Exit, Pursued By A Bear

An Unreliable Narrator

introductions, introductions
Reptile House
The cottage from The Holiday. The cottage from The Holiday.

Dear Internet,

Happy early Svein Forkbeard day. I'm in the wilds of Connecticut prepping for the series of holiday events that will be happening over the course of the next few days. Tonight most of the Connecticut family is heading to the midnight service and I'm thinking of joining them. There is something about theological rituals during the holidays that I still yearn for even though I do not prescribe to any particular religion.

Like previous years, I'm in the throes of making holiday cookies. This year the list is small: macaroons, white chocolate cranberry oatmeal, no bakes, sugar, and finally, gingerbread cookies. I'm shipping cookies to my brother and TSTBEH and of course, leaving some for the Connecticut family. Since the next couple of days is going to be jammed with family activities, I'm stealing time when I can - like waking up at 5:30AM to start the prep work for the cookies and the cornbread stuffing for the big meals that are happening today, tomorrow, and Boxing day.

Nick Frost plays Santa! Nick Frost plays Santa!

It's also time for holiday episodes of my favorite British TV and radio shows. So far Stella, the first part of the Zurich episode of Cabin Pressure, and first episodes of Good Omens have played. Then of course come the regulars and new shows that are upcoming like: Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, and Miranda. This is yet another reason why I love the British: the unabashed love for holiday episodes of their favorite shows which Americans give no fucks about.

But I have to reaffirm the bigger news than holiday cookies and TV shows; though in my world, those are very good things.

Skaldic Press Presents
Reminder about the 4x a month newsletter from Skaldic Press (my publishing arm) that includes updates from Exit, Pursued by a Bear, so glad is my heart, and other adventures in addition to Skaldic Press. Includes themed GIFs. You can check out the archives for a better taste of what to expect and then subscribe below.

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The Lisa Chronicles, Vol 1: 1998
Also another reminder that my book is now available for pre-order. Publishing date is January 31, 2015.

From the blurb:
In 1998, having an online diary was a brave new world. Mailing lists, communities, chat rooms, and more all sprung up over people’s favorite diarists. Now we would call them bloggers. But then, THEN was a whole ‘nother beast. Then writing online was intimate. Then it was more personalized and personal. Then writers had less shtick. Not much was expected of these online exhibitionist scribes other than the ability to tell a good tale and regularly update.

I miss those days.

I never expected to get rich or famous, but what I wanted was to be able to connect to others who were like me. The scared, the frightened, the brave, and the bold. (No relation to the terrible soap opera of the same name.) I wanted to eat the world and in 1998, what better way to do that was through the Internet?

What can you expect from the first volume? Love, conflict, obsessions with people, places, and things. Rotating cast of characters and adventures. Sprinkle of song lyrics here and there. Pop culture references galore. Sex. More sex. Profane words and a bipolar girl desperate to connect with a world she did not understand.

While this work has been edited for grammar, clarity, and the obvious typo, it remains largely unchanged from when it first appeared online nearly two decades ago.

And lastly, every word here is true.

So if you're intrigued by the book description or want to help support me thanks to the saga of #teamharpy, I would be most grateful if you would pre-order the book.


Not much else is going on in my world right this very second other than prepping for the holidays and editing my book. Typically I feel some sort of sadness and isolation since my family and I are not very close, but while I feel some semblance of that feeling this year, being around people who care kind of lessens the pain. I still feel awkward and out of place, but when do I usually not feel a disconnect to others' lives?

The drugs may stabilize my moods, meditation may help me deal better with impulse feelings, but some things about me will just never change.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2011, 2002

Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

done consciously and intentionally
Reptile House
Dear Internet,

I'm at Philly international airport on my way to my final destination and I'm debating the merits of being a woman who is about to start menstruating. I know my breasts are firmer and more round. I also know I'm throwing off pheromones like no one's business because I have a crowd of gentlemen clustered me in this otherwise empty section of the airport. It could be my charm and wit, or it could be the Lisa-puffs, but I'm betting it is pheromones.

Today will be a long day. I drove 2 hours to the airport to catch an early afternoon flight to the east coast and now I'm on my layover in Philly before the final leg. There were plans to be had this evening, but I'm betting once I make it to my final destination, head will hit pillow and the drool will come forth.

I made an observation this afternoon while I played Tetris on my iPad, in that if I played the game deliberately, I could easily get to level 9, which is nearly a 100 rows. If I do not play deliberately, I am dead within the first 10 rows. I found this to be interesting.

But being deliberate about the game also meant I had to be patient. It also meant I had to focus on the game and not on what was happening around my world. Not too surprising, the more I put my energy into paying attention to the game rather than my usual mashing of buttons, I did really, really well.

This is similar to how meditation works. You concentrate on the body and then you open yourself up to the world to let it wash over you. Then you learn how to reign the focus back into yourself while the world is awash, so you can find stillness in the chaos.

Since being a good Tetris player requires much of the same philosophy, it makes sense to me that once I started putting my meditation practice to work in the game, my game got increasingly better.

Imagine if this was applied to everything?!

Interesting hypothesis, yes?


This Day In Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 1998

Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

look, it stopped snowing
Reptile House
Dear Internet,

I unintentionally woke up this morning at 6AM  but it ended up working out as the early wake-up meant I could take Kristin to work. We walked outside to discover that it had snowed over night; nothing serious but it was the first time this season I've seen snow sticking to the ground. It snowed once when I was on the east coast, on Thanksgiving, and it was giant fluffy snow; the kind that melts as fast as it hits the ground.

Since I graduated from undergrad in 2005, I've made it my personal mission to see every Caravaggio in existence. I am so enamoured of the idea, a few years ago I made a mini-site (okay, a page really) of his known complete works and started checking them off. I haven't updated in awhile but as of today, I've seen over 40 of the 90 Caravaggios open to the public and I have 18 more pieces to catalog before the page is done with the exception of me checking off new ones I have seen.

I really need to hie thee to Florence and Vienna.

The Lisa Chronicles, Vol 1: 1998
...is now up for pre-order. Delivery date is January 31, 2015.

At long last my project is starting to come to fruition. The goal is to take each year from 1998 and forward, clean it up (grammar, spelling, clarity), bundle it as an eBook and sell it on Amazon. The content has been free for  years on EPbaB, but no one reads archives anymore unless there is a direct link within the piece referencing it. There has been requests to eBookify the back content for easier reading, so I've done just that.

From the blurb:
In 1998, having an online diary was a bold new world. Mailing lists, communities, chat rooms, and more all sprung up over people’s favorite diarists. Now we would call them bloggers. But then, THEN was a whole ‘nother beast. Then writing online was intimate. Then it was more personalized and personal. Then writers had less shtick. Not much was expected of these online exhibitionist scribes other than the ability to tell a good tale and regularly update.

I miss those days.

I moved my diary (or journal, which was used interchangeably) around to many domains but kept the same name: The Lisa Chronicles. Who better to tell my life story other than me? I never expected to get rich or famous, but what I wanted was to be able to connect to others who were like me. The scared, the frightened, the brave, and the bold. (No relation to the terrible soap opera of the same name.) I wanted to eat the world and in 1998, what better way to do that was through the Internet?

What can you expect from the first volume? Love, conflict, obsessions with people, places, and things. Rotating cast of characters and adventures. Sprinkle of song lyrics here and there. Pop culture references galore. Sex. More sex. Profane words and a bipolar girl desperate to connect with a world she did not understand.

While this work has been edited for grammar, clarification, and the obvious typo, it remains largely unchanged from when it first appeared online nearly two decades ago.

And lastly, every word here is true.

So if you're intrigued by the book description or want to help support me thanks to the saga of #teamharpy, I would be most grateful if you would pre-order the book.

[amazon template=image&asin=B00R2808QE]

Skaldic Press Presents
The eBook announcement reminds me of another thing I launched this past week: Skaldic Press Presents. It's a newsletter of updates of my projects, including Exit, Pursued by a Bear, so glad is my heart, and other adventures in addition to Skaldic Press. Includes GIFs.

tl;dr I tweet and write too much, but you want to keep up with me? This newsletter is how to do it.

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where in the world is lisa going to be now?
The constant changing of addresses and locations are baffling peeps, so let me clear some things up. If you have an east coast address for me, mainly for snail mail, you can send me mail there until early January as I will be on the east coast until January 14. After then, I'm back in Michigan to finish up writing my book, continue with The Lisa Chronicles project, and finalize my divorce. I have given out a PO Box to which mail can be sent to and this PO Box is active now. So yes, technically from now until January 15, when I take possession of my apartment in Michigan, I'm homeless.

adios Throbbing Manor (for real this time)

IMG_0884 (1)

The house closed yesterday and the stress of prepping and selling it is now gone. Finally. I'm not sure who is going to be more thrilled about this decision, me or TSTBEH, but we had a very tearful goodbye in the parking lot of the title company before parting ways. I have no idea when I'm going to see him again since he doesn't need to be present when the divorce is finalized. He headed south for his move, I headed north to Kristin's to crash for a few days.

And that, they say, is that. I know right now I'm grieving, again, for the loss of my marriage and I'm okay with that. Even knowing what the pain IS doesn't make it hurt any less.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013

Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

Moving Part Deux
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

Well, here we are again: I'm moving. This time Two Men and a Truck put what I pillaged from Throbbing Manor (thanks to the generosity of TSTBEH) into storage for a month while I'm out on the east coast; then they will move me into Valkyrie Estates (name may change) in mid-January. Then, THEN, work will start on my book(s).

My pillaging helps TSTBEH out as he would have had to either donate, sell, or take with him the remaining furniture he decided he did not want after the split. With the exception of a bed, I've almost completely furnished Valkyrie Estates. I've got a list of smalls I need to pick up when I get back (like laundry soap and toliet paper), but really, that is it.

This manic last two months, easier to give it a simple explanation when the explanation is really much more complicated, has been financially AND mentally expensive. Truth be told, if I wasn't counting on the settlement from the selling of the house to pay off my debts, I may have reigned the spending in but that's an excuse for my own folly. I must accept the responsibility of what I have done financially.

It's now mid-Sunday afternoon and I'm camped out at a hotel. Again. This time the only thing I'm running from is sleeping on an air mattress in a house that is freezing. Between the consignment shop swopping in on Thursday and my movers on Friday, all that is left until Monday is an air mattress, a 50" TV and related stereo equipment, dining room table and chairs, TSTBEH's boxes, and the art deco hutch. In 3200 sqft. We attempted to sleep on the air mattress every night until the closing of the house on Tuesday but I just couldn't do it. I gave in to my inner diva, left late Friday night for a hotel, and here I am.

And yes, I'm keeping track and earning points with all of this hoteling, flying, and other travel.

My entire life is now split between two suitcases and my messenger bag of electronics. There are a few odds and ends in my trunk but my worldly possessions are now in those two suitcases; it's a freeing feeling and an exhausting one. Now that my mind is finally clearing and I'm starting to put things into better perspective, I want to nest. Now.

I have to learn patience, I have to learn that waiting is okay and things will still be there when I'm done waiting. Not everything is gossamer and clouds but water and dirt. Things are tangible, holdable, and lovable.  These are things I need to remember and need to not forget ever again.

So let's move on to something other than my mental geographical quandary.

Part of ThePlan is bundling the previous years entries into an ebook volume and publishing it on Kindle and other eRetailers.

Today I finished the first draft of volume 1 and it clocks in at roughly 114 pages.

The plan is to take previous years (beginning, well, at the beginning) of The Lisa Chronicles, bundle them by year into an eBook version and see if I could shill it on Amazon (and maybe Apple) to make some passive income.

The idea was pitched to me about four years ago when a library school friend offered to go through these entries, edit for clarity and grammar, and help me format them for the Kindle. I was a bit trepidatious at first, for I often do not find myself to be that fascinating, I just happen to get into fascinating circumstances. But apparently there is a market for this type of writing and I had oodles of it already written at my disposal.

But I stalled, as I do, on the project when I was working full time; I started nibbling at the idea again when I started planning for my sabbatical. The process seemed simple enough: get the back entries of The Lisa Chronicles up online on EPbaB for completist sake. Then move the content over to Word for formatting and editing. Find a cover. Set a price. Write a forward and a description. Upload and BOOM. Book is on the Amazons.

But it wasn't that simple, rather, it was much more complex than my simple plan. Two things were happening in parallel. First being I had to set up as a business entity to help with writing off things related to my sabbatical AND to properly handle any income coming in from the sales of the eBooks. Second, that I had to find the content (easy enough as I kept multiple copies), get it on to EPbaB so the archives were complete, then move it to Word. I knew how prolific I am, so I figured I'd break it down by year and each year would be roughly 50 pages of formatted book text.

Did I mention that year one is at 114 rough pages? And only from April to December 1998? So I was obviously wrong in my page prediction.

I consider 1998 to be the very beginning for the sheer amount of content, though I have pieces that were published much earlier. I have gotten 1998 and 1999 into the EPbaB archives, so the first two volumes of the eBook project are going to be easy to do. I'll have to work in tandem with getting the later content up and editing the current project and writing the fiction book.

I'm going to be a very busy girl.

Getting it up on Kindle was not that difficult: I opted out of the KDP Select option which means the work would have only been sold on Kindle and I opted out of having DRM on the eBooks. I was able to, with the help of TheBassist and cmmrb, figure out the cover design (Amazon has a free cover creator). I have my EIN and LLC name (Skaldic Press), so everything on the business side was ready to go. It was just a matter of getting the content up, formatted, and edited.

So basically the hard part.

You know where you can find me for the next month.


This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 1999, 1998

Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

Put A Cravat On It Part II
Richard Armitage, in a motherfucking cravat!, as Mr. Thornton in NORTH AND SOUTH. Richard Armitage, in a motherfucking cravat!, as Mr. Thornton in NORTH AND SOUTH.

Dear Internet,

364 days ago, I wrote a blog post chronicling my extensive knowledge of British television and period dramas, which spurned me to create a list. The list went from about few dozen shows to now over 100. And it continues to grow.

I've been updating the original list every couple of months, but because of the length and breadth of the explanation before the list, it seemed wise to stop updating the blog piece and move the list to its own page to keep it better contained AND alphabetized it because woah, I had a lot of duplicate entries.

Some notes:

  • I follow the following blogs/websites to find out about upcoming stories: Digital Spy, Telly Visions, Tellyspotting, TVWise, Radio Times, and BBC History Extra.

  • The Lady and the Rose has a regularly updated list of period dramas (including movies), fairyland and fantasy costume dramas, and a list of movies/series coming up in 2015 and beyond.

  • I linked to streaming, if available, on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Acorn.tv. If a show is also on a premium channel like HBO or Starz, linked there as well.

  • Acorn.TV is a streaming service that allows you to watch as a channel on the Roku or online. If you're a big fan of Britishisms, it's absurdly cheap and packed with a mighty list of things not available anywhere and also gets a lot of exclusives, such as they ran Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries before anyone else had it.

  • Hulu and Hulu+ have a ton of Britishisms and other related foreign shows not found anywhere else.

  • Lots of Masterpiece shows (stuff that is normally aired on BBC or ITV) is now available on Amazon as well as more non-US stories not found anywhere else.

  • Your yearly outlay for all four services will be about $150. Absurdly great deal when  you consider how much TV/Movies you get on top of the period pieces.

As always, contact if you have any questions, updates, or etc.


this day in lisa-universe: 2013

(no subject)
Diary Vomit

Dear Internet,

Teddy has been to a lot of places for a stuffed bear. Grand Rapids. Toronto. San Francisco. Washington DC. Grand Rapids. Detroit. Grand Rapids. East coast.

And now back to Michigan.

TheBassist and I are on a pause.

I'm not sure how long of a pause - could be six months, could be six years. I'm currently in the wilds of the Poconos right now, holed up in a hotel cut into a mountain with a giant unidentifiable stain on the bedspread and in a smoking room. A sugar free RedBull is opened in one of the drink holders in Jeeves and I could queue up the manic to push through the 13 hour drive but I am not in my 20s and at times I can be a bit smart on how to handle things. Thus, with the weather turning from drizzle to sleet,  I pulled over for the night. My alarm goes off at 6AM and I hope to be on the road by 7, in Michigan by the end of the Thursday afternoon.

Last night I received word about the #teamharpy case and we're allegedly going to trial in the spring. Between that, the cock-up my divorce is becoming (not at the fault of J.), joblessness and looking for a job, added with stress of moving, hemorrhaging money like mad, I was crumbling worse in the last month than the last six months I was in Grand Rapids.

It is not that I don't love TheBassist. It is not because I don't want to be with him. It is not that he did anything wrong or his family or friends wasn't amazing to me while I was there. It is none of these things.

I am being chased by some very large demons, some whom would probably decimate most humans. My sword is only so sharp, my shield is only so penetrable. I had to choose which battles I could could fight to win the war.

This was not a decision I have taken lightly, as we all well know.

I took a big risk. I am proud of myself for taking that risk.

Some of you may not agree with me, but you are not me. The biggest thing I learned during this whole endeavor was, simply put, that I am human. I waffle. I fail. I succeed. I fight. I retract.

Letting me be human was the biggest gift TheBassist could give me.

For most of my conscious adult life, I've been very contentious of what the world thought and attempting to correct any short givings I perceived myself to have, to not follow the same paths I came from, that somewhere along the way, I projected myself as being a super woman.

I am not super woman. This has been a very hard lesson to not only learn, but to actually know. I can only do so much before it takes it toll. This is why I saw a medicating therapist last week; this is why I went back on the drugs. This is why I'll continue taking the drugs, continue seeking therapy. Where I'll put self-care as a top priority rather than something to deal with later. I've been trying to work on this for a long time.

This decision hurt a lot of people, not only myself or TheBassist. I get that. I accept that. Many of you will be angry at me or frustrated. But know this: I did not shift my life 1000 miles on a whim. TheBassist is one of two loves of my life. But the foundations I need in my life in order to have a life with him does not exist. He told me in the very beginning that if our houses were not in order before we came together, our relationship would suffer. He was right. He also understands this.

I did not leave because I don't love him. Know this. Trust this.

So I head back to Michigan and I formulate another plan. I let the dust settle and come out stronger than ever.

In the interim, once this posts to my Facebook wall, I'll be deactivating my Facebook account on Friday. I'm also deleting my Instagram account for all those photos of us together would be too painful to see. I am keeping my Twitter account as my primary methods of communication, though I have reigned it in. If you're a friend of mine and you FB BFF TheBassist, you do not have to unfriend him. And vice versa if you're a friend of his to me. We're not asking people to take sides. We ARE asking people to be respectful while we grieve and to remember there is always more to the story than what meets the eye.

Our story is not yet done.

Darkest night, brightest days.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2013

bury the lede
Reptile House
Dear Internet,

It's a clear night here on the east coast and I was outside having a smoke (or three), watching planes fly to and fro across the Sound. People winging their ways across the pond or coming back, minutes or hours from seeing their loved ones, taking a risk, starting a journey, or fleeing from a thing that is chasing them. This is an exercise I'm most intimate with, this thinking what this world around me is doing as it continually moves even if I'm standing still. In that frame, I felt insignificant and yet godlike. I have been all of those people, even if I am none of them now.

These are the times I feel most alone and most connected to others, for I feel the weight of their expectations, their glories, their regrets, and all other human emotion on my being. I was none of them and yet all of them. Here in this now, I am constantly running even in my brain and my energy packs are growing thin. I am gasping for breath and my head is on fire, even though I feel like I'm watching everything happening from an outside body. I watch my body move, smile, laugh, and fuck while my brain is somewhere else.

Brendan tipped me off to a service called ZocDoc, a service that allows you to search for doctors in your area and also allow you to narrow by insurance. You know, something your insurance provider should allow you to do without having to jump 15 hoops. I found a prescribing psychiatrist who had appointments open that day and by that evening, I had scripts for Lamictal, Abilify, and my trusty favorite, Klonopin.

Thus, I'm back on the drugs again.

Dr. P. recommended I not go down this road again until I was feeling more sure and stable in my current locale, but neither of us could have predicted that I would spin this far out of control. While he's been keeping in touch with me, thank Nigel for that, I'm swinging too fast that by the time I talk to him, I'm stable for the moment again. But the moods are shifting too fast and too furious.

I need help.

Every day is as unpredictable as it possibly can be. Some days I'm up at and at 'em at a reasonable hour and days like Tuesday, I'm in bed all day crying or having some sort of massive panic attack. Others are a combination of the two. No one day is like its predecessor.

My smoking habit comes and goes, though if my need for control wears its hat properly, that is something I can fix so I'm quitting again. Tomorrow I plan on working on a daily schedule for myself to get in the grove to create a infrastructure and wait for job prospects to pan out.

During all of this, I've interviewed for two positions, of which one I was told to expect a follow up for a second interview while I was passed on the other. A third job prospect with an Ivy has weeded me from the pile of potentials to passing on to the selection committee for the position. This means nothing, no interview has been forthcoming as of yet, but it also means everything because of the potential interview. So while I'm emotionally falling apart, I am in some small ways, keeping my shit together.

That bit is important. I marvel at myself for having been able to not spiral so far out towards the sun.

The inability to articulate, when my verbal word retrieval fails me, has also been a huge part of the problem. I should be writing, even privately, but I haven't been. Perhaps this is part of the problem I'm having in finding my footing. Not being able to communicate even to myself what's in my head (even if scattered), which makes it even more difficult to communicate to those around me.

Right now, I do not know where I will end up or what I'll be doing. But I keep reminding myself this is all very temporary, this shifting, while I wait for my moods to stabilize. Patience.

There are things I am certain of, of things I must do. But I must learn, above all else, patience. That will be my greatest struggle and fight, to remain patient as all of this works itself out.

While there is life, there is hope.


Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

I’ve got you
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

TheBassist and I met in December of 2004 in a community for tall people on LiveJournal. The conversation kicked off about shoes. We were so charmed by the other, we were instant LJ BFFs. Within a week or so, we couldn’t stop mooning over the other. Within a couple of months, he flew out to Grand Rapids and all of that passion online smoothly translated off. I remember sitting on my couch, he fresh from his flight, just holding the other. My face was buried in his chest and I muffled something along the lines of, “I’m dead.” He titled my face towards his and asked me to clarify. I said that if he kissed me, it would be all over. He kissed me and we barely left my apartment the entire weekend.

Several weeks after that, he dumped me.

Some months down the line, a mutual friend got in touch and said TheBassist wanted to get in touch with me again. I acquiesced. We started discussing about getting back together and within a week, he dumped me again.

Nine years go by and the fourth of July 2014, he sends me a Facebook message. He had found the signed to me copy of Terry Pratchett’s Thud! and did I want it? TheBassist had haunted me for years and in the 2013, I found he had been leaving me love notes across the Internet for years. So yes, I was a bit leery about friending him again, signed TPerry or not. But I did not hate or begrudge him and I was curious to find out what had happened, so I offered him a compromise: how about we become Facebook friends and if I felt comfortable with him, he could send me on the book. He agreed. So we did.

So what happened in 2004 was this: TheBassist and his now ex-wife were in the process of their own divorce when we met. They were both dating other people, I was not an affair, everything was above board, it was simply a matter of paperwork. I was in my final year of college and the plans then were if things continued as they were between us, I’d apply for grad schools on the east coast to be closer. He would finalize his divorce. We’d date and then who knew what the future held.

We were pretty sure that the future was looking glorious because we ticked each others boxes like crazy. There was not a thing we did not have in common, believed in, or loved. We could talk for hours, and we did. We laugh darkly now about the cost of our cell phone bills because this was in the days when minutes were counted and texting was not cheap. He was the first person I spoke to every morning and pretty damn near the last person I spoke to every night.

He was the first man to make me cum. He was the first man who knew instinctively what I needed sexually and knows my body better than anyone ever has.

I loved him like gangbusters. He was my everything. Where in the past, partners always tried to get me to reign in or modify my behavior, he encouraged everything about me. He loved me, for me and I reveled in that love. Because I reveled in that love, I loved him just as fierce.

The now ex-wife decided she wanted him back. They had a history. A family. Though she had dumped him and had made no moves in the year plus separation to win him back, now that he was with me, she wanted him back. So he took the known over the unknown and smashed my heart into a million pieces in the process.

I knew this was going to happen — I had warned him this was going to happen. He was so delightedly and blessedly in love with me that she’s going to want in on a piece of that action. It was not that he did not believe me more that he did not think this was going to happen. But it did. This is why I could not fault him for his actions because he is only human, much to his chagrin, and he had done what he thought was for the best.

Stupid decision, it is all around agreed.

He was obviously wrong. Within a few months of them getting back together, they broke up yet again. He came back to me to suss me out but knew that by staying with me the second time, he would only be manipulating me for his own end and not trying to really build a relationship. So he left. Again.

There is more to his story than what I am telling, but that part is for him to share. What I can share is that in the intervening years, I was one of his two biggest regrets.

I am apparently legion on the east coast. There is not a friend of his nor a family member who had not heard of the Michigan Girl in the last decade ad nauseam. I was the bar that was set so high, no other girl could possibly obtain even modicum of my status. I am the love of his life and he would do anything short of murder to keep me and make this work.

A week after TheSoonToBeExHusband and I split, I made an impulsive decision. “What are you doing the following weekend?” I asked TheBassist. “I’ve got a gig, but nothing else, why?” “How about I come visit?” “You don’t need to ask twice!”

So I didn’t.

A three month love affair in your youth that gets romanticized as you get older does not a relationship make. I knew this. But I needed to be with someone who wanted to be with me in all the ways and not some sort of idealized image of me. TheBassist and I were talking every day, all day, by this point. Despite the grey hairs and aging, what drew us together ten years ago was very much still there.

I needed to take a risk.

As we sat on his bed my last day in town, I booked a flight in two weeks hence, and then cried at the airport and most of the flight back. There had to be some kind of goal to obtain and I had to make some clear decisions on what I wanted to do. So the plan became this:

I could not stay in Michigan, there was nothing left for me there. I have a ton of friends up and down the east coast, I could coach surf if necessary. There were job opportunities galore. There were people desperate to be a part of my world. TheBassist wanted not only to make me in his world, but to create a world of our own. There is nothing he would not deny me and nothing he would not do to make me happy. Even though our time together has been brief the first time, there is something deeper, that could not be explained or reasoned away, that binds us together.

TheBassist’s word is his bond and he favors loyalty over anything else. He has a legion of fans up and down the eastern seaboard where the subtext of meeting the legion has been, “Do not hurt him.” I am conscious that my actions right now are suspicious and eyebrow raising – if I sound so sure of everything that has transpired, why am I holed up alone in the middle of nowhere when I ache so much for one?

The best reasoning I can give is this: I went from a world where I was in a marriage that left me not only alone, but incredibly lonely. Now I’m in a world where I do not want for loneliness and I am overwhelmed by the love and support that is being given to not only by TheBassist, but also by his friends and his family. I am panicking because I have never been in position where people have my back simply because they cared. I always had my own back, even in my marriage, I could not depend on the one person I was supposed to depend on outside of myself: my husband.

This past Friday I called TheSoonToBeExHusband and told him I wanted to come home. I wanted to right the wrongs of our marriage. When I told TheBassist I was leaving, he broke down and cried. I am tawdry harlot breaking men’s hearts everywhere I go. What the fuck was wrong with me?

I waffled as fast and furious. The last week has been emotional hell. I was all over the place and every decision felt like a lie. I told both I needed to be alone, with neither of them in my head or space, and I needed to make sure I was doing the right thing. For me.

This is how I ended up alone in a hotel in the middle of nowhere on a rainy November day, chain smoking, and baring free my soul to the internet.

It is now hours upon hours later after I started writing this. The hope was to give both sides of their stories, where I fit in, and as the days progressed this week, to suss out what I needed to do. What was right for me. But as I wrote this, all the fuzziness in my head this past week about if I was making the right decision cleared because two things I had always known with certainty: I wanted to live alone and I wanted to continue what I started with TheBassist. Our relationship first round was born out of chaos. This time was also born out of chaos. I needed to create the space of my own and see if we could really work as a couple outside of the chaos.

I need to be here.

TheSoonToBeExHusband read my post from earlier today and wrote me a long email in kind. In it he says, 

Part of me doesn’t want to pressure you; but part of me wants to fight for you, and part of me wants to track you down; put on a trench coat and hold a boombox over my head blasting Peter Gabriel.

I knew that waiting until my week was up to talk to TheSoonToBeExHusband was futile. Putting down the dissolution of my marriage, something I had done in fits and starts everywhere but never in a single location solidified the hard decisions I had made long ago when I put this plan in motion.

So I called TheSoonToBeExHusband and we talked.

For five hours.

We talked about TheBassist, what he meant to me, what he gives me, and how he makes me feel. We talked about how our marriage broke down, how his depression corroded what was good, and how I had been hanging on by a thread for months.

Both men had told me independently, and without me asking, they would wait for me if I went to the other. TheBassist said he would wait 369 days (in case I got lost coming back through Pennsylvania).

TheSoonToBeExHusband and I discussed about not getting a divorce but simply a separation while I stayed here on the east coast. I suggested to both they could time share me. Surprisingly, neither were terrible keen on the idea. TheSoonToBeExHusband and I went through every how much we very much loved the other, but our relationship had not been working for years. I was alone through most of the marriage and TheBassist offered me a life TheSoonToBeExHusband could not provide for me: TheBassist gives me all of himself. Not halves. Not bits, but wholes. I need to be with someone who wants to love the world as much as I do.

I need to be here. No more waffling.

I did not leave TheSoonToBeExHusband for TheBassist, but he told me if he had known TheBassist was waiting for me weeks ago, that I had this awesome and supportive environment protecting me as I went through this, his heart would have been a lot lighter and he could have started his closure sooner. That is my folly, one that I plainly take on.

I had hoped TheSoonToBeExHusband would not have found out TheBassist this soon because how it looks and how it is are two vastly different things. I did not want to hurt him. I do not want to be unnecessarily cruel. I did not want to give him more pain because the dissolution of our marriage had nothing to do with another man waiting in the wings. But now that he knows and everything is out in the open, this has all become decidedly French. TheSoonToBeExHusband quipped at one point in the conversation,

TheBassist sounds like a great guy – I’d date him.

(Over the course of the last few weeks, both have been quipping things that are insanely identical. It’s like they are in cahoots with the other. Did I mention they are both 6’7 and weigh exactly the same with similar builds? TheSoonToBeExHusband referred to me as his waffle; TheBassist has started calling me Belgian. It is downright eerie.)

Now the plan is this: I filed for divorce last week. TheSoonToBeExHusband will be responding to the complaint this week. We should be finalized in a few months. We had already agreed on the split of everything so it’s all very amicable. Once Throbbing Manor sells or I get a job, I get my own place. TheBassist can bring in his toothbrush. He may get a shelf. We’ll date and see how it goes. TheSoonToBeExHusband is moving to Louisville for now. He’s going to continue seeing a therapist, continue taking his meds. He and I will have phone dates every couple of weeks because he was my best friend for six years and he is part of my world, I am selfish enough to want to keep him in it. He’s making plans to do fun things like take a fjord cruise or go on a big vacation. He told me he saw a sunbeam coming through a glass and shine on an ugly clock and noted that the clock was indeed ugly. He’s beginning to feel things again and he is noting he wants to be a part of the world once more. He’s not feeling dismissive and out of place as he once did. For that I am thrilled and excited. And so supremely glad.

The story of TheSoonToBeExHusband and I is not yet over, but it is on pause. He’s got a lot of work to do on himself, he could not be with me now even if we wanted to make it work. The fear of sliding back to what it was is too great and his emotional recovery from his depression is too soon. But I told him if he ever found himself slipping into that dark world again, to call me and I’ll come. No questions asked.

TheBassist and I, well, we have our own plans. Worlds to discover here and everywhere. Love to make that will frighten the children. Adventures to be had and each other to entertain. We’re going to have so much fun. TheBassist is equipped to handle my foibles and crazy. We’re creating language to help us work through my brain. When he holds me close to him and tells me that no matter what I’m going through he’s got me, I know that I am loved, safe, and cherished.

I know I’m an extraordinarily lucky girl whose met two amazing men who would give her the world if they could. Now it’s time to finally heal.


Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

Reptile House

Dear Internet,

I am frightened.

On paper my marriage was flawless.

TheSoonToBeExHusband and I had the trappings of a couple who had it all. We had a beautiful home, we had a vacation home, we were both educated and made good money. Our individual needs for space, both of us creatures of solid independence that were attractors to us both, allowed us the freedom we needed to thrive. We challenged the other and we learned from the other. Our differences is what made us strong because our worlds were so vastly different and so remarkably the same, we connected on levels that we never thought possible with another human being.

In the beginning, our relationship was glorious.

There was not a single event that said “aha! this is ending” but rather, it was a slow, agonizing death. The sex slowed to a trickle. Then stopped. The affection was debated and negotiated. He would give me the world if he had it, but he couldn’t give me himself. He told me this, many times. He could not trust me not because I had done something wrong but because he could not trust anyone. Period. His own past was a chock a block of defense mechanisms that I could not penetrate no matter how hard I rammed against them. I was so desperate for him to love me and let me love him, but I could not ever hope to win.

I remember we were laying in bed one evening watching some schlocky movie when a romantic scene came on. I remember thinking that as the male lead grasped the female lead into a passionate embrace, I would never have that feeling again. I began to cry.

In the beginning when we were dating, he would throw me up against a wall and fuck me just because he could. And now a few scant few years later, I would never have my husband grab me and kiss me as if his life depended on it ever again. Oh, he gave me affection for we cuddled all the time, but that missing bit of raw primal sexual urge was gone and I found myself making allowances for those missing needs. He protected and supported me when the crazy hit. He took excellent care of me when I was ill. He made me laugh. He grounded me when I when I got too manic. He had a lot to give me and he did, but withheld the one thing I really wanted: himself.

Bipolars are attracted to the next big thrill. Many a relationship has ended with me because the honeymoon phase wore off and reality set in. “Oh, you’re not constantly wanting to get in my pants every second of the day? Well obviously you don’t love me enough.” So I reasoned, with TheSoonToBeExHusband, the honeymoon was wearing off and we were now in the dull throes of day to day life. This is what adulting IS, correct? Love isn’t always about sex. So I consoled myself that I was being manipulated by the media into believing that if my husband wasn’t fucking me every second of the day, the relationship must be terrible when it really wasn’t.

The sex could be fixed, and I knew that, so I sat down with him numerous times and explained what I needed. What I wanted. And it wasn’t just about getting fucked so hard my toes would curl, but it was about the act of seduction and tension. I needed to be wooed on occasion. To be desired. To be thought of as sexy and worth fucking. But he no longer agreed with the meeting of our sexual needs. He said at one point he thought he was asexual. His desire for sex was not the same as mine and while he could see about meeting my needs, he was content about where he stood with his. But he would try.

But it wasn’t enough. And soon, it wasn’t just about the sex, it became about everything else. The more he withdrew, the more frustrated I became. I fought to fix this, but every discussion brought out reasoned (him) analytics about the relationship while I couldn’t make him understand or could not apparently articulate that relationships were not about logic or reason, but also about emotion and feeling. It’s also about the sharing of the worlds.

He slowly stopped wanting to be a part of my world. I was his pookie bear, and he loved me, but I became more of a household pet than a lover or even a partner. I was to be petted and adored, mainly from afar, but everything else was off the table. At times he was cruel. He would grab me and give me a toe curling kiss, my body would meld into his, my arms around his neck, begging for more. Then he would stop. He would say he was not in the mood and walk away.

No amount of editing is going to make this clean and easy to follow. Life is not easy to follow.

I knew TheSoonToBeExHusband was depressed. He knew he was depressed. I begged him to get professional help and he refused. A long history of misguided therapy in his youth tainted seeing a therapist as an adult. He offered to work on it his own way: St. John’s Wort, working out, light therapy. There would be days where he would be semblance of his old self and days when he couldn’t get out of bed. My depression, which I had mostly been free from in recent times, came back. I was drowning and I had no idea how to save myself, let alone him. Or even our marriage.

Several months later, I called my therapist and went back into therapy.

Over the last two years, I found myself negotiating everything to make it through the day, but what I found myself losing was large parts of myself in the process. I was not the woman he married, I had become a shell of myself. I no longer found the world to be a big cookie for me to eat as everything tasted of sawdust. What was the point of having financial freedom when all we did was stay locked in our house for days on end. In the three years we were living at Throbbing Manor, we never explored the neighborhood we lived in, so how were we to go out into the world and explore it as we once dreamed?

Sure relationships have problems, I get that. I know that. But how far do you put yourself out there to save it before it becomes too broken to fix? How much can love really conquer all? And at what price?


Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

#teamharpy tweet clarification
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

I am taking a break from writing to clarify a common misconception that is being reported (I’ve seen it in other pieces as well) in regards to my tweets that launched the suit, namely that I purged them.

This is false. There are two things at play.

The first is that Twitter only displays the last 3,200 tweets on one’s timeline. This is found on Twitter’s FAQ. As I am a verbose tweeter, the tweets in question (made in early May of 2014) were no longer publicly accessible as of mid-August 2014. The only way to access them after that point was to either have a direct link to the tweet in question OR if you are the owner of the account, you can download your entire Twitter archive with all the tweets still intact but it would only be visible to you offline.

Twitter is not indexed by any of the big search engines (Google, Bing, etc) but there are apparently Twitter specific indexers that allows you to search a person’s timeline, however, it should be noted again that it can only search what is publicly available due to Twitter’s own parameters which is again, the last 3,200 tweets.

The second thing in play is that in mid-September, I changed my Twitter handle from @pnkrcklibrarian to @byshieldmaiden. All my tweets, followers and those I’m following also made the transition.

With @pnkrcklibrarian now freed up, I created a new Twitter account to hold the name. It was to make sure that no one used the name to impersonate me. This is why if you go to @pnkrcklibrarian, there is but one tweet and I follow no one.

Therefore any tweet in question that links to @pnkrcklibrarian will show up as being dead, but if you change the username to @byshieldmaiden, it should theoretically now show up.

I have been fairly transparent on WHY I made this move.

If you have any questions in regards to the case, please contact me via the #TeamHarpy website.


Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

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