I own all the content and pictures on this site, except where noted. If you steal anything from me, and
especially if you do anything mean or inappropriate with them, I will find you. Then I'll sue you for
theft, slander, libel and any other law that applies. Then I'll ridicule you in humiliating ways
here and everywhere else I contribute to. If you fuck with me, I'll get get all Gladiator on your ass
and unleash hell. Think I'm kidding? So did my a couple of my exes, my old neighbors, as well as
some assholes who ripped me off on Ebay, and last I heard, they were all still trying to undo the
damage I caused.
No sense in wasting time, people! Here are my current obsessions!
1. Frosted Flakes. While I am a lifelong Fruit Loops lover, lately I can't enough of the Frosted Flakes. It's pure sugar and awful for me, but I've been sneaking handfuls in here and there. It began with a plastic bag full of the yumness that my son brought from his father's house. I asked for some, he said no, and my obsession began. He finally relented and offered me ONE flake, but of course, that just wasn't enough.
2. My Skin. What the hell is going on here? All of a sudden, my face is all wonky. A small cluster of pimples on my forehead and chin, some odd bump-like things on my cheeks. Bizarre. But coupled with my recently noticing that I need to give my skin some extra TLC (such as, needing to find a good nighttime facial moisturizer), I'm feeling like my face is not my friend.
3. Taco Bell. It began innocently enough. My friend and I were joking about our recent marathon hanging out sessions, which consist of hours of us eating and talking. We joked that we'd hit Denny's at 2 a.m. and Taco Bell at 5 a.m. (though the reverse would probably work better) to round out the night. That's all it took, and I could not get the Mexican pizza out of my head. I just couldn't stop craving one. I've had two in the last few days. I know, I'm a pig.
4. Yellow Evening Dress. I have three formal events in the next two months, and I need an evening dress. I figure between a new one and the one I already have, I'll be good for all three events. The challenges? It has to be less than $200, and it has to be yellow. I tried on a gorgeous yellow gown (that was too big on me and over budget) and it looked so amazing on me that I'm convinced the dress I get has to be yellow. It's proving impossible to find a dress that matches my criteria and is not some hideous prom-like thing. I may have to settle for green, which also looks nice on me. But I really want yellow.
5. Monkey in Pajamas. I don't know what it is about my boy in his PJs lately, but he looks so sweet and adorable and munchy delicious that I can't handle it. Bedtime and early mornings have become sheer lovefests, full of snuggling, tussling, kissing, hugging and tickling. Perfection. And then he scampers off in his PJs, running to grab his cars and trains, looking so big and yet so babyish still, that my heart aches and swells and all but bursts with love and pride and sadness. This boy, he slays me.
I'm too exhausted to write anything of substance (though I have a couple of interesting things up my sleeve, mainly recaps of some recent adventures).
So for today, know this: I made it back home. Alive, obviously. Both flights were delayed by two hours and one of them had mechanical issues, but once those issues were handled, they were normal flights. New York was, as always, great. I didn't do much, but I ate like a pig.
More later. I have emails to catch up on, work to focus on, and my love to smother on my monkey-boy.
When the new year loomed large and unavoidable before me, I knew I had to take it as an opportunity to move my life forward. I knew I'd spent months in an unhealthy place; or rather, that my sadness and frustration and sense of incredulity were spiraling into an unhealthy place, and I knew I had to do something (anything) to pull myself out.
In the three months since the new year began, I have moved to a better place. I don't know exactly what makes it better beyond the fact that the sadness no longer threatens to eat me alive. I have put all my effort into therapy, into seeking perspective and understanding, into spending quality time with people I love - my family, my friends, and most especially, the small boy of my heart. I haven't valued my family and friends as much as I have this last year. But it is their words, their perspectives, their support that have greatly helped me process and basically survive all this. For every conversation I have, every friend that takes me out and hears me out and offers me their own experiences, I am that much better off.
But on a personal level, if I'm honest, there isn't much that I've done that is thoughtful and precisely considered (except matters relating to my son) so much as it is quick and decisive. I haven't wanted to think, haven't allowed myself any extended amount of time to delve into my feelings. I know what I feel, and my thoughts make themselves known whether I want them to or not. So I have not allowed them to really take over me or my time, choosing instead to give them 15 minutes before I slam the door on them and forcefully move on to something else.
I have not thought this a poor move on my end. My time in therapy is the space I allow myself to dig deep and search for answers, meaning and healing. To allow myself any more, to keep being "Tere" and doing this shit non-stop, has felt sick and crazy.
Regardless of what excuses I might give, the truth is that I have felt too exhausted to keep thinking. I haven't wanted to think. I haven't wanted to keep crying and feeling like shit. I've wanted to feel normal. I've wanted a taste of life where I am good enough as is, where I can breathe a little easy and not have to justify my thoughts and opinions and feelings to anyone. I've wanted to be around people who think nice things about me. I've wanted to enjoy the peace and quiet of my home, to feel good in my own skin.
And I have. As best as I can, as much as I am capable of right now, I have. And I've enjoyed it. I've felt grateful for every moment where all I feel is normal, or like I'm closer to being my old self again.
But for all this, there is no forcing away the sadness, the continued sense of utter disappointment. Of course, I did not expect these feelings to just disappear. To an extent, my expectation is that a part of me will always feel sad about this; I will never be 100% o.k. with my marriage ending. If I think that this ending was inevitable under the strain of what our life had become, if I think that given everything, the ending was for the best, it still has no bearing on my deep sense of loss or my sadness or my heart break. The mind is one thing; the heart is entirely something else.
And this last week, my heart has been heavier than it's been in months. The knowledge that today was nearby, that I could do nothing to prevent today from coming, nor push back and not think about today and everything it symbolizes has had me feeling very anxious and upset and tense.
I would have been married eight years today.
I don't know that there's any way to avoid thinking about this, and I hate how irritated I end up feeling when I do. It is a feeling born out of frustration and disappointment, out of feeling so completely damned if I do and damned if I don't that I'm left up against a corner. I feel like a caged lion.
A year ago today, I was happy. While we had been going through some big ups and downs over the previous two years, I still felt happy. I felt like we kept facing challenge after challenge, each one making us stronger. I thought we were both happy to be approaching 10 years together. If nothing else, I felt very in love with my husband.
But what I kept pushing aside was the fact that there were no new problems we were solving, just constantly rehashing the same old ones; I was fighting against the growing feeling that he was not happy, that my marriage had turned into something where each and every day I had to prove my love and fight for trust. As in love as I was, I was also constantly on the defense; I was deeply frustrated and sad. The roller coaster between "happy" and these feelings was getting too insane.
Did I romanticize it all? Was I so wrapped up in the wonder of "10 years", so desperate to finally feel that sense of peace and satisfaction I felt was owed me and us, that I was in partial denial? Where was I that I could see all this good and potential, and at least aim to have my actions reflect that, even as I felt so alone in that feeling? What made us so disparate in our approaches? What prevented me from having better solutions?
I don't know. All I have today is this: I would have been married eight years.
And I wonder if it would have been any better, or any worse.
I've recently learned of a couple of good causes that could really benefit from your support. I've been asked to help spread the word about these, which I'm glad to do.
First up, Pampers and UNICEF have teamed up for the "One Pack = One Vaccine" campaign. This is a global initiative to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, a preventable disease that claims the lives of approximately 128,000 infants and up to 30,000 mothers in less industrialized nations each year. I'm sure you've seen the commercials on TV for this - they're the ones with images of babies; one plays "Silent Night" and the other "Happy Birthday To You".
Now through May 1, you have the opportunity to help UNICEF protect moms and babies around the world against tetanus; all you have to do is buy specially-marked packages of Pampers diapers and wipes. Each product purchased triggers one life-saving vaccine.
So if you have a baby and need diapers/wipes, or you know someone with a baby, find the specially-marked packages of Pampers and help someone in need get this life-saving vaccine.
Next, the Fresh Air Fund needs you! If you live in the Northeast and Canada, that is. For reals. The Fresh Air Fund provides free summer vacations to New York City children from low-income communities - more than 1.7 million since 1877. In order to keep their mission going, they need families in the Northeast and Canada (check out the map to see specific states) to host kids this summer. By being a host family, you help an inner-city child experience a world they might never otherwise know: life outside the city, where can experience the beauty of nature. Click here to get all kinds of info and learn more.
These are tough times for us all. But these are a couple of ways you can give back and do some good for others without severely hurting your wallet.
Time of day: early morning, in the rush of getting ready for school and work.
From the kitchen enters my son, half-dressed and literally dragging himself on the floor. I have been patiently asking him for five minutes to get up so I can finish getting him ready for school. We are running 15 minutes late.
Me: "MAX, get UP so we can finish here. We have to leave."
Me: "Max, mommy is getting mad now. Please get up so I can get your clothes on. We have to get to school."
Max: "NO! I don't want to!"
Me: "That's it! I AM VERY MAD NOW!" *picks him up by arms, sits him on couch to get his shoes on*
Max: *starts wailing* "You're screaming at me!"
Me: "I'm yelling because I'm mad; you are not listening or cooperating. Now let me finish this!"
Max: "I want to listen and cop-perate!"
Me: "If you want to listen and cooperate, then when mommy asks you to do something, do it. Right now, that means we get your shoes on and we leave the house!"
Max: *sobs subsiding* "Don't be mad at me!"
Me: "I love you very much, but I get mad when you don't listen." (thinking, we are so effing late, I can't handle this damn morning anymore.)
A moment of calm settles over the house
Max: "Say you're sorry, mommy."
Me: "Are you going to say you're sorry you didn't listen to me, or cooperate?"
Me: "Then I'm not sorry I yelled."
Tere and the boy stare at each other, neither one backing down. Shoes go on, and they walk out the door.
That was last August. In October, I finally changed doctors and started from scratch, trying to find some answers to this problem. By then, I'd gained about 20 lbs. and was freaking the hell out. During my first visit, my doctor did not think my medicine was the problem (too bad, I'd stopped taking it!), but thought it could be my thyroid. He ordered a battery of tests to figure what was going on inside me.
At the same time, October was turning out to be a hellacious month. Between then and November, I suffered the most I had during my entire "marriage gone bad" ordeal. So emotionally, I was in a crazy place, and this problem was just added stress. If I'd ever been at a breaking point, it was here, with my ex-husband putting me through hell and my body acting like a bitch on me.
When the results of my bloodwork came back, the answer was clear as day: my insulin was through the roof, what the medical people call "pre-diabetic." I'd had hypoglycemia since I was a teenager, something I had under control and was mindful of, given my family history of diabetes. Hypoglycemia, though, can turn into diabetes, and it looked like the same was happening to me. When you have PCOS (as I had for years and was re-diagnosed with last February), all your hormones are out of whack, and it's very common to be hypoglycemic, diabetic, or insulin-resistant. In October, the diagnosis was that I'd become insulin-resistant, which caused the weight gain. It all made so much sense. I mean, looking at my medical history, this is practically textbook.
You can't imagine how relieved I was to finally have some concrete answers.
So, what options did I have? Reviewing my diet, there were changes I needed to make, none of which was news to me. I have to go easy on the bread and pasta, and frankly, this is my biggest challenge. I swing between being really good and then having some bad days. With this diagnosis, though, I had to stick to a proper diet and get serious about exercise. However, my elevated blood sugar levels were serious enough that my doctor felt I needed to get on medication to get it under control, stop the over-production of insulin, and help me lose the weight. I took him up on that; after researching the medicine and realizing I was comfortable taking it, I went for it.
Now that you sat through that medical lesson - here it is:
The weight is gone. GONE, people, gone! In fact, the last time I was this thin was when I was breastfeeding like crazy and was back to what I looked like in 2003 (which was a good year for me in this regard). And now, now I'm there again!
I mean, I am wearing a size 2. TWO! I'm back to "small" in tops. EVERYTHING in my closet is big on me! This is both good and bad, you know, since now I constantly look like a hobo. Of course, there's just no way that I can run out and buy a new wardrobe (and yes, I've cried over this a few times), so I've got to alter about 85% of my clothes. Which I will gladly do!
Of course, there is no replicating a pre-baby body, not unless I invest tens of thousands of dollars into reconstructing it, so the flaws abound. Mainly, I need to tone up. Love handles, I has them (but I prefer to think of them as extra Tere softness for you to love). And I have to make physical activity a real part of my life (having a work-out/activity partner would be a great help, but apparently, I surround myself with equally lazy and unmotivated people). And of course, while the clothing size says "skinny!", looking at me, you would never guess. My Cuban thighs and butt are deceptive, but they prevent me from looking emaciated.
But finally - finally! - I feel like myself again.
But underneath this joy and relief, there is this: I knew something was wrong. Even as I knew that I should be exercising regularly, I could sense that something was wrong with me. And there was. I was ill. My body was not functioning. And it's very hard to not think about how - as I watched the weight come on and felt sick and odd and unhappy - I was so alone in this struggle. Sure, I had someone with me - but it was someone who dismissed my concerns and insisted the only thing wrong with me was my unwillingness to hit the gym. I think of myself a year ago, staring at myself in the mirror, feeling all these awful, confusing things - all of it compounded by how incredibly alone and dismissed I felt. I may not dwell on this unfortunate aspect of the situation, but I can't say that the sting is completely gone.
At least there is what I have now - better health, and a better general state of being. And little by little, I am getting over the damage and am more and more myself again.
The fact that I look smoking hot is just a nice little bonus.
The Italics Should be a Clear Indicator of my Level of Frustration
I am mightily irritated. Too many weeks and months of taking other people's shit has resulted in today, where I feel ready to slap a few people around yell at them: "Get over yourself and all your ridiculous drama already!!!!"
I know I can be as self-involved as the next person, but I can't help but feel that I have to deal with (directly and indirectly) a few too many people who are so caught up in their own personal drama that they're completely oblivious to anything else. Apparently, their shit is so dramatic and important and earth-shattering that it excuses the fact that they behave like a bunch of inconsiderate, selfish, rude a-holes.
The real clincher is that these same people don't hesitate to point out all the ways in which they are wronged, how others are so rude to them and they are just victims of a cruel, thoughtless world. But they don't hesitate to treat others like crap! Hi, maybe if you tried nurturing your relartionships, people would give a shit about you!
I don't want to deal anymore with someone being short with me because of some super mysterious reason that they can't communicate. I don't want to have to hear on and on about someone's problems and worries and issues when they can't stop and reciprocate or at least feign interest in the world outside their own. Why should I care? Why should I sit there and listen to you when at no point will you sit and listen to me, much less ask me if I'm o.k.? Why should I have to put up with your drama and lack of clear communication when no matter what I say or do, it's just going to bite me in the ass?
Seriously, it's too much. Worse, with people like this, there is no way to win. If I'm vague, nothing changes. If I'm direct, I'm a bitch. Because they only see the world as it directly affects them (real or imagined), there is no real way of addressing this and have them just take it like a grown up and consider whatever they hear as food for thought. And nevermind any of them actually thinking that someone might point something out from a place of concern or friendship!
So I end up here, frustrated and irritated and thinking that as cowardly as it is to me, my best option is to avoid them and hope they eventually go away. When in reality, what I wanted was a mature frienship with a fair split of give and take and basic trust.
With some people, that will just never happen. And for my own good, I have to say, good luck and see ya.
My son's school hosted a parent/student night, where the kids showed the parents the lessons they've been working on. My boy - my tiny three-year-old - showed me how he could open and close buttons, spoon powder from one bowl to another, sort items by color, and sort pictures by whether they depicted water, land or air. To get him prepared to start reading, he does lessons with letters where he sounds them out and matches them to the corresponding picture.
I can't express how proud I was of my boy, of the way he listened to his teachers and did his lessons from start to finish. After he did the ones he was supposed to, he kept wanting to show me more. It's amazing to watch him thrive and to be able to witness how smart and independent and capable he is. I loved having this glimpse into his world away from home.
His developmental growth lately has been impressive; every day there is something new, most times something hilarious - and at times, I feel like I can't keep up. He leaves me in the dust.
I spent almost three hours in the ATL airport terminal yesterday waiting for my flight back home. I caught up on work, piddled around on Facebook, and did a whole lotta people watching. At one point, I became acutely aware of all the random thoughts buzzing through my head at lightning speed.
So, what does Tere think about as she sits at gate T11 in Hartsfield?
* Damn, I need a haircut. Look at these split ends!
* Can't wait to see the monkey tomorrow. He was so cute on the phone earlier...
* I sure hope the plane doesn't explode on take-off...
* Why the hell is everyone staring at me?
* Should I bother to pick up all my shit and drag myself to the newsstand? Even though I already know what's there and that I don't want any of it?
* Oh! What a babe! Crap, he's coming to this gate! Crap, he's looking at me! Look away!
* God, it'll be nice to be home...
* Seriously, my hair looks like shit.
* Crap, cute boy is looking at me! Look away! Smile at him! Look away!
* Please Sweet God in Heaven, let it be a smooth flight...
* Oh, I so miss my Maxi... need some kisses and hugs badly!
* Louis Vuitton luggage is so tacky.
* Why does that guy over there not have anything on him? Not a suitcase, or backpack, or laptop bag? Not even a coat? What's up with that?
* My ass hurts. So does my back.
* Gotta pee.
* Again, what's up with the staring? WTF? Stop it, people. Now.
* Hello, God? Don't let the plane crash. Please.
* This situation I can't stop thinking about? I need to stop thinking about it. Now.
* Cute boy is staring again! Look away, look away!
* I need a nap. I wonder if I can sneak in an extra half-hour of sleep tomorrow morning...
Is that too bold a way of stating I'm ready to date? Because I figure, coyness is not my strong suit, so I may as well be my usual blunt self about even this.
So, bring it. A man. Bring me a man.
O.k., show's over. There's fallacy all over this. First, I don't need a man; second, I am not ready to date. I'm just ready to be adored and cherished for being my awesome self.
Actually, is one ever really ready to date? And, what is being ready anyway? Will that mean I'll feel less wanting to stab my eyes out at the thought of sitting through an awkward dinner? Or that I'll be more willing to go through the charade of getting to know someone new while being on my bestest behavior, which is anyway impossible for me? Or that I'll be able to meet someone or flirt or have a date without analyzing it to death? I'm actually enjoying an analysis-free period in my life, so maybe things are a-changin' for me?
Perhaps it's better to restate: I am ready to date. What I'm not ready for is a relationship. I don't want to lay my heart on the line; I don't want to take any risks; I don't want to trust. To a large degree, it is of course fear; but it's also indifference. I just can't be bothered to take on someone else's shit. I have zero interest in spending time with anyone who can't or won't grow the hell up and just be a well-adjusted adult. Hell, I don't even want to deal with anyone who won't go out of his way to woo me. I mean, people, after what I've been through, the one thing I know with any real certainty is that no guy stands a chance with me unless he is willing to woo - seriously, seriously woo - me. Nothing over-the-top or insincere, you know, just someone who can sweetly and wittily express his enthusiasm over the Awesomeness of Tere should he be so lucky to bask in it. I think I deserve that much.
So, no. I am happy as is, uninterested in bringing drama into my life or creating unnecessary chaos by getting involved with the wrong person.
But - I do have moments where I really feel like I want someone sweet and kind and fun in my life. I get home from a long day at work (I tend to put in an extra hour or two on the days I don't have Max), and I can't help but wish there was someone there who would greet me with a big smile and hug me (also: make out with me like a crazy fool, but that's another topic, for another day. Or really, a topic I will never discuss here), and then insist that I just relax, making sure I listen and obey while he finishes whatever needs to be finished before he relaxes with me. Really, that's what I want: to be able to relax with someone.
God, I'm such a sap. I can't believe I just admitted that.
Well. I suppose this is better than being sucked in the depths of despair, feeling nothing but pain and misery. I consider it progress.
I fly today - have a short business trip to Georgia - and as you well know, this blows as far as I'm concerned. Same fears, same dread, and an utter lack of medication for it. Wish me luck and pray for my safe return.