Thursday, December 29, 2016

An Open Letter to Jeremy

May 11th was the last time I saw you and I don't miss you anymore.

We went for a hike, and you dropped me off to hang out with my friends, and you told me, "Don't get too drunk. I don't want you talking about me to your friends and letting them convince you to not be with me."

Later that night I found out you had been sleeping with our friend. I will never, ever forgive you for that.

We went for a hike and we had a great time. You didn't want to go to the top because you were too scared. I wanted to, so I did.

You finally made it but complained the whole time. When I went on to the top without you, you nearly lost it.

What a giant metaphor for our time together.

I want to say that I wish I'd never met you. But I don't know if that's true. Before I met you, I was a fucking moron when it came to relationships. I always dated guys that were below me. I dated guys that treated me like shit. That made me pay for everything. I can't think of a time that I have ever gotten flowers for no reason.

You once told me, "You've never deserved flowers."

That might've been the same day you knocked me unconscious. But from what you said, apparently I deserved it.

I wouldn't be the person I am today without you. I now know that I'd rather be alone than with anyone who would treat me the way you did. I now know that I am much, much stronger than I realize.

So in a way I guess I'd like to thank you. For taking all my money and refusing to pay me back. For beating me into the ground. For making me think that I wasn't worth anything. For constantly telling me that my life was a joke.

I would've never realized that I am so, so much greater than you will ever be. Thank you for trying to put me in an early grave, because you made me realize who I am. I am not who I was with you. And I never will be again.

May 11th was the last time I saw you, and I never want to see you again. I never want to speak another word to you. I don't want to know anything about your life. I've never hated and been so grateful to one person. I hate you. But I am the person I am today because of you. So, thank you. Because of you I found my freedom.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

One Year

It's has been one year today since I made the very important decision to leave my husband.
One year since I officially relinquished my title as depressed, abused, drunk, lonely, broken housewife.
It's hard to believe such little time has passed. It feels like it was just yesterday, yet it also feels forever ago.
A year ago on a sunny, cool spring morning in Newport, Oregon my Aunt drove a six hour round trip from Portland to rescue me. That day I felt a state of shock that I could only compare to the few hours after finding out my mom had died. I stayed on the phone the whole time with my dad's amazing girlfriend who coached me through packing what I absolutely needed. I was numb, frantic, and wildly unsure.
When I finally got to Portland my two friends Tess and Scott took me in under their wings, and sheltered me as best they could while encouraging me to fly. I cried and drank and melted down for at least three weeks. Cay visited me with pizza I couldn't eat. Ally whole heartedly supported and listened to me every step of the way. I welcomed everyone publicly into my personal hell.
When I finally started allowing the sun to hit my face, like it hadn't in years, I realized I couldn't just live off my sweet friends forever. And with zero dollars in my bank account, and a crushing debt leftover from a failed marriage, I found a job. My poor, sweet coworkers probably didn't think much of me, just that their newest employee sure did cry a lot in the break room, and man does she eat a lot of those free granola bars.
I stand here today not because I did it on my own. I stand here because of every single one of you. I have never felt such support, love, and genuine care as when I finally moved back to Portland. I could never have found the courage inside me if you all hadn't told me it was there. One year ago I was the worst person I have ever known. For four years my mind and body were twisted into something unrecognizable. I became someone who I'm not. I ignored my family, friends, and myself. Every day is a battle to regain myself, and I blame all of you, my friends and family, for arming me to fight.
So, today I wanted to say thank you. I don't say it enough. Thank you all so much. You've given me the best gift anyone could ask for.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Lesson in Rebounding with Douche Bags

"Say it to me. Say it," he spat at me. "Say fuck you and mean it."

We sat at the bar top and he was five tequilas deep. Dive-bar sized shots. "Breakfast" for me was an omelette with cheese and garlic, and his was liquor and Pacifico beer backs. The past few times we had hung out together, he had expressed his distaste in the fact that if he said something rude, in a "joking" manner, that I wouldn't fire back with something equally as rude. "That isn't me," I would tell him.

"I'd fuck any chick in this bar right now," he drunkenly explained to me. "You'd have to be 500 pounds for me to not want to fuck you."

I've known this for a while, but have vehemently denied it. I let people take advantage of me because I have "nice girl" personality. I am desperate for people to like me, and will literally bend over backwards for people if it means they will see me more favorably. So the thought of being outwardly rude or mean to someone turns my stomach, and I find it a near impossible task.

However, I think the point that my rebound was trying to make, albeit in a wildly inappropriate manner, was that I need to stop letting people use me as a doormat. As girls, we are raised to be cordial, to be peaceful, to avoid conflict. But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't stand up for yourself.

Once again, I found myself in a situation with another guy using me for my money, my great ass, and my overwhelming desire to please. Guys like to push to see what they can get away with, and with me- it happens to be a lot. There were many nights he got WAY too drunk and said some pretty vile, demeaning shit to me. What I should have done was said an actual fuck you, and left. To have some shred of self respect. And yet, I found myself in the same pattern as before. Reasoning with myself and making excuses for inexcusable behavior. "I think my threshold for bullshit is abnormally high," I laughed, sadly.

But I shouldn't have been laughing. Looking back I've now realized that I am not ready to date. Falling back into the same patterns as before, my brain lied to my heart with wild abandon, simply for the singular pleasure of feeling desired. It didn't matter that I bought lunch, dinner, gas money for his car, alcohol... literally EVERYTHING in our short time together. My brain was utterly high off the chance to have someone sleep next to me. It didn't matter that he was a lying, mooch of a boy who's "self employed" descriptor on Tinder meant that he grew weed in his basement. My brain made excuses. "Oh he's respectful and doesn't drink that much around me!" I would tell my friends. Lies!

I was dating a boy who was still very clearly in love with his ex wife. They would text each other constantly. I once met up with him and he was drunk as hell with a few of his friends. His phone buzzed and he started laughing. "Hey check this out," he said, and showed me his phone. On it was a picture of a girl posing suggestively.
 "Umm... what is that?"
"I told this chick to send me a sexy picture," he laughed.
"When did you do that?"
"Ten minutes ago," he took the phone back. My heart sank and my face grew hot with jealousy. "It's like, not even sexy!" He said and burst into laughter. Moments later, he received a text from his ex wife. "Ha! It's Stacey! Here, text something back!" I threw the phone back at him and said, "I'm not playing that game," and the girlfriend of his friend just looked at me sadly and nodded in approval. I sat a little straighter and tried to act all cool girl about it, but inside I was dying. Face red with shame that he would do this to me.

After we decided to become official, that we would be girlfriend and boyfriend *giggles*, I asked him if he still had Tinder on his phone. He hesitated, then said, "Yes."
"What? Why?" I asked, heart hitting the floor.
"Because if you and I don't work out I don't want to lose all these girls that will have sex with me."
"Well are you talking to anyone?"
"Yes. But it's not like I'm trying to meet up with anyone," he assured me. I've never felt so sick in my life.

All the signs were there. I didn't start writing this with the intention of making him look bad. I simply started writing little things that happened during our short time together, and this is what came out. I told everyone what a great guy he was and what was he, really? Another fucking shitty guy. A reallyreally shitty one. Little dick mother fucker. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Tribute to Kelly

My sister is a very strong woman. She has had to overcome a lot in her life, and she has always been an inspiration to me. Kelly has been my best friend from the day I was born, and has put up with a hell of a lot from me since then. From calling her bad names when I was in middle school, to putting my foot through her windshield after I discovered hard liquor, I can't believe she'll even still talk to me. And I'm so, so lucky because of that.

Kelly was born three and a half months premature in an age where babies would normally not survive. In and out of hospitals for the beginning of her life, she has probably experienced more pain than most people do for years, if ever. It was a miracle she survived, but she needed to be on Earth. Her light was too bright to be extinguished so soon. 

For years my beautiful sister was made fun of because she was born with too much bone in her face, giving her an elongated appearance. In high school, Shriner's Children's Hospital offered to do a surgery to remove the extra bone. Apparently Kelly's face broke two bone saws because her bones were too strong. Visiting my sister in the hospital, I broke into tears and was scared because the post surgery bandages and images were terrifying. It took a long time for her to heal, but when she did she was even more gorgeous than she was before. 

When Kelly left for college, I felt pretty lost. When we dropped her off, we were all sobbing. It was a scary time for all of us. I really, really missed her. A few years later, our Mother died. We were all out of the house, and it was the first time the four of us had been back in the same house since I left. In a way, though, it made us all closer. Especially my sister and I, who were now calling each other every day for support. Through this exceptionally difficult time, my sister remained there for me at any turn or twist in my growing up. Her steadfast love gave me hope. 

This is the kind of person she is. She now has three of the most awesome kids you could ever meet, and another on the way with her very lucky husband. She went on to become a nurse, and we joke it's because her heart is too large. (But really, it is too large from the steroids they gave her when she was a baby.) Kelly is kind, generous, and my favorite person. She is hilarious. Her love never wavers, even when it probably should. I will probably never understand how she balances her ridiculously crazy life, and I'll forever be in awe of that. I could never express my gratitude for her. She is my favorite sister and my best friend. I love you Kelly.