I had at least two journal entries in me: First would be detailing the highlights of thanksgiving week in all of it's "another fucking learning experience" gestalt, the second discussing the self realization of a key incident in my childhood as it related to the absurd depression I go through every year about this time.
I had planned to do them today, after reading me e-mail.
I made the mistake of checking the mail server for new mail. I got two pieces that hadn't already been pulled down. One of them was from E telling me that my ex-wife, Susan Mason, had died the night before.
It didn't matter that it has been 15 years, (almost exactly...she had thrown me out mid November of '87) since that marriage fell apart for reasons it would take me the better part of the next ten years resolving. It still hurt.
Within the next 30 minutes, I got a call from Deb (she and Susan had been online buds for quite awhile... I don't think Susan ever knew that Deb and I were lovers) which gave me a bit more info: She suspected that the diuretics Susan was on had screwed up her potassium levels. Diuretics tend to flush potassium from your system with all that fluid you pee out. Not enough potassium, instant cardiac episode. Of course, we'll probably never know for sure -- I have little doubt the cause of death will be something like "morbid obesity". When you weigh 450 pounds, the details are meaningless.
Susan was a funny woman who was very sad a lot of the time. She was a talented artist, intelligent... and hobbled by a lot of the self-esteem demons that kept her from really putting on the after-burners.
I last saw her in March of 2000, at Big As Texas (a BBW bash held in that really big state). I made an attempt at a clean closure... trying to talk to her about all the things I had learned, to take responsibility for the things that had some negatively impacted our relationship.
It didn't go so well. By a quirk of timing I wound up on an airport shuttle she climbed onto after a small group of us had. She never said a word to me or acknowledged that I was there. When she climbed off, I burst into tears.
I guess I had found some closure there, after all.
But knowing she's gone still hurts. And then there's the classic "insult to injury" that was bound to happen.
Susan had a mailing list, "Zaftig Zone", that apparently was the best source for updates. I joined it about 1PM today. To my surprise I received a note from one of the co-moderators, Carole Smith, stating that she had removed me from the group's membership because she didn't think Susan would ever have wanted me on her list.
I have spent several hours meditating on that, pondering whether I should let grief be an excuse for striking out. I have concluded that this IS my journal, and if I can't express my knee-jerk opinion of people who have such little compassion here, where can I express it?
Bluntly, it was a pointless, petty act of bitterness that only someone who learned all the wrong lessons that someone like Susan was capable of giving could have managed. Screw you bitch...I don't care how long you were friends, if you haven't slept with her for two and a half years, you haven't a clue.
There...that's a bit better.
Well, if that wasn't enough, Karin "broke up" with me. I won't go into details... except that the catalyst was ANOTHER stupid ass comment on my part the Sunday before thanksgiving. She had no idea about Susan... quite bluntly there was no way I could mention it without it sounding like a ploy.
One thing that especially annoyed me was her contention that the way I dealt with stressful verbal confrontations was "cold and uncaring".
It's incredibly frustrating to spend literally DECADES grappling with a short fuse and hyper-sensitive over reactions. In the last few years I've managed to get to a point where I can control my more impulsive tendencies... no more storming out, screaming, yelling, saying hurtful things or issuing bogus ultimatums. I keep calm, and try to communicate as clearly as possible.
That means I don't care... how can I care if I'm not upset?
The trouble is, I can see how it could be construed that way. And there's nothing to be done about it -- it's not like I can simply start yelling again.
Hopefully, she'll give me a yell some time in the new year...perhaps we can work it out then.
Well, that's all I can manage for one night...