Growing Pains

Many, many, many days have passed in which I am able to pull my big girl pants up and get on with the day. There have been struggles, for sure; however, I do think that I am turning a corner of more better moments than bad moments. More laughter than tears. More focus on my life that is than my life that was.

But…I still have moments of weakness and pain.

And, when those moments come, I am truly unable to stop myself from reaching out to him.

Why?

Am I a masochist?

A glutton for punishment?

No…not at all.

The simple answer is that I still think my husband is in there somewhere. I still love my husband in spite of all the hurt.

He’s not in there though.

The man who replaced him told me “I’ve outgrown you”.

Yes, he said those words.

After 20 years, three children, and more ups and downs than I can even list…”I’ve outgrown you. I’ve outgrown this house, this life and everything it represents”.

Huh.

I didn’t really have a response for that. I mean, truly, what can you say to something like that?

But, it does amplify the fact that there is literally nothing I can do or say to the man who promised me his life forever that will change the course of this situation.

There isn’t a “but if he only knew this” or “if I could just get him to see that”. It’s not up to me and never has been to save this marriage.

I. CANNOT. SAVE. MY. MARRIAGE. ALONE.

So, I made a decision. I took control where I could. I finished a huge project looming over my head. I packed up the personal items and clothing he had left here in the house ~ nicely and I made sure breakables were protected, not for him, but because I am a good person ~ and I gave it to him.

And I have my room now. It’s mine. All about me. And what I want. And where I want it. And how I want it.

If I fall down seven times, I’m going to get up eight! I am not going to stop pushing myself forward. I am forgiving myself for still loving him, because apparently I can’t stop doing that right now. And I am going to not let his behavior dictate how I feel about myself. And I am not going to let the person he’s become change the loving and amazing person I am.

In fact, I hope all the stuff he left here still fits him. (Probably won’t though, considering how much he’s outgrown everything…)

This is excellent advice:

April 21 2013
Avoid those who are on the road to destruction. Empathize with them and attempt to suggest ways in which they can pull themselves up from the rubble of their lives. But always stay the course and keep a steady distance from those who will attempt to bring you down, diminish you, and vandalize your heart and soul.

It is something I have a hard time remembering. I have a giving nature. I have a desire to help.

I do not protect myself. Really, ever, if I’m being completely honest. I don’t know how.

The word “doormat” may come to mind. I would argue that I am not so much a “doormat” as a “city dump”.

See, I tend to take responsibility for everything. Even if it is outside my control. And then I try to fix it. Even if it is outside my control. And then I agonize over it. Even if it is outside…well, you see the pattern here, right? I will let you do what you need to do, make excuses for you, fix it for you, and then forget that it was your problem to begin with…so therefore I will carry your baggage for you for the rest of my life while you get to go on and live scott free.

It’s über healthy. I know. And, I am desperately trying to break that cycle of behavior.

Because, clearly, I’d be better off.

And making myself smaller does not make anyone else bigger. It just gives away my joy.

I have to tell you, that’s been in pretty short supply lately…so I’m going to start getting pretty selfish with that right about now.

If any of this resonates with you, may I suggest you do the same?

Not that I’m trying to fix you or anything 😉

 

I Am

“The worst thing in the world is putting in a tremendous amount of time and effort into something you never had a chance of accomplishing in the first place. Playing a game with honest effort that was lost before it ever began.”

That sums up perfectly how I feel. I feel like a fool. I feel like I didn’t have all the information and was at the wrong end of the field. Heck, I was on the wrong field completely.

And I agonize over the fact that the love of my life led me to the wrong field and left me there.

And I miss him. Not who he is now, who he was.

Where I am now is a foreign world and it’s one I don’t really like. It’s scary and full of new things that I am unsure of.

And when I look at the news feeds from Boston, I break down. Because life is fleeting. And there are crazy people out there who want to make it even more fleeting. And I want to take everyone I love and hold them close. And I want to go out and share that love with all of those hurting people.

And while I’m doing that, there is a huge, gaping hole where he should be standing. And it kills me that it is completely by his choice and there is not a thing I can do about it. And it makes me shake all the way down to my bones.

But, you know what?

I am doing it.

I am alone…but I am doing it.

I am still standing, even while I shake.

I am still breathing, even while I cry.

I am still loving, even with a broken heart.

I am still here.

I am strong.

I am enough.

I am.

Two Steps Back

Does anyone else remember growing up when phone numbers were just the seven digits without the area code? How about when the first two numbers were letters? Rotary phones? I digress…

I have a different area code on my cellphone than my husband.

He is one of the only people I know that has the area code he has.

Today at work, I received a phone call from a gentleman with the same area code.

He left a message on my voice mail.

I retrieved the message and wrote down his number.

I hung up the phone.

I picked it back up to return the call.

I entered the area code.

I then proceeded to dial my husband’s number while looking at the pad of paper I had written this man’s number on.

Didn’t even think twice.

My fingers just dialed the number instinctively.

As I hit the last key, I realized what I had done and immediately hung up.

That habit will eventually go away…right?

Please?

A Healed Heart

During the past few days I’ve had quite a few ups and downs.

I am so, so thankful for the ups. My middle daughter made us a delicious supper and we ate as a family…making plans for our future together. I went for a long walk, outside, and enjoyed the fresh (and finally warmer) air. My oldest daughter is playing a game with her senior class where you are given a target and you have to try to get them wet with a squirt gun (or cup of water or something) before the person who has you as a target gets you. We’ve had a ton of fun trying to figure out where her target is going to be and protecting her from getting wet. My son is finally opening up and telling me about his feelings. He has some very profound ideas about what is going on.

My downs come in pin pricks during the ups sometimes. I think, “How is it that I’m even here trying to make a plan for our future without him?” or “We used to have so much fun walking along this path together.” or “Wow. He would have loved making a plan to hit her target.” or “How mature my babies are now…it’s so unfair.”

And I think the downs are more profound because I was so unexpectedly happy last week. (I was silly to assume that I would continue to feel that way…not because I won’t eventually, but right now, I know it’s part of the cycle.) My recent downs feel worse for knowing what the happiness feels like. It had been so long I literally forgot what it felt like.

And now I want it back.

For. Good.

I want to be done with the tears. Done with the feeling of rejection. Done with caring what he’s doing.

I want to move. on.

Everything I see and read says that I should sit in this now and feel it now so that I can heal now and not later.

And I have been sitting. And I do believe I have been healing.

But, don’t I get a say in when enough is enough?

Why can’t I just tell my brain and my heart to sync up and get going?

Is that so much to ask?

Apparently so.

The quagmire I keep coming back to is why.

Not why did this happen. I’m pretty sure I will never have the answer to that one.

No, my why question is on the manner in which this went down.

Why?

Why couldn’t it have been the “normal” way? Say, “I want a divorce.” then get out. Don’t drag it on for months and months and months giving me and the children hope. Don’t make us think there is a chance.

It don’t know for certain, but I think I would have been able to recover from that a lot easier.

Think of a kid who says, “I don’t want to play with this toy anymore; however, I’m going to break it into a million pieces and crush it until it’s unrecognizable so no one else can ever put it back together again and play with it either. I’m going to destroy everything I see since I don’t want it anymore. And then I’m going to say I didn’t do it when someone asks me.”

I feel like that toy.

And I’m sick of it.

This is not what I want. I didn’t choose this. And now I have to deal with this and fix it.

And it sucks.

But I’m holding on to this: I want to heal and that is greater than anything else.

And I refuse to let it go.

Because, right now, that is my greatest desire.

I want a healed heart desperately.

And, I’m not going to stop until I get one.

An Unexpected Gift

Today I woke up with a feeling in my chest that I didn’t recognize.

I carried it during my morning devotions, and when I was making breakfast for my son. I held it when I walked him to the bus and on my way to work. I let it sit with me as I went through my work day and it followed me home.

It continued to grow and radiate through my body all day long.

It scared me.

This foreign feeling was filling up the dark hole that has been dominating my life for months. I wasn’t sure what was happening. It was almost painful in its consumption of my being. Definitely insistent on not being ignored. Alien to me, although something familiar from a long time ago…as if looking through distorted glass down a long tunnel. I think I remember feeling this way before but was unable to process because it was so unexpected and confusing.

You see, today I woke up happy.

And it stayed with me the whole day.

I spontaneously smiled.

I laughed (and really meant it).

I was extremely productive at work.

I was extremely productive at home.

I wrote.

I am embracing this unexpected gift and choosing to accept it. I have lived in the moments of today and enjoyed myself.

For the first time in what seems like forever…