Wednesday, January 17, 2007


"And there ain't no talkin to this man...
He's been tryin to tell me so
It took awhile to understand
the beauty of just letting go
Cause it would take an acrobat, I already tried all that
I'm gonna let him fly
Patty Griffin, "Let Him Fly"

Yesterday I stopped communicating with Mr. Tugboat. I cried and cried when I sent him the message that I wouldn't be able to talk to him for a while - that I was too angry, hurt, and upset to do anything beyond taking care of myself and Zac.

The amazing thing was that once I sent him that message, I felt so much better. I didn't have to worry about hiding my anger from him or trying not to make the snide remarks that come out of my mouth before I even realize their potential for pain. I gave myself permission to be angry and, oh damn, it felt so good.

I've spent a better part of my life hiding from anger. I always thought that "nice" girls/women/people/caring individuals didn't get mad at people. I thought that if someone made you angry, that the best thing to do was to go on like nothing happened until the anger passed. And the anger always passes, right? That's the crutch of the whole system of denial: the belief that anger can pass. I found passive aggressive ways of making people regret hurting me. I hurt them back with my words and my cold actions.

My therapist in New Hampshire once told me that depression is a form of anger directed at yourself. Usually in the course of treating someone for depression, they find the some of the sources of their anger, let it out, and eventually forgive. Suddenly, I felt lighter and began working towards happiness.

Old patterns are hard to break, though. I was talking to MNS last night about triggers, or things that can set off any kind of emotion, action, thought, or behavior. In my case, my trigger caused a depressive episode. Mr. Tugboats behavior and actions towards me triggered the worst kind of self-loathing that quickly tumbled into full-blown, "I don't want to get out of bed and see any kind of humanity and, Oh God, why am I having another anxiety attack?" depression.

Mr. Tugboat moved on, with Ramona (and thank you, again, MNS, for being like me and immediately thinking of Miss Quimby instead of these guys who put out a song with the lyrics, "Sweet sweet little Ramona, she always wants to come over, Sweet sweet little Ramona, I think I'll try and phone her")

*pardon me while I gag for just one moment......Ok, that's better*

So, just as I had been keeping our relationship a secret from the Internet, he had been keeping it a secret from the women that he was dating. A day after he was with me, he met Ramona. He was with Ramona. Now he's dating Ramona. He said that he wanted to be friends and didn't understand why I was hurt so much. He answered her phone call the morning after, while I was still in his apartment and I had to listen to him talk to her. "After all," he reasoned, "you said that we were going to be just friends. You've moved on (I hadn't). I did the same thing (clearly). I think we should all try to hang out together. I think you would really like her."

Really, Mr. Tugboat? You think so, huh?

Enter stage left: my insecurities of being a stupid, pathetic idiot that constantly gets used by the people I care for (who don't return my feelings). I felt like I had fallen for the biggest emotional con of all times.

I did everything for him that I could think of doing: listen to him talk about his soon-to-be-ex-wife for hours and everything she ever did to him, helped him work through the pain of her finding a new boyfriend, dealing with the frustration of her not letting him spend time with his son, and getting an emergency babysitter for Zac so I could help him move into his new apartment when his other friends didn't show up. I even found him the lawyer that is litigating his divorce for less than $500. The lawyer used to work with me and took on Mr. Tugboat's case as a personal favor for me.

A friend should do those things for another friend. It's just that we were more than friends. To have him start dating someone else after everything I had done for him made me feel used and angry.

In fact, I'm still angry, just able to handle it a little better.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that this is happening to you. I went through a very similar time with an "ex" only I was stupid enough to let it drag out for over a year and even took him back once - listening to him take calls from other women, text and instant message them and cancel on me to go out with them. All of that to avoid being lonely. Being a year and a half on the other side of that quite dysfunctional relationship I can tell you there are worse things than being lonely and just because you have someone laying next to you, it will not make you any less lonely or hurt less when you know the reality of the situation.

I know these upcoming weeks/months will be hard. I know you cared for him and are hurt. I know you will second guess the decisions you've made. I know because I've been there. I wish I had the magic words to make it all go away but I just don't. The tears will fall but time WILL ultimately make the hurt fade away. Best wishes to you, NSP.


Caroline said...

Hang in there. I know this has been a tough week and it will probably still be hard for a few weeks. But your Mr. Right is out there waiting for you and from this post it is so obvious that Mr. Tugboat is not your Mr. Right.

Anonymous said...

Mr Right.....he isn't even Mr Kinda Sorta. You are a much better person than he will ever be. Might explain the divorce. Hang in there. . .someone is in the wings waiting to be discovered. Take care of yourself and Zac. He may be occasionaly a three foot tyrant (your words, not mine) but he is one man worth the effort

CruiserMel said...

Oh no he didn't! He talked to her on the phone in front of you? Cad.

Listen, here's a little motivation to get your act together: Zac. If he can grow up seeing Mommy being a "whole" person, a "together" person, one who isn't used as a doormat, he will benefit as a person, too. You are worth way more than he could possibly give.

Howz zat for armchair therapy? Free, too.

jenna said...

^^^ i agree with everyone. and god, i'm so so sorry. believe me, i understand the "don't want to get out of bed" stage. just try not to turn to the cookie dough. bad, bad things come from turning to the cookie dough.

i love you, you amazing, strong, beautiful, passionate, just, witty, fun, intelligent, wonderful woman.

Pregnant In Texas said...

Thank you,all. That was some pretty good armchair therapy! Thanks....keep it coming. I could use it!!

g-starr said...

it is good that you've been brave enough to stop contacting someone who clearly undervalues you, regardless of whether the relationship is a 'friendship' or anything else.

so please congratulate yourself on that! love g xxx

Abby said...

I agree with everyone else. Try and I know it is hard, but try to see it this way:

This is a guy that lacks so much of something (everything?) that he will talk to other women in front of you. Not only that but he will be with you and not tell the other women? And sorry but other WOMEN, as in more than one? Not acceptable. You deserve to have one man's entire and full attention. Period. ANd what kind of person is he with all this hiding and lying? Not someone worth even one tear.

Try to think on those things. I know it will not be easy. But you have got to know that you deserve more than that.

Take care.

Amanda. said...

Comes The Dawn

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul,
and you learn that
love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't mean security,
and you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises,
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up
and your eyes ahead,
with the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child,
and you learn to build all of your roads
on today because tomorrow's ground
is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of
falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that
even sunshine burns
if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that
you really can endure...
That you really do have worth.
And you learn and you learn...
With every goodbye you learn.
by Veronica A. Shoffstall

Pregnant In Texas said...


Wow. Thank you for the poem, it's beautiful, much like you.


I thought a lot about what you wrote and agree with you: he hid a lot of things from me. He never really wanted me to know who he was talking to and criticized me for being 'jealous' whenever I asked about it. Yes, there were multiple WOMEN that he was with, all in the course of "dating".


Thanks so much for the love. I miss hearing from you.


I'm slowly learning what I deserve and how much I'm worth. It's just a slow process to match your actions up to your beliefs. I'm trying. Please be patient with this work in progress.

jenna said...

i'd just like to add a big thank you, to you for sharing your experiences, and to all your commentors, cuz reading these words has helped me to say goodbye to some people in my life who weren't good for me. thank you.

Anonymous said...

"you guys will get along" hahaha...yes because I always love hanging out with the women my "friend" is dating....and while he was talking to her on the phone in front of you, you should have asked him if you could say hi. I am sure she would have loved it. You deserve so much more. Hang in there. My thoughts are with you love!