Why hello there!

Yeah, sorry, I kinda forgot about this here blog thing. Christmas happened – not much of a Christmas, I roasted a turkey all by myself for the very first time and it was a dry chewy disaster resting on a bed of carbonized carrots and potatoes. The boys and I played board games. No tree. A few presents. No major drama, so let’s call it a win.

And now it’s January. I no longer have the room in the shared house in Heidelberg, so I spend weekends in the Willage and Tuesday through Friday  – well, last week in an AirBnB, this week at a friend’s house in a suburb inconveniently far from work but whatever. There are buses. I got the brakes fixed on my bike. I can’t make or keep resolutions because I don’t have anything on which to build routines, but that’s temporary. I’m keeping my expectations of myself pretty low for now.

But I’m still here. That’s enough, for January.


In which my therapist threatens to fire me

We’re talking about the story I tell myself to explain the things that happen in my life. About how my mom left me when I was three and my dad was a mean drunk whose affection was arbitrary and conditional and I dropped out of college 6 times before finishing my B.A. and I get fired a lot and don’t get hired a lot and how it’s all led up to a story that I’m not worth keeping.

And she says if I keep telling myself that story then there’s no point in therapy and I need to tie all these events together with a different story and she can think of a million other explanations (thus implying that surely I can come up with one), and then I feel like I’m in a guessing game and I get annoyed. I hate guessing games. The worst thing about being a kid was grown-ups were always asking me questions that they already knew the answers to.

Another part of my story is that my husband and this woman did a terrible thing to me, but everybody is so quick to forgive them that I start to think maybe it wasn’t so terrible. If they’re basically good people who did the right thing, then where does that leave me? Did I deserve this, because it takes two to wreck a marriage and all that?

And it’s wrong to say they stole my future because it wasn’t my future, nothing is promised, I supported his career of my own free will and he doesn’t owe me anything. And if I cling to this narrative that I’ve been done wrong then I’m trapped in a victim mentality and not taking responsibility for my emotions and I’ll never be able to move on. To move on I have to accept and believe that my understanding of everything thus far has been wrong, but if that’s true then how can I trust my own judgement? And if I can’t trust my own judgement how can I make any decisions? And then I’m paralyzed and I can’t move forward. And I’ve just never been great at improv or brainstorming or just thinking up stuff so I’m trying to come up with a new story but the task is just too abstract; I don’t know where to start since there’s nothing tangible I can do.

So yeah. I’m flunking therapy. God I fucking hate December.


I did a thing!

So yeah, in December I only have one job, so I am going to Dorfen every weekend. This time I took Thing1 with me. He is living with his father and the new girlfriend now, while he figures out what to do with his life. Thing2 is already at the house, so the three of us got to spend some time together, that was nice. I guess.

I’ve been on an eBay binge for awhile, gathering used furniture for the house. So now the front entry is done – already had the shoe shelf and a hatrack, now there is also a coat rack and a bench to sit on while you put on your shoes. I still need to get a buncha little mirrors, but it already looks like a real room – in contrast to the other rooms, which feature stacks of boxes, a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and/or pieces of furniture waiting to be assembled. But the first part of the house you see is done, and that’s something.

December is a bad month for depression. It has always been really rough for me, and in past years I’ve gone hard on the manufactured cheer of the Christmas season just to keep myself from going under. Organizing presents for everyone from everyone because nobody else would take responsibility, and filling the house with sparkle and light despite my husband and sons’ sneering cynicism was almost more work than it was worth, but I did it anyway. But this year it’s all I can do to hold on. Just gonna grit my teeth and get through this.

Thing1 said on the drive that he noticed his father had been unhappier over the last two years. I didn’t notice that at all. I mean I knew we had problems and I had a plan for addressing them and I know I waited too long, but also, I didn’t even realize that it had recently gotten visibly worse. I’ve always been sorta clueless about that sort of thing (if you went to high school with me you are now doing a spit-take and saying, “SORTA!?”), so it’s maybe not surprising that I missed it, but maybe if I had noticed, I could have done something about it. Or at least had some warning, so I could brace myself. Then maybe I wouldn’t still be shaking my head in disbelief after nearly eight freaking months.

So yeah. Dark thoughts. Grit teeth. Hold on.


Doldrums

Ooops, I sort of forgot about the blog for a bit, sorry. It’s been a really bad week, lots of tears leading to a migraine, feeling confused and frustrated and hopeless. It’s affecting my work, which is bad because I’m still on probation and I really wanted to make a better impression at this job than I am currently making. On the other hand, the job is in Heidelberg and working here will certainly complicate my move to Bavaria, which is already much more complicated than necessary because hi, it’s me doing it and unnecessary complication is totally my superpower. Still, losing this job will probably not improve my self-esteem.

Friends seem surprised that I’m still sad, which makes me feel dumb, so I’m trying not to talk about it. But I’m still really sad. Not dewy melancholy staring through a rainy window like in the movies sad, but ugly-crying and wishing I’d died before any of this could happen sad. Other things are happening which I can’t talk about because of other people’s privacy, but it’s all got me feeling quite hopeless. I’m not a lot of fun to be around lately.

Huaugh. Maybe it’s a good thing that I forgot about the blog for a bit. #DebbieDowner


Couldn’t blog the dogs

… because every time I whipped out my camera, they stopped doing whatever it was that was so darn cute. But they were so darn cute! There were three big dumb floppy girl-dogs and we had just the best day! My internet connection wasn’t fab so I did a lot of reading while they snoozled, and that probably did me some good too. I rode the high from the big-dumb-dog-day until oh, probably yesterday. Today I came back down to earth a bit and kind of remembered that I’m sad.

But also very busy! But is that just a way to distract myself from the sad? But it’s good to distract yourself in the early stages because you’re too wounded to look directly at the pain, you’ll spiral. But it’s bad to distract yourself for too long because the grief is gonna sneak up and getcha at some point when you’re least expecting it! Aw hell, I don’t know.

And then in the middle of all this Mr. Husband texted me a buncha fightin’ words and I decided to wait a few days before responding because I was mad-mad but I didn’t want to escalate, and then today he had to tell me about some tax thing and he was calmer and less of a dickbag and so now I have all this anger and nowhere to put it. I can’t really go into detail because of other people’s privacy but it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. But just a small one, the kind you see at the fair that’s run by a dude in a ladybug costume, you don’t even have to be this tall to ride. I guess that’s an improvement.

Still singing All At Once by Whitney Houston, though. Yeah he’s a moron, but he was my moron.


My new job is boring

Not to me, of course – I love every minute I spend there! Content Management Systems! Tick this box! Paste in this text over here! Email this person! Wheeee! But it doesn’t give me a lot to blog about.

I got a few more little busy things done, appointment for the winter tires, sorted out a health insurance thing, dry cleaning. You know. And taught my one remaining English student about the distinctions between I’m gonna, Imma, and I’m finna. That was fun.

Ooo! And tomorrow! Dogdogdogdogdog! A friend is taking his mom to a show in Munich so I get to dogsit both his dogs and her dogs in a house full of dogs for an entire day tomorrow! And I’m allowed to feed them pizza bones and it’s going to be SO. MUCH. FUN. I plan to introduce them to Deep Space Nine. The world definitely needs more dog trekkies.

I’m getting better at not thinking about my husband. Would my therapist say this is a good thing or a bad thing? Hmm, she’d say a break to heal is good but at some point you’re going to have to face all this. But is this that point? It’s been almost seven months.

But nevermind that. Let’s think about shiny things!


Oops, forgot the photos this time

So yeah, I got back from Pakistan with just enough time to drop off my luggage and change my clothes before dashing off to a very loud show in a quite small club – well, not that small, I guess. Smaller than the Crocodile, bigger than the little dives on Eastlake where my friends used to play for free beer, if that helps you visualize it.

Anyway.

Then home to sleep, and then in the morning I got up and went to the Recycling Kaufhaus – that’s this amazing giant second-hand shop that has everything and if there is a Look I’m going for in the new house, it is definitely “Used.” Found some wall-light fixtures (Thing 2 is tired of peeing in the dark), a mop bucket, a couple other all-purpose buckets in that white industrial plastic instead of the cheap flimsy plastic that buckets are made of when you buy them new at the store, got a few bowls and a teapot, big square basket, a Swiffer, eyeballed this wonky turquoise exercise-bike but did not buy it. Then I went to the hardware store for a few more cleaning supplies, and then I drove to the Dorfen house and hugged my kid. We had dinner and caught up on lots of things and I did a bit of cleaning and that was Saturday.

Sunday was some copy-editing and more cleaning and unpacking and also tea with my MIL to ask her questions about the garden (the answer to all of which was “wait til spring”). She seems unhappy about some of Dr. Bob’s recent life choices, but she says she can’t say anything, he just gets all mad. Sigh. I spent the rest of the day binge-watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend.

This morning I um. Hhh. Well I went to city hall and registered the Dorfen house as my new address and also picked up the garbage collecting schedule and a bus schedule, and then told the bank about my new address and then I went to the Utilities place with all the paperwork they’d sent me and nervously told them that I’m not a native speaker and also my husband used to handle everything so I am way more clueless than the usual customer and a nice young woman sat down with me and helped me fill it all out and explained what would happen when – the meter reader comes in December, you get a bill in January, if you used less water/gas/electricity than the usual amount you get some money back, it all seems very civilized. And then I went to Lidl to buy headphones – I never go to Lidl, but hey, €5 – and I saw a friend from 10 years ago that I’d lost touch with so yay, hug hug hug, you’re still here! You’re coming back! Yaaay! So that was nice. And then on the way home I found a secondhand store that has a lot of housey things so if Gus needs more bowls or something he can look there instead of waiting for me to get them at the Recycling Kaufhaus, so that was good because I’m only there every other weekend, at least for November. Maybe every weekend in December?

And then I went home and moved the furniture from the living room where we’d just plonked it down, to the rooms where it would ultimately live, and then I drove back to Heidelberg and here I am. Kinda tired, but feeling very successful whew!

Sorry for no pictures. But it was a good weekend!