Odd Feeling :: A Wish for the Impossible

Feeling OddI really wish I could, but… I just can’t shake off that odd feeling. And the annoying part is that it’s getting very old and tiresome.

Yeah, the fifth (non-)anniversary thing, I mean. If you feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record, I apologize. However, imagine how much more irritating it is for me.

It was a very busy day at work yesterday but, every once in a while, I kept remembering how that wasn’t what I was doing five years ago. Just before noon, I called Cleopatrick to ask if he would join me for dinner in the evening — a celebratory “fuck you and the horse you rode on, NowEx” event. He replied he would get back to me on that after asking his BF and, when he did around 6:30, he declined, stating that he was too pooped from his week at work. Not relishing the thought of going out to eat alone (again!), I just drove over to the nearest Amir restaurant to pick up my regular chicken-vegetable coucous, took a sleeping pill around 8:30, and crashed about 2 hours later for nearly 11 hours.

I simply wanted the flow of memories to stop, and knocking myself out to sleep early was the solution I came up with.

Today I’m trying to explain to myself why this is happening to me. I know it’s not regret for divorcing. I also know it’s not envy of others who’ve chosen to get hitched and for whom it worked out well. And most of all, I know it’s not because I would want to speak to NowEx, now or ever again.

I’ve come up with two explanations so far. When I’m in a moment of joking and self-deprecation, I claim post-traumatic stress. But when I’m in a serious and brutally-honest-with-myself moment, I recall the willful suppression of all the “you shouldn’t be doing this” thoughts I had at the time.

It’s the latter, along with the memories of the sting of being systematically yet unfairly put down (before, during and after), that mentally dragged me down two years ago. Today that’s not dragging me down; it’s more like having a mild but annoying toothache for which the dentist can’t find the cause.

This morning when I got up, I took off my ring for the first time and placed it on the night table. I think this act may be more symbolic than anything else. What remains to be seen is if I’ll keep it off or will this be like how I shaved off my goatee in November, only to grow it back in January.

Keeping it on my finger was about how I never would have otherwise spent as much on bling for myself and how it could serve as a reminder if ever I caught myself about to dive into another unwarranted rescue mission. However, because I’ve come not to notice it anymore AND the fact this “odd feeling” has been so intense in the last few weeks, I don’t think I need a physical reminder 24/7 in order not to go overboard. That’s one karmic lesson I’m unlikely to forget.

Recalling this fifth anniversary reminded me that it’ll also be five years next April that I’ve been in Montréal and seven years next month that I’ve been working at the bank. Neither worked out as I expected, yet both turned out being better than I could have anticipated.

It’s a good thing that the idea of moving to Montréal pre-dated that of getting married, as the two are thankfully unrelated. However, although I didn’t let it show to others, I was a nervous wreck when I moved here, not because the place seemed so big and overwhelming but because I had this moody, high-maintenance husband back in Mexico. Today, despite its inevitable downsides, Montréal is such a comfortable and safe place for me. While I don’t take part in as much as I thought I would while living here, I take pride in calling myself un Montréalais.

As for the job, it started off as a one-year contract. It got renewed for six months and, before that time was up, I was made a permanent employee. I still remember how the first six weeks of learning the job was intense and how my first client call was so unspectacular, not to say a total flop. But I quickly evolved to distinguish myself at my job, and that job, in turn, has provided me the kind of financial security I never dared to dream of as a freelancer. What’s more, I thought at first I’d be able to keep the freelancing on the side, but I was never able to — the day job was simply too demanding.

So, is writing this blog entry helping me put a finger on that “odd feeling”?

Maybe…

When I summon up my memories and feelings about Montréal five years ago and those about the job seven years ago, I realize that Montréal and the job exceeded expectations even though they didn’t turn out to be anything like what I imagined they would be like. I knew they would be good, but not this good. But five years ago last night, I knew deep down while denying it that I was getting into something I shouldn’t. So perhaps the odd feeling is a wish for the impossible.

What wish?

To have the me of today go up to the me of five years ago to slap some sense into the latter in order to avoid the former having this odd feeling today.

In short, it’s an utterly impossible wish: to erase the memories by avoiding their creation in the first place.

Does an Anniversary Remain One Forever?

Valentines BlahIt’s not something most people would notice, but February 22 falls on Friday this year as it did five years ago. I only noticed it for two reasons: because I’m already scheduling clients at work that far out, and because it would be my fifth wedding anniversary.

Actually, I was wondering… Now that I’m divorced, does that date remain an anniversary for me or can I simply refer to it again as just another day that happens to be close to the Academy Awards?

I suspect it might be somewhere in between. It will always be the date I wed and, as such, a date I’ll always remember more than any other February day aside from the 13th which is the Queen of Sheba’s birthday. I guess I could continue to observe it, somewhat mockingly, as a date on which I made a big mistake from which I’ve thankfully walked away.

Unsurprisingly, when I noticed that the 22nd falls on a Friday again, I started thinking back to meeting up with NowEx in Montréal, ostensibly to apartment shop, before heading back together to Halifax for the rest of February. This is by far the most time since the weeks following the divorce that I’ve spent thinking about all the sordid tales during that time of my life. And, yes, even though I doubt it and that I know he’s horrible with dates, I can’t help wonder if he’s sharing similar thoughts around this time.

About ten days ago, I received an e-mail from the publicists for Dr. Judith Rabinor who wrote Befriending Your Ex After Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and Yes, Your Ex, a book, I’m told, that this clinical psychologist wrote “after accepting the losses and realities of her own divorce and becoming good friends with her former husband.” The e-mail wasn’t random; it came addressed specifically to me (aMMusing, Mr. Maurice Michaud, Blogger, Montreal Quebec) and the ask was, “Can we interest you in an interview, feature story or perhaps a review of the new book “Befriending Your Ex”?” When I mentioned in Facebook that I had received this e-mail, many thought I meant that I had been approached to write a book — a misunderstanding I tried to clarify quickly.

I didn’t reply to the publicists, as I’m clearly not interested. I don’t disagree with the good doctor’s premise in general, but in this case there’s absolutely no desire from either party nor is a rapprochement in any way necessary. No kids were involved and the whole thing didn’t even last long enough to have led to the forming of a real household.

That’s the twist, however. Aside from NowEx, I’ve remained friends with all my significant exes, although moreso with some than others. In some rare cases, the other guy didn’t want to remain friends and, while I found that position unfortunate, I didn’t push the issue. I’ve even expended considerable energy at times keeping apart some of my exes who, for whatever reason, loathed each other.

Some might say that I should have accepted if only to offer a counter-argument, namely that there are some cases when it’s better not to poke a stick in that old piece of shit. Others might say that, whatever approach I would have taken, it might have been helpful to bury the whole episode once and for all, as clearly it’s still coming back in some ways. But I think most of those who have read my July series of postings exposing what led to the divorce would agree not only that I’m not at all on the same wave length as Rabinor in this case, but also that nothing remotely elevating would result from NowEx and I rebecoming friends. Some things are better left to be forgotten as much as possible, and my form of “accepting the losses and realities,” at least in this instance, is that some deeds unfortunately can never be forgiven.

Sounds tough. Maybe even cold-hearted and jaded. But aside from the fact that I still believe there’s something wrong in NowEx’s head, I’ve come to the conclusion that I fundamentally erred in reading his character. I dearly wanted to believe there was something good in him. However, I now believe that even if whatever’s wrong in his head were somehow extracted from him, what would remain is an extremely irascible person with whom no one should ever wish to become friends.