Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here's To Different Beginnings (or, The Year That Nearly Killed Me)

For someone who loves to write, I sure have been mute for, what, 4 months now?

A lot happened in 2010. A lot in my head, a lot in my heart, a lot in my home, a lot in my family.

By the end of 2010…

…a frustrating living situation had become absolutely intolerable and the fear and financial what-ifs associated with maintaining the arrangement early on were outweighed by the disgust of allowing myself to be manipulated and used by someone I had initially cared a lot about, tried to help, and relied on for additional income.  I finally made the grown-up decision to do an icky and uncomfortable thing: evict a roommate. But once the words "You need to move out" were uttered, the what-if fears evaporated and until a week ago, the only weight on my shoulders regarding my home-life was the stress of living with another human being who I no longer liked but knew legally I still had 30, 29, 28, 27, 26…days til freedom. I have physically removed her from my life, now I must process through removing her from my head, letting go of my resentments every time I see something in my home she broke, destroyed or damaged. Let it go, let it go, let it go. A missing coffee pot is replaced, and the broken sliding door, stained carpets, cracks in my refrigerator shelves and money owed in back-rent should only serveto remind me of what I never have to deal with again…and for that I should be GRATEFUL, not resentful.

…I had been badly hurt by a man with whom I had fallen in love. In one instant, his cold-hearted, self-absorbed and fear-driven two-line response to an outpouring of my heart exploded the insane fantasy-bubble in which I had been living. I'd been bitch-slapped out of a spell. The too-familiar pain at being shunted off again by this person in his usual manner was enough to launch me into "hate" mode. I'm not saying that's a great thing, but when you are trying to move on – wanting to reconquer your heart and mind –  sometimes "hating" someone is the catalyst you need. It allows you to finally shout "FUCK YOU!!" and then open your heart to someone more deserving. For too long I'd been putting off men, using "I'm in love with someone" as a protective shield welded together by hope and daydreams. After his final blow-off I enjoyed referring to him as "Walking Erection" (or, WE for short, which is ironic).  I also FINALLY clearly saw all the behavior I previously ignored or forgave or justified for what it really had been all along. Truth was, he wanted a distraction, he got it. Once he got it, I had no purpose in his life. Simple enough. You know, I don't "hate" him any longer…and, truth be told, "hating" him was a tool I used to fix the pain and humiliation of rejection. I'd like to say it was a tool I used to fix my broken heart, but that's just too country for me. Regardless, "hate" was the tool I wielded mightily for a short time to snap me back to reality.  I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this person anymore...hopefully someday it will melt into a simplistic, unemotional acceptance and caring. But for now there's still hurt; it's fading, but it's there. 

…Following on the heels of this romantic, oh, what's the word? Hiccup? Train-wreck? Cataclysmic implosion of the heart?,  I met someone quite accidentally and we began dating. Weird how things work out, huh? For the first time in a very long time I sat next to a man that I was 1) physically,  2) emotionally and 3) intellectually attracted to, who was available 1) physically,  2) emotionally and 3) intellectually. What a concept. Up til then, those factors never quite synchronised. Maybe I was physically attracted, but intellectually bored to tears. Or he was an emotional pygmy. Or intellectually and emotionally we were a great match, but the lack of chemistry was almost laughable. Or (GAH!) he was already in a relationship.

Today I have a wonderful man in my life that I care very much about.  He brings me flowers, writes poetry for me…fixes everything from a broken Christmas light to my car radiator to my door locks. (That's a big deal in my life. Have you SEEN my car??) He holds me in his arms, caresses me, kisses me passionately. We actually TALK. You know, have CONVERSATIONS about philosophy, God, music, our defects, desires, fun memories and things we enjoy doing together like hiking, camping and going to gigs. And the other stuff...*wink wink* is mighty fine too. We were thrown together in such a surprising and unexpected way and it's clear we need each other, for whatever reasons. We both have experienced heartache recently and we find comfort in appreciating each other in ways that we lacked in previous relationships.

There are interesting variables (such as his sons live two counties away and he very much wants to move closer to them) that have set us both in a place of not knowing. Neither of us have gone goo-goo eyed "I LOVE you" yet, we do not know what the future holds (does anyone?) and we are choosing to be together, one day at a time, and enjoying each other's company.  I am seeing things from his perspective and trying to understand his side of the relationship; trying to be unselfish and put his very noble need to be closer to his children ahead of my own desires. For the first time in my life  I'm with someone and I simply don't know what's next, don't know what to expect, don't know what I want. It's a relationship in which I have not pigeon-holed him into my future, have not deluded myself with a fantasy romance and I'm learning how to give space, not be demanding or needy. I'm listening to him...his needs, his wants, his dislikes. I am thinking about what he tells me instead of getting my sensitive little feelings tied up in a bunch. For right now I'm simply enjoying RIGHT NOW with him. These are all things I've not been able to do before. And to not have any pressure of 2 months, 6 months, 1 year or a lifetime from now is...freeing.

…Mom went in to the hospital for an emergency colon surgery. She very nearly died. We were informed that had we waited one more day to take her to the doctor we would have lost her. She is recovering nicely but I must say I am flummoxed by what I can only describe as a lack of spiritual awakening. I may be naive, but I always thought that people who nearly die get a new perspective on life. Apparently not. So life goes on as usual and I continue to have to deal with the emotional and mental conflicts between my mother and me. It's a constant process for me of having to walk a fine line of acceptance and self-introspection, knowing what is true and what isn't, what I have really done and what I haven't…and to love her unconditionally, brushing off the painful moments where I am the object of her frustration and ire. I almost lost her; perhaps it's MY spiritual-awakening and gratitude of life that is lacking. Perhaps MY perspective is the one that needs to change.

…I finally filed bankruptcy. Finally, the daily deluge of creditors calling me, belittling me and threatening me has ceased. I'm not proud of filing, but in the wake of divorce, having income halved and making a choice between credit card debt or my home…well, the creditors can shove it. As much a relief as filing was, I became instantly afraid of "my day in court"…I still feel like I've done something wrong and am scared. I've only ever been to court once, and that was for divorce. So here is yet another scary fire I need to walk through.

All in all, I woke up a lot in 2010. Was true to myself in many ways…stood up for myself…was honest with people about where my heart was. I risked pain for love, I risked financial fiasco for peace and quiet…I sifted toxic people and relationships out of my life. I had to make some very painful but grown-up and mature decisions that broke my heart. I haven't cried so much or so hard since my ex-husband and I split almost 3 years ago.

I enter 2011 with a loving relationship, some financial peace, less toxicity, an awareness that somewhere along the way I grew up some more from walking over the coals of life, and acceptance, letting go and forgiveness are at the forefront of my spiritual growth at this time… The fate of my home is still in Bank of America's hands, but I've decided that losing my home and finally starting over, clean and fresh is not the end of the world. It's just another event in another year of my life.

Here's to different beginnings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading! Your comments are not only welcomed, they are cherished! Feedback does wonders for a writer, and connecting with readers makes this site a lot more human :)