Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BOTB Results and What's Making Me Crazy

It's time for results in Battle of the Bands.

Me... I'm thrilled that I FINALLY pitted two contenders against one another that kept this race interesting. Perry Como and Johnny Mathis both looked like they could win this thing right up until the end. (If you missed it, the song was It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.) So, how did it all turn out?

Perry Como: 13
Johnny Mathis: 12 (including my vote)

This was so close. One more vote from you guys for Johnny Mathis and I could've made it a tie. Two more votes and I could've chosen the winner. I call that *close.* And a win really. Two stellar versions of this song... so there really wasn't a "loser" here.

I'm not going to call the rest of this post a "Soundtrack" post, though it will get a song. Since it's present day, it'd be jumping way ahead. (For the record, I intend to get back to regularly scheduled blogging in January.) For my readers who've been around longer, you may remember the post about Jack. It was a Battle of the Bands. The song was Wicked Game. You can find it HERE if you're interested.

Jack took this picture on our second date. December 31, 2005.

As we roll closer to December 27 he takes up more space in my head.

Come up to meet you. Tell you I'm sorry. You don't know how lovely you are. I had to find you, tell you I need you, tell you I set you apart.

December 27 is making me a little bit crazy you see. December 27 was the day he killed himself. For the longest time I thought it was the 28th, but I read his obituary recently. It was the 27th.

December 27 was the day of our first date. Is this a coincidence? I don't know. I seriously don't know. Did he remember that it was the day of our first date? Sigh. Some people are really good about remembering the date of "important events." For instance, I can tell you the date of my wedding and the date stamped on my divorce papers. Ironically, the same day, which never fails to make me smile just a little bit. You can't tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor. BUT, my ex-husband could tell you the day of OUR first date. I can't. It was in May. I think I've tried to forget it. BUT, I know I could call him right now and he'd be able to tell me (because he mentioned it rather frequently way back when). It was significant to him since it was the day his (first) wife left him. Again, God and that sense of humor.

I'm moving off the track. Sort of. You see I don't know if December 27 had any meaning for Jack. If he actually CHOSE it. Or if he just lost it on that day and that was it.

 Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions. Running in circles; coming up tails. Heads on a science apart.

It seems like I spend so much time (too much time) thinking about all the things I've done and wish I could do differently. In this case, I'd take back an email I sent him after he called me. He was a mess. I knew that place because it looked very much like my life when he and I were dating (and quit dating) because I had to sell my house and move in with my parents. A mess. I didn't have the energy for a relationship because my life was so messed up. I didn't know that at the time, but I didn't.  I needed to get healthy. (Heck, I'm still working toward THAT goal.) So, when we talked and I thought "maybe we can work this out," my next thought was "that isn't healthy or realistic right now."

Nobody said it was easy. It's such a shame for us to part. Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard. Oh, take me back to the start.

So, I sent him an email telling him that I understood where he was and that he should just take care of himself. Give himself the time and focus to get better and then we'd see where we were. I wanted to take the pressure off. I never heard from him, so I don't know if he even got it. I'm going to assume he did. However, he didn't respond. I'd say that was unusual, but it wasn't.

In that email, I meant take care of yourself. But I wonder if he read kiss off. You see, I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling your puzzles apart. Questions of science. Science and progress cannot speak as loud as my heart.

And the thing is I'll never know. What I know is that he killed himself on December 27. A day I used to love. Now a day I hate.

Tell me you love me. Come back and haunt me. Oh, and I rush to the start. Running in circles. Chasing tails. Coming back as we are.


No one ever said it would be this hard. 


  1. This is what people mean when they say suicide is selfish. They don't have to clean up the mess they made. Just wash their hands of it. Whatever they are going through, they have the ability to ask for help- and either don't or do it in such a way that no one hears. And now here you sit, with a hole that comes back every year, not because of anything you did. I do believe that suicidals deserve compassion and concern. For me, though, I think that the concern would start with slamming them up against a wall and encourage them to get out of themselves and think.

    1. You're absolutely right. It is selfish. And someone who is in their right mind would know that. Unfortunately, when a person decides to kill himself, chances are he's not in his right mind. Jack was bipolar and I KNOW he was cycling hard through depression (a depression that the average depressed person cannot fathom). The thing that makes me crazy was the not knowing if I contributed to that depression. Sometimes you can want to say something but a person hears something completely different.

  2. Some people who commit suicide do so because they think they are a burden to others, or that everyone hates them, or they're in so much pain that all they can think of is a way to escape it. I think very few people commit suicide as a selfish act--at least not in their minds. I have often thought the world would be better off without me. I doubt if you contributed to Jack's depression. It was inside him. I think my ex-husband hoped I would kill myself so he'd be rid of me. You aren't that kind of person; i.e., a sociopath. You couldn't save him. I understand that date is terrible for you. I'm so sorry. My ex-husband never knew our anniversary, my birthday, our children's birthdays, how to spell my name . . .


    1. P.S. We were married almost 32 years.

    2. I think you're probably right in that he very likely saw himself as a burden to others. The world was extremely bleak and there was no hope in it. In other words, it was all stuff inside him and everyone else paled to that. And still... the fact that he chose that particular date drives me a little bit crazy. Because I worry that I unintentionally (strong emphasis on unintentionally) contributed to his feelings of hopelessness. Maybe that date snuck up on him, too, and made his life that much sadder and unmanageable. I just don't know.

      Your ex-husband sounds like a piece of work. Who hopes that their spouse kills himself/herself? Divorce is always an option, people. (Granted, it's painful even when you're 100% certain it's the only option... but still...) How to spell your name... hahahaha. I'm glad you have a sense of humor about that whole mess. 32 years is 32 too many with a person like that!

  3. Oh, Robin. My hope for you is that you take care of yourself 100% of the time. It's far to easy to get sucked into guilty feelings after the suicide loss of a loved one. I spent decades there. But at some point, I decided I didn't deserve any of that guilt, and I let that guilt soften into human regrets. We all have, and can manage, those. None of us has a cure for mental illness. But we can support each other in fighting it, writing and talking about it. It's all we have. You're a gem. Go easy on you.

    1. I feel like there are multiple conversations going on in my head all the time about this. One voice is spouting guilt. Another regret. And a third (the most logical, surely) is saying that Jack now understands all the things that eluded him in this life. So, even if my email did play a part in his extremely convoluted decision-making he NOW sees it as it was intended. I try really hard to listen to that voice most. The other two won't stop yapping though...

      You're a gem, too. Thanks you, my friend.

    2. I just read FarAway's comment, and I can't say it better. I came back, Robin, because I wanted to give you a bit more...No matter how strong your love for Jack was and could've been had you gone back to him, it would never have equaled the power of his mental illness. Had you gone back, you might have destroyed yourself (spiritually), while he broke. But you're too strong and caring for that. Sometimes the only way to love someone is let them go, because any other form of love doesn't work with a person dealing with those kinds of demons. You were an angel in his life, and you likely kept him alive longer than he'd planned. Anyway, I just want you to forgive yourself and live knowing how precious and worthy you are. Hugs.

    3. One of the things FAE said to me many months ago in an email was that maybe... just maybe... he didn't talk to me before doing what he did because he knew that was the outcome. He was going to break and didn't want to break me along with him. She said that it might not seem like it (because it hurts) but that his staying away all those years was quite possibly the most loving thing he could've done.

      I appreciate you coming back and offering up just a bit more. I like to think that I was One Good Thing in his life... even if it never worked out for us. Or, as you say, an angel.

      Thank you for your uninhibited kindness. I think I'm much closer to being okay with all of this. (Not saying it won't hurt, but it won't hurt in *this* way.)

      Thanks for that hug. Much appreciated:)

  4. Outstanding! Each version was good so either way the win would have been the right one.

    Sad about Jack's suicide. It's tough when someone does this during the holiday season that's supposed to be happy times. I think it happens a lot though.

    Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year!


    1. As much as I struggle with this, I'm sure his parents are struggling more. I pray for them.

  5. Great BATTLE. The close ones are a sign of a good thoughtful BATTLE being present4ed IMO.

    About Jack; we talked about this before. Of course someone who commits suicide is not in their right mind, but someone suffering from bi-polar disorder lives a very tortured existence. Unfortunately, I know more about this than I care to, and live in the nightmare of witnessing someone I love very much, suffer through this serious mental illness. Theirs is a reality that we cannot understand and you will make yourself crazy trying to figure this out. I'm sure you have no part in his death. He probably had no significance to the date other than it was the end for him. I'm sure my saying these things doesn't help in the least, but I'm also sure there are people who love and care about you that want you to be healthy and whole this Christmas, rather than depressed over something that you can do nothing about.

    Best advice I can give - say a prayer for Jack, and let him go. Get on with your life. If you feel so inclined, make some part of your life as happy as possible in a tribute to him and what he couldn't find here.

    1. I read this comment before I went to bed last night. I wanted to chew on it a little before replying.

      First, thank you. Your comment did help (as did your email a while back). Seems like there are many layers to this grief thing.

      You're right. I could drive myself crazy with the unanswered questions. So, last night as I lie in bed I thought of all the possible answers. And I realized that in no scenario was the choice one of malice. In no scenario did he choose the date with the intent to hurt me. And I have to believe that now that he's on The Other Side he has all the perspective. I'm sure no one regrets his choice more than he does. Yet, I also think we have more self compassion for ourselves if that makes any sense.

      I'm not sure I'll ever just let him go. I think it's easier to decide to make some part of my life a happy tribute to him. Do better for the both of us. That sort of thing.

      Thanks again.

    2. Wow! Damn! I read this before, GIRL WONDER. I read it shortly after you published it but I really didn't know what to say. It literally left me speechless. (How does something like that happen? Have you EVER seen me left speechless by... ANYTHING?!)

      I figured I'd come back here when I wasn't so tired, and maybe the right words would come to me then. But I didn't come back until just now. And not to say anything. (I'm looking for a quote I left on one of your blog bits.)

      But I just happened to read FAE's comment and... WOW! I was never gonna be able to say anything THAT perfectly right. She nailed it, and way better'n I could. In retrospect, I'm glad I just stepped aside, because FAE was the right person with the right idea this time.

      Love ya, Robin! Take care of yourself, because (Yes!) there are people out here who really do care about you (I'm only one of 'em).

      ~ D-FensDogG
      (Who also knows the lingering pain of suicide X's 2.)

    3. No, I've never known you to be speechless. However, I'm taking note of this moment, so if you ever say you have an answer to *everything* I can remind you of this here blog.

      FAE's comment was right on target. I really needed to read everything she said.

      Thanks for coming back and commenting (and saying such nice things). And I know you know the pain of suicide. Maybe you got something here for you, too...

  6. Losing someone anytime is never good. Losing them like this, it must just really leave a hollow space. :(

  7. I am so so sorry for your loss Robin. I can't imagine all the myriad of feelings you must have had and obviously still have. I hope you find your way to peace with it.

    1. I do believe I'm gaining on it, Karen. Sometimes it helps me to write it down here and let you guys fill up the gaps in my thinking.

  8. This must still be pretty rough on you. I can't imagine having to deal with the aftermath of a suicide.
    As for the same dates and such. My wedding day was Dec 5th. 13 years later a Sheriff walked into my place of business and handed me divorce papers on the 5th of December. Yep, funny how that works.

    1. Sometimes life feels extremely circular...

  9. Love the battle results, even though I'm a big Mathis fan. Great job, Robin.

    I stared watching the Coldplay video but had to stop it. Too choked up to let it run - my own life containing events that I no longer choose to torture myself with remembering. Maybe I can play the video another time.)

    That said, I feel for you, and hope you'll receive the peacefulness you need and deserve. Love takes time.

    1. Thanks Dixie. I hope you find peacefulness, too. We all could use large portions, no?

  10. Excellent battle!

    I'm so sorry that this time of year has so much heartbreak for you. I've often heard that others think people who commit suicide are selfish. I hate hearing that. I don't think it has anything to do with selfishness. I think when someone decides to take their own life it's because the pain they are feeling and experiencing is so intense that dying is the only relief they can fathom. That's not selfish: that's trying to rid themselves of the devastating pain. People shouldn't judge those who commit suicide. Yes, it seems selfish because of the devastation that is left behind for the loved ones. But I don't think it is an intentional act of selfishness. The wounded left behind is simply the fallout of a very horrible decision.
    I'm so sorry that you are revisiting this. It must be hard. You're in my thoughts...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thanks Michele. Writing this and reading all of the comments here has been cathartic. I feel like I have a much better handle on it.

  11. Oh sweet girl, how are you? I'm so late on seeing this post. I didn't open my laptop once in the last 2 weeks until now. I so wish I could give you a big hug and just drink some tea or coffee with you and laugh or cry or both. This year someone very very close to me attempted suicide and praise GOD didn't succeed. I felt hopeless and angry and yes that it was selfish for them to put our family through this. Now after much counseling and proper medications, I know that they weren't being selfish at all. They were in so much pain that they didn't want to go on. We were not even a thought. Its still hard to process though.
    I pray that Christmas was good to you and wishing you a Happy New Year!! Did you get my email? I replied with my personal email a few weeks ago to you.


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