It’s been lazy, lots of napping today. The title pretty much sums it up, shit is getting real!
I haven’t had anxiety driving or going anywhere for quite awhile now, I’ve just not gone on a longer trip, yet. That changes pretty soon. It’s going to be a ton of work packing, sorting, loading. It’ll just be us, Bottlecap, the RV, and the Jeep vs the world!
I’m doing the best I can trying not to pre-determine my experience and stress out about how it may feel breaking out of the bubble, how the specific drive may feel. The truth is, I know how it could feel at the worst of it, I did drive many times up to Michigan from Lafayette to see Elaine’s family.
I think that there’s a curse of sorts I’ll be breaking this time around, an illogical fear formed from the spiritual and emotional gaslighting, the destruction of my agency and demonization I went through due to Amanda. She had me convinced that something cataclysmic would happen on a spiritual, universal, spooky scale if I left, every time I tried to. “I don’t think you are *supposed* to leave”
And while now I can certainly process it now as intentional emotional abuse to maintain my income and our rental home, and have accepted it in some way for what it is, logic doesn’t always speak to our emotions and irrational fears. Someone could be an elevator engineer, know every single safety system and know for a fact that the specific elevator they should ride is in tip-top condition, but still have absolute terror riding on one.
The only thing you can do is just do it and go through the fear until you are on the other side, even if it ends up being repeatedly until it finally clicks.
I heard some psychology around how people change and what drives us,
specifically around positive reinforcement.
I’ve had quite a few negative, including childhood/foundational experiences around travel. The first time I remember leaving the state was going to Florida as my grandfather was ill. We drove through the Blizzard of 96, I had double pneumonia with asthma and my grandfather was in bad shape. I was terrified of storms and it stormed every single night in that tin can of a trailer we stayed in.
Power was out, gasoline was hard to come by, and we could have gotten stuck or drove off a cliff in whiteout conditions in the mountains at any point. I remember having to stop and vomit with a burning fever and all I can really remember is the dim glow of the dashboard, headlights, and all of the blowing snow. Mom’s husband had a weak stomach and vomited with me.
I went to Cali to see my uncle twice. The second time was due to getting in trouble in school. The two times I went to Florida, with partners, those partnerships fell apart shortly after arriving back home. The Florida trip with Amanda was the start of her absolutely obsessing over Kayden and it was the start of us falling apart.
We went to Chicago for my birthday and I was pretty much ignored the whole time. I cried so much on that trip.
The last time I saw Lola, we ran into the neighbor backing out and busted out the taillight of the Prius and when I got my van done, that police chase happened and totaled out all of my, Lo’s vehicles in our driveway while we were sleeping.
God damn, I haven’t thought of some of this shit for awhile now. Does it make sense why I’ve been fucking traumatized? LOL.
So, the task is to get in some good experiences, and enough of them without major trauma to build that confidence up again. I think it’ll be alright, unless we get ran into by a semi and total out the RV and Jeep somehow, or something stupid happening when driving to my mom’s. I think if it did, I’d just give up, lol.
It’s not like I sit around all day and think of these things or logically think that, and worry about a meteor coming down and wiping out the RV or something, at least not on the daily like I was after my marriage fell apart. It’s more of an automatic emotional thing I have to deal with.
I think what’s made it more difficult this time around is the often visceral bodily sensations and stress I went through. When Amanda visited on her birthday at the campground, my resting heart rate was 130-150 the whole time she was there and by the time she left, I felt faint. Around that same time there was a freakish mesocyclone and tornado warning with very high winds that rocked the RV, but that’s besides the point.
Things got so bad that anytime I talked to her or was around her, my body had an allergic reaction with high heart rate, often extreme stress. Those first few times she went to Kayden’s late I just laid in bed and sweated through the sheets in a cold chill. She formed much of the same, hives and gastrointestinal issues.
It felt like I was spiritually under attack, like nothing I had experienced before and I was so confused as I never believed in that shit, but had opened the flood gates into spirituality. It was a bad time.
I think at the core of it I felt like I needed to rip open my vulnerability, emotionality and find spirituality to compete with Kayden to save my marriage, initially; at least thinking about it from an animal kingdom point of view when there is competition.
I wanted to be what she wanted and not only did I sacrifice my identity, but she hated to loose the person she knew and married. She could just never stop doing the thing that was destroying us and once she made it abundantly clear she’d abandon Lola and I for him and it was do the open relationship, or leave, I went off the deep end.
I’ve often questioned why i stayed and subjected myself to such trauma, but I think it isn’t too outlandish for someone who had just gotten married to try and save things. God, I was so sad and it felt like that no matter what I did, she couldn’t see, or worse, didn’t care.
Maybe that’s the last piece and I’ve just discovered it, that she didn’t care. We’re rational people, you know? You wouldn’t think that someone could be such a monster and intentionally hurt someone like that, right?
She felt abandoned and alone in our relationship after loosing Kayden (well, Kayden getting jealous and ghosting her) and there wasn’t much space to celebrate us or enjoy the potential of our emotional connection shortly after getting together due to the gaping hole that Kayden left. I had tried to do that work with Elaine and I refused to do that emotional labor again, it really isn’t my responsibility to.
Things would have been much different if I was the person I am now, with my poly/open relationship experiences. I would have known from the start what her saying things were a “little weird” meant; but I also became that person due to everything that happened, so there’s no way I could have known. And to be fair, she didn’t, either.
It was just the worst timing and situations, period, like, there couldn’t have been literally a worse setup from the get-go and our old friend NRE didn’t help a damn bit.
But just playing with that a bit, who I am now, I would have never gotten into that relationship to begin with if it were open from the start and I know it wouldn’t have worked on her end, either. She wants, or thinks she wants multiple serious partners, or did. I want a primary and I don’t mind fucking around on the side and with my primary. I don’t want, or need to sleep next to multiple people, I want to go deep with one person and I’m not as emotionally driven and addicted to need several people to go deep with.
I have other things to do in my life then to exist in my feelings, you know? I have solar projects, to be weird cool RV guy, all sorts of crazy shit to do in this life and I want to share it with someone who can be serious with me and have space for me. I need to build that shelter with someone that will withstand the storms of life.
I want someone that will at least hang out with me when I go crazy and spend all day trying to get the RV unstuck from the mud so we can spend a weekend together, instead of being distant then throwing it in my face that I’m not “adventurous” anymore.
The comparison was especially brutal, that phone call where all of the reasons why person X was a better fit than Y to be a partner. But it’s also funny as many of the reasons didn’t even make sense, lol.
But anyway, it’s going to be nice getting out of Indy and finally breaking away from all of that. I think there’s a part of me that’ll mark the closure of that chapter and provide closure by leaving, and why I’ve been so frightened to up until this point.
Maybe it’s not been that bad of a timeline of healing in the scope of things. A year on Arlington down the road from her, a year outside the circle. Maybe two years isn’t that bad to have accomplished the work I have done in this period and to have recovered as much as I have.
The only thing I can do is to continue choosing to see the positives and rewrite those narratives to make myself the hero of my own story. It’s only been a sad story and a waste of time if I fail to see what I’ve learned and the person I’ve become, for better or worse.