Thursday, November 28, 2013

Trisha and I

There isn't much buildup to this post, so I'm just going to come out and say it:  Trisha is cheating on her fiance.

I know it's hypocritical to be angry at her, given what I did to Bryan within the first year of our marriage, but you would think she'd learn from my terrible mistakes.  It's worse with what she's doing because she is a mother.  She gave birth to their first child, Evelyn, just a few months ago.  That means she is leaving her daughter with her sister to go sleep around with this guy.

The guy is a friend of hers she's been hanging out with for a while.  I keep urging her to break this off for the sake of her daughter, if nothing else, but she's caught feelings and feels stuck.  I know I'm supposed to be helping her, since I'm one of the few people she confided in (the only other being her friend Amanda, who is her alibi), but I can't stop being angry.

At first, I was really good at hiding my anger about the situation, but it's getting to the point where I can't hide my annoyance with the situation anymore.  What I did was wrong and I absolutely won't deny that, but what she's doing is somehow worse to me because there's a baby involved.

Her fiance isn't perfect, but he works his butt off to take care of the two of them.  I think all the effort she's putting into sneaking around and falling for some jerk that she admits is not marriage material should be put into fixing her relationship.  If Aaron finds out, it's over and she knows that.

Like I said, I was hoping she would take my advice as someone who has been there before...but she pretends she's going to take it, and then does the opposite of what I tell her.  I'm wasting my breath.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Crunch Time!!

Hey, guys!

I just wanted to quick touch base and let you know what's going on.  The end of the semester is suddenly upon me, even though I swear it just started.  I've had a ton of work dumped in my lap, my to-do list is a mile long, and hell week is about to start.

Hell week is the choir term for the week before the concert, where we practice twice a night for four days.  That's the 2nd-5th...the 6th is the last day of classes, plus we're singing at the King's tree lighting that afternoon, the local courthouse tree lighting after the King's tree lighting, and then coming back for our concert that evening.  We have a second performance that Saturday, the 7th.  That week (2nd-6th) is the last week of classes, and I'll have my fourth chemistry exam of the semester that Wednesday.  All I have time to do is study and do homework and sing and study some more.

Please bear with me for the next few weeks!  I'll try to post about Trisha and some other stuff going on when I can, but I don't know when that will be.

Thanks for understanding!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

About J!

I know most of you readers (the lurkers and the commentors both!) have been around for a long time.  However, this random facts thing is sweeping Facebook right now, and I thought it was interesting.  The number I was given was 11, but I'm going to post 15 random facts about myself here so you guys can get to know me a bit better!

1. I am a biology major minoring in molecular biology and chemistry with the intention of becoming a microbiologist.  People think it's weird, but I get super excited about bacteria and viruses.  However, I hate being sick.

2. I, like my mom, am hyperosmic. We have a highly developed sense of smell that goes beyond the's genetic, and it leads us to interact with our world via smell, whether that smell is good or bad. It also affects our my case, if chocolate is made with dry milk, I can tell the difference and can't eat it. I hate dry milk.

3. It took me until 2012 to consciously accept what I knew three years prior. A stray Facebook post from 2009 revealed to me that I wanted to be a microbiologist way back then. I don't know why I didn't listen to my younger self.

4. I am a Seattle Seahawks fan. By this, I mean a red-faced, screaming at the TV, using words that would make sailors blush kind of fan. One day, that team will give me a heart attack.

5. I am absolutely, 100% terrified of spiders, but I would have zero issues snuggling up to a snake...too bad my corn snake isn't much of a snuggler.

6. I honestly believe that music is as essential to life as breathing, and that if I could not play my trumpet or sing or even hum, my brain would wither up and die.

7. I like to write. I write poems and stories that no one will ever see, just because it helps me get things out.

8. I am an obsessor...when I love something, I love it with my entire being. My current list of obsessions: Volbeat, Mumford and Sons, a Gund teddy bear known as Snuffles, the color teal, chocolate, bacon, bacteria/viruses, dinosaurs, houndstooth, Zelda, and Chapstick. These are the ones that have been hanging around for a while...they are liable to change at any given moment.

9. At least one of the belt loops on every pair of jeans I own is torn because of my terrible habit of pulling my jeans up using the loops.

10. I am the kind of person who is obsessed with being early. I hate being late so much that I would rather miss a class than walk in late. The only time I don't have this issue is choir. (See number 6.)

11. I turned 25 on November 4th, but I don't feel that old and hopefully never will. I enjoy my childish glee over the things I love. I collect teddy bears and stuffed microbes, I clap rapidly and squeal in high pitched tones when I'm excited, and I still think the word "poo" is hilarious. If those things are weird, I'm happy that I'm not normal.

12.  In May of 2013, I was selected to meet Volbeat (a Danish metal band who is my absolute favorite!) at a meet and greet before their local concert.  I prepared like crazy because I have a giant crush on the bassist, Anders Kjølholm.  My outfit and makeup were absolutely perfect...and when it came time to meet him, I babbled, made a giant idiot out of myself, and then blurted out that I'm in love with him.  It was SO awkward and Bryan and Kyle still make fun of me for it.

13.  My guilty pleasure song is "Build Me Up Buttercup" by the Temptations.  I can't possibly be sad when I'm listening to it, no matter how corny it is.  On the opposite side, the song I always listen to when I'm sad to indulge my sadness is "Ghosts That We Knew" by Mumford and Sons.

14.  I am a gourmet cupcake queen.  For the choir welcome party, I made banana pudding cupcakes: french vanilla cupcakes with a Nilla wafer on the bottom, a core of banana pudding, and vanilla whipped cream frosting topped with a mini Nilla wafer.  For our director's birthday a couple weeks ago, it was pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes: spice cake cupcakes with a core of pumpkin spice cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, and graham cracker crumbs sprinkled on top.  Every time I bake for them, they are devoured and the members beg me to open a bakery.  They don't realize that it's only for fun and if I had to do it as a career, I'd probably end up hating it.

15.  My gallbladder attacks began because of my stress.  They increased in frequency because of my stress.  The final one that led to my surgery was caused by stress and malnutrition, because I was eating less due to being so busy.  I literally caused the destruction of one of my own organs because I'm incapable of relaxation.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


This post is going to be both about a situation that just happened and about putting my friendship with Kyle into a slightly more positive context, because I realized that I don't really do that and it's a bit unfair to him.  He's a better friend than I make him out to be when I'm mad.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yesterday, my history professor came onto me.

It was as creepy (to me) as it seems.  He's a very nice man, not very old...maybe mid-30s.  He's also rather attractive, in a rugged way.  Last Thursday, the lecture was on the topic we'd written essays on for that class (our weekly assignment is a 2 page paper), and since I'd already spent two days writing about the topic, my mind started to drift.  I noticed that my professor has incredibly gorgeous green eyes, and before I knew it, I was staring.  Unfortunately, he noticed...probably not difficult because I sit in the front row closest to the computer he runs his PowerPoint presentations from.  He let me know he'd caught me, and the shade of red I turned obviously let him know I found him good looking.

So yesterday, I was the first one in the classroom, about fifteen minutes before class started.  I was reading "The Jungle" on my Kindle app, and he rolled his chair over to the front of my desk to see what I was reading.  This was weird enough, because it's not like him at all...but it got WAY weirder when he put his hand on my leg under the desk.  I barely had time to register what happened, and no time to react.  Someone else walked in and my teacher rolled away calmly like nothing had happened.  I noticed him watching me a lot more during the lecture, but I tried to ignore it.

This isn't exactly uncommon here at King's.  My organic chemistry teacher is married to a philosophy student...and by that, I mean a current student.  My choir director started dating his wife when she was a student here.  It's just bound to happen that some people will meet their future spouses here...and that sometimes it will be a teacher/student.  (To clarify, neither of those men ever taught or had any power over the grades of either of their SOs.)  However, my history teacher knows I'm married.  The entire thing was really creepy to me.

So anyway, it was bothering me pretty badly yesterday...and Trisha, busy with the mess she created, was unavailable for me to talk to.  I had no choice but to turn to Kyle...and today, he showed the side of himself you guys don't often see because your entire point of view comes from me and it's always when I'm upset.  I'm not always fair to him.  He was angry and a little protective, like a big brother would be...but also incredibly logical about the whole thing.  We both knew confronting my teacher would not get me anywhere, since I'm a student and he's a respected faculty member.  Withdrawing would only negatively affect my GPA, since I have a perfect grade in his class.  It would also either delay my graduation or overload one of my future semesters, and I'm already nearing the overload limit for courses.

At first, I kept the details from Kyle and told him the absolute barest information...that my teacher had touched me in a mildly inappropriate way, it made me uncomfortable, and his intent was clear.  Kyle told me not to confront him, but to keep our relationship completely teacher/student until the semester ended.  After he'd assuaged my anxiety with his calm and logical demeanor, I offhandedly mentioned what had happened and how if I avoided being the first one in the classroom, it wouldn't happen again.  Kyle's demeanor changed here.  Even through text, I could see how the facts had bothered him.  This was the conversation that occurred:

Me:  It won't be able to happen again if I'm not alone in the classroom with him.  I was reading on my phone and it was really odd when he rolled over to see what I was reading.  It got straight-up weird when he put his hand on my leg under my desk.  He pulled away when someone else walked in, I just have to avoid being the first one to class.
Kyle:  That's not exactly innocent.
Me:  I never said it was innocent...I said it wasn't completely inappropriate.
Kyle:  Pretty close...
Me:  What did you think I meant when I said that, then?
Kyle:  I don't know
Kyle:  I thought maybe he'd touched your shoulder or something, I don't know.
Me:  I wouldn't be making a big deal out of it if it was something like that, know me better than that.
Kyle:  I know
Me:  But you think it'll go away still, right?  (My English reverts to bad English when I start to get upset, and his being upset was causing the uprising of panic.)
Kyle:  Yea
Kyle:  If it doesn't, maybe have a quiet word with him about it

I know you guys don't know him, so I'll "translate" (so to speak) for you.  If I know someone really well, I can tell their tone through text...I can do this with Bryan, my mom, Trisha, and Kyle.  His response about it not being innocent was very sharp.  It was the onset of his protective instinct.  I realized how protective he'd gotten a few minutes later when he said it was "pretty close" to inappropriate.  He never leaves a hanging ellipsis unless he is really angry or sad about something.  Repeating himself is something he does when he's bothered about something as well.

It's probably a small thing, honestly, to be protective over someone you care about.  But consider Kyle a Vulcan...emotion isn't his thing.  He's a completely logical human being.  In that way, our friendship has balance...I'm too emotional by half, as you guys are well aware.

Anyway, I just needed to get all of this off my chest, because it really did bother me.  I decided that I won't go to anyone about it unless it happens again, and that I won't be dropping the class.  I will just make sure never to be alone with my professor for any reason.  I also wanted to give you guys a glimpse of the kind of friend Kyle used to be.  His behavior has definitely changed because of her, but I still see his actual personality shining through occasionally.  It gives me a faint bit of cautious hope.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kyle and I

I know this was the post most of you were probably waiting for, so here goes.  I'm going to try to make it as short and sweet as possible, though...I don't want to drag through every little thing that has happened between us, so I'll gloss over it.

We're still friends, but it's a bit weird.  We decided the best course of action (between the two of us) was to pretend she didn't exist when he wasn't around her, and just not talk when he was.  It was basically what we were already up to, but we had to work harder to actually make it work.  Every time she was coming to visit, he got miserable and it started a fight between the two of us.  I was so tired of the fighting every time, and it was only getting worse.  His attitude was seriously starting to wear on me.

So five weeks ago, we got into a little tiff.  She was coming up to visit for a weekend, and it was the Friday morning before.  He was being a jerk, and I called him on it.  When he denied being miserable about her upcoming visit, I pointed out how much more talkative and easygoing he had been even during our argument the night before.  Faced with evidence he couldn't deny, he turned the discussion on me and how miserable I had been under all the stress I was facing.  Incensed at his transparent attempt to turn the argument onto me, I flipped out.  I'm not proud of it, but as I'd stated, I was under a lot of stress.  We argued all day, until he finally broke.  I told him that if he truly cared about her the way he said he did, he would leave her and let her find someone who would be truly happy with her.  He completely took the wind out of my sails by admitting that the thought had crossed his mind quite frequently in the preceding several weeks.

I wasn't angry anymore.  I was confused, because my anger had evaporated before I could come to terms with it going away, but I wasn't angry.  We discussed it a little bit, and he admitted that he was living in fear of her constant mood swings, he didn't want to be with her anymore, and that she should be free to be with someone who wasn't.  I pointed out that it wasn't possible because she's bipolar, and he acknowledged that I was probably right.  From there, we discussed how he should tell her the truth, and then changed the topic.  I just didn't have it in me to fight after he said that.

Unfortunately, we ended up having another fight three weeks ago, and this one almost ended our friendship.  I had been given a tiny bit of hope that he'd talk to her about his true feelings, rather than remaining trapped.  When that visit and another had passed with no word between them about the situation, I lost hope.  When another visit was looming and he turned into a jerk again, I snapped on him.  We fought all of Friday about how he didn't have the guts to leave her, and then I spent the weekend trying to decide whether or not I wanted to stop talking to him.  On Saturday, I'd all but made up my mind to tell him to go to hell...I sat down to send the e-mail, and I got a text from my mom.  She was asking me to go put wood on her fire because she was out.  By the time I returned, I'd lost my resolve and instead sat down to cry.

I love my friends dearly and it was killing me that someone I respected was putting himself through hell for someone he admitted he didn't even want to be with anymore.  I didn't know how much longer I could keep doing this.

Monday rolled around, and I told him the truth.  I told him how close I was to kicking him out of my life forever, which upset him more than I thought.  Kyle isn't really the type to show feelings, so sometimes it's hard to know if he really cares.  When he got upset, I realized that our friendship (which is the only steady one in his life) meant as much to him as it did to me.  It was a hard realization, because I wasn't sure if I wanted it to continue.

I laid it all out for him, being entirely honest about my ambivalence about our friendship and we talked all day about it.  The next day, I told him that I didn't want to make any decisions while I was so stressed out about school.  We agreed to continue talking as calmly as possible and let things play out in my mind.

I still don't know what I want to do.  No fights have happened since this, and our friendship actually seems okay...but we'll see.  Some days, I don't want to talk to him at all, and others, everything is okay.  I still don't know if we'll be friends tomorrow, much less in the future.  But honestly, I am content with the status quo for right now.  He's started confiding in me again, so I know he's not happy with her.  It's only a matter of time before they break up...and time will also tell if I'm there for him when it happens.

I'm sorry that this was a really long post to basically say that nothing has changed, but I figured you guys would be interested in his changing attitude toward his relationship.

All my love!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


So, as you guys know, I transferred to King's College from Bloomsburg University and started KC in August.  It has been an absolutely ridiculous ride since then.

First of all, I instantly felt a connection with this school, the atmosphere, and the people that I never got from BU.  Sure, I made friends at Bloom...but it is so much different here.  After studying for a year at Bloom, I don't have any BU apparel.  I've been at King's less than a semester and I've already got two King's shirts and a pair of plaid King's sleep pants.

The second week of the semester, I tried out for the choir.  Despite having a terrible allergy attack the day of my audition and being certain I bombed it (so sure, in fact, that Bryan and I went out for ice cream to cheer me up), I was accepted as a new member!  I'm an alto 2, and the choir members are lovely people.  It's a Catholic school, so we do a lot of religious music, but I've learned to appreciate it even though I am not a religious person.  The music is still beautiful, and the modern music we do is so much fun!  This semester, we're singing "Shake It Out" by Florence and the Machine, "Build Me Up Buttercup" by the Temptations, and "Some Nights" by fun.

I also joined bio club, though nothing has really happened with that yet.  We've had a few meetings, but they're like five minutes long and don't really have much of anything in the way of content.  We haven't tried any fundraisers for charity or anything like that.  It's a bit of a disappointment.

Anyway, King's gave me quite a bit of money to attend their school, because my SAT scores and high school grades were so high.  My scholarships equal roughly $12-13K a year, which sounds like a lot until you realize tuition is $30K a year.  Luckily, I have grants and other scholarships to fill in the rest, so that is really helpful.  The stressful part is that I have to keep my grades above a certain GPA to keep the scholarships from the school, so it really puts the pressure on.  So far, I've been very successful in juggling my classes.  I've found organic chem to be the most difficult (despite Kyle's assurances that I would love it), and history to be the easiest.  My grades are actually improving as the semester goes on...for example, I got an 89 on my first bio exam, a 96 on the second exam, and a 101 on the third exam.  The last two were the highest grades in the class!  Organic chem follows the same pattern, only lower...a 69 on the first exam, an 86 on the second exam, and a 91.5 (which I am VERY proud of!) on the third exam.  I bombed my second stats exam because I was really sick that day, but my grades on the quizzes managed to bolster it enough that if I pass the upcoming exam with better than a 90, I can still get an A in the class.  And my history teacher only gives two exams a semester...a midterm and a final.  On the midterm, I was the only one in the class to get a perfect score.  I then disappointed him by telling him that while I do adore history, I'm not going to be majoring in it!

I'm still majoring in biology, but double minoring in molecular biology and chemistry.  I know the second one sounds like insanity, since I hate organic chem so much, but it really makes perfect sense.  To major in biology, I have to take organic 1 and 2 and biochemistry.  To minor in molecular biology, one of the electives I'll be taking is biochem 2.  For a minor in chemistry, the course track is o-chem 1 and 2, biochem 1 and 2, and analytical chemistry.  I have to take the first four anyway, and the fifth class happens to be Kyle's chosen field, so I'll have lots of help.  It would honestly be silly not to add the minor!

Anyway, Bryan went on salary at work just before the semester started, so I was able to leave my crappy job (I made less than $100 a week) and focus exclusively on school.  It is definitely paying off, though sometimes I feel bad when money is a little bit tight.  We are getting by, though.  Next semester, I'll probably add a campus job to my packed schedule, just to bring in a little bit of extra cash without having to do any extra driving.  Right now, though, school is my only job...and it's more than full time.  I'm very, very busy...and that's on a slow week.

It's all paying off, though...I had a 3.3 on my midterm grade report, and two of my class grades have gone up since then, bringing me to a 3.7.  If I can keep organic chem increasing, I can easily hit a 3.8-3.9 by the end of the semester!

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bryan and I

Well, I promised you guys four posts going over the big issues, so here is number one: the relationship between Bryan and I.

The illness that led to "the incident" (this is what we call it) was very, very serious.  Bryan had been skipping breakfast and lunch to save us money on our groceries and overall, since the EMTs he works with usually eat out for lunch.  It was working, but his health was badly failing.  He was tired all the time, his muscles hurt, and he was grumpy.  When I noticed a horseshoe shaped bruise on his lower back, I brought it up to him.  He hadn't noticed it because it didn't hurt.

A month later, that bruise was still there.  It hadn't faded or changed at was a deep red, like a blood blister, and roughly the size of my closed fist.  As long as it didn't hurt him, he was content to ignore it.  It bothered me like crazy, though.

The night he attacked me is not something I'm going to go over in great detail.  You guys know I was hurt, that Trisha was there for me, that Kyle wasn't, and that my attempts to find his support got him in hot water with Lora (who from this point forth will be referred to as "She Who Must Not Be Named" because her name still makes me irrationally upset).

I had made dinner that night, a nice steak and shrimp meal.  When he came home from his 12 hour shift, I poured him a glass of Captain Morgan Private Stock.  When the alcohol I'd poured him, which was slightly under 3 shots, hit him so badly that he was talking about seeing two of me, I teased him.  I thought he was messing with me and flat out told him that there was no way the alcohol could've hit him like that.  He disappeared into the bathroom, where I found him passed out on the floor a few hours later.  I tried to get him up, since he was laying in his own vomit, and I was growing pretty concerned.  When he snapped and attacked me, I knew something was seriously wrong.

I fought back...don't think I didn't.  I punched him so hard that I actually broke the middle finger on my right hand.  He felt that one for a week.  When the cops came and the ambulance took him to the hospital, I stayed home crying for another hour before following.  I got there and the nurse wouldn't let me in at first.  I was so afraid they'd look at me like I was another stupid victim, following her abuser like a blind puppy, but I'd done some research while I was at home and I thought I knew what was wrong.

When I was finally able to talk to the doctor and explain my concerns, it took a little bit of convincing before she ordered the appropriate tests.  They returned with results that startled the doctors, but my research was right on the money.  Bryan's starvation diet to save us money had left him severely deficient in potassium, magnesium, and sodium.  The bruise on his back wasn't a was a mark where his body was literally dissolving the muscle fibers to pull nutrients out of them.  The alcohol sensitivity was a sign that something was wrong, and the violent attack was a serious mood swing...brain scans during that time indicated that his brain activity was in "black out" mode.  He had no idea what he had done.  The doctor asked how much he had had to drink, but I dismissed that...having poured the alcohol myself (and emptied the bottle), I knew that he only had about 3 shots of it.  I've seen him drink 10 shots of the stuff without a problem.

I remember sitting beside him as he came to, not hiding the wounds.  He'd punched me in the face, which was badly swollen.  There was blood crusted on my lip, and I was cut up and shaking.  He asked what he had done to me, which I told him in graphic detail.  Later, the doctors informed me that he wouldn't remember that either.  He didn't regain awareness until an hour before we left the hospital, around 4 AM.

It has been a struggle to cope with the events of that night, but we are doing our best.  He eats regularly, quit drinking, and the "bruise" on his back disappeared within two weeks of starting his new diet.  He works out to rebuild the muscle mass he lost.  The doctors said his levels were so low that it's a miracle he didn't come in suffering from massive organ failure.  As for me, the fear faded away about a month after it happened...the nightmares stopped about a month after that.  For a few weeks afterward, it was hard to look at him and I sometimes had to force myself to talk to him.

I know a lot of people would've run the other way as soon as they could've, but I know he wasn't in control of what he did that night.  I had to see him get healthy, and so I told myself I'd make a decision once he was healthy.  Once he regained his health, there was no decision to be made.  My husband isn't perfect, but he tries so hard for me and I love him.  I also haven't exactly been a perfect wife, as you yourselves know.

Every day for us is better and better.  He is my biggest cheerleader as I navigate school (next post!) and he is working 50-70 hour weeks so I can stay home and focus exclusively on schoolwork.  I look forward to going home to him every night, and I miss him when he's not around.  We do still have fights, but he has never raised a hand to even gesture in my direction during any of them.  The fighting is growing a lot less frequent, as well.  Things are definitely looking up.

Anyway, it's almost time for choir practice, so I'll close by saying I'm so glad I'm visible again!  Keep an eye out for the post about school...I just can't promise when it'll be.  I have a chemistry lab report to write.

All my love!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

O. M. G!!

Hi, guys!

Sorry about the WAY long delay...apparently, Blogger hasn't been posting any of my recent posts.  They're all in my "drafts" area.  I think this website hates me.

Here's hoping this one goes wasn't until I checked my e-mail and saw the comments that I realized something was amiss.  I checked with Blogger and they said I should be able to post, so let's try again.  I definitely am not done with you guys!  I will go through the previous (intended) posts, cull the pertinent information and post something much longer for you guys shortly!

See, now I'm much good and bad stuff has happened that you guys were supposed to be sharing in.  I wondered why I hadn't been getting comments about my grades and stuff like that.

Anyway, I have a performance in about twenty minutes, so here's a short rundown.

Bryan and I are doing great!!

Kyle and I are still friends, but it's been rough and there's a LOT of uncertainty about things right now.  That's a bit of a long tale there.  When I say uncertainty, I mean I don't know if we'll be friends tomorrow, much less in the future.

Trisha and I are good, but she's doing something I don't necessarily approve of (having been down that road) and I'm unhappy with her.

My grades are excellent (reported as a 3.7 on my midterm grade report) and I made it into the choir!!!!!!  We are performing our first real concert of the year at 3 PM today!

Please comment on this if you see it so I can make sure I got this issue fixed!

Love you all!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I feel really shitty and depressed right now, and I'm not sure if it's normal or not.

After my post about how it had been three months and I was really tired of this entire mess, I started to pull away from Kyle.  We still talked, but it had none of the warmth that had characterized our friendship up to this point.  Our light-hearted bantering was all but done, and the conversations were just about how miserable our lives had become.  Talking is supposed to help, but it really wasn't.

As time went on, I found myself confiding in him less and less.  The conversations became more shallow, about silly surface things...we were no longer the same people who became friends a year and half ago, and I was finding it harder and harder to find glimpses of my friend inside the stranger who was claiming his identity.

Last night made it so much worse, though.  We got into it a bit about something, which has happened at least once every couple weeks since this began.  Just the mention of her is enough to start a fight between the two of us.  Only this time, I was just sad.  There was no anger, no passion...just a deep sadness over the fact that a man I had once respected and counted as a best friend was allowing his personality to be completely erased by a woman he doesn't even truly love.  I told him this, we went back and forth over it for a while, got distracted briefly by the announcement of the special edition Zelda Wii U (at heart, all we've ever been is 20-something nerds), and then went back to going back and forth.  It wasn't an argument, though I got rather sarcastic and snappy at times.  I was just so sick of hearing "We'll see what happens".  If I never hear or see that phrase again, I will die a happy woman.

Anyway, he went to bed a bit early because he was heading back to the area today for a trip with his family.  Not long after he went to bed, Bryan got home from the double he pulled yesterday.  He was tired, so we chatted for a bit and then went to sleep ourselves.  But I couldn't sleep, so I kept my phone on me and read on my Kindle app.  I don't know why I chose a lighthearted romance novel, but I did...and it was the worst idea.

By midnight, I was done with my book, but I couldn't stop crying.  Everything that has happened and all the doubt I'm experiencing just wouldn't stop assaulting my brain, and I was exhausted with the effort of pretending I'm not a wreck all the time.  I sent a message to Trisha, praying she'd be awake and able to help me so I didn't have to resort to my absolute last-ditch plan: calling Kyle.  Unfortunately, though I waited until 12:30, no answer came.

At this point, I'd left our bedroom and I was sitting in a pile of blankets in a laundry basket in our upstairs laundry room.  Everyone in the house was fast asleep, even the pets, and the only sound was the sound of my crying as I tapped the call button on Kyle's contact card in my phone.

It rang once, and I stifled a sob.  I had no idea why I was doing this...we hadn't spoken on the phone in well over a month.
Another ring, and the nerves started up.  I don't know why I was nervous.  Probably because the man on the other end was basically a stranger to me by this point.
A third ring followed...then a fourth...then a fifth.

When his voicemail picked up, I knew what I realized I had suspected all along:  Kyle's phone would no longer ring after 11 PM when I called.

After the last time, he'd taken me off that special list to make Lora happy.

I was completely alone.

A few more minutes of crying later, and I decided I would just go in and cry myself to sleep.  I snuggled in next to my dogs and Bryan and fell asleep.

So far this morning, I haven't heard a peep from Kyle.  Not a "good morning", and definitely not the message I would've expected to get (which I know because of past actions), which would've been along the lines of "Why did you call me last night?  Are you okay?"  There has been nothing but silence from my phone all morning.

On my end, I'm just hurt that he would go so far as to remove me from that list.  I was the only person on it outside of Kyle's family starting from the day he got his phone, and I never abused the privilege.  He talked me through a few difficult nights this last year, when Bryan left repeatedly instead of staying to face the issues we were dealing with, but I left him alone after he went to bed for the most part.

Last night was no different from any of those other nights he'd helped me face, except the fact that I was left alone, with no one at all to talk to about the issues I don't seem equipped to handle.

I haven't said a word to him yet this morning either...and I don't think I'm going to, even if I do hear from him.  Hearing his voicemail last night solidified my belief that our friendship is over, and I don't think further discussion on either side is going to be able to do anything to save it or make the end any more final.

I am so done with trying to be there for someone who won't grant me the same courtesy.

I just wish it didn't hurt so damn much.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Deep Thoughts

I recently came across a comment section on an article where the commentors were discussing how they would want to be remembered if they died that day.  It was actually a really interesting conversation, and led to more than a few of them writing the kind of obituary they would want to have written about themselves.

It got me thinking: how would I be remembered if I died today?  Not just by my family, but by everyone who has ever known me?

I like to think it would be favorable.  I'm not perfect, but I'm the kind of person who will bend over backwards to help the people I love before I do a single thing for myself.  I know there would be a few negative people who would say bad things about me just because they felt like it (like the people I went to high school with), but I try my hardest to have positive interactions with most people.

Anyway, it ended up making me think about how I'd like my obituary to look if my life ended today.  So, without further ado, this is how I would like to be remembered.

J [full name removed], 24, of [town], Pennsylvania, died in her home on August 18th, 2013.

She was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on November 4th, 1988, daughter of Robert [last name] and Lynda [last name].

She was a 2006 graduate of [town] Area High School, and was enrolled at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  She intended to major in biology, with minors in chemistry and molecular biology.

She will be remembered by those closest to her as a caring individual who loved her family, her friends, and her pets.  She was an avid animal rescuer who fostered for a local pit bull rescue and shared her home with two rescued dogs, a corn snake, and a parakeet.  Her passion was science, but she also loved to read, to sing, and to bake.  She was a member of the King's College choir, the Cantores Christi Regis.

She is survived by her husband of five years, Bryan, of [town], Pennsylvania; her parents, Robert and Lynda, of [town], Pennsylvania; her older sister Angelica [last name] and her husband Tim, of [town], Pennsylvania; her younger sister Elizabeth [last name] and her husband John, of [town], Pennsylvania; her younger brother Jonah [last name], of [town], Pennsylvania; her nephew, Brydon [last name]; and her beloved pets.

As morbid as this might seem, it does serve a purpose for reminds me that life is fleeting and that every day I spend on this planet could be my last.  Why be negative or treat anyone badly?  That's not the kind of legacy I want to leave.  I want people to remember me as a nice person.

How do you want people to remember you?


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Three Months

Today is three months to the day since Lora's incredibly selfish actions tore huge holes in the fabric of my life.  It's also the day that I've realized I'm totally fed up with the status quo.

A warning before I go on:  there are a few things that I'm going to mention that will not be elaborated on in this writing.  I promise I will write about them in the future, but they are not for this piece.  This piece is to relieve the ridiculous pressure in my mind that, so far, has only manifested itself as a flood of tears and heartache.  That being said, I'll go on.

Bryan and I healing from what happened, but it's a long and arduous road.  Things have happened on both sides that neither of us are proud of, and there's a good chance it could end up tearing our marriage apart.  How we can even hope to recover after all that has happened is the biggest question on my mind.  Just sustaining the shattered pieces we managed to pick up has drained me of all my energy.  I honestly don't know that I can continue to hold my marriage together, no matter how much I love my husband.

There was an incident about two weeks ago.  Some serious medical issues, a lot of stress, and a little bit of alcohol came together and caused Bryan to have a violent personality change.  By violent, I mean physically.  He attacked me with a strength and ferocity I didn't know he was capable of...I truly believed he might kill me.  He ended up hospitalized, where they discovered his disorder...but I was the one with the bruises, the split lip, and the abject fear.  About a week after that, as we were trying to recover from that incident (again, topic for another post), our landlady had a psychotic break and we had to flee our apartment.  Luckily, we had no lease, so leaving was easy.  However, she's taken to harassing the people around us.  I had to leave my job because it was too close to her home and I knew she would come looking for me there.  All in all, it's been a very rough two weeks.

There is only one friend in my life who knows the absolute truth about those two situations...Kyle.  He's the only friend I know I can share 100% of my thoughts and feelings with and not be shunned, no matter how dark or depressed or angry I get.  Unfortunately, in the midst of all of the bigger issues, I'm struggling with him too.

It's now been exactly three months since Lora told him to stop talking to me.  With the exception of her visits to NY, he and I still talk every day.  There is friction, though, and I believe it's finally worn me away to nothing.  I know he's doing everything he can to prevent anyone from getting hurt, but it's no longer working.  At this point, I believe nothing binds us save our memories of a friendship that was once wonderful.  Because of that, I can't seem to step back and say "I'm sorry, but I need you out of my life."  I want to, but I don't want to.  I cling to the memory of the man who was once one of the most amazing men of my acquaintance.  He's gone now, though, and I can't find him.

When I tell him this (and I have, several times), he just apologizes.  I know he is aware of the change in his own self.  He says he feels nothing but tired, and claims that after everything he's been through, he's entitled to feel drained.  I know I've put him through hell myself, and I have not been able to apologize enough for this, but I still have to sit here and watch as she toys with him.

The night Bryan attacked me was the last night of her last visit to NY.  Blinded by fear, physical and emotional pain, and heartbreak, I called the only person who I knew was capable of talking me down from the heightened "fight" response my body had initiated...Kyle.  His brain and my brain are functionally identical.  However, mine didn't make the connection that she was still was merely seeking comfort.  I laid on my bed, the phone laying next to me but not to my ear, listening to the ringing...when his voicemail picked up, I was wracked with terrible sobs.  I'd never experienced anything like them in my entire entire bed shook with the movements of my body as I wailed.  I was alone.

The next day, I learned that my call had caused a lot of problems between the two of them, and Kyle was afraid they were over.  I felt nothing, of course.  I was still reeling from the previous night, physical pain that screamed with every movement of my body, and a serious lack of sleep.  It didn't take me long to see that Kyle was more concerned that Lora may have dumped him than with showing even the slightest bit of concern with what I'd gone through.  (They didn't end up breaking up.)

I think that was the day I started to detach.

After our hurried move, I realized how badly I needed a friend.  My three best friends all live long distances from me.  Andy and his wife reside in southern PA, about two and a half hours away.  Trisha lives in AZ, separated from me by the majority of the country.  (This is a fact that I frequently lament.)  Kyle lives in NY, roughly three hours from here.  Close by, the only one I really had was Lora, and she didn't just burn that bridge...she blew it up.  There is no returning to what we had, even if I wanted to.

I'd known that Kyle was planning a visit back to the area this weekend, so I decided to see if he'd be interested in hanging out for a little bit.  He turned me down, saying he didn't have enough time, but I know him better than I know myself and I knew the real reason...he didn't want to see me anymore.  I confronted him, and he didn't bother lying.  He apologized and said that it was too hard, admitting his fears of being seen and word getting back to Lora.  My detachment, which was slowly progressing at that point, kicked into high gear.  I've never bothered making time for people who wouldn't make time for me.

Anyway, that was a lot of backstory to get to the point.  Sorry about that.

Right now, I'm sitting alone.  I'm so depressed that I can't seem to muster up the urge to go anywhere or do anything.  I haven't cashed my final paycheck, my sewing projects are abandoned, and I struggled to finish a book I recently started and was devouring.

I will admit that I promised to hide in the shadows so Kyle wouldn't have to feel guilty about abandoning me, but three months is a very long time to hide with no hope for the future.  I only agreed to be his dirty little secret because I honestly thought the two of them would be done by now.  Multiple times, she's learned of his lying to her (to protect me), and multiple times, she's spent days putting him through hell to punish him and then deciding she doesn't want to leave.  He tolerates it because he's afraid of being alone, and I tolerate it because I know if I leave, he actually will be alone the day she does leave.  They can't possibly last forever, a fact I think Kyle is aware of, but neither can I.

I've been ground into nothingness by the events of the last few weeks.  I'm tired, angry, depressed, and heartbroken.  My marriage is probably going to fall apart and my closest friend, the strongest pillar in my support system (until recently), won't even be there to help cushion the fall.

There's a part of me that is still holding onto the past, desperate to save the friendship Kyle and I once had.  That part of me doesn't want to lose him.  But there's a growing part of me that just doesn't care anymore.  The longer this drags on, the closer we get to grinding away the part that still cares.

I've never felt this lost in my entire life.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


“…as soon as you have a secret, something about you that you are ashamed to have others find out, you have given other people the power to hurt you by exposing you.” 
                                                                                             – Ayelet Waldman

I absolutely love that quote.  I really, really do.  Unfortunately, I love it because of how apt it is, which is not a good thing.

The friendship between Kyle and I has to be kept secret on his part.  If Lora finds out, she'll leave him.  I don't think this is a bad thing, because any relationship that dysfunctional shouldn't continue, but he does.  So I ignore it, bite my tongue, and don't speak to him while she's there at all.  I don't approve of the relationship because of her controlling, vindictive nature, but he loves her and I care enough about him to want his matter what that means.

However, what happens to him if one of the people who does know (Bryan, my mom, our landlady) spills the secret?  I don't see Bryan or my mom being that vindictive, though they are VERY angry at her...they'd never do anything to hurt me, and hurting my best friend hurts me.  However, our landlady is older and quite forgetful.  She knows I'm talking to Kyle because she saw a text he'd sent me when the screen on my phone lit up in front of her, but she doesn't know we're not supposed to be talking.  I figured it would be better to spare her the ugly details.

She has been having problems getting some money out of Lora that she was owed when Lora left.  Lora has $600 left to pay, it was supposed to be paid by August 1st, and Lora hasn't contacted our landlady at all.  She is beginning to get very upset, and I don't blame her.  She plans to call her this weekend, when Lora happens to be in NY with Kyle, and I know it's going to go very badly.

I can't explain to Charmaine that she can't mention me and Kyle, and I'm afraid something will slip that will expose the entire thing.

It's getting to the point where, as much as I love and appreciate Kyle for his friendship, I don't think I can keep doing this much longer.  Crossing my fingers every time Charmaine has to call Lora is just not a situation I should have to be living in.

I shouldn't have to be a secret.

Kyle shouldn't have to be ashamed of staying my friend.

This entire thing is so depressing that I just want to wash my hands off all of it.

I've always believed that friendship was the most important thing ever...that if you found someone you had this much of a connection with (like Andy and I), you should do whatever you can to preserve that connection.

Now there is an internal struggle between my loyal nature and my instinct for self-preservation.  Do I stick it out despite the pain so I can be here for him when they fall apart (because I know they will, I've known Lora for five years), or do I run to protect myself, despite knowing he'll be left utterly alone when she leaves?

Both options suck.

I'm damned if I do, and I'm damned if I don't.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


3:25 PM ET:  They moved the surgery up a week, so instead of being born the 1st, Evelyn is coming today.  They just took Trisha back for the surgery a few minutes ago, so now I'm just waiting for updates!  I'll edit this post as I get information!

Evelyn Alexis, born at 3:32 PM ET, weighing 6 lbs 4 ozs.  I am the happiest psuedo-aunt ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Baby Talk

I must admit that I felt a huge sense of disappointment when I got a text from Bryan about fifteen minutes ago.  All it said was "It's a boy", but I knew what he meant.  HRH Prince of Cambridge had made his entry into the world.  I was fervently hoping for a little princess, but I'm happy for Kate and William anyway.

Of course, this got me thinking about the baby soon to be entering my life...Trisha's daughter, Evelyn.  I love her so much already, and Trisha refers to me as her aunt.  I refer to Evelyn as "my sweet love Evelyn", which is a reference to a metal song from my favorite band.  (Trisha loves that, by the makes her smile every time I say it.)

Anyway, I had a very rough childhood, and suffered with a lot of self-esteem issues.  I've gotten them mostly under control, though sometimes I have some really, really bad days and struggle to even look at myself in the mirror.  I suffered bullying and torment just because I had the nerve to be different and I still wear those emotional scars as a badge of honor, proving my strength and resilience in the face of adversity.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that most of my tormentors went on to make absolutely nothing of themselves, but I try my hardest not to take pleasure in that.  I ignore their Facebook friend requests and go on with my life.

I don't want my sweet love Evelyn to suffer the way I did (and occasionally still do), so I've decided I'm going to put a book together for her to read when she gets to that rough age where the opinions of her classmates start to weigh heavily on her psyche.  I sincerely hope it will help her get through her pre-teen/teenage years with fewer emotional scars than I bear.  It's not logical to assume she can make it through high school one does.  But maybe...just maybe...I can help her feel a little better about the girl looking back at her from the mirror every day.

Here's the kind of stuff I plan to put in the book...please weigh in with your opinions and any additional words of wisdom I should add.  Some things may sound rather cynical, but they're lessons I learned the hard way.  (Before someone points it out, I know I don't always follow my own advice...I'm doing this in the hopes that she grow up more well-adjusted than I did.)


~~~~~~~~  ~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To my sweet love Evelyn:

1.  You're beautiful.  Absolutely, positively, irrefutably stunning.  Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
2.  Bullies are cowards.  They do what they do out of jealousy and irrational hate.  As hard as it is to turn the other cheek, please do not let their negativity stain your spirit.
3.  Always try to be the bigger person, even when it's the hardest thing you've ever done.
4.  Words are your biggest weapon.  With them, you can do anything.  Keep that in mind when you're speaking...breaking someone's heart with a misplaced word is easy to do and something you're likely to regret for the rest of your life.
5.  Place your trust sparingly.  There are so few who truly deserve it.
6.  Respect your parents.  They might not be perfect and you might not always see eye-to-eye (especially when you're a teenager), but they love you more than anything else in this world and they're doing the best they can.
7.  Do not be reckless when it comes to sexual behavior.  Giving your virginity away is something you can only do once, and you don't want it to be like mine.  (I'll tell you that story when you're old enough to hear it, and we can laugh together.)  If a boy will only like you because you are willing to sleep with him, he doesn't really like you at all.
8.  Talk out your problems.  Keeping them bottled up inside will never do you any good.  If you don't want to talk to your mom, call me.  No matter what the time, I will be available to you.
9.  Focus on grades and extracurricular activities.  Find out what you like to do and do it.  If you're a scientist, don't try to be anything else.  Same goes for an artist, or a historian, or a writer, or a mathematician.  In this same vein, college is the most important thing you'll ever accomplish.  Work toward that end.
10.  Music can fix everything.  Whether you're playing an instrument, singing, humming, or just simply listening, it is the sound of your soul.  It can bring peace, no matter what you're going through.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Long Weekend

Weekends aren't as exciting for me as they are for everyone else.

This is because I'm a cashier at our local Turkey Hill, and I'm basically guaranteed to work on Saturday and Sunday because of school.  I don't get to do anything fun because I work from 3 PM until about 9 or 10 depending on how busy we are.

Weekends are also the time I may or may not get to talk to Kyle, depending on Lora's whims.  She tends to not tell him she's visiting until the day she's heading up, which throws him into a bad mood, which leads to us fighting.  He gets miserable, takes it out on me, I call him on being a jerk, and we argue about why Lora is a terrible person.  Generally, he doesn't rebut my arguments because he can't.  He just apologizes and eventually I burn out on talking about it and change the subject.  It's not healthy and I know that, I just can't abandon him.  I know they won't make it...the distance is always going to be a problem, as Lora refuses to leave PA and Kyle can't leave NY.  Lora's attitude is also a big problem.  She gets mad for stupid reasons, and I used to have to defuse those situations all the time.  Without me to defuse them anymore, I see them piling up into a huge explosion.  It's just taking a lot more time than I'd expected it to, unfortunately.

But I'm on a tangent now.

This weekend was long for so many reasons.  First of all, there are issues at work.  When I first started, the manager was newly separated from his wife and struggling quite a bit with it.  He hit on me a lot more than I would've liked.  When it got creepy (he once said he was going to tie me up and kidnap me), I stopped him by saying it was completely inappropriate, since he was my boss, and that I wasn't interested.  To his credit, he stopped the behavior and we have a normal working relationship.  That didn't stop our assistant manager from deciding that he was going to go after our manager's job and use me as the reason to have him fired.  He is scouring the cameras for any inappropriate behavior on our manager's part and plans to forward it to our district manager.  Luckily for our manager, he won't find anything.  But I'm tired of being in the middle of things like this, and it makes me want to call off every single day that I work.  I hate going in there, and I used to love it.

On Saturday, while I was at work, Bryan texted me with the news that his father had suffered a heart attack.  Bryan isn't terribly close to his dad, but he was rather upset by this.  The information was slow in coming from his family, though, because his dad is currently in prison for probation violations relating to a crystal meth possession charge.  Pro tip: if you're on probation for possessing crystal meth, it's probably NOT a good idea to go obtain more crystal meth, carry it around, hang out with a crowd you were instructed to stay away from, and then draw the attention of police.  It leads to you being arrested again, and this time, none of your sisters wants to bail you out...and that's exactly what happened.  He was arrested, and none of Bryan's aunts or his mom would bail him out.

Now, some of you may remember an interesting fact about Bryan's family.  His mom Tina is his dad's sister.  (Funny story: at the time I told Kyle that, all he knew about Bryan's life before me was that he'd lived in Georgia.  His response to me saying that exact thing was "When you say it like that, it sounds like he was born in Arkansas instead of Georgia."  I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe, because my husband was indeed born in Jonesboro, Arkansas.)  Anyway, it's not as bad as it sounds, I just like saying that for shock value.  His biological mom was an alcoholic crack addict, and Tina (their aunt) adopted the boys when they were very young.  We don't know where their biological mother is, and Bryan has no desire to find her.  Anyway, my mother-in-law is a wonderful woman with a masters degree who works for the federal government, and my father-in-law is a convict.  Tina never had bad taste in men, Reuben is just a bad egg in an otherwise wonderful family.

Anyway, back on the subject, I came home after work and comforted my husband, who had been okay until he heard a song by Volbeat (my absolute favorite band) that is about the death of the lead singer's father.  He was rather shaken up, so I sat and held him and told him it would be okay.  Fifteen minutes later, his aunt got back to him with information from the hospital.  It was simply heatstroke, not a heart attack like they'd originally feared.  I was relieved.  I don't love Reuben the way I love Bryan's mom or aunts/uncles, but I do care about him for the sake of my husband.  We lost Bryan's beloved grandmother last year and I don't know how much more loss he could handle right now.

When the worry and stress from that had subsided, we actually managed to have a rather pleasant weekend.  I had today off, and I'm off tomorrow too.  It's nice to have some time to recharge after being mentally drained by the soap opera currently playing out at my workplace.  I'm so over all of that.

How are you guys all doing?  Did anything interesting happen this weekend?

Kocham cie!  (I love you in Polish)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sad Today

Browsing Buzzfeed today, I found this article.  It broke my heart completely.

Lora and I had this.  Our friendship wasn't deep.  It revolved around stupid things like joint hair appointments, trips to the mall, and chick flicks.  We didn't have deep or intelligent conversations like Kyle and I do, and we didn't share as much in common as Lora and Bryan did, but we got along well.

We baked together, I cooked delicious dinners and silly snacks (Nutella banana quesadillas were a favorite in our house), we did leave each other goofy notes, and when we stopped speaking and I removed the photos of her from my Facebook, I lost 600 of the 1000 photos on my page.  We took a lot of photos when we were together.

She knew all the dietary restrictions I have, which changed after my surgery.  She didn't have any, but I knew all of her favorite foods and made sure to cook them when she was upset (which was pretty much all the time).

It wasn't until this article that I realized something.  Our friendship may not have been deep (like my friendships with Kyle or Andy), but it was close.  It was superficial, but it was fun.  It was pretty much exactly as the article describes.

The aftermath is affecting me more than I would've expected, having dealt reasonably well with losing friends before, and I finally understand why.  Recovering from this is basically the same as recovering from a bad breakup.  Her betrayal of me stung the way it did because we were those kinds of friends.

Luckily, I still have very good friends in my life to remind me that not everyone is psychotic.  Trisha is doing the best she can for me while preparing for the birth of her first child (my "niece" Evelyn); Andy is always there for me when I need him, no matter what; and Kyle is trying his hardest to balance our friendship with dating Lora until things fall apart one way or the other.  Neither of us really believes our friendship is going to be the relationship that falls apart, so we're just trying to make things seem as normal as possible in an abnormal situation.

I still miss her, though.  I know it's stupid, after everything she's done to me, but I do and maybe always will.  I replay the situation occasionally and wonder what I could've done to change it.  I know the answer to that question is "nothing", but it still haunts me.

Hopefully, school will give me something else to think about and free my brain from the shackles she left behind.  Only five weeks left.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

King's College!

I know I'm giving away a bit about my location here, but I trust that none of you are creepy stalkers!  (If I'm wrong and any of you are creepy stalkers, please don't stalk me.)

Because of Lora's misbehavior in the spring, I fell badly behind in my schoolwork at Bloomsburg University and ended up having to withdraw.  I took care of her so much that it felt like I was her mother.  She and Kyle actually did call me "Mom" because I fussed over her so much, and even Bryan jumped in on it.  I was truly the mom of our little group.

When I left Bloom, I thought nothing of it.  I expected to go back during the summer semester and start all over.  Unfortunately, that's not how it went.  I had spoken to the bursar's office, the financial aid office, and the registar's office, desperately trying to make sure I wouldn't owe anything for my withdrawal.  I was told that because it was before the official withdrawal date, I would be perfectly fine.  So imagine my surprise when an $1800 bill came in the mail several weeks later!

I called, sure it was a mistake, only to be told that they'd had to send part of my loan money back to the government because of my withdrawal and I owed the balance.  When I asked why I hadn't been told that before I withdrew, no one could give me an answer.

My heart was shattered.  I loved Bloomsburg.  I loved the people I'd met, the teachers I'd had, the classes I'd taken, everything about it.  The atmosphere was perfect.  Having grown up in the shadow of campus (just a few blocks away!), I'd dreamed of attending my entire life.  Now, because of her behavior and my decision to indulge her, I would never get to finish my degree there.

For a few weeks, I sat in despair.  Kyle, who holds a masters degree in chemistry and believes that a college degree is the best thing anyone can obtain, pushed me to try other schools...but I couldn't.  My spirit was so thoroughly crushed that I couldn't do anything but sit and believe my future was over.  It was melodramatic, I know, but I was so upset.

Finally, after the initial shock had passed, I began to think.  We'd recently moved farther away from Bloomsburg, so the campus was just as far of a drive as any of the schools in nearby Wilkes-Barre.  Those schools, all private institutions, were more expensive, but there was no reason I shouldn't try for them.  I applied at King's College (Kyle's alma mater and my first choice), Misericordia University, and Wilkes University.  I wasn't expecting much, to be honest.  I'm a good student, pulling down an average GPA of 3.6, but I figured my withdrawal would work against me.

So imagine my surprise when I got the acceptance letter from Misericordia two weeks after my applications were sent in!  The acceptance from King's followed on May 16th (my mommy's birthday), and the acceptance from Wilkes followed at the beginning of June.  Having been accepted to all three, I had a choice to make.  I did my research, asked questions of all the alumni I knew from each college, and finally made the choice I'd known was the inevitable one all along.

I was going to be a King's College student!

Kyle was thrilled, though he never came out and said so.  He couldn't say enough about how much he loved the school, how good it was, and how great the professors were.  When I told him I'd have to take analytical chemistry (he is an analytical chemist) to get my minor in chemistry, he talked for several hours about the professor who teaches that class and how much he loved him.

Tomorrow I go to take my testing (which seems unnecessary, since my SAT scores were very high) and schedule my classes.  I can't wait!  Here is a little background about my chosen college from the Wikipedia page:

King's College, formally The College of Christ the King, is a liberal arts college located in Wilkes-BarreLuzerne CountyPennsylvaniaUnited States. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, King's has been ranked among the best colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for 16 straight years. Barron's Best Buys in College Education selected King's as one of the top 10% of colleges in the United States.[3] King’s College ranked 366 out of the 600 best colleges in the nation according to Forbes Magazine. It's the only school in Luzerne County to make the list. According to Forbes, the college ranked number one in Northeastern Pennsylvania, scoring higher than the University of Scranton.[4] The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognized King's innovative and effective service and service learning programs. The American Association of Colleges and Universities' Greater Expectations Initiative named the college as one of only 16 "Leadership Institutions" nationwide. The John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll for Character-Building Colleges recognized King's in its select group of 100 colleges nationwide.

I always knew King's was a good school, but I didn't know it was that good...truth be told, I'm intimidated.I hope I can live up to the standards they expect from the students they accept.  I'm going to be studying biology with a double minor in chemistry and molecular biology.  My dream career is in microbiology, but I'll see where life takes me.  I just want to be a scientist.

As lame as it is, I can't wait to go back to school shopping!  I need a new backpack.

Anyway, it's just about dinner time here in our house, so I should finish up.  I just wanted to let you guys know about this, since I'm really, really excited to have such an excellent opportunity to achieve my dream!

All my love!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Glorious Disaster

Over the last two months, the biggest challenge I've faced is being patient.

I am NOT a patient person.  I don't like waiting for things to happen, I like making them happen.  However, when other people are involved, it's just not that simple.

I'm referring, of course, to the waiting involved in this triangle between myself, Kyle, and Lora.

Kyle is my best friend.  I can tell him absolutely anything, no matter how dark or twisted my thoughts get, and he doesn't judge me.  He's been where I've been, at the lowest of the low, and he understands how hard it can be to suffer through these situations.  He struggled very badly with Lora's ultimatum, and ended up continuing to talk to me.  When I asked him why, he said "Because you're my friend, I like talking to you, and I want to be here for you."  A few weeks later, when I told him I wasn't comfortable with being secretive like that, he flat out told Lora we were still talking.  Knowing that it would probably ruin their relationship, he confessed anyway.  She was obviously angry, but instead of leaving, she issued the same ultimatum.

It did nothing for two days.  He continued talking to me, but it wasn't normal talking.  Instead, it was a back and forth about what he was going to do.  By the end of the second night, I felt him leaning toward saying goodbye, so I told him to go ahead and do it, because it was clearly what he wanted.  He told me he wanted to see this through with her and that he was sorry.

I've never cried so hard in my life.  I tried to go to sleep that night, but I just couldn't.  Knowing that my tossing and turning was keeping Bryan awake, and he worked the next day, I got out of bed and went to the living room to sit.  Our pitch black apartment was broken only by the sounds of the dogs snoring, and my thoughts began to run like crazy.  How dare Kyle dump me for her?  All she'd done was sow pain and mistrust amongst all of us.  I'd been a good friend, a good person, and I didn't deserve that.  I deserved much better.

I didn't know then how much my next move would haunt me.

I picked up my phone and fired off six text messages, tearing into him.  I can't remember exactly what they said, but they were cruel.  I remember calling him a bastard, asking how he was going to be able to live with himself knowing how badly he'd broken my heart, and telling him that while I wasn't perfect or claiming to be perfect, I deserved a lot better treatment than I'd gotten at the hands of the two of them.  He didn't answer the messages, and my anger slowly faded away.  It was replaced by worry.  It wasn't like Kyle to ignore messages at all, especially ones like that.  I knew him better than that.  When a half hour had passed without an answer, I called him.

He answered, groggy and confused, and I immediately realized I'd woken him.  I apologized, but tearfully asked him to tell me why this was happening, why he couldn't see how much damage Lora had done.  He didn't answer, and I realized he was reading the messages.  Before I could tell him to stop, to delete them and pretend they never existed, he burst into tears.  I sat and listened as he cried, saying "Oh my god" over and over again.  I've never heard anything like it before, and I hope I never do again.  Those sobs were the sound of my best friend's heart breaking.

We ended up talking for about an hour before I realized I was finally tired.  We got off the phone and I went to sleep, expecting to never hear from him again.  Instead, he texted me the next morning, and every single day since then.  We don't talk about that night, except for one time that I apologized profusely for what I did.  I can still hear the sound of his sobs in a distant part of my brain that won't let me forget how badly I hurt him.

That was a really long story to tell you guys that I haven't lost my best friend...the problem here is that neither has Lora.  She doesn't deserve him and is actually incredibly controlling, but he won't leave her.  He can't.  He feels like he would be abandoning her, because she has no one else.  (The reason she has no one else is because she ruins all her friendships the way she ruined ours, just saying.)  So instead, he suffers on in a relationship he's not happy about.

Last weekend, she visited him in NY.  The day he told me she was coming up, he was completely miserable.  The next day, we talked while he was at work, and again, he was miserable.  When I pointed this out and asked him if that was the kind of relationship he wanted, he replied "I don't want anything anymore."  When she's not around, he's his old self again.  When she is, I barely recognize him.

Some of my friends have suggested that I simply tell her that we're still talking, which they assume will incense her enough to leave.  I can't imagine being that underhanded, though.  I would never do anything to sabotage their relationship...I'm not that kind of person.

I know that a relationship like this can't possibly last forever, so I'm doing my best to be patient while it fizzles out.  He and I have worked out an unspoken agreement where neither of us talk about her or their relationship.  It seems to be doing pretty well for us, and our friendship is starting to feel normal again.  However, it hurts to sit silently and watch him be miserable, suffering at the hands of a petty child trapped in a woman's body.

I wish he'd leave, but I know the way his mind works.  He can't abandon her any more than he could abandon me.

Has anyone else been in a situation like this before?  Do you have any advice for how to cope until she finally gets tired of playing with him and moves on to her next target?

Crossing my fingers!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lesson Learned

Today has been a very rough day for me.  I'm having some low self-esteem issues on top of dealing with my recovery efforts.  Because I have the day off work, I chose to spend it relaxing and thinking about how this entire situation has changed me.

One of the biggest changes I've noticed is that I withdraw more than I used to.  I know it's unhealthy, but I simply don't have the strength to deal with stress in my day to day life lately.  I've found that it's so much easier to detach from a situation if it's distressing to me.  The whole world fades away and it's just me and my thoughts, which are most often negative.  Unfortunately, this usually leads to bad things.  I've found that I have developed a bad habit of looking without seeing, if that makes sense.  Basically, I observe the world around me without taking in a single detail.

I was thinking about that today as I was walking through the expanse of grass between my apartment and the mailbox.  I go barefoot as much as I can, and this walk was no exception.  I kept my eyes on the ground the entire time, trying my hardest to avoid any dangerous steps.  The yard slopes down and is full of rocks and all kinds of other things, but those weren't really my biggest worry.  I was concerned about a type of thistle that grows in PA during the summer.  It's large and flat and hides in grass, waiting to snag a bare foot with long, insidious spikes.

It was as I was walking through the grass that I realized I wasn't actually absorbing any of the details I was passing.  I live in a beautiful area, surrounded by trees and wild berries and gorgeous wildflowers and I wasn't actually seeing any of it as I walked.  I was watching the ground pass beneath my feet, but took in absolutely no details.  Even if I had passed a thistle, I realized that I never would've noticed.

It made me think about how much I must be missing while I'm dwelling on the past.  Summer is a beautiful season in Pennsylvania, and I'm surrounded by family, friends, and even coworkers who adore me.  I should be living my life to the absolute fullest, not focusing on a past I can't change.

Lost in my reverie, I didn't notice the thistle in front of me until I planted my bare foot on top of it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

2013 So Far

So far, I'm not at all impressed by this year.  2011 stole my home and my babies...I thought it couldn't get worse.  Then 2012 came along and robbed me of the security in my marriage, my health, my gallbladder, and my home (again!).  When 2013 arrived, I kept telling myself that it had to be a better is not living up to this!

First, Bryan tried leaving again on New Year's Day.  We'd spent the day with Andy and Ausia at their new apartment, and he'd been acting funny all day.  On our drive home, he picked a fight and then told me he wanted a divorce.  It was a very long two hours while we argued back and forth.  We got home, he packed up, and he left.  That night, Lora came over to help me...but she sat for an hour in silence, on her phone the entire time, and then left.  Kyle was my real saving grace...he stayed up with me until 4 AM (despite having work at 7 AM) just talking about everything.  When he got me onto the topic of biology, I was off and running with a smile on my face.  It got me through that rough night.  I didn't beg Bryan to come back, though...I wasn't going to do that this time.  We talked a bit, but I had resigned myself to the fact that it was over this time.  Instead, three nights later, he climbed back into our bed at 2:30 in the morning.  He'd partially dislocated his hip sleeping in his car and was in a lot of pain.  The next morning we talked things over, he apologized profusely for "being stupid" (his words), and we tried again.

A week later, Lora (who had broken up with Stan right after Christmas) and I went for our normal girly date...we always went to the mall and to get our hair done.  She'd taken a bit of an interest in Kyle, so I was sending him goofy text messages while we were on our way to the mall.  At lunch, she asked for his number, and I gave it to her without worry...she was one of my best friends and Bryan's absolute best friend, and Kyle was my best friend.  What could go wrong?
Well, they got along beautifully.  They started dating, we planned a huge trip to Philadelphia for Lora's birthday, and life was perfect.  I'd never seen Kyle so happy, and I was thrilled for them both.  Lora finally had a guy who wasn't a total jerk...I didn't think things could get any better.
It was around this time that Lora, Bryan and I started talking about finding a place together again...around tax time, the perfect apartment fell into our lap.  It was a beautiful two bedroom with an open floor plan and every single utility (including internet!) included in the rent.  The rent was pricey, of course, but it was totally worth it.  The landlady, Charmaine, was an absolute gem and she loved our pit bull, Moose.  We moved in on February 25th with a lot of help from my family, Lora's family, and Kyle.  That night, I made homemade pizza and the four of us (Lora, Kyle, Bryan, and I) played Apples to Apples while sitting on an air mattress and beanbags.  We had no furniture, no TV hookup, and we hadn't unpacked a thing.

The next couple months were turbulent, to say the least.  Lora had grown steadily more jealous of my innocent friendship with Kyle, but continued to flirt with my husband to her heart's content.  I ignored it because I knew it was just her personality and I trusted the two of them.  Kyle had aired his concerns over it with me, but we'd gotten past wasn't without a lot of tears on my end, though.  He informed me that Lora had said (not once, but twice) that if Bryan wasn't married to me, she'd be dating him.  I was heartbroken but convinced myself and Kyle that it meant nothing.  Lora also started to fall apart.  She'd had knee surgery in early March, right after we moved in, and had to quit her job.  The longer she went without a job, the worse she got.  It didn't help that her therapist was trying to get her to cope with her dad's suicide, which she'd avoided coping with for 12 years.  At 24, she'd spent half her life pretending, and it was rough to start talking about it.  She became addicted to Vicodin, which was prescribed to her after her surgery.

She also found out she'd need a diagnostic laparoscopy to determine whether or not she had endometriosis, so she was an absolute mess.  One morning I woke up and texted Kyle, as was my normal routine.  After a few texts, he informed me that she'd taken a pill cocktail that morning to "try to sleep" and she hadn't answered him in an hour.  He begged me not to go barging in on her, so I simply peeked in her room and saw that she was still breathing.  She'd been suffering from night terrors and wasn't sleeping well, so I left her to it.  Three hours later, as I was working on my prelab assignments for my cell biology lab, I got a text that stopped my heart.

"I need u"

Three simple words (sort of).  Lora never abbreviated like that, so I flew back to her room to see her sitting in the dark, hunched over.  When I turned on the light, she cried out and covered her face.  I turned it back off and sat down next to her.  Talking it over, I learned that she'd taken two Vicodin and an Ambien.  One more Vicodin and she probably would've died.  I got her out of bed and dragged her to the hospital.  She was flushed, sweating, and in serious pain.  The entire way, I talked to her about how she could've died, and she finally said that she knew she could've died and did it anyway.  I realized that she'd become suicidal.

I ended up dropping out of school and losing my job because I wanted to stay home and care for her.  My decisions weren't popular with anyone, Lora especially, but I had to see that she was okay.  I couldn't, in good conscience, let her die.  I became her warden, controlling all the medication she had...or so I thought.  On Easter Sunday, Kyle came out of her room with a look that I could read like a book, and I demanded to know what was wrong.  She'd done it again...this time with the Vicodin I gave him to get her through the night and a muscle relaxant she'd had hidden.  He felt completely awful and guilty, but I was furious.  I fled to my mom's house, calmed down a bit, and returned to the apartment.  When I got back, I collected all her medication, dropped it on her bed, and said "Here.  If you want it, fucking take it."

Things fell apart quickly after that.  April was a rough month, with her picking a week long fight with Kyle over nothing.  She was mad at him for something he hadn't done, and then got angry that he wasn't there when she needed him emotionally (this was the week of her laparoscopic surgery) even though it was her fault.  I tried to be the go-between for them, at Lora's request, but I was getting sick of it.  The day of her surgery, I sat in the hospital and talked to her mom, who informed me that she didn't think Lora's previous relationships had failed because of the men in them.  We talked about how Lora needed to heal herself before she'd have a successful relationship, and I started to worry about Kyle.
The weekend after Lora's surgery, I went for a Strength and Rebirth Retreat my mom had gotten me sponsored for.  I needed it desperately.  Lora's negativity was draining all my energy, especially since I hadn't yet found another job myself.  We were struggling badly, and it was getting so much worse every day.  I returned feeling a thousand times better, but that wasn't going to last.

No matter what I did for Lora, it wasn't enough.  She grew more and more jealous over my friendship with Kyle, but refused to tell me what was wrong.  Instead, she hid in her room and wouldn't talk to me.  I had pretty much given up by this point.  If she didn't want to talk things over like an adult, I wasn't going to force her.  Finally, in the middle of May, things came to a head and Lora informed me she was moving out.  I asked her to stay and talk things out, but she wouldn't.  She told Kyle he had to choose between me or her, and basically did her best to destroy everything.
Her flirting with Bryan had had exactly the effect she'd wanted it husband thought he was in love with her, and the news of her moving out led him to inform me of that fact.  I broke at that point.  I just couldn't take anymore.  She was attempting to take my best friend from me, hurting both Kyle and I very badly in the process, and now my husband was ready to leave over this.  I couldn't do it anymore.  I moved back in with my parents the same day Lora moved out of the apartment.

The situation is still sending shockwaves through Kyle, Bryan, and I two months after the initial explosion.

Bryan realized (with some professional help) that he wasn't in love with Lora, just jealous of the honeymoon phase she and Kyle were in.  In his mind, she represented that.  He and I are trying to work through things, but we are separated.  We will see where this goes.

Kyle continued talking to me, despite Lora's ultimatum.  She found out twice: once because Bryan told her, and once because Kyle did.  Both times she freaked out and issued the ultimatum again, and both times it changed nothing.  He and I are still friends today, trying to regain at least a semblance of the friendship we had before.  It seems to be getting a lot better, but they are still dating as well, so there are points where we can't talk at all because she's visiting him.  We're kind of in a holding pattern, just waiting to see what happens here.  I truly don't believe it's going to last between them, since it's long distance and Lora has a short temper.  She ruins all her relationships.  I'm sticking around to pick up the pieces she leaves when she dumps him.

I am struggling pretty badly, in truth.  I've had a lot of help to try to recover, but it's hard when someone you've loved for five years...someone you've seen through a million different problems...just turns around and throws your heart back in your face like that.  She betrayed me worse than I've ever been betrayed by anyone, which is saying a lot.  It shattered me.  I went to some pretty dark places, became someone I didn't recognize at all, and took a lot of pain out on people who didn't deserve it...mostly Kyle, since he was completely innocent in all of this.  Bryan bore a lot of my anger as well, but he kind of deserved that.  This mess brought me to my lowest point ever, and I had hammered out an entire plan to take my own life.  It didn't end up coming to fruition, and I'm trying as hard as I can to recover from this.

I've claimed the song "Amaryllis" by Shinedown as my anthem for recovery, and I listen to it whenever I'm feeling negative thoughts.  It's my letter to myself, from the woman I know I am to the broken woman this situation made me.  If I survive the recovery, I plan to have an amaryllis bloom tattooed at the base of my neck with the words "The brightest flame burns quickest" (a Metallica line) curved around the bottom.  I will keep you guys updated on my recovery, among the other things that are about to start happening in my life.

Amaryllis - Shinedown

In a while now,
I will feel better,
I'll face the weather before me
In a while now,
I'll race the irony,
And buy back each word of my eulogy

All the uninvited tragedies
Step outside

Ask yourself now
Where would you be without
Days like this
When you finally collide
With a moment you can't forget

So do I remind you of
Someone you never met
A lonely silhouette?
And do I remind you of
Somewhere you wanna be
So far out of reach?
I wish you'd open up for me
Cause I wanna know you,

Stay a while now
Undress your colors
Cause they're like no others I've ever seen
I could get used to your company
Step inside

Ask yourself now
Where would you be without
Days like this
When you finally collide
With emotions you can't resist

So do I remind you of
Someone you never met
A lonely silhouette?
And do I remind you of
Somewhere you wanna be
So far out of reach?
I wish you'd open up for me
Cause I wanna know you,

In a while now
I will feel better
I will be better

So do I remind you of
Someone you never met
A lonely silhouette?
And do I remind you of
Somewhere you wanna be
So far out of reach?
I wish you'd open up for me
Cause I wanna know you,