Epiphanies   Leave a comment

Epiphanies suck.

I know because I had one today, and I’m not happy about it.  As much as I want to be in a relationship (since I’ve now been single for two and a half years, but who’s counting…), I’m not ready for one.

See what I mean? The realization completely and totally bites.

I remember my boss telling me early on in the soul-sucking, esteem-sinking process of my marriage disappearing that when all was said and done I would emerge a stronger person. My response was I was pretty damn strong already and what I needed wasn’t to be stronger but to be loved.

Apparently (and this is not something you will hear me say often), I was wrong.

What I really need is to figure out who I am and to decide what exactly I want from my life.

How did I come by this knowledge? I was asked out on a date. A handful of times. By someone who didn’t seem put off by the fact I was busy almost every single time he asked by virtue of being a mostly single parent. After a few dates, I have the impression he wants more. Much more. And you know what? I don’t think I do.

As flattering as it is to be pursued, I find I am actually uncomfortable with the thought of being with someone right now. Because I don’t know what I want out of a relationship right now. And I’m not going to know what I want until I have a better idea of who I am.

At 47 years old, I have to grow up. Isn’t that just a kick in the pants?

When I met my ex-husband, I was 19 years old and, as mature as I may have been, I wasn’t fully formed. To use a Buffy reference, I was still cookie dough. In some ways meeting him gave me more self-confidence because I had a hard time believing anyone would ever really be interested in me, but in other ways it pulled down who I might have been and replaced her with someone else. Someone who spent a lot of time second guessing herself.

Those of you who are still friends with my ex, may want to stop reading at this point because I am about to say some things about him that will come off as unkind. If you choose to continue, bear in mind this is my perception of our relationship, and mine alone.

In the early years of my marriage, I learned not to complain too much about things, whether it be our lack of income or my job from hell – literally, I had the job from hell – or I would be tuned out. I discovered it was easier to ask him for several options of what he wanted to do or where he wanted to eat when we went out and pick the one I could deal with as almost anything I wanted to do was greeted with a “I’m not in the mood for that.” I took charge of the housework, the finances, and the child care because I found out if I wanted something done I either had to nag (which didn’t go over well at all), do it myself, or deal with it going undone. I accepted it was easier for him to talk to his other friends – almost all women – instead of me because I overreacted – full disclosure: at times I did – and learned to live with the answers “fine,” “good,” and “not much” when I asked questions about how he felt or what he was thinking. I felt all warm and fuzzy when told he thought about doing something nice for me rather than being happy because he did do something nice.

Does this make me mad? You bet.

But as angry as I have gotten at him with the 20/20 vision that is hindsight, I am more angry with myself. Because I allowed this to happen.

And now I have to be the one to undo it.

I have to unlearn my tendency not to say things that might hurt someone’s feelings at the expense of my own. I have to figure out what it is I want, so that when my therapist tells me to do something spontaneous, I don’t just sit around reading a book because I have no freaking idea what I want to do. I have to become a person who doesn’t need a partner before I can be capable of being someone’s partner.

I have to tear down the walls I have built around my emotions for their own protection and learn who I am, what I want to do, where I want my future to go.

To be honest, this scares me more than the actual process of getting divorced, and I don’t know how other people make it look so… I can’t say easy, but possible.

So, as interesting as the whole online dating experiment has been, I am pulling the plug on it for now. Will there be future blog posts? I don’t know. The last time I tried to stop writing, I ended up taking it back up again. There may be a short hiatus while I work on myself, or there may be posts about what a confused mess I am during the cookie-baking process. I’m not sure.

All I can say is wish me luck. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need it.

And I’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve gotten to the other side.

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Posted December 11, 2015 by wordsaremylife in random thoughts

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