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Still Alive...Mostly

Posted on December 23rd, 2010 at 11:10
Although most of you know that because we are also friends in real life and/or on Facebook.  I know nobody is actually worried about my state of living or not living, but I thought I would try to post something anyway.  If anyone remembers that I have a blog, then awesome.  If nobody remembers that I have a blog (which would be fair) then I'm writing this for me (which I should be doing anyway!)

The most obvious change in my life recently is my break-up with Patrick.  While I don't feel a blog is a good place at all to go into the deeper, darker, and more personal parts of a break-up itself, I do want to touch on a few things about me and how I have dealt with emotional distress in the past, and contrast that to how I deal with it now.

When I was 16, I had my heart broken for the first time.  It really sucked.  I had no tools to deal with it at all.  No confidence, no insight, no emotional or mental experience or capacity to deal with the loss.  So, I cried a lot.  It's the first time I remember actually sobbing.  I remember thinking, mid sob, that I had never, to my knowledge, cried that hard before.  The other way I coped was to stop eating.  I remember my Mom was really worried, and I remember her making me tiny plates of food with, like, three crackers and a spoonful of cottage cheese, and maybe a baby carrot or two.  I don't remember feeling stubborn about it, like I was refusing to eat....I just couldn't eat.  (My Mom may remember these events differently.)

This dabbling in anorexia only lasted for about a week or so.  I was never good at anorexia.  I was also never good at bulimia or cutting myself, although I dabbled in those things as well over the coming months and years.  I was stuck in this terrible middle ground of low self-esteem.  Most of the time it wasn't that bad.  I was a generally happy kid with a great family.  But when it WAS that bad, I would sometimes wish it was always that bad, so I could at least have and keep the motivation to do something about it.  Like develop an eating disorder. 

Fast forward 10 years.  I am now 26.  The break-up when I was 16 is the only other break-up I have experienced that I consider to be a "real" break-up.  It's the only thing I have to compare with what I'm going through now, although that doesn't mean I haven't had other experiences in the mean time that have been valuable and that I have learned from.  Overall, it still really sucks.  It fucking sucks.  And pardon my language and yes I probably use that word too lightly most of the time for most of my readers comfort, but it's pretty much the best word for describing how much it sucks. 


I see changes in myself, more clearly than I ever have before.  And it is not the break-up itself that has caused these changes to happen, but maybe just the grab-me-by-the-shoulders-and-shake-me that I needed in order to be able to see them.  I am so, so sad.  I'm so worried and anxious and uncertain about my future and what is the right thing to do.  I am angry at the cruel irony that it wasn't until after Patrick and I broke up that I began to realize how much I had grown as a person in the time that I spent with him.  How much he helped me to see that I am a worthy and good person, who is worthy of a good partner, and good friends, and good people in her life.  And perhaps most cruelly, how I can see so much more clearly now, all these things that I could have done to be a better partner for him.

I think the biggest difference for me and how I'm dealing with things now compared to 10 years ago, is that I'm trying.  I'm trying so hard.  When I was 16 I didn't know how to try.  I didn't want to try.  I wanted to be sad.  I wanted him back and if I couldn't have him back then I was going to continue to be sad.  I didn't want to think about anything, I didn't want to learn from it or consider if he was even a good match for me (he wasn't), it was either be sad or have him back.  This is still my instinct!  I feel it there, inside me, waiting for me to lose my footing so it can pull me in.  It's a fine line between being sad and giving in to the sadness.  I have to allow myself to be sad, to grieve, to have the occasional sob.  But I also have to be able to pull out of that, and go play soccer or basketball or have dinner with a friend.  I've felt close to losing this battle, and there are times when I just want to jump in and give up.  But there is something in me that is holding on too tightly.  I am both exasperated and grateful for whatever part of me that is.  But mostly grateful.

Well!  Do we all feel happy and in the spirit of Christmas after that?  Geeze.


(Anonymous) at 2010-12-23 21:31 (UTC) (Link)

You're one of my favorite people ever! I wish we lived closer to each other so we could hang out. I could go on and on with things I love about you!

Stinkin' SMART
Easy going
Go writer
A good friend

Just to name a few.

Hey remember that one time we were dragging state in my car and we pulled up next to some cute boys, but my window was broken and wouldn't roll down? Then that one time we thought my real dad lived in that apartment and we'd drive by it all the time. Then we'd drive by JL's house. ;) We would always make lists of things we wanted to do. Go rent the latest and greatest non rated R VHS. Make cookies. Play volcano. Football in the dark. You would play the Lion King song on the piano while I would dance around. I would always watch you go to swimming lessons. You were good at the back dive. Sitting on the skateboard down the driveway. Biohazard battle spectators. Sleeping outside in your wooden trailer. Making that giant snowman, which is still the biggest one I've EVER seen. Jumping on Mark's tramp. I could go on and on... those were the good old days!

Love you Jen!
(Anonymous) at 2010-12-23 21:32 (UTC) (Link)
*I meant good writer.
I hope you know who this is:)
(Anonymous) at 2010-12-23 22:48 (UTC) (Link)
Oh my sweet Jen! I just want to call and talk and cry with you on the phone but can't cause you are at work. I am happy you are learning what the rest of us have always known...that you are an amazingly smart and talented woman. And I am soooo glad you are holding on. Don't forget that you can lean on us when you need a little support.
Love you, Mom
(Anonymous) at 2011-01-03 21:17 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad that your awesome self is still mostly alive. I've always thought that sometimes leaving such a committed relationship is kind of an all-around brave thing to do. And takes LOTS of self-esteem. You're so great!

(Anonymous) at 2011-01-26 01:57 (UTC) (Link)
Jenny Sue!
Don't have much to say that everyone else hasn't already said. Glad you're alive! I know what it feels like to have to let go of something you though would last forever - or at least for a while. I have the opposite problem though - can't stop eating!
You're awesome and I miss you! Come to the reunion this year so we can catch up!
Love ya!
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