A very important list

I love lists.

I do. I write lists constantly.  It helps with my anxiety to see things on paper in front of me.  To-do lists are everywhere in my world.  Organization is beauty for me; it’s one of the reasons I love my job.

I also apparently love choosing the wrong guy. I am really good at it.  I find someone that seems so good for me, and then…they aren’t.  I need to break out of the patterns I have created for myself.  I need to be specific.  I need to be picky.

So, in true Brianne fashion, I have created a list of qualities that a potential partner must have. No settling.  Not anymore.  I’m too old to settle and I have two amazing little girls that don’t deserve to have someone in their life that isn’t going to be there long term, or isn’t going to be a positive role model.

There are some incredibly random items on this list, but trust me: they are all there for a specific reason. I am an open book – if any items need clarification or explanation, I’d love to provide it.

  • Tall (5’10 or above)
  • Well groomed
  • Smells good
  • Has post-secondary education
    • Doesn’t matter what type of PSE
    • Doesn’t matter if they graduated or with what degree/diploma/certificate
  • Has a stable job
  • Owns a car
  • Lives on his own (not with parents, roommate, etc.)
  • Owns at least one suit
  • Good grammar/spelling
  • Smart
  • Good sense of humour
    • Is funny
    • Thinks I’m funny
  • Can participate in witty banter
    • Sarcastic
    • Appreciates my sarcasm
  • Good relationship with parents, but not overbearing
  • First date must be an actual date
  • Friendly with wait staff, store clerks, etc.
  • If he has kids, must see them on a very regular basis
  • Likes at least one sport
  • Can recognize at least one Matthew Good song
  • Punctual
  • Swears, but not every other word
  • Doesn’t vape
  • Drinks but not every night, and not to excess
  • Does not speak negatively of any exes
  • Self-sufficient
  • Smiles in photos
  • No earrings
  • Treats me with respect
  • Trusts and is trustworthy
  • Not sexist/racist/homophobic/anything douchey

Late night revelation

I take Zoloft.  I’ve been on medication for ten years, but have just started Zoloft recently.  I’m still on an increasing dose, although where I am now seems pretty good most days.  I’m trying to determine if I like where I am right now or if I should continue the increase.

Some days I feel like the medication is not working very well.  It’s so difficult to describe, but I feel un-medicated.  I am used to having a medication that masks all of my emotions, rendering me robotic.   I switched medications because I wanted to try having a wider range of emotions: I was getting tired of having only numb and number.  Although I am coping better since starting this medication, I don’t have that overly medicated zombie-esque façade to which I become accustomed.  Quite often it would go through my mind that perhaps this medication was not working.

Today, I forgot to take my pill.  I have an alarm set on my phone that goes off at 8:00am during the week and 9:00am on weekends to remind me to take my pill.  Every morning I try to remember to take the pill before my alarm goes off; it’s some kind of game I play against myself.  Last night I was up late and today I had to start working an event at noon, so instead of setting myself an extra alarm to wake me, I decided to just use the pill reminder alarm.  I forgot to take my pill and there was no second alarm to remind me.

Halfway through my event today I realized that I had forgotten to take my medication.  I was working so I knew I wouldn’t be able to take it until tonight.  I made a mental note in my head and reminded myself that these pills didn’t seem to be doing much so it likely didn’t matter that I’d forgotten today’s dosage.  My day went on and I took the pill when I got home.

On an unrelated note, I’ve spent the day stressing over a personal situation.  I like someone, I think they like me back, I don’t know how much…I’m pretty much a teenager.  I’ve gone full “girl crazy” as I obsess over it.

And then I feel stupid for overthinking the situation.  I always do this: I overanalyze everything.  I tell myself over and over again that I need to stop stressing myself out.  At the same time, however, I tell myself that I’m probably right: he probably doesn’t like me.

I think, you are so stupid.  Why do I keep doing this? Why do I let myself get hurt? Why do I overthink and overanalyze and why do I care? Why can’t I just shut off and let no one in? Why did I think it was okay to let someone in?

I should just kill myself.

That’s when I stopped.  I completely froze.  I was walking from my bedroom to the living room and I stopped dead in my tracks.  A whoosh of breath took the word “whoa” out of my lungs and into the silent room.

I started talking to my brain as if it were two separate people: an intimidated nerd against the unapologetic bully.  I couldn’t let this bully speak to me like that.  I gave myself a pep talk.  It’s not okay to say those things.  I need to have respect for myself.  I am worthy of respect.  Why on Earth was I saying these things?

Ah.  Right.  The medication.

The medication IS working.  See what happens when I don’t take the medication? I become even more self-deprecating; suicidal, even.  Although maybe with the medication I am still somewhat crazy as evidenced by the fact that there seem to be two people in my brain.  Three, really, if you take into account this third party referee.

But it is really nice to see that the medication is working.  It is not masking my symptoms by creating a new mask.  It is allowing me to feel…I have a new range of emotions.  Some of them suck, but they’re there.  The medication allows me those emotions, but keeps away the really dark thoughts and feelings.  It’s like a dreamcatcher: it catches the bad thoughts and washes them away with the light.

So, I’m going to take some deep breaths.  I’m going to try to not freak out.  I am worth it.  Maybe you see that I’m worth it.  I hope that you see, but maybe you don’t.  And that would hurt, because I do feel.  I am human.  But I will heal and I will be okay.  You can bend me and you can bruise me but you can’t break me.

I can’t tell you the future.  You can’t tell me.  But I have today.  I know how I felt with you.  And if by some chance you don’t feel the same way, that’s okay.  I’m okay…or at least, I will be.

Sometimes we are just the collateral damage in someone else’s war against themselves.

  1. I need you to watch the kids tonight and Wednesday after work because I have dates.  And not even with Jessica! She’s on the weekend.
  2. I’m not letting you have the house.  We can sell or you can buy me out.
  3. Show me your google maps.  I need to see where you were this weekend.  Show me right now.  What do you have to hide? Let me see where you were.
  4. You don’t care about the kids.  If you cared, you would have been here this weekend.  You didn’t deserve to talk to them.  Isabel was crying for you all weekend and I told her she couldn’t call you because you were too busy to talk to her.
  5. I am going to be extremely unpleasant going forward.  You don’t get friendly.
  6. We are selling this house.  You need to get a line of credit.  I am not paying for getting the house ready to sell.
  7. You gave up on our family for a weekend of sex.
  8. How do we explain to Isabel that mommy doesn’t love daddy anymore and daddy has to leave to live all by himself.  Daddy wants to change and be the best for mommy, but mommy doesn’t want that.
  9. Please, what could I have done differently?  Please, I need closure.  Please, why could I not have fixed it? Why was last week not enough to show you that our family is worth saving and keeping together?
  10. Isabel is going to hate me.  She won’t understand that you’re making me leave.  This is all your decision and I am the one who will look bad to Isabel.  This is so unfair!
  11. I could have forgiven you for everything.  But not this.  For turning your back on our family and forcing me out.  Our child is going to hate me because of this.
  12. You met with a realtor? You want to sell the house? You don’t want to work on us?
  13. Why can’t we work on this? Didn’t I show you that I can change?
  14. I was so good to you last weekend, isn’t that enough to show you that I am a different person?
  15. Please, why can’t we just work on this, on keeping our family together?
  16. This is all on you.  You are the one breaking our family apart.  You are the one forcing me out.  Why can’t you take responsibility for this? I did nothing wrong.
  17. Please, throw out the papers from the realtor.  We can work on this.
  18. You will never, ever find anybody else.
  19. No one will ever love you.
  20. You are worthless.
  21. You are a slut that no one will ever love.
  22. I can’t believe you won’t take responsibility.  This is all on you.

These are things my ex-husband said to me before I left. These were all said in one day, in less than 12 hours.  This is emotional abuse.  This right here.  I’m done pretending it isn’t.  I’m done pretending that I’m not a victim.  I am.  I don’t want to be.  I don’t want to admit that I am.  I don’t want to admit that I let myself get this deep.  I don’t want to admit that I let someone have so much control over me.

I am not weak.  I am scared.  I am lonely.  I have no idea what the future holds for me.  I don’t even know what tomorrow will be like.  But I am not weak.  I will be strong.  I will be brave.  If not for me, then for the two amazing little girls who need me to be strong for them.

“Sometimes we are just the collateral damage in someone else’s war against themselves.” – Lauren Eden