“There’s a light in the darkness of everybody’s life.”

When I allow myself to see it, feel it, experience it…I can see that light. It’s just not always easy. Or apparent. Or easy.

On September 15th, just over a month ago, I started streamlining out overt processed sugar from my diet. Within the first two weeks, I had two mixed drinks after a burlesque show packed an unexpected from-left-field emotional whallop, a slice of pie, and a chocolate chip cookie sandwich glitter bomb. (Side note: what the FUCK is up with dousing baked goods in glitter? Why would that make you want to eat it? It makes it look like a prom dress, a burlesquers backside, or five year old’s craft party. Not appetizing. The cookie sandwich, however, tasted amazing. Of course, I was vibrating for about six hours after I ate it…but it’s all good.)

Anyway, I’ve been keeping at it. A few weeks ago, I went to my favorite bakery because they just so happen to have the best quiche I’ve ever had in my life. I got some delicious cajun quiche for lunch and walked out without a single craving for a cupcake, cookie, or baked anything. The one time I did get a morning glory muffin (when I went back the following week for my once a week treat-quiche) someone in my house ate it before I could. 😦 Sad. It was sweetened with honey, and had no gluten. I think whomever ate probably didn’t get what they were expecting. The treat-quiches have stopped. Didn’t go this week or last week because I can’t afford it now that I have my own place. Which I am slowly getting more excited about and used to. My landlord/roommate keeps to himself mostly, goes out of town every other weekend, and has been fairly nice lending me a mini fridge, a/c (which, yes, I’m still using knee deep into Oct-fucking-tober…), and tiny TV. Sometime this week, he’s gonna put a loveseat up here so I have somewhere besides my bed to sit.

Part of me is now wishing I hadn’t left so much behind with my divorce from my husband and wife. Things like a toaster oven or microwave (that my family bought for us as wedding presents, I might add) would be nice right now. It’s stupid, but I really miss the balloon wine glasses we got as an engagement present. They were so round. The Kitchen Aid Mixer. That I REALLY miss. The food processor. The crock pot. It’s funny what a difference those things would make to me now. And how, last week, I found myself in Walmart, walking by the housewares section going, “I used to have that and man I wish I still did…and that, and that…” It was a sad time. Having my period a week early also threw me into an emotional tizzy. Now that that’s past and my hormones are more orderly, part of me still misses those things but recognizes the ability and opportunity to start over. It’ll take some time. Especially on my current salary. Working three part time jobs still only makes just enough to pay rent and have $40 a week for food and $40 a week for gas. Not a lot of wiggle room to get things like crockpots or microwaves. But! My sister has a microwave she got that she’s going to give me. And not having a lot of money means I can’t buy a lot of food which means I can’t -eat- a lot of food. The upside to that? I’m down 15 pounds since July 2013 and a grand total of 24 pounds since November 2012. (And I’ll admit it..technically, it’s close to 30 pounds since April 2013…between March and April of 2013, I put on a bit in a short time.) The part I’m happiest is that it’s been consistently going down. Sure I have spurts here and there where it bounces a few pounds up. But then it evens out and drops again. It helps that I work out at least 4 hours a week. And I’m drinking more water.

This is going all over the place but mostly I just want to record the fact that I’m gradually losing weight, feeling better, and am finding the light in my life. And that I’m lucky to have some incredible people on the journey with me to point me towards the light when I’ve lost my way in the darkness.

Going everywhere and nowhere at once.

With the awesome help of my sister, I finally found a place to live. It’s a room in a recently divorced dad’s house. Fairly large, private bath, all utilities included. I start moving today.

I should be more excited.

It’s not that I’m not relieved that this came up so serendipitously. I am. But. It’s all happening very fast. I emailed on Saturday. Saw it, agreed to take it, dropped off paint so my new roommate/landlord could paint it on Sunday. Picked up the key and dropped off the first month’s rent on Tuesday. Starting to move today.

As I said last night to my husband, this is the first time (save for a week and a half twelve years ago) I’ve ever lived with someone I don’t know. Ever. So there’s that.

There’s also the fact that I still don’t think I can be fully me there.

And then there’s the thing that hit me as I was packing up this morning.

This all is just a constant reminder of why I’m here in the first place. And it makes it hurt all over again, almost fresh. I had gotten to the point where talking about it didn’t hurt much anymore, and I could say her name without wanting to puke. But now, packing everything, it reminds me of the last time I put things in bags. Heart blown apart with betrayal, but functioning in numb auto pilot. Preparing to get the fuck away from it and not be hurt again. Anger simmering somewhere beneath the surface but too afraid to look at it.

Just keep moving forward. Just keep going. Just get out.

I was in the middle of doing laundry when I found out. Our laundry. The sheets from what had become our marital bed. I wanted to cut them into strips. Set them on fire. Leave them out on the lawn and uproot a tree and just set the dirt ball on top. Some kind of physical representation of what it felt like he’d done to my heart. Our marriage.

Instead, I folded them. I folded his clothes, too. I piled them on the bed and got my shit together and left.

It may be part of my PTSD kicking in, or hormones, or just the overwhelmingness of the whole damn situation, or maybe all of the above. All I know is it feels like I just found out all over again. Except this time, I’m letting myself feel it, sob about it, grieve.

When I found out in April, something in my brain shut off emotion. Yes, I had glimpses of anger and grief, but they continually got overrode by auto pilot. Don’t feel. Just do. I talked to my sister before she had an interview for a job she wanted. I couldn’t break down on the phone with her while she was going into the interview. So I auto piloted it. I called my brother-in-law to ask if I could come back and explained the situation. I couldn’t lose it on the phone with him; he was at work. I just kept it together. I just kept going. I felt numb and removed from myself talking to my husband that night. Piecing things together. Getting confirmation. Hearing the pain and anger in his voice.

And telling our girlfriend. Leaving her, too. Knowing I was too broken deal with any relationship. The lack of trust I felt in just about the entire world was staggering. I’ve never been like that. Well, that’s not entirely true. I haven’t been like that in decades. I have had what others have called a sunny personality, but when I was younger, it was an act. Even wrote a song about it. Now, I try to believe the best in people, not feed into the negative. I don’t watch the news. Yes, I know there are murders, kidnapping, pedophiles, rapists, and all manner of other sick, shitty people out there. I try to focus on the good. I spent too much time growing up being afraid. Shutting out the bad, you actually wind up shutting out the good as well. I learned that the hard way. So I gradually opened up. Accepting the light and dark in humanity, even myself. But when smacked directly with the dark, I had a lesson in the practical application of the light and dark we all carry. And I didn’t know how to process it besides self-preservation. Get to higher ground where you can be safe. So I headed to the place where I’d had the closest thing to stability I’ve had in years. And here I am now. Reminded that the place I came back to isn’t mine anymore. Because I chose to leave. Coming back, I knew my time here was limited. My sister says this will always be home if I need it, but…it can’t be. There’s no place for me anymore. So I’m moving out on my own. Except I don’t fucking want to be on my own, really. Yes, it’s nice to think about how to decorate a space that’s wholly mine, since I’ve never had that. Yes, it’s great that I’m getting some independence. Yes, it’s wonderful that I found what seems to be a clean, safe place to live.

Someone dear to me recently said that he found it surprising that I was able to talk about burlesque. Given that I’d put years of my life into it, and the way I left was wrapped up in complicated, he expected it to be complex, at best, to talk about. When really, it’s not. I miss the people. I miss the performing. I miss the preparation. But it’s not…I had already been gearing up to phase more towards becoming a mother. I was preparing for it long before it happened. When it did, it sucked that it was at the same time as finding out about my husband, but it wasn’t really that which made me make the decision. It contributed, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t planning to leave until I seriously was planning to get or actually got pregnant.

Why do I bring this up in the middle of everything?

Because yes, decorating, independence, and clean, safe places to live are things worthy of celebration. But that independence? Sure, it’s great to push out on my own and all…but I just…don’t want it. I want to be married, dammit. I want children. A family. A unit. To be part of, belong to, feel connected to. This is what I’ve been working towards. What I’ve been hoping and praying for.

I know I can’t have it now. I know this is, though it may not feel like it now, moving forward. I know and have been told that that there is time for children, a house, a solid marriage. It’s entirely possible that my husband and I will come through this and be more solid for it. As evidenced by referencing talking to him above, we are talking regularly now. There are seeds of hope. I don’t know what that means for the future, but it’s where we are now. Seems to be a theme. I don’t know what this means for the future, but it’s where I am now. Since that’s really all I can control, I guess I have to work with what I’ve got and go pack summore stuff.