Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Dear Psycho Ex:

I am in receipt of your recent email. I have some points I'd like to make in response. Please consider this a do-not-reply email. I realize it is frustrating to have someone getting angry at you and not be able to respond. I realize this because I was on the receiving end of a lot of your anger for a long time, and I didn't respond to your anger then because it always just made you more angry. Today, Mr. Psycho Ex, it is your turn to stuff it. Ready? Okay.
1) It is WEIRD to tell someone that you think it is weird that they got married. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE BEEN BROKEN UP FOR OVER THREE YEARS. It implies that you perceive a totally, egregiously inappropriate connection between you and said someone, one which has not been reinforced by said someone AT ALL. Said someone never implied post-breakup that she would change her mind and marry you. The fact that you asked her to marry you post-breakup and her immediate refusal should have helped you understand this. The fact that you went around during your post-breakup apartment search telling prospective landlords that "your wife Sidewalk Monkey" was just out of town and would be moving in with you upon her return does not make you married to her. IT MAKES YOU CRAZY.
2) DO NOT PUT WINKY SMILEY-FACES IN EMAILS WHERE YOU ARE BEING A PSYCHO STALKER. It is only socially acceptable to put winky smiley-faces in emails sent between friends. Psycho stalkers and their unfortunate stalkees ARE NOT FRIENDS WITH EACH OTHER.
3) Really? In your (entirely unsolicited) opinion, you believe that "we will never replace the chemistry we had"? Where to begin with this? What do you know about the chemistry I have now with my husband? Can I tell you that I didn't know how amazing chemistry can feel until I met my husband? Can I tell you than he and I are a team in a real way, in an equal partnership, that he really respects and accepts everything about me and the things we achieve together are truly remarkable products of the cooperation of two human beings that complement each other? That I never feel like we are a team with a contingency, that I never feel worried that he respects and accepts me unless and until I put on a pair of shoes with a heel or wear a pretty skirt or watch a TV show that has male actors in it or take a job in an office with more men than women or raise my head walking down the street or choose male friends/doctors/counselors/clients? Can I tell you that because of the "chemistry" that you and I had--the chemistry of controller and controllee, of false idol and misguided idolator, of narcissist and nurturer--I felt like I had to resign myself to a narrow, dim life of watching the pavement and feeling less-than? That meeting the man I married gave me back my faith, changed me back into the full and whole person I was before I knew you and made me believe that love could be everything I had hoped it would be, and then some, and that love could bring me freedom instead of taking it away?
4) Can I also tell you, along the lines of the more specific "physical...and emotional chemistry" that you reference, that you were selfish and predictable and not that good in bed? That, without giving you more insight than is appropriate into the intimacies of my relationship with my husband, I kind of want to weep a little bit every day for the girl I was when I was with you, who thought she liked sex but had no idea till now just how good it can be?
5) Your saying you think it should have been you and I getting married is creepy, and makes me feel worried and aggrieved for your wife. Listen closely, and make no mistake: I am grateful every day that I married my husband. I am grateful I did not marry you. Every day I look forward to spending my life with my own happy, beautiful family--do you really think I need you to have children that are smart and well-adjusted and creative? I do not ever picture you and I happily raising a family together. When I try to picture what my life would have been like if I had stayed with you, I always picture myself on a dirty, pilling couch, surrounded by children whom I love because they are my children and who break my heart and fill me with guilt because they do not respect their mother and are afraid of their father. And I picture myself, on that couch, getting smaller and smaller and my face getting blurrier and blurrier, shrinking inches every minute, my face erasing while no one notices, until I just disappear.
6) So you regret the art I am not inspiring in you? That does make it awfully tempting to come back to you. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WANT MY LIFE TO BE LIKE: Me, doing nothing with my life except sitting around depressed in ugly clothes, attempting to be the shadowy imagined muse lady you think you want, while you make bad art, pick on me and smoke my entire paycheck. DREAMY.
7) Saying you are going to keep writing until I respond is not a normal friendly gesture. Even if you say it in a nauseatingly cutesy way with puzzling and irrelevant exclamation points, it is something a stalker says. And it is particularly abnormal given that I have not responded to anything you've written in years, that I changed my phone number and my email address and even my physical address in an attempt to foil your efforts to contact me. Seriously, buddy, take me off your Christmas-card list. And every other list. Get me on your personal do-not-call registry.
8) So you have "almost completely" worked out your "suppressed mother issues"? Oooh, tempting again--that whatever you are able to blame for making me deeply, stickily, scarringly unhappy for YEARS is "almost" cleared up. But not quite. But that's okay, you say, because you're a good person underneath! Truth be told, kid, I know you are a good person underneath. I always said it. But that doesn't mean you're not responsible for your actions. Guess what? I HAVE MOTHER ISSUES TOO. Remember which one of us has the dead mother? Hint: NOT YOU. Guess what else? I didn't take my mother issues out on you. I didn't break furniture, call you names, make you feel unsafe, constantly threaten to leave you or humiliate you if you didn't change your clothes and bow your head. Years and years younger than you, I rose above the injustice of nature that you sank under, and I saw you couldn't see your own way clear of your past. But you weren't ready for help, and I wasn't ready to sacrifice my whole life to your grief, your shame and your rage. And I thank everything that is good in the world that neither of us were ready to do what looked necessary and vital at that time, because when I ran away from you I ran into a life that kept opening wider and wider the further I ran.

And today, against all sorts of odds, only a very small percentage of which you have anything to do with, I am happy. I am living a life that is so open, so full of texture and fragrance and color, so much more in every way than I knew life could be three years ago. I love my husband. I love where we live, the world we have created for ourselves, the day-to-day joy and gratitude that we move through. As it turns out, now that I have finally given myself permission to steer my own life, I am a fucking awesome driver. I am a pedal-to-the-metal badass who does her own stunts, and I am as safe as a grandma because I know not to take my life for granted. I leapt across a continent and landed all four tires, still spinning, on a country road, at a winding creek, in a patchwork quilt of vineyards. My life. My home.

This is the gift you have unknowingly given me, the legacy of the hurt I remember every time I think of you: I know now how grateful I should be for my every day, my every unjudged breath. For that I can forgive you everything.

But if you really are the good person you say you are, if you really understand how wrongly you wounded me, if you are truly perceptive enough to be ashamed of the behavior that routinely caused me to hide in the bathtub, then you must know that it is not right for you to contact me. You must know that I would have written you back if I wanted to be in touch with you; you must know I am not afraid of using words. You must know I don't contact you because I don't want to have contact. You must know that the same words of regret and apology and cloying affection that you used three years ago will not change my mind today. I can forgive you--but you make it harder every time you barge into my inbox with your thinly-veiled fury. You must know what the right thing to do is, the most compassionate, most stand-up, caring thing you could do for me: Leave. Me. Alone.

I am done hiding in the bathtub. I am done hiding anywhere. I am standing in my own light and there is no room for you here.

Sidewalk Monkey

Thursday, July 22, 2010

shoe lust birthday boots!

the last pair in my size in the COUNTRY, gifted to me by the amazing, amazing Jam Guy.

Yeah, meant to post this nearer to my actual BIRTHDAY instead of nearly eight months later, but better late than never. I have been wearing these almost every day--literally, like, there might be one day each month I DON'T wear them--for the last almost eight months. Thank you, honey!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

lava carves its own path.

i was in an abusive relationship for a long time because sorrow and shame fit into me like a key, because the door to me was built early to open much too easily to punishment. when hurt came my way, i couldn't help but let it in, it felt so made for me.

but now.

now i am with someone who wants to melt me with the caution and patience of some old sage of metalworkers, not to resculpt me into something built to open to him, but to leave me an unformed flow, molten and dangerous and free.