Marker Splotches

Ramblings of the markers

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I have a feeling MarkerSplotches is going to experience a revival. We're all getting ready to graduate again, and travel even farther away than we did 4 years ago. I'll be sure to sound an alert on Facebook as well, I'd like to hear from everyone. This entry's going to be a lot sad, a bit angry and a smidge hopeless. At least you're warned. It's long and emotional, but it's helping me. So thanks in advance for reading it, if you do. Just bear with me.

Brian and I broke up. He brought it up first, I argued, then I agreed, so it became mutual; it was amicable, and we are going to remain friends. We need to see what else is out there, to be sure...I guess to be sure that we want to be with each other. We need to grow up, graduate and be individuals. Be selfish for a while. We also decided not to talk/see each other until after Christmas break. We need the time alone to heal and learn to live without each other. Then we can attempt friendship.

Apparently there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

Stage One-Denial: 10 days of crying every day, mostly three times a day. I got lucky if it was once. Can't sleep for more than 4 hours. Take hours to go to sleep. Cry yourself to sleep. Wake up feeling like shit because your eyes are puffy and realize you just don't have the strength to get out of bed, to brush your teeth, let alone to face the day. We broke up exactly 11 days ago; my life started to fall apart with a mistake 14 days ago. That mistake was the platform for the break up. Not the reason, but the platform.

You don't eat because you're so anxiety-ridden that your stomach hurts too much to think about food. You take Pepto-bismal to calm the tornado in your middle. The Pepto falls on an empty stomach, calms it for a few minutes and then starts churning again. Pepto Bismal is not to be used without food. You realize it's been a good 4 days and all you've ingested is your Prozac, slimfast and hot tea. You can't eat solid food because it takes too long to chew- by the time you get one bite down, you're already full and the thought of more food is repulsive. But you don't care, at least your body is feeling a slight amount of pain- it makes the murderous emotional pain semi-bearable. Almost like it's being validated. Now you can see pain.

It has been 5 days since the mistake, 3 days since the break up. I go home to STL to be pampered by my parents. You find that it's necessary to have your security blanket that you've had since you were 8 months old and slept with for 13 years. It provides a bit of comfort, but the tears and ripped seams remind you that it's on it's last leg- just like you. And you wonder, hell if this blanket can't get through any more, how can I?

It is Monday. 8 days since the mistake, 5 since the break up. I go to class. I skip work. I come home. I cry myself to sleep. But at least I went to class. The next day I manage to go to class and work. A friend convinces you to go to the gym, and then to chill in the hot tub. Your swimsuit doesn't fit as well and you realize your hips are jutting out. Apparently when you lose 5 pounds, some people notice. Have a perverse thought: Brian always liked skinny girls, so says his friend Goldstein two years ago. An offhand comment that I never forgot. I know I'm thin. But now I'm thinner. Brian will like me again. Realize you're a basketcase, discard the idea and look forward to your therapist appointment Friday morning. You get to the recreation pool, and see a happy couple kissing and swimming and remember...oh that's right, the last time you were here, you were with Brian, swimming and kissing. Awesome.

Wednesday I get a text message saying he changed his status to single on Facebook. I asked last week if we could wait- I couldn't handle people asking what happened. I get the text message on my way home from work. I reply. Our messages to each other have become impersonal, cold. Which is funny because I know we both think for a few minutes so we can decide exactly what to say. I get home, I have a message on Facebook from him. Saying he changed his status, that it had to happen sometime. Enter a bit of anger. I change mine. I go to sleep.
I make it, hour by hour, til Thursday. I find that I really have been sectioning my life into hours: one hour in class, two hours at work, two hour nap, then one hour homework. It seems more manageable than using days...days seem too long, there's too much room for thought. My roommate reminds me that I have to go out to dinner with her and two other girls. I cringe at the though at social interaction. Why go out and get dressed up if not to show Brian? He always noticed new make up, hair, jewelry. Always smiled when I wore his favorite shirts; we would laugh because we both knew I wore the shirt for him...

Choose clothes that aren't as flattering. Don't do that much work on hair. Go to dinner. It tastes like shit. I've never liked spicy food and I've only been to this restaurant and didn't like it before either. Oh that's right, I was with Brian. We both decided we didn't like it. Realize you're not hungry anymore and you just want to go home. Poke at the food, pretend to eat it, pretend to laugh, pretend to be in the conversation. Get conned into going to a bar. Panic for 30 minutes that Brian will show up. Then I actually have fun. Go next door to a club and dance. Get hit on, immediately get grossed out. Try to get away, but the guy follows and buys me a beer, even though I asked for water. I'm tipsy and dehydrated, I just want water. He wants my name. My name? Kelly O'Hara. And I leave. We get home, and I crash. I don't remember if I fell asleep crying, but I do rememeber my last thought was of Brian. It always is.

Friday, therapist appointment in the morning, then meeting with a teacher to go over a paper and talk to her about personal problems. Ask for advice. Lunch is fine, freshly squeezed orange juice. I guess you can't go wrong there. Walk home, the sun is out. I'm tired, but it's not too cold, and I'm moving. I think of stopping in a store to shop. I look up and there he is. With four other guys. The exchange:

Brian: "Hey Keegan, how's it going?"
Keegan: "Good, how about you?"
Brian: "Good."
Nick: "Hey Keegan."
Keegan: "Hey Nick."

No one stops. We walked towards each other, and then right past. Not a single stride slowed. It was awkward. It was awful. I really just went into shock. Call Sarah, don't know how she can fix it. Call my friend Jess, a mutual friend of Brian and me. She picks me up immediately, and takes me to her house. I sit on the couch, staring into space for 20 minutes. I shut down. I decide to lay down, maybe sleep. I wake up 3 hours later. Go home.

It's Friday night. I should be going out. My roommates point this out. I say I have homework to catch up on, it's finals next week. The roommate that only goes out a few times a semester says that I need to start socializing again. I repeat the homework excuse. They leave to study, I watch tv and go to bed.

Stage Two-Anger: Saturday sucks. Don't go to the mall during the Christmas season, the weekend before finals, on a Saturday, in a small town. There are local kids everywhere and about 400 people in each store. The people walking in the hallways decide it is completely necessary to move at a snail's pace. Obviously. And no one can drive. Thank god I'm just the passenger, otherwise I would have committed vehicular manslaughter the second we entered the parking lot. Go to Walmart, get food. Go home, eat for real. First normal sized meal in almost two weeks. Immediately have a stomachache because my stomach is being stretched back to normal capacity.

This is stupid. Why does something so good have to end? No, we weren't perfect. Yes we fought. But we fought fair, we never called each other names and we always respected each other. We learned from each other. We challenged each other. We were each other's best friends. I'm realizing that I was closer to Brian in the past two years than I was to anyone else. He feels the same about me, we discussed it. For god's sake, we had an hour and a half conversation about how to deal with the break up and how to be friends! If a therapist could have witnessed it, they would have had an orgasm. It was the best break up ever, people write books saying what to hope for. WE HAD IT. The only other relationship that I saw that was as healthy as ours was...that's right. I couldn't name anyone. Neither could he. Then we named our parents. So great, the only other relationship we can compare ours to is to our parents, who have been happily married for 25 years a piece.

It's just fucking stupid. I want my boyfriend back. I want my best friend back. I want my lover back. I want my confidante back. I want MY Brian, and I want him now. Bad things should not happen to good people who work hard to be good people. I hurt. I hurt because he hurts. I hurt because he's hurting, and I'm not there to comfort and support him. He's feeling the same way. It is just completely unfair that two good people who had a good relationship have to feel so much pain. I fucking hate this.

Oh journaling. I realize that this is a time for me to take care of me. I need to learn to be more forward when I need help and support. I need to stop taking care of everyone else's needs before mine. I need to figure out what I'm doing in my life, where I want to live, where I want to work. Granted, I don't graduate til December 2009, but for some reason this seems like a good time to think of these things. Brian and I need this time apart. It will be good for both of us.

Stage Three- Bargaining: Okay. I realize we have to be alone. We both know it's right. In fact, there have been three absolutes complete with gut feelings in my relationship. The first was when I knew I fell in love with him. The second was when I realized we need this time apart. Now this third one is a bit tricky....I feel like I am supposed to end up with him. Not this semester. Maybe not this year. But for some reason, I just feel that he's the one I'm supposed to be with. What if I lose him? Logic dictates that it wasn't meant to be then. But I can't deal with that. I can't deal with being out of control. I make lists for everything, I chart out my day by the hour, I get panic attacks when I lose my planner. I get sick to my stomach when I'm lost- for god's sake, I have to be in control.

So now I'm realizing that I'm looking forward to being by myself. I'm going to learn a lot, and I'm going to grow up a lot. One of those ah-ha! moments that everyone gets in life. But part of me is happy because I'll be a better person...a better girlfriend. But only to Brian. I see this as a necessary step for the continuation of our relationship. I find quotes:

"To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship"
-Domenico Estrada

"Don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens- the main thing is not to hurry . Nothing good gets away"
-John Steinbeck

These quotes are perfect! Obviously they're true! It's fate, everything is going to be okay. I can do this, I can do this. I assume I'm in the bargaining phase now. I better myself as a person, which means I become a better girlfriend to Brian. I just need to accomplish it, and it'll take time, but it'll be okay. I know I'm killing myself slowly thinking this way. But shit, if there are five stages of grief agreed upon worldwide by educated people, who am I to disregard one of those stages? I know I'm freaking awesome and important, but even my head isn't big enough to think I can bypass those particular rules. It would be like me saying gravity is dumb and doesn't exist.

I hurt. A lot. But I'm dealing with it in the healthiest ways possible. I guess it's the only thing I can control about the situation. Go to the therapist. Confide in friends. Talk to my parents every day. Journal. Put all pictures, jewelry, letters, flowers and any reminders of Brian in a box, a box not to be opened until I'm ready. Try to laugh. Try to keep a routine. Keep taking my Prozac. It's really all I can do.

I'm counting the days, in more ways than one. But I am counting until I can come home and see everyone, and I think that's the most positive counting I can do right now. (On a side note, I am so not looking forward to doing College Algebra next semester.) I'll be home on Friday. I'm going to send out a reminder on Facebook for people to start getting back on this thing- it's time we reconnected and starting discovering each other again. And hey, now we can go to bars- we don't have to always go to Amanda's! I'm sure she'll be very happy about that.


Blogger Anna said...

Hey Keegs. I'm glad that you wrote this; I hope it helped to get it all down. The best suggestion I ever heard for grief was to dedicate a specific time to it. You say, I'm going to cry and feel awful for an hour here, and the rest of the day, when you start to feel bad, you tell yourself, later, it's not time for that now.

Anyway, I'm coming home on Saturday. And, yeah, it would be great to see everybody again. Maybe we can relive old times and drive backwards through a drive-through. (Did we actually do that? Or did we just talk about it? Whatever.) You should call me. Or I'll call you.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Hey. I want to give you a hug. And honestly, I want one too. I think we're gonna have plenty to catch up about, specially considering that I am now single as well. I was the instigator, but it's not nearly that simple. Anyway, I'll be getting into town Friday night, and with any luck, we can meet up soon after that :)

9:59 PM  
Blogger jacquelyn said...

I'm sorry you have to go through this. It's not a fun time of life, that's for sure. Angela, that goes for you too. I really wish I could come back to St. Louis for break now and reconnect with everyone--it's been too long!--but I'm going on a family trip to Colorado instead and am scheduled to work here in Lawrence the rest of the time.

I still think about how much fun we had in high school. It's strange to look back to then through everything that's happened in the last 3 1/2 years. I wish I could say that I'll see you guys soon...

1:38 AM  
Blogger Reine said...

Anna me and Carolyn and Brendon drove backwards through a drive through once

5:14 PM  
Blogger Matt Spaeth said...

Sooo...I guess that revival never happened. If anyone is still getting any updates on this site, and would like to go to my wedding reception next month, or just catch up, hit me up on fb.

9:18 PM  

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