Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reconnecting with the blank canvas.

I think there's some sort of energy in (at least American) society that tells people to fuck over artists because they need tension and drama to produce great art.  That's not true.  Or whatever it is, lets pay the artists and teachers the fat wads and let the ballplayers run around chasing balls for cheap because, they'd do it anyways and it seems a bit unbalanced to say the least.  So if you have that misconception or if you know an artist, give him or her a huge hug and say "thanks for your small part in pushing our culture to a new level!"  Unfortunate events happen to everybody.  But for me, a sensitive guy with an overactive imagination and an anxiety disorder, all things seem a bit more amplified.  A gift and a curse depending on the situation.

So a couple months ago Tana's getting Jade into stringed instruments and classical music on youtube and whatnot. She asks Jade if she wants to play the cello and if she wants one for christmas.  Jade says "yes!".  I think it's a great idea and so Tana makes one of her famous craigslist purchases and soon after I'm coming home from San Jose with a cello on a rainy Sunday night.

When I get home Tana tells me she's cheating on me with a violist she met a few weeks prior and that she loves him and is going to continue seeing him.  I am surprised I didn't die right there in the family room.  Total shock.  Panic attack on top of living nightmare.  And the shit storm began.

Actually I jumped on the guilt train believing that I did this wholly.  And of course I had fault in this happening but I didn't "do" this.  Then I got online and bought an e-book on how to save your marriage, which should be a book everybody reads BEFORE they get married and every year following.

Obviously too late.  Tana's mom was in town for Christmas.  I hung out with her while Tana spent the day packing her things and sneaking out the door to her new apartment.  Her boyfriend is living there with her.  Now he's picking her up in front of the house and they go out and do their thing 5 nights a week.

I'm happy staying home with Jade.  I've sort of missed out on sleeping next to her.  And the added responsibility is great because I can do it and I'm happy to.  Tana still takes care of Jade during the day and most school mornings she's back at the house at 6 am getting things ready for Jade.

I'm lonely at night.  Super duper lonely.  I had Tana every night.  And we hung out every night and laughed and talked.  And I looked forward to it.  Still she seemed physically and emotionally guarded and slowly like she was unhappy and just stuck in the mundane.  But I was there.  Listening and talking and helping her though life.

As many of my close friends know after a really stressful year or two at work two years ago I developed an anxiety disorder.  It took a year to properly diagnose me and many horrible prescriptions, side effects (tremor, cramping stomach and muscles, twitching, restlessness,  racing heart, depression...) and withdrawals (fuck me) from those then ramping up on another to finally get me to a point where I could just be me 84% of the time.  Still I was working hard and really getting my shit done.  And after fighting for so long I start feeling mentally good and actually better than before, then whammo!  She hits me with this.  And there's so much to process.  I know what I did wrong but what did I do to her to deserve THIS?  And if she just wanted out, there were better ways to do it.  More respectful ways.

I've never ever been hurt this much in my life.  But I have Jade here and I really really don't want to get into a custody situation.  She's here upstairs sleeping.  And if I can totally hypnotize myself to just be "buds" with Tana then things aren't so bad in the mean time.  And I tried that, but starting feeling love for her and then I totally came crashing down emotionally when her boyfriend picked her up at the house one night.  I can't fool myself.  At least we agree that we are great parents.  But even that grade point average will fall too because we were a family and now we're not.  This was our home.  Now it's broken.  The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.  I'm so mad, but at the same time I truly love her and I want to do what's right.  Stay in there, work on my issues...improve myself for us.

But day after day it looks like she's really settled into this guy and the hope I have is just my "etched in imagination" and our life fading away.  I'm so lost.  But my strength is persevering and it's one of those "two steps forwards, one step back" things.  Work is great.  Busy and hard but fantastically rewarding.  The only thing I can't handle is my emotional tie to Tana.  But as everybody says...time.  Time, time time.  Let it pass.

So to pass the time in the evenings I have the oil paints out again... and the smell reminds me of art college.  The thinner, linseed oil, the one glass of red wine that sits near the paper palette for hours.  I enjoy working in silence mostly but really miss creating with fellow artists.  The oils are like an old predictable friend that I haven't seen for a long time.  It makes me love a blank canvas again.  And I sort of need that right now.


Aruna said...

Hey Greg. I'm so sorry to hear all of this, and as you can imagine I know something about how you feel. I don't know if it helps to hear it, but things DO get better, and time DOES heal. But fuck that -- you can come to that realization in retrospect, but while you're feeling the pain it's just fucking pain. That's it. Nothing else. Give yourself time to feel it, and give yourself the freedom to decide how you want your relationship with Tana to be. I couldn't be "buds" with Tom -- I still can't, really -- but we are managing to be good parents nonetheless, and that's okay. You know?

Colin said...

Wow, man, I am soooo sorry. I'll plan to come over soon so we can draw robots, freaky hobos, and monsters while we watch a movie.


Mike G said...

Shit storm indeed, you know I feel for you man. That was beautifully written. You've got a new life ahead of you now, new experiences, new people to meet, and your wonderful daughter to love.

You'll pull through this and come out stronger on the other side. In the meantime I'm with Colin, let's watch a movie and draw some robots.