Where, oh where, are my feelings?

I used to be too sensitive.  Now I hardly feel.

The past several months have been an extended climax of emotion and pain and it's as if it's happening to someone else.  I have removed me from myself and am now driving a body forward, but am no longer experiencing it first hand.  I'm exhausted.

I wake up, I smile, I love my boy, I feel free and happy, but it is so one-note.  One color.  One flavor.  The deeper nuances are out of my reach.  I am numb.

I signed a lease for a new apartment last week.  Rooster is moving back into the house and I'm moving out the first week in December.  It makes sense: I can't do yard work or fix a goddamned thing.  He needs the garage and shed for all his crap.  I'm over the moon about it, really.  Seriously.  I have visions of a maintenance man at my beck and call, manicured grounds, a pool that cleans itself, a walk to the grocery store, a little closer to downtown and my friends who live north.

It's such a strange mix, numbness and happiness.  On the one hand I am protected, on the other I am held distant from really connecting.  I call it The Wall.  I've been accused of having it and warned of its ability to make me miss out on things, but then again, that's what I love about it.  Its other super power is apathy: I don't give a shit if I'm missing out on things.  (I feel like I'm finally understanding all the asshole boys I dated in my 20s.  They really and truly didn't feel anything after all!  It can happen!)

Though,  to be honest it's not shielding me from worry.  I do worry that all of these things I'm not feeling are going to come back and bite me in the ass.  Yet, I also believe in the process  -- oh, how I believe in the process -- and that what's happening to me and how I'm handling myself is the exactly right thing to be doing. 

You see what's happening here?  Up, down, back and forth.  Holy crap, I'm a bloody mess.

When Rooster and Hawk were in Kansas City for a week last week I hung out with an awesome blogger (holla, Allison!) Friday, Saturday I went to Bloggy Boot Camp (more on that later), immediately after the conference I drove to San Antonio (1.5 hours away) for a surprise 59th & 70th birthday party, drove back to Austin and caught the tail end of a bachelor party including a party bus and drinking until 3:30 am.  Sunday, I was spent.  And raw.

I could feel a mountain of emotions just around the corner (exhaustion and being hungover will do that to me, apparently).  A friend came over for interior design advice and I could feel the tears prick in my eyes as we looked at catalogs to feather his nest.  I remember poring over images looking for just the right pillow or rug to make our house a home.  Now I spend all my time cataloging just how to dismantle it.  Which couch to take, which plates, which decor.

Pluck, pluck, pluck.  The nest is gone.

When my friend left the tears had vanished, as had the tremor of emotion that had begun.  I was back to Robot Jessica.  And so I did something dramatic: I gathered up everything Rooster had ever given me as a gift, his box of pictures, one of his fantasy books that he loves so dearly, and the one photo of us as a family I've left framed in Hawk's room and put them all in a pile on the bed and I sat and looked at it.

I stared at it until the tears came and I shook with sorrow.  I fondled the sunglasses, the mini iPod with the 1-year dating anniversary inscription that reads "Thank you, Jessica, for an amazing year!", I held my platinum wedding rings and remembered their weight on my finger.

Finally, I was feeling something: disappointment, uncertainty, fear, sadness.  My broken fucking heart.

I slept for a week with that pile of things on what used to be his side of the bed.  It made me feel something and for that I was grateful.

Rooster and I are getting divorced.  It's a done deal.  We're unraveling the life we made and rebraiding a new one based on friendship and partnership.  It seems fast, but we've been emotionally disconnected for much longer than we have been physically.

I wonder if I seem different to my friends and family because I definitely feel that way.  I feel immense strength at going about this the hard way, the kind way, the painful way.  I feel distant and cut off.  I feel free as a fucking bird.  I feel crushing disappointment.  I feel fear.  I feel hope.  I feel happy.

I'm so proud of how I'm handing this, how we are handling this.  It's a rite of passage, doing this the hard way.  I am not a coward.

So, Feelings, I know you're out there.  I'll try to check in on you every once in a while, but I know you're not going anywhere.  Until then, thanks for keeping your distance and I'll see you again soon.


  1. Numbness is good. It keeps you going until you can deal with the Feelings. You just keep doing what you gotta do to get through this.

  2. from an outsiders perspective i feel like i have seen the development of your robot. seen it, felt it, understood it, watching it ebb and flow. i don't think you'll always need to be that way, and sometimes won't want to, but in just this moment it's serving a very valuable purpose.

  3. numbness is part of the process after all

  4. I don't think there's any right or wrong way to feel as you go through this. And I don't think there's any way to rush through one phase of feeling (or not) on to another. It's just got to be walked through. It sounds like you're doing that, and doing it the right way, and that's all any of us can do. Really, it's all any of us can do no matter WHAT'S going on in our lives.

  5. Hugs girlfriend. I'm here for you whenever you need to chat.

  6. The feelings will wait. They'll be there when you have more time and energy for them. In the meantime, keep on keepin' on, mama. You're doing great.

  7. I'm so sorry to read about your separation Jessica. You are obviously going through an incredibly difficult time of your life at the moment. I fell a bit crushed to read it, to be honest. My thoughts are with you.

  8. Hugs. Lots of hugs.
    You are very strong. You are doing great. Up and down is all part of this. Let me know if you ever need anything. Anything.

  9. agreed that numbness is a decent bedfellow and probably will creep off into the night when it's no longer needed. until then, climb that Wall girlfriend.

  10. I too, am about to embark on divorce - like you, we've been separated emotionally for about a year, separated about 2 months and now... divorce. It's the Big "D" !!! and I never thought I would be able to dealn with it like I have. I have always been super sensitive, a crier, a feeler, an ocean of emotions sprawling everywhere. P, my husband, was such an immense part of my life. We started off so electric, so connected, sexual, alive, in tune, he was my soulmate, my passion... we have the most beautiful Angel daughter in the world!! she is 2 yrs 4mnths. I want this for her; after 13 years together, nine married.... we move on, a million miles from that connected, alive couple of yester year, a few thousand miles from the happy to be married and living the married dream of future building, future imaginings, cooked dinners, movies, rowing, living, loving together. Now, just round the corner from disconnected, resentful, sexless couple, struggling from day to day to capture what once, was. Now, friends, now estranged, but strangely comfortable with one another with glimpses of that old connection deep in our hearts revisiting, just every now and then to make us cry and remember that were once in love, and we once were in tune and made a baby and thought that forver was now.....

    Now, me, a single mother, moving on, moving forward, moving country, moving towards teaching - hopefully- to my daughter, to be authentic, to live your truth, however painful, how gur wrenching, to be answerable to only yourself - caring for yourself, so you can, in the end, care for others more effectively.

    Best Wishes, I know your journey, it is such a surreal place - I love your post and will keep checking in.