It has been three weeks.

Three weeks ago today, I walked out of your front door with two bags of clothes, my dog, and what tiny bit of dignity I had left.

I wish I could say that it was easy. I wish I could say that I am sure that this is what I want. I wish I could say that I will replace you. But I can’t say any of that just yet. So I won’t.

I can say that I am happier now. I don’t feel as mentally weighed now. I want to love myself now. I didn’t care to before.

Since we have parted ways, I have went to see my primary doctor and my therapist (which I haven’t seen either in three years prior), I have set up a full schedule of six classes (most taken yet) for the Fall semester (while maintaining my current 4.0), and I have gotten a part-time job.  I haven’t found an apartment yet. I haven’t saved enough to make a move. But I am hopeful and trying.

I wonder how you are and how you have been. I want to talk to you so much that it makes the lump in my throat ache and the knot in my stomach swell. How do you feel being surrounded by me? All of my stuff is still strewn about your house.  We haven’t spoken since two days after, when you said you were happier this way. We haven’t spoken of my things or when or where I will move them. I just don’t know yet. So we won’t talk until I do.

I am currently living with my mother for the first time since I was seventeen. I am sharing a room with my little sister. We are all getting along better than I ever expected. I am grateful. I am humbled. I am loved.

But I am also impatient. I want progress. I want to move forward. I want to be past this part, past this chapter where I am hurting. Growing pains, we will call them. I am ready to start loving myself.  Where to begin?

 

 

I am not going to miss you tonight.

I told myself I wouldn’t. I know that I shouldn’t. I am where I am supposed to be. I have been more productive in the last three weeks than I have been in the last three months. I finally feel free to be happy again. I finally don’t feel like a nagging bitch all the time. I feel useful and creative again.

So why do I miss you so much?

Why do I wish you would just call and say you were wrong.

Could you be wrong?

That isn’t possible, is it? For you to be wrong about being in love with someone?

You know when you can’t live without someone.

And you are.

Living.

Without me.

And you are happy, I suppose.

I should be, too.

So why am I not?

Brain, please don’t dream of him tonight.  Eyes, please don’t search for him tonight. Arms, please don’t reach for him tonight. Heart, please don’t hurt for him tonight.

💔

 

Change

I will be honest about my thoughts and feelings on this piece and let you know now that my mind will have changed and may be different in two months or less.

Right now, I am licking wounds and looking for solid ground to stand on. My heart is hurting (even if deep down at the bottom of it, I kinda believe that it is for the best). Let’s get to it… 💔

I have been hot and cold for my boyfriend of four years for about the last six months or so. Being who I am, I never held back my feelings towards him. Ty was fully aware that his lack of goals or ambition was driving me insane. Looking back, I know that he was miserable. He hated the company he works for (still does). His sjogren’s and arthritis were hurting him, probably still are. He felt sad all of the time. He wouldn’t go visit with his family. He wouldn’t go see a doctor. He woke for work at 4:30 AM and made it home around 5:30 PM. Then he would crack a beer, sometimes just one, and sit on the couch waiting for dinner to be served. He never cared what we ate. After dinner, he would fall asleep on the couch until I’d ask him to go to bed- and he would argue most of the time. This routine wasn’t surrounded with much loving conversation. We had sex twice a week maximum, when I asked for it- and sometimes he was just “too tired”.  Looking back now, he had grown tired of me. I was impatient and a nag. He was content with what he had. He didn’t want goals like a planning wedding or a having child or a building a house.

As horrible and painful as it is to admit, I am now aware that his love for me was learned and took effort. My love for him was chemical. It was animalistic and automatic. It was never hard for me to love him, not even through the worst of times. As long as he came back and was sorry, I would love him forever. I had accepted that we were in a rough patch and wanted to press on. It just wasn’t the same for him. Probably never was…

When we first started dating and unbeknownst to me, he was a drug addict. Apparently had been for about six years prior. For the first two years, we did this awful tug of war between addiction and sobriety.

When I finally left the first time, he went to rehab. As of May 28th, 2016, he had been sober for two years from opiates. He still is as of today as far as I know. He knew from the very start that I would be good for him. He knew that I loved him and that I would be strong and wouldn’t allow him falter as much as anyone could. I could read the drugs in his eyes and would call him on his bullshit quickly all the while reminding him how handsome and cable and intelligent he was. He wouldn’t risk losing me for the next two years and two months.

About a year ago, when we moved back to his hometown from Savannah, Ga, he promised that we wouldn’t live in that house forever. That trailer that his father bought for his first marriage. This little old 80’s model single wide that sat less that 100 yards from his parent’s house- the one where he got high so many times. But honestly, it is the only place he wants to be- “no bills!- why not?”. He is perfectly content there and I am not. I was not. I will never be again.

His family hated me and it made him feel like he had to choose between us. I never asked him to and begged him to visit them, but it didn’t matter. The rift between them and me deepened the one between he and I.

The day we actually broke up was a disaster. I had been awake for over 22 hours helping my best friend pack and move her apartment and storage unit in a U-haul from Nashville, TN. I came home, slept for like 5 hours and then he came home from work. He didn’t act like he missed me at all. I had been gone for 5 days. He had a side job to go to right then and had volunteered to pick up some extra hours the following day.

I was hurt. I said “You don’t love me like I love you, do you?” And when he would usually protest, this time he said, “But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want you in my life.” I backed away slowly, got in my car, rolled down the window and said, “This is so over.” And I left.

I came back two hours later to apologize and he didn’t care. He didn’t want to make up…

I do not know if this is just a stage of a break-up or maybe of grief, but I feel so guilty. This has shown me that I am such a hard person. I already knew that I speak too harshly. I don’t hold back, often when I should.

Sometimes I feel like I emasculated him. I was bossy and bitchy and neither of us were happy because of it. Looking back on it now, I handled everything wrong. I should have been encouraging. I should have made my happiness my own responsibility. I should have let him find his own way without trying to force him in directions. They say hindsight is 20/20. I fucking hate clichés.

I remember hanging out with my single friends who were dating and thinking, “God, I am so fortunate. I have a fantastic boyfriend who I love so much.” And I didn’t show it- not nearly enough.

Would it have mattered? I mean, that still wouldn’t have made him love me, would it? I mean, I have been loved before. My high school sweetheart was toxic, but he was in love with me. Ty loved me but “not the way your are supposed to when you say ‘I do'”- those are his actual words on that final night. He also made a splash with “there is absolutely no spark anymore” and “I really tried but it’s just not there, I’m sorry”.

I showed him seventy-seven shades of crazy in about 7 minutes.

You used me?! So you never loved me? You tried?! What the fuck does that mean?! Fuck you! Why would you do this to me? I loved you. I took care of you. I went through hell with you. You promised that it would be worth it! You promised that we would do this together forever. You fucking liar! I HOPE YOU END UP STRUNG OUT ON PILLS LIKE YOU WERE BEFORE YOU FUCKING USED ME. I am sorry, I didn’t mean that- I love you so much. Please say that this is an awful joke. Please say that we can work this out. But you don’t want to marry me!? There is no spark!? Why the fuck have you lied to me for FOUR GODDAMNED YEARS AND MADE ME THINK THAT…

I sobbed, screamed, begged, and then gave up in a pile of tears on my bed. He eased in behind me, pulled the covers over me and started massaging my shoulders. I continued to weep. He rubbed my shoulders, then my back, then my hips and my thighs, and…

I fucking had sex with him.

I don’t know why. Maybe a final pathetic plea of some sort. Don’t worry, it was not good sex… I immediately rolled over (after he came inside of me-inconsiderate) and continued my sobbing. He held me for the rest of the night, for one last night.

When he went to leave for work around 5:00 AM, he came to kiss me- and I wouldn’t allow it. He told me he loved me. I told him he was lying. He slammed the door. I packed my bags while he was at work.

I will have to go back for my furniture soon, after I find an apartment. I have been staying with my mom (shoot me).

I have only texted with him once briefly in the first few days in which he told me that he was happier without me… Ouch. That little reality check slapped me in the face because I do love him. And his happiness is very important to me.

If he is happier without me, I just want him to be happy.

On Death

My little sister, Brooke, who juniored me by 18 months, was in a tragic car accident with two other teens early in the morning of March 24, 2008. They were all three killed on impact.

This has been the single most defining event in my life. The lessons that this has taught me could not be understood in any other possible way, as harsh and awful as that seems. I am still learning these lessons everyday. But this is part of my soul’s polishing process- and it hurts.

The most precious human being that I ever had the pleasure to know was Melanie Brooke Dover. Silliness and beauty followed her like light follows the sun.

When the world was able to wipe her from it’s existence sending her onto her next adventure without my permission, my brain melted.

My heart froze.

I denied my soul.

Everything turned black.

For about two years, my anger churned and burned. I cursed God. I became reclusive. I grew apart from my family. My bad relationship got worse. I just didn’t understand.

This was never part of the plan.

HOW? WHY?

I wanted answers.  I wanted to understand. I wanted to trade places.

She was the good one. Not me. She had plans. I never have.

I saw multiple psychologists and psychiatrists. I was diagnosed with more ailments and disorders than I can remember. I was switched from anti-depressant to anti-depressant from benzo to benzo. “Here is a pill to level you out daily. Here is a pill to help you sleep every night. And here is an extra pill for when you have panic attacks.”

None of that jazz really worked out for me.

There was one counselor who understood me and that helped me to learn to start loving myself again. She told me that time was all that would make it easier.

She was right.

By now the all that time has let some scar tissue form and the wounds are eight years old.

I still cry and it still hurts often. But somehow, I believe I am a better person because of it.

I consider the value of life more. I want to better the world and be a part of it in a way that I did not before. I no longer feel guilty to be happy. I have a desire to live and travel more than ever before. I don’t fear physical pain like I did before. I am gutsier and more honest. I feel like I have to make a difference in the world, because I know that she would have.

Don’t get me wrong, in her short 17 years, she touched more lives than I even know of. But if I can give back just a smidgen of the love and hope that she gave me, I will have lived well.

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Did I know that it was last time?

My sister (see this post for more info) came to my house for a visit on a normal Thursday night, March 20, 2008. I lived on the westside of Jacksonville in an old, blue, asbestos-shingled shack. I cooked homemade chicken pot-pie for dinner, a Paula Dean recipe so you know it was gooood!

Afterwards, we drank two shots of cheap tequila and smoked a joint of dirt weed. To get away from my ever hovering high-school sweetheart, we moseyed to the front porch for a couple menthol cigs.

Her company was so genuine. She told me that my boyfriend was greedy with me (he was) and that I could find someone to treat me better (I have). She told me about the weekend ahead and how she was heading to Baxley, GA to see her boyfriend, Mallory and Liana, her best friend in town from Texas. She stayed for about three hours as we gossiped and chirped like chickens.

When it was time to go she kissed my cheek, told me she loved me and pranced towards her car, keys dangling in hand.

As I sat on the front the porch of that old dilapidated, asbestos-shingled house watching her walk away a knot rose in my throat that I could not swallow.  “What if something happened to her?” I thought to myself. I quickly paced to her open car door like the bossy, mother-type that I am swinging it further open.

“Brooke- are you sure that you are okay to drive? I mean, we had a nip of tequila and I know the weed was crap, but I would just die if anything were to happen…”

She cut me off, “I am fine, sister. And I love you very much. Call you soon.”

She gave me a quick peck on the lips, a one armed hug and she was gone.

Nothing could happen, right?

It didn’t.

But the dread never left the back of my mind and it was the last time that I laid eyes on my little sister alive.

She made it home that night, but died in a car accident on the way to take Liana back to the airport for Texas early Monday morning. Liana and her boyfriend, Joshua, were also killed in the accident on impact.  News Article Here

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Brooke and Liana

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I kept that bottle of cheap tequila and one of the cigarette butts with her pink lipstick print on it.

But it has been eight long, long years.

The liquor has started to evaporate, the butt has yellowed, and the lip print’s once glittery sparkles are long faded.

I never knew how much it could hurt.

I never thought that she could leave like that, never even considered it an option. I remember having nightmares as a child that she died. I would wake in a fury, put my hand under her nose to check her breathing (in the rare case that I couldn’t already hear her snoring) and hold her hand tight knowing that it could never happen to us. She had too many plans. She was going to go to college to be a teacher. And get married and have children of her own…

Then it happened to her.

To us.

To me.

And life has not ever been the same without her.

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Easter Circa ’97

 

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She and I prior to our last Victoria Secret shopping spree

 

02/22

What was once a glorious celebration of my little sister’s life is now a black hole on my calendar.

Chuck E. Cheese, roller skating rinks, and the zoo all hold memories of days gone by where loved ones surrounded my skinny, blonde haired and blue-eyed sister, singing “Happy Birthday” and showering her in kisses, laughter and gifts. There was always at least one gift tucked away in Brooke’s mountain of toys just for me.  “The good ole days” they call them.

On this particular day, similar to the last 7 years, I am throwing a pity party all for myself. I called out of work. I have been drunk(ish) since noon.  I told my professor that I was sick and wouldn’t make it to class.

That wasn’t a lie. I am sick… of this day, of this feeling, in the head, to my stomach…

My sister was 18 months younger than me.

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She was the most beautiful person that I have ever known in real life. She brought light into a room when she entered it. She went out of her way to befriend the friendless. She had inside jokes with everyone. She was a cheerleading captain and the reigning Miss Junior at the local high school (not that beauty pageants mean shit to me, but so you understand how gorgeous this girl was).

In public, she was a lady. She woke up early every morning to make sure that every hair on her head was in place and that her make-up was flawless. She smiled and waved to all, like the queen she was. 👑

When we were alone though, she would secretly puff on one of my menthol cigarettes, cursing like a sailor as she babbled on about her latest grown-up adventure. That raw side of her was only meant for those of us from whom she never feared judgement, and there weren’t very many of us.

She was not born with rhythm so she practiced over and over in a mirror until she understood and conquered that. She had more determination in her pinky finger than I have in my whole body. She could have changed the world. 🌎

She died in a car accident on March 24th, 2008, about a month after her 17th birthday (Feb. 22).

Most days I accept it. I now love more freely, speak more honestly and live more happily. I don’t take moments for granted. I forgive quicker. It has made me a better person in some strange way.

But not today.

On the day she was born and on the day she died, I don’t have to pretend I am ok with it or hold back my tears. I allow myself these two days a year to mourn, cry, mope, and feel sorry for myself like I want to so often (while I hermit myself in my house with some liquor). I look at old pictures. I simultaneously want company and can’t handle the judgement. My anxiety is at its peak.

Cheers to another round! 🍻

 

Missing my Brookie forever ✨👼🏼👑 #MBD #143

💘xoxo

– Am