Monthly Archives: April 2009

Hey, it’s the sun, and it makes me shine.

I realize that this blog has been a bit of a downer.  Probably because I’ve been a bit of a downer.  But I’m ready to be happy again.  So, I thought for today’s post I would list some sources of incontrovertible happiness in my life.

  • Discovering that my Enneagram is a Four, and working to accept all the positives and negatives that go with it.
  • This video, and being inspired by it to recognize simple beauty and to make something beautiful:
  • Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream
  • Buying these jeans for $24 last night: White Jeans
  • Making friends because of this blog.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack.
  • Cautionary Dog: Cautionary Dog
  • Having a president who is intelligent, insightful, likable, has a good sense of humor, and who actually tells us what’s going on.
  • The knowledge that I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, and I’m getting better every day.
  • Learning “The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)” on guitar.
  • The fact that I will be lying on a beach in Florida in sixteen days.
  • Cautionary Husband buying us tickets to Austin City Limits.
  • Gap’s new light, fresh scent, Close: Close
  • The gentle spring rain these past few days, but also those moments the sun manages to peek out and seems to shine more brightly than it ever has.

What is a source of incontrovertible happines for you?



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Answers, part two.

Q: (From Jennie) If you published a book, who would you dedicate it to?

A: I probably thought harder about this question than any of the others.  Many people come to mind, of course.  But they were all dependent on the subject of the book, and that didn’t really feel right.  So I finally came up with one person who transcended ALL subjects.  The answer really shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time:

Cautionary Therapist.

She tells me she expects great things of me, and sometimes I actually believe her.

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The Missing.

The Missing appears without warning, completely uninvited, and ruins everything.  Ruins whole days, whole weeks.  It overtakes me.  It makes breathing difficult.  It makes moving on impossible.  Unthinkable.

The Missing doesn’t care about the enormous progress I’ve made lately with Cautionary Husband.  It demands to be felt.  It throws elbows at anything else that might be crowding it.  It takes up a lot of room.

The Missing slips into my bed while I sleep and is there with me when I’m awakened in the middle of the night by a violent storm.  As I listen to the loud thunder and strong winds, I at first worry that there could be a tornado, which is a natural reaction for me, since I grew up in Tornado Alley and live on the second floor of my apartment building.  I listen for sirens for a bit.  And then The Missing provides odd comfort in the fact that if there were a tornado in my city, Cautionary Lover would hear about it on the news and be worried about me.  The Missing lulls me irrationally back to unsettled sleep.

The Missing wakes me up later with “Another Lonely Day” by Ben Harper stuck in my head even though I haven’t listened to this song in about four years.  As I shower, I try to chalk it up to the rain and the Monday, but The Missing makes it very clear that neither of these is the full story.

The Missing makes me spend the morning reading old e-mails, even though I regret it immediately.  Because these e-mails make The Missing stronger.

The Missing calls out to me from the hotel at which CL and I consummated the affair.  It makes ignoring this building’s presence impossible as I walk down the street in the rain holding on to my umbrella.  I just wanted to get some goddamn Starbucks, and now I am in tears.

The Missing sits with me on the couch at Starbucks on my lunch hour.  I had planned on reading D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, but instead the news program about the Swine Flu catches my attention.  The Missing points out that my city is one of the few affected by this contagious, unpredictable disease and suggests that maybe CL is thinking of me, of the possible danger I am in.

The Missing turns me into an internet stalker.  And I HATE being an internet stalker.

The Missing lies to me, telling me that I am living the wrong life.

The Missing makes me feel as though I’m not a whole person without CL.  It makes CL into an aching phantom limb.  There is no way to heal the ache, because it’s not even real.  The appendage isn’t there.  It’s gone.

The Missing is nostalgia at its worst.  It forces memories upon me, CL’s words into my head, CL’s presence into my heart.

The Missing makes me inescapably, unbearably sad.

But I know that The Missing will pass.  It will go away again, not as quickly as it appeared, but gradually and surely.  And though I know that it will come back again, I also know that, when it does, it will be a little bit weaker than last time.


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It’s been ever so, ever so grey.

In an effort to do what’s best for my marriage, I have password-protected many of the posts on this blog.

If you would like to have the password, please e-mail me at acautionaryblog (at) gmail (dot) com, or leave a comment (and don’t forget to include your e-mail address in the e-mail field).




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Answers, part one.

Q: (From Carl) How did you meet CL and how did you go from being married to in an affair so quickly?

A: Unfortunately, I cannot answer the first part of this question in order to protect CL’s identity.  I wish I could, because it adds much color to the understanding of our relationship.  But it would be a very, very bad idea.

I can try to answer the second part, though.  What it comes down to is a basic lack of emotional intimacy.  CH’s and my relationship was missing something enormous, something essential, and had been missing it all along, since before we were even married.  And neither of us knew it because neither of us had ever experienced emotional intimacy in any relationship before–not in our families, in our friendships, or even in our previous romantic relationships.

When I began falling in love with CL, it was because emotional intimacy was unfolding naturally and effortlessly between us.  We had established a deep, unbreakable connection before either of us even realized what was happening.

The medium over which we fell in love, e-mail, had much to do with this.  E-mail makes us bolder, more courageous.  It allows us to say things that we would never normally say because we don’t have to sit there and endure the other person’s reaction.  We can speak and flee.  We have time to pick our words carefully.  It’s safe.

Also, the degree to which my soul was starved for emotional intimacy was severe, I believe.  It’s kind of funny.  When I first started to go to therapy over a year ago because I couldn’t handle the shit storm that was my life, I thought the affair had nothing to do with my marriage.  Now I see that’s not exactly true.  Not that my marriage or CH is to blame.  But those things did contribute a little to the environment in which the affair was born.

Cautionary Therapist said I was desperate and had nothing to lose.  And the worst part of it is that I had no idea how desperate I was.  How lonely and sad.  When CL reached out, when he understood me, it was everything.  It changed everything.

So.  A perfect storm of sorts.  Or, in the words of Jazon Mraz (and CL), a beautiful mess.


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Cautionary security breach.

Cautionary Husband found the blog on Thursday.  And read it.  And things have been unbelievably shitty.  And neither of us really knows where to go from here.

Yesterday he gave me back his wedding band.  He told me to give it back to him when it means something to me.  I’m wearing it on my right thumb as I type, as if I’m married to myself, carrying both emblems of our marriage on my own two hands.  It’s not especially comfortable, having a thick gold band on my right thumb, but the idea of it just sitting in a drawer somewhere, no one wearing it, my band without a living partner, is intolerable.

I’m having a difficult time figuring out what to do about my blog.  I can feel myself rebounding from the blogger’s block, but now there’s another, bigger block: my marriage.

You all asked me wonderful questions.  Questions that I look forward to answering.  I guess I just have to find the courage to answer them in spite of who’s reading.  Or maybe work my way back towards my prior boldness, question by question.

There is one I can answer with ease.

Q: Would you rather burp confetti or fart purple gas?

A: Confetti.  Without a doubt.  Because if you know me at all, you would know that even reading the word “fart” absolutely mortifies me.  Also, who doesn’t love confetti?


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I decided to purge my drafts folder; Or, not-very-interesting things I have tried to write entries about over the past few weeks.

  • Was pretty sure I was going blind due to a whole slew of alarming eye symptoms (a “floater,” EYE PAIN, double vision, flashing lights, headaches).  And not blind as in “can’t see well,” but blind as in “can’t see AT ALL.”  Google is such a helpful tool for hypochondriacs.  So I went to the ophthalmologist and they told me my retinas aren’t detaching but that I do have severe eyestrain.  But yay!  Not going blind!  This is cause for celebration.
  • Also thought I had diabetes.  Still do a little, actually.  There is no real rationale behind this, save for some excessive thirstiness and fatigue.
  • Cautionary Husband got laid off.  This is a bummer.  He’s been trying to help me out by running errands and watching Cautionary Dog during the day, and I caught myself thinking a few days ago that he could go to the eye doctor for me.  Maybe what I really need to get examined is my BRAIN.
  • Wrote a check for $4,500 to the IRS two days ago.  This is, indeed, a mini-crisis for my firmly liberal self.  And is what’s referred to, I believe, as taking it up the ass.
  • The possum came back, greeting me by sniffing around six inches from MY HEAD when I was lying on the floor watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  My best friend and my brother were there, so I mostly stood in the hallway and freaked out (under the pretense of detaining Cautionary Dog) while they got it outside using only a mixing bowl and a record.  The next day Cautionary Husband found it dead behind my apartment.
  • Can cuss again without feeling guilty, and I’m grateful for this.  But trying to give it up for 40 days has had unexpected repercussions.  Namely, I now say “crap” when something terrible/unexpected/painful/infuriating/accidental happens.  Like I’m twelve years old or something.
  • Want Love in the Time of Cholera to never end.  So good.  So so so good.  And thanks for all the great recommendations.  I’ve already read a few of them (y’all know me so well), but I’ll definitely check the others out.
  • Still don’t really know what the hell I’m doing.
  • Missing writing.

A commenter on my previous post had the great idea of my readers asking me questions to prompt some posts, and a few have already asked some good ones.  I wanted to open up the floor to everyone and invite you to ask me anything.  About anything.  I’ll try to answer all of the questions as honestly as I can in upcoming posts.


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