Blogging The Harper Way 2: The Biggest Lies (Chapter 5)

 
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I honestly just figured I'd be one of those girls who goes through their whole life all alone - no spouse, no kids, maybe not even pets. I mean, look, I'm a mess, okay? I don't shy away from it. And though it may seem like I'm pretty 'with it' on the surface, I don't know how real that even is day to day. All things considered, yes, I'd agree that I've got my shit together for the most part.

But, the biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves, and despite years of hard work on myself, I've still got some things that'll probably never get sorted. Especially if hard, adult, life things insist on continuing to happen. The worst of them? Probably my massive abandonment issues. Issues which sometimes come out in really ugly ways. Sometimes they make me push people away – even people I genuinely like – just so they can't get rid of me later, ya' know?

Now, more often than not, I'll catch myself before stuff becomes a problem, but it doesn't always work out all that well. There are just times where my mind's stronger than my brain (or maybe that's the other way around), and I'll start kinda self destructing or something. It's ugly, and it's shitty, and I fucking hate it, and no matter how hard I fight it, no matter how successful I usually am, it still tears me to shreds. It puts strain on my relationships, my professional life, my sanity, my mental and physical health... but it's a part of me. It's a part of the whole 'Elizabeth Harper' experience, which is a way less awesome band than the Jimi Hendrix experience.

All that said, you always hear that there's someone out there for everyone, and my crazy ass is no exception. The one person who somehow got through my million layers of madness? Sean Baxter, the man I eventually married.

When I first met him, as I've mentioned in the past*, I went right up to him like it was nothing and kinda claimed him as my own, then went about my day. I played it cool the whole time, and even lived it that way for once... until we went on our first actual date, that is. You see, in case you didn't know, he's a kind of high-end, artistic landscaping type, and I'd hired him to sculpt the hedges out in front of my then brand new house into chess pieces.

He agreed to do it if I made him dinner. Two times, just the two of us.

So, I did that. We had two, excellent dinners together, just shooting the shit, hanging out, and getting to know one another – super casual. Falling in love without officially being on a date or really admitting the chemistry. And that was how I tricked my brain into not thinking about it as a relationship, even though I wanted one. Even though he wanted one. Even though we'd actually planned a third dinner that wasn't payment for anything (where we went to a place called Canlis for a romantic dinner and a proper, honest to goodness date).

We made said date just before he left my house after his second payment dinner, and I agreed to it immediately because I was already head over feet for him, and was pretty sure he was exactly as smitten with me. The instant I closed the door behind him, however?

Well, that's when I started to fucking panic like crazy.

Like, I know I've touched on my anxiety issues in the past, but I've kinda downplayed how fucking extreme they can be. You see, my abandonment issues stem from my childhood (see other entries), and they went unchecked for a really, really long time. I'd just choke 'em down and move the fuck on without anyone noticing, then have a full on panic attack in private.

Which is exactly what happened that night.

I closed the door, watched Sean drive away, then went into the kitchen to clean up. As I stacked our soiled dinnerware, I started feeling a tightness in my chest and in my gut. At first, I just ignored it, but by the time I'd made it to the kitchen sink (which, admittedly, isn't all that long a walk), I was trembling and watching my fucking heart beat in my periphery as darkness pulsed in.

I hastily dropped the plates and silverware into the sink with a loud crashing sound that seemed to prick my ears and trigger this sort of bounding sensation in my chest - like, my heart wasn't necessarily beating fast, but was absolutely beating harder than anyone would ever be comfortable with. Anyway, as that happened, I grabbed a clean dish towel from the drawer, waded it up, and held it hard against my mouth.

"FUCKING STOP IT, DIPSHIT," I screeched at the top of my lungs. It didn't help.

Instead, I kind of gasped a bunch and collapsed right there on the kitchen floor, feeling like I was either gonna puke all over, my heart was gonna burst, or I'd just go ahead and stop breathing all together. All the while, I tried every single fucking 'mindfulness' exercise I could think of, until I finally evened back out, laying face down on my cold, black and white checkered kitchen floor. Once I felt like I could stand and walk, I jittered the whole way up the stairs and into my bed, where I nearly immediately passed the fuck out.

This, unfortunately, was something akin to a calm before a storm.

The hole week leading up to my first real date with Sean, I tried to push how big a deal it was out of my mind. I mean, I hadn't dated anyone since my first year of college, for fuck's sake, and here I was, tumbling head first into a relationship that was moving way, way faster than my brain needed it to - or could even handle - no matter what my heart or I wanted.

All that week, I was plagued by nightmares, lightning fast mood swings, nausea, IBS (TMI?)... you fucking name it. I was basically living an early stage panic attack as my norm, and in some kind of state of panic 24/7. It never went full-blown, but it took a toll regardless. I mean, it takes a lot of energy to be so full of anxiety. Honestly, I would've rather it hit as a full panic attack, that way I could've recovered instead of just constantly being in a state of ill repair, ya' know?

Anyway, the day of our date actually went okay.

I successfully kept myself occupied pretty much all day by working on a manuscript, so that was good. While getting ready for the date, however, I started feeling that panic try to once again claw its way out. Thankfully though, I was able to kinda push it aside thanks to having the remote to my stereo nearby and popping on some emergency "Sunshine Lies" and letting myself get washed away by its sweet fucking guitar goodness.

On the latter end of the album's third consecutive playthrough, the doorbell (which isn't even hooked up anymore) rang, making me jump out of my skin. Let me tell you something you may not know about people with generalized anxiety disorder: Sounds - especially loud, unexpected sounds - can often act as anxiety/panic triggers. That's one of many reasons why a lot of us startle easy.

For me, doorbells do it pretty much every time.

Anyway, I answered the door to immediately see Sean – with whom I'd discussed all of this before he came over the first time – cringing like I was gonna pop him one. Seemed he remembered our conversation.

"What?" I asked, just to make sure.
"I forgot," he hissed, shrinking up a bit more.
"Forgot wh—"
"The doorbell," he said, cutting me off. "You specifically told me not to ring it, but I did it anyway."

I laughed at him, admittedly nervously.

"It's alright!" I exclaimed. "I know it's an unusual request."
"Thanks," he said, sighing a bit.
"Just know that if ya' do it again, I'm gonna cut off your balls and cram 'em down your throat," I joked, poking him with my elbow.

Oh, what a night that elbow was gonna have...

"I figured you were probably a little kinky, but, Jesus, Elizabeth," he said, recoiling a bit. "I can't handle that."
"Why'd you think I was kinky?" I asked.
"The murder stuff," he replied.
"Well... I mean, don't test me then," I said.
"How about I feed you instead?" Sean asked.
"I like the sound of that!" I cheered.

Fuck you. I really like to eat.

Then, like he was taking me to the fucking prom or something, Sean hooked his arm around mine and led me to his car, opening the door for me, then closing it when I was finally situated. And that was it. Somehow I was totally fucking calm, like I never had anxiety issues at all. Sean's sweetness just kinda waded through them like The Bride in "Kill Bill" does the Crazy 88. It was awesome, really.

And so was dinner, for that matter.

As I said earlier, we went to Canlis, which was swankier than I was used to, but still comfortable. Personally, I'd've been fine going to a burger joint, or getting some pizza or something, but Sean insisted that we go somewhere high end, because I deserved a nice meal that I didn't have to cook. Which is exactly what I got, damn it. We had a four course dinner – my first ever – and it was wonderful. We both got the same stuff; The first course was the Canlis salad (with mint, bacon, and lemony goodness), course two was haiga rice, the main course was the best fucking ribeye I think I've ever had, and dessert was a picture perfect souffle that I almost felt bad turning into future poop.

All the while, Sean and I shot the shit about anything and everything. I talked about comics, he talked about MMA, I tried pushing music on him like I was some kind of drug dealer, he gushed about basketball and insisted on taking me to a game sometime. I told him I'd go to any game he wanted, no questions asked, if he'd go to any concert I wanted, no questions asked. He agreed, naturally. I mean, he wanted to spend as much time with me as humanly possible, and I was 100% on the same page.

Like, I must've been, 'cause basketball bores the shit outta me.

If I weren't already, I was pretty sure that I was genuinely in love with him by the time we finished dinner. There was always just something about him that drew me in like a tractor beam. I didn't know for sure if he felt the same way I did, but the second we got in the car to leave, I decided to test the waters a skosh, ya' know? Maybe give him a peek at my hand and try to sneak a peek at his.

"Thank you," I said, staring into his eyes. "I've had such a shit week, and this has been the only thing getting me through it."

He looked sorta stunned, then shook it off and answered.

"Well, I'm glad I could help," he said, laughing nervously. "And, uh... the feeling's mutual."
"Yeah?" I asked.
"Yeah," he replied. "I h— I haven't stopped thinking about you since the day we met."
"Are you fucking with me?" I asked, also laughing nervously.
"No! God! Why would I do that now!?" Sean exclaimed.
"Hey, man, I dunno what you're thinking!" I defended. "I mean, I do now, but..."
"And is that a good thing?" Sean asked, bracing himself.
"Well, I mean, if it isn't, we're both in a metric fuck ton of trouble," I sighed.
"What kind?" Sean asked, leaning in a bit.
"Oh, like... the worst kind," I replied, matching him.
"Shit. Maybe I should call my Mom and get permission," he said serious as a heart attack.

I couldn't help but laugh. I also couldn't help but lean in the rest of the way. I... Well, look, I was not nearly as suave as I'd've liked, alright? I'll own it. I may or may not've moved in too fast, and I may or may not've smashed my face into the rear-view mirror, knocking the fucking thing clean off its mount.

And by 'may or may not've', clearly I mean definitely.

"Holt shit! Are you okay!" Sean gasped.
"FUCK! SORRY! I'M SORRY!" I said, absolutely fucking losing my shit, lunging forward to pick up the mirror from the floor.
"It's okay, really, you d—"

He stopped talking, and instead made sort of a "HNGH" sound as I leaned down and tried to snatch the mirror off the floor. What I didn't realize at the time, however, was that I was anchoring my elbow – God, this is awkward – Okay, I was sorta leaning over his lap, right? And I was kinda using my left elbow to push off of the beaded seat cover and steady myself. Well, it felt like a beaded seat cover. At first. Jesus... I mean, I—

It was his balls, okay? I totally jellied his beans.

When I realized he was HNGHing because I was spiking his tater tots, I pulled myself up using the steering wheel with my right arm and kinda backed up against the passenger's door like a stinky, dirty cat, cornered in the bathroom at bath time. I'd never been so awkward with a guy before, ya' know? I'd dated on and off from high school on, but I never had that fiery, stabby, anxious feeling in my gut. Things were always more laid back and chilled out. With Sean, everything was different. I was so immediately into him that I started operating on fear.

Those bullshit abandonment issues I mentioned earlier seemed to be trying to quietly sabotage me.

It was something I really thought I'd licked by that point. I'd been going to therapy since I did my first, big investigation*, and even though I've continued to be a ball of anxiety forever, most other things were really looking up. Like, when my little Robyn left for Atlanta*, I didn't feel any of that crazy, abandonment shit. I knew in my heart we'd be seeing each other again some day, and I just wished her well and felt the regular, rational sadness you feel when someone leaves.

Meaning I'd fallen so hard for Sean that logic was probably never gonna help me again. I was just gonna have to try and weather the storm like everyone else does and do my best to look cool while I did. No pressure, right?

Right?
...
Of course pressure! Are you fucking kidding me!? Have you even skimmed the last eight pages of crazy!?

Excuse me.

Sorry guys, didn't mean to get side tracked.

Anyway, I apologized profusely to Sean, made him switch seats with me, and drove him back to my place. All the way there, I was doing everything I could to smooth things over, ya' know? Like, I knew I fucked right up, and I knew it was bad, but it wasn't remotely on purpose, and he had to know that. He just had to. I mean, as a rule, I don't go for dumb guys, and Sean's about the least dumb guy I've ever been with.

So, when we arrived back at my place, I invited him in. Though he was quiet and stoic from the moment we switched seats, he agreed and followed me up the steps and into my house. We walked out into the living room and took a seat on the couch. The silence was so severe that you could hear a pin drop in Maine, and I was kinda freaking out internally before Sean finally spoke up.

"So..." he sighed.
"So...?" I quietly sighed back.
"Got any frozen peas, or a raw steak? That'd work," he asked. "It's more manly."
"I... maybe, I wh— why do y—"
"For my hot, painful balls, Elizabeth," he scoffed.

I laughed. Like a literal fucking maniac. Thankfully, he joined right in. He was always a good sport!

"I would never  waste a steak on your balls," I scoffed back, still laughing . "Peas, maybe, but not a steak."
"Aw... why not?" Sean pouted.
"I don't like surf 'n' turf," I sneered.
"Surf 'n' t—"
"Crabs, Sean," I clarified. "I'm saying ya' might have crabs."
"Oh, no," he replied. "I'd have lobsters if anything."
"Riiiiiiiight, 'cause money," I playfully drawled.
"Right?" Sean said, laughing a bit as he spoke.

I'm gonna fast forward here.

I mean, you know where this is leading, I know where this is leading, and I like to limit sex descriptions to one per post if any, and you've got one coming up later. For now, let's just say Sean had neither crabs nor lobsters, and that we had a pretty fucking good time. Yes, he's a very attractive guy, but I always thought the rest of him was even better than the looks, if ya' know what I mean.

The charms just made the looks work that much better.

Anyhoo, from that night on, we were a real, bona fide couple. We were hanging out a few times a week, and we loved every second of it. He was such a great boyfriend. He really, really was. There was one thing about him, however, that I wasn't keen on - though I chose to ignore it - and that's the fact that he didn't like my Dad, even though he'd never fucking met the guy.

I told Sean all about my childhood over the first month or so we were together, and even though he didn't outwardly say anything, I know how to read people better than I know how to read English, and Sean always seemed to be harboring some real harsh resentment every time the topic of Dad came up. So much so that it was almost two fucking months into our relationship before I finally introduced the two of them, even though I've always made sure I see Dad as often as humanly possible.

I was just so scared that they'd meet, they'd hate each other, and Sean and I would split, even though we were deeply in love, and I'd just, like, be alone forever and ever and die in a corner somewhere, hands affixed to a keyboard, and shriveled up like an old prune lady who didn't have the good sense to just keel over years prior, ya' know?

Boy, that was a long sentence. Sorry about that!

You'll be happy to know, however, that their introduction actually went pretty well. Dad really liked Sean, and Sean was at least cordial to Dad. All my fretting and freaking weren't worth the time spent, which is usually the case for people like me (though we never seem to remember it in real time). I mean, ya' know how Tom Petty said that, sure as night would follow day, most things he worried about never happened anyway? That's such a fucking spot on description of stupid, bullshit anxiety that there's no way in hell he didn't deal with it himself.

And why the in the ever-loving fuck do we live in a world where a total fucking champion like Tom Petty dies young - literally from working himself to death - and a worthless, rapist, do-nothing-but-be-born-rich turdloaf like Donald Trump gets to be the fucking oldest presid

Sorry. Not the time, not the place.

Moving right along, my courtship with Sean Baxter only got more intense after that. We were practically joined at the hip, and/or the groin depending on where we were and what the order of the day was, and it was awesome. It was like we were becoming one person in a weird way. Just... gelling like madness. We balanced one another out in such a perfect way, and it seemed like there was never going to be anything that stood in our way. That there was never going to be any stupid, unforeseen obstacles that had even the faintest hopes of getting in our way... Until about 5 and ½ months in, that is. Then there was a thing.

A thing that almost - in my mind - fucked 'us' right in half.

It all started one morning while I was doing some prep work for a story I wanted to write. As I was planning out this one character's whole life, birth to death, I had the epiphany that I was... late. Like, not dead late. The other late. The 'no visit from Aunt Flo', no 'monthly purging of useless, bloody, uterus stuff' kind of late. This realization, obviously, led to a mountain of purebred panic. Before I tested to be sure, before I got any weird cravings or nausea, I knew this meant I was pregnant. I just knew it.

So, what the fuck did I do about it?

Well, I kinda paced around the upstairs of my house for way, way too long, aimlessly going in and out of every room like one of those elaborate, marionette clocks - the ones with the little figurines that come out of either side, meet in the middle, kiss, and fuck off back to their wall holes. Motion wise, I was on autopilot as my body almost casually floated wherever it felt like floating. My mind, however, was positively bustling. Not even a portion of it was good though.

All my usual panic/anxiety bullshit hit me hard and fast.

I was pregnant. I knew it with every itty bitty bit of myself. And every single question you might think I'd have floating around in my head, I had. Was I even ready to be a Mom? And if I was, what if I couldn't carry the baby to term? What if I cared for it and nurtured it only to miscarry? Or what if I carried the baby to term, did everything you're supposed to, and it still came out with some kind of horrible birth defect? Would I love it? Could I love it? And if it came out totally fine and awesome, would I be a good Mom, or would I just... fucking suck at it wholesale and ruin the poor, innocent person I brought into the world?

And what about Sean? Sure, he'd expressed interest in having kids way, way down the line, but not necessarily with me, and certainly not a mere 6 months into our relationship. Would he be a good Dad, or was I totally wrong about him somehow, and he'd just turn into an abusive prick the instant I squeezed the kid out? Or even before! What if he, like, pushed me down the stairs or something to 'take care of it'?

I couldn't handle any of those thoughts, so, being that - if I truly was pregnant - it was in the super early stages, I made the snap decision that it wasn't the time to be having a baby, and went to get a pregnancy test to be sure. The test, of course, proved positive, so, I just got into my car (a pink Cadillac De Ville convertible from the '60s – formerly belonging to my Grandma Hillard) and headed off to the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic to explore my options, and to get official pregnancy confirmation.

Home tests, after all, can be false positives and negatives.

At the clinic, the doctor administered the super, doctor version of the test and - WHOA - I was really and truly pregnant. WITH A FUCKING HUMAN. Or at least the building blocks for one. For safety's sake, the doctor also ran a few routine tests - blood, urine, and the like - which she said I'd hear the results of within a week. She then packed me to the gills with pamphlets and stuff, and sent me on my way.

That whole week, I avoided pretty much everyone. Not only was I feeling wonky from the pregnancy itself, but I was also not helping that wonkiness by falling deeper and deeper into super high anxiety. I just told everyone I had a stomach bug, and that I didn't want company, I just wanted sleep. Now, I did talk to Sean during this time, but I didn't tell him about the little critter I was brewing. I couldn't. Not until I heard back about my tests, anyway.

That didn't happen until about five days after my first clinic visit.

Physically, I was feeling a lot better by then, but I was a nervous wreck. I mean, me and looming medical test results are not friends. If I could, like, be put into stasis while awaiting them, I totally would. Every time. Even for small stuff. I just can't deal. I build up every little salt grain of doubt into a fucking Sphinx of dread that then comes to life and bats me around like a kitten with one of those little, plastic jingly balls.

Again, usually, it all amounts to nothing. But this time? This time I just couldn't shake the 'fact' that something horrible had to be happening in my body. Now, I haven't talked about this before (because it's not something I like to dwell on), but I have what will remain an undisclosed autoimmune disorder. The only reason I bring it up now is because it was the catalyst for the following dilemma.

You see, my stupid ass read something about the leading causes of miscarriage, and one of them happened to be immunological disorders. So, naturally, Irrationalizabeth focused on that and let my mind flood with all the same questions I had the day I found out I was pregnant. But they were harder edged. Sharper. Ruthless even. So ruthless, in fact that I decided I couldn't handle the - again in my mind - stone cold fact that my autoimmune issues were gonna cause a miscarriage, and I knew I couldn't live with that, so, when I went to talk to the doctor, I decided to take control.

Yes... I was seriously considering getting an abortion.

All the way to the clinic, I did everything I could to psyche myself up for it, ya' know? But it wasn't working. I didn't wanna do it, I just felt like I had to. It's like this; Unless you're a cold, dead-eyed psycho, getting an abortion is never, ever an easy decision, even if you know in your heart it's the right decision. There's so much stigma that comes with it. People are so fucking conditioned to be militant about it – for or against – and it puts a shit ton of negative pressure on women, even for simply entertaining the thought of it, ya' know? Like we're not already under enough pressure about it internally.

It's bullshit.

So, before I move on, let me put this out there in plain fucking English: If I decide it's best to abort the potential baby growing in my fucking body, you don't get a say, no matter who you are or what your personal beliefs are. Ultimately, no-one does but me. If you don't like that, if it rustles your feathers or offends your morals, that's just too fucking bad. Keep it to yourself. And don't pull any Jesus bullshit on me either, because I know for a fact the bible even condones abortion in some cases (because I read the fucking thing for comprehension rather than on faith).

Sorry. My grandpa Hillard gave me a lot of deep religious issues.****

Anyway, when I pulled into the parking lot. I just sat there, frozen in time. I can not stress how heavy a decision it is to go through with something like that or not. And I was abso-fucking-lutely being smothered by that heft, simultaneously wanting to get out and run inside so I could get it over with, turn back and go home, and – the most appetizing of all options in that moment – drive off the fucking dock at Pier 57 and be free from everything.

At least I'd get to see my death horrify people riding the Great Wheel.

Anyway, as I sat in the Planned Parenthood parking lot just profusely sweating, wanting to vomit but not really having it in me, I saw something out of the corner of my eye that made me feel so, so much worse than I already did. Or, rather, someone. It was Sean, to be exact, and he was already approaching the vehicle, so I couldn't duck down and hide or something. I mean, it wouldn't've done any good, because he knew my car pretty well by that point in time, and he was the type who would, like, just wait there for me to show up, ya' know?

So, I slowly rolled down the window as he approached.

"Hey! I followed you," he exclaimed, cheery as ever.
"F-followed...?" I stammered, trailing off.
"Yeah. I was pulling up to your place as you were pulling out," he replied. "I know I was a little early, but I jus—"
"Early? What f— OH! LUNCH! FUCK! I FORGOT!" I blurted, almost immediately tearing up. "I'M SO SORRY!"
"Whoa, it's alright, Liz," he insisted, leaning in a bit. "Whatever's wrong, I wanna help you. I m—"

That was the moment it clicked. He slowly stood back up, froze a moment, then leaned back in even slower, his face white as a sheet.

"A-are you... you're pregnant, aren't you?" Sean asked.

My eyes widened about three sizes, and I nodded, never once looking him in the eye. I couldn't look away from the dash. I mean, I could, but only to look further away from Sean. I knew – I just knew – that the second I looked at him or spoke to him, it would all be over. That our wonderful, beautiful, extremely fulfilling relationship - which'd been the center of my world for a whirlwind six months - would be fucking ruined, Sean would never even look at me again, and I'd be all alone for the rest of my miserable, fucked up life, just like I always feared...

But that's not what happened. Not at all.

"I... y-yes, I'm pr— I-I'm pregnant," I stammered, thick, beadlike tears rolling out. "A-and, ya' know, if you wanna just, like, b-bail, I get it.'

Then something flipped inside of Sean and he bolted around to the passenger's side, opened the door, and slid in close, putting his arm around me.

"I w— I was gonna just... I was gonna take c-care of it," I whimpered.
"Do you want that?" Sean asked, pulling me closer.
"I... No... I d— I don't know," I whined.

He swallowed hard, then kissed me on the crown.

"Do... do you love me, Elizabeth? And I mean love me. 'Cause I'm in love with you," he said.
"Y-yes..." I screeched, finally totally giving in to bawling my eyes out. I felt so fucking stupid. So fucking small.

But Sean wasn't having any of that.

"Liz, hey, I know you wanna have kids. I listen when you talk to me, you know?" Sean sighed. "I know what your Mom meant to you, and I-I know that you wanna be that for someone, someday. That was all real, right?"
"O-of course!" I cried.
"Well, look, if that day's right now, o-or ten years down the line, that's up to you," he said, doing all he could to keep from getting too emotional. "I won't think any less of you, a-and I won't want to be with you any less... and when you are ready for a family, I-I hope... I hope it's with me."
"Wh-what're y—"
"I'm saying I want... fuck..." Sean struggled to speak, taking a deep, centering breath before he continued. "I'm saying I want to be your husband. I-I don't think I'll ever m— no. I know I'll never meet another girl I wanna be with more. Definitely not for the rest of my life."

That's right... I was proposed to in the fucking Planned Parenthood parking lot, and I was having a super hard time dealing with the two huge decisions I'd had dropped (or dripped) into my lap. Well, maybe more squirted in the one instance... too gross? Ya' do know what sex is don't you? It's wet, it's somehow simultaneously sticky and slippery, it smells weird, things get squirted in and out of other things, and it makes your body do all sorts of other crazy shit it isn't used to, but it feels fucking awesome, and can make little people that you grow inside of you who will one day grow up, fuck another person, and make other little people, who in turn grow up, have some stuff squirted out of and/or into them, and make even more little people who'll go on to one d—

Okay, I'm sorry. I'll stop. Point made, right? Right.

Seriously though, it was a lot to take in. Here I was, getting ready to go talk to a doctor about having a fucking abortion, even though I'd always genuinely wanted children, and there was the potential father to that potential child supporting my decision – one I was making without even letting him know it might be a possibility – like it wasn't the biggest, scariest thing that'd ever happened to either of us, even though it unequivocally was.

And that's when I had my epiphany.

Sean was, I was certain, exactly what I'd always looked for in a prospective lifemate. He was smart, he was sweet, he worked his ass off, he was funny, he had a Jackmanesque physique that would make even the straightest of men take a second glance, and, most importantly, he saw me as what I was – what I truly was – and it didn't seem to deter him for one second. He loved me for me, and he was willing to accept my excessive baggage. He wasn't gonna leave me any more than I was gonna leave him.

And I absolutely wasn't going anywhere.

"I want that too..." I whimpered, leaking yet more tears.
"Hey, it's okay, Li—"
"I-I was just g-gonna do it!" I wept. "I w— I was gonna fu-ucking get an ab— I wasn't even gonna t-tell y—"

That stammering confession was all she wrote for me. If I was already in breakdown mode, I don't know what the fuck it turned into. I was just a shuddering, weeping mess of tears and snot, and it was super fucking embarrassing. It's embarrassing to recall to you now. However, what resulted was anything but embarrassing.

Sean and I calmed down (well, I calmed down – he was already keeping his shit together pretty good), then went in to get my test results together. They were fucking stellar, and that calmed me down a lot more, then Sean and I went back to his place, he gave me a ring that had been in his family forever, and we made it official. We then hastily planned a very small wedding (at the fucking Hendrix memorial, no less*), followed through with that, and, a few months later, I had my daughter, Natasha. She immediately became the single most important thing in the universe to me. I mean, she already was while I was carrying her, but when she was out, and I could fucking just see her, whenever I wanted? It was unreal. It's indescribable. I didn't even have any postpartum depression. None.

I was just fucking elated to have her here. In person.

And Sean? For-fucking-get it. He was an amazing father right out of the gate, and has only gotten better as time went on. His love of basketball rubbed off on Natty, and the two of them just go fucking nuts over the shit. Personally, I still hate it. It's not my thing at all, but they love it, and I love that, no matter how sour things may sometimes get between Sean and I these days...

Well, that's a can of worms I'm not gonna dive into right now. Just know that I got pretty fucked up by a crazy person, Sean blamed Dad, physically attacked him, and things have been more than a little turbulent since.

But he's still an amazing Dad. He always will be. I know that.

Anyway, I think this is the last time I'm doing this for a while. My little Natty kinda pushed me into it because I was in a real funk (or maybe just because she wanted to do more drawings - drawings we both hope you've enjoyed), and it was helping, but this one... I think I was maybe torturing myself or something? I dunno. Life isn't always happy, good times, and I have to learn to just fucking accept that.

On that note, thanks for reading these rambling rants. I think that, in the long run, they'll prove to've been good therapy. Or not. Probably not. It's far more likely they'll just serve to keep reminding me how easy it is to topple into a seemingly endless, hopeless, crippling depression.

Yup. That sounds more likely.

Sooooooooo...

YAY! Love and peace!

- Elizabeth

P.S. But don't worry, I won't, like, commit sudoku or anything like that. I just need time to readjust to life after a mountain of scary, life-changing bullshit crumbled on top of me all at once.* It'll take time, but I know I'll come out of the other side. I have to... but that's all I can say about it now without losing my shit, so, I'm out.

Maybe later.

 
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ON SALE MAY 7th, 2019

*1 - See "Blogging The Harper Way", available now in "a HARPER collection: Volume One".
*2 - See "Until She Stops Screaming", available May 7th.
*3 - See "Teenage Female", available now.
*4 - See "The Wedding Song", available now in "a HARPER collection: Volume One".
*5 - See "Among The Dirt and Bones", available now.

 
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