It is a strange thing– perspective. One year ago, I was married. Trying to salvage a relationship. Trying to uphold vows. Trying to keep the fact we were struggling out of the public eye.
Yet, the dysfunction was so glaringly obvious to everyone. It was through the comments and concern that I was able to see I was fighting a battle alone and losing. There were witnesses to things I never wanted to share. But I was finally able to see the fact that I couldn’t fix my marriage.
With the separation, things, as they always do, got worse before they got better. Emotional weapons were brandished. There was pleading, tears, and promises… and there was the gut churning want to believe. Then came the nasty names, the late night phone calls, the threats… and I was able to see that I can’t be a “bitch” and a loved one to the same person. Wherever I landed in between was simply not good enough anymore.
Now, on the cusp of something new, I find myself troubled over these realizations of what has happened to me. I never realized how tired I am. How much goes in to trying to keep the peace, to be fair and rational, and to keep myself in one piece. Life has been focused on tasks– get divorced, go to work, pay the bills, take care of the kid, walk the dog, do the dishes, make dinner. I have managed to fit in some time with good friends, but I know something has been off. I managed to get good and drunk last September… and the tears just came. All the little boxes of feelings got tipped and the anxiety of irrational fear came out. I confessed to being unsure I’m a good mother, of feeling stupid for loving my ex, and the utter feeling of failure that encompassed my life. Again, my window front of being together, became transparent to the truth– I had a lot going on and I was barely hanging on. But I trudged on. My friends are still my friends despite the fact, I’m a big fat mess sometimes.
It got easier. The apartment stayed in decent order, I figured out the babysitting rotation, I avoided crying in the corner of my kitchen overwhelmed, bills got paid. I thought I was on an upswing.
Then, the horizon opened up just a smidge. And I realized how dreary and muted everything had been. Even myself. I finally felt how much I’d been carrying around. I was able to feel it in my muscles. And, while frivolous, I felt some lightness back in my world. I simply felt valued in a way I thought was lost. I realize how tired and spent I was. I’ve been exhausted for so long, I forgot what it felt like to want to be whole. I was so used to being used up… I forgot what it felt like to enjoy a good conversation, a kiss, a nice boy. I’m not sure why having someone give you a little TLC is a cure to lift the veil of heaviness… but I feel this little tug of happiness when he’s around.
It is realizing that I hadn’t had that inkling, that I realize how tired and depleted I was. I just never realized, because I had forgotten what it had felt like.
I missed it. I’m glad to have some balance in my personal needs after such a long drought.