June 05, 2014

Crazy is as crazy does

A while back I addressed the issue of attrition.  I've addressed my own anger and whatnot in regard to my divorce and even tried to give a little advice to someone trying to weather that storm.  I've come to realizations, had questions answered, found out who my friends are...all manner of growth type things.  Hell, I even sat for a day or so in the psychologists office as well as picking the brain of certain smarter-than-me folks.

For some strange reason, I am having a hard time getting a handle on the panic and anxiety.  That's not normal for me...that I recall.  Maybe it is, I don't know anymore.  My mind is so confused as to what may or may not be real in that regard.  I do know that prior to boot camp I was fairly good at controlling my emotional state, at least from an outside perspective.  I knew how to cry on command, temper my anger, or reign back utter glee.  My assumption is that changed after boot camp because I remember raging at my ex.  The conundrum that rears it's head is this:  was I raging at him because I was truly angry and the timing was right?  Or was it there all along and I was no longer able to conceal it because of the breakdown of my inner self by a very efficient drill instructor?  I use the excuse, "my ex knew me and understood mental conditions, that's why he dealt with me just fine", when trying to explain an anxiety episode to Honey.  I do this because I assume it's a true statement.  Conundrum no. 2:  Did he really "deal with me just fine"?  Did he really understand what was going on with me?  Or did I not exhibit the same outbursts in the same manner to him?  Again, I have no idea.  I know we fought.  A lot.  About dumb things, not dumb things, big things, small things, house things, work things, kid things...you name it, we could fight about it.  Were they all triggered by my OCD tendencies or did we provoke each other because deep down...we both harbored anger, resentment, and mistrust for so long?

I'd like to think I'm on the "creativity & risk taking" end of things

I asked Ex once about my behavior patterns, I asked if I get antsy, scared, or messed up when my established routines are changed...his response was "oh yeah".  I don't remember him actively trying to change my routine patterns...maybe because he tried when we were younger and stopped once he realized that it wasn't productive.  I didn't realize I had those until Honey tried to adjust my driving habits a couple of years ago.  A panic attack screaming match on the highway ensued following the request to go down a different path.  What Honey sees as a hindrance, a lack of flexibility, I see as a safety mechanism.  The absolute worst part of divorcing and remarrying (or whatever long term thing one does) is having to allow another person access to all your gory bits.  Particularly the bits you yourself were unaware of.  That leads in to a whole new conundrum...Are these "reactions" stemming from things already in place?  Or are they created by divorce trauma and the late knowledge of Ex's secret identity/second life?  Or is it all of the above??  (I don't ask Ex about me anymore...I don't trust him to tell me the truth.)

You see, I thought he knew me.  I thought we knew each other, Ex and I.  We spent the better part of 6 years away from our friends and family, we were all each other had.  We had a friendship on top of our marriage relationship...or so I thought.  I thought we had this bulletproof binding that would not break even if we ended up with other people down the line.  I even believed I knew him, I believed I could tell when he was upset or withdrawn or happy.  There's a weird thing that happens in ones brain when everything you were sure of becomes bullshit.  You begin to question every single thing in front of you.  Everything.  From the color of your hair, to the way you do the dishes, the company you keep, right on down to your personal belief system.  You begin to analyze how much of it was really your own and how much you gleaned off the person you lived with for 11 years.  Yes there's a period of readjustment and getting to know oneself again after the dissolve of a long term relationship.  But dang.  Things hit you and you sit back and say, "whoa...was I really an alcoholic, or was I just digging, scratching, fighting for any outlet I could find because I was miserable?"  Because magically....the substance abuse has taken a nosedive.

How is it possible to go from one high stress, high conflict, tumultuous relationship where one party acts out as much as humanly possible to a low stress, high mental maintenance, calm one...that is a lot to take in.  As much as people talk/post about rebuilding and becoming who they are and changing their lives, you'd think it would be this neat little smooth transition.  It's not.  It's weird and difficult.  We go though parts of our life believing we are something/someone specific.  "That's just how s/he is".  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe the things around us directly influence who we are at that moment.  I've discovered life is malleable.  Things I said I'd not do, I'm doing.  In some cases, to the chagrin of former friends.  Yes, I know, the key word there is "former".  Think about it though, even the nay-sayers and backstabbers were part of the life.  They were friends for some reason or another then, why not now?  Open eyes?  Closed off heart?  Or simply, better decision making skills?  I'm going with the latter.  Divorce has a magical way of dumping trash.

I'm going to assume this is growth because I don't want to be a victim, yet again, to my ex's own dysfunctional behaviors.  I'm tired.  Exhausted beyond reason at trying to understand what that decade was and who I was during it.  I suppose it doesn't matter anymore, it's in the past right?  Let sleeping dogs lie and all that jazz.  Unfortunately you have to look into your past to understand your present.


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