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The September Curse

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I’m in Utah on vacation for the week. Hanging with my family, getting some writing done, hopefully recharging, because life has bashed most of the fight out of me…

And hiding from the September Curse.

September has been my cursed month since my first year of law school. September 8th is basically my version of Friday the 13th.

Until this year, the truly bad things that have happened, or the decisions leading to them were made, in September.

Last year, my ex (whom I was with for 6 years) made the decision to leave me in September. I just didn’t know about it for a month.

9 years ago today, I met the worst mistake I have ever made, who made September cursed for me.

(That mistake is otherwise known as the evil ex, whom I still can not get out of my life because he is firmly entrenched with 2 of my extended friends groups, and he has basically replaced me in the one I’d help build and introduced him to.)

Not every year held really bad things in September. After 2010 (first year of law school) nothing big and bad happened in September. I know annoying things happened that weren’t great, and they fed into my superstition about this month, but it wasn’t until I took a job in 2014 that my idea of “the curse” was solidified, because on my cursed day, September 8th, I decided to take a job in Kentucky that ended up being a mistake. Looking back, it was a bump in the road and didn’t leave any permanent damage to me, unlike other things, but at the time it was bad.

In 2016, my ex and I got bedbugs because he always had people staying with us and someone brought them in over the summer. And that was bad. My anxiety went through the roof, it was horrible. (So yes, that is something bad that happened in June/July). In September, the bugs reemerged because they were hiding in the ex’s suitcase for 2 months, and I was a mess for weeks after getting the place treated again.

At the time, my ex was planning to meet his mother in West Virginia while she was there for a conference, and I’d wanted him to stay to deal with the mess. He’d said he couldn’t because his mom was expecting him and she’d be upset if he didn’t show up.

It was the only fight we’d ever had. I used to think us not fighting was a good thing because we talked everything out and didn’t get petty with each other (which I still maintain is a good thing in a relationship) but not fighting for 4 years? No, that means one of the people doesn’t deal with conflict at all so they just bury things that bug them until it rots their brains.

We had a slow fight over the phone for days where I’d rant at him, told him why I was upset, and that him ditching me wasn’t okay, and he’d just ask to hang up after a few minutes because the fighting made him tired.

After he got back was the first time he’d threatened to break up with me. Because we’d had a fight? Because me getting mad at him meant I wasn’t “the one” for him since the right fit doesn’t fight? Because his mom didn’t like me and wanted to make sure he’d choose her over me, and that really came out during the bedbug incident? Because he realized if he loved me he would’ve stayed, I would have been important enough for him to stay despite what his mom said? All of the above?

And yes, his mother had a lot to do with the eventual breakup, and yes, him ditching me while I was freaking out (get bedbugs once and have them come back after you thought they were gone, trust me, you’d freak out too) because his mother threw a hissy fit over him not showing up for a few days, should have been a giant red flag.

In 2017, after the evil ex was back in Nashville and we were actually friends for a few months, the issues I’d buried came up in September.

He’d had his citizenship pulled out from under him on the day of the naturalization ceremony due to a technicality the last week of August, and I’d spent the day with him, making calls and trying to figure out who to talk to to help him out, and then just to keep him company because he’s an extrovert and wants people around when he’s upset. He got mad at me over something I’d said when trying to help (and yes, I did give information I shouldn’t have, but looking back, the people in charge had already made their decision on him so I don’t think I actually made it worse, I just didn’t help), and we ended up fighting. That plus him hooking up with some slut from South Dakota my recent ex brought in for a photo shoot (she flew in on September 8th too), and how much that hurt me, broke open everything I’d buried from 2010.

So I finally had to deal with those issues. And the person who’d become a friend abandoned me again, hurt me again, made it clear again that he’d never really cared about me and wasn’t my friend, he’d just liked the connections I’d made for him. It drove home that he’d used me, again. And he became the evil ex again in my mind.

Technically that whole ordeal was necessary. It forced me to deal with what I’d buried. I worked on myself, on my psychological issues, on being a better person. And to at least begin the process of forgiving myself.

Part of it was me wanting to be a better person for my now ex. And to not have my past affect our relationship. You know someone is good for you when they make you want to be the best version of yourself. He did that for me. Unfortunately, I did not have the same effect on him.

Then last year happened. Generally outlined in the last post. I lost the life I’d built over 6 years, my partner and my home, and I found out just how many “friends” weren’t real ones.

You can’t get much worse without whatever the bad thing is crossing into physical damage, like a car accident or cancer.

Writing this out, as far as I can tell, the curse has been picking up steam the past few years, because when it struck between them and 2010, it hadn’t been very bad, and the last 3 years have gotten worse and worse every year.

I’d thought I’d be more worried about this month. It’s why I’m in Utah till the 9th.

September 8th is my cursed day. (That story has played out over and over again in my fiction because I’m still working through my issues with it, but I may post the story in serial form on here soon.) I didn’t make decisions on that day, I didn’t do anything I didn’t have to, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to fly on it.

Last year, I decided to try to lay my past to rest, and break the curse. I did a writing exercise recommended by my therapist to find some closure with the evil ex, and it took me all of my long weekend. It was the 8 year mark, and that was the statute of limitations, so I made the decision one last time not to file charges on the evil ex. I decided to grant him some grace and give him the benefit of the doubt that I could have the psychological damage of someone who was sexually assaulted, without him having had the mens rea to actually have committed a crime against me.

And on the 8th, I decided to get blonde highlights, to make a change and chose that it’d be a good one. I do love them and still think they look good. I’d thought maybe that was it. That I’d broken the curse myself.

But then my now ex broke up with me, after we’d been working on issues on and off for 2 years, and he said he’d made the decision in September.

Didn’t exactly help get rid of the superstition I have.

So I scheduled my vacation for now. First time I’ll be in Utah on the 8th since the curse was born.

So maybe I will have outrun the curse? Maybe just not being in Nashville for it will break it? Then again, if it really is the whole month, well, I’m only here for the first part of it.

Maybe there are no curses and it really is like Friday the 13th. Bad things happen all the time and you just take note of them on days your brain tells you that you should.

For one, this year gave me a new cursed day. At least a tie for the top 3 worst things that have happened in my life.

On April 23rd, I lost my baby. I’d already lost him partially when the ex broke up with me since Gremlin was his cat first, but I had visitation rights and could still see him. And still knew he was healthy and happy, even if I wasn’t always there for him.

His death was not only horrible on its own because that was a bad loss (No, I am not even close to having dealt with it yet, I’m pretty sure I’ve barely begun dealing with it), he also was the last piece of mine and my ex’s life together. My old life. The denial I’d built up about being friends with the ex and how he still cared about me so that meant we could be friends broke, and it felt like breaking up all over again.

I’ve been in this dark place ever since.

So maybe 2019 has already been so bad for me, already made a new cursed day, so that broke the old curse. I don’t know. And kind of feels like I’m tempting fate by saying that.

I’m also wondering if Gremlin’s death isn’t just a continuation of the September curse. Because if we hadn’t broken up, I would have still been there, and if I’d still been in the house, maybe Grem wouldn’t have been outside at that wrong time and gotten attacked, or I would have noticed he was injured earlier than my ex did and we would’ve gotten him to the vet earlier, and maybe that would have made a difference.

We don’t know.

We can never know if I’d been there if Grem still would have died. Both of us have played the what if game way too much over the circumstances around his death because Gremlin dying broke both of us.

The reason humans look for patterns is because we want to believe we have power to keep bad things from happening. If we can figure out what causes bad things to happen, like they happen during specific times, then we can avoid them, and save ourselves the pain, or we can control the outcomes.

I say September is cursed because it gives me a pattern, something to look for, to watch out for, so I can keep more bad things from happening, or at least expect the bad.

I can know logically that’s all I’m doing, and still feel like there’s a curse I must break or be ready for.

I am still working on myself. Obviously.

The emotional blows over the last year have been a giant setback, and I do not know the way out of the place I’m in now. When I was broken in 2010, I was a mess for months and finally dealt by burying it. When I had to actually deal with it in 2017, I had the love and support of my partner.

So being broken now, I don’t know how to fix it.

But I am working on it. On trying to heal myself. It’s something.

So now, on this day, right around the same time I met the evil ex during the Friday gathering at law school 9 years ago, I’m deciding to not believe in the curse, to stop feeding it, to take back the power I feel like this horrible mistake has over me.

I am deciding to stop thinking of it as how to break the curse, and start thinking of it as how to fix myself.

Because that’s basically what it comes down to.

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