Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday optimism.

Life keeps turning on me to the point where I never know what to expect. I finished work and headed to the bar for my typical Friday night happy hour. I pulled into the parking lot and saw an empty space right next to Coleen's car and pulled in. I go into the bar and the only empty seat was the one next to Coleen. If this was a like any other Friday she would be having a drink and be gone in less than an hour to go have dinner with Mark. And that was certainly what she expected too. I asked what was up and she said Mark's college age son was visiting and she was expecting a call and she would go there and make them a nice shrimp and scallops dinner. That was a call that never came. I took advantage of the situation like I always do, by chatting with her and getting her to relax and enjoy herself, which she did. We played pool. She won. She started to laugh and enjoy herself like I knew she would.

At 7:30 she decided she had waited long enough and called Mark. He had already cooked the dinner without her. He said he never got any messages. I have no proof but if I was to guess I would say he really didn't want Coleen around while he was with his son. I mean even if he hadn't gotten any messages, it was Friday night. Why would you not call your girlfriend on Friday night? After the phone call ended she at first sounded really upset but I could see her just wipe it away and decide to enjoy her friends.

She only stayed another hour or so but now I'm curious to see how she and Mark go forward. I just can't see how she thinks they can take the next step when it's clear to me and pretty much everyone else Mark is excluding Coleen from the real important bonding experiences. And I won't be the one to point these things out to her. I'll wait until she is done.

Stay tuned

Friday, May 30, 2008

In a dark place

I'm lost in thoughts that are diffecult to get a grip on. Last night was cocktails on the boat at the dock. I wanted to keep it some what simple. Just Janet, Roberta and Jami. For whatever reason I didn't really want Coleen there because she has been making me feel tense and I just wanted to relax. I also feel a certain amount of failure around her right now so I'd just as soon not have her around. I don't have anything specific to put my finger on either.

So we four opened some wine and were noshing on some cheese and crackers. It was a beautiful evening. There was barely a breeze and not a cloud anywhere. A couple of other boaters stopped by to say hello so I kept getting distracted. Funny thing is I've felt tense all week and even though I was determined to relax it just wasn't happening. Then my cell phone got a text message from Coleen so I inveted her down too.

So what should have been a good evening was just loaded with stress and I don't even know why. I thought with my barbeque over and my boat sitting quietly at the dock I would be able to enjoy things. Perhaps I need a day off from my friends.

Anyway Coleen came down and I got to relive the trouble I had docking the boat last Monday anyway. Then Coleen mentioned that she needs to return the boat shoes that I had gotten for her for a size smaller. That got Roberta breaking my chops that she doesn't have boat shoes. She just did it to make me squirm and it worked. Things are just getting more and more uncomfortable. The thought is occurring to me that I can back away from everything but last night that was impossible.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A simple update

My vacations ends today. I can't say it was a bad vacation but it wasn't everything I could have hoped for either. I mean I took this time off because my parents were here and alos Coleen was also off. It seemed like a good opportunity to have time off and always have someone to see. Instead I spent almost all my free time doing boat maintenence. It was necessary so it wasn't really a bad thing but I really had higher expectations for a vacation than spending my time alone with my boat.

I guess it is for the best because for the first time this year I feel I have a working boat that I can take out for day trips. In fact, yesterday I did just that with Lisa, Coleen and Mark .... the boyfriend. All went well until the end of the day when the wind caused my docking to get a little more suspensful that I would have preferred. I'm not sure but I think it may have traumatized Coleen a bit. It may be hard to get her out on the water again.

My ex-wife is now back home from the hospital and we had one conversation since her release. She also called me two other times when I couldn't really talk so I feel like I pushed her away. Maybe it is something I should do but it's not making me feel very good. The relationship I want with Brenda is that I would like it if she is happy and healthy but not if it depends on me. I'll talk to her again eventually.

My Memorial Day weekend included my Saturday barbeque where my family and most of my friends came to the park for the fireworks show. I bought a ton of hamburgers and hot dogs and everyone seems to have a great time. For some reason Coleen chose not to attend. She wanted to have a quiet evening at home with Mark. I did see her on Sunday at another BBQ. Things are not evolving anymore. They just are what they are.

So quite a bit of comings and goings and I have a lot of emotions that I wish I could express but I'm just not ready right now.  


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A little bit more

The comment from Cindy was real food for thought. It feels great to know there are strangers who have gotten to know me through this blog can weigh in with their thoughts now and then. My reasons for not blogging as before are a combination of things. Mostly I really haven't had the time to clearly organize my thoughts. I am a little uncomfortable in my own skin right now. Not necessarily in a bad way. I just wish I knew I could make a difference.

My ex-wife, Brenda has been admitted into the psychiatric ward at the hospital for what I expect will be about 60 days. She has no phone for calling out and the ablity to call in is limited to 2 payphones that have been busy the few times I've attempted to call. I feel a little guilty about not making more of an effort to call. When I first heard about her going to the ER I was at the hospital as often as I could be but now I feel she has the help she needs. My family and friends all agree that I needed to step back a bit and let her find her own way. So now I am.

Things have cooled a lot with Coleen. I guess when I heard her making plans for later in the summer with her bf I realize now that nothing real will happen anytime soon. She has not been paying much attention to me. So I feel I must move on in a different direction.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I've been not updating for a week. It's not like I don't have anything to add. I'm just caught in this malstrem of negativity that needs to change. I was struggling at work, about to take a meaningless vacation and no longer sure what role I have with anyone.

Trying to sort out the place that I'm at and how I got here. I guess I'm just emotionally tired right now and need to have a break from writing about it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gaining perspective with time.

Things are looking up. Looks like the ex will get the treatment she needs to treat her depression. I was looking up the drugs she was on. Things for severe depression and panic attacks. And from the sounds of it she was getting zero counseling. Some of the meds stated on WEBMD that they should not be used over a long period or the symptoms would come back worse that before. It was very scary.

I'm still thinking about my afternoon with my friends on Saturday and how we were all able to share stories of similar events in everyone life. It was so cleansing. I feel very lucky to have the friends that I have. Okay ... now I feel like I am getting emotional so I'll stop there.

I spent some extra time with Chris. He was a big help on the boat and with out him I would never have gotten the courage to take the boat out. I'm becoming a real 'fraidy cat. Turned out to be just the way to end the weekend.

I also took the opportunity to talk about Coleen. Chris once once had a thing for her and she had to shut him down. I wanted to hear his slant on that. I guess she can be thoughtless when she's been having wine. I confessed to him that I like her a little more than might be good for me and if she ever did stop seeing Mark .... I kind of let that hang. Chris said what ever feelings he had for her are way in the past. I guess that was what I was looking for... although he also did try to give me a word of caution. Like I'll ever listen to that advice.

We were sailing around when I got a call from Coleen and I guess I got a dose of what Chris means as she wanted me to be sure to remind Chris that this was not a date so he doesn't get the wrong idea. That goes back to when Coleen and Chris met and he wanted her to kiss him and she needed to remind him that she was not with him on a date. This had to be about 3 years ago too. And that is a phrase I half expect she will use for me at some point down the road.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Not so great a weekend but that's reality

I feel so stressed right now. It's going to be awhile before I get back to some kind of normal. It's not just the ex and her suicide, but it's for sure where things start. I really wish I coud turn away and never have to deal with all the shit that comes with that.

I was only at the hospital on Friday after work and for a little while this morning (Sunday). Friday night started with Brenda all worked up about her situation. To me it was a good sign that she was so fiesty, but I really don't enjoy beingthe target of her venom. But as time went on I could see her posture change.

Round about 7:30 I got a text from Coleen asking where I was.  It was good timing because I needed to make my get-away. I had decided I wanted to not be secretive about this anymore and I figured most everyone would be at the bar and I could tell everone all together and get it over with. It wasn't easy but I did it. It worked out reaqlly well because on Saturday we all were on the boat and I learned that we've all have had to deal with similar problems. Roberta's daughter was a cutter and spent some time in a hospitla psych ward. Coleen's mom has been in severe depression for over 9 years. Janet's husband has been treat for depression as have 2 of her 3 kids.It was like group therapy. And I really needed it because Brenda called me at home in the morning to complain some more.

After doing that I went to dinner at my brother's house. Almost the whole family was there so I took the opportunity to let them in on the situation. It wasn't easy because I wanted to wait until the evening was almost over so as not to ruin everyone else's good time. My family didn't say much. They've had years of crap from her so I guess they just want it to go away.

Sunday morning's visit to Brenda was short. I got there early and she looked so out of it. She complained about the hospital staff. Like I can do anything. But after an hour the doctors and orderlies came in so I waited a while and then left. I don't want to visit again for a few days. I had a conversation with the married couple that are in charge of her welfare. I can see that I'm making suggestions but I need to back off now. They want me involved I wait until I get a call.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dinner with a side of guilt.

I didn't see or talk to my ex-wife yesterday. I went to dinner with Coleen instead. It was very difficult to not mention what was going on but I think it would be better if I don't. I really needed a relief from all that stress. And it worked. I found myslef having a good time. And she called me.

Coleen was supposed to have dinner with the bf but he was involved with 10 other things so when it was past 7 and still no bf she called me up and told the bf she was going home. Then we met at the restaurant. So now I feel like the "other" man. I wish I knew if it was more about me than about the food. After dinner she and I walked to out cars and I asked her about Friday night. She said she may not make it to the bar but if she did she would only have one glass of wine. She was planning an evening with the bf.  When I insisted she needed to go she said "I'm trying to be in a relationship." She kind of said it tongue in cheek. We do have plans for Saturday.

So it was great to be able to get away from the Brenda situation, but now I'm feeling guilty. It's the oddest kind of guilt because it's not as if I was committed to anything else. I had already told my ex-wife I wouldn't make it so it's not as if I was expected to be there. I'm also allowed to have my own life, aren't I?  I just know that this is part of the co-dependent thing that had popped up before. I can't let myself believe that I have to become the care-giver for my ex-wife. Should i tell her where I am at or is it better to wait until she has some therapy?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What if this is as good as it gets?

How I miss the days when I used to complain that nothing worth writing about has happened. Now I don't want to add anything because I'm so scared of where it may be going. I remember when my friend Joe died and I needed to shut this thing down for almost a year. What do I do if this gets worse?

So last evening I went to the hospital to visit the ex-wife again. I arrived later than I had hoped. Her friend Rich was already there for some time so Brenda was up and talking when I got there. First bit of bad news I got was that her liver wasn't functioning at 100 percent and they would need to administer treatment for that. This would require that she would need to go back to the ICU for at least 24 hours. My fear is that this liver condition may not be temporary. She is very strong but who knows what the overdose did to her vital organs.

The other piece of news was an order from the hospital that she would be admitted for psychiatric evaluation for a minimum of 2 months because it is there opinion that this was a suicide attempt. Brenda looking me in the eye and denied that this was accurate. Something inside me needed to not let this go. I looked at the papers and looked at Brenda after she said there was no suicide note and I said let's talk about this.

She took all her papers to Rich's house and on the same day overdosed on some kind of medication. She also left a note to anyone who found her. I asked her that who does this? Has notes in case they could die? She started to defend herself and I just said that I love her and I'm her ex-husband and even I don't believe this was any kind of accident. I told her that when I was on the way to the hospital I didn't know what to expect and I was so frightened I could even imagine what might be possible. I held up the papers and told her this was going to happen. She broke down and said "if only it could have worked this would all be over". Then she said she could lose the house. I assured her that is never going to happen and she has to accept that this is a good thing and everything else means little in comparison. Things outside will be taken care of. If the hospital bills end up being too much that's what lawyers are for. No one ever loses a house because of hospital bills.

That being said I may have been talking out my ass becauseI have no idea what to expect. What I really want her to do is to stop the rationalizations and lies and start being honest, if not to me than to at least herself. Of course her friend Rich really didn't say much, it was kind of left to me to play the role of bad cop. In retrospect it was probably better that way so Brenda didn't feel ganged up on. After that we did get some of the tension out of the room and the hospital people came in and she was moved up to her new bed in the ICU. I said I would see her there after she'd settled.

I then walked outside with Rich and told him I never really wanted to have that kind of conversation with her, but I felt I needed to no left her carry on the charade and get her to understand that this is her only option. He said he couldn't have done it but it needed to be done. That made me feel better. Her also said that maybe this is the kick in the ass she needs and in the end 2 months may be a good thing. She has been wallowing in grief over her dad's death for three years and she really needs to find a better way.

I went into ICU and spoke to her for another half hour or so. I touched on her grief and and when she got upset I said we need to talk about something else because I needed to leave and there was no way I could leave this as the last thing we would talk about. I told her about my being president of the boat owners association. She laughed and rolled her eyes and said you and that boat. And we talked about how she needs to get away because she's never taken a vacation. She said she wanted to go to Israel but it cost too much. I said get better and then we can find a way. With that I said good bye. I gave her a kiss before I left. Actually I gave her 2.  I'm a little uncomfortable about that. But that's a story for another entry.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I need help

I'm in the office today. My ex-wife Brenda is all I can think about for the time being. Very hard to focus on work. So far the only one of my friends who I spoke to about this is Lisa. The nice thing about Lisa is I can be as honest with her as I am here. The biggest difference is Lisa will respond and tell me how full of crap I might be.

I have this tremendous urge to walk. To tell Brenda that this is as far as I can go. I want only the best things for her. I just can't let myself get sucked into her drama. We have been apart for more than 15 years. I helped her all that I could with her dad's funeral and all the other things and now I feel I'm done. How am I ever going to have anything good in my life if I let this stuff effect me so much?

Then I still feel like I need to go to the hospital and help Brenda get well. She is holding to her story that she wasn't trying to kill herself, that this was an accidental overdose. I want to believe her but I know better. She had taken all her papers and left them with Rich where she thought they would be safe. She left notes by the bed. People do not do this who think like they are waking up the next day.

So I feel like I can't tell anyone about this. I especially can't tell my family. But I also need to find someone who can help me figure out what I am in all of this. I keep thinking I should call an 800 hot line. Or maybe the marriage counsler I had thereapy with more than 10 years ago. I can't keep laying this onto Lisa.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Suicide Attempt

My ex-wife who I divorce more than ten years ago attempted suicide. I don't know how she got to this point since I haven't seen her in about 2 years and my last contact with her was when I emailed her on my birthday and she replied with a nasty email.

I was at the hospital 3 times in the last 2 days. I also spoke to some of her friends... if you can call them that. I can't spend too much time on this but I need to lay out some of the facts. Last October Brenda made a will and also had a health care proxy designating her friend Rich. Last Saturday she went to his house and put it in his mailbox ... a trip that would take about an hour round trip. She then bought a pizza and went home and downed a bunch of pills... I don't know what kind. It wasn't until Monday night that she was found by her former tenant who still has a key and was told by one of Brenda's clients that she missed her Monday appointment. When he came in and saw her he called 911 and they took her to the Emergency Room and then the ICU. There was a not for Rich that basically said "whoever finds me please call Rich".

I am not sure how I'm supposed the handle this. Right now I need to sleep.


I can't believe I'm even writing this. I was out this evening. I saw Coleen in the bar, then stopped at Janet's and had some wine there. I headed home at 9:30 and walked through my door a little before 10. There was a message on my home answering machine. Hit the button and listened. It was Valerie, who I don't recall, but the message was about my ex-wife. Seems she was sent to the emergency room at 8 o'clock from an overdose of pills.

So yes - that's right. My ex-wife, Brenda took too many pills. I still don't know if it was suicide or just a stupid mistake. But I jumped into the car and headed to the hospital. Not like I have any clue what to do but I wasn't just going to sleep after hearing that. So once at the hospital I saw that she was laying on a gurney and breathing but mostly was asleep. She was breathing on her own. As her ex-husband I am not sure what my status is but she may not have designated anyone else as her next of kin.

After an hour I found out she was stable and would be admitted to ICU so I got a number to call and now I'm finally home. I have no idea what to do other than go there tomorrow and hopefully talk to her. This is so beyond fucked up I can't believe this. What could be so bad that she is having this kind of drama? Part of me wants to make her feel okay, and another part of me is so mad I want to give her a loaded weapon and let her have at it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Let's talk about my Sunday. I took some time to house clean yesterday so I got a late start but got down to the boat by a little after one o'clock. Coleen got there at the same time as me. Then Roberta and Janet showed up along with Coleen's bf, Mark and his dog. It turned into a real party. We finished 3 bottles of wine. Janet and Roberta told us all about their trip to the Dominican Republic.

Coleen was saying to the girls that she kept me company while they were away. It did seem like she gave me more attention the last week or so. I found myself making eye contact with her and wondering if I could read her thoughts. She was more quiet than usual. Even when her bf showed up. As much as I hate to admit this but I like Mark. At first he comes across as a little stand-offish but once he warms up he good to have around. We were actually making plans for stuff this summer. I really have to get my feelings for Coleen under control.

So my day ended by going to the bar. I never did eat anything and by the time I got home I was exhausted and went straight to bed. I woke up trying to figure out how I am about things. I am a little confused and mixed up. I feel like I've lost all control of anything.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday morning coming down

I haven't posted in a few days. My only explaination is there is nothing I need to say. The days just continue to be the same story. I make no progress on any front. Coleen talks to me more and more but shows no sign of looking at me with more than just friendship, which just makes me obsess more and more. It's a pattern I need to break but so far I have been unable to.

Last Thursday I got a call from Mariana, a girl I know at work since I started there 15 years ago. She got married 5 years ago so I long ago stopped trying to see her socially, but we have remained friends. She was stuck at the train station near my house and since I was home I drove her home and we ended up having dinner together. I got a very odd sensation being with her, like I wanted something to happen and of course it couldn't.

Friday night was the same old thing of gonf to the bar, seeing Coleen for an hour and going home early and alone. On Saturday I foind myself meeting Coleen at her boyfriend's house because he was working and she had some boxes she needed moved. Of course I can't say no and there I was sitting with her in her boyfriends's livingroom. As I was taking it all in I noticed a few things. I could see how she feels like she can make the house hers. Almost like she is so close she can taste it. But I can also see that there is very little of her influence there. There are pictures of Mark's family but not a single picture of Coleen anywhere.

So seeing all this I realize that I won't get what I want for a very long time. Even though I sense a deep frustration from Coleen about how she is tired of her status as the girlfriend, I also see that she will probably accept her role as long as Mark at least wants her around.

So it's Sunday and I now know I will talk to her at some point today. It strikes me as odd that I am able to get to this point. It's kind of a good feeling, but also a bad feeling. This is my fate I guess.