Big Feels and Louis C.K.’s Big Empty

It’s been a while, my little droogs.

I’ve been working hard. I’ve been tired, and I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been spending a lot of time just quietly thinking. I’ve had to face some really shitty shit head on this week. I didn’t expect for it to bother me as much as it did, since I’ve been putting it off for a long time, but I had to go get blood drawn on Tuesday.

I had to get blood drawn so that it could be tested for HIV.

Ever since I was given a glimpse at my ex-husband’s first polygraph result, two years ago now? Three? It’s so funny how time gets watery and hard to grasp when you’re reviewing your trajectory from the point of impact with trauma and then onward, through it, like a bullet through a rubber mold.

I have had in the back of my head that I probably ought to get tested. He admitted during the polygraph to fooling around with his friend while I was pregnant.

And can I just…the polygraph. I’ve always hated polygraph because in terms of legal validity it’s not a good indicator of deception. I mean, it can be, but it can be an equally good indicator that someone is just, you know, nervous as fuck because they’re being interrogated by the police. But I’m always a little sad when I think back to reading this polygraph result because I remember sitting there thinking, “he didn’t lie about a goddamn thing.” Or, maybe he did, but he sure told a hell of a lot of truths too. And why? Why was it so easy for him to be honest with a polygraph administrator and not with the woman he promised in front of all of our goddamn friends and family to love and take care of? I kept thinking as I read on and on, more and more shocking, awful truths just right there in front of me, ink on paper, black on white, fucking real as fuck. I kept thinking, “there is something so, so wrong with you that you didn’t know these things were happening.” I kept thinking, “you married a monster and never even noticed.”

He talked in his polygraph about fooling around with his friend while I worked third shift and then, after, while I was at home, struggling to get in and out of bed, up and down stairs, in and out of the shower, alone, with twenty pounds of human fetus inside me.

It strikes me, as I write this, that I’ve been single this whole time. Even while we were dating. Even on my wedding day, and especially, more and more with each day that passed, afterward, it strikes me that I have been alone this whole time. No matter who’s been around me, I have been alone.

That friend that he was fooling around with? He has openly talked about being HIV positive.

And I can’t really tell you what it’s like to go through this. The whole thing. My husband, a man I’ve known since we were in elementary school, who masqueraded every day of his life as a conservative fundamental Christian, wound up arrested for child pornography. I found out when the state attorney general came to my front door and escorted me out of my own home to be locked in the back of a police car while I watched armed officers with guns drawn swarm in my front door where my two-year-old daughters stood, just beyond, in the dining room.

A year later, maybe two, I’d have to physically sit down and draw out the timeline, which is an unnecessary exercise in focused rehashing that I just do not have the energy for right now.  Later, anyhow, I found out he was smoking K2 and fooling around with his friend, a man who had an extensive history of questionable life choices that had put him at risk for so, so many awful consequences. And my husband was routinely bringing it all home to me, and I never had a clue.

Sometimes I feel really fucking stupid.

This kind of devastation, the absolute shattering of your sense of reality, not just of your desire to trust in anyone, at all, ever, but your straight up ability to give up even the tiniest bit of doubt in their motives, it washes over you in waves. It’s a slow burn that never really heals. It was for me, at least. And I think that’s why I couldn’t mentally deal with getting tested until now.

I’m finally coming, slowly, out of the woods. I’ve been hiding there, not wanting to rejoin anything that even slightly resembled human society. I’ve been good and hunkered down, in my own mind, protecting the shit out of myself with all the ammunition and defenses I could find.

But like the Cox Family, I am weary.

Let me rest.

I can’t anymore. I’m ready now, now that the divorce is final and the custody is more or less settled, now that I’m fully engaged in parenting my daughters singly. I can’t deal with any more shit hanging over my head.

I’m ready just to know. I’m ready to be done. And this uncertainty, about this huge life changing information, one way or the other? I can’t bury him without putting this to rest.

And I’ve been thinking a lot about this clip of Louis on Conan. Like most events in my entire stupid life, I can’t tell you when this happened. But it did.

It happened.

Louis said this, and I never, ever forgot it. I remembered it unconsciously, when it wasn’t immediately relevant to my experience, and I remembered it unavoidably consciously, when I was actively avoiding the uncertain terrain of my own mind by tapping, swiping, posting, or doing whatever I could to stay the hell out of the icky, scary parts of my own consciousness.

And I’ve slowly eased back into a comfort and familiarity with just being quiet. Just sitting quietly and thinking. I realized how comfortable I’ve gotten with being quiet – being still – this morning after I left therapy.

Fucking therapy.

Jesus tits, I hate therapy. I’ll be the first one to advocate for taking an active role in your own mental health.


Your own mental health.

If I were anyone else I’d be so supportive and insistent that I could do it, and that I needed to do it, and that I deserved to get better.

But when it’s you sitting there talking about shit that has eaten you up from the inside out for years and years and you’re being asked to value your own mental health as much as you would someone else’s?

That shit just feels so unnatural.

But this morning, after I left, I made it the whole way home on autopilot and realized I hadn’t sang one word of the Hamilton soundtrack the entire way.

Not a lick. I can recite the first ten songs of that soundtrack word for word for you. Right now. Like I can give you multiple character’s lines in multiple songs verbatim including inflection and rhythm. I love it. I love singing that soundtrack and I had blasted it this morning. Not a single car would have passed me without feeling the bass. It’s physically impossible.

And never even heard a word.

And I think that’s good.

I think it means you’re getting better when you’re okay to sit still in your own mind. Not ruminating. Not trying to analyze or predict anything but just sitting quietly with it and not feeling compelled to do anything at all about it.

Either that, or it means I’ve rounded the corner into full crazy and my future as a relevant human being in the great scheme of society is doomed.



Oh, fuck.

2 thoughts on “Big Feels and Louis C.K.’s Big Empty

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