In order to move forward, I need to look back sometimes.
This blog post is a complete rewrite of what I wrote two years ago.. funny what a difference two years can make and it has been almost 6 years since I left the marriage. I took out the bad parts because I deemed them unnecessary and it was painful to reread them.
Who knew I would be single again after forty years of marriage, certainly not me.
Deciding to leave 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 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 who I was back then but I was also married to someone that was telling me who I should be. Seems I was 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 people trying to make a living and seems like 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 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.. having come from a broken home myself.
I made a solemn 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 then, that some will never have peace within themselves. Everything bad that happens to them, in their life, is perceived as everyone else’s fault but their own, and how can you ever make a happy life with someone like that?
Drinking alcohol to mask pain or shortcomings or inferiority or whatever your reason to overindulge.. only makes it worse. Booze is the biggest problem in marriage breakdowns along with money, today .. yesterday, and maybe always.
I take full responsibility for my mistakes. My drinking eventually left me with such hangovers that I couldn’t keep that up. The suicidal thoughts usually coincided with the alcohol anyway, so I didn’t miss that, I made mistakes but I also corrected some of them. I turned to Bingo and later gambling to escape the realities of an unhappy life.
Our kids were our joy and I will always remember all the good times we had. I hope they remember the good as well and not to dwell on the early ‘fighting years’. He was a good dad and a good provider.. that we couldn’t seem to resolve our own issues is not their fault. We did do almost everything together as a family.
When you are with what I now know as a controlling partner.. one that thinks they need to control all aspects of you, 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.
Please know this, you will never make that person happy.. ever. Lord knows how I tried.. years later and the kids were finished with school, I was still trying. This works both ways in a relationship, I was not innocent by any means. I truly believed I could make him happy and if I could only ‘realize’ what I was doing wrong then everything would be all right. In the end, I realized I could never make him happy. You cannot will that on someone and make it happen.. maybe some will never know the peace of mind?
As it turns out there was nothing wrong with me all those years other than handing over my own 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 are 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 that time is part of my ongoing journey.
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. I have never looked back, not even once and I am grateful for every single day, even being as old as I am it is never too late to change your life.
“but .. but.. what if I fail, what happens then? hmmm but what if I sail forth into this glorious world unafraid to raise my sails and weather it all by myself, no matter what squalls blow into my path?”
“YES .. that is how I want to experience this journey into the rest of my life.. ”
Copyright June 2014