I'm glad to be back at work and resuming some normalcy today. I spent the last few days feeling like I was living underwater: everything I did was slower and took more effort. Everything is met with resistance.
Friday night my friends drug me out to happy hour. I showed up in what I wore to work: blue jeans, a red hoodie, a puffy face and my hair pulled back by a headband. There's a guy in our group that we don't see much because he's constantly working out of town. He was Helen's boyfriend for five years until they split last year and Helen dropped off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again. We got him in the "divorce."
"I haven't seen you since Friendsgiving," I said.
"Yeah I heard you went and got a boyfriend," he said.
"Ah, well, he wasn't my boyfriend and he dumped me last night. It's a shame too because we were all talking about how you two would have gotten along together."
"What? You think I'm mentally retarded?" he asked, playfully offended.
"You think there's something wrong with me?"
"Then why would you think I would get along with this guy that dumped you?"
Ah, he was implying that Valdosta was dumb for getting rid of me. I laughed. I have really, really great friends.
Saturday was Katie's Around the World party. Everyone brings a shot, and a station and activity is set up in every room. The group then visits each room of the house, taking the shot and performing the activity, like a game of Twister. I had been looking forward to the party, but now I was dreading it. If I drink, I'll get tipsy. If I get drunk, then I'll cry. Drinking = tears, therefore I didn't want to drink.
I walked in the house late. Those who weren't at happy hour immediately noticed I looked devastated and asked why. I pulled Katie in the room and made her tell them. If I say the words, then I'll cry. Katie gave a nice, perfunctory summary and everyone surrounded me and hugged me. Then they grabbed the strawberries filled with amaretto and shoved four of those in my mouth. And then a jello shot was thrust in my hands, and then a chocolate pudding shot. I immediately hit up the hydration station and grabbed a bottle of water.
I sat down on the couch next to Government Mule. He pressed up against me in a quick hug. "I'm sorry," he said. "At least you're doing better; you're no longer dating guys that shit in your car."
Unfortunately the three people surrounding us had never heard that story. I've known these people for five years and they had no idea what happened to me. And who can pass up a good, yes-I-dated-a-guy-that-shat-in-my-car story? And so I found myself freshly dumped and retelling the incident. Head, meet oven.
"Are you okay?" asked Helen's ex-boyfriend.
"Yeah, I'm fine. It was years ago and I put myself through a year of therapy and I'm in a different place now. It won't happen again. What I want to emphasize is that it wasn't like things were good one day and then he punched me in the face the next. It was a downhill slope where you forgive one thing, and then something worse happens and you forgive that thing, and then something even worse happens but you've already forgiven the first two things... and then you're getting beat up and you're not even sure how you got there in the first place. By that time your self-esteem is so low that it's hard to get out, and your family knows and some of your friends know, and nobody does anything..."
"I remember Helen told me that he beat you up. I told her I was going to drive into town to kick his ass, but she told me you guys had already broken up by then. If that ever happens again, call me. I'm not above killing somebody."
"Thanks, but it won't. I'm fine now." Just what I want to be talking about right now. The bad ones tried to kill me and the good ones don't want me. Head inside oven, and big breath!
Sunday, I stared at my running shoes. Although I had been telling myself that I was going to attempt the 5k again, the reason I actually laced them up and began training again was because of Valdosta. And now that reason is no longer there.
Mel showed up on my doorstep and patiently waited. I put my shoes on and we went running. There were a couple of moments on the treadmill where I wanted to give up and burst into tears, but I didn't. In my funk I managed 50 minutes of cardio, my longest time ever.
Last night, I had my nightmares again. One about my ex-stepfather and one about Valdosta. The one about my ex-stepfather was so horrifying that I can't believe my mind was capable of conjuring it up. Once again, I was trying to convince my mom that what he did was wrong and my mom was trying to convince me to not tell anyone. For Valdosta, it was just me getting rejected in new, public ways.
I got up this morning, the same way I would have gotten up any Monday morning. Only this Monday morning, I woke up with the knowledge that he would never call again. Apparently this is a big difference.
It's been a long time since I've been dumped: I ended things with Christopher, S, and Jack. The last time I got dumped was by Adam in October of 2006. So I guess it's my turn. I'll be okay. This was a little breakup, not a BIG BREAKUP; I'll be back to normal soon enough. But for now, I'm still living underwater.