusing because I don’t know (for me) if it’s a about a girl who reclaimed her life (me in this case), or if the song is referring to someone, ie: Erin. ie, “A single rose left to remember.  As a single tear falls from her eye,” etc.  Is this me crying?  Is this me actually mourning my childhood, my father, or my actual self?  Mind you, I lived in the shadow of my mother, and I essentially at some point or another abandoned my real self… so am I referring here to my own inner child, now in a woman’s body?

When I listen to the lyrics and read along I honestly almost get that impression, similar to the impression I got with the Nickelback song “Far Away” that this song is about me.  And as I read these lyrics and listen to the song my mind goes back and forth trying between “Me” or “Erin,” ie: “Is it me or Erin?” I am trying to figure out what resonates and rings true for me.  I just think it’s suprising the similarities between this song and the Nickelback song, and how with the Nickelback song I originally thought (And it very much was, in that time, and still is, but in an entirely different way) the song was about two women I deeply loved… I think this may be the same case, only I am coming to (and wanting) to love myself, so I think it can be seen metaphorically as a “rebirthing” process in a way.

The simple truth is, I may not know right now whether it’s more about me, or Erin, or even (this thought crossed my mind) my father’s death… This part actually made me think of my father and discovering him unconscious:

Seems it’s only been a moment
Since the angels took him from her arms
And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow
But as they laid him in the ground
Her heart would sing without a sound”

I was thinking of my father because my father was so much a part of me… and losing him was like losing myself.  The part that states “And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow” reminds me of both Erin and my father.  It’s weird (but makes complete sense) how after my dad died I sought security outside in every which direction, but that’s another story!  At any rate, the “as they laid him in the ground” takes me straight back to my father’s funeral.

When Daughtry begins to say “For the first time you can open your eyes…” “…And see the world without your sorrow
And no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life”

This is truly like a new chapter of my life.  I literally think of a book, and it’s “part II” and brand new.  What this is saying to me is that I can “leave the ‘pain’ behind,” ie: I can choose to live.  I don’t have to be defined by my pain.  “Welcome to the first day of your life” is saying this is a new chapter of my life.

When Daughtry says:

A single lifetime lays behind her
As she draws her final breath
Just beyond the door he’ll find her
Taking her hand he softly says”

For me, “A single lifetime lays behind her” is describing my past.  The “As she draws her final breath,” is about being shock and saying goodbye, physically and emotionally… “Just beyond the door he’ll find her” is about me walking away and fighting it… it’s consciously about me not wanting to say goodbye to Erin, but subconsciously it’s about me not wanting to be with myself.  “Taking her hand he softly says…” is about me letting go of Erin (At this point, grief-wise, I have not yet come to stage 5 “Acceptance;” I am still very much in denial and in the midst of grief) and her hand because she (a part of me) has finally “died.”

And then the chorus repeats, stating…

“For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
And no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes…”

For me, this is all about a choice.  We have a choice on how we choose to live our lives… this is a new way of celebrating and looking at things… we can either continue to hold onto the past or we can choose to live.

Daughtry then says “Just open up your eyes as I lay you down tonight
Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry”

“…as I lay you down tonight” is about bringing peace to my mind-body-soul; more than anything, mind-heart.  And then “Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry,” particularly “…no more tears to cry” is about the hurt stopping… it’s about knowing somewhere inside that I’ve made the right decision and I’m in a much better place.

Where you go from here, I’m not sure, but I guess that’s the beauty in life… you discover it.  “Life’s a mystery”

My question now is, “How do you say goodbye to the only ‘friends’ you’ve ever known?”  Your ex’s have been a representation of you… parts of yourself you’ve repressed… if they’re addicted, maybe you’re addicted? ie, to avoiding your pain (grief & sorrow).  How do you part with those pieces/persons?  The pieces… these parts of ourselves, our grief… past baggage, and are literally (pain-wise) like losing a limb…

How do you “catapult” into this new life and not feel guilty about it?  …guilty for “abandoning” them, though you’ve really abandoned yourself?  How do you separate them from you?  Simply put, how do we put the past behind us and grieve when so many of these people have been a part of us… heavily ingrained.

It’s just like drugs… when drugs have been a part of someone’s life for so long, how do they part with it and make sense of the present and future?  How do they integrate, re-integrate, or re-learn a whole new world view?  I guess I just want to understand the trauma I have endured and build a “brand new me.”  I want to feel whole, healthy, and alive again…

I think that honestly losing someone when you’ve experienced as much trauma as I have can be compared to losing a limb… and the abuse that I endured emotionally, verbally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually can be compared to a “combat zone.”  I honestly feel (and relate) very much to veterans who have been involved in combat.  My mind, body, psyche, soul, everything was literally in this “shock,” fear, panic, etc… everything that a veteran has associated themselves with.

I really relate to Evan’s Blue… the old Evan’s Blue with Kevin Matisyn… Kevin’s lyrics, music, melody, etc. reminds me entirely of someone who has been “emotionally battered,” or traumatized…

In all of Kevin’s lyrics there are overtones and overlays of extreme, excruciating pain… longing, agony, beauty, bitterness, bitter-sweet, desiring, hoping, wishing… just being a child and cut off.  There is much pain there.  His albums are beautiful yet hopeful.  They are his process of healing.  At any rate, I relate to this man.

I think that we can all heal from our pasts, it’s just about moving through the pain.

Update (1 hour later):  Release, but still holding tight…

Erin and I were conversing today via text about separating… we merely spoke of it, but never actualized anything.  After writing this entry, I initiated a break up. I honestly hope (I feel it should be) this is our last and final breakup.  I have now engaged in the push/pull cycle with Erin… for 2 years she was push/pull with me, and progressively worse over the last 6 months… and I was push/pull with her once, this past week… now I am through.  I want to be over this.  I also must be very careful with how I talk to myself in terms of my grief and healing process, ie: “I want to be ‘over’ this” is like telling my body, “It’s not okay to feel,” and it is okay to feel.  I need to feel.

Erin stated that we should physically space apart… and I disagree, only because it was hard enough initiating this breakup and making the breakup final… not to mention, I spent two years “apart,” both physically and emotionally… obviously more emotionally, but I still spent enough time physically apart because Erin would work herself to death and use work (and other things, ie: porn, food, computer, online gaming, fantasy, etc.) as a distraction.

To say the least, I am still resentful about us not having spent enough time together because she was more absorbed in her own interests.  I do not want to re-traumatize myself so-to-speak by “spacing out.”  I told her the main thing right now is to just not kiss… that that’s a major step… which should not be a problem since we’re not together.  For me it wasn’t a problem before; for Erin it was… Erin has poor impulse control, and when she’s around me she always wants to kiss me… I did not have a problem not kissing her because I guess I knew that it was not logical to kiss and not be together, so I didn’t.

The truth is though I can’t stay here forever… and Erin and I need space.  We need to heal.  I need to grieve.  I cannot tolerate being around her because it hurts me… even as friends… even when we’re not together her actions hurt me.  Likely because I have not been able to grieve yet.  I also don’t like how dirty the house is here… and as I’ve said before, her dad isn’t willing to clean or hire a cleaner… I could always hire a cleaner myself if I can get his permission, however I don’t feel I will ever be able to properly grieve while living here… Erin said at one point that she would consider moving out and back into her mom’s house, and I could stay with her dad if worse came to worse… that I could continue paying him rent and have the “whole upstairs” to myself, and I would strictly be a tenant, but even back then when she said this I remember a distinct feeling of dread, in that 1.  That would be very awkward (to be living with an ex gf’s parent… Umm… yeah), and 2.  I would still see Erin and have reminders of her, and I would not be able to handle wondering if she’s dating someone else…

With that being said, I (we) really need distance from each other.  It would torture me seeing her every now and then, and I feel it would just prologue the grief… even living with her dad!  …I would still hear about her, and from her!  …and besides that, it is just downright awkward!  I mean, I appreciate the thought… I really do… but yeah, I don’t think that would be a good situation… not right now anyway… maybe later on.  Maybe in a couple of years if I need a roommate… I’m sure he might consider letting me rent out the top floor for a little more and just being my own, independent person, and experiencing the city… but yeah, I won’t start future tripping :P

As of right now, that does not sound appealing to me at all, and I would really like to become financially stable… I am young, and I am heavily in debt due to my student loans.  I just want to build a life for myself… a strong, sturdy foundation… I just need to figure out the whole “work” situation, and my time is quickly running out… I honestly (clearly) do not know what I want (need) for myself right now.

I need clarity.

Erin’s response:“I understand, I am too in a way.  I do agree that we are prolonging the inevitable.  This is going to end and it might hurt worse because of our actions.  I’m scared to be without you in what ways?  We’ve been in each others lives for so long the idea of you gone is something I can’t wrap my head around.”I then stated to Erin, “I know, I can’t wrap my head around it, either…” I said, “It scares me too… and I feel like we’ll always be in each other’s life… I’m just not sure in what ways.  A part of me, a big part thinks it would be best if we just go our separate ways until we heal our broken hearts… And then if we get back together, meaning meet up again, we meet up, but there’s too much pain right now…” 

Erin states, “I know it’s for the best but it still hurts and scares me.  I don’t want to make a mistake and cut each other out of our lives.  I don’t want to lose you forever but it’s in our best interest to be apart for a while. The sooner the better I think because we’re going to make it worse in the end.”Still expressing my feelings, I said to Erin, “This relationship hurts like a thorn in my side… Because it hurts to be close to you… and it has most of our relationship.  The closer I get, the more you push me away… and that hurts me.  I can’t take the cycle anymore and make believe…”

In the stanza where I say, “I can’t ‘make believe,'” I am once again referring to this break-up and the pain I have experienced… In a lot of ways I think I’ve chosen to stay in this relationship because it’s easier to be in denial and in love with the fantasy, or the hope/belief that Erin will come around and be on mutual playing ground than to be not involved and disrespected.  I am disrespected either way though because Erin does not love herself and has commitment issues, but “at least (this is my subconscious train of thought) if I am in a relationship I can pretend (“make believe”) that it’s okay.”

I stated, “I mean, it hurts to be close to you, Erin… I don’t know when you’re going to walk out.”

Erin stated, “I understand em, and I’m sorry for making you feel that way.  I think living our own separate lives now would be best.  It would ease the initial shock and start the healing process. “