I remember when my exhusband and I first split up… Or rather, when he left and I was blindsided by the whole thing. I remember the whirl of the mix of trying to be sensible and make plans and arrangements for a new life, but it’s not until now — when I see my married friends struggling in their unions and ending their commitments to one another — that I think about the deep, in my gut hollow feeling of abandonment. It was crippling and not just emotional, but a physical response to the grief. Like mourning the loss of a loved one — because that’s what it really is… Even if you can find a way to remain amicable in your breakup, that person that you loved and married and shared a bed and a life and a home with, that person has died. They do not exist anymore.
Hardest thing I think I’ve ever had to go through… I was twenty-two years old… No education… No job… No car… And I had a one year old son, too young to understand why his mother was consistently hunched into a weeping lump on the couch. Looking back, I am thankful that he was so young, because that first year… It was unbelievably hard. I am grateful he wasn’t privy to seeing me such a mess.
And then, the only other really monumental breakup of my adult life, with the sociopath was just as devastating, but for a whole different set of reasons. We weren’t living together and were not married, but the boy child was five years old and well-aware of the breakup. I remember telling people when it happened, that this was far worse than my breakup with my exhusband. He and I were only married ten months and had only been together off and on for something like two or three years, most of that time in a fairly uncommitted relationship. The sociopath and I were together for three years and I fought HARD for that relationship. I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I always thought he was worth fighting for.
Thinking about that pitted feeling right after they left me… Like someone had scooped out my heart and left the wound open to the elements… Like my entire insides were chilled with dampness. It still makes me emotional. There is a part of me that thinks, when I find myself back at this emotional memory, “What the fuck, stupid. Man up. Stop letting these men have a hold on your heart and your future.” The other part of me is almost happy that I still have spots in my heart that hurt over this stuff because it makes me feel human and like, in spite of everything, that I still have a smooshy, pink heart.
This year has been hard in a lot of ways… No one thing came down on me like in years previous, but just a long year of slowly numbing experiences. And I find myself calloused… Slightly jaded… Skeptical of people and their intentions. I keep most people at arm’s length, letting them in enough, but not too much… There are very few that I let in entirely, and I don’t think that’s all too unusual. I’m realizing more and more how important relationships are and really want to work harder on not just letting people in but seeking out positive people and building those relationships up again. Not just fluff or acquaintances… Not just people to fill my social calendar, but really seeking out depth in those relationships again. It is important for me to work hard to shake off the callouses and the jaded energy because that’s not who I am at my core…
Sure, I’m sarcastic and snarky and a little difficult at times… But I love deeply. And those of you who have been on the receiving end of that love understand. But I want to quit pushing people out.
I hate the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but it’s really true. And not just the boy child, but me… In many ways, I am still a child. I have lots of areas that need perhaps a slight push to reach maturity. I think about the people that love me… And ugh… It makes me emotional. And I realize how hard I must appear to those that don’t know me… And how hard I work to appear so tough all the time.
I got my sister a necklace for Christmas that didn’t show up in the mail. I mentioned it on facebook and fought hard with the seller about a refund because she used a paper sack to mail it from Hong Kong and the box ripped through the envelope. Someone – I don’t know who – talked to my mother and they found out what I had gotten for my sister. They went and found something similar and had it shipped to me. They didn’t want credit and I pressed mom to find out, but she wouldn’t budge on the information. When I got that package in the mail, I cried. I was so moved that someone would do such a thing – I mean, really, a small gesture… But impactful just the same.
I am loved. And in spite of the pain I have endured from some of my relationships, I am not just a product of my circumstance. I don’t have to be angry or bitter… I don’t have to be skeptical or judgmental. I don’t have to set up hoops for people to prove themselves to me…
It’s silly. And I’m working on it. This will be a different year for me.