#1. Boot Camp
In the spirit of making an effort, I began today by venturing out to a local park for a ‘Boot Camp’ class run by an ex-Marine. I dragged myself off the couch and took the leap to re-enter society. I decided not to let the embarrassment of my 60 pound weight gain keep me locked up in my apartment anymore! Besides, If I don’t start losing weight now I’ll just keep gaining and then end up as one of those people on TV where they have to knock a wall down just to remove them from their homes.
The class was full of very attractive and fit middle aged women, clearly of means as it was at 11:00am on a weekday. I was the only fat, poor one. Whatever. I was going to do my best. But as I struggled to survive the various drills, I could’ve sworn that I tasted blood coming from the bottom of my throat. When I stopped jumping rope like a crystal meth tweeker to express concern regarding the possible of bleeding of my lungs, the Drill Sargent got right into my face to spit and shout , “You don’t taste anything except failure Fatso!!!”
Whoa! Hello? Rome wasn’t built in a day buddy… Geez. I really tried to start jumping rope again but I had to stop as I thought that I was going to faint or throw up or both. Immediately he marched over to me to continue his rant. “You wouldn’t survive one day in combat soldier! Get on your knees and give me one hundred push ups before you get us shelled!” Oh boy… Total PTSD.
I seem to have a real knack of igniting profound instability in people. After escaping to hide behind nearby bushes when the maniacal Drill Sargent wasn’t looking, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was paying money to be tortured and ridiculed. There is an ongoing theme here and I don’t like it. The reality that I have willingly volunteered on numerous occasions to be surrounded by raving lunatics is very disturbing.
The Boot Camp reminded me of my marriage. I went into both with good intentions, only to be met with hostility and degradation. Because we share a son, I will resist the urge to condemn my ex too much, as I have already achieved that end when I performed a one-woman show called, “Forget Love, Try Prada”. In retrospect, likening him to Adolf Hitler was wrong. Besides, playing the victim role has gotten old. Time to grow up and make the story about me – not him. I left that train wreck of a marriage ten years ago but the bewilderment of what transpired remains vivid. The Divorce mirrored the so-called marriage. It was emotionally draining and financially crushing, leaving me depressed, bankrupt and terrified to be a single mother. However, it was a small price to pay for my freedom. It hasn’t been easy, but what worthwhile experience in life is?
As I mentioned above, I have been a performer/writer. Not a lot of stability or money for that matter. Before the marriage, I was not wildly successful, but I did get work and I loved what I did. During the Divorce, I was certifiably insane. No question about it. Like Lenny Bruce, I was obsessed with my legal proceedings and the injustice I perceived to experience in the Family Court system. I carried around affidavits like a raving lunatic and told anyone who would listen about my Divorce troubles. I probably should’ve been committed to an in-patient facility – no kidding. I was clinically heart broken and majorly pissed off. Now I’m just a fat, boring, middle aged woman looking for some type of gainful employment so that I can feed my kid.
It has taken me years and sufficient therapy to conquer the resulting depression and madness. But, I can honestly say that I am a better person for the experience. Both the traumatic marriage and Divorce, forced me to re-define who I am and what I want from life. I would do it all again to get to here. Well, I don’t know where ‘here’ is exactly but at least it’s not the ‘there’ of a shitty marriage. I don’t really know what to make of ‘here’. I’m scared. I need some direction!!! What do I do now?
My son is going into grade seven and he is developing his own life. I freely admit that his life has been my whole life for the past decade. This has to change. Of course I love my precious son so much that it hurts, but it’s time to create a new life based on all the healthy and productive realities that I am learning to establish for myself.
This blog is dedicated to every woman who has the courage to leave a dysfunctional relationship and/or has become saddled with the responsibilities of motherhood and financial provider. I will be sharing the lessons I learn from the job market, dating world, child rearing challenges and personal health and growth. I can’t be the only one in the world who followed the rules by getting married and becoming a mother only to find disillusionment and disappointment. I have a new life to build and invite you along for the journey.
To end today’s entry, I want to tell you all that unless you are actually enlisted in the Army, forget any kind of Boot Camp in your life. Being humiliated and ridiculed is not the answer to a healthy existence, whether it’s your boyfriend, husband, boss, etc. I’m going back to Yoga, where the gentle movements and supportive environment encourages a strong mind and body. Will I find a man who can do the same? I don’t know, and a large part of me doesn’t care. But, the journey to locate a good man, job, and new life will undoubtedly make for a great adventure.