Hey Miss Things

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a couple of days. I’ve been CRAZY busy and…

That’s donkey doodie.

I mean, I HAVE been crazy busy. But that’s not the reason I’ve been MIA. I’ve been in something akin to an emotional twister.

My Ex came back into my life.

No, not the one I was talking about before. This one is the REAL DEAL EX–you know the one I’m talking about: the forever one. The one that you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with. The one whom you woke up next to one morning; saw the sunlight streaming across his exquisitely beautiful mocha brown face; and cried the first ever tears of joy because you knew you could die now. Like Faust, you knew that no moment would be better than this.

Yeah…THAT bastard.

Long, LONG story. Suffice it to say it brought back ,many moments of heaven and hell. It left me sobbing in my bedroom, and laughing hysterically on my balcony. It left me wanting to drown my sorrows in a case of MGD and a fifth of Jack, and reminding myself that at the Queen’s age–all it would do is knock me out and leave me useless the next day.

So, being too broke to call my therapist, I decided to lean on my tried and true methods of working through the emotion.

Step 1: Vent


one thing i don’t need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry

i am simply tired
of collectin
i didnt know
i was so important toyou
i’m gonna haveta throw some away
i cant get to the clothes in my closet
for alla the sorries
i’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
‘if you called
to say yr sorry
call somebody
i dont use em anymore’
i let sorry/ didnt meanta/ & how cd i know abt that
take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn
i’m gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/ i’m gonna soothe mine

you were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death
talkin bout you sorry
i will not call
i’m not goin to be nice
i will raise my voice
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face
& i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways
i will play oliver lake
& i wont be sorry for none of it

i loved you on purpose
i was open on purpose
i still crave vulnerability & close talk
& i’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me
i cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you’re mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein yrself

Ntozake Shange-for Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf

Step 2: Food

Individual Chocolate Melting Cakes

Serves 8 when you’re not using it to drown sorrows| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 35m
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
caramel sauce
coffee ice cream
Heat oven to 325° F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat.
In another large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and melted chocolate. Mix with a spoon until well blended.
Divide the batter evenly into 8 muffin tins and bake until the cakes have just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
The cakes will still look a bit moist on top. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Serve warm with the caramel sauce and ice cream.


Step 3: Distraction

This recently bestowed officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, talked with Interview Magazine. The Queen mostly drooled at the pictures–but it’s also a decent article, imho. It doesn’t hurt that he’s only slightly younger than I. The fact that this man will be receiving his AARP invitation in the mail in three years, might make me skip the last couple of bites of chocolate cake…

Not a chance.

Step 4: Hope

In the midst of my machinations, I was reading about the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and his lovely wife’s visit to the White House. Once again there was a picture of the Commander In Chief looking at his wife as if no one else were around.
No matter what your politics are, or how much you may be frustrated with some of his policies, you have to admit one thing: this is a man in love. The possibility of looking into someone’s eyes once again and see THAT, gives me the courage to go once more unto the breach.

That…and an individual chocolate cake.

Miss Things, what’s your process for “getting over” something, or someone?


13 thoughts on “Therapy

  1. My experience on moving on after the end of an intense relationhip may be completely irrelevent. My husband died 4 years ago after 26 years of marriage so I ended up putting him in the ground instead of showing him the door but it still left many conflicting emotions behind, including how I was going to spend the rest of my life.

    First off, reading the subtext. You do not want, of need this person back as your significant other. Whether you can open your heart enough to allow him any room in your life depends on your relationship with friends, family, or co-workers and is he part of the circle. Don’t allow other people’s desire to feel comfortable to push you into “playing nice” with someone that has violated your trust. A simple, ” I love you guys but maybe an evening when x isn’t invited would be better for us to catch up.” If you can’t get out of joint appearances, don’t drink, don’t flaunt inappropriate new partners (even if it sounds like fun) be polite and leave early.

    Second, take care of yourself. Indulge, in moderation. Exercise. It clears the head, gives you time to yourself to think, and releases endorphins which make you feel better.

    Don’t isolate yourself. It can make you more susceptible to your ex’s manipulations. Keep busy even if you have to resort to spring cleaning. Better yet, get out the bucket list and make a plan to check something off it.

    It sounds like there is still a lot of bitterness and hurt left. Don’t give in to it. Consider it a learned life lesson. Besides a list of attributes you are looking for in a life partner, you have added a few things to your mental list of what you don’t want. That is equally as important.

    I, too, get a kick out if the way our President looks at his wife. Like she’s all that and a hot fudge Sundae too.

    One final thing…
    It’s okay to break things. I suggest cheap plates and do it outside. The cleanup is easier.

  2. Thank-you for “distraction” (*sigh*). That man is fine.

    Also for pointing out the way Mr. President looks at our First Lady. LOVE.

    Sorry for your current emotional upheaval. Have you yet determined if this person’s reemergence is a good or bad thing?? I’ve been there/done that, only to find that they’re (the person) relatively disappointing the second time around. Honestly, getting back with them was the most effective way of “getting over” them, if that makes sense?

  3. Oh, Scotty, move over and make room on that couch, and we’ll both listen very carefully to Dr. Julaine, whose advice is golden. In my case, my bastard, the one I’m now divorcing, had an official diagnosis, narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathic subtype (with strong evidence lately that he’s fully embraced the sociopathic beast). He was even in therapy for it for several years, which somewhat “worked,” kinda like insulin works for a diabetic – it’s about maintenance, not a cure. The therapist always warned me, though, to be prepared for the day when he’d say, fuck it, this is me, and I’m not trying anymore. When the economy tanked, his progress pretty much tanked with it (he was in the mortgage business, and to say the least people with personality disorders are not adaptable to new realities). He, as they say, “decompensated” with a vengeance, right off the deep end, and is now living 5,000 miles away, broke, with an ex-girlfriend who is supporting him while he believes he is about to make a zillion dollars on the Internet (about a step above the “Nigerian prince” kind of crap), having left behind huge amounts of financial fallout in my lap.

    (And if you’re wondering why this woman, who actually is intelligent and well-educated, would take him in (which is the burning question of everyone in his family, including his mother), all I can say is, think Don Draper. Seriously, it’s uncanny. And you can just imagine that someone like Don – handsome, charismatic, brilliant, charming – reckless, irresponsible, and deeply insecure – say, 20 years down the road, having lost everything and broke – well, that fucker is still going to have women taking him in, amirite?)

    ANYWAY, I still manage to talk to the ex’s and my former therapist on occasion. He is kind enough to give me a discounted rate, and we talk on the phone once or twice a month. I can pass on some of his advice, number one of which is DO NOT ENGAGE. And if your bastard shared any of the pathologies of my bastard, learn about them. Knowledge really is power. The best thing the Internet ever did for me was lead me to a site called “Malignant Self-Love” by Sam Vaknin, who shockingly managed to describe my ex to the letter. It was my first step out of the rabbit hole, and I REALLY like it out here. Once you’ve got yourself standing on that solid ground, then really think about what you want your life to look like, what you want to do, where you want to live, what kind of people you want to be with. You’re not going to get those from any man, so don’t leave them to chance, leave NOTHING to chance.

    But paradoxically, be very open to chance, to surprise, if that makes any sense, especially when you’re doing the heavy slog that it takes to be in a rebuilding phase. You never know where what you really need is coming from next. Like my awesome sons, this last Christmas/Hannukah/my birthday, got together and bought me this bicycle, this adorable folding Citizen bike that I can haul on the bus or subway. And I’ve hardly ridden a bike in decades, and really wanted one, but was totally, TOTALLY unprepared for the pure pleasure it’s adding to my life. I’m absolutely hooked (and such a better addiction than my usual preferred bottle or so of wine!). I’m already mapping out a ride to Coney Island for the summer. And the boys are getting tired of me texting them and thanking them every time I go out for a ride, but, I mean, they just have no idea.

    Well, I’ve clearly made up for lost time …. this is what happens once you get me started! (I did start to answer the post about women losing all sense when it comes to men, but I’ll spend the rest of my life on that one. Suffice it to say it’ll never happen again – it would take a helluva man to compete with my city and my bicycle.)

    • I want to hug you, Mefein. I simply suspected mine was nuts, yours really was!

      Congrats to you my dear, for coming out of hell so well intact.

  4. Thanks especially for that last picture. Makes me wanna cry, it’s so sweet. Gives me hope, too. I know how terribly shaken and sad seeing a lost love (THE love) can make you. Especially if you’re not in love at the moment. I actually hid once, I was so messed up seeing him walk into a restaurant with another woman when I was already there. I wasn’t up to acting normally while being introduced. When he came back to see if anything was left much later, I was shocked and somewhat to find that the feelings were pretty much gone. Didn’t ever think that would happen. I think he’d put me through so much heartache, my brain just said “Enough, already!” I hope you get through to the other end of heartache quickly. The tips are good.

    But, damn, those pictures of Lenny are FINE!!!

  5. First of all, I can but be thankful for a blogger who, in the midst of their own upheaval, brings into my afternoon: semi-clad Lenny Kravitz photos, quick & delicious chocolate recipes, adorable photos of our first couple, Ntozake Shange’s poetry, AND Henry V’s speech before Harfleur.

    “Getting over”? I’m not as evolved as julaine & mefein. When it’s really, really bad I bore everyone who will listen. [On the plus side, those of my friends who suffered through the worst of those conversations are now more than friends – I am loyal to them despite our mutually incompatible life choices and I am willing to do more for them than they’ve ever asked of me.]

    Failing a listener, I talk to myself ad nauseum, which works better if I’m moving while I do it but you do risk looking like a raving lunatic. Nowadays I recommend a visible phone stuck in your ear, no-one needs to know it’s not on. For me, talking to myself is 98% as good as paying a therapist. Because at this stage I’m not really in learning mode, I’m just processing.

    When it’s not really bad, keep occupied. Exercise and work (ideally physical). Endorphins are your friend. A sense of accomplishment at a task completed is also.

    I usually get into great shape during these periods because exercise is so helpful in making me feel better.

    Stay in touch with the positive people in your life. Embrace opportunities to be helpful to others and to engage with them, however reluctant/negative you may feel about doing so. Set limits to the amount of time you stay at home in the safe cocoon, and stick to them.

    Eventually, I come out the other side, with the ability to engage normally & happily in a full life. But like I said, I’m not so evolved as some because I’m not really doing anything with the pain, just filling the time with stuff I can do to distract me from it until it fades away.

    There are people (well, there was one, for me) that you can only be 100% over if one meets them after you’re 90-some% over them, good with your life, and can see them with a fairly cool eye and realize that, objectively, they might be great but they’re waay far from perfect and it’s a tad perplexing how they ever engendered so much suffering.

    • Well, actually, you sound much more evolved than me. I don’t know about processing the pain. I think eventually it just subsides and gets replaced by other things. But any way you cut it, it’s just one old heavy slog. I think the biggest trick is taking what you know perfectly well in your brain and can put down very clearly in black and white and making it so you actually feel it in your bones. Like it’s really tough to stop craving that one last apology, even though like Ntozake Shange I had become fed up with collecting them a LONG time ago, and I know in my brain it would be worthless.

      And I heartily third the recommendations for both getting out of the house and getting exercise. Most of my work is done in my apartment on the computer, but I also started a dog-walking business (and now that I have my bike, I use it to go to and between my doggie clients). It has made a huge, HUGE difference, being forced to get out and about and get some exercise, and since it’s relatively non-stressful it’s great for ruminating or meeting and talking with other dog owners/walkers. I would be SO inclined to cocoon otherwise.

      Also, dogs just make awesome listeners…

      • Oh, I hear you about that last apology. In the case of my marriage, any real apology or closure. I’ve never quit feeling that I damn well deserve it. But I have come to realize that if I got it, it would mean nothing to me. It would actually be kind of awkward, like when someone is working their 12 steps and wants to “make amends,” and you would *reaaaaally* just rather not – but you feel compelled to hear them out because they need to do it.

  6. formallyamom said: “Failing a listener, I talk to myself ad nauseum, which works better if I’m moving while I do it but you do risk looking like a raving lunatic. Nowadays I recommend a visible phone stuck in your ear, no-one needs to know it’s not on. For me, talking to myself is 98% as good as paying a therapist. Because at this stage I’m not really in learning mode, I’m just processing.”

    This is pretty much my strategy as well. Well talking aloud or writing it down. After I cut ties with my “one”* I must have written tens of thousands of words of ~feelings~ in the first couple months. I also recommend the physical activity thing, though this is a case of me not following my own advice. I walk a lot, but that’s pretty much it, and I’m much more inclined to hide in my bed than go outside when I’m feeling bad about something. I also self-medicate with romance novels as a way to step outside myself and pretend life is perfect. It works better if I write them rather than reading them, but reading works too.

    To me the most important thing is being kind to yourself and letting yourself grieve for what was lost. Even if by the end the bad outweighed the good, letting yourself miss the good that was there is good. The last thing you need is self-loathing on top of the pain that comes with a recently ended relationship. That was something I really struggled with, since I’m inclined to be extremely self sufficient and letting someone else hurt me that badly proved that I’d let someone who wasn’t be become instrumental to my happiness. Letting go of that feeling, at least temporarily, really helped with the healing process because I could get all the pain and bitterness out without feeling guilty about having to.

    I wish you the best of luck with your own process and I hope it goes as smoothly as such things can. Also, thank you so much for opening /yourself/ up to us, as well as the rest of the excellent content you bring us. The world really does need more people like you~

    *It should be noted at this point that I am super young and don’t have the experience or the perspective to declare someone the “one.” But damn did it feel like it at the time.

  7. Long time reader, first time caller. I want to send you hugs! We’ve all been there. THE ex is such a trips you up bitch.

    After the last time we thought about getting back together I stopped singing the following by the Magnetic Fields:

    I don’t want to get over you
    I guess I could take a sleeping pill
    And sleep at will
    And not have to go through what I go through
    I guess I should take Prozac, right,
    And just smile all night
    At somebody new,
    Somebody not too bright
    But sweet and kind
    Who would try to get you off my mind
    I could leave this agony behind
    Which is just what I’d do
    If I wanted to,
    But I don’t want to get over you

    Cause I don’t want to get over love
    I could listen to my therapist,
    Pretend you don’t exist
    And not have to dream of what I dream of;
    I could listen to all my friends
    And go out again
    And pretend it’s enough,
    Or I could make a career of being blue
    I could dress in black and read Camus,
    Smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth
    Like I was 17
    That would be a scream
    But I don’t want to get over you

  8. My goodness, a few days off for massive midterms and I’ve missed so much!

    At the ripe old age of almost 27 (I jest), I have already been divorced once. I married my college sweetheart after dating for 4 years, and married for just over 1. My divorce was finalized over a year after we split, which was the worst year of my life.

    Being married to an addict is hard. Divorcing an addict is even harder.

    ScottyF, my dear, the fiercest of the Fierce Black Queens… you deserve better. It matters not who ended it, nor for what reason. Some people come into your life destined to change you and leave it, and some are destined to stay. I think that person for you, like my ex-husband, is the former.

    My tried and true methods for getting over the hump, so to speak:

    1. Call up your favorite shit talking squirrel friend and have her rip into that man until she has you in tears of laughter. Even if she has to make stuff up… laughter is the important part.
    2. Chocolate.
    3. Cut off all ties with said person. No one likes to be the middle of the night drunk calls begging to be taken back… OR the middle of the night drunk calls reminding them what a waste of humanity they are.
    4. Chocolate.
    5. Exorcism. Every item that reminds you of them needs to go into a box and into a hiding place. I swear putting it under the bed gave me nightmares so mine went into the closet. That doesn’t mean everything in said box needs to be thrown away… it just needs to be hidden away until you can face them. No one needs to put a time limit on when you deal with something.
    6. More chocolate.

    In all seriousness though, the grieving process for my marriage was very, very long and painful, made harder by his incessant habit of sending me sweet (You’re my angel, please come back!), angry (How could you do this to YOUR HUSBAND?!) and downright mean (You’re a whore and I never loved you anyway) text messages no earlier than 2AM.

    I was fortunate enough to work with a large amount of alpha females who had all been in my situation before. My 25th birthday rolled around about 9 months after we had split up. My boss, the queenliest of all women, wrote on my birthday card,

    “One is not born a woman. She becomes one.”

    She was right. I became a much stronger person after my divorce, and infinitely more self aware than I thought possible.

    My current boyfriend is amazing. I love him to pieces, but this is the first relationship where I knew if it ended… I would truly be ok with being alone. The fact that I want him, as opposed to need him, was a huge step toward being a self sufficient adult for me.

    Also… being from the South, there’s nothing quite like having his picture blown up and using it for target practice with your retired USAF/police officer sgt. father who never liked that bastard anyway.

    • You are one damn smart, evolved almost 27 year old! I’d say you’ve made the transition to woman. A lot sooner than most–including myself. All the best for the future to you and FBQ!

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