We left Friday around 1pm to go to Dallas and stay with MissLilly. The plan was to stay overnight with her, go to Sanctuary and do the 800 needle scene with Redeye_yo before the club opened, and then to drive back home.
The drive down was awful. Nothing like putting two people who haven’t been in the same room for more than 5 minutes in weeks into a car for 2.5hrs together… where it’s not just awkward, but for one it’s actively painful and upsetting. And for the other it’s annoying (again, he later described it with that word: “tedious”) and that knowledge makes the worst part for the first person… that the second wants to talk to them with zero interest in them and is irritated that they aren’t acting like nothing is wrong.
So 2.5 hours of hell on my side of the truck.
He’s lately started to try to provoke me as he’s not getting sweetness from me anymore… I guess any attention is better than none. He’s been snotty around the house a couple times when there was zero cause – at least once where that was his opening tone with me on coming to my room to ask me something. It’s just random rudeness to try and upset me.
So, he knows I wanted him vegan during our last month or two together. He made the change over and was doing well after we had a discussion of his (supposed) religion and how it relates to animal-eatings. He knew I was really proud of him for that while we were together.
We’re driving down and we had agreed to go to a favorite restaurant that is lacto-ovo and vegan Indian food in Dallas. The menu changes every day so to know what it is ahead of time you go to the website and look. He asked me if I’d looked at the menu yet; I pulled it up on my iPad and checked it, read off the vegan things to him as I figured that was what we were both interested in.
He says, “what, no cheese enchiladas?”.
Chael’s already read the menu. He’s set me up to be able to point out he’s interested in eating cheese now.
Fine. It didn’t bother me and I did catch what he was trying to do. So I just commented that I didn’t know he had gone back to that. He responds that he’s “struggling with it”. I leave it at that as I’m not particularly concerned with his current dietary habits, whatever. But yeah, again I note that he’s trying to start something with me.
We get there, we settle into MissLilly’s and Chael is hovering like he’s so sweet and wants to be so helpful and friendly. I finally told him to go away. After the second time of this hover-and-exchange he goes into the bedroom he and I are to use while there (MissLilly has limited space, so she let us use her bedroom. Me in the bed, Chael down on the floor).
MissLilly and I hang out for a while and talk, watch a movie. I order some food that I never get to have down here and to be polite ask Chael if he wants anything. He says he’ll just have what I’m having (the only thing from Pizza Hut that is safe from that location).
I watch some more of the movie, food arrives.
We set out what is mine and MissLilly’s, give Chael his. He takes it into the bedroom where he’s been reading.
Then he comes out and asks me for my ranch sauce (which just comes with my food automatically).
Again, with the dairy thing. If he just wanted non-vegan food he would’ve ordered something normal that he likes, like, you know, pizza or such. No, he told me he wanted the same thing I was getting… then came out specifically after I started eating to ask for a dairy sauce.
Games. Around we go: He tried to upset me, I didn’t care, he went back out of the room after I didn’t give a big response. And again: not bothered at all by what he was doing, but did make a mental note of the game he was playing.
Bedtime came and I was absolutely exhausted so I figured I wouldn’t need any Ambien. I turned the lights off, laid down, tried to sleep. He passed out.
Endless time later I’m still awake and torturing myself. I keep trying to think of other things and the unhappiness of the divorce is just eating at me and my thoughts. Try, try, try. Dammit, Ambien time.
I get up and ask Chael if he brought his, he had and I took one. Figured okay, now I’ll fall asleep; it usually takes me about 15 minutes or so.
Endless time later…
It’s bugging me he’s in the room with me. Every other time we’ve slept in the same room it’s been when I thought we were mutually in love. Including many happy times with me in a bed and him on the floor nearby.
We’d talked about this issue beforehand and I said I thought I could handle it. We’d just ignore each other, he’d sleep in his place, I’d sleep in mine. Fine.
I’m laying there and despite Ambien cannot sleep.
So I lay there and try to think why this is such an issue. I know I’m uncomfortable with it, I knew I would be… but why to this level? Why can’t I just ignore him?
I look around inside my head for a while and it slides, whispering, into my thoughts:
you can hear him breathing
I let my mind address that and started quietly crying. My stomach twisted, my throat tightened, and the tears just ran off me.
I could hear him breathing. I have 16 years of knowing that breathing. I have laid awake so many nights that I can’t count next to him listening to him breathe and thinking how much I loved him and how much I treasured being familiar with the cadence of his breath. Holding him and feeling how exactly it mismatches with mismatches with mine as I’m trying to fall asleep next to him. Loving the sound of it.
I pull myself together some and stop crying. I start debating whether or not I can handle this. Should I get him up and have him move out of the room or can I push it aside and finally conk out?
I keep thinking about his breathing, keep feeling that anger and loss as I hear it from the end of the bed. I think about the way he has this light to medium sort of on-and-off snore that he does when he’s very deep asleep and how I’ve loved that too… again, laid awake giggling to myself over it… being frustrated by it… loved being familiar with it and having it a part of him being next to me.
and then the snore started
I started bawling again. I debated a second more and knew I just couldn’t handle this. That I’d not get any sleep and that it was like someone was gutting me with a hook to listen to it.
So I got up and told him he had to move.
He was pissed and pissy with me. He asked why. I told him I couldn’t handle it. He asked why. I told him I didn’t want to get into it and started crying. He snidely pointed out that I said I’d be okay with it. I told him I was wrong and that I couldn’t.
Chael let me know I was a horrible person and that he, of course, didn’t care other than being put out about needing to move.
I told him where he could be as it was a bit tricky due to limited space at MissLilly’s and finally just gave up on his attitude and went to bed. I cried a little and passed out quickly when I no longer could hear him sleeping near me.
We had our normal uncomfortable interactions the next morning, then I came into the bedroom to get stuff and he’s in the bed that was My Area for that trip, laying on his back, hands behind his head, looking relaxed and comfy.
I decide, okay, we’re going to address this.
We talk. I point out that I am aware of the stuff he’s pulling to try to get me angry and that it’s clear he’s trying to get any kind of emotional outburst from me that he can… good or bad, just any attention.
He asks what he’s done. I point the things out and he admits most of them.
I tell him in a firm voice that he has no place to be rude to me.
Chael says his patience is getting thin.
I ask patience over what (as if I don’t know, granted).
He replies, basically, that he’s running out of patience with waiting for me to go back to being my normal nice, friendly, loving self with him.
Again, I’m not mad. I am just endlessly not understanding how someone can think like this.
We talk a bit and he expresses not understanding why he should be nice towards me if he’s “not even going to get a thank you”.
I point out that he should be acting like a decent human being to me and doing what’s right because of what he’s done wrong.
I also point out that I have already told him I knew this would start: that he would start being nasty towards me, then he would try to take Jonesy, then he would try to screw me out of a military move if he can and that he’s stated he would help me with if the timing of the divorce went wrong.
His response to these three items?
“I won’t try to take Jonesy”
This is Chael for “you can bet on the other two”.
The conversation goes on about like this, with him saying in various ways that if I don’t start being sweet to him he’s going to start trying to fuck me over.
I point that out firmly to him that that is what he’s doing, that he’s threatening me.
Eventually it just gets dropped as this discussion isn’t going to get better and I know where things are most likely headed.
So we do the scene with Redeye_yo. I put 800 needles into Redeye and he took it just awesome, like always. I take a painkiller before we start long scenes but at about the 2 hour mark I started hurting… and I kept hurting more and more. By the time I finished putting them into him I was in terrible pain. My neck and back were screaming. My blood sugar started to drop around the 3 hour mark and Chael kept brought me a drink of sweet tea a couple times. It helped enough to keep me going safely, but I felt crappy.
We got to 730 needles, roughly, and MissLilly came in and gave us a 45 minutes warning on the club opening. This caused panic. She assured us that it shouldn’t be a huge deal if we went a little over, but that people would be in there (we were videotaping and taking photos, so this was a concern for us). I started moving faster.
Then about 15 minutes later the person running the meetup that night at the club comes over and tells us that in 30 minutes they are going to have a bunch of people where we are. I tell him we will be out by then, and pick up the pace as much as I can, which really wasn’t much more… I was working at about my max capacity at that point.
Redeye_yo is handling the whole thing just perfect. I’m sure it was a very hard scene on him between the number we did and the speed. As said, he does awesome.
At the last 10 I give a warning. At the last 5 I tell Chael and Steffi that as soon as I place the last one they need to step in and take photos fast so I can start the pull process.
Last one in, I step back. I direct Chael in what angles and such I want that I don’t see him getting.
Then, I stand next to Redeye and ask him if he’s ready for pull. He said he was. I warned that I was going to be going VERY FAST and that he needs to tell me if he needs to stop. He knows and we begin.
I got those things out of him in I think less than 5 minutes.
A couple people popped over to watch and had to leave because it was hard to view…. Some places I had to take needles out one at a time.
For a lot of it I was literally grabbing a handful of needles and taking them out all at once.
Grab, drop in sharps bin, grab, drop in sharps bin.
I kept an eye on Redeye and he was doing well with it, holding Steffi’s hands. When I had almost finished removing one side Chael asked if he should start tear-down while I was removing. I told him yes, go ahead and pack everything I wasn’t using.
Switched to Redeye_yo’s other side and kept pulling. He started to shiver and get goosebumps so I stopped and asked him if he was okay, if he needed to wait. He replied that no, he was okay… the blood running down his other side was making him cold lol. So I went back to grabbing handfuls.
Got them out of him, Aplicared his back to do a second disinfection and to get some of the blood off (he’d stopped bleeding but he was messy). Then I packed up the sharps stuff while he chilled out on the table with Steffi and recovered some.
After a bit he was up and dressing and I was finishing packing up. We four got everything out of the way, set into the lounge area of the club so we’d be out of the meet-up’s way. Steffi, Redeye_yo, and I chatted a little bit, I gave him a hug, they headed out. I bummed around Sanctuary for a bit and talked to Quin and MissLilly as I tried to recover, myself. I was in pain and completely physically and emotionally exhausted.
It went great, though. It’s about 24 hours later and I’m still sore and tired, but it was a ton of fun and the pictures look great. Redeye is an amazing needle bottom. I’m so thrilled to work with him.
I drove Chael and I home after I got some more Tylenol in me. It really didn’t help, but hey. Another uncomfortable 2.5 hours where I repeatedly had to focus on not crying.
Today I went out to a social get-together on my own. It was a sort of thing I never do: a small party of female folks that I only very casually knew some of. This sort of thing is not easy for me at all. I had a really nice time.
The rest of today has been being home and dealing with Chael. Nothing terribly ugly, I’m just generally a mess. I think the past two days being in close contact with him + the huge stress of a big scene (topping to sharps is my very favorite thing, but topping is much harder on me than bottoming is… and these long scenes kick my ass) have maxed me out. I am crying on and off today.
Big crying. Not those a few minutes of cracking like I’ve been doing for the most part lately, but the big snotty hiccuping kind that go on for a while.
It hurts that after 16 years of my loving him and him seeming like he was in love with me it’s not real and he doesn’t feel bad at all about my leaving.
I keep thinking about how much I loved the feeling of wrapping my arms around his waist when I was so happy towards him and in love or when I was sad and letting myself feel safe and comforted by him (something that is not easy for me… that’s part of this, while I can report things, showing actual emotional vulnerability in person and/or letting someone take care of me is NOT something that I am comfortable with. Chael is the only person that has ever been trusted by me in that way to that extent… others have seen what are really tiny pieces of me over the years… but Chael was my Special Person who I openly showed things with. And now I’ve found out that he’s seen all that when it didn’t actually matter to him, when he never cared that I was sad or hurt or anything.).
It hurts me to think about how wonderful the feeling was to hold him and feel held by him. How it wasn’t real and how it’s over and how he never understood or appreciated or felt anything other than boredom and annoyance over it.
I don’t understand how someone can do that.
I am an enormously self-centered, selfish, self-serving person. And I cannot understand how someone can do that.
Two pics of the 800 needle project. Will be posted, with more, on my artblog soon.