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So there used to be this woman I was nuts about.  Just completely head over heels.  We got married - and she dumped me.

I'm still sorting it all out.

More below the dooblydoo.

We didn't live on the same landmass, though we did speak the same language.  Mostly.  Australian English is different, but understandable. We were on different time schedules, different phases in our lives, but close in age.  She was married (ha! and still is! Jokes on me...) and had children - I was still single and pushing 40.  We were different religions - I was an orthodox Jew and she was Strega - a practitioner of Italian Witchcraft.  But I was sure we could work it all out.

I look back on it now and see of course that it was impossible.  Not just because of the disaster of an ending - but because there were always too many things that were too distant beyond geography. We were financially in different world - I was extremely poor toward the end, and never doing great at my best - her kids went to private school.  I was undiagnosed schizophrenic - certainly not helping anything - and she was trying to raise a family and deal with her own issues, which I will not discuss, as I don't have her permission and we don't talk anymore.  Despite the fact that we still have an unresolved legal entanglement in the United States.

But I felt like we had a special connection - something beyond anything I had ever experienced before.  From the very first time we wrote to each other - a simple email exchange in a Harry Potter for adults book list.  Her email was completely innocuous, completely ordinary really - and yet it wasn't.  It stood out like magic somehow.  The voices whispered to me how this one - This One Must Be Answered - and my entire life changed.

Not particularly for the better, though we were able to rely on each other through the ups and downs of life over the years.  I leaned heavily on her for support as my world got smaller and stranger over time.  Honestly - I don't understand how she didn't run screaming the other direction.  Moodswings, drama, obsessions and delusions - she put up with ten years of that crap and hardly ever complained.  I don't know how she did it.

I can only assume that actually spending a month with me in the confines of a small unfinished boat in a small town - while having her family constantly calling her telling her to come home - it was too much.  Too hard.  I can understand that.  I really can.

But I'm still mad as hell.  Largely because she didn't actually tell me that until just before our first anniversary.  She just... disappeared.  And the thing I feared the most was abandonment.

The rabbis say - gamzu l'tov - only for the best.  Things happen only for the best of reasons, no matter how shitty they look from here.  And I suppose that is true.  I had a complete mental break down when she finally dumped me.  I stopped functioning, as the dream of actually being together finally was the only thing vaguely holding me together.  I wasn't able to care for myself anymore.  In the end my parents coaxed me home after I had called them one night in the middle of a meltdown.  That was almost a year ago and I'm still here.

But I have doctors and the right pills in mostly the right doses.  I have fewer voices and obsessions and a better perspective on things - I think. I still have bad days, but they are much less drama and suffering than they were. I can look forward to trying to go home and still make plans to sail.  But I've given up on love. Love can go hang.  

I'm too weird for the world I live on the fringes of - no orthodox woman or man is going to live on a small boat - and I don't really think I can find one who would settle for me anyway.  I'm never going to consider a non-Jew again, the distance is just too great.

I tell myself - and I tell other people I don't want to know I'm nuts - that I'm helping my parents.  They are older, scared POX bots and my dad is a drunk who collects cats.  The environment isn't the best for me in terms of support or asthma control, but it's mostly comfortably physically - no extreme temps indoors, no leaks, no 1/4 mile walk to a shower - no shortage of food.  But it's not home.

But then is home really home now?  It's a shell of what it was when it was packed with dreams of couplehood. Have I picked up enough pieces of myself that I can eventually rebuild my home and find a new lease on life?  I don't know.  I really don't.

Originally posted to Mortifyd on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  it is not unusual to want human contact (20+ / 0-)

    and to share life with an interesting human being--in my experience also, those people I am attracted to already have consuming attachments.  A lot of the time, the others in their lives would come to me and say there is no room in that person's life for me, and to back off.   Out of desperation I began to think of my relationships as sips of nectar from a flower, and I was suddenly released from that kind of madness.  There are a lot of flowers, and a lot of nectar of so many different sorts, you owe it to yourself to experience each person you meet in that present moment.  That Australian woman may never escape from her trap.  I think you are doing fine.  Fitting in is over-rated.  Knowing how things are is the key.  Then you can make clear choices.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a6uA76vYDM

    by Portia Elm on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:19:54 AM PDT

    •  I like the flower analogy (20+ / 0-)

      One of the hardest parts of being schizophrenic is truly knowing if you are in the present - and where exactly you are.  I live a thousand lives in a thousand places in the time it takes to put on a pair of shoes some days.  Clear choices can be difficult under those circumstances.

      I'll never fit in anywhere, that's why I live on the fringes - of community, of society - and I'm mostly happy there on my own.  But there is pressure actually from within the community itself not to be alone - to settle down and make a home and have children - and that's impossible.  Not only from a biological standpoint but I wouldn't want to pass these fractured genes on anyway.

      And sometimes there is a longing to have a partner. To be able to be weak for a moment. To have someone to lean on - or be strong for - because I really don't have anyone now and I had her for a decade, one fourth of my life.  My family provides for me - but I can't lean on them emotionally - that's a disaster area.  And even they are disappointed that I am so screwed up I can't find someone.

      •  yeah, my family was pretty (6+ / 0-)

        unstable also.  I am not going to talk to you like a doctor, because I have only approached that thing you are talking about--being in more than one reality at one time--from a spiritual standpoint.  You sound very open to energies, and you can make a choice to be present, and then those other energies can not sweep you away.  I recommend Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now" to help you get a sense of what it is like to be still in the "maelstrom."  His other books are excellent also.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a6uA76vYDM

        by Portia Elm on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:45:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that pressure that you are feeling (6+ / 0-)

        to be "conventional" is a ghost.  And I think you are being given a great gift to be forced to face that longing for a partner, and realize that you are always looking in a mirror--your needs are already fulfilled.  I know that may sound like crap.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a6uA76vYDM

        by Portia Elm on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:52:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is a beautiful sentiment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Mortifyd

      and one I'm sure anyone middle-aged and life-long-single can appreciate:

      Fitting in is over-rated.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 05:49:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  {{{{{Mortifyd}}}}} (23+ / 0-)

    Some of the seasons of our lives are harder than others.

    Love is such an unpredictable thing. I have known people who found the love of their lives in their forties, in their fifties, even in their eighties. Keep passing the open windows and know that folks here care.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:00:01 AM PDT

  •  Ten years. (11+ / 0-)

    Ow. I'd be pretty sour on the idea of a relationship too. Once bitten and all, and that's a hell of a nasty bite.

    I get the appeal of the boat. But I can also see things going wrong. (What if you cast off and get lost? What if a leak gets really bad in the middle of the night and you wake up underwater? What if I sound more like a jewish mother than your mom? :) You must have some investment in the boat, but maybe you could look around for options on terra firma where you can find some solitude. Someplace that doesn't have your old plans imprinted all over it.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:58:13 AM PDT

    •  I don't worry about the boat. (4+ / 0-)

      I'm not going to get lost, I can navigate by the sun and stars.  There are no leaks - and you install automatic pumps for that anyway. :P  Even without them I've yet to wake up under water.  You definitely do, she gave up on that years ago. LOL  I don't actually have any fears about going out and never seeing America again.  There are plenty of other places to see and stop in.

      Land costs money.  The boat is paid for.  Land stays in one place - a boat doesn't have to.  It's not the boat - I've planned to sail around the world long before I met her.  It's just the setting new goals, the finding new reasons to get out of bed I'm having trouble with.  Learning to live with less mental noise all the time and in the same universe every day.   I do actually plan to trade up for the Atlantic crossing at this point - but then... who knows.

      •  Sounds like you have plenty of goals at hand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee

        You have the boat, you have plenty of places you've never been, plenty of things you've never done, folks you've never met.

        The key, of course, is becoming sufficiently comfortable in your own skin grab hold of those possibilities.  Medication can help, as can counseling--don't give up on either!  That said, they're not the be-all and end-all of life.  There's plenty to be learned through reading, self-reflection and talking everyday folks.

        Boat's paid for--great.  Make sure you're ready to make use of it.  Don't ever use it as an escape from life.  

        Ever.

        You think it's hot? Imagine what it would be like if global warming really existed!

        by JSc on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:43:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nu - what is life? (5+ / 0-)

          Is wanting to accomplish something unusual an escape? Is freedom from self doubt not a worthy goal? Or independence after a year (or more, lets be rational here) of shaming dependence?  

          I've never wanted a "career" - to be a doctor or lawyer or succeed in business.  I failed in academia because I couldn't get the support I needed financially to stay in school and cracked under the pressure of full time work and class loads.

          I call myself a writer and I have some talent, but not the sort that writes novels out of thin air.  Short stories sometimes - essays, articles perhaps.  But not on a deadline.  I can barely get a dvar Torah written on time with weeks to work on it - yet I can fire one of these off in a matter of minutes.

          Some of my closest friends I've never met.  Yet I talk to them nearly every day via whizzing electrons and satellites.  Even crossing oceans one can access that these days, short of the arctic circles - with a box that straps to the mast.

          So really - which life? The one where I am following the ancient draw of the water and air, seeking other people and other lives to intersect with - or the one where I am landlocked and pitied? Considered broken and shameful and shunted off to a back room with the door closed.  

          For me it's pretty clear which one is real and which one is not.

  •  Good to hear from you, Mort. (21+ / 0-)
    But I have doctors and the right pills in mostly the right doses.  I have fewer voices and obsessions and a better perspective on things - I think. I still have bad days, but they are much less drama and suffering than they were.
    This is a damn good start.

    This is a good foundation on which you can build...any number of possibilities. Good outcomes. A happy future.

    This is a damn good foundation. Keep building. Good for you.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:35:29 AM PDT

  •  You have Nigel now.... (17+ / 0-)

    how is he doing?  I think the people above have good advice for you.  We love you and care about your well being.  I am still trying to figure everything out from 4 years ago, it doesn't happen overnight.  You are on the right track....

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:51:58 AM PDT

  •  I think you can see from the comments here that (6+ / 0-)

    you will never be truly alone emotionally.  Too many people here love and care about you.  

    It sounds to me like you feel a great need to be "normal."  Mort, there IS no normal.  The outward normalcy of anyone can be swept away in an instant.

    It is true to the human condition to feel fear, remorse, and loss, but you have ultimate control over what those things do to you.  You have every right in the world to say to hell with trying to be like everyone else (because no one is) and just embrace your own life without regard to anything that's happened before, anything that might happen in the future, or what anyone else thinks about the way they think (usually erroneously) life should be lived.

    That's tough.  I know.  I struggle with it every day.  But I will not let it keep me down for long and I hope you will join me in that attitude.  Keep fighting for your right to be who you are, not what you have been taught to think you ought to be.

    Best to you, man.  :)

    Blue, blue, my world is blue... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6cPXvTqasg

    by ZedMont on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:05:31 PM PDT

    •  I know there is no "normal" (8+ / 0-)

      But honestly, do I have to be so far outside the bell curve on everything?  

      I like living on a boat.  I like being Jewish, and I actually like being orthodox.  I like being male.  But I'm not going to have children - which I wanted - because it's a biological impossibility.  I don't believe in miracles or an interventionist G-d.

      The culture of orthodoxy - it pretty much means that I will never marry a nice Jewish woman who wants to keep kosher on a boat.  Much less be married to a man who can't give her children - that's a big deal in orthodoxy.  So I locked myself out of being able to participate in certain ways in the community - for life.  And orthodoxy is where I feel most comfortable.

      I require a lot of medication just to semi function. So that blocks adoption pretty much from the get go as well.  Not to mention again hurts the chances of finding a partner.  Part of what was so amazing about Australian woman was that she liked me anyway.

      I am not capable of working for a living at the moment.  That leaves me pretty much at the whims and occasional good wishes of family and friends financially unless I am approved for disability or make an amazing recovery.  Given the joke of a therapist I've been provided by the state - I'm not counting on the amazing recovery as a possibility.    

      But I am happily far away from what I was taught I ought to be - you will find no simpering southern belle baby factory here.  But while I escaped that - I didn't really find anything else, either.

      •  I'm sorry you are so troubled. I know very little (6+ / 0-)

        about orthodox Judaism, but if I am understanding what you're saying, it seems that it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.  

        Perhaps I was a little presumptuous in what I said earlier.  You know yourself better than anyone else.  At any rate I hope you start feeling better soon.  

        Blue, blue, my world is blue... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6cPXvTqasg

        by ZedMont on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:37:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it has highs and lows and structure built in (6+ / 0-)

          all of which are good things when you struggle with mental illness - and can be bad as well.  Because it's designed for couples and children and generations - and I haven't got any of that.  And that leaves a hole when you feel you want to be close to community - because you are left out.

          At the same time, I can't stand being hemmed in, with  ballabustas (mistress of the house, but often means nosy gossips) all up in my business and telling me what to do - and that comes with an orthodox community. LOL  

          Your kippah is too big/small/black/coloured/crooked. You look fat/thin/sad/lonely/messy/too neat. You should just settle down and forget all this boat mishigas and buy a house/apartment and then you'll get a wife.  Go to Israel/New York/New Jersey. Sit and learn, be a rabbi! Always with the advice you know?  Yes you can be an individual, but it takes money to be accepted when you stand out - and money I don't have.

  •  hey mortifyd (0+ / 0-)

    i am sorry for the pain you go through, it is a daily struggle to understand why people leave you so alone, when you cannot help being who you are.

    is it possible you have painted yourself into an impossible corner? your belief systems and lifestyle choice may seem like the only liveable avenues for you according to how they make you feel, but have you considered that they may be over-reactions to a negative matrix, one that left you fearful and uncomfortable?

    over-reactions lead to equal amounts of problems as the original causes were.

    it sounds corny and boring, (just like the 'simple' life is everything but!) but the 'middle way' really is the most peaceful perspective to split the difference between who you are (product of original environment) and what you dream for your life, most of all joyful interaction with other folks.

    thanks for writing, you have a gift to be shared, and your strange journey through the mind's labyrinth deserves documentation just like everyone's does. we are all richer for a look into another's psyche and your diary invites us in, as pained though you undoubtedly are, your gift of lucidly expressing the confusion is a rare one, so many cannot and are even aloner for that reason.

    of course i see only from my perspective, but music and massage have been great friends when nothing else was. it is amazing how many mental problems are created by 'skin hunger', not being cuddled enough as a child, being touched inappropriately, or being bullied and beaten up when weak and vulnerable. skin hunger can warp your brain, as it is a form of unconscious cruelty that can be traumatic, long term.

    once we are hurt, we use our native genius to construct immensely complex defense mechanisms to limit damage and try to bring reality under control. rituals do this.

    the more rituals we feel obliged to use to soothe our wandering minds and troubled hearts, the more difficult it is to interact with other people unless the rituals work for them too, in which case the sharing of them can be very profound. otherwise whatever rituals you choose, they risk one day to not feel so nurturing, and their meaning may collapse. too much repetition can make one too rigid, and we are programmed to eventually walk without any crutches anyway.

    will you be flexible enough to modulate new ones? could they be a kind of baggage you can visualise needing less of to feel safe and free to be yourself, comfortable in your skin?

    i wish you a good, balanced life, where you can turn the situation you are in to a more positive one, and where, if you are indeed 'mentally ill' ( a social definition if there ever was one!), you can make it work for you. some aspects to 'crazy' can give you unusual insights which once integrated can be used to advantage. i have always had friends who were 'different', (being that way myself), and there have been periods of great loneliness where there is nothing to do except work on organising your thoughts and learning to be patient and clear with yourself. you want and need love but while the blocks can seem insurmountable, sometimes the hardest work of all is to relax and breathe, and sometimes it's the letting go (of control and tension) that makes the blocks mysteriously melt away.

    massage can help, a lot...

    keep writing, the gift's for sharing! your singular story helps us understand better how delicate and deep our minds can be. you share good luck on your healing journey, keep your wits keen about you and your keel will gradually even.

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 01:13:39 AM PDT

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