On life…and loneliness

I am officially divorced. We signed the papers Monday.

I feel lots of things but, mostly, a sense of overwhelming loss. Loss of my home, which he kept. Loss of my yard, and my dogs, and my status as an “adult” who owned nice things.

Ironically, he doesn’t necessarily feel like a loss. I feel sad for him. Hurt for him. Guilty that I have gutted him and left him and broken his heart.

At the same time…I’m feeling so…lonely.

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I jumped into a relationship immediately after moving out of my house and into my rental. There was this guy who was interested in me…at first, I wasn’t so sure. He wasn’t like me at all. We lived very different lives. He was much more of a blue collar worker, a musician, a pot smoker, and someone who had clearly been in some very toxic relationships.

Yet…I was lonely and he was there. So I jumped straight in. Soon, there wasn’t a night that we didn’t see each other. Before long, he’d introduced me to his kids…his family.

My heart quickly attached…and he knew all the right ways to hold me, make love to me, hint that he was falling for me.

Yet, my insecurity was raging. If I didn’t hear from him, I convinced myself he was mad at me, or didn’t want to be with me anymore. I excused questionable behavior because I didn’t want to make waves. I let him yell and cuss at me because he was angry and small, inconsequential things…and, rather than standing up for myself and telling him not to speak to me that way I apologized for upsetting him (despite doing nothing wrong in the first place.).

Everyone around me told me to run. Leave the relationship. That I didn’t deserve to be talked to the way he talked to me. That he was taking up all of my time. That I would never be able to introduce him to my kids or live with him because of his lifestyle choices.

Yet…I struggled. I craved the intimacy he gave me. The way he held me. The deep way he kissed me. I liked that he wanted to be with me all the time. Did I like his temper? No…but I was struggling to let that–which had only reared its ugly head twice in three months–convince me to leave him when the rest of the time felt comfortable and nice.

So–I picked the chicken’s way out. I texted him. I told him I needed to pay attention to the kids. That he was so important to me but I needed to refocus and figure out my head. His response was hurt and brutal–he accused me of fucking my ex husband and told me “thanks for nothing.”

I dodged a bullet, right?

I have been at war with myself ever since my anxious/insecure attachment showed itself so very loudly in this relationship. Asking myself…why do I apologize for myself?

Why don’t I stand up for myself or speak up? Why am I afraid to upset someone even when I know they are not right for me?

Why am I willing to accept ANY love and attention that feels good, even when I know it is bad for me?

And…HOW do I get better? How do I become confident and less dependent on others to feel BETTER?

You guys…I don’t know the answer.

Tonight, I am sitting in my living room. Feeling sad and lonely. Desperately wanting to run back to this bad guy who didn’t treat me well. ALL because I am sad to be alone.

Does it get better? Will I get better?

…I hope so. I just don’t know.

What is love?

Therapy has taught me that those who grew up in traumatic households often gravitate to partners that resemble what they know…in other words, if, as I experienced, the adults in my life were emotionally unavailable, the partners I sought out as a teen and young adult also tended to be emotionally unavailable.

My husband and I have been married for 13 1/2 years. I met him, 33 at the time, when I was a young and idealistic 19 years old. Initially, the “idea” of him seemed appealing from a rebellious standpoint. I, the self-proclaimed good girl, thought it might be interesting to sow some wild oats and sleep with an old guy.

What I wasn’t smart enough to identify at the time was that I NEVER left people. I was never a one night stand (by choice) kind of girl. No…because I have anxious and insecure attachment issues, I tended to stay in all sorts of relationships because I could never bear the pain of hurting someone else.

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Coming back to writing…coming back to me?

I have been gone from the blogosphere for a long time. Writing, for me, is a therapeutic way to organize and process my thoughts. Not so surprisingly, then, when things are feeling good, I just don’t feel compelled to write.

I won’t lie, 2020 and 2021 haven’t been easy years by any means. To be honest, I think I flipped an auto pilot switch on and doggy paddled my way through each day. I was surviving and, in this weird, pandemic world, that felt like enough.

Until…it didn’t.

During each fall season, trees drop their dead leaves. Oftentimes, I start to feel similarly heavy, with the urge to examine and drop the things in my life that are no longer working for me, either.

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I lost my grandma at the end of June.

While her health was not the best, her death still took me by surprise. In fact, she had decided to venture out on a miniature vacation with my mother when, unexpectedly, she became very ill.

Despite all of the Covid precautions I had been trying to take, I immediately hopped onto a plane, masked up, and flew to where she was.

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I’ve been avoiding writing lately. I’m sure many people are writing similar things.

We are all living in this weird world. Self-isolation. A virus.

It feels like some typical, apocalyptic movie, where zombies will soon be roaming the streets. (Which is probably why gun sales are skyrocketing–c’mon people!!)

However, minus the zombie part, this is REAL. Continue reading