Friday, March 23, 2012

Too Soon?

“Is your own life, feelings and observations about the world and events not enough for you to blog about? Is it so important to you to defile, debase and continually abuse others in your blogs? Are you so insecure that you alone wouldn’t have anything to write about that others would enjoy? 

Apparently and sadly the answer to those questions is obvious to all of your readers. 

So we all hope that Tim goes by the wayside soon in some dramatic episode of Life With Tina - Another One Bites The Dust, of Life With Tina - No One Can Measure Up!” 

- Anonymous 


“It appears that the purpose of your blog, Tina, is to glorify yourself and your life while disparaging and slandering others.

We at karaoke are tired of your ongoing drama.
Find something else to do and stay away.

Give the poor people of the world a break (start with Monte and Steven).

Good luck, Tim. You’re next on the list of outcasts. Your life will be fodder too.

- Anonymous


I’ve received quite a few comments on my blog since I began writing it close to two years ago. Not all of them have been... desirable. However, I understand very well that when you put yourself on display the way I choose to, not everyone is going to have nice things to say about it. For the most part, I do receive feedback that people enjoy what I’m doing or that they find me relatable and refreshing. I try to focus on those good comments more so than the harsh ones... but admittedly, it’s not always easy. 

The comments above were left on a blog I wrote when Tim and I first started dating and took a trip to San Francisco together. There were many parallels with that trip and the one I took with my ex-boyfriend, Steven to Hawaii. I did find myself to be careless with how I presented the information as, by that time, any reference to my failed relationship with Steven was - for lack of a better description - “rubbing it in”. Plus, I was still fresh off of hanging with the karate karaoke crew and I found quickly that they are an unforgiving bunch. 

The last sentence of the second comment is one that has hung with me ever since I read it. This week, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head at all. Because this week, I decided to end my ten month relationship with Tim. 

Everyone wants to know why and I’m sure at least a few have been waiting for this blog to pop up so they could read about all the drama that led to my decision. Unfortunately, I will have to disappoint you. This blog is not about why Tim and I broke up. This blog is about what all my blogs are about; looking inside myself and figuring out where to go from here. 

As I indicated in my last post, I really don’t want to hide behind my words after hitting the publish button. I have close friends who have reached out to me and the most amazing family in the world that I have shared a lot with this week. Writing my feelings so publicly has given me the strength I’ve always wanted to ask for help when I need someone to talk to or to show up and cry on my mom’s couch for a few hours because it no longer makes me feel cowardly or weak to do so. 

With that said, I am anxious to get back to what my writing was supposed to be about from the very beginning; an open, honest and engaging look into my head and heart, the decisions I’ve made, the mistakes along the way, and the triumphs when things work out for the best. Yes, this blog is about me. Narcissism at it’s absolute best. 

The last few months, I started having a lot of questions about the direction my relationship with Tim was going. Like with everything else, typically I would just “write it out” and explore my options through the emotions that came up during that process. Feedback from readers has always strongly influenced the decisions I make and for that, I am forever grateful for those who choose to respond. Even the mean ones. 

However, I have found that I can also be mean. I can also hurt people’s feelings and this blog has, unfortunately, been a platform for that more times than I’d like. Therefore, when I’ve been feeling confused or frustrated, I have been choosing to just keep it all inside and let things swim around in my head. This is a dangerous approach for a logical and analytical cynic to take. 

I look back and read some of my past blogs and feel that they are forced... or too light compared to how I was really feeling. They didn’t, at all, reflect some of the battles I was fighting. Sometimes I would tread lightly, only to find myself retreat immediately before I created drama. Sometimes, even the one or two sentences I would post would still cause Tim to feel upset or withdraw from me for a while. 

I’m trying so hard to find a balance between what I do here and what I do in life. Writing this blog gave me a sense of purpose in a world where I felt like I didn’t belong. It made me feel like I was doing something important. However... lately, it’s just been a place to timidly touch on the monsters hiding in the closet. If I wanted to be timid, I wouldn’t have started writing in the first place. 

On the other hand, I want to take the same approach I do with my writing and turn it into how I communicate with people on a personal level. If I had been honest with my feelings from the start and focused on expressing myself on a pure, if not raw level, my relationships with a lot of people might be different than what they are now. I worry that people can’t handle what I have to say. But I realize that’s an extremely egotistical way to be. I haven’t been giving the people in my life a chance to be their own person. I always assume they will behave or react a certain way and then adjust my approach accordingly. 

Who am I to think I’m the only big kid on this playground? 

I’ve been thinking about Jeremy a lot lately as well and his opinion on having “Rules” in life. He is very against this idea - believing instead that taking responsibility for our actions and consciously choosing something different is truly what gives us power. I can’t disagree with any of that. I use rules when I feel like I’m not strong enough to do something myself. 

Tim has been moving his things out of the apartment this week. Things are in shambles and the items he chooses to leave behind sometimes cause me to get choked up. So, the other night, I decided I didn’t want to be in the house. I grabbed a little cash, hopped in my car and drove around the corner to Draft House. 

Fuck it. I’m having a drink. 

I didn’t really think I was drinking that much. I didn’t have any shots but was quickly downing one of their most dangerous brews - a 9% abv stout called Sled dog. I think I had four of them in the course of two hours. 

I woke up the next morning almost fully dressed. I didn’t remember coming home. I vaguely remembered going to the ATM machine and cringed as I looked at my bank statement. Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. However, being 100% responsible for my household finances again, I definitely need to make better decisions with my money. 

I got out of bed, still feeling a little drunk and remembered quickly that I had to be at the dentist in an hour for two tooth extractions. Awesome. 

I opened my door and found my first surprise. A large pile of vomit in the hallway, just outside my bedroom door. I didn’t even make it to the bathroom, which was only another five feet away. I stood there for a moment, trying hard to remember doing this... and failing. I grabbed the carpet spray and cleaned up my mess. 

When I was finished, I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water. Making sure I had at least shut and locked my front door, I went to the top of the stairs and found my second surprise. 

Seven pictures had been knocked off the wall. Broken picture frames and glass were strewn down the stairs. I couldn’t tell from the destruction if I had knowingly taken pictures down and thrown them or if I just kept bouncing off the walls like a drunken ping pong ball. The pictures that were off the wall were in no particular order. I think I just struggled that badly to get up the stairs. 

I sat on the stairs and repaired what I could, having to throw away one complete frame and still needing to glue a few others. 

It was time for me to get going so I wouldn’t be late for the dentist. I quickly ate some yogurt, not knowing how long my appointment was going to be, and began looking for my car key. I found my purse. I found my wallet. I found my house keys. But my car key? Gone. I dumped my purse out, frantically searching all of the pockets to no avail. I looked throughout the kitchen and bedroom. Nothing. Suddenly, I thought to myself “I did drive my car home, right?” and went outside. 

My car was parked in front of the house, looking completely normal. I walked to the driver’s side door and grabbed the handle. My third and final surprise: the key was still in the ignition and the car was turned off, with the stick shift stuck in the reverse position. I went back in the house, grabbed my things and got back into the car, head held down and feeling completely numb. 

It wasn’t until an hour or so later, as I sat sobered up in a dentist’s chair, loaded with oral anesthesia, getting ready to get two perfectly healthy teeth yanked out of my mouth to make room for my other teeth being moved by braces that the shame kicked in. I started crying. I couldn’t stop. My poor dentist and his two assistants didn’t know what to do. I assured them that I was okay, just a little scared and had had a tremendously tough week. I just wanted to get out of there. Unfortunately, my body clearly has a very high tolerance when it comes to oral anesthesia and I ended up being there for almost four hours before my mouth was numb enough to go through the extractions without being in excruciating pain. 

I left in tears. I went straight to my parent’s house. My mom sat with me and listened to everything I had to say. About Tim, about my writing, about my drinking the night before. I told her I just need to write about it. It’s all I can think about. I told her it’s been so long since I was the kind of open and honest writer that I have been in the past and I just need to get it out. She asked me if I was sure I wanted to share all of this - especially what happened with the drinking. I nodded. This is what I do. I need to get back to this. She called me brave. I’m not so sure about that. 

So, that’s been my week. Disaster about covers it... definitely had my moments of breakdown. But Jeremy is right - it’s not about rules. It’s about responsibility. I am stronger than I’ve shown. I can make decisions that are healthy for me and my life. I am not a victim to a substance or a circumstance. I can be honest to those I care about and trust that they will react exactly how they see fit. I can admit that I’m not always right, but as long as I’m honest with my feelings and intentions, nothing else really matters. 

I haven’t been the best version of me this week. I probably haven’t been the best version of me in a while. But that is the great thing about the Universe - it IS forgiving. It just asks that after I fall, I get up, brush myself off, recommit and get back in the ring. Which is exactly what I plan on doing. 

I am better than who I’ve been. It’s time I start acting like it.

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes silence is a stronger weapon even though there has been times when I have kicked some ass with a pen and paper....let's allow what we write make the author feel better about themselves. Some people need to throw salt and express negativity in order to have this happen for them. Lack of sound from ones mouth allows the other hear how negative they sound.

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  2. You know Tina I do enjoy reading your blogs, sad to say I don't check your blogs as much only because because they are so long that I don't always have the time to read them when you post them, BUT, I do go back when i have a day off and catch up on them. I will also add I love them when they are long! It means you are going to talk about more about what's on your mind so keep up the long blogs :) I would like to voice my opinion and say this is your blog and you can say whatever the hell you want to. Period. Obviously some people are not going to like what you type and to that I say "so what". We all can go back after some time and reflect and say, geez maybe I should have wrote that better. Don't we all do that though? And as for your berating yourself on drinking and making a mess of your apartment and blowing money on the slots, Tina I can't tell you how many times I've done that. Lots of people have done that. In fact last summer when I got my debt all paid off on my credit cards what did I do with the two new ones I got? Yep got stupid drunk and gambled quite a few hundred dollars and not remember doing it a couple times in August. I was so good the previous nine months and then I had a bad week and boom. I get stupid. I've been good since but allow me to also tell you that other people screw up in different ways. For example a really good friend of mine had a rough patch and ended up cheating on her husband :( which was also one of my best friends and now they are fighting about their two kids and the other guy. Guess what, they don't get all drunk and gamble but they mess up in a different big way. People screw up all the time in different ways. We all mess up every once in a while. I guess I'm just trying to make you feel better about what has happened recently to you. I believe at times we need to fall down hard to get our mind's attention. Hey you picked up your self and got your dental stuff done and want to start new again. Good on ya!

    -Nick Vejvoda

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  3. I'm sorry to hear your relationship ended. I know it doesnt seem so now, but you will find that one someday. They are out there, have faith, your friends know what a prize you are and cherish you.

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  4. Tina, I'm sorry to hear about your relationship ending. I wish I could be there for you just like old times and give you a hug and some comforting words. This is Luis by the way, glad I found you. Your writing is so deep and passionate as the Tina I remember.

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