Monday, November 27, 2006

Overwhelmed and Despondent At The Thought Of Moving (Out) (Again) (On)

My first day back at work in 8 days was not as awful as I had expected it to be. It was actually mildly comforting to have the familiarity of my office - and particularly my computer - back. Dragon Lady refrained from harassing me, and the major thing I had to deal with workwise were some issues with my pro bono contested divorce case, most of which I was able to take care of or put off until tomorrow.

Which was good, because I spent a good part of today alternating between crying over the loss of what I thought was going to be "the" relationship and wondering what the hell I'm going to do in terms of living space for the immediate future. I cried over lunch and a glass of wine with a friend, and then I cried later while talking to another friend on the phone. I need to move out because "our" place is Raj's. I moved in to his place back in April, and now that we have broken up, I need to move out.

I find this completely and utterly overwhelming. First, because until two weeks ago, when Raj told me that he no longer wanted to "try" to make our relationship work, I had had a semblance of a future plan (which, admittedly, I was already freaking out about). My plan had been to quit this deplorable job in January sans other job, take a small break to travel, and then come back home and play house with Raj while looking for a job that I really wanted to do. A job that I was passionate about. Since August, I've had it in my mind that come January, I would be quitting this place come hell or high water. It's become imprinted in my brain. I've had a countdown on my blog. I was down to 38 days!! (As of today). The idea of not leaving when I said I was going to leave fills me with dread and disappointment. I know I would be so proud of myself for leaving and telling them, in my own special way, to f--- off.

Now, obviously (as I'm coming to realize slowly and painfully) this plan needs to be tweaked, and most likely completely overhauled. The more people I speak with, the more times I'm told that you should look for a job while you have a job, and that it will be far more difficult to find a job if I'm without one while I'm looking. Apparently, this is because everyone assumes you are a loser or psycho who was fired from your old job. It's like a third eye in the middle of your forehead. Nobody wants to hire a Cyclops. Initially, I was highly resistant to this information. I didn't want to hear it. I didn't want to cave in and not quit out of cowardice. That was before I suddenly did not have a place to live and before Raj broke my heart. Before everything crumbled all at once.

Depressing as it is, the reality is that the most stable thing in my life right now is my job. Oh my god, that's so depressing. And I wonder why I've been wanting to run way to Tibet? The very same job that I was hell bent on quitting not two weeks ago. The very same job that I still passionately want to to quit.

And, I am still going to quit. But, instead of quitting without having a job lined up, I'm now considering alternatives, such as going to another law firm for a 6 month stint if I'm unable to find a public interest job in the next two months (while dealing with heartbreak and finding a new place to live). Then, at least I'll have health insurance, money, security, and stability which will allow me to stay in New York while I think about what and where I want my next step to be. It's a safer route, and it might be what I need to do in order to get through this break-up - pathetic and sad as that seems. This might actually be the low to which I have fallen. This idea (of going to another law firm as a temporary measure) sounded good to me for exactly 25 minutes this morning, and then popped up throughout the day, without making me ill. Writing about it now, however, fills me with a sick feeling in my chest. The idea of going to another law firm is so unbelievably depressing.

How this relates to looking for a place to live is that I've had this timeline, of quitting in January, embedded in my head since August, so January has always represented the endpoint to my self-imposed timeline. Now, when I'm visualizing looking for a place to stay, I keep finding myself clinging to that deadline, and thinking in temporary terms, looking for a place to sublet only through January. It's like I can't think past January! I also don't think I'm in the best frame of mind to go out and rent a place and sign a one-year lease. Basically, chaos has erupted in my head. My relationship, challenged as it was, was stability to me because it was something I was committed to. Now, it's gone, and it has created a massive void on many levels.

The second reason I find looking for a place to live utterly overwhelming is because this is f---ing New York and it's really hard to find an apartment here. Not to mention the fact that it's New York during the Holidays. Almost every listing on Craig's List is for a "holiday rental," from mid-December until mid-January. That does not help me very much, because I need a temporary place at least through the end of January.

Third, I want to sublet a studio or one-bedroom, some place that does not involve sharing an apartment with other people, something I have not done for over 6 years (with the exception of my time with Raj). The thought of living with randoms makes me ill. The thought of living with and meeting randoms while I'm emotionally vulnerable and falling to pieces is pretty much the worst thing I could imagine. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck finding a studio to sublet. Frustrated, I responded to some apartment to share ads and later left a message on one girl's cell phone who had written me back. She sounded like a drill sergeant on her voice mail. I can't live with a drill sergeant!

Fourth, in addition to the logistical issues, I'm trying to deal with a swirl of emotions. Sometimes I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest, other times I feel panicky and like I can't breathe, like I can't believe that this relationship is over. That it didn't work. That we are not going to be together. I was so convinced that it was going to work once we had worked through our problems, because I love him and I wanted it to work. But now it's over, and I don't know what the point of any of it was. What was the point of all that struggle if it didn't result in us being together? What a waste! So, I'm grappling with the end of something I wanted with all of my heart. I'm feeling loss, rejection, tiny sparks of anger, disbelief, disappointment, and crushing pain. I miss him. I can not believe we aren't going to have a future together.

Sometimes I feel calm and clear, like I have some perspective on why the relationship was not working for me. But, most of the time I just feel sad and filled with disbelief that it's over. How am I supposed to find a sublet while dealing with all of this? A sublet. A hideous shoebox filled with someone else's junk.

I don't think I can do it. I also don't want to do it. I wanted us to work out. That's why I moved in. That's why I put up my pictures alongside his. That's why I moved the last of my things out of storage a few weeks ago; because I was committed to making our relationship work and I truly believed that we had a future together.

But now, he has thrown that away. He has thrown me away. And, I need to find a sublet and the job that I hate with every cell in my body has become the most stable part of my life. That's the reality. This is unbelievably horrendous.


Anonymous said...

Oh Buttercup...this post breaks my heart. This must be so difficult....I am sending you every once of strength, spirituality and goodness that I can possibly muster.

You will get through this and you WILL once again thrive. You'll also get to that "place" you've been searching for...the road might be different than what you'd previously mapped out...but you'll get there...You are fierce and strong, don't let anyone ever make you feel any less.

Please let us (internets) know if there is anything we can do. You konw you always have a place to crash in Atlantic Canada should you need a change of scenery.


Gypsy said...

Ugh, I hate this for you. As if one heartache wasn't enough, you have to deal with the loss of a relationship, housing difficulties, and a job you hate. I'm so sorry.

But I do know that you'll get through it and come out happier the other side. It's just that the other side seems so far away right now.

Sparky Duck said...

Oh bother,

Ok, the easy stuff first. I am the first hand example that finding a job is easier when you are already employed, since I am now getting ready to pass 3 years unemployed, though I dont count the first year since I was still getting paid. Perhaps a job with a temp agency/contract lawyer type thing?

As for the place, maybe living outside the city -ducks-?

Ok, on the last bit, I have been exactly where you are, with my ex wife saying working things out was not an option. It takes time, it takes talk and it does take crying. Your still in the stunned faze, unfortunately, you have to go through this faze until it just fades away on its own. Hold on for the "fun" roller coaster. Things will improve once you move, its like a total fresh start.

if ya need to talk shoot me a mail, the more people that listen to you the better things are.

InterstellarLass said...

I know this is unbelievably hard. When my ex moved out, I was in the process of looking for a new job. I stopped my search for a couple of months while I recovered, and then continued again. It was easier to focus on one thing at a time. My kids, me, my job. I didn't have the housing issue, but putting the pieces back together takes time. Your housing search will give you something to focus on, something to create, and make yourself comfortable. I'd stick with the current job until your housing is stable. It's not giving up on your dream, it's just postponing. And that's ok.

N. Mallory said...


Always, always do what's best for you first. I know you're in a tough spot, but definitely give yourself some time to heal with some sort of stableness in your life.

I know that sometimes it feels like it, but you aren't alone and certainly there are plenty of us who share your pain.