Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A world apart

This morning: two major crying jags. The first came after finding that Glenn has changed the voicemail password on the apartment phone. The password used to be our anniversary. That killed about an hour of my morning. The second came after the mail arrived and I opened a wedding card with a check made out to Mr. and Mrs. Glenn XXXXXX.

A change of scenery was in order. I can only stand being in my parent's house for so long, especially since all I do there is grieve. My college roommate is home from Germany and she invited me to spend the night at her grandmother's house in one of the more swanky suburbs nearby. Being with T and her family has helped me see outside my tight little world of pain. They are so happy and stable and blueblooded. T's grandmother's house is a turn of the century Victorian perched on a wooded hill. The place is saturated with happy memories and it's full of family photos, old silver and books. The room where I'm staying was T's mother's room when she was growing up. The twin bed has a horsehair mattress covered in very old linens, and the whole thing is held up by ropes. It's a totally different world, almost a storybook world in some ways. It gives me hope!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Little white shadow

There are good days and awful days. The good days are where I can sort of coast along in denial, or where I can stay busy reading or seeing friends. The awful days are, well, exactly that.

As soon as I woke up this morning, I started crying and pretty much didn't stop all day. Deep, wrenching sobs. I cried in the shower, in bed, on the phone, on the porch, in the car, on the floor. A lot of the time it hurts so much that I just want to scream at the universe. It's amazing how much emptiness can ache.

Somehow I got myself up for a short walk and then I took a nap.

Thank god for Scully. She follows me around the house and makes sure I'm never by myself.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Exit stage left

Well, it's done. My stuff and my car are on their way back east, and Scully came back on the plane with me. The past three days are a haze of shock, pain, panic and anger. Everyone keeps telling me that I will be fine, that I will be stronger and wiser for this experience but you know what? Fuck you. I AM strong and wise and courageous. I dropped everything to move across the country and I made a life for myself in a place I hated. I don't need this, too.

I am also uncertain, crushed and totally bewildered. How did we get here?

Something deep inside me says that I dodged a bullet. Now I won't be stuck with Glenn's horrible last name or his vast credit card debt or his narcissism.

Getting up in the morning is an act of sheer will when you know that the next few months are going to be a long, slow slog through hell.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Un-wedding day

Well, in an alternate reality we'd be standing in front of our minister getting married at this very moment. Instead, I'm in my parent's house trying to ignore the minutes ticking by as my former future disappears down the drain. For some reason I thought that Glenn would call today, just to see how I'm doing, to say "isnt' this weird?" to acknowledge the leap our lives took off the high dive. But no--that would be owning up to the consequences of his actions and that's too much for Glenn to handle.

Want to know where he is right now? PLAYING GOLF. His parents couldn't get out of the house rental they lined up for the wedding so they decided to throw a family reunion instead. Resourceful, yes, but can you say BAD TASTE? He is literally teeing off the 12th hole while I am sitting here in a puddle of tears. How his family can be celebrating right now is a complete mystery to me. If your son had done what he did, would you throw him a big party? I hope he's uncomfortable and miserable and completely aware of what an asshole he is.

Thank god for my friends. Instead of throwing a wedding, my parents threw a BBQ on our back porch and all my Boston friends came out to the suburbs to help me make the day go by. They're downstairs right now, drinking beer and doing their best to behave like this doesn't suck. My college roommate said something to me when she walked in the door. After giving me a huge hug, she said, "This is not your wedding day, so don't be so sad. Your wedding day is still to come." I can't even wrap my mind around that yet, but it made me feel less like going upstairs and popping an entire bottle of Ativan.

I had to quit my job today. My boss was so understanding, but it was still very difficult. I shed blood, sweat and tears for 7 months while I looked for that job, and I loved my company. I'm letting go of everything and I don't know what will be left.

My parents and I are going out to LA this week while Glenn is on the east coast for what was supposed to be our honeymoon. We're going to pack up my things and ship them home. When he comes back to our apartment, I and Scully and all my stuff will be gone and he'll be alone again. Part of me hopes that the harsh realization will make him realize that he's lost me. Buit what I really want is for him to be lonely and unhappy and to miss me terribly. Our little family is kaput. I am not getting married today.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Poking around the home turf

Seeing as I'm camped out at my parent's house with nothing to do but cry, I've been revisiting a bunch of my old middle and high school hangouts in a not very movie-worthy reunion tour. The old high school is about to be torn down--sadness! The takeout pizza place is still serving greasy food. Everything seems smaller and slightly worn down. But there are still beautiful old farming fields that have defied development and gorgeous 17th century Colonial houses whose owners are maintaining them beautifully. This is still the place where I learned to drive fast on narrow country roads and went skinny dipping in the local river before it got polluted, and I'm glad to be back, even if it's just for a little while.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Up and down

Still in Boston. Feeling marginally better. I have good days and bad days. On the good days, I can't wait to get out of the house and see friends. On bad days, I can barely get out of bed and don't even want to venture as far as the porch. The crying jags continue, regardless of how good the day is. Last night I drove home from seeing a movie with friends and could barely see through the tears.

In the week and a half since we called off the wedding, G and I have only spoken a few times. It's easy to be uncharitable, particularly because I know he isn't having as hard a time with this as I am, but I know he's hurting, too. The longer we talk, the harder it gets. How do you break up with your best friend, the person you talked to 4 times a day for three and a half years? As Boromir said in The Fellowship of the Ring, "How did it come to this?"

My friends and family have totally rallied around me and if the only thing I get out of this is to see what excellent friends I have, than I'm satisfied with that. God knows it's not easy dealing with someone who alternates between being a silent lump and a crying mess, and they have been nothing but supportive and wonderful.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Down the hatch

Still no appetite. Why does grief leave me so not hungry? With all the crying and tension and hurting, you'd think I'd be ravenous but instead I look at food and it's like looking at a piece of ugly furniture. I'm down 10 pounds and I was never very heavy to begin with, so it's noticeable. I'm playing with the idea of writing a book about this because it's the most effective dieting regimen out there. I'd call it "The Breakup Diet" and judging from how popular diet fads have become, I'm sure people would voluntarily break off their long term relationships just to reap the dieting benefits. Screw Atkins and South Beach! Put yourself in excruciating emotional pain for a few weeks and watch the pounds melt away.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

On the verge

My day so far consists of the following: sleep, read, sleep, cry, sleep, cry, read, cry, talk to friends on the phone, cry while talking to friends on the phone, sleep some more, read some more, fall asleep for the night while crying. I've dragged a couple of chairs around on the porch so that I can read and stay in the sun as the day goes by. I wander around the kitchen because I know I should eat but my appetite is gone and food isn't going to fill the hole in my middle.

I miss Scully horribly. I wish I'd flown her home with me instead of leaving her with Glenn for the time being. He's taking good care of her, I know, but every time I go to bed I miss her warm weight on my legs. There is nothing more comforting than her purr and the sensation of her head resting on my foot. I don't want her there with him. He doesn't deserve her affection. He doesn't deserve anything.

I tried to call Glenn three times today but he never answered. Either his phone is off or he's up at Tom's house in the canyon where there's no cell reception. Or he's out with the trollop, getting clarity and making sure we're absolutely over. He went from needing a weekend to get his head together, to needing two months to think, and he wants me to stay in LA while he figures it out. But I'm through waiting for him to get his act together. I'm finished cleaning up his mess. It's time he deals with the consequences of his actions.

Last night I went over to my ex-boyfriend J's house for dinner. We dated for 2.5 years, right up to the day before I met Glenn, but we've managed to stay friends and running buddies since we ended things. He made me a yummy dinner of grilled vegetables, which I was crying too hard to eat, and he listened to the story of what happened with empathy and a complete lack of judgement. And as a confessed selfish male, he gave me some insight into Glenn's behavior. But it doesn't help to hear that it wasn't me that caused the problems. That means I have no control over what happens next. If it was partly my fault, at least that means I have something to work on.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Devoted to Kleenex

Everyone wants to know how I'm doing, if I'm okay, what I'll do next. And I have no idea how to answer any of those questions. I'm hollow and what there is left inside me hurts so badly that I stumble through the day like a zombie, except zombies don't usually walk around clutching handfuls of damp tissues. What do you do when the life you had and the life you expected to have vanish in the space of a day or two? Suddenly I understand what it must be like to lose a limb and have that phantom limb thing happen. I keep reaching out for him without thinking, and every time it's like passing your hand through thick fog. My ring finger feels so empty and the emptiness is the most constant reminder of what's happened.

Being in our apartment was so painful but the worst part was that he wasn't there anymore and even if he walked back through the door, nothing would be the same. So I ran away. I took the red eye home to Boston and have secreted myself away at my parent's house to nurse my wounds and try to get my head together. But there are reminders everywhere. Our wedding invitations are still sitting on the hutch in the dining room and there's a bag of shower gifts that were supposed to come up to the wedding with me. Then there's the pile of gifts that has to go back and I don't know how to do that. I can't even look at them. Today one of my cousins sent me flowers and I can't go near them. I don't want anyone's pity. Those flowers are more dangerous than anyone might think. I walk around them warily, as if they're about to bite.

Monday, June 07, 2004

No more bride-to-be

We called it off. I called it off. He just decided (or just decided to admit) that he's not ready to get married and he's not even sure he wants to marry me.

I moved to LA with him because he was dying to come back here and I needed a change. The past year has been the most difficult of my life, trying to make a life for myself in a city that feels completely alien in every way. And I started to succeed--I found a good job, I made friends, I started volunteering. I made a life for myself. But apparently it wasn't enough for him. He couldn't be patient with my transition or support me in any way that wasn't actively supporting his own goals. So here we are. I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the life we had and the life we'd planned to have is gone. I feel like such a girl--I'm so shattered. I don't know where to turn or what to do.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Little house on the lawn

Sadly, this is about as close as Glenn and I will ever come to owning a house in California. Unless we opt for linking up a couple of those extra-large sheds from Home Depot. That's our plan B.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Wedding belle blues

As the wedding expenses pile up and I watch my bank account dwindle, it occurred to me that things could be worse. After all, the only thing more expensive than being a bride is being a bridesmaid. Or, in some cases, a wedding guest. It's disgusting how pricey weddings have gotten. All we wanted was to have our friends and family get together in our favorite place which, for the record, is not some farflung tropical paradise. Still, people are forking out and while I'm really happy that they'll be there on the day, I feel terrible that it's costing them so much. I admit it--I bought into the wedding industry hype. I have the piles of Martha Stewart Weddings to prove it. If only I had Caitlin Flanagan to advise me when we got engaged. Not that anyone's listening to her advice these days.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Quick question

I saw "Mean Girls" over the long weekend and I just want to know one thing: who's driving the schoolbuses in that town?