On Monday, John Katsilometes, a web journalist for the Las Vegas Sun was our guest lecturer in 102.
I have to give it to Prof H. He really knows everyone in town when it comes to being in Ad/PR and Journalism. Johnny Kats, as he's known, is a blogger. He writes about all sorts of stuff on the social scene in Las Vegas.
But, at first when I looked at Kats, I saw my ex. That's right, over a lean frame sat a bagged out button down shirt with the cuffs rolled up a few times with a very "interesting" tie, dress pants and of course the signature horn rims that grace the nose of my ex as well. Having to look at a man who dresses just like my ex got me freaked out right away. I sat there taking notes in my notebook about the guy so that I could tell you how exactly freaked I was about it because, sans cystic acne scars, Kats looked almost identical to my ex and it threw me into a fit of anxiety. I sat clicking my pen and trying desperately not to have a panic attack. I reminded myself to breathe in and out and just let it go.
After a few minutes, my heart rate slowed down as he got onto the topic of blogs and he asked us if any of us were bloggers. My hand immediately shot up and Prof H. took special time to make sure he pointed me out. (Thanks Prof H. You're awesome.) A few other students raised their hands as well and Kats went about asking us what the title of our blogs were. When I told him the name of mine, he stopped and said, "That's a great title." I smiled. Look at me Ma, a pro journalist thinks my blog has a great title, look out!
Anyway, he followed up by asking what I wrote about. When I said the word "recovery" his eyes grew bigger as if he thought I was going to say drug addiction or something else. When I told him it was recovering from a bad marriage, he told me there are some folks who are putting together website for women to share their experiences about recovering from exactly what I've been writing about for the last 19 months, just without the video games, movies and school. After class, he gave me the website address, I thanked him and made my way home.
After I got home, I took a look at the site that he told me about, and it's one of those things where I don't think the folks who put together that site don't look at recovery as a very personal journey. When it comes to break-ups and relationships, that's as personal as it gets, so right off the bat, I think they've missed the boat. The site is very much like Cosmo, full of little teasers, but really no practical things to help. It's all varnish and no "meat," all prompting the reader towards their workshop. Now get ready, because here it comes. What really killed me is that they're offering a six week long course for $200 to help you get through the rough patch. Are they serious? $200 for someone to blow sunshine up your ass and tell you you're going to feel UP about the screwing you just took? I shook my head.
When you go through a break up, the last thing you want to do is spend $200 to feel UP about getting screwed over and that's IF you have $200 to spend after the asshole leaves you high and dry. I know one woman who, after her very wealthy husband bailed on her, had all of $67 to her name. Oh yes, she's got the $200 to shell out on a six week course to feel better about her marriage going south...Riiiight.
The first six weeks post break-up are hell, followed by the next six months just trying to get your head screwed back on straight. If you go straight into a workshop about break-ups right after you've just been trounced, you're asking for severe emotional trauma. I remember after the ex left, my family trying to analyze and go over what happened to me. I didn't want to go over it again! It was all I thought about anyway! I sat staring at the ceiling over so many sleepless nights asking myself "What did I do wrong?" "What did I do right?" "How was I going to recover?" To have my wounds opened up in front of a pack of strangers is NOT what I would have volunteered for. Especially when you see on the webpage for the service that, "oh, by the way, you'll be with other great single ladies!" I ask you, why the hell would you want to be around anyone when your face looks like a punching bag because you've been crying so hard? Do they know your ex? Do they know the exact circumstances of what he did to you? Hell NO. So basically you're putting yourself in a room with other women who are toting their own baggage and the gods forbid, you get those gals who don't like carrying their own baggage, so they make others carry it for them. Either way, I'm thinking it's not such a great idea.
Having your marriage go belly up is like having a death in the family because let's face it, if your spouse has truly departed, you're sleeping alone in a bed you shared for years with your partner, on top of having to clean his crap out of the closet along with 10 years worth of clutter. So as you try to bring yourself to clean out his stuff, you can't help but grieve because let's face it, with every piece you pack up, you're faced with all of the memories of your relationship. You have to cope with the fact that the person you promised to be with 'till death do you part' has decided to bail out early and you're faced with the fact that the relationship you worked so hard to keep alive has died and gone the way of the Dodo.
Grieving is a very personal process and much to the opposite of what this "break-up site" promises, that you'll have tons of support from people who understand what you're going through. What they're not getting is that while support is great, you have to recover on your own because you only find self-worth when you realize that you're the only one who can pick yourself up by your bootstraps, stand up, be counted and keep on walking. No one can tell you how, no one can teach it to you, it comes from deep inside and only when you're ready for it. I rolled my eyes at the promises that site makes, "that you'll feel better in just six weeks." Anyone who's been through a bad break-up knows it's far from the truth because you could go to a workshop every week for the next 50 years, and it will do you no good until you're ready to get going again. Trust me, I speak from experience, when you're to the point that you accept what's happened to you, you don't want to hear anything about your old relationship. You don't want to think about it, you want to put it behind you and move forward, not revisit and make yourself sick over it.
$200 to feel better after a break-up. Wow. I guess they forgot the word "break" in there because if your heart is broken, the black hole you find yourself in will suck every last bit of positive energy out of you. My favorite line on that site is "you'll learn to heal constructively, for good." Lordy, that's like the promises that come with a very expensive vat of wrinkle cream that after you buy it, then take it home and apply it, you realize it doesn't do squat. I'm all for the constructive part, but really it's up to each and every person who goes through a break up whether they're going to take it to a positive place or not and it doesn't take $200 to figure out that little nugget of common sense.
Y'all have gone on a long journey with me. 19 months, 28 pounds, the adventures of becoming a trash bag connoisseur, endless trips to the dumpster, cleaning out closets, the tale of the three foot long wooden fork and spoon, bouncing through potholes and trying in vain to dry off after having a scalding cup of coffee dropped into my lap. Then on to moving into my own place and finally being able to laugh as "The Bassettmobile" rudely cut me off while driving down the street. You've been with me as I've been finding what out what passions drive me, then the realization that my dreams are just a step away, all I have to do is move forward towards it. We've learned together that life is filled with such wonderful people, from friends in online worlds, to the ones I've met when I finally dried my tears and picked myself up to a point I'm ready to go outside and face the world again.
I figure everyone carries baggage from any experience they have and break ups are no different. The whole point you have to figure out is that no one in your future should pay for the mistakes you or someone else made in the past. It's your life, you have to take responsibility for it and put one foot in front of the other, making sure the mistakes you made are ones that you'll do your darndest not to make again, all the while staying positive and sharing love with everyone along the way.
$200. Wow, I should start charging admission for all the neat little stories I've told about recovering from a relationship gone south. The thing is, I've been recovering, for the most part, independently. I didn't need other women to tell me where I needed to go or what I needed to do. It wasn't but a week after the ex left that I was trying to get myself into school, fighting tooth and nail with the admissions department the whole way. I had no one nearby to cry on or hold me while I wailed. My online family was the first to hear about the debacle, and my aunties all stepped up and comforted me, but it was actually a bunch of men who got me through it all and not a single one of them were here with me in the flesh. What does that say? Breaking up is not just a woman thing, and it's not just a man thing. We all have friends and it doesn't matter what sex they are if they're being encouraging along the way. Lord knows, without KP, Chance, Jim, Jason, Stephen and my other comrades in WoW, I wouldn't have made it through those first couple of months because they talked to me, listened to me vent, encouraged me, kept me distracted and my mind off where my ex had gone to live and they left me alone while I did the necessary mental legwork of being able to handle the situation on my own without severe anxiety. I won't lie. My marriage disintegrating still bothers me, only for the sole reason that I got myself into a jam that could have been easily avoided on a multitude of fronts.
I'm still stuck on the $200 thing. I guess it's because helping people shouldn't be something you charge for. It's like when I talk about how it's important to have nutritional value and that being a friend doesn't require repayment.
You know, in all, the day was pretty traumatic. I had to look at a guy who looked like my ex, then hear all about a group of women profiteering over break-ups. You know, to me, it's like the whole Diet Water fad. How in the hell can water be "diet". It's got zero calories to begin with! Common sense, it's not all that common, is it?
I guess the whole thing can be summed up in one word, desperation. And as the line from the 1990's film Singles goes..."Desperation, it's the world's worst cologne." Brass tacks is, you've got to be pretty desperate to spend $200 for the illusion of feeling better when the truth is that you'll only feel better by taking it day by day, remembering to breathe in and out, taking stock on your part in what's happened, learning that it takes two to tango and relationships are a two-way street, both partners have to give and work hard at it or it just doesn't fly. But when you find yourself at the bottom, it's only your blood, sweat and tears that's going to dig yourself out of the hole you've found yourself in. It's also knowing one simple truth: it takes time to heal, and as each day passes, you'll hurt less and less. You just have to believe in yourself and keep moving forward because you're someone who's full of nutritional value and worth being around.
I sure wish someone would send me $200. LOL! I've got enough here to prove you don't need to spend a dime to help yourself feel better after a breakup. All it takes is lots of heart, the ability to find the nutritional value around you and just be able to look up at the sky and consider yourself lucky for what you have.
$200. I'm sorry, I just can't help but laugh. People will do almost anything to make a buck these days, won't they?
But, hey, at least my blog has a great title, right?