In order to move forward I need to look back sometimes.
This blog post is a complete rewrite of one I wrote two years ago.. funny what a difference two years can make and it has been almost 6 years since I left my marriage behind me. I took out the bad parts because I deemed them unnecessary and it was painful to reread them.
Back then, who knew I would be single again after forty years of marriage, certainly not me.
Deciding to leave what was left of the marriage, took me three years and that was.. by my calculations.. thirteen years in the making! The other twenty seven years were spent building, dreaming and making a life with two great kids and later, two grandkids. I think we were happy in the building stages.. who has time for anything else?
Learning to live with another person will always have its challenges.. right? The thing is.. if you have a commonality then I think it would be easier. Opposites attract all right, but in the end they attack.. someone told me that once and I tend to agree.
I was learning to be who I was back then, but I was also married to someone that was telling me who I should be. Seems I was also a scapegoat for whatever didn’t go his way. I’m sure I felt the same about him.. but I forget, because I was trying so hard to make peace all the time.
One thing is for sure, we were two headstrong individuals trying to make a life together, we didn’t agree on much, and we were quite verbal about it. I was raised in a house with battling parents and remember as kids, how we all curled up in one bed, all six of us listening to them shouting at each other.. we were so scared.
They say history repeats itself and maybe that is true.. but did I really go out of my way to find a fighting partner? How can you know what the future with someone is going to look like? Ten years .. twenty years or even forty years later? First off divorce or leaving was never an option for me.. having come from a broken home myself at 12 yrs old.. I was the oldest.
I made a vow that my kids would never know the trauma of changing schools all the time. We moved so often as kids that I failed a grade one year, only to recommend in another (not writing final exams). Moving all the time and having to make new friends and never really having a stable home life, made me wish for something better.
I did get that wish.. staying in one place and setting down roots alright.. but the stable atmosphere morphed into my childhood nightmares of screaming matches. My kids, ah.. where to start, I’m sure they will say I scarred them for life from all our fighting. I am truly sorry for what we put them through.. and how did I ever allow that to happen?
Truth is, I was fighting to keep my inner spirit alive, I don’t know if anyone will understand this. I didn’t understand it then.. but some will never have peace within themselves. Everything bad that happens to them, is perceived as some one elses fault, not their own. How can you ever make a happy life in a situation like that?
Drinking alcohol to mask pain or shortcomings or inferiority or whatever the reason to overindulge.. only makes it worse. Booze is the biggest problem in marriage breakdowns along with money, today .. yesterday and maybe always.
Suicidal thoughts usually involve some sort of stimulant.. sometimes you just can’t see any other way to escape an intorerable situation .. you just can’t. If you can make it through the night until morning.. it seems to pass.. or the alcohol/stimulant has worn off and you come to your senses.
I take full responsibility for my mistakes. My drinking, left me with such hangovers that I couldn’t keep that up. The suicidal thoughts usually coincided with the alcohol anyway, so who needs that?
I made mistakes, lots of them but I also tried my best to learn from them. I then turned to Bingo (go figure) and later gambling to escape the realities of an unhappy life. Sometimes we replace one vice with another .. that one took me awhile to shed and maybe I will never be completely free, but it does not ‘medicate’ me any more.
Our lives were glued together by our kids, they are always our joy and I will always remember the many good times we had. I hope they remember the good as well and not to dwell on the early ‘fighting years’. We did our best as parents and providers.. that we couldn’t seem to resolve our own issues is not their fault. We did do most everything together as a family.
I was unawares back then, of what a controlling partner is.. one that needs to control all aspects of yourself.. like what you can say and how you can act and even what you should think! Giving someone that power over you.. can cut you off from ‘your own family’.. (not theirs) and also your own friends.
What I do know now is.. it is impossible make someone happy.. lord knows I tried. It was years after the kids were finished with school and there I was, still trying. It does take two people to feed off each other and best to realize that early on I guess.
I truly believed that I could make him happy, and if I could only just ‘realize’ what I was doing wrong then everything would be all right. In the end it came to me in an ‘aha’ moment.. I realized that I could never make him happy. You cannot will that on someone and make it happen.. and mine said straight out “I am not going to change”.
What else is left after you hear that? My only regret is that I wished I had paid attention.. sooner. I was the one handing over my power (yes .. we do that) to let another person dictate my life.. even down to the way I laughed!
Now how the heck did that happen? I suppose it was insidious and there is always two sides to a story.. this is my side only and it is what I believe. Learning to live by myself and finding myself, after all this time is part of my ongoing journey. “We cannot change anyone else.. we can only change ourselves”.
It was as if a weight was lifted from my soul that day.. May 27th.. my ‘birthday’ almost six years ago. I found the strength and courage somehow to change my life and I have never looked back, not even once! I am grateful for every single day.. even at my age.. it is never too late to change your life.
“but .. but.. what if I fail, what then?
hmmmmm… but what if I sail off into this glorious world..
unafraid.. raising my sails weathering storms real or imagined, saturating my soul in the joys and sorrows of my own making.
YES.. set yourself free, to everyone reading this.
This ocean of possibilities opens before me and I am the rudder, steering my way into unchartered waters excites the hell out of me.
‘life is too fragile to tread on broken glass’ .. CLMargerate