Torn

Wait little string.

Do not run away

From the seam.

Tucked away in

The flowery frill.

Hiding, hoping

Not to unravel.

What a dress?!

Only briefly worn.

To come out for

A summer night.

Joyfully laughing,

Unaware,

The pending doom.

The fray begins,

Unsheveling the

Feminine fabric.

Zipping along

The seam no longer

Held.

Vainly trying

To hold it together.

Watching it fall

Apart, revealing

A heart so

Torn.

Numbers matter to me.

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I’m somewhat obsessive when it comes to numbers. It’s something that I do…

I remember in the first grade, when you had to do those timed math sheets and had 5 minutes to finish 100 problems. Tests were addition and subtraction, and then later in school you got hammered with multiplication and division. And then, to really make you hate life, they mixed them together.

I sucked at them. I was slow. I couldn’t finish them in the allotted time. But I began practicing, I began getting to know numbers like my life depended on it. I memorized anything to do with numbers – addresses, phone numbers, Pi out to 9 or 10 decimal places (I can’t even remember 4 now…), the numbers of people in a room, the ration of women to men in that room, etc.

Flash forward to college and I whipped calculus problems like crazy. I became so detail oriented, and mastered methodology like there was no tomorrow. I even passed a Calc III final with a 100% after sleeping halfway through it. I even remember, the very last final I had for my Bachelor’s degree was for a class in Chemical Engineering called “Transport Phenomena”. I giggled the entire way through the exam. Seriously, I’m deranged like that.

The problem for me is this: Real life doesn’t involve numbers. It doesn’t involve the cold calculations involved in getting the right answer. No, real life involved feelings, emotions, striving for other things than finishing a class. Real life’s problems are not clear, they don’t involve an exact answer.

And this is why I drink. I drink, because I don’t know how to deal with emotions very well. Not my emotions, mind you…I’ve already accepted that I’m FUBAR. No, I don’t know how to deal with other people’s emotions, and specifically, I don’t know how to deal with other people’s problems – especially when those problems involve me. I drink, because I don’t always “get it”. I drink because I don’t understand why the world isn’t laid out in front of me, like I was promised growing up. I drink, because the biggest lie ever told is “You can do anything you put your mind to.” (That’s the biggest fucking boondoggle ever, by the way.) I drink because I feel like a failure when trying to make others happy. I am conflicted between the things I do well and the things I don’t do well. I’m confused about the things that make me feel happy and the things that make me feel accomplished. I worry about my ability to take risks, I worry about my ability to handle emotionally difficult things.

Today is my 44th birthday (Thanks for the songs, Rita! No one has ever played the piano for me, before.). And because I obsess over numbers, I also obsess over dates. And I want my birthday to be a day I can remember with pride – and it’ll make it easy to remember the exact date of my sobriety. And I want this to be a memorable one, because I want this to be my last try at being completely sober and dry. So, today, I am beginning…

…Day 1.

QFMR: Ever been emotionally confused?

Yesterday, I mentioned an argument I had with my wife. Today, I’m getting a message from her that is not clear, insinuating that our marriage is now done and she is ready to move on.  I asked her to be direct, because I’m not very good at reading between the lines, but I have not heard from her.  We have been arguing for the past 4 months about one issue: a job I was offered that was in another state.  We are not in an ideal situation, but I feel like it is the best option we have for the time being and she feels like I don’t care anything about her or her point of view.  I’m not going to go into details, because there is so much to say about this topic and ultimately, it leads into so many other issues in our marriage, it’s become a 20 year long battle (Trust me, I am not exaggerating).

The point is, I was told, though unclearly, that we are finished and that I need to move on and she will do the same.

And 3 main feelings ran through me in an instant: pain, anger, and relief.

I’m choosing to not react to any of it, because I can’t tell if it’s a manipulation or authentic. So, I’m simply doing the things I believe to be the best options, right now.

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But, my question for all of you:

Have you ever felt emotionally confused – like unsure what you are SUPPOSED to feel?

How did you handle it?