the life of zooey who happens to be Bipolar 2
I was rummaging around in my work file drawer the other day. I only have a few paper files left, most of it electronically stored now. In one of the folders were a stack of older pictures. These were prior to my divorce and remarry. Some going back a good 10 years. I rotate photos of my daughter and family as more photos are taken so I can see them during work. When I bring in new pictures, I file the old ones, intending to bring them home. Of course I’d forgotten these. If I’d found them sooner, the photos wouldn’t be around…as they included photos of my ex. Some with me. Some with my daughter.
The reaction was immediate. I didn’t think about it. I was bent on destruction. I tried to rip them up, symbolically to take his face out of pictures and leaving the raw edges where he used to be, very dramatic and movie-like. (Queue the music) And, apparently, not possible with the blasted plastic-like coating on them. So, I took scissors and systematically cut them into tiny strips of paper. A cathartic destruction of a past life into the trash. Another reminder gone.
Since my divorce, I’ve been slowly getting rid of my former un-self. A person which was forced ‘being’. A person took care of the house, the laundry, the food, the child, and anything which had to do with ‘work’. This was my role. Period. It was that or let things go taking the excuses given to me…too expensive, do it later, and his favorite… the ‘tape fix’ or ‘zip tie fix’ instead of proper upkeep of something broken. I was scooted into a tight space where very little was actually acknowledged as valid responses if emotional expression was involved. A place where my spark of life came close to dying.
So a bit of my time now is purging that life. A new bed was purchased. Much of the gifts received were donated. The wedding ring was taken to a pawn shop and sold for its weight in gold. Not much money recouped, but a highly satisfying adventure. Some furniture is different, the yard finally in shape, the rooms rearranged. Apparently not even my ex can put baby in a corner forever.
So what is left? What I’ve become over the past 4-ish years? Who I am now with my awesome hubby and kiddo? I have my sense of humor. The ability to be myself, emotional or not. It has been hard to piece together out who I am from the past decades without dragging along bags of kindling I’d rather burn in the fireplace. I struggle to get fully out of this bitterness towards my ex and anger at myself sliding through that so-called life.
I have less than 1/3 of my life which I can call mine and not the former ‘ours.’ It’s a limbo of sorts, teetering between not wanting to refer to or even think about anything from that part of my life. A tightrope walk requiring quite a bit of checking, settling and wobbly progress across rope. I hear my parents say, “We have our daughter back”. People at work say ‘I am not the same person.’ But who is that person? Often I don’t know who I am anymore. And to be perfectly honest, living only in the now is a fucking hard thing to do. Try it. Try not referring to the past for one day. Now walk out on that rope.
One small shaky step at a time,