Reality Bites, or something like that

Amber Run- I Found (Acoustic, London Contemporary Voices)

There’s a feeling that is welling up inside of me, or maybe it’s a multitude of different ones, but they refuse to be named and set free.  I can’t stop obsessing over the onslaught that I know will come soon, yet stubbornly sits festering deep inside of me.

The past 2 years began as exciting and full of a possible future that I hadn’t dared to let myself believe I might find.  It’s ended with me right back where I began and $10K in debt for my troubles.  I’ve been desperately searching for some kind of reasoning to explain why, as it was made clear that I wasn’t going to get the satisfaction from him, and I keep finding articles about- “10 signs that you’re in a relationship with a narcissist” or “How can you tell if your partner has no empathy” or “Are you dating a psychopath”.  These all have bits and pieces that I can relate to, but none of them have given me a smoking gun that helps me to understand how I could have avoided all of this.

In reality, all of the Zen web sites are probably right when they tell me that time heals all wound, you should love yourself, and don’t let a bad yesterday spoil today- I just don’t believe it right now.  It takes 2 people to make or break a relationship and in this instance I’ve been accused of being cold and boring (i.e.- not wanting to go out and do anything), and sure- I’ll own that.  I was with a man who made clear to me that if I wanted him to do something that I would have to constantly remind him (he had ADHD) and who spent the majority of the past 2 years unemployed- meaning that I was paying for his car insurance, cell phone, psychiatric visits, medications, food, clothing, and I’m rambling.

At the time, I thought that we were a team, that he was all in, and that the hard times would pass.  I kept telling myself that once he found a job, then things would be like they were in the beginning of the relationship, before he spent all day on the couch or walking around the neighborhood.  I kept hoping that maybe he would clean up his dishes one day so that I didn’t have to spend the first 30 minutes I was home cleaning in order to make dinner for us.  And somewhere in the middle, I stopped lying to myself and came to terms with the fact that I’d fallen for a very lazy man who didn’t understand how to follow through with anything that he said he’d do.  This is where I probably should have said something to him instead of just staying quiet and trying to get through the days.  I was still deluding myself that everything would get better once he found a job.

Then, he found a job.  He had insisted that waiting tables was the only job that he wanted to do and I respected that, but then he started to stay out all night.  I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like waking up with no text, no voice mail, no idea where he was.  It hurt.  I said something, but it was already too late.  He changed restaurants and started working somewhere farther away, and then he just didn’t come home for weeks.  He said that he just couldn’t deal with the “commute”.  I had no say in the matter and I guess I really just didn’t matter in the equation.

This went on for longer than I should have let it and finally, after he again told me he was coming home and never showed, I spent the entire morning calling his phone every 30 minutes until he finally responded.  He was annoyed at me because I was calling him while he was at work, though he’d never bothered to tell me a schedule or any information other than vague descriptions of the people and place he was staying.  He texted me that he felt, “this just isn’t working” and I didn’t even get the satisfaction of telling him to his face that our relationship was over as I’d been planning to do before he forgot to come home, yet again.

It was done. He was gone.  I felt like an asshole for being conned into supporting him for over a year when it had become very clear to me that had he not been unemployed, the relationship would have ended long before that point.

I’m not a saint, nor am I blameless.  I work long hours.  I have a very stressful job.  I am not great at talking about it when I’m truly hurting.  Hell, I’m the most open on a blog where anonymous strangers are the only people who will read this and even then it’ll reach no more than 20 people!  I really don’t see any risk to my heart by bearing my soul to the void.

And all of this does me no good in the present.  I have friends that love me, my family loves me, most of them just can’t spend any time with me.  I’m mourning the loss of something I could never have- a partner in life who accepts me as I am and cares enough to fight for me.  I didn’t think that I was looking for perfection, but apparently I’ve been hoping to find a fictitious being that doesn’t exist.

It’s just a stark reminder that I am not a person who other people choose to be around.  A reminder that I am meant to be alone and I should just get on with doing that.


If Solitude Be Mine, I Shall Embrace It

Once more I sit in front of this keyboard thinking deep thoughts when I should be thinking about how to get our heros out of the Dominican Republic safely.  Except that I’ve only had one train of thought this week and it has come from a realization- an epiphany you could say.

For many years, my friends, family, loved ones, and nosy strangers have all asked me what kind of man I’m looking for.  I’m not going to touch on the assumption that I’m looking for a man in this day and age, but I do in fact, prefer gentlemen.  Each time that question comes up, I have drawn a blank.  What the hell am I looking for?  Who am I waiting for?  There is never a very satisfactory answer that I can give.  I mumble some crap about how I really don’t have a type, because I honestly have no idea.  Until now.

I have realized what it is that I’m waiting for and I now understand why I won’t settle for just anyone.

I need a warrior to fight beside me in the darkness.  Sorry Disney, but a Prince simply won’t due- I’d probably break him anyway.  I need someone strong enough to fight my battles with me (not for me) and to let me fight their battles with them.  As much as I do appreciate the chivalric code, I simply can’t see how I could fit into that mold.  I’m not a damsel in distress, I’m not meek, so there are simply very few conceivable reasons I’d need saving from the dragon, but damned if I wouldn’t really want some back-up.

The most successful relationships I’ve had the privilege of witnessing are based upon this theory, I’ve realized.  Is this what love is meant to be?  The feelings that are supposed to be associated with it I’m still hazy on, but that sense of having someone fighting the battles with you is a necessity for me, I think.  The Warrior has seen the evil and will turn to face it.

I cannot feel like I’m being 100% open with a man if I’m too concerned that I will be dragging him down into the darkness with me.  Too many people have told me, “Love changes you,”  and this has never sat quite right with me.  Yes, you would hopefully adapt to bringing another person into your life, to integrating every aspect at some point, but I’m still a firm believer that you cannot go into a relationship with the belief that you will change the things that you do not like about someone.

You cannot change a person- they must change themselves.

As this is a pretty recent revelation, I can’t say for sure if I would do this in any given situation, but I do feel that if I could find a Warrior- broken, imperfect, and willing to fight beside me- that I would be absolutely enamored.


Waxing Poetic From the Dark Side of the Moon

I’ve been having an interesting conversation that started with a new friend whom we shall name Flyboy for his much appreciated service to our country.

What do you do when you feel like every choice you make is doomed to twist itself into the opposite of what you are intending?  It seems like this would be a pretty easy question to answer- Make different choices, right?

It has occurred to me, and Mrs. Batty reminded me of this today, that growth is a very, very, very, very, very…. (you get the point) slow process.  I have known that I am attracted to unavailable men for most of my adult life and that is a pattern that I can’t seem to break, no matter how hard I think that I’m trying.  That’s easy- choose different men!

The problem becomes that it’s not my choice in men that I need to fix, it’s me.  It’s about what I feel that I deserve and I’m sure that subconsciously I’ve determined it’s safer to be alone and self-sabotage is the way to go!

Flyboy seems to be just coming to this understanding and I can 100% sympathize with how crappy that feels.  I wish I could explain to him without seeming like a pompous ass-hat that the simple answer is the hardest path to walk down because it is long and rocky.  Or, who knows, maybe I’m just full of shit and projecting my own thoughts about my personal journey onto someone that I feel has been following a similar path.  Either way, I think that I can truly understand his darkness and it does make me sad to know he’s still got a long way to go and it’s a pretty lonely journey.

So, Mrs. Batty- ever the optimist- did point out that, “Being open enough to the possibility that you can get hurt [by another person] and that it would be OK is a big step.”  And she is right.  The statement that she was responding to is my new found belief that I will probably end up being single and living alone (with my 3 cats) for a good part of the remainder of my life, but that I’ve come to terms with this fact and it would also be OK if that were to be my future.

I guess this realization is what people mean by being comfortable with yourself before you can be comfortable with another person.  I’m open to suggestions, but online dating is not a route that I am contemplating.  I’m done chasing men who attract me to them because as we have already established, I have an uncanny radar for entirely unavailable men.

My game plan for the next little while is to let the cosmos throw their best and their worst at me and it will either hurt or it won’t, but I promise myself to not push aside my better judgement.  Not listening to my intuition is how I’ve gotten into all of the previous messes that I call a relationship history.

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“I have too many flaws to be perfect, but I have too many blessings to be ungrateful”

(Quote taken from

I’m still here.  I won’t apologize for my absence this time because, well, I just won’t.  It’s been another hectic few months and too many ups and a lot of downs that it does not good to muse on.  In the past week, though, a fantastic milestone has been reach and Battysgirls and I are officially at the 300 page mark in the book.  The better part of that is the fact that they are 300 USABLE pages!!!

We are finally at a point where I can see an end to Book 1 and it’s an end we are both excited about, at least I think both of us are 😉  So, in honor of the apex of this hill being within sight, (no surprise here) I’m going to post a playlist that makes me feel the hell that we’ve put each of these characters through so far followed by a few songs that hint at their endings.










Iris and Daniel:


“Time May Change Me, But I Can’t Trace Time”

I searched the word changes on Bing and Google in an attempt to ignore my inability to figure out the next part of a scene that I’m writing and the top 4 hits (using 4 because Google only had that many) were amusing to me.

Bing: Definition, Parental Control, Hair Salon, and Black Sabbath

Google: Definition, Global Activism, One Direction, and Oil Changes

The 5th hit on Bing was more what I was thinking about when I chose that word- David Bowie.  I know that I’ve spent many hours of contemplation on this subject, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately and who better to illustrate this than Ziggy Stardust himself/herself/itself?

There are frequent posts on Facebook with sayings like, “If you’re not willing to change, don’t expect your life to either” or “Change is inevitable, progress is optional”.  Ok, so that second one is just one that I know, but the rest are too long to put into a post.  It’s a lost of positive affirmations about moving forward and how to inspire yourself and others.  This may say more about the people that I know than the world, though I can’t say that’s a bad thing.  I feel good thinking that I associate (even if it’s only electronically) with people who are trying to better themselves some way.

Initially I did some really deep thinking on this when I lost my job in DC and had to figure out what my next step would be.  That was in no way fun, it was ego crushing, and I don’t care what anyone says- it was not liberating.  I spent months in a funk trying to convince myself that I wasn’t a failure with the support of some incredible women.  Sorry men, I just couldn’t find an incredibly supportive guy to lean on- nothing personal 😉  Long story short- it sucked.

Out of this personal turmoil came “the idea”.  I needed to escape the reality of suckiness and determined that the one thing I can do that I have never felt like a complete failure at is write.  The novel has been a work in progress since then and has morphed and twisted into something that, even as a first draft, Mrs. Batty and I should be extremely proud of.  This past December, around my birthday also known as when I start to feel like I’ve accomplished nothing in my life every year, I became determine to finish book 1 of this story (yes, it’s morphed to a multi-book story) by December of this year.  I’ll be turning 35 and just feel as though I need to push myself to shit or get off the pot with something.  If it isn’t going to be finishing this book, then it needs to be focusing on my other career.

Back to the changes.  All of these positive affirmations and saying are actually quite nice to see, but they are really reminding me of all of the personal changes that I know that I need to make and have been putting off.  I work too much still and ignore my personal life.  I have terrible taste in men and find the single most unavailable ones to convince myself that I should take a shot at (utterly masochistic of me) in some sort of sick self-fulfilling prophecy.  My list of real life friends is slowly shrinking and I’ve not tended to finding ways to meet new people, so isolation is an issue and I still can’t figure out if it’s intentional or inadvertent.

But- I can’t help thinking that this is just temporary.  I knew what I was taking on when I set my heart to writing a novel, while working a minimum of 50 hours a week.  Both jobs are creatively draining and I also find myself doing the internal pep talk of “just do it!  stop procrastinating and just do it!” much more than I used to.

I recently sent a copy of the unfinished manuscript to someone that I’ve formed a wonderful work relationship with and she’s absolutely salivating for the finished work.  This is encouraging and now I need to figure out what changes I have to make in order to keep the forward momentum going.  My resolve is still there.  Come hell or high water- this book will be ready to send out by the end of the year, it’s just that the path to this is not so clear in my mind.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes about change:


– Mahatma Ghandi

When The Dream is More Exciting Than the Reality


I daydream, constantly, and I suspect that I daydream as a way of controlling the world around me.  Just a few moments ago, I was fantasizing about a conversation that I will most likely never be in the position to have with a guy that I know.  It was a very well thought out explanation about why we could never “see” each other socially and, well, let’s be real- it’s me so there will be no point in time that I would be having that conversation.  My favorite tactic is to ignore the desire until it is gone thereby NOT creating any conflict.

I’ve explored this rabbit hole before and find that it aids one of the few things that I like about my writing- the character interactions.  This actually has become a problem because I am so focused on the interactions that the necessary descriptive elements are short changed.  In real life, I’ve wondered if I have ever “remembered” having a conversation with someone that had only taken place in my head and, to date, I haven’t proven this suspicion to be warranted- I have an unfortunately long and accurate memory.  But I digress-

Relationships- If one is habitually living a relationship in their head as a way of sussing out the potential issues, is there ever any hope for becoming that person who is able to just live in the moment?  I suspect that it goes back to the control issue and trying to anticipate problems before they happen.  Now, this has served me well professionally, even if it has torpedoed many moment where I’d thought that I could be a part of a healthy relationship.  It’s a useful skill!  It’s a perpetual kill-joy because you end up becoming the “responsible” friend.

In my internal conversations with a man that I’m in a healthy relationship with, I imagine that we are boring.  You’d think that I would be picturing exotic vacations to Bali or action packed treks through the mountains while being chased by an angry group of Russian Mobsters, but no.  I picture a Sunday morning where we are sitting at a kitchen table, drinking coffee and reading our respective newspapers and magazines, while the cats play in the other room.  The traditional picture of domestic bliss that we are apparently supposed to achieve as adults according to Lifetime Movies and Television.  Now, really?  I can imagine a small segment of the population living this life, but more likely they are either awake and on the couch watching TV or running around doing the countless tasks and errands that equal real life.

I know that I’m rambling now and I’m OK with that.  I’ve never promised that this blog would contain earth shattering or life altering publications- just the spewing of my head.  That being said, is it naive of me to be making efforts to put myself “out there” more because I’ve realized that my internal life has become much too comfortable?  There’s a reason why I’ve been fine living in my head for quite a while and it really has to do with an incredibly weakened ability to deal with any more upheaval and, let’s be honest, opening yourself up to reality will only lead to upheaval and change.  It’s that change that leads to fear.  Alternately, it’s also a fear of stagnation for me.

What if I do end up finding someone that I’d like to keep around for longer than a few months- what then?  Do we get into a comfortable routine, do we have a “date night”, does it mean the end of being able to say- I will go wherever the world takes me?  Or, does it mean that you have company for the journey?  This is one of those questions that I won’t be able to answer with any authority until I allow myself to experience it I think.