Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthdays, Glee, and the Amazing Technicolor Roses

My sister sent me these roses for my birthday.
Yes, they're real.
I celebrated a milestone birthday last week, and my thoughts are more scattered than usual, but I am feeling a quiet sort of contentment and happiness, with a tinge of sadness.

Birthdays are usually a mixed bag of emotion for me, because my birthday is also the anniversary of my mother's death from breast cancer.

Last year at this time, I turned the age my mother was when she died.  This year, I surpassed it.

Last year, I was in mental and emotional agony over the fact that my OCPD boyfriend, who I dearly loved (and still do love) was willing to let me leave, rather than get help for his mental and physical illnesses.  This year, I have (mostly) accepted that it is not and never was my job to "fix" him.

Last year, because the "shared" garage was devoted to non-operational vehicles and his hoard, most of the personal belongings that were meaningful to me were in boxes; said boxes were in a storage facility miles away, and filthy with dust.  So anytime I wanted to read a book, work on a craft project, etc. it meant arduous effort.  This year, my grandmother's china is proudly on display, my books are on bookshelves all around me, and my craft projects... well, I've worked on them a little.

No clue how it's done - they are NOT painted.
Last year, one of my hurts was that every time I tried to write, I was confronted with jealousy and interference from my boyfriend.  This year, I have written something almost every day.  Some of it even on my novel!

Last year, social events were few and far between, and always iffy when it came to b-f's attendance.  At least half of the time, he would plead ill health at the last minute and try to emotionally manipulate me into feeling bad if I went without him.  (Like when my writer friends held a dinner for me, to celebrate my getting a literary agent.)

Although I learned not to sucker into the guilt-tripping several years ago, it was still inconvenient and embarrassing having to show up at events without my partner.  Then again, when he did go, I was always on tenterhooks as to whether he would get obnoxiously drunk and pick a fight or otherwise melt down and make a scene.

This year, my social life is my own, and the only person who can embarrass me in public is me.

Last night I attended what was basically Glee live.  Burroughs and Burbank High Schools (which inspired Glee)  show choirs put on a combined show as a fund-raiser for Burbank schools arts programs.  I went with old and new friends, and it was much fun.

I didn't go planning to record, but the performances were such fun I decided to capture just a tiny taste.  They're selling DVDs of the show, too, which I just may have to buy.

This started out with the Day-O, Banana boat song, and segued into this:

Ex-boyfriend was such a snob about what "we" watched or what we did.  He felt he had refined tastes and liked nature programs, PBS, and dramas, but wasn't above his Two-and-A-Half Men, Cops, and Rehab (that's a reality show set in some Las Vegas chi-chi bar.)  The TV was on 24/7, and he felt insulted if I chose to sit and read rather than watch TV with him.

He would have had to be dragged to a show like this - although he would have loved it, had he gone and not done a last-minute bail.   The kids (and these are actual high school kids performing, not professionals) were really good.

There's so much that my ex refused to see, try, places to go, friendships to be open to...  I am so happy not to be living in his crazy cage any more.

I feel like my life is moving forward. I'm still digging out of debt - the security deposit, higher rent, furniture purchases, etc., all went on plastic, but I don't regret a dime of it (except when the statements come.)

I wish he'd have been willing to move forward too, but he was too afraid.  And after six years begging, reasoning, bargaining, and threatening,  all the while his behavior continued to get worse and more abusive, there was nothing else I could do but move on, without him.

Still, I feel sad for leaving him behind.

Your thoughts?