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Why the 40s are the best years of my life

Once upon a time I was an abuse survivor- 

Once upon a time I was an abuser-

Once upon a time I was a selfish cow who believed my own hype-

Once upon a time I was chronically depressed and unhappy-

None of the above is true anymore.

None of the above applies to my current life, nor has it in almost 8 yrs.

Someone once told me that the 40s were the best years of their life- way back when I was still in my early 30s and couldn’t even FATHOM being ‘that old’.

For me it is completely true.

My 30s were pretty decadent. I had a successful career that took me all over the world. I hobnobbed with the rich and famous. I was fit and in shape.

I was miserably unhappy and chronically depressed. My relationships with my family, my loved ones, myself were so unhealthy.

My 40s brought a separation from my long-suffering spouse, 2 small strokes (TIAs), the diagnosis of lupus, many deaths of people close to me, dealing with a (then) bipolar teen son with a substance problem, the diagnosis of bipolar and dementia in my mother- also, a new partner in my life, and a baby girl at 45.

The ‘bad’ things that happened weren’t so bad.

I found out that my chronic fatigue and frequent health problems I’d suffered all my life (and depression) were caused by alarmingly low vitamin D3 levels and an autoimmune disorder.

My sisters, mother, and niece all suffer from the same things. Had I not been diagnosed, neither would they have been.

My TIAs (and frequent miscarriages in the past) were genetic and due to my hypertension and Factor V Leiden which causes ‘thick blood’ and blood clots. I now take blood thinners and blood pressure meds. I was forced to change my diet and go semi (to total, depending on my whim) vegetarian/vegan.

I started juicing, working out, quit smoking after 25 yrs and started vaping.

I had to get tough with my family regarding my son’s (and mother’s) bipolar. It was a rough few years, but now at 22 (knock wood), he is on his way to becoming the person I always knew he could be. My mom’s issues will never be resolved, really. She now has dementia, so it is all downhill from here.

I had to get tough with MYSELF about my own emotional responses and PTSD from a childhood of abuse.

Therapy was a godsend for my family and me. You just take each day as it comes and live in the now.

My new-found healthy living gained me a great partner who is understanding, kind, loving- and quite a bit younger (though his maturity level probably tops mine by a TON). It also (with the help of the said person above) got me pregnant at 45.

I started growing my own heirloom veggies and went from glamma wannabe to hippie earth-mother.

I rarely travel any more and I am ok with this. My life is cozy and happy and I am catching all the bits I missed as a young mother with children.

Being happy- being content and at peace- is it’s own reward.

If someone offered me ‘the old me’ of 13 plus years ago, I’d run away.

Life is meant to be lived with the people closest to your heart.

Anything else is meaningless.

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PART 5, Epilogue- May 2004, letters from P

I found these in an old email account I’d long forgotten about… this is the epilogue to the whole sordid mess.

I didn’t speak to him after I returned home. 

A year later, he sent 3 emails.

I replied to one- but the bond was, thankfully, broken by then on my end.

vergeet me niet

peter

To

Jess
05/07/04 at 12:27 PM
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Part 4: June 2003 Amsterdam Journal- The End

It’s been almost 13 years since I’ve read/seen/thought of those words I wrote- or even thought of that person, except in painful twitches here and again- or when he’s contacted me to show off his lovely children… but that’s only happened a few times years ago. I understand his pride, they’re gorgeous kids. He finally got his dream come true.

I recently ran into the Instagram of his wife, the girl who came after me, and I find myself reliving my nightmares and pain all over again, whenever she posts a sad post. I feel joy when she posts nice things, too. 

By the grace of God go I.

My children have, mostly, grown and gone- and returned home again as men. I now have a toddler daughter that the Universe somehow saw fit to entrust to me.

I also have a sweet man who loves me and never lays a hand on me, to boot.

I’ve encountered a host of health issues, two small strokes, a pregnancy at 45, my mother’s dementia and my father’s old-age tremors. 

I went from being an unabashed smoker and meat eater to a vegan (and back again to Omnivore and so on) who vapes.

I am no longer this fucked-up, long-winded girl from these journals- omg, what a MESS I was!!! 

(well, yeah, I’m still long-winded… I lied)

I am GLAD that I left that life and chose happiness. Maybe it wasn’t in the most glamorous or traditional way, but I am so relieved to re-read this shit and realize “I MADE IT! I’m HERE!!! I’M NOT STUCK!!”

Life feels so much more now. 

My skin finally fits my soul.

My perception of Love is no longer ‘lover-centric’. 

It just IS.

Life is an amazing journey, even the icky bits.

 

June 2003

I woke to a gray morning, the sounds of rain assailing my ears beyond the window. I thought it was 7:48 am, but it was an hour earlier when I checked my computer. I have only slept for a few hours, somehow I feel like I have slept for days. My eyes are crusty from all the tears I shed in the night, the outpouring of emotions I could not handle yet again. The darkness is the worst. It keeps me awake and taunts me with my own thoughts of despair.

I found myself on the phone last night, talking to the boys, to the girl, to anyone who would listen. I could not sleep in the bedroom, just like I could not look at his hands during dinner yesterday without shaking and wanting to vomit.

Over the past year and a half, I have gazed upon his elegant fingers at countless restaurant tables; I have spent hours marveling at their refined softness, the absolute gentle grace that the nervous tapping of his digits produce while we have sat and discussed food and wines and people. I loved his hands most of all, that and his dinner companionship. I learned so much of life and refinement sitting watching the subtle movements of his hands while we talked over countless restaurant meals. He was my fairy prince come to life, every companion I wished to have…almost. At least at dinner, he was always my dream.

It came as a shock last night when I realized those same hands had wounded and hurt me, that they were no longer sacred nor gentle. They were weapons, horrible scarring things. I lost my innocence in a split second, my idealism, my dreams. I remembered the horror of not being safe. I, locked in HIS apartment, with no electricity after he had maliciously cut it off…popping pills and smoking hash to numb the fright and pain I felt. I was at a loss last night, fighting back the bile that wanted to come out. My stomach did its acrobatic flip flops and I try as I did, nothing could take away the vision of his hands assaulting me, his anger, his hatred, his violence, his threats to kill me.

The phone just rang, jolting me out of my thoughts yet again. I slept on the sofa last night, away from his body and the anger I can still imagine even this morning coming from it. I heard him rise a half hour ago, undoubtedly my typing woke him. My suspicions of anger were confirmed when I heard the click of his door after the toilet was flushed. He detests sleeping in a closed room, this is his act of defiance, of self preservation or whatnot. Of something. The violence between us looms like a huge beast, hovering so close to the surface that even his intermittent guilt cannot kill it, nor can my unforgiving and very real paranoia smooth the surface anymore. I can’t pretend it away, I cannot let it go, I cannot do anything constructive. I asked him to call someone for help, a psychologist, and he did not. I think he knows this is the end, too. The last squeeze of juice from a nearly dry and overripe fruit.

My stuff still lies on the living room floor. It screams out to be packed away. I know the solution to this conundrum, I know what must be done and what will be avoided. I feel the ties breaking, though they never truly will. I will walk out this door one day in the near future and never return. I will force myself to move on and wish him well in his life. I will go back to my safe life and little children. I will not see this place, this country again. I came to him a woman and feel like a little girl running away from home yet again. I am good at running away, it is the only method of preservation I know.

The door will click behind me, one last time. Always I knew, without a doubt, that I would return to the safety of our refuge, to the unreality of our love and the imaginary life we shared. I dreamt of babies and marriage in this house, when I already had those things waiting for me in Michigan. I dreamt of growing old and loving him and all the silly things little girls dream of. I acted and thought darker thoughts, thoughts of illicit abandon, of pain and pleasure so intertwined that I could taste his blood in my soul. I have always returned, but this time it will be the last. I will shut the door to this imaginary life and love of mine and return to the real one the waits so patiently for me. I must do this, before it is too late…before I wake up one day and realize my children are grown and gone, my husband has left me and I am dying alone.

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Part 3: May 2003 Amsterdam Journal- Love Addiction and Abuse

WARNING: IF YOU’RE OFFENDED BY SEXUAL SITUATIONS OR VIOLENCE- DON’T READ THIS.

Once upon a time- many years ago- I had a very dodgy and glamorous life, quite by accident.

It was the early 2000s and I was in an unhappy marriage, my sons were still young.

I traveled all over the globe for work and met a Dutch man who changed me, eventually for the better, even though at the time it was god awful abusive (on both sides) and painful.

It was unhealthily filled with self-loathing and sadness and pain- on both sides.

This is from my journals during this time that I just accidentally rediscovered online. I will be editing out names for privacy.

I am glad I am no longer this person. I was a fucking MESS.

A selfish, bratty mess.

This will be out of order, because I am just copying and pasting…

 

 

May 2003

Abuse is a funny thing. It is a disease that mutates and effects everyone it touches, often seeded in the tiniest child and hides like an opportunistic disease until it grows and blossoms into the monster it will become. A lethal, painful hurting monster.

I lived a lifetime in three months. Actually, I had been with this person much longer, though had we been together every day the monster probably would have roared its ugly head much sooner.

This is a story of sickness and what passes for love, about codependence and hatred and desperation. This is a story about the love of my life, the pain of my life, the last stupid thing I ever hope to entangle myself into. This is the story of me and peter.

Our lives, normally, would have never crossed without the advent of the internet. It is your basic boy meets girl story. Boy meets girl on Internet, boy sends money to anonymous female for readings, boy accuses female of being a man, a conartist, a charlatan. Boy becomes addicted to said female (and a myriad of others). Yeah, it was a pretty sick saga from the very first.

I never intended to meet him. I never intended to fall in love with him. I never intended to make my easy life the hell it has now become. But all of those things happened and there can be no turning back the clock. I think life is an ongoing lesson, though what lessons we are supposed to learn from these last few years, I have no idea.

The last time I arrived in Amsterdam, I discovered a cache of other women he had been sending $$ to and chatting up. I got over it. I must be a bloody saint. I am not, but the illness of the situation caused me to be blindsided as usual.

A week after, I discover I am pregnant. Oh joy! While I am preggers and back in the states, he dabbles (not knowing that I have been observing his wanking habits the entire time) in his internet illness again.

I lose my baby in a dramatically American mall hemorrhage, bleeding all over a public toilet in the middle of Ass-fuck, Indiana. He rushes to my side for a week, only to grow obsessed with the fact that I, famous whatever I am, shall go to the ball and, Cinderella he is, cannot. Obviously, his act of mercy about our lost child was not as important as debauched escapades.

I found something I wrote here back in February, I added to it and will include it below–then will finish my narrative.

don’t tell me things are always what they seem….the most obvious effect of chaos is usually a very subtle internal one. Things that will seemingly fulfill you may also destroy parts of your psyche you didn’t know were there.

Lang I stand and lang I gang, the weary heir o’ lin…lang he stands on the cauld causeway and none will let him in…*sigh*

Human beings were not meant to be fragmented so much, methinks. Happiness is an illusory trip we fashion from bits of twine and petrol fumes. This has been a major trial, this ‘holiday’ called life. Though I appear centered in a myopic, fuzzy sort of way, I wobble and teeter on stilts of emotions I cannot control, mostly they are not even my own emotions. My current company is often quite good, as long as I do not think too deeply. Unsettling is the key word here. I understand the subject so very intimately, it is like living in a perpetual flashback…and I cannot fathom how I survived this the first time ‘round. I am reminded of these things daily, in a Christmas Carol Dickens-type way. I threw away such pursuits long ago, didn’t enjoy them very much then, either. Why I subject Myself to this again is an enigma to Me. I think I must be trying to sort out the fucked up karma I generate in some way.

Pretty eyes filled with longing

Mouth so soft and sweet and warm

Feral scratching on the surface

Delicious desires inflicting harm

Constant erotic suppression

Decadent yearnings and whispered names

Drowning in leaking passions

Insanely cruel lover’s games

Yes, you know I do not want you

Want you still and so do I

Creatures of obsessive habits

I think I love you when you cry

Baby soft, the object of My affection is, I think; and cold as a tundra. He engenders my latent maternal feelings of love/lust and hate. I think also that the narcissistic elements are the most prevalent. He is like a warped versions of myself. A handful and more, to be sure. A bug under my microscope, My poor baby. Too bad, or too good that I am at this ‘certain age’ now. Too bad or too good that circumstances prevail and I am not afforded the luxury of immersing myself in the madness of these lusts in totality. It is sobering to write and that is why I do this. I like theses creatures a good deal… The first one is adept at lying and makes me forget things I hate to think about. I love that. A creature of fantasy is a rarity. In the past, I would chew on him like a bone, until the marrow is gone. Longevity is not an issue, it would come as a surprise if it actually exists. Loneliness prevails at all times, though I wish it didn’t. I hear the clock tick so loudly–sometimes with regret, other times with relief.

(sometimes, I hear the boy counting the hours til My departure, though I cannot blame him in the least)

Glorious flames that burn too brightly, too hotly, too quickly, and soon die

I hope not, but I am riding the waves to the shore…

Maybe those are the ones you remember before you march to your grave. I think that might be the truth, humans never appreciate the reliable or the constant–only the ones that ‘got away’.

It is nice to cry out of emotional turmoil, I am enjoying it. I have felt frozen so long, and it is so easy to slip back into it. Until my sojourn here is finished, I shall slip into him in totality and enjoy the sensation…

The above was written last February, edited this morning and now added to on a gray may afternoon. Now it is May and I am involved with another person.

Since experiencing the other, My feelings have somewhat changed towards him. I can feel his acute sense of panic, witness his desperate attempts to please Me. I know that he knows things have changed.

The other is softer, more gentle…the female animus I have stifled within for years and still am uncomfortable dealing with inside. She represents a fragile longevity, the flip side to the other. I have no problems with trust issues nor security in this case, which is odd. The feelings here are all too concrete, which alarms my basic misogynistic nature. I usually distrust females, to the point of hatred–though I try not to show it. My basic loathing of women stems, I am certain, from my loathing of myself and my mother. It is strange to feel normal again after so long in abnormality with him. It feels scary though. Everything is scary and new.

I edited too soon, I think. I am packing now, My jaw throbbing in pain and a bruise spreading over my right thigh. My knuckles are tinged with blood, whose I cannot say. It could be his or mine, it really matters not anymore. I find it ironic that I read these words this morning and now I find myself in the absolute eye of the storm.

Condoms, lovely Italian ones, I found while putting the toys away. I have already been through a pregnancy, a miscarriage since I originally wrote the above text. Today, I lost my temper–though I tried to leave the house before that. He was just canny enough to come home and squeeze the info from me…which resulted in his attack.

He started with his irrational screaming. He called me a ‘stupid whore’. That did it. I threw something at his head and missed, while standing near the computer. The next thing I knew, he was raging even more , calling me a whore again and strode towards me so suddenly, giving me an uppercut to the left side of my jaw. The most disgusting part of this was that he actually had the fucking balls to tell me he LOVED ME while he did it…as if THAT was the justification! It slowed down after this, as I felt myself crumple up like a sack of potatoes. I think he also kicked me while I was laying on the floor, I don’t remember…but I know I was on my left side and now I have a horrible pain spreading all over the front of my thigh.

When I was able to rise, I certainly attacked him. He left the house as I screamed for it to be so, I was so glad to lock the door behind him. He left with steef, though they attempted a return. Jac was gracious enough to come by to assist me in finding a ticket, to no avail. Before leaving me, she spoke with steef a few times and apparently I was supposed to call peter to beg his forgiveness! Even she agreed that he should kiss my goddamned ass and I should get the hell out of here ASAP. She gave me some smoke and a pill that ended in -pan…after that I passed out.

 

It is dangerous for me to be in this state, I know my regular responses, the old ones…and I don’t want that sadness, that desperate end that always steals over me. I remembered the feelings of utter helplessness I feel and felt, stuck in here like I had been stuck at mama’s, after she had done similar things to me…my sisters laughing at me that I deserved what she gave me for being her favorite. The favorite always gets the most stuff and the worse beatings. For him to say he loved me and hit me like she did scared me the most, I vomited a bit on the carpet. I hate thinking about her and I was THERE again and small and it was HER face, her fucking broken English screaming at me while I curled into a ball, it was HER all along. No wonder she absolutely adores him. I won’t go back home, I refuse to re-live my childhood. I have to get out.

I slept 4 hours. I was dreaming about Carl. I called him in my dream and he somehow knew I was there on the line, but he was talking–as if to someone else–about leaving his apartment, moving. I remember thinking it weird he was talking about an apartment, because he has a house. It was weirdly comforting anyway. Until just a few seconds ago I had forgotten that he was dead. Dreams of the dead are always so strange. Of all the people who have done me wrong, I’d say he topped the list. It was a sort of kindness that his awful memory came to steal into my dreams and remind me of this fact, to remind me of how he scarred me mentally…left me alone with Jay and offered nothing at all. It was like he was warning me of a repeat somehow.

It happens again, |I try to explain it to __ and words really fail me. The utter despair, the trapped animal feelings. The thoughts so dark and nasty even I can’t bear to look them in the eye. It is like that girl is trying to re-enter my space, the girl I thought |I kicked out of my psyche a long time ago. I find myself wanting my mother, though I know she will do nothing but tell me to chin up, perhaps make it seem my failing, and reinforce the stronger part of me. I cannot feel weak in her presence, because she reminds me WHY I am the me I am now in the first place. I don’t love mama, so she cannot hurt me the way peter did. But she reminds me of who I am and sometimes I desperately wish she really did love me still. There was never safety as a child and I am now not foolish enough to think there will ever be safety as an adult, unless I make it so.

I failed. I was fucking batterered. Only weak, pathetic females allow a man to batter them. Even mama did not allow that shit. I cannot allow it either.

Funny thing is, the only man besides her father who ever hit her was a Dutch one. He caught her working in a bar and slapped her face, as he told her he loved her. This was the love of her life…this Richard van whatever. A few months later, she was notified that he had hung himself from his jail cell in Indonesia. I don’t think she ever got over it. I do not want to relive her past, I relive enough already. This parallel was just plain spooky. I think peter reminded her of her lost love. My life, she always says, belongs to her. I am just an extension of herself, she thinks. I want my OWN Life. I can not continue being more than one person, living for everyone but myself.

 

I felt like a child again, scared and alone. I have tried speaking to him all afternoon, after he had the electricity turned off to frighten me or force me out. I took the pill Jac left and smoked and fell back into a fitful nightmare.

He wishes I would apologize. I cannot apologize to someone who calls me a stupid whore and beats me.

He hug the phone up, he lied and lies. Threatens it will be over, when indeed it already is.

It already is.

I have a bill to pay to leave this Hell. He calls and talks of fur coats I give a girl. I gave him my body, my soul, my dead baby. A fur coat hurts him, yet my dead child means nothing. He thinks me a stupid whore he can smack about. I am stronger than this. He will die alone, in his boxy apartment, surrounded by his few belongings. I will go back to people who cherish and love me, to a family who deserves my attention, to people I have long neglected. I will think of him at night, when my mind is still…and cry silently until my dying day. Carl died, I think, sometimes, so that I could fill his empty slot with peter. I stayed away from c and I can stay away from this one. I wish I could forget, forget, forget…but my brain and heart is sooo sensitive and never will. I could not save him, I have to save myself before he destroys us both.

Before we both destroy each other.

Goodnight, my love.

Ik hou van jou.

Forget me and pray I forget you.

I am still loving, though I shouldn’t…I am weak and pathetic and ashamed to feel so weak. I am every weak woman I loathe, the battered ones who are manipulated by their sick men. I thought myself above that and am not. I must become stronger.

It is night now, Tuesday. I allowed you to come from your hotel and just not say anything. We sat and were basically silent…both scratched, sore. You asserted you had no one but me, but I knew this already and I tend to wonder if there is a reason you are all alone. You know what guilty, soft strings to pull…you always do. That is a big problem. Off you went to get some food, since I have not eaten in nearly two days…except for defrosted Norwegian jam, which I had used as ice packs.

 

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Part 2: May – June 2003 Amsterdam Journal

WARNING: IF YOU’RE OFFENDED BY SEXUAL SITUATIONS OR VIOLENCE OR D/S THEMES- DON’T READ THIS.

Once upon a time- many years ago- I had a very dodgy and glamorous life, quite by accident.

It was the early 2000s and I was in an unhappy marriage, my sons were still young.

I traveled all over the globe for work and met a Dutch man who changed me, eventually for the better, even though at the time it was god awful abusive (on both sides) and painful.

It was unhealthily filled with self-loathing and sadness and pain- on both sides.

This is from my journals during this time that I just accidentally rediscovered online. I will be editing out names for privacy.

I am glad I am no longer this person. I was a fucking MESS.

A selfish, bratty mess.

This will be out of order, because I am just copying and pasting

 

 

 

May 2003

Sonata

Tap tap the keyboard rings out under my manicured nails as I spew nonsense into the word processor and try to purge all the volcanic emotions that lie just beneath the surface of my psyche

My slave interrupts my thoughts by bringing a new pack of cigarettes, the intrusion a bit of a trial…he is dressed in a purple polo, his ass freshly shaven…I put on Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ and make him pull his trousers down to inspect the shaved rectum. He spreads his ass cheeks and is dancing to the music in a suggestively faggy fashion. I am having him punished this week, self-inflicted and other motley forms of recreation have been his lot in life of late.

Yeah, sure your not a homosexual, I tell him.

You can dance, you can da-anceeeeeeeee…

Of course, this is also being viewed by a number of friends via the internet cam. Mortification and humiliation are his keywords of the week.

I had been in a rather serious, nicotine deprived state before this and this small interlude kind of lifted my spirit’s a bit. It has been gray and rainy the entire time I have been in Amsterdam…I usually enjoy this type of weather, but the jetlag from traveling to Cali, then NYC, then Europe–all in less than 3 weeks–caught up with me. I have slept the entire first week back in Holland, not shopped, not really eaten…___ starts next week and the chauffeur, Albert, informed me that the ____’s dinner party was cancelled because they could not get the usual space rented. Bummer…or jammer, as they say here. I have a food fetish and this would have been the perfect time for me.

I reach for another cigarette, the bliss of my only real addiction filling My attention deficit disordered brain cells…I am a happily hooked on cigarettes smoker, if it didn’t smell so awful I wouldn’t feel that twinge of self-consciousness over it. The smell is the only thing I hate about it, the way it permeates clothes and hair…I don’t like dirty walls tinged in yellowed nicotine stains and try to keep indoor smoking to the office. I also hate nicotine stains on the teeth…that is why I gave up drinking merlot. I want My teeth pristine. I have never even have a filling in my entire life…no silver mars My perfect mouth. I am compulsive about trying to whiten them…My love for ciggies and double espressos in Europe are a constant battle against my efforts. I smoke less than a pack a day, but I tend to smoke a couple puffs, turn it off…then light up again on same one as needed…nasty habit…lol

The last weeks have been a blur…I had a helluva time in NYC with ___ , my friend from LA. We attended the ______ party the day prior to the _____Ball…I dressed in a $3000 Dolce and Gabbana corset dress. It was so sheer that I could see My nipples through the bodice. I am usually a bit more modest in My dress, but decided to wear it anyway…a pair of clear Lucite fetish mules on My feet…money inside, as if I was walking on bill… a silly contrast to the expensive splendor of my outfit.

I met quite a few people from ___…it was a cozy affair, as far as a NYC gathering CAN be. Go-go dancers, covered in a myriad of tattoos, dancing on the bar…unspeakable things going on in dark corners, strangers attempting to disgustingly lick my toes while I sipped My appletini…I smacked a friend of ___’s in the face. Slight and subtle amusements, to be sure… __ and __ sat with us…it was a very interesting prelude to the Ball.

Smoking outside was an unnatural occurrence, though. The new anti-smoking laws in NYC make it awkward to sit and enjoy yourself. Most people I know who DO even sometimes smoke, do so with a drink in their hands. It kind of dampens the mood, I think…having to wrench one’s self away to stand in the wind and smoke with a group of strangers like kids creeping away from the High School grounds to sneak a quick one. It seems to me that they are forcing people to bond and actually TALK TO STRANGERS…I met a ton of interesting people over a smoke that week…

Beauty is a such a valuable tool and odd force of nature. It can stop traffic and humans of both genders in their tracks, cause the rational to drool like morons and behave worse…or better. I feel beauty is an inner manifestation that oozes to the surface, as opposed to physical state. I really loved the old silent movie ‘IT’. I think my definition of beauty is more akin to the one to describe animal magnetism. Anyone can draw themselves gorgeous, but few can master the entire aura…the entire ‘package’.

It was interesting to walk about NYC with ___. Even just in ‘street clothes’., window shopping in the neighborhoods from Madison to Park Ave, near our hotel on 52nd at the Omni Berkshire, we stood out like glowing sore thumbs. The New York women, with their drab and immaculately polished garb, blended right into the concrete pavement….however, people stared, hooted, whistled, yelled at us. Many recognized her–in the Starbucks, in the computer store where we went to buy a phone charger. I am so out of touch with the movies, I did not know who she was when we met. It was more than the personality. The way we dress, maybe the way we walk, whatever…exuded a strangely overt sexuality. The walking women on the NYC streets seem to have neutered themselves somehow. I suppose it is just the right thing to do, to blend in. The attention was a bit flipping annoying at times. I am used to it wherever I go, but when doubled it is an event just walking down the street with her.

She is the quintessential California girl (though somehow transplanted at an early age from Morristown, NJ). I find her interesting, her style and life choices are the complete opposite of Mine…I am a Victorian archaic thing compared to her ‘___’ (which she appeared in) post sexual revolution film career. Different doesn’t mean wrong or bad…it is a study in contrasts.

She is also an avid West coast liberal, refusing to patronize McDonald’s because of their business and environmental practices…I am a Midwesterner thru and thru. I would eat at MickeyD’s if they served proper low-carb fare… I wear fur, I will eat whatever can be skinned and et…am a card-touting NRA member. Remember, boys, I am half-Filipino and was raised on a bloody FARM, after all. If I can kill it, I will eat it…hehehe. I am a unabashed Capitalist Patriot. Oh yes, I am a Michigander…and Michigan is home to the Michigan Militia, Ted Nugent (with whom I have a small history, ask Me one day about it), dominant females such as Madonna and Sandra Bernhardt…as well as comedian Sinbad, a boy from My own hometown…Michiganders are people with BALLS. A mix of Yank and Hillbilly and touch of Chicago (I am from West MI)…we are a motley group of politically incorrect beings–and ___ is very politically correct. A contrast in personalities, indeed.

A vegetarian for 15 years, I plied crispy Peking Duck-styled chicken and foie gras down her lovely gullet…I am a recovering-and sometimes just raging-carnivore. I took her to a quaint French bistro one night and we drew the polite stares of the NY gentry…then, we stopped a few times at a lovely Asian-fusion called the Brasserie…a trendy, modern place with Clockwork Orange décor that served by waiters clothed in the black Chairman Mao style. Of course, those who know my force feeding habits will understand the delight I got in ‘taking her deeper into the dark side’ of carnivore hood. It was a sickly subtle thrill…humans are not meant to be solely vegetarian. It is an unhealthy state. Of course, changing her ways of consumption was also a small mind control ditty in the making. Food hits on so many pleasure and pain sensors…it is better than any drug I can imagine. I often think drug addicts cannot be good at being gourmands. To deprive oneself of something so sublime as a mouthful of tartufo salata nestled in a bed of pasta…rare prime rib drenched in au jus and creamy horseradish…that is just a horrible travesty of nature.

Back to the NYC escapades:

On Wednesday, we attended the ____ party. My dress took nearly a day to be delivered (and about a hundred bucks for the courier) from the shop in Brighton Beach. The thing was ungodly see-thru and I wondered whether or not to actually wear the indecent thing. It was a couturier creation, after all, and I finally decided that the amount spent on the blasted confection decreed that my usual modesty be damned. ___, in the meantime, agonized over what to wear, fearing looking too masculine (as IF SHE COULD) in trousers next to me. She finally decided on some equally semi-indecent trouser outfit and off we went.

___ and a few others were outside the club when our taxi pulled up, admirably obeying the stupid anti-smoking laws that NYC recently adopted. I had not seen these people for over two years and we did out air-kisses and exchanged hearty hullos.

Inside, because it was still relatively early at 11 pm, I found the crowd to consist of the strippers dancing on the bar, a few people in the upstairs bar, and some folks from our party gathering in the basement bar. Idle chit chat and more  intros followed in the basement, where people sat awkwardly without their usual smoky treats to punctuate the conversation–how the HELL can ppl drink without smoking?! It is annoying! ___ was there, ___, and a few others from ___. One took plenty of pics of us during our stay in NYC. I was very impressed with his work. We also saw ___, ___, D___, and a few others…the night picked up later in the wee hours. It was not the most exciting, but it was a nice little gathering anyway.

Amsterdam, Monday before _____:

It has been two days since I have attempted to finish or start this missive…it was a mellow and rare sunny day in Amsterdam…I went to visit with ____ from Florida. She stayed at the gorgeous Hotel de l’Europe in the center. I was also able to meet with M____ from LA during my visit with ___. They were all to go on to Czechoslovakia  for the annual celebrations.

I am now at my apartment, feet are tired and I am listening to Don McLean’s ‘Vincent’. It always reminds me of this town…and the sunsets through the office window, when the colors of the day melt into the twilight shadows. I have experienced many seasons looking through the window directly behind the monitor. I love this place so very much.

Tonight I went to the restaurant Dynasty. It is an Asian fusion place that serves the most sublime duck pancakes. The winding and narrow street it resides on is inhabited mainly by small gay bars. The people that walk down this alley (which it really does resemble) are an interesting mix of tourists, beautiful gay boys and their lovers, posh and trendy Dutch yuppies, pretty tanned girls looking for rich husbands and all that ilk…

I am tired and almost dreading the big to-dos coming up this week…I go on Wednesday to a couturier’s shop for a private showing of her collection.

Amsterdam, Tuesday:

Spent the day walking around town with ___ and ____, going to shops. I invited them back to the apartment to use the computer…then went out to dinner and saw Matrix Reloaded. I also said adieu to ___ who was setting off to Czech Republic tomorrow.

Amsterdam, the Wednesday before ___:

Went to ___, the couturier I mentioned earlier. Her studio is a mere 4 blocks from my apartment in Amsterdam, in a third floor walk up. The stairs were so narrow, I could envision people easily breaking their necks. Her stuff was INCREDIBLE and all custom made, EXPENSIVE! Though she primarily does rubber, I purchased a leather corset for 600 euros. I am not much of a rubbah person. I find it waaay too sweaty. However, I adore leather. I opted to design and handsew my own skirt to go with the corset, of black satin and chiffon. I think it may be rather too ambitious of me and perhaps I should buy a sewing machine here–the ___ thing is only three days away, after all. I want to make this mermaid style confection skirt and top the lot off with a fur stole and satin gloves. Hopefully, I will have the time to make this and pull it off.

Now I sit here, the smoke filling My office and he sits quite near, waiting for my next command…I am bored and the noise from the constant IMS annoys the fuck out of me. The boy in the room rubs his weary eyes and looks as if he has better things to do.  He asks what is burning in the ashtray and I pick up the smoldering butt and put it out.

‘THAT is what is burning, boy’ I tell him crassly.

Wednesday, June 4th

Ok, I am in Hell today.

There are definite convenience disadvantages to living in a foreign city…as well as obvious health benefits.

First of all, I am a typical convenience loving’ Midwesterner…spoilt even by American standards. When I am here in Amsterdam, I sometimes get this vague feeling of how life must have been in the olden days. For example: I have been craving a carrot cake and clam chowder.

At home, this would require a half hour round trip visit to the grocery store…here, it took an entire WEEK. Apparently, the Dutch do not use baking soda in baking. I spent two days of research online, a bit of wheedling and asking at the markets–it is called natrium bicarbonaat here and can only be purchased at the druggists (I presume, because certain people can use this to cook cocaine). Unable to find a druggist who carried this exotic substance, I walk into an Indian grocery store located behind a fish stall in the Albert Cruypt street market. I happened to see Crisco on their shelf as walking by and ask the lady if she carried this item. LO AND BEHOLD, the golden box of arm and hammer beckoned on a high, dusty shelf…I coulda kissed her on the mouth then and there.

Part two of carrot cake fiasco: I dunno how they make baked goods here, but I have yet to ascertain the word for SIFTER in Dutch. I had to locate a fishmonger, specialty pots and pans store to get a loaf pan. I then walked an additional 2 hours, sustained more blisters, to go to the individual meat market, dairy market, veggie stalls. Just to make this meal cost 3 hours of hunting and gathering today. I feel like a gourmet Neanderthal.

I now have to steam the clams and grate the carrots. Thank god I don’t have to chop wood to cook, otherwise my ass would be on the first plane home. I suppose this is why everyone is so damned skinny here, and I am getting that way as well…it requires sooooooooooooooooo much energy just to eat something here.

Speaking of eating, it is a humid 80 degrees and 2 pm. I have yet to eat and am so cranky I could kill someone. I still have to get a ticket from Newark to Chicago, since my retarded Dutch bf forgot the connection (I flew in from the ___ in NYC). I am tired, blistered, fucking nearly insane. Plus the schmuck just called to ask if I was enjoying the bloody sunshine. I don’t need goddamned sunshine, I need My tasks taken care of. I complain about my day and he reminds me that living in Manhattan wouldn’t much different. I am sick and tired of being inconvenienced. The chauffeur isn’t available until tomorrow. UGH. I think I will go to Brussels tomorrow, where my aunt lives there, in an area affectionately known as the ‘American Ghetto’. I NEED American-style civilization badly. I can get Aunt Jemima in Brussels. There is a God there AND Mrs. Butterworth’s. I am feeling annoyingly, painfully American today.

Don’t get me wrong, I am usually tolerant and relish my times here…I enjoy the different culture and living here most of the time. The differences ALWAYS MAKE ME APPRECIATE My own country, though. I have lived outside the USA off and on since I was 16 years old and living away has always made me so glad to be an American.

Cake and chowder are consumed and I am still in a pissy mood.

 

JUNE 5TH, THURSDAY

I am officially in hell. My mother is currently in Manila, Philippines. Her brother is dying and I warned her about going–she is not in very good health either. The woman already suffers from respiratory problems and this SARS thing is not a very nifty prospect.

I had a strange feeling and decided to call her in Manila. I knew she was to be home soon, but apparently something went wrong with the ticket. She purchased an open return and found out that the agent ‘forgot’ to tell her that June, July, and August were blacked out and she couldn’t return until September 1st!

To top this off, she has a serious respiratory infection now…plus no way home…ugh. I spent 5 hours arranging tickets to her, sending her money via Western Union from here in Amsterdam. I was frantically trying to arrange the mess…now it is taken care of and I feel a bit better, though not a lot.

MORE SHIT, LATER THE SAME DAY

Busy, busy, busy…the voices echoing in my head are overwhelminging me with their timbre and persistence. I am overwhelmed, thinking but I cannot think–so I write instead, to purge the maddening screams of nothing.

The day was simply too much. I began the day intending to be self-indulgent and productive. I have spent the last weeks under tremendous pressure to meet people or go to events. I have not lived for myself at all this trip. This must be how normal people live. How they tolerate it is beyond my ken.

I have enjoyed pleasant emails from ___–and neglected other emails I should have been answering.

Her upbringing and background are stunningly similar to mine. It is refreshing to meet people who are raised the way I was. I never encounter such creatures usually.

The day started out frantic, but innocent enough. I made my way to the computer as soon as peter readied himself to leave. I planned to shower and be out a bit after him…but I received a call from a friend of his and chatted for nearly an hour. It was a pleasant, informative chat–but in retrospect I found a few tidbits of information rather disturbing, though I don’t exactly know why. Maybe I DO know why, but I still sit here in puzzlement even now.

I am reluctant to write some of this down; but since I know I shall be editing my journals, I will pen this if only to purge the beasties mooing in my mind. I think a bit of PMS induced hormones are making merry with my emotions too. This is never a good thing; I curse my femaleness sometimes. I find myself weepily ashamed lately of my emotions concerning peter…these females in my shady love life have made me sickeningly ill. I cannot abide their horrid emotional shows of affection; they leave my blood cold and my heart is heavy as stone. I am useless to stop myself from toying with them…some sort of psychotic deep seated self torture I should be able to stop or control.

I have found myself even more distanced emotionally from everything. This cannot be a good thing, to lose touch with one’s soul like this. I spy everything with the eye of an anthropologist, analyzing and weighing my reactions and those of others–with a cunningly scientific aloofness.

Well, back to conversation #1 with peter’s ex-girlfriend’s sister and kinda-paramour:

She is a nice girl, nice family, nice kid, nice American hubby. They are all clean, Aryan, and well-scrubbed in a modern Brady Bunch way. Hitler would be proud.

She started out by saying her cell phone fucked up and she needed his new number…though her cell phone mysteriously rang during the conversation and she hurriedly covered the fact up with feigned surprise.

My hypothesis #1: The gal was fishing. She called to check me out. I think that is sooo fucking cute.

Ok, ok…I am sometimes a bit weirdly territorial about the boy, but it is only at odd times. I enjoy his stories of his past. I am even more detached since I brought the emotional terrorist chickies in. I can identify with him as another predator stalking the female animal. I am more worried about diseases now.

Back to my story:

Ok, the jig was up pretty early in her call. She wasn’t a very adept poker player and I found that majorly cute. The boy has very few people who care about him and I know, being tenuously girlish myself and a nosy cunt; that this is not only a sign of nosiness, but also a sign that he is cared for. She stammered over the little faux pas and I tried to smooth it over by ignoring it and feigning ignorance. We talked of her baby, some other niceties…then she started on the meat and potatoes of the thang. She wanted to know how much I KNEW about her, about her sister. I told her that he had shared a lot of it and that I was ok with it. I told her that after 30, we ALL have a past and that often ex-lovers and old friends are the nicest ones to keep in touch with. Hell, I know this is true. I am living proof of the fact…as well as all the ex boyfriends my aunts have that are still best buddies with them and their current hubbies. This is a totally American thing. I explained to her that exes and old friends are the families we choose–especially when our own families are downright weird or unsupportive. Her hubby must talk to her a lot, the California guys are pretty good with their women, in touch and talky. She relaxed the more American I became. She kept trying to assure me that they were just friends…hahaha…I tried to relax the poor girl, she was nearly pissing herself. The Dutch have virtually NO decent friendships betwixt men and women like Americans have. Stuff I find totally normal is so alien here. I explained this to her, she completely agreed and started on a discourse about the lot in life of the Dutch woman. She spoke of how backwards the system is; that sexual harassment is rampant and bias common. I have never heard such things, since I| am not usually in contact with many of these Dutch gals…but I suspected as much. This place is sooo like the 1950s even now. We talked about this…about how Dutch guys do not have to learn to relate to women, to try to make friends or behave because pussy is easy to buy.

She commented on how she, her sister, and Peter all chose foreigners as partners. We are all people at odds with our individual cultures. AGAIN she nervously tries to assure me that she cares for him like a friend…again, I soothe her nervous soul and let her chat onward, punctuating her comments with my mindless and lighthearted American prattle. Becoming wholeheartedly American, even cariacaturishly so, seems to lessen the reserve. This is not only true of her, but of many other Dutch. If you are utterly foreign, you are not quite human, I guess–therefore safe to speak with and non-judgmental. I felt she was scared I was judging her.

I tried to sway the conversation to play station before shit got too deep. Her hubby was in for a bit, she went along with the video game BS–until he left.

BACK AGAIN we dove into a pool of peter and pasts and what-have-yous. We were both uncompromisingly singing his praises, as if to utter anything derogatory on either side might be met with a machete and swift cut to the jugular. I could tell she was ITCHING to say something.

During this entire conversation, I was really detached. I marveled at how I was discussing him with her…like he was just a casual buddy. She spoke of how he wanted babies and told her so before she became knocked up. She then threw down this next statement and followed it with a dramatic pause:

‘he never told me you existed until a few days ago, you know’

The statement was tinged with an uncomfortable squirming, a question that only a fellow female can pose to another. It rings with confusion, tattle-taling, and conspiratory tones. She did not pose this in meanness, there is simple innocence about her. Jaded innocence…but I have that, too. Innocence is too simple a word. Honest tattling is more like it. There is no bitchery in her tone. It was like she was COMPELLED by some extraterrestrial force to reveal this horrific secret to me. I have felt that way sometimes. I think it is the kissing cousin to the foot-in-mouth syndrome.

Ahem. How do I answer this?

All right, this was the thing that bugged me the most; that made me type all this shit on the journal in the first place. I didn’t think too much about it during the conversation or even today because I was busy with other shit. When the day grew darker and quieter, her words echoed back in full-force.

Gosh, um..well. I found myself growing a bit British for a second. This was a bit of an un-Dutchy kinda thing she did to me. This is a tactic I would have sprung on someone. Wow.

 

The next thing I did was the only logical thing to do: I laughed my ass off.

‘Well, that is peter for you’ I said

Still nervous…and by Gawd, the girl must be wracked with some deep seated guilt or something (but I am a Sadist, this squirmy shit doesn’t bug me, as long as I am not the squirming one.). Of course, I have more than an inkling about her guilt…no biggie. I think it must be a Hester/Ester thing. My sister did the same thing to me with an early boyfriend. Better a sibling than a stranger, in my twisted mind. I can understand the deep seated rivalry between girls and watching my sisters bag each other’s boyfriends under each other’s noses, as if they were playing some female pheromone induced sporting game–and also mine–is a common denominator in interpersonal relations between girl children…even past adulthood. It is a self-esteem issue. I have never done the same shit to my sisters, I can get my own men–I never liked the greasy leavings of others.

Back to the drama–

‘Well, that is peter for you’ I say again, or something to that effect.

She finally breathes; a rush of words spring from her lips.

‘I didn’t tell him either, when I started seeing Bill…I mean, he saw me with him right when I met him and I guess I was scared to let him know I liked Bill’

Off she was on a trot and continued:

‘I mean, I see Peter a lot, then he is gone for a long time…then I see him again. And I really worry about him, yadda, yadda…’

Ok, I am watching her go in circles like a nervous dog chasing her tail.

‘…he never said one word about you, not one word.’ [She stressed this a few more times, as if talking to herself]

AHA, I GOT IT FINALLY! The lights just went off in my little, bitty brain.

She was in SHOCK over his ‘serious’ relationship with me.

She asked about how he was with my children, about mundane things. She continued to comment to herself about how he never spoke of me before.

I felt a strange surge of friendliness towards poor peter. Females are odd critters, even old friends. I told her how we are very good friends, he and I (a relatively new and fragile state, but true nonetheless). I said he was difficult to live with sometimes, but he had changed dramatically since our baby came and went. I told her I was pleased with his progress, how healthy he was treating himself…and how artistic he was deep down. This burst her dam down and the nitty gritty started jumping out of the sack. Some of the psycho-analyzing of his persona he would totally not go for, but it was refreshing to see another human female pick his psyche apart with laser like precision. She spoke of how uncomfortable they had been about his ‘life of leisure’, about how they were afraid of mentioning it to their parents. I told her my parents accepted his work as something culturally acceptable in his country. I also told her that we had an appointment to discuss a book idea he had…told her I am a writer and a psychic–whole buncha jobs- kinda -avant-garde person. She marveled at that. I stressed how creative he is. She gaped some more in awe. I touched lightly on the truth, not spilling too much. It was like some strange African ritual dance, this conversation. I felt like a tree a dog had pissed on that was being sniffed by another dog.

I interspersed some of it with the fact that he is a big baby and I am a tyrant. Of course, she knew this. Can’t talk TOO nice about the brat. The girl knows his warts well enough, I am sure. Too many niceties would make me look as if I was living in a crack-pipe and dancing with the fairies. Not one of us is perfect. Our loved ones are, of course, the first to know this…and too often the first to point this fact out to us.

She was a bit more relaxed, though still bristling with SOMETHING. I think it is a combo of intense curiosity and also the fact she is cooped up alone with a baby all day and no grown ups. I have been there.

She lightly, OMG, sooo lightly touched on his sexual self-esteem issues…I bantered back, same feathery, veiled and analytical reply. It was like a therapy session. Goodness gracious, what the fuck does this boy DO to us girls? Not one person is this interesting, yet we sat there focused solely on him.

Eeeek.

She invited me shopping, to museums, to a few other things. She would not make a good KGB interrogator at all, though. She is also absolutely, undoubtedly still carrying a torch for the boy. We all do that, I think. I don’t know…I am just guessing because I have yet to get rid of any of my exes. I think if Carl and I had been friends after, I would have carried on in a similar fashion. He is the only one I could have seen myself being THAT damned curious about any chick he had after me. I find myself thinking about what type of person his last girlfriend was.

I mentioned clam chowder and DID Not invite her over…but I later learn from Pete that she had invited herself and family over on Sunday. That is hilarious. She is a forward and sly little thing. Into the freezer the remains of the soup went…gotta make the house nice-nice now for Sunday.

We exchanged a few more pleasantries and email addies and she MADE SURE I wrote her home phone number down.

 

Ok, fast forward to this evening. I am sitting here with a pit in my tummy. Not over Hester, but over the fact that he hides me so well. I wonder why, yet I know why. He is a predator and shall always be the same self-preserving creature he is. There is still a residue of longing and sadness over the parts of him I can never have or touch or, more importantly, TRUST. I was walking in the market the other day and My little psychic eyes flashed on the image of him laughing charmingly with another girl. I walked faster, in search of my baking soda, to try to run from it–but to no avail. He loves me with what he is able, as I am able to love–or at least become attached to–more than one person. ___ pointed out that I was polyamorous in an asexual/sexual schizoid way. I will concede that I notice this more in Me now that I am involved with a plethora of people. Truly, though, do I really love any of them? The more involved with others I become, the more detached I become as well. Deep inside me, he still pulls my irrational triggers; the desperation ___ feels for me I have keenly felt with him. I do not love her, but if I must I will keep her. She is a means to an end, hopefully not My end. There is no safety in speculation, in love, in excitement. I doubt safety lies anywhere.

I am a creature that everyone wants. I have written time and time again about the intense SHITTY longing I feel inside over his sorry ass. He is the only man I cannot truly possess. Maybe this is better for him. I seem to shit mightily on those who love me the way I SHOULD be loved. SO, I am contented in my malcontent. Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…I cannot possess him because neither of us are quite sure what real love is or should feel like. We constantly crave the attention of the opposite (or, as in my case, even the same-)sex. It is a self-esteem issue. We feel desired when we flirt, are charming with others. We are creatures of conquest. He is as big a diva inside as I am. When life is too easy it is boring,. We are selfish and weird. I can relate to him when I think of him as a person, as a kindred soul…then as a lover. I can even relate to him as a rival…to think, even so briefly, about the lovey shit I feel pains me so much, even now. I get these weird silent spells and I am trying to gulp back my silly love feelings–trying to chin up and be a man about all this. He worries and freaks and wonders what is up, but I am trying to be less ___-like, less ME, less in obsessed fucking agony and be more like him..

He has taught me the ways of being a wannabe Casanova.

I refuse to delve too deeply into emotional shit with him anymore. Ok, I am crying now and hope to god he stays put in the living room.

He is too dangerous to engage in conflict. He is a loaded gun and he hurt me once. I still hurt, but I wont tell him this. I want to go home, to the safety of my office and kids and family–to people who I KNOW without a doubt will make the nightmares go away and also TO A GODDAMNED doctor who will tell me if my chin will ever be the same. To a dentist to fix the tooth that was chipped.

I love him, but I now also trust him less. I distrust his crazy side, which is even more dangerous than mine. Mama was like him, sooo much like him it makes me want to vomit to think of it.

I used to only distrust his fucking around, his dog-like roaming eyes…that I can handle. My eyes often lust after the same types of girls he does.

That silly thing was blown away by the fact that I am not as strong, as manly, as powerful, as invulnerable as I once thought. He succeeded in making me fear him deep down, in making feel as unsafe as SHE did. I hurt him before physically. I am a fly compared to his ox, though my acts of uncontrolled violence are no excuse.

I still have nightmares about that day. I still see his eyes, feel his hands on my neck, his slap, his kick he gave me. I remember it all, even down to the cartoon-like way I fell to the floor. I was outside and inside my body at the same time.

This is the first time I have ever wanted desperately to be home again.

Of course, my mama is sick in Manila and Peter came to her rescue, as well as Amir. I did the grunt work…she likes him, he is the type of man she always envisioned me being with. Actually, he is also what I envisioned, but I don’t know if I was living HER ideals or my own anymore.

I hate mama sometimes, hate the way I am shackled forever by guilt and duty. I hate that I am never good enough for her, that I never do enough. She will be dead soon and I will be haunted by her anger and disapproval until my own grave looms. I will be haunted by my papa’s sense of failure–the one he superimposed on me for years. I am so much like him. I try to tear it from my core. He failed, he is a sub, he is guilty always, always lonely, without friends…cold and a wasted life. He always speaks of his wasted life.

In that sense, I am unlike them both.. I have lived the life I dreamt of. I am 34 years old and that is the one thing I am sure of, warts and all. My life has been cool, it has been interesting, quirky. People have loved me. I have had fleeting moments of semi-fame. I have traveled.

It is always the OTHER people, though, that make me saddest.

That is why I so love to be absolutely alone. I am the only person I can be totally comfortable with.

I am sometimes totally comfortable just with __, but I feel guilt over that, too…so that kinda blows that to bits. I feel guilty that I don’t feel like he is good enough for me. I criticize his looks, his weight, everything. I push push push him to be successful. The poor guy has succeeded, in spite of me. Actually, I am so not good enough for him. He is the one person who totally knows and understands me. The real me, the pre-__ me. I am horrible to him, have taken his friendship for granted. I am no sort of friend, much less a person who should be married to anyone. I have betrayed his trust, heaped more shit on his shoulders than most males will tolerate. I have disrespected him because I mistake, often, his kindness and love for weakness…like my dad’s.

That is so wrong, because he is not like papa. He is a bloody saint.

It is really hard living with a saint.

I remember reading the words of a Victorian writer, male, who echoed the same sentiments about his long-suffering mate.

Maybe it was Lord Byron, I don’t recall.

Anyway. All’s well that sorta end’s well.

I feel a bit better and unburdened now.

I should erase this, coz the trash I discard would just dirty and depress whoever reads it.

It is kind of like dumping the piss-pot on someone’s innocent head.

June 6th, 2003 Friday

I am bleeding a bit today, the period has started and I think I was right about the PMS hormones after all. I did not expect it to come so soon. Bummer.

I feel odd today. I started to fold some clothes and pick up my room…but lost track of my attention span along the way. I am supposed to go to the zoo, but I have motivation.

I want to sleep.

June 7th, Saturday

Last official night here, worked tail off online after a horrendous day without the credit card functioning. I had a total shopping fiasco in the crowded streets of Amsterdam. I couldn’t take the crowds and not knowing what was up with the cc company.

I told the boy I wanted to go out tonight. I have been so good, so fucking frantically anxiety ridden good, considering the hell I have been in this trip. Work, fight, work, fight. I am just so sad and so tired and so in need of letting my hair down.

He had a soccer game to watch, which he informed me of later…I spent what seemed like hours waiting for his fucking game to finish. After a certain time, when no more shouts and whoops emitted from the living room, I crept in. I knew if he wasn’t coming to me, something was up. He lay on the couch, obviously not intending to take me anywhere. That didn’t matter, I just wish he would have let me make other plans earlier. It is nearly 11 pm now.

I am sad, sad, sad. I wanna go home now. I need to sleep and hide and be alone again.

This trip has been too much for me, too goddamned much hurt and heartache and physical pain and suffering.

Work wise, it was ok. It was productive.

I am tired of fighting, tired of the not knowing and the unpredictability of our lives together. I am tired of the sneaky shit and the basic underlying dishonesty and crap that always spoils a basically good day.

I am tired of dancing to his tune. I feel like when he does something for me he is making huge sacrifices. I want my life back.

never mind.

Everything has culminated at this moment, come to an agonizing and horrible head. I need out out out out out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He doesn’t have a clue how filled with shit I am, I want to forget, I want oblivion.

I want oblivion.

I need to cancel our guests tomorrow. I have too much to do tomorrow night and I want fun today, or wanted it today. I don’t want to entertain on my last day when I should be packing.

I should call to cancel with the girl for sure, but I cannot call anyone, I cannot do anything.

I don’t want to be pressured to see people. I just want to breathe once this month and live

 

After agonizing and sending him out, I desperately searched kazaa for meditation music. I stumbled upon chakra cleansing tracks, which I have not attempted in so very long.

They were hard to get into at first, my mind being so negative and so sad and heavy and painful.

Slowly, I relaxed until I was able to see and feel the music in my body. Curiously, I started to envision this light blue cat, something like a Cheshire cat-encircling and licking and healing the holes in my body. It was a rather cartoonist looking thing of changing light. It is so funny how our minds warp and melt sometimes, what our psyches produce. I felt it go round and round me, as if were weaving a shirt of light and energy. My body started to feel lighter, freer. I tried to continue the meditations,. When I did the crown chakra, I saw a crow flap its wings, black wings and solid in my mind–and the electric energy pulsed near my skull.

I type this now to the brow chakra music, it takes away my headache in the middle of my forehead…I still feel twinges of tightness and anxiety through my heart chakra area and probably need more,.

I turn on another heart chakra meditation…it helps. My head throbs a bit now…I suppose I can get cleansed someday. I am reluctant to even smoke cigarettes now, though I desperately want to, want to smoke something.

I did. There is a loneliness, a silly yet lonely solitude that follows smoking cannabis. It is not truly a social drug, a social smoke. It makes one happy, yet cut off…distorted not necessarily from reality, but from others. Insulated from them like a thick blanket. I do not know if this is always a good thing, as it prevents the sharing of both good and bad energies.

When I meditated, when I saw the cat, I heard these words:

‘when you heal others, you heal yourself’

It continued, hauntingly, yet clearly in my mind:

‘when you fear others, you fear yourself’

‘when you hate others, you hate yourself’

 

‘when you help others, you help yourself’

‘when you love others, you love yourself’

‘when you heal others, you heal yourself’

‘when you fear others, you fear yourself’

 

‘when you fear others, you fear yourself’

 

‘when you fear others, you fear yourself…’

I remember thinking, during the that chakra meditation, that if peter and I were truly meant to be together he would hear me in his head at that moment and come to me silently, to hold me.

He did not come, though I waited silently while the music played on

I was not angry when he did not come, wasn’t sad…I felt something whisper to my soul to let it go, to let HIM go…through my chakras, through my very pores I could envision him leave…not just him, I saw everyone: my mothers, the children, Jeff, my grandpa, everyone leave every part of my body for a blissful and short moment there on the floor.

For a moment, however briefly, I was finally FREE

Free without oblivion; mind altering, yet without the horrid side effect weaker mortals use to achieve, I realized at this moment, that I DID have the skills within myself, within my personal sphere of knowledge-to alter my own mind the way people who use synthetic means to attempt to achieve. the same state. I am naturally flaky. Lol

I know that he is paranoid; he is probably laying awake in bed now, thinking this is a sham, that I shall axe murder him in bed. He probably grumbles over the way I hogged his precious spliff, took it away from him. He is a pig about sharing, I swear to god…

Ok back to heart chakra stuff, this isn’t healthy. Getting worked up again.

On it goes and I am getting dizzy as hell.

8th June Sunday

My chakra cleansing was great .last night, plus I was high as hell.

Today I woke at 11:33 and I’ve changed.

People come and he will clean, I will clean and pack and cook…then leave.

The rain is pouring down in an almost Michigan-like ferocity…it isn’t the sudden summer showers I have seen here in the past, that go away just as quickly. It is like the skies have opened all its holes and is finally dumping all the stored moisture, the tears, to the ground.

I did that last night.

I am colder and somewhat bitter, though inside I really am not. I just feel regret over what I must do.

I feel like a participant in a play. He has not a clue about what he and I have wrought this time around and I shall remain quiet, even though Bella urged me to talk this over with him. My first impulse is to be dishonest and to run away with no words. I have a huge need for self-preservation, I feel like I am backing out of a door slowly.

I hoped too much for normalcy. It never existed the entire time we were together, it shall not exist in the future. I have normalcy and I will be grateful to see it again when I get back to it. I want to see how it feels to be completely loved by others again. I am ready to start my life over finally and get rid of every sad thing in it. It is strange that it took so long to realize that everything I ever wanted, I already had and neglected.

This journal was solely intended for work purposes and though I shall edit it, has also kept me alive in a strange way. I certainly know what I must do, but somehow I still feel dishonest about it.

Leaving this time is easy. Deciding whether or not to explain myself isn’t.

I spoke with him, we cried, we argued, we sat. I don’t know if he believes it is true this time, part of me doesn’t either…but I know the truth.

This is an unhealthy alliance, painful, he flinched and got that wild eyed look earlier and I knew.

Behind me he came, walked in to just rub my neck. My tears are hard to control and I think he just saw the last line I wrote. He leaves in a bit and I will be alone again, alone with this.

He talked of babies and just wanting one. I wanted more, I wanted fairy tales and young love and the newness and hope of a life. I wanted dreams and growth and growing old. I was enamored with his beauty, his grace he has sometimes. There are so many bits and pieces of him and myself I loved and also detested. So many similarities and dissimilarities. The dissimilarities are the hardest, but it was the in truth the things that made us so similar that drives and drove the wedge between us.

We both need so much, need stability and a grounding influence. We need acceptance and unconditional love from someone. We are two both unstable children trying to grab on to the last bits of childhood before we go off into the impending middle- and old-age. He cannot find that with me and vice versa. We are too much alike, too utterly children trapped in adult bodies. Damaged, scarred babies.

Deranged and melodramatic as this may sound, I am still feeling a tenuous sliver of calm deep inside me; I know I will be ok, and he will also. I know I must finally stand my ground and do what is in our best interests. He thinks it is lorri’s or other people’s bad influences and it isn’t. I don’t even want her or that relationship. Ironically, through her desperate attraction to me, I was able to see all the flaws in our relationship and all the one sided passions and longing.

It is sad to want and get nothing back. It is madness to subject one’s self to this willingly.

I want what is best for peter, to wish him well on his journey through life. I wanted so much more. I cannot see the forest for all the trees–and what a jumbled mire it is!

He is beautiful and I am broken, finally. I have let despair rule me so long in this relationship. I want to be free and find my way back home.

I feel like I have died. I also feel like I am being reborn somehow.

Change is fearsome. I am so tired of being scared.

 

Shake away your thoughts of tomorrow

Die another time beneath my heart

Take with you the memory of the sorrow

And happiness lingers as we do part

Cry for me, though I may not linger

Know that I shall also weep in vain

Though our hearts may be torn asunder

And we two shall likely not meet again

I cried through nights that had no ending

So buried in tears that drowned me deep

Though your heart was oft’ never bending

It was your face that guides me in my sleep

Walk your path, I shall walk another

In the dark, alone, we both shall go

Remembering words we dared to utter

And always knowing I loved you so

Today, for once, nothing shall matter

While our hearts strain in dank decay

Your warm hand rests upon my shoulder

But still, my love, I will go away–

Disbelief is yet the topic of this fable

But truth will out in the darkest night

I have to choose, being strong and able

The path that will bring us to the light

Love and light are not always together

We must walk our paths alone

Though we shall remember this forever

Never again will we both be one

Goodbye my heart, I leave tomorrow

To your blue eyes I say my last adieu

Remember me when you feel the sorrow

And know that I shall also think of you

Started to clean house. I put away his mother’s sewing machine and started on the living room. My stuff is not packed at all and I have no idea how that will happen.

wrote him a letter and hid it.

The cupboard was so dusty. I swept and fluffed and polished and then realized my stupid box was gone or hidden. I know that shit embarrasses him. It just kind of got to me and I went to the office to smoke and listen to Janis Joplin. Summertime always makes me cry when she sings it. I thought of oblivion once more and shook it off, I write instead.

I played the cure earlier. That was stupid because I knew it would depress me, but it didn’t get me as much as I’d though it would. I rarely listen to them anymore.

I haven’t been listening to Janis a lot either, but she is my favorite. Then I just remembered what happened when she wished for oblivion. People–too many unhappy people–tortured souls are so common, aren’t they? This is nothing new and neither is weakness.

It is nearly 3:30 and the house is nowhere near to finished. I am trying to get it together for his friends. He needs them when I leave. They seem like normal people, so unlike what I have seen around.

I shouldn’t think of this. I should press on and try to figure out how I can get all the things packed, the house clean, the supper cooked. Woman’s work. How fucking appropriate.

My heart is still wailing and I am still so sad and that doesn’t even touch how I feel right now, how I am bursting with the end of this, the utter void I am to step into. I feel like I am getting to the end of a terminal illness. I feel this exact thing, like I am going away to die.

CRY BABY is playing now and I am sobbing so hard. I don’t know why I put myself through this, but I cant turn it off.

0

2003 Part I Amsterdam Journal- On Abuse and Self-Loathing/Love

Once upon a time- many years ago- I had a very dodgy and glamorous life, quite by accident.

It was the early 2000s and I was in an unhappy marriage, my sons were still young.

I traveled all over the globe for work and met a Dutch man who changed me, even though at the time it was god awful abusive (on both sides) and painful.

This is from my journals during this time that I just accidentally rediscovered online. I will be editing out names for privacy.

I am glad I am no longer this person. I was a fucking MESS.

This will be out of order, because I am just copying and pasting…

June 2003

Sometimes I feel like life is a dove, its fragile wings gently beating against my face making me aware of the realities each day brings…other times it is like a snake, a constrictor that encircles my throat and squeezes me until I can no longer breathe, gasping for air while the rest of the audience looks on, unimpressed.

Truthfully, I am my only audience, no one else exists…except as a catalyst. The world in a lonely village of our own makings, a tenuous thread to what we perceive to be real. I dance naked under the gray skies, hoping for sun and somehow imagining the rays beating over my cold and weary body. I can envision the warmth, the feeling of utter safety and well being…so much so, that the genuine article pales in comparison.

I am strong, stronger than most…still I can feel the whimpers of the child who dwells inside me, a child long dead and buried. I cry for no one, to no one…a bloody, sodden despair even I do not understand. I tremble in my sleep and try to hide the thoughts that rage within me. I dream of nothing and everything, I dwell in pain and light. I live two, three, four different personas at all times and I am truly in touch with none of them. I am fragmented, like my loves are, my life is. I am whole and wholly cracked. I continually catch myself spiraling and grab myself by the scruff of my collar, lest I truly fall into the abyss.

Self centered my introspective meandering is, I am self absorbed and selfless. Selfish and utterly without sense of who I am. I am lonely. It is a loneliness I impose upon myself willingly. It is a protective barrier from me and the hurts of the world, the self-inflicted hurts I do to myself.

Once, I would saw into my arm with knives, take pills to kill myself, attempt to hang myself from my closet in my room. I was a child with a wish for oblivion that never came. The only things that were certain were belt beatings in my sleep, my legs running red with my own blood as she punished me over and over. I can recall flinching constantly, warding off smacks, stabs, hits…constant screaming, yelling. I remember what it feels like to have my head beaten into the cement floor until I passed out, to watch my sister’s legs and arms being broken with fireplace pokers, with feeling no safety whatsoever. I would escape into books, the forest, or into me and hope either death or some fairy prince would rescue me.

No one came, I saved myself ultimately. Yet, in my head, I created the fairy prince—a fantasy so real in my mind, that nothing real could even compare to. I created the beauty I could not see in my day to day world, happily immersing myself in a realm of unreality. This alone saved me, nurtured me. I created loving parents, friends, all the things I never and did not have. I traveled the globe at an early age, swallowing other’s beliefs and cultures in one mad gulp, trying to find a niche to no avail, yet learning wonderful things along the way.

Wings of despair, wings of hope…all these gentle things flutter deep within me. I cannot cry constantly, as I am always seeing beauty and longing for more, seeing love and good and truth, though it just seems past my fingertips. I reach and am happy just to brush these emotions briefly against my skin, like a drug. I am lonely today. I will be lonely tomorrow. I will always love and hope and pray for the dreams of my childhood to become real. I am my own prince, my own savior, my own companion and I must first learn to love myself.