Friday, 30 June 2006

On being watched.

Delusions. I must have them. Who am I kidding? We're not equals, Jacob and I. Not in the least.

He leads, I follow. Happily, I might add.

I started today like I start so many days. Figuratively standing behind him clutching his hand, eyes cast down, letting him be stronger because it's easier to be led. He makes it easy for me to let go and just be myself, that girl I'm finding I sort of like, though she's still a little difficult to coax out of her sullenness, she takes time to warm up.

Just don't push her too much. Oh, and she's still easily startled. Things you need to remember.

Which Ben did on Saturday, and he's no longer welcome here.

Shortly after I wrote in my journal Jacob and I made a late dinner. Quietly, resolutely we ate together. The suffocating disappointment of Friday's outcome still hanging over our heads made things tense, an unwelcome feeling for me now. Halfway through the meal I looked up only to discover Jacob was sitting there making silly faces at me. I laughed so hard. We made up. Okay, not exactly true. We made up in his dining room chair in various states of undress because going upstairs would have taken too long.

Here's where I point out when he was unzipping my dress he heard a creak. I told him it must be the cat. We continued on. That chair was fun.

Until we decided to return from heaven and we both saw Ben standing in the doorway watching us. Leaning in the doorway, because he had been standing there for a good ten minutes taking in the flesh-for-fantasy lottery. He struck Bridget gold. He saw everything. All of it.

Most people would have been embarrassed and left hastily. Ben? He stayed to watch the show. Which pretty much destroyed the already shaky ground he occupied in Jacob's good graces, because Jake hated the offhand comments Ben would make at any given opportunity. Or the lingering looks if my strap slid or the wind swirled my skirt. Jake always said that Cole and Ben were likeminded individuals.


So Ben was sent outside, and then kicked out of Bridget's army for good. Or at least for a long while. I'm summarily creeped out by his actions and now is not the time to ask me to swallow his temporary madness. I'm too fragile for that. I'm too fragile to even acknowledge that one of my friends thought it was terrific to watch me, I can't. I have a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach.

So Ben is out. For good. Jacob doesn't want him around. I don't want him around. I don't care what his excuses are or his reasons. They can't possibly be good enough to justify the extreme breeching of our privacy, dining room or not. The back door was locked. He had a key because he was returning my car that I had let him borrow, thinking he would return it on Sunday morning, not at 10:30 Saturday night.

So with that I go back to deferring to Jacob. No more creeps, no more surprises, no more judging character so poorly and ignoring cues, refusing to believe in motives I still can't believe people harbor. For real. For me. I can live with your weaknesses, just don't betray me so magnificently. Please.

He sees and hears things I won't and can't. And that is exactly what I need.

Thursday, 29 June 2006

Running man.

We're back.

I was dragged back, kicking and screaming in a figurative sense. No one wanted to come back. It was a remarkably quiet drive-those of you with 5 and 6 year olds in the house will find that unbelievable. There is something about painted wood floors, showers with no water pressure, woodstoves, checkers and napping in the sun in a wet swimsuit until you're too hungry to wait another minute, so you run and grab a cookie and go right back to your nap that makes me want to ditch reality altogether.

I would in a heartbeat but I traded the workaholic for the man with a calling. He had to come back. He now has three days to prepare for a wedding, a funeral and the regular summer services, plus he starts teaching a course next week that he's not ready for and uncannily nervous about. This weekend Jacob finally felt the weight of a family. Which he coveted for so long and now he sees the responsibility.

Because unlike his previous somewhat parallel universe, this one doesn't stretch easily to include the notion that when life hands you curveballs you can just pick up and leave for a bit. He will take on more than most people can handle at once, because in between..

He's a runner.

At least that's what I call it. When life gets difficult or claustrophobic Jacob hits the road as soon as he can. Once he was gone for seven months. He barely plans these trips and is ready to call the airline and book a flight somewhere or pack the truck or whatever and leave town on a moment's notice (like Monday). He says for him a change of scenery always brings fresh insight, a fresh attitude and a renewal of the spirit.

Translation for the rest of us: Jacob has his own avoidance tendencies.

Who doesn't? It's okay. It's not a flaw, it's a coping mechanism and it works as well as some people's shot of brandy, or someone else's nervous breakdown. Or someone throwing a plate..


Whatever works, Jake. Then you get past the hard part, come back renewed and life continues on. No one can argue another's way of dealing with the low moments.

It's okay.

We're back. He always comes back. I wondered out loud if the four of us being there defeated his purpose, if we cramped his escape.

A very brief trace of the wild emotional Jake flickered through his beautiful blue eyes, because he has at once embraced and rejected the realization that I know him as well as I do and I can capitalize on it at will at last. Like he always has with me.

I pushed the unspoken into the light and we officially entered a new phase in our relationship. Equals. No one is in charge, no one leads. It's a partnership. He can continue to protect, I can continue to nurture and confirm and yet we can keep each other in check. Something he wouldn't allow before. He took charge. He didn't think I was strong enough for that. Because sure, I can hold him, I can tell him everything he wants to hear, I can tell him I am his now and know that he will look after me. But there was no place for acknowledging his thoughts or even negative feelings before. This time Jake was the one who was surprised that the world didn't cave in.

He doesn't have to be strong all the time and the running stops here. He said it stops because nomads are solitary, and he is no longer a solitary traveller. He's not alone, and the revelation hit him all at once this weekend with an audible smack. He is overjoyed. He has a whole family now.

Jacob isn't alone anymore. And neither are we.

And that is incredible progress made in three days in the middle of nowhere and that, dear Bridget, is why people run. When the familiar roles are stripped away on a new and unfamiliar common ground, you find out where you really stand and you don't have to run anymore. You can rest.

I kind of like standing right here, it feels really really good.

Monday, 26 June 2006

Up with the sunrise.

This morning Jacob woke me up at 5:30.

5:30! Someone has a deathwish. Even the kids have outgrown that ungodly hour.

He put my weekend carpet bag on the bed and sat down and told me a joke:

Q. What does an owl need for his bath?
A. A t-owl

After about 10 minutes of thinking, rather dumbly because I'm sitting there just trying to get both of my eyes to stay open at the same time, I clued in and remembered the cottage.

Surprise! (I get one-upped every. single. time.)

We're starting Monday with a brief getaway, going back up to that cottage by the lake to do absolutely nothing but tell owl jokes (he told me owl jokes to break the ice so many times that weekend) and sleep and swim and sleep and eat grilled food. The kids are already so excited. There are grey owls up there, it's beautiful. Quiet & beautiful. Exactly what we need. No computers, no well-meaning friends, no lawyers, no appointments.

Our first actual mini-vacation as a family. I have chills.

We'll be back on Thursday and when I return I promise to share the stories of how I lost the decade-long hearing battle, how Ben just about succeeded in pounding in the last nail in the friendship coffin with Jake on Saturday night and all the other news.

Saturday, 24 June 2006

The mood of a rainy Saturday night.

I don't really feel much like sharing tonight. I'm feeling disappointed and frustrated. Get this. They don't believe I'm a good candidate for the cochlear implants because my hearing is 'slightly better than we'd like to see it.' and instead have recommended that I be outfitted with two hearing aids. It seems they have settled on 'moderately hard of hearing' because we all know how much Bridget likes to be labelled.


Hearing aids.

I said I would think about it. Because I wasn't about to pitch a hissy fit there but two hearing aids is just about the only thing I really don't want.

And Jacob's mad. Let him be mad then.

Friday, 23 June 2006


This morning I made toast and eggs and coffee and brought them upstairs on a tray. The kids were still asleep. We had breakfast in bed between us on a tray and it was really nice. Jacob smiled the whole time. He's not used to being pampered. That is changing as we speak.

He's too easy to please. I want to make his life easy. I want to spoil him rotten and treat him to life out of the ordinary and surprise him and make him feel special, because he is. He claims when I walk into the room and smile at him he feels special, spoiled and out of this world. I'm rolling my eyes out of my head with that, just so you know.

It's sick. Remember when I talked before about the sheer level of infatuation we shared for each other? It hasn't waned. It won't give an inch. I love it. And he's done so much and given up so much and just plain been here when needed and stayed when I was being impossible. No guy I know does that. I'm not worth that and yet he swears different. He is so worth it, without question.

And I may be stubborn as hell but I also know when I'm not even remotely logical, and just posturing for the hell of it. And so I'm giving in and it's big.

My eval for cochlear implants is at 3 pm. I didn't tell a lot of people in case I got cold feet.

Give me strength. I try not to talk about it much but I have a very sweet story about how he finally changed my mind. I'll have to tell it tomorrow, I have no more computer time today.


Thursday, 22 June 2006

Wide-awake and possibly screaming.

I was so rudely jolted awake this morning. When I opened my eyes I was sitting up and I was nose to nose with Jake, who had my face in his hands and he's yelling at me:

It's not real Bridge! It's not real!

Since, you know, if real life doesn't make you crazy enough, the nightmares will finish you off. The screaming. Oh, my God.

So far this week there has been yet another round of semi-catatonic rollercoasters. I'm going to burn down the whole amusement park.

The fuckers adjusted my medication. Less zombie, more Bridget. Thank God. I can't operate at 50% of myself and even Jake was showing serious wear with that. I need the sparklies. My sparklies were diluted by this shit and I hate it. I had been reduced to one word answers, no writing at all, mostly sleeping, trying to stay coherent and not using the stove, forks, a toothbrush or any other heavy machinery. Smiling was about as easy as lifting up the truck with one hand. Such a pretty picture I was. Thankfully I feel a little energy today. Not my usual headlong 150% into everything but soon.

I might even be able to drive soon. Not yet but soon. Once I master that fork.

Jacob's house sold! Thank God for small favors. He had multiple offers and made out like a bandit. He's really good with money too. Good in that way in which he's diligent and minimalistic and stockpiles money in the bank because he's sticking it to the man by being an anticonsumerist (translation: hippie with no furniture). Something I used to try to be. This could be the one difficult part of our relationship but since he's always around to discuss things with I hope we can do finances together, or he can continue on. Cole was so perpetually absent I looked after everything financial and he didn't care if I used retail therapy to fill needs. Jacob? well, Jacob doesn't have a whole lot of patience for things like $40 worth of cell phone charms from Japan or the Anthropologie dress addiction, which is partially his fault anyway, because I wanted to look pretty for him and he has a small unspoken thing about my dresses. He loves me in them. Wait, I think he likes them on the floor best now. Okay, nevermind.

And the best news of all, the sling is off for good. Finally. It was such a pain. I still have a long way to go but I don't have the imaginary grinding feeling anymore when I move my arms a certain way. This is huge for me. The visual reminders disappearing will do nothing but help spur the emotional ones to move on as well, I'm hoping.

The sparkles are congregating. I feel it.

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Drive-by poetry.

Because we have twisted friends who apparently write poetry on long trips, we were gifted this story via email this morning. Loch said when he returns home he'll draw the pictures to go with it. I'm sharing it with you now because...well...the fog continues and I pride myself on regular updates. I love it. It makes me laugh and cry too.

The Angel and the Mermaid

The angel sat on a cloud above
full of hopes and wishes and dreams
He said to himself
How I wish I could find
the most beautiful girl in the seas

And down below
where the boats don't row
swam a mermaid with flaxen hair
she gazed at the sky
at the clouds drifting by
and wished that an angel was there

And in that brief moment
when the sea was calm
and the clouds had parted the skies
he saw his true love
alone in the waves
with sea glass tears in her eyes

The pain of her sadness
he could no longer bear
he sat and watched her for hours
He said he could help her
rescue or save her
it was all within his powers

Then one fateful day
when they both sat to pray
God opted to grant both their wishes
but before the sun fades a choice must be made
do they join with the birds or the fishes?

Instead of deciding
while God was deriding
they bucked with tradition again
they couldn't have love
It just wouldn't work
so instead they each found a friend.

With one flying up high
and one swimming down low
they tried to continue their routes
It wasn't as smooth
or as fast or as nice
they had to go into cahoots.

For she secretly loved him,
that flaxen haired girl
And he openly cared for her so
His blue eyes would rest on her beautiful fins
and he knew it was soon time to go

For the mermaid belonged to a sea monster now
In the darkest of water he lay
waiting for the angel to fight to the death
the monster he wanted to slay

For the water was always bluer there
under this bright white cloud
a thought the angel always knew
but never said out loud.

At once he knew what he should do
lightning raged into the sea
He killed the serpent
but missed his girl
giving her time to flee

Down to the earth
where the people can't fly
the angel at last did rest
He opted to give up his wings for that girl
because he loved her the best

And the mermaid grew legs
and walked out of the sea
to meet her true love from the sky
Surprised and in doubt
she couldn't believe
he gave up his chances to fly

And they now live like humans
just like you and me
they are so peaceful as one
They play with the mer-kids
and even the mer-cat
having a whole lot of fun

And the moral of this story
is not that angels fall
it's that sometimes
the deepest love
is the truest one of all.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006


One of the things I miss about home, about the ocean, is the fog. I love the fog. I even love the movie The Fog. The original. I haven't caught the remake yet. But there's something peaceful and quiet and muted and isolated about the world when the fog rolls in. It's as if my vision suddenly ratchets down until it matches my hearing. Existing on a whole new plane of quiet immediacy. Right there in a thirty-foot radius.

No one understands that. Not even Jake and he's from Newfoundland.

That's how I feel right now. And I don't like these pills because I can barely keep my eyes open.

Monday, 19 June 2006

Help arrives in the form of Santa Claus.

Panic attacks that seemingly never ended bought me a round-trip ticket to the hospital, courtesy of my own personal army, who actually feared hanging off the gingerbread would be the next step in my day. I could no longer breath normally. I was really hoping they would give Jacob a prescription for a tranquilizer gun so he could walk around and just shoot me with a dart in the ass every time I freaked out and I could go to sleep for a little while.

That won't be happening. Because I have raging post traumatic stress going on. Unchecked by my own hand and the doctors who dropped the ball on the follow ups, because they got tired of chasing me around making sure I had help. The help that I fired twice against Jacob's better judgement and he was waiting for the bomb to go off and he had enough. Off we went. I am so happy they didn't decide to keep me.

I actually could have sworn they said that that the PTSD would only happen in the actual days following the attack, not weeks later. I was mistaken. I have a disorder now. Great. add to the growing list of flaws. And to think, people thought I was perfect. Oh, aside from not being able to hear anything and thumbing my nose at my own marriage, that is.

What the hell was I talking about again?

It's lovely to have actual proof from a doctor that I'm not crazy, insane or falling apart. I'm just an untreated case of serious PTSD out there rattling around completely ignoring Jake's pleas to let him help me. Because stupidly I was self-destructive. I was drinking, I wasn't taking anything, I isolated myself. The moment I let down my guard, the enemy came charging through the gates. Hell, why deal with something when you can pretend it isn't happening?

Which is a total metaphor for an angry husband, isn't it? That makes me laugh, the metaphor is for the depression/anxiety/fear and total hopelessness that I thought had become me.

Thank fuck. It isn't me. I am me, that is not me. Are you with me? The blame? It's in my head. None of it is my fault. Blissful unaccountability.

Now I just have to get past being on medication, because I'm on it again. and. I. hate. being. medicated. like. you. wouldn't. believe.

I have a new counsellor (!). One who looks like Santa Claus and specializes less in battered women and more in war veterans. Dear lord. He's a tough cookie. He told me not to pass off any bullshit answers and he would help me and I told him by the end of the week he would wish he had never met me and who was he kidding? (I was kidding, geez, I really have no shame). I made him laugh, and happily he has a big deep booming voice (I don't have to listen so hard) and he's a total hardass so I expect my sessions will be miserable but it's okay. He said if I wanted to (!) I could feel a whole lot better but I had to do a lot of work. But I want to feel better (!!) and he thinks we're off to a smashing start(again-!!!).


It's okay because dammit, I'm fixing it too! Fixing me. So I can be the way I have never been before. Or something. Bridget new and improved! Now with sanity!

I don't care what, as long as it isn't this. The meds haven't even kicked in yet. Just so you know.

And he didn't say "I told you so" even once. That's how amazing Jacob is. And now I'm going to show him how amazing I am, and suck it up and take the help and get to work and stop being so difficult.

Who, me?

Sunday, 18 June 2006

Laying blame.

Happiness is coming home late on a warm rainy night and deciding to duck into a sushi restaurant first, where the lights are low and the place is empty and the owners happily whip up plates of rice and vegetables and cooked fish for the kids and you can enjoy some sashimi and saki and the music and the candles and an attentive staff and two hours of non-stressed-out peace and quiet.

I suppose it would have been even better had Jacob been there and not working but you know what? I'm a big girl and I had a good time.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It wasn't till we were home and the kids were in bed that the loneliness crashed down all around me. Homesickness, fear, unsettled forced comfort. And yet I swallowed what has become a bitter pill for me and ignored the feelings because they aren't productive anymore and I know I have to deal with things.

And hey, am I twelve? Jacob has work to do, he can't be here every moment. I always wished he could.

I have to embrace the way this feels because things change.

I am alone.

Wow, talk about trust issues. I'm thinking if Jacob leaves I will feel this way all the time. A neverending rush of miserable fear. It paints a horrible picture but self-sufficiency is important right now and I have to know myself well-enough to recognize that in the event that he did leave I could survive just fine on my own. But I don't.

Because I wouldn't..well, there's no lineup. I sent them home.

Christ, I'm playing 'What If' by myself. All this from going to dinner alone with the kids?

I wouldn't ever try to find anyone else. Or would I? No, I wouldn't.

Because if there is one thing I know for sure, it's that no one can hold a candle to him. No one even comes close. He serves to magnify the weaknesses of other men I know. He makes them all look bad, somehow he exploits the flaws in their own fabrics. He makes every man he knows suck it up and try that much harder. So why can't I have faith in him? Of all people in my life he loves me the most. He has put up with the most. And he is still here. And I love him so much it hurts. Hurts. In a way that I can't deal with.

I see it. This isn't his problem. He gave it everything he had and I wasn't responding because I couldn't do anymore than I was doing. And he did give up. In the fall of 2002 we moved away from home and he gave up on me and I wasn't ever going to blame him for trying to get on with his life. He met a girl, they dated a few months and he proposed, she said yes and they got married.

Way too fast. And I couldn't talk to him on the phone. The long distance alone was a dead giveaway and Cole was like the cat that swallowed the canary. He took me away from Jacob and Jacob was left to live a life I was no longer a part of. Bless his heart, he did. Because he said once I was a part of his life it was never going to be the same ever again. He was never the same man, he said. That broke my heart into a million pieces.

But it was the same feeling. That cold feeling of abandonment, when you know that your last shred of warmth is gone forever. Oh how I cried.

By the time the feeling became a familiar one, Jacob broke my heart again, in the most wonderful exquisite way. His wife went back to school and he moved here. And we started over yet again. But this time I had a taste of that fear and I figured it was a matter of time before I felt it once again. Because once you feel it there's some sick habit of looking over your shoulder constantly. In case it comes back.

And here it comes.

Seriously. Why is he here? And why am I so fucked up? Instead of feeling safe and secure and content at last I have to root around in the dark corners of my heart and drag out the worst, most awful feelings, kicking and screaming from their places where they are content to lie in wait, ready to ambush me at the most vunerable times.

It's insane. Again, this is NOT WHO I AM.

And yet I am me. I am not taking anti-depressants, I'm not drinking (sake doesn't count, they serve it in an egg cup), I'm sort-of rested and I'm a raving lunatic. I'm scared. So goddamned scared. Of everything.

He tells me I have to trust him. 9 years doesn't lie and he hasn't abandoned me before. Does the marriage count?

Logically it shouldn't.

Logically he should be the one with trust issues.

Logically it stands to reason that I would do this again. I would run. I would waffle. I would continue down a self-destructive path and work my way through my male friends because I'm trying to fill some gaping hole that I don't even remember what used to fill it.

Maybe because nothing did until now. It is filled and I'm not used to this. And I didn't mean that. Because I would never do that.

I wouldn't because I never felt for anyone else what I feel for Jake. Not even Cole. Honestly not even Cole.

So why? Why now?

Maybe because I'm so used to Cole yanking the rug out from underneath my comfort zone. I'm looking for excuses to fuck things up again because it's so goddamned unfamiliar. Feeling good. How sad is that?

Someone once told me that the devil gave me a beautiful face and the charisma of a thousand women in exchange for being able to control my emotions. And yet I believe that beauty doesn't come from the outside, it comes from within. Making me the ugliest person alive. And the devil is having fun with me now. I don't want this. This brimming with such enthusiastic self-doubt. I hate this.

What I want I might never have. Because I can't get a grip anymore. I can dig in with both tiny hands and hold on as tight as I possibly can and it isn't working. I'm slipping. And Jacob has me by the hand and I know he won't let go on purpose but eventually his body will give out or win over his heart and I will fall. And there will be no one left to catch me. Maybe if I think hard enough and I become strong enough I can fly. And then I won't get hurt.

And no that isn't what I said, okay, it's exactly what I said but it isn't what I mean and so please don't go there so I DON'T GO THERE. No worries. I'm not hanging off the gingerbread today.

Because I cannot fly. And no matter how strong I get, I cannot fly. Bridget doesn't have wings, she has stones tied to her arms. Jacob has wings. He can fly. He can do anything.

He saved me from Cole. But can he save me from myself? And how is it fair to ask him to do something for me, when I can't even do it myself?

I can't save Bridget. She's up there on the stupid roof trying to fly. Because she's an idiot. Because she's just not as freewheeling and cute as she would have you believe. She's a mess.

A beautiful mess.

Guess who said that?

Yes. The one with the wings. The one with no wings? Well, she believes every word of it.

I have to fix this. Me.

Saturday, 17 June 2006


Please note, this is a cringe-worthy post just for me. I promised myself I wouldn't gloss and I don't plan to so if you are easily shocked, read elsewhere today. I'm sorry. And to think this is heavily edited. I left everything out because it was that bad.

The beautiful roses were to mark two months since Jacob asked me to be with him. A picture that will never leave my head. I even remember what he was wearing. He had on his old worn threadbare jeans, a white thermal long-sleeved tshirt with a blue Habitat for Humanity tshirt over it, and his converse hightops. He was covered with sawdust and his hands were filthy. He had woodchips in his hair and hadn't shaved in four days. His pockets were full of nails. They were starting the addition that day, he was framing walls. It was like he just made up his mind, put down his hammer and walked over, and that's exactly what he did.

And two months is an incredibly short period of time and yet so much has happened. And so much is still to happen. I have come so far but I still have a very long road ahead, longer than I thought.

I'm seriously fucked up.

And since I have no shame, I'm going to write about it. But I am ashamed, embarassed and in awe of exactly how fucked up I am. It's positively amazing to me, and you have been warned.

Sexually fucked-up.


Why am I writing about this? To get through it, because it's what I do. Because I'm tired of it.

Cole wasn't so nice in the sex department. Depraved would be a word I would use. I didn't know any different until now, I was fifteen when we got together. I wasn't a virgin, I had slept with two guys before him, I was such a wannabe bad-girl, being bad to catch his eye, and I succeeded. Be careful what you wish for, chickens. He was rough, violent. He was almost 20. He liked it that way. Eventually I liked it that way. I don't even know how to begin to explain that. I really don't. Can't miss what you never had, I guess.

I was going to be his equal. I was going to tame this darkly dangerous guy. Hilarious. And it escalated.

He had fantasies he told me about when we were having sex. He had always been obsessed with wanting to share me, and later with the idea of an open marriage, which is where Jacob came in perfectly, in Cole's mind. He could control my access to Jacob. An open marriage is a great idea, right? It meant he wasn't a jealous husband (sarcasm goes here). Maybe that's why I have so many male friends, maybe? I know, not fair at all, that's anger.

Eventually in bed he even would describe me having sex with Jacob while Cole watched, even though Cole would be the one having sex with me. His fantasies, told to me through whispers in the dark. Those were the times I think I liked it. I could picture that, I got into it thinking about Jake and I got off. Then Cole would get mad, he would get rough, he'd choke me, hurt me, leave me crying out in pain. The more I cried out the more turned on he would get. So yeah, do the math on that. If I enjoyed myself I paid for it. As long as he was in control it was okay, though. And I didn't like that. I would beg for him to stop and he wouldn't. I learned to take what I was given and give it back just as well. Hurt or be hurt. Hurt and be hurt anyways. Obey him and stay alive.

Funny the things you get used to. Not funny, but you get the idea.

So try undoing that. Just try. The first time I slept with Jake it was amazing. Surprising and suprisingly difficult. He couldn't understand what the hell I wanted, I couldn't articulate what I wanted because I had no idea. I was waiting for him to be rough, to throw me around, to make me cry out from pain. I'm sure that night he thought I was so fucked up maybe he had made a terrible mistake. It was bittersweet to finally be with him and suddenly find out how fucked up I really was, all at once.

And Jacob didn't give in and get rough. Instead he made me feel good, he made me cry out with happiness. He makes all that ugliness disappear. He's showing me how sex could be good and thorough too, crazy and beyond wonderful without being so twisted and harsh. That is bittersweet. He wants to fix this.

Twisted and harsh is fine if that's what you like but a steady diet of it against your will isn't healthy.

So I'm freaky. I feel like I need all that to get off now and I don't. Every night I wage a battle of wills with myself not to tense up and not to try to hurt Jacob and not to push him past his own limits of decency because I'm used to it being sick. I'm used to being submissive to Cole's whims and Jacob hates this. I have used that word before here and now you know why. It's a way of life. It's brainwashing.

Jake has so much patience. He said we should wait, I don't want to wait. He asks for me only to trust him. To just respond to what he does and not worry about anything else for now, and just do what feels good. Or not.

We can stop anytime you want to, Bridge.
Harder than it sounds. One night I asked him to choke me for release and he freaked right out and everything ground to a halt. I was humiliated. He was half sick with rage at Cole. I didn't want him to even look at me.


What a stupid word for a stupid girl.

I've got so much to undo and I'm going to undo it even if it embarasses the shit out me.

Cole used to pride himself on boasting about me being June Cleaver in the living room and a freaky porn star in the bedroom. I know he's told the guys things about me, things I could do to him, I know Jake wasn't spared tales of Bridget in the bedroom. And even then I was somehow okay with that. Cole must love me, he was proud of me, he was boasting, showing me off. He was envied. I was flattered at the thought that my male friends had fantasies about me because of Cole's words.

How sick. Because they really had no idea. They do now because I told them. Quietly I'm putting it out there so I can deal with all of it and get past it and put it on Cole and let myself off the hook because I didn't want a life like that. I'm not that girl. I never was. I played a role for my own safety and I stayed glued in one place while I came unglued on the inside. I have to let that go now. Bless them, they've been very grown up about it, even though I have no promises that it changes the picture of me that they have in their heads.

And it is getting better. Every night I re-learn what feels good and what I want on my own terms, at my own speed. Every night I'm almost surprised to remember that I'm not going to get hurt anymore. Sort of like an x-rated version of the psychological and physical restoration I'm going through. Learning to trust that I can be myself all the time and I don't have to give up anything to anyone ever. Unless I want to.

Friday, 16 June 2006

Hopeful romantics.

On an unspoken challenge, Jacob has made it his life's mission to leave me speechless, or so I'm beginning to suspect.

He's doing a damn fine job.

This afternoon he walked into the house out of the blue with a huge bouquet of roses, told me he loved me, and grabbed me in possibly the most earth-shattering kiss he has ever bestowed on me (and he's good at them). He then told me to have a good afternoon and he'd be home for supper. And with that he went back to work.

Leaving me standing in the kitchen with all these roses and the goofiest smile on my face. Ever.

TGIF, everyone.

Thursday, 15 June 2006

Fidget and the rumpled reverend.

You know, I wasn't kidding when I said that about having caffeine and vibrating around the house. I do. I shake. I have serious jitterbugs from too much caffeine and I usually try to keep it under 6 giant mugfuls a day or I have personal earthquakes all day long.

A neighbor blissfully lent me her new Tassimo for the coming weekend, since they are going away. She left a lovely assortment of discs with it, since she knew I was considering getting a podmaker.

Oh. my. God.

This is too easy.

I've possibly had fourteen cups of espresso and I've only been up since 6. And we went shopping this morning because this. man. has. no. clothes.

Men need clothes. That old blazer. My favorite. It's so worn it's like velvet and it was corduroy when he bought it. His jeans? Possibly the same ones he's worn since college. Shoes? Oh geez, don't even go there. Chuck Taylors and one pair of brown oxfords that are almost worn through the soles. I dropped those off to have the soles replaced. 2 broken belts to be rebuckled. And then I dragged the Emperor with no clothes to the Gap.

Where he promptly morphed into a metrosexual when he saw all the linen.

He wanted to get linen shirts, a linen blazer and a few pairs of carpenter's jeans.

I pointed out the rumpledness, which would kind of give him a Duran Duran music video vibe. Because a girl never forgets her first crush on a musician. Simon Le Bon. First blonde man to catch my eye, but thankfully not the last. Sigh.

He was fine with the rumpled look. He loved the jeans. Loved them.

Look, Bridge, a loop for the hammer when I'm doing the roof. And feel how cool this is. This will be great. Wow. I didn't even know about all this stuff.
He left that store with 4 new outfits, none of which included the gorgeous celery green long sleeved shirt that made his hair look almost white and his eyes like the water in a tropical beach poster but I tried. Oh how I tried. I'll be going back to get that shirt for him.

And me? I rattled around the store like I was on crack. Because I was loose in the Mall (I love the Mall) and I was full of pod coffee. I couldn't have slowed down long enough to buy anything if I had wanted to.

    Pretty looking road I try to hold the rising floods that fill my skin
    Dont ask me why Ill keep my promise Ill melt the ice
    And you wanted to dance, so I asked you to dance
    But fear is in your soul,
    Some people call it a one night stand, but we can call it paradise

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Ben calls Jacob out.

This post will humanize Jacob, for those of you riding on the high along with me. It's long, get coffee.

Ben was quietly and briefly banned from the house yesterday. Not verbally, and not absolutely because Jacob doesn't have final say, and neither do I but we're all taking some steps back and calling it a breather. Jacob had been looking for an excuse to give Ben his notice, but it really isn't fair because Ben has been here, he's been amazing and helpful and generous with most of his free time and Jacob forgot all that rather quickly in his attempt to quietly fight his demons on the inside. Because he does that.

Some of my own denial clarified for me last night. I was going through the stack of papers on top of the fridge because these are things that have been sitting up there for weeks. Several pamphlets on Battered Woman Syndrome were in the pile and I finally clued in. Oh my god I am. Unequivocally. I kept pushing it off, denying it, ignoring the talk because Cole didn't hit me during our marriage.

He didn't have to. He belittled me, picked on me. Told me things that you don't say to the one you love. He was so full of contempt for me. He conducted his own evil little brand of psychological abuse and I didn't even know it. I was sure he said mean things when he felt threatened. I'm sure he did feel threatened. And my excuses are one of the biggest indicators of that abuse now. Blaming myself. Though I will continue to do that because of my own actions, I can step outside of myself and see it for what it was.

A strange breakthrough to have in the middle of the kitchen at dinnertime when there's a bunch of friends standing around watching the cat try to catch a ladybug. A remarkably possessive group, seven big brothers who will happily kick each other's asses to kingdom come before they let anyone hurt me like Cole did ever again. God I love them all.

Ben nods and says something about control freaks coming in all shapes and sizes and Cole probably isn't the only one. He looked at Jake pointedly.

The other guys took this opportunity to make hasty exits because most of them refuse to argue with Jake. Once they were gone Jacob looked at Ben and spoke rather mildly,

Have something you need to say, Ben?

I think I said it.

Want to explain it?

I think it's self-explanatory, so nope.

Oh, for cryin' out loud. I had to step between them.

Ben, do you really think Jake is controlling?

Bridge, I don't think I want to say any more. I just want you to be happy and in control of your own life. At your own pace. Making your own decisions.

I am, Ben.

But are you? Because I haven't seen that yet.

He looks at Jake again.

Sorry you feel that way.

Jake, in all honesty you're just like Cole.

Ben, what are you talking about?

Well, he IS, Bridge! They fought over you like you and plotted shares as if you were a possession. Last time I looked you weren't a thing, you were a person and they both act like you're a goddamned trophy! It makes me SICK!

Time to go, Ben.

Yeah, I think I've seen enough. Bye princess.

With that he walked outside, and I followed.

Ben, talk to me.

No, Bridge, I think your owner, oh sorry, your BOYFRIEND wants to have dinner with his prize alone.

Ben, fuck off. This isn't like you.

Yeah, well maybe I should have said something a few years ago. Jake is just as controlling, Bridge, maybe he's just better at it. Be careful. The charismatic preacher boy has you wrapped.

You mean I have him wrapped.

Whatever gets you through the night, baby.

Ben, I'm in control of my life and I don't like you saying these things about him. Christ, he's your friend.

So is Cole, and I've told him much the same thing. You don't see it. You can't see it from where you are.

Where am I?

I don't know anymore.

Not fair, Ben. So not fair.

I'm gonna go.

Yeah, maybe you should.

Don't cry Bridge. I'm sorry. This wasn't a conversation you should been involved in.

Maybe it's better I was.

Just...just stand on your own two feet and don't let him rush you okay? He's on a slippery slope, Bridge. And you're so much stronger than you think you are.

Ben, just go, okay?

Okay. Sorry, Bridge.

I went back in and Jacob was sitting there looking at me. Of course he heard everything, there are two windows that look over the deck and both are open.


Yeah, Jake?

Do you think I'm trying to control you?



No, but am I the one who would know? How much of my feelings are accurate? I know what I feel and then everyone tells me it's due to this trauma or that event, abuse, whatever. I don't even know anymore. Maybe Ben can be more objective.

I would never ever try to control you. There's no slippery slope here.

You can't. Even if you tried.

Then what are you thinking? You can tell me anything.

Are you trying? Am I the prize?

Honestly, in a way, maybe you are. Your love is the ultimate reward. It's the only thing I have ever wanted with my entire soul. Does that make me evil?

Not to me.

I'm happy to hear that, but if it's still wrong to others then I'm not any better than Cole in the end.

You're not Cole. And maybe they don't see some things, and that's why they feel this way.

Or maybe you don't. I'm pissed at Ben for putting this into your head.

He's trying to make sure my eyes are open, Jake.

He's trying to cause more heartache Bridge. Maybe he wants you for himself.

Now that sounds like the words of a control freak.

He just stopped and stared at me, with that look.

Jake. Let's fix it now and deal with it.


We have to.

We don't have to do anything. I'm going to go to the church for a bit.

To work? Now?

No, Bridge. To pray. Because I'm so fucked up right now I can't make any sense of myself and that isn't a place I want to be. I love you. I'll be back soon.

And he kissed me and left. He came back looking drained and pale and miserable. Angry in his quiet way. He took the phone into the bedroom and he called Ben and they talked for an hour. I could hear him yelling at Ben that just because he wanted to be with me so badly doesn't make me his. And that it isn't his place to put me in a cage but yet it's so hard not to want to tuck me away in some safe place where no one can ever hurt me again because it's instinctual and he fights with those feelings. And he said he didn't have the courage right now to let go even just a little bit because I might get hurt again. And doesn't Ben think that he knows that it isn't right?

I sat outside the door and cried because I knew he was crying, in that desperate, quiet way men do, when you're not really sure if they are, but they are. Something I've seen him do only 3 times in the entire time I have known him. He's a big strong man, he doesn't cry.

When he came out he said that Ben was going to back off for a bit, and that so was he. He said he was ready to talk now, if I would have him. Now look who is having trouble setting the one they love free to come back. Look at that.

I just don't want an undercurrent of negativity every time we have to make a decision from here on out, Jake. That's why I think we should deal with it.

Right so will you tell me when I'm doing it?

I will if you promise not to let me walk all over you because you're suddenly afraid to assert yourself because of what people might think.

I've never cared what anyone thinks, besides me and you, Bridge.

Then I'll tell you. And you keep being strong. And is Ben okay?

He's fine. We got it out. He's just giving us a little space. A day or two. Call him, okay?

Yeah, I will.

I didn't call Ben back last night, instead I left the space and I called him this morning. He was in a much better frame of mind. He said the only thing he knows for sure after knowing us all for so long is that he's not going to sit idly by ever again and not speak up. So he did it. He did it and he said he did it because he knew Jake was struggling with it and it got it out there in the open and now we can move forward, instead of getting bogged down with our long-ingrained methods of keeping things in, shoving bad thoughts or unreasonable feelings into dark corners where they linger, festering like wounds that never really heal. Those wounds will kill you in the end. Trust me. Because that was an issue. And we weren't dealing with it.

But dammit if I don't feel better now. And so does Jake.

Thanks Ben.

    Can I break away
    push me away, make me fall,
    just to see another side of me,
    push me away you can see,
    what I see, the other side of me

Bridget is one crafty wingnut.

Here's some glorious fluff, because let's face it. The previous post was not so much lighthearted wingy reading material for such a beautiful day as this.

So instead, behold the Spring Embroidery Project 2006, alternately titled: The Gap didn't have my size when I went to get one of their cute embroidered jean jackets so fuck them, I'll buy a plain one and do it myself.

I have a half-finished butterfly on left shoulder, and on the back, I'm going for an east-meets-west design or something, because cherry blossoms and prairie wildflowers in the same area? Highly unlikely. Did you know I put a bunny in the wildflowers?

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Two for Tuesday.

Point form goodness for your reading pleasure, I'm too tired to string it together.

-comments are not off, I hid them somehow and managed to restore them after 45 minutes of fighting with the overheating laptop. I'm so not computer-literate. Hell, I'm barely literate.

-Got a surprise phonecall from Jacob's wife today. (don't panic, divorce is final in a couple of weeks). She wished us well. She wished us luck with having a baby. She's seeing a nice guy, he's a lawyer who also doesn't want any kids (!). I won't even touch upon why they married each other in the first place. Oh yes, she was 33 then and didn't want to be alone and he was looking to forget. We couldn't be more different though but it's civilized. I know, I said that before and look what happened.

And no, I'm not pregnant. Holy lord you people.

-I can't open the front door. Funny. We used the original turnlock and knob on the inside for historical accuracy and a new deadbolt and keyed knob on the outside and when Jacob changed the locks it was very difficult to turn afterward. He's going to reinstall it tonight but until he does I can't get the mail and there's a catalogue that looks intriguing, and no porch swing either. Boooo!

-The wine, yes. I know. The wine is gone, none since Saturday. I know it's only Tuesday but we were having a glass every night with dinner. No more. I need a break from it before it becomes a permanent way to escape from my mind. Jacob's happy to drink coffee 24 hours a day. He actually does this. Sometimes tea but mostly coffee.

-Speaking of coffee, if you have a pod coffee machine tell me. I'm looking at them with interest. Because it would be so easy to drink coffee 24 hours a day. And paint the house at midnight or vibrate around the living room long after I should be asleep. On second thought, never mind.

-Teaching a 6 yr old to ride a bike without training wheels is just about harder than toilet training was. I'm so not kidding. But since the reading isn't going any better we'll just bat zero and roll on to summer.

-I'm rambling aren't I? Okay enough.


    Let's slow the evening down
    Slow it down slow down
    Please slow down down down
    The stars are coming out

Last night found me on the porch swing, listening to the thunder roll in from the northwest, watching the rain pound straight down on the sidewalk and thinking if things didn't level out soon I might implode.

Jake came out with two mugs of tea and asked me what I was doing.

Craving mediocrity.

He gifted me with his larger than life laughter, which is a rare and wonderful treat. I used to get this vibe from him that underneath his laid-back mellow self lurked a really high-strung insecure fellow. That insecurity, and him being wound tight as a drum under the cool exterior is gone. He strung himself tight to get through encounters with me. He rarely laughed like this. It was hard on him. His life is easier now, so he says. That makes me laugh. As I look at the remnants of my injuries and a calender full of court dates and appointments I find it somehow priceless.

He should ask for his money back, I wasn't the picture that was painted after all.

He agrees that mediocrity would be wonderful. He suggested a trip to the library, peanut butter and jelly for lunch and old movies tonight on TV. I pointed out that that isn't mediocrity, that is heaven.

And the picture, Bridget? The picture I was shown is exactly what I received.

Monday, 12 June 2006

The wish jar reappears.

It went missing just before Mother's Day and no one would claim responsibility. Until now.

Don't pinch me. Again, I will hurt you if you even pretend.

Today is our Sunday. A lazy fun day, a few chores and mostly a pretend weekend, because weekends are so busy in the life of a minister's family. That's right. It's sounding way more comfortable. Ownership of this life of mine.

So Jacob went out to get bagels. A ritual, they have to be fresh, he is addicted to this Monday routine. And he was gone for an hour and a bit. That happens a lot-he talks his way through the neighborhood. We had some juice and started schoolwork.

He comes back with bagels, croissants, coffee, hot chocolate and a large envelope full of
paperwork. And an anticipatory smile. It threw me off.

Open it.

Oh, do you have to work today?

Just open it, Bridge.

What a strange smile. Brochures fall out. And itineraries. Receipts.

Happy belated birthday.

What is this?

This is your summer vacation.

I spied the destination before he said it. Essaouira. For four people. Two adults, two children. In August.

Oh my God. There's a mini-trip to Casablanca in there.

He doesn't forget a thing. It's unbelievable. He knew I wanted to go there years ago when he went off to Tibet and Bangkok for a trip and I almost cried. Then again he went to Peru (for the second time). Then Chile. Then Spain. He's been everywhere. I have been almost nowhere.

He's not finished.

Keep looking.

What's with all the Tortola stuff?

Christmas. If you want.

Not very many people can render me speechless. He handed me back the now empty wish jar.

I have no use for it now.

Sunday, 11 June 2006

Rated R for some sexual content.

Did you know if you eat peanut butter pie you get thirsty? And add to that good conversation which leaves you unwilling to get up from the table in which the only beverage making the rounds is several bottles of the nicest dry white wine I have had in a while and you get...

..well, you get Bridget the Sex Machine.

Oh, no I didn't really embarrass myself at all. Quite the opposite actually. I was fine, I was sitting down, having a great conversation about the Japanese experiment in which a man was locked in a room for a year and he had to enter contests and live off the winnings and the psychological ramifications of that endeavour. It got later and later, the conversation jumped around to world cup news, tropical destinations and a big debate on whether or not knitting needles and crochet hooks are indeed allowed on flights originating in Canada or not. Finally our friends bade their farewells and Jacob saw them out and I started gathering up glasses. Only I was slightly clumsy.
And then it hit all at once. Down she goes.

Jacob comes back in and I'm sitting on his chair all bright eyes and spinning a million miles an hour.

Uh-oh. Bridge, I knew when I saw that last glass that you tipped your favor.

Right. I'll be fine. Give me a minute.

No come on. The dishes can wait until tomorrow.

He picked me up and carried me to bed. Very romantically, I might add. No effort at all. He is all muscle. I am just over a hundred pounds (yeesh, I need to gain a little bit) of slithery slippery rubbery sex kitten by now.

Because when I'm drunk two things always happen. Which is why I usually police myself so strictly as a rule. (Because Jacob used to be a guest at these dinner parties. Are you following me?)

1) I get very excited. Affectionate would be an understatement. I'm not ashamed. Okay horny would be the appropriate word for what I get, but it sounds
2) I crank it right into high gear. Top volume, off the charts. Again, I really have no shame.

He stood me on the bed. Now we're at eye level. That never happens. I look into his eyes and put my arms around him. He's grinning. I kiss him so hard he steps back to keep his balance.

Of course once he's stabilized he can give it as good as I can. I get a lovely long drawn out kiss that left me breathless. He's very good. He's also getting really excited and trying to play it cool. Which he never did very well.

Oh no, no, Bridget. You need some water and some sleep.

Nohwaaaaay! I need YOU. Cos I have talens you haven'seen, baby.

No, sleep.

I will change your minds.

Haha, you're toast, girl.

He forgets how good I am.

My eyes get all teary. I bit my lip. (Hi, no shame. At all.)

Jakey. I need you.

I love you baby. I think you should sleep, much as I'd like to play right now.

The begging part I whispered. And I won't tell you what I said. But it works. It works very well.

Jacob couldn't win a bet with me if he tried. And strenuous sex is a very good way to sober up so I felt great this morning. Well, a little ahem, sore, but very very happy. Sated for hopefully 12 hours or so. I'm becoming Diane Lane in my old age. This sexual peaking for women over 3o thing is a never-ending gift. Just you wait.

Now I get to go to church and hope he doesn't look at me and lose his train of thought with visions of last night.

But you know what? All is well. And life is good again. And no one is allowed to pinch me. Ever.

Saturday, 10 June 2006

10 simple pleasures.

An open tag from Cody, via Beth.

10 simple pleasures:

1. Feeling the flush from wine.

2. Stars. Millions of them.

3. A kiss. Not a crazy Brokeback Mountain kiss, but a soft, breathing-the-same-breath very long kiss.

4. Enjoying a new CD.

5. A really good belly laugh (which comes after everyone trying to imitate Henry's evil laughter).

6. Jumping during a really good horror movie.

7. Fireworks.

8. Catching someone smiling at you when they didn't expect you to look.

9. the smell of something baking in the oven.

10. Waking up in the morning to find new flowers have bloomed.

Consider yourself tagged, because this is a happy idea. Thanks Cody!

Peanut butter kisses

After the movie I was watching a little of the MTV movie award reruns and happened to catch the best kiss category. Jacob walked past the living room and scoffed that we could outshine every single entry without any effort. I was nodding when they showed the kiss from Brokeback Mountain. We both sort of dropped our mouths at the same time and said maybe we did have some competition.

Because wow. That kiss outshines even the one at the barn a million years ago. Because, well, I'm not a big rough cowboy. Jacob could be. Yum. That's a vision. Even though he looks silly in a cowboy hat. I'm not even into the whole cowboy thing, never was. I like the long-haired deep hippie artisty types. Oh yes. Oh. yes. yes. yes!

Now I have to go. Lots to do, having a small dinner party tonight. Casual. Chicken, potato salad, raw veggies, and I made a peanut butter pie for dessert. Maybe the rest of the kirsch if I can pawn it off on my friends. Probably not, so maybe a nice pinot grigio instead.

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, 9 June 2006

Bonus round.

I cooled off. We spent the morning doing our chores and work and then in the afternoon Jacob came home and we took the kids to see Cars, the new Pixar film. It was great to spend a few hours zoned out in a dark theatre. It's one of my favorite places in the whole world. Pixar never fails to impress me or my kids. Bravo.

I had a fresh outlook when we came out. The kids were on sensory overload. We stopped and picked up a few groceries and dropped Jake at the church and came home to make strawberries and waffles. I got the kids bathed and in bed after a zillion stories and I'm about to go hang out and watch Skeleton Key while I wait for Jake to get home.

More good news came this afternoon-Cole has agreed to let Jake buy him out of this house. So the house will be in mine and Jake's names as soon as his house sells and closes. One problem solved for the time being. Having moved in only 8 months ago I'm not anxious to move again. There aren't so many memories as to ruin it for either one of us, believe it or not, and the thought of uprooting the kids yet again so soon kills me. Jacob and his church are a good fit, the kids have a good school and I'm the freewheeling writer. As long as I have a laptop I will travel. So yuck, I don't get to self-destruct and run back to the East Coast forever, but I finally have a reason to keep living in this city that makes it bearable.

The word of the day, or Beating this to death.

Wow, it's so nice to have a few quiet days without extra people around. Not that I don't love and appreciate my team of bodyguard boys and all but a girl needs a break now and then from the stifling testosterone fumes and we're safe for now.

I hung out my lacy unmentionables on the clothesline and sang silly songs with the kids. I plucked my eyebrows (try doing that with Ben going through your makeup bag and threatening to eat your cherry lipgloss if you don't feed him lunch soon.). We walked to the store and bought chips and were able to eat them instead of watching them disappear into PJ.

We watched Bear in the Big Blue House without a single singalong in off color language.

We played outside without looking over the fence to scan the sidewalks four hundred times in half an hour. Jacob came home early with the pizza and the surprising awful Kirsch, which is a sickly sweet brandy but we made a toast and planned the next Hemingway adventure.

So what's with the word of the day, you ask?


That word was in my email, because some of my readers have reduced their contact to namecalling.

The simple solution would be not to come visit my journal if you don't approve. Simple. Easy. Bye.

And I don't think so.

I can say that I am, but you can't. Hypocritical to the maximum and yes I put everything all out there so I should expect judgement. But your judgement is ignorance in the extreme, because you haven't lived my life.

Had you walked miles in my shoes then you can stand back and speak from your place of all-knowing.

Jake says to ignore it all.

I can't.

Maybe not a good day to read emails. Here's the difference. It's luck. I'm lucky. How could I be lucky? Being smashed into walls by someone you once loved with every filament of your soul hurt like hell. Being passed off to a friend like you were no longer useful stung. It was exactly what I wanted but the undercurrent still stung. Cole didn't start fighting for me until I was long gone. He never gave a shit. Halfway through the euphoria of this whole thing I realized I didn't mean so much to him. Or maybe I did. I have no idea. But is it luck? I'm lucky I ended this standing upright with my heart intact. So yeah.

I'm not spoiled by life. Life has dealt me illness, near-death, life and death, cheating death, and more death. Life has brought me total abandonment and isolation of the worst kind. And then brief respites with the euphoria in between.

You really sit there and think I write about everything?

I don't. Unapologetically I write about what I want to write about and if that forms a skewed picture that doesn't quite mesh for you then I can do no better. Take each entry for what it is, string them together to sort of see the history of Bridget and never forget that it is mostly undocumented history. Some things I will never ever write about because I would rather forget. Wouldn't we all? Everyone has those times. I am not special. I could horrify you with my words but that only dredges up pain for me so what's the point? This is voyeuristic enough.

I have spent my life being judged for what people see on the surface. Long blonde hair and a pretty face will get you almost everything your heart desires. To a point. Being demure and sexkittenish gets you a little further. A lot of times that will bring you the wrong kind of attention. And Ben's right. It's a put-on. A long cultivated put-on that took over my personality sometime shortly after I grew boobs and discovered the power I had over men. A power that was in place long before I ever met Jake or realized that Cole was looking at me, and not the same way he used to when he was 12 and I was 9. This was a new look. And suddenly I couldn't turn it off anymore.

The rest is chance, fate and kismet and you have less control then you might think.

So yes. I make mistakes. A lot of them. I alternate between having an ego that shines so bright people might go blind and being so low I'm under the floor and no one can find me. And Jacob makes mistakes. He is human, though I know I have elevated him to angel status too many times to allow anyone to consider him to be just a man anymore. He had two goals in his life and he has achieved them both. One was to be closer to God and the second was to be closer to me. The means to this end he will struggle with forever. And he does.

And he will never be just a man to me and I will never apologize for that to him or to you.

Or maybe I'm just tired and sensitive this morning. And sad listening to the singing preacher boy this morning singing the bitter songs, like Best of You. I wish he'd stick to happy stuff some days.

    Has someone taken your faith?
    Its real, the pain you feel
    The life, the love
    You'd die to heal
    The hope that starts
    The broken hearts
    Your trust, you must

And now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go saw the chip off my shoulder. Perhaps the Friday afternoon rhapsody will bring about a happier second entry to end a very long week with. Cross your fingers. And think about how much better you would have handled your life if you were in my place. Good luck with that.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

A promise.

I forgot to write an entry today. I'm sorry.

This is what happens when you wake up with a present on your pillow.

An actual gift, not a present like the dead spider presents the kitty leaves for me in the kitchen like little spindley dead trophies.

This present was wrapped in green paper and tied with a pink satin ribbon.

Jake got up and went to work early this morning. I didn't get up until 7:30. I usually am up by 6:30 to work out and jump in the shower before anyone else is up. He left early so he can come home early. He doesn't have Thursday night sessions anymore for the summer and we were planning to toast the Hemingways with Kirsch and pizza, since we finished A Moveable Feast last night.

I called him before I opened the box. He told me to go ahead and open it. Inside a blue velvet box was a beautiful white gold band with Gra Anois Agus Go Deo engraved inside. He asked me to translate.

Gaelic? Gra is love....something something, I'm so rusty...Deo is God?

Close. It says Love, Now and Forever. I wanted to give it to you a week ago but the jeweller misspelled it.

I wouldn't have cared.

You would have. He had Dea instead of Deo. Which I think means Nice. So it would have said Love, Now and for Nice or something like that. Do you like it?

I love it. But, it a wedding band?

No, Bridge, it's a promise.

A jewelry-induced lobotomy of that calibre is a good way to throw off the entire day. It's a good way to throw off an entire Bridget too.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Because all I do is talk

There were some strange offers in my inbox this morning, but no, I'm not going to plot to kill Cole. I think he's digging his own hole just fine. Instead it looks like we'll be playing Survivor and everyone gets to see who can outwit, outplay and outlast each other. I guess I should make a flag. Yes, I can joke. Life is a circus, jokes keep me from falling apart. Resiliency is key here.

And I am nothing if not resilient.

I'm used to waiting for good things. I'm used to having large blocks of time with which to think. I'm a writer, I'm used to exploiting my own emotions for great material. I can wait him out to have control over my own life once again. I can do this.

I got a lot written last night. That after hours of reassurance from Jake that yes, Cole is in jail now and he screwed himself out of even his supervised visits with the kids for the time being and possibly screwed himself out of his job. But none of it matters, what matters is we are safe for now and we'll live each day brand new and just deal with that day as it is given to us. I sound like Jake now. Too funny.

Then he started speaking my language and stepped out of his reverend shoes. He was surprised and disappointed that I even dared to consider the possibility that he would get tired of Cole's shit and walk away from us. I reminded him that we never expected Cole to flip out either so why should I expect no surprises from Jake? Despite popular opinion I have no fucking control over anyone.

That drove him right outside. Fine, go. I've got enough of my own hell to work through, thanks. Let's meet for breakfast at sunrise.

He was back inside before I finished a page. He looked half-crazed. He yelled at me. Strike one buddy, I'm so not in the mood for this.

Is that what you think? Do you think that I'm going to flip out and hurt you like he did?

Shhhhh! You'll wake the kids up Jake. Stop. yelling. at. me. I don't know what I think anymore.

My God, Bridge. I would never hurt you.

He just stopped talking and shook his head. Then he turned and went back out. I followed him downstairs to the front porch and we took our familiar places on the swing. He put his arm around me. I am still so angry. I can't speak. He is shaking. Well, that's new. How to push Jacob's buttons in the exact wrongest way ever.

I'm not leaving you. I don't care if Cole shows up with Satan's army. Fuck him. I will keep you safe.

How noble
. (because I'm on a posturing roll here.)

Bridget. Don't. Don't project this on me. Use me to get your anger out and don't make it about us.

Right. Okay then.

Stop it
. (I do)

I can't. Because it just keeps going and I wish we were far from here. THIS makes me nuts. I hate being scared, I hate being angry. I hate that you yelled at me. In my head I acutally gave you one strike.
He laughed, in a totally half-assed tired way you do when you're incredulous.

I'm sorry. That's hilarious. I only raise my voice when you stopped listening to me. I wasn't yelling at you. I know your eyes when you do that, don't think you have me fooled, Bridge.

You're good.

I know.

Stop it. I can't joke right now.

Then don't lose faith now. And don't doubt me. Ever. If there is one thing I could have given you over the past ten years I would have hoped it would have been the reassurance that I am here for you no matter what happens and I always will be.

Could I have that thing that you just said engraved or tattoed on something?

Could you stop doing that and just believe me?

I do.

You don't. And I don't know how to fix that and it makes me crazy.

Who said you have to fix it?

Because I fix everything.

So you're saying you have your own issues.

No, I'm saying I want you to lean on me with no doubts ever. I know that's asking a lot.

Why, Jake. Why do you let me do this?

Because I love you, Bridget. And you are my gift and I want for nothing more.

Aw geez. I guess I can remove the strike.

So then what should I do if you're not listening anymore. Since I can't yell?

Kiss me instead.

I can do that.

And this is the sort of post you will get after 8 cups of coffee and zero sleep. Now I'm wondering how many days I can just post conversations and get out of writing a real post. Ha.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Sleep and security are overrated.

Guess who went back to jail.


Sorry. I swear when I have no words left and yet if I don't keep writing and talking with my hands I might lose the shredded, worn corner of sanity that I'm still clinging to here.

Jacob just brought me a coffee and it's 8 pm. The kids are in bed asleep at last. Ben played xbox with them for 2 hours straight after dinner. Which he brought because I'm too fucking stunned to move.

Shortly after lunch Jacob decided to go in to his office at the church to make some calls. If it's noisy here he walks over and has relative peace to do his calls there. He was putting on his shoes and the doorbell rang. He figured PJ was early. Cole was standing there. On the front step. Possibly 500 yards closer to me than he's allowed to be by law.

But he didn't see me, I was behind Jake. Jake is tall, all muscles. His shoulders fill a doorway. Cole had no idea I was there. So I stepped sideways right into the living room. Jake went outside and shut the door, having locked the knob from the inside. I could barely hear them. Jake' voice was thin on patience and threaded with a malevolence I haven't heard for a long time. Cole wanted to know if I was there. If I had read his letter, if he could just see me for a few minutes. Alone. His voice sounded scary. I didn't want to hear it. I went upstairs and took the kids in my room and locked the doorknob there too and I called the police.

Because I have had enough of this. Five minutes later and I would have opened that door. And been alone with him.

I'm not sure if he's trying to kill me, scare me or just wear Jake down with his foolishness. Jake says he can outlast whatever Cole brings. I figure Cole will come back next with a gun. Maybe not next month, maybe in 3-4 years, when we're happy and life is trucking along seamlessly again he'll just show up out of the blue and kill us all.

And this feeling is exactly what he wants. A gnawing fear that is never going to go away.

I'm going to have to kill him first. I can't hope for anyone else to do it. I can't picture Jake doing it. He couldn't. He could kick Cole into next week but I'm not sure he could actually take his life.

Me, I could do it now. But the odds of being physically able to before he'd kill me first are so small. Too small for that plan.

And I used to be a good person. When Jake told me Cole had overdosed on pills I instantly hoped he was okay and when I found out he was I was glad. Imagine that.

Denial, fear, shock. It's like picking a fucking bouquet.

Finally, one we both like.

Because I wrote the off-switch entry yesterday and finished it this morning, here's the daily entry. Because I keep forgetting today is Tuesday.

One of the joys of new, every day life is the fact that Jake works from home at the beginning of each week. He's here. He's home! And he loves big lunches and he doesn't wait for me to make them, he just starts. (Cole worked all the time, and relied heavily on Jacob to keep us entertained, safe, and busy. Note to workaholics everywhere, not such a great plan)

Oh, yes. Here it comes. This week's edition of Solitary Culinary Karaoke. Previous entries are searchable.

Outstanding. I come inside and I hear...well, cool! He finally figured out iTunes and is playing, what the..he's playing the new Switchfoot single. Which is free, by the way.

    I've seen the darkest things
    crawling inside of me
    I've seen the monsters come alive
    I've seen the enemy
    The nightmare follows me
    Searching the darkness for a light

    Waiting for daylight to break up this room
    Waiting for daylight to break

    I've been alone in the dark
    I've been dreaming
    and waking up without you
    I've been waking up without you
    for too long

    Back in the tragedy
    I've made a mess of me
    My bitter means my bitter ends
    I see the irony
    it gets the best of me
    dying to be made new again (again)

    Waiting for daylight to break up this room
    Waiting for daylight to break

    I've been alone in the dark
    I've been dreaming, the day, when dreamers are awake

    The sun hits my eyes
    and everything is right
    I've been waking up without you
    I've been waking up without you
    I've been warring alarms til you were in my arms
    I've been waking up without you
    I've been waking up without you for too long

He hinted that it might become his new theme song. Which is so cool because he will pretty much listen to anything but he was holding out and hardly ever listen to Switchfoot, one of my all-time favorite bands.

Jacob, the gentle giant, has crumbled at last. (insert evil maniacal laughter here). I didn't record this one, I was too stunned by his song choice. Sorry Benjamin!

Monday, 5 June 2006

Wishing for an off switch.

Sometimes you know something in your head and it takes someone to say it out loud for it to hit home. I was startled by a conversation between the boys the other night. Oh no, no, not those boys. This was Jake and Ben and PJ and Robin (male) and Loch and Chris (passing through from back home on their way to BC) sitting out on the deck having a beer on the weekend. I was inside, upstairs in bed coming off the vicodin magic carpet ride and watching Only Angels Have Wings-a favorite movie with the best quote ever:
You'd better shut the door! Bonnie's equilibrium is on the loose!

Turner Movie Classics as a channel is like Christmas every day for me, you know.

I thought I heard my name outside. Since my bedroom window is directly over the patio. I muted the movie for a moment. 6 guys having guytalk? I should have tuned in sooner. It was a gift, had it been daytime I would never have been able to hear it with the kids and the birds and traffic.

Bridge has no idea.

The magical powers of the widget strikes again.

She's not responsible.

She wasn't responsible for you either. She doesn't know how to work it.

I don't think she can turn it off.

Yeah, but it's not effective on everyone. Some of us are immune.

Thank God for that. She'd have a harem in reverse.

Look around. She does.


Like an unescapable blend of fragility and determination. Like when you can't look away as you watch an old man in a wheelchair make his way uphill.

Or you look at it as a put-on and refuse to be captivated. Come on.

No, I've been on that side, remember? Harder than it looks.

Is that why you stuck it out so long?

I can't explain it. I love her. I always did. I would have been here 30 years from now.

What if she had never left him?

Then I'd be where he is now, I guess.

You wouldn't..

No not that. But I see it now for what it is. Don't you?

Yeah man.


which part?

Cole had her. He had everything. All of her and now it's gone. She's with Jake now. Cole can never have her again-now it's killing him because he knows she's giving herself to his best friend.

I'd kill myself too. Losing Bridge? Ouch. She's so cute, man.

It's the power of the widget, didn't I say it? Cole said she had it in high school and had no idea.

I would harness that power and use it only for evil.

Give it up man.
(more laughter)

Watch your back Jake (loud laughter)

Naw going to have to change her nickname to the black widow at this rate.

Sorry man.

She can't help it.

That's the scary part dude. The scary spell she has. We're all under it you know.

I'm not. Heather won't allow it. She hates the widget powers. She said it's something to feel sorry for.

She says that out of jealousy.

Keira says that too.

No, think about it. You snap your fingers and 6 guys come pick up your car, like a mentos commercial. How many girls you know can do that in real life? Or drive two men to the brink of ruin almost simultaneously?


She isn't responsible.



Bridge. But I'm not ruined. Thanks a lot.

One, yup.

That was all I could hear. The laughing made it hard. My head spinning didn't help.

Widget is a combination of witch and Bridget put together, a nickname very few people use to my face, it's more a verb to describe whatever I do to the men in my life. What an odd magical power to be gifted with. I'm not amused, I wanted mind-reading, remember?

They moved on, thankfully to talk about soccer and BBQ smokers and more guy stuff and the neighbors put their sprinkler on. I heard what I was meant to hear, I guess.

Later on, I asked Jake if he believed in the widget powers. I rolled my eyes when I asked.

He laughed, surprised that I overheard, but he didn't answer the question.

I reminded him of times when I didn't turn it on. I pointed out the drunken episode, and a few other times when I made no attempt to be anything more than a walking disaster.

That's why it's magic, Bridget-there is no off switch. And that's why none of this is your fault. Do you see now?
I almost think I do. And hey, it could have been worse, for the nickname that meshes Bridget with witch could have been rigid, or even bitch. That would have stung.



It's Monday. I am happily detoxified. I have no more pills in my house because I took them back to the pharmacy for disposal. Jacob is home today writing and working. I am not writing because I'm tired. I'm so tired I can barely string two sentences together so I'm not. I did NOT fall asleep in church yesterday. Okay so I nodded once. I'm mortified.

So much to write.

Did you know that I have magical powers? I didn't either but I'll tell you about that later.

Friday, 2 June 2006


Still in vicodin glory here. Love it. It keeps everything away.

Two things:

1) Cole is in the hospital on suicide watch. This is my fault.

2) I was the worst wife ever. EVER. This is my fault.

3) This is not Jacob's fault because he is spellbound, in love, blinded by his affections. I'm sorry. I can't turn it off with him. I never could, and ruining his reputation is yes, once again, my fault.

Reality settles in now and I try to stitch my world back together with an inch of thread and a broken needle. Life is ugly you know. Life can suck and suck hard. And yet these two stupid men just keep on loving me and I'm worth none of it. None.

I'm also never alone anymore and now I know why. But the drugs are good. I can't write worth shit but they're good.

A sober UPDATE:

Oh my god. Why they let me online in that condition makes me wonder about my friends. Here, Bridget, go take your heavily sedated self and write or surf or whatever and find your happy place and eventually time will sharpen your world into focus and you'll come back down to us.

Right. So I make my way back from space-cadet camp and I'm still not feeling a damned thing but at least I'm less half-baked. I am so lucky to have so much support around me. Everyone who was here and took the kids outside to play while they told me what Cole had done to himself. I hate his actions, I don't hate him and my kids don't deserve to lose him because I fucked up or he fucked up.

Cole wrote letters to us all and when Jake went to see him Cole told him where they were, and could he give them out so we would know he's not a monster? Geez, I know he's not a monster.

I am.

Thursday, 1 June 2006

Hayrides and fireworks and Vicodin, oh my!

Welcome to the throes of Vicodin hell. So glad I wrote this entry yesterday. I'm not writing much today, instead I'm enjoying the amazing works of Chris Never. Go and read. I'm also checking way too often to see if my hardworking friend Jen made director yet!


Jacob's journal. Which he leaves on the table on purpose now because he said he felt so voyeuristic reading mine but mine is so very public and now completely the opposite of what I started out as (the anonymous crafty funky little light-hearted shallow pop-cultureish blog that it was).

His journal is jaw dropping. It's full of poetry and sketches and doodles and entries that build me up and then tear me down again. I would like to have it bronzed.

So when I first picked it up a week ago I flipped all the way back to the summer of 2000 and found the long weekend entry about the hayride, which was why I mentioned it yesterday. It marked a turning point in our lives.

I took Ruth, who was almost a year old, and went down the shore to hang out for the long weekend. While there a last minute hayride was organized. One of my cottage neighbors was happy to babysit for me so I could go, and besides, some of the guys were coming out for the ride. Cole wasn't coming, he was working right through the weekend.

We drove out to the barn and once everyone had hooked up it seemed that Jacob was to be my chaperone/partner because everyone else was a boyfriend/girlfriend thing. Which was fine, we were already best friends. Right? Best friends with no lust. Right.

So based on the quantity of people who showed up some people had to sit on laps.

Hey, no problem. I'm a grownup, I'm a MOM, and he's my friend. It's cool. I'll sit with Jake.

It was cold. He put his arms around me and looked at the stars with his chin on my shoulder.

Eventually his very warm hands made it inside my sweater and under my tshirt. Which was sort of still fine because they were around my waist.

Which wasn't really so fine but no one could see a thing. I wrestled with the feelings the entire time but I didn't say a word.

So his hands never moved, and the hayride ended. And everyone trudged back out to their cars in the moonlight, exhilarated from the fun. Jacob and I were walking together, behind everyone, still back beside the barn. He grabbed my hand and stopped walking and so I stopped and he stepped right in and kissed me. And then he pressed his whole body into me until I was up against the siding. Oh, hell with it.

And I kissed him back with everything I had. I put my arms around his neck and gave it all up right there. No one saw us. No one knew. They had all gone.

Only in the back of my head there was a little voice telling me this wasn't right. Finally we broke apart (no, very very reluctantly we broke apart). I started walking again. Really fast. He kept up and he was trying to talk to me. I wasn't listening. He finally grabbed my arms and stopped me and asked me what was wrong.

What's wrong, Jake? What do you think is wrong?

It's just a kiss, Bridge.

It's more than a kiss Jake. I'm fucking up my life. Your life. Everyone's life. That was a bad idea.

It was the best idea ever and we both know it. Leave him, Bridge. You don't love him the way you love me.

You don't DARE decide that for me.

It's true though, isn't it? Just admit it, Bridge, PLEASE!

What does saying it do for you Jake? Is it an ego boost? Are you trying to win the alpha male battle with Cole or what? What is your problem?

I love you. That's the problem.

This isn't fair.


Fuck off, Jake. We can't do this.

No, YOU FUCK OFF BRIDGE. We don't have to do this. Just say the word. Be with me.


You can but you're afraid. You've got nothing to lose.

Just stop, Jake, okay? Just stop. Keep your promise and don't be hard to be around. I can't keep doing this.

You're going to keep doing this because I KNOW YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY!


That was when he just stopped arguing and put his arms around me and held me so tight I didn't think I could get a whole breath. He whispered that he was sorry. But that he loved me and that was never going to change. I hugged him back and said I knew. And I loved him too but I also loved Cole and I couldn't leave him. I think we held each other for a half an hour. Then he walked me to my car, got in his truck and drove out. I sat in the car and cried for a very long time.

And I never told Cole what happened.

The entry for that night in Jake's journal is rather heartbreaking:

Tonight I dropped all pretense and kissed Bridget because I wanted to. I kissed her like she was mine and she didn't slap me like I expected. She yelled at me afterward because she refuses to admit to herself that her feelings for me are real. As real as that kiss and more. We're both deeply attracted to each other and yet she won't give in, she loves Cole. She's making a life with him-a life he never deserved with her but she gives him willingly. I cannot understand her motives. She is too fragile for his harshness and she should be with me. At the very least I can sleep tonight because she finally admitted that she loves me. Not only with her words but with her soul and a kiss. I can sleep because I can smell her still in my arms. Where she belongs. My beautiful girl.
Aw geez he's dreamy isn't he?
(I know, I know. ENOUGH already.)