The house is finally done enough to move in. It’s not done done, but enough to get a certificate of occupancy. It is a beautiful place. We moved in right after Easter on April 16th. Oddly enough, it is the exact same date we moved into our house in Delaware 15 years ago.

I’ve gotten the bulk of the kitchen and living areas unpacked, and I have Anjelica’s room set up. I’m a long way from having pictures hung on walls and such, though, and I haven’t even begun to unpack my own things that have been in storage. Things that were in the apartment closet and in the portable drawers are about all I’ve taken care of so far. It’s my stuff, so it isn’t hurting anyone else. I feel like I’ve been living out of a suitcase for well over a year, so I’m not in a rush now.

The house is pretty, and for the most part we agreed on what we did with the décor, although I didn’t want the snow white carpet on the second floor. I have no idea how to keep it perfectly white. In fact, it arrived with stains on it, and we are waiting to have a large area replaced. It is beautiful, just not practical. The only other area we had difference of opinion was in the color of the dining room. We ended up with the green that Lou liked instead of the blue I preferred. Overall, though that is not a bad record considering all the decisions that we had to make every day. The move went well also; nothing else was broken, and nothing seems to be lost.

The only issue was with the guy at the U-Haul place where we rented a truck to move our stuff from the apartment to the house. When I returned the truck, it didn’t have exactly the same amount of gas as when I rented it. He gave me a very hard time, even though I tried to explain that they rented it with a partial tank, and I could not see the gas gauge while filling it, so it is next to impossible to get it exactly right. When Lou picked me up, I was still shaky. I have never done well with disagreements and avoid conflict as much as possible. I usually just brush off the issue and move on. But I now find that when faced with someone’s anger I become physically shaken. I don’t know why it’s like this, but I guess it is the anxiety. When Lou saw that I was trembling and upset, and pressed me for details, I asked him to just let it go and take me home. But that wasn’t happening. Instead, he got out of the car, and had it out with the guy. I couldn’t hear them, but I could see Lou was yelling, and poking his finger at the guy’s chest, at which point the rental guy pulled out his cell phone to call the police. As Lou got back in our car, he yelled at us to never come back. Lou acted like I should be glad he stood up for me. He didn’t get that he caused me more stress instead of solving anything.

My doctor sent me to a psychiatrist, since I was having continued issues with the different medications they’ve been prescribing for the depression and anxiety. The psychiatrist is trying other drugs but is also talking to me about more details of what is going on in my life. I started out just talking about the general stress of moving and building a house, but ended up getting into details about what is going on between Lou and me. The psychiatrist really surprised me but made me feel better when he said that the wrong person was on the couch, and that I really needed to be seeing a lawyer instead of a psychiatrist. I don’t know if I’m at that stage yet or not. I’d like to see if things will get better now that we are in the house.

Bruce basically told me the same thing as the psychiatrist. I was talking to him about all the different medications I’ve been put on recently, and his response was that what I needed was a drug called NoLouAtAll. I said that was funny. He said he wasn’t kidding. He declared that from now on, my alter-ego is a strong and powerful woman with superhero invincibility named Phoenix. He’s an incredible comic book writer and artist, but he’s an even more incredible friend. What a gift he is in my life.

Maybe I should keep talking to people. So far, nobody is judging me. I’m finding out that it may not be all me. Not all my problems. Not all my fault. Maybe I can have superhero strength. Or at least have the strength of a normal person who doesn’t give in all the time. Maybe my Phoenix alter-ego has the balls to kick me in the ass.

I called my sister to talk about anti-depressants, how long it took them to work, and side effects, etc. She was so nice, understanding, and helpful, and actually drove out to talk in person, and spent time helping me get some stuff unpacked and set up. I opened up about the problems Lou and I are having and my concerns about our future. I’ve felt like I’ve been on my own, alone for so many years now, it never occurred to me that anyone would actually travel to spend time with me to just listen and be supportive. I didn’t give a lot of details, but I think she could piece together quite a bit based on what she’s seen over the years. As far as Lou was concerned, she was just there to support her clinically depressed sister. For me, though it was a chance to talk candidly about what was going on in my life for the first time. I imagine she thought I had a charmed life in a perfect little world where nothing bad could ever touch me. She’d said in the past that I could fall in sh*t and come up smelling like roses. But I don’t see myself that way. I’m just trying to do the best I can and keep everyone happy. When I screw up and do the wrong things, I don’t think anyone wants to know about it, and prefer to be kept in the dark assuming all is well and good. Who wants to know about my problems, issues or mistakes?

When I cheated on Lou, I never wanted him to know, and I was careful to be discrete. It may sound like bullsh*t, but I didn’t want to hurt him because of my faults. What kills me about his relationship with Tanya and all the other times he cheated on me, is that he seems absolutely indifferent to whether or not I knew, and if it hurt me. To the contrary, it gets turned around to be either my imagination or my fault.

Anyway, I didn’t hide my problems to make everyone think I had a perfect life. I just did what I think most people do by making the best of the situation. I tried to stay happy, peaceful and optimistic, and to make Lou’s and Anjelica’s life as happy and peaceful as possible. I tried to run interference and block the stuff that caused stress from ever reaching Lou. I used to think it worked.