X moved out last March. Since then my perception of our almost ten year relationship has changed. Time and having a more removed perspective has highlighted how absolutely fucked up my relationship with X was.
Last night my friend Joe Schmo made the analogy that its like being a Vietnam vet. Relationships become a battlefield. You become so accustomed to living in this messed up world that the normal standards begin to seem strange and feel foreign. I don’t know what to do with myself now that I’m not worrying, catering to and holding up X’s world. I still haven’t figured out how I ended up like Atlas… but that’s another mental hoop for another day.
I do know that I was smart enough to want better for my daughter. In fact, that was what caused me to let it all crumble and run like hell. I didn’t want her swallowed up in the misery. I couldn’t have her future sabotaged like mine was. She deserved my help and love. X lost his right to it.
Ten months after my ex moved out, enter smells-good-blue-sweater-guy. Purely chance. Which most of the best starts in life are. I went out with some close friends to celebrate turning 30. And I met someone. And he asked for my number. And he called.
He already is more reliable than my ex. Twelve months ago that little, sad, tiny fact wouldn’t have stung. But now, it just pushed into the stark brightness of retrospect how wasteful and foolish I’ve been with my love, time, and energy.
Truthfully, I’m scared to give it away, even a little again. I don’t want to be used up. And, my nice-guy-compass is so off kilter, I have no bearings. If he is genuine and to be trusted, I can’t shake the urge to wave him off and tell him he’s making a mistake. I am not the girl for a nice guy.
I’m old. I have a kid. I work too much. I’m a single mom and it is hard to find time/child care to even have a date. Which I disclosed. To my amazement, he still picked me up, took me to dinner, and kissed me goodnight a week later. The logic of it eludes me.
So how much more does he need to know before he bails…I’m financially challenged. My ex’s drama will forever overshadow me and Miss M. I spend a lot of time in tears. I have only had sex with one person and I’m not sure if I was ever good at it. I don’t think I deserve you. I don’t want to get use to you. You don’t know what I’ve been through and what will you think when it all comes out? I am scared and neurotic and I spend a lot of time in my own head over thinking. You don’t want this. You don’t deserve this. There is better out there for you. My life will weigh you down… it weighs me down.
My ex abandoned me. He lied to me. He stole from me. While there is no proof, I feel in my gut he cheated on me. He took drugs, he at some point taxied hookers, and he ended up in a mental hospital. I used to look for his dead body when I made it home at night– not sure if he committed suicide that day or overdosed on something. I spend time in the dark watching debits appear on my bank statement around seedy parts of Springfield in the long hours of the night. Then, I got knocked up by him. That I wonder if my ex planned it because I was on my way out the door. I thought maybe the baby would be enough to make him change, because I was not enough. I’m a stupid, wasteful, foolish doormat of a person.
This, new guy, is why I can’t stop trying to detect the untruths from everything you tell me. I can’t help trying to figure out if you have an angle and agenda. I try to dissect my feelings to see if I’m being manipulated. I’m not going to trust you as far as I can throw you– even though I want to. I can’t. I worry what will happen when my ex finds out there’s a new guy lurking. How much more hurtful things he’ll do. If I don’t ruin this with my hang ups, surely my ex’ll do it for me. Smells-good-blue-sweater guy… I’m so broken. And I never knew it. How could you possibly want this even a little bit?