My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, May 25, 2009

I wanna be...

I took a little time today and read back over my myspace blog from last summer. I'm so grateful that my thoughts, feelings and experiences from that time of my life have been preserved. I wish I had preserved my AOL blogs but at the time i had to go through with that process, last October, I was desperately trying to forget things, not remember. Remembering can be so helpful, though. I'm glad I looked back today.

My blog entry from one year ago today was about my - well, Michael's - niece Charity's 21st birthday party. It seems both a million years ago and like yesterday. Charity was such a precious bonus to being married to Michael. As were her brothers Christopher and Elijah. And my stepsons... who were a huge royal pain in the rear but much loved... still.

Ultimately, I wouldn't trade the peace I have now for the turmoil I lived in with Michael for anyone or anything. I wouldn't trade the financial insecurity I have now for what I thought was financial security with Michael - because as I look back, I was struggling just as much then as I am now and had very little autonomy, I was not able to purchase things without criticism. I can remember coming home from the store with some much needed items and pulling the price tags off of them and stuffing them in my purse so that Michael wouldn't know they were new - even though they were bought cheaply and on clearance and even though he was spending "his" money as freely as he wanted.

This post really isn't about bashing Michael. The truth is that I also read those old entries and saw his face and grieved, again, the loss of our marriage. I grieved those wasted opportunities on both sides to make things right. I grieve, even still, the loss of his companionship and company. I truly enjoyed him... except when I didn't. The truth is, I may have been the one to have the dramatic meltdown but he's the one with real issues and it breaks my heart for him. He's a good person with some really bad habits. Not habits in the sense of substance abuse, but habits in how he treats others and how he interacts with others and his ability to sustain relationships and that makes me really hurt for him.

I've been watching the Jon and Kate Plus 8 marathon. Don't throw rotten tomatoes... I get that she has control issues... I get that she comes across really shrewish... but as someone who LOVED someone with control issues, I see the love underneath the control. I've been analyzing their relationship throughout these old episodes in the same way that I analyze my relationship through old blog entries. Crazy, nu?

I wish I could take the best of the best of what has happened in my life and have it all happen at the same time! I mean... I want the body I had when I was 17, the wisdom I have now, the confidence I had around the time I met Michael, the exercise habits I had back at the end of 2005, the wardrobe I had when I met Michael (size 10 - how I miss it!), I want the hourly wage I was making with Kathy, the bonus structure I had with my uncle, the freedom I had when I worked for Tommy and the boss I have now. I want to have the proximity to Sarabeth and Jamie that I have now and still have proximity to Elizabeth, Caleb and Madie that I had when we lived in Woodstock... I want Ryan to be able to have as good of a job but live ten minutes away instead of a thousand miles away (I don't really know how many miles it is). I want this church and these church members with the energy I had twenty years ago so that I could be there every time the doors are opened. I want Cody and Marquee to both be finished with school already and be able to support themselves and have everything they need but still have their sweet, youthful enthusiasm and not be jaded by the work world. I want Austin to be as content as he is here and still live near the beach... or the pool... or near Brady... in other words, I want him to have the best of all the different places we've lived. I want to be able to think about Michael without tears. I want to have the opportunities I thought I would have by marrying him. I want to be able to have the optimism that I had in our relationship when I first met him and I fear that I'll never be that hopeful again. I want to not have scars but I want to keep the wisdom I grew through those scars. I want to still be ten minutes away from my mom and dad so that I can borrow sugar or yard tools or twenty bucks from then whenever I need to. I want Misty to still be alive to raise her kids but I want to have the appreciation for life that I gained through her death.

I wonder... If we had the opportunity to see the whole story at the beginning of every relationship and could know what lie ahead in the way of hurt, heartbreak, separation by death or divorce or just living in different places... would we risk it still? Would we give up on all the good stuff to protect ourselves from possible hurt? I know for me, the answer is no. I've asked myself a million times if I could say that I wish I never met him. The answer is no... I wouldn't want to trade those awesome experiences, getting to know his amazing family, the opportunity to travel and go places I never thought I'd see, and just feeling the way I felt with him when things were good... I wouldn't trade that, even knowing what it cost me in the end... even knowing that for the rest of my life I'll wonder what if... where we'd be... and I know that for every woman who is sitting home on Memorial Day in her pink recliner watching old episodes of Jon and Kate Plus 8 and dwelling on her failed marriage... that there are a dozen other women who are enduring the heartache of staying in a relationship where they aren't loved... or where they and their children are abused... and that there are another dozen women who never have felt the joys that I've felt, in having children, in being in love, in having the opportunity for a fresh start.

I know I'll cry watching Jon and Kate tonight and I don't care if that makes me lame.

I was really sick this morning... the kind of nauseated where you lay as still as possible and stay as cool as possible to keep from throwing up. I fell asleep and had the best nap I've had in forever. I woke up around 1pm and was able to eat a little whole grain bread and haven't felt sick since. Being sick wore me out, though, and I'm even more grateful for a day off! Thank God for holidays!

I don't have a good closing for this post... other than to say that I wanna be who I am, even though this may not be the most exciting time of my life thus far. Even though I'm sitting home alone watching Jon and Kate from my big pink recliner... or maybe because I'm sitting home alone watching Jon and Kate. I have a good life.


Anonymous said...

I am proud of you. You've come far. Now keep going. It's never too late to make a good decision. You know a lot more about yourself than you did even 6 months ago.

It seems as though things for you are slowly stabilizing, which means you have choices.

You want to exercise? You can! You want to travel? You can! You want to use your body in new and ingenious ways? You can! You want to read the bible and recontextualize your daily experiences through the lens of its pages? You can!

After what has clearly been a tough time, you have some room to flaunt, to flirt, and to fly.

Without the pain, we know not that we can recover. Without the love, we know not that we can do magic with it.

Michael is your past. It's good to understand those patterns. It's good to teach yourself to see them, but keep one eye looking forward.

Who do you, what do you, where do you want to be when you're 48? Heck, when you're 84?

LYN said...


Myra said...

Gotta keep moving forward, always your eye on the future, with the focus on the now. The past is the past, you've learned, and you cannot change it. Its done. Tomorrow may never be, but you have now, today.

Tina of Moon Shine said...

Tuesday, 5/19/09, was the 3rd anniversary of my divorce. And you know what? I didn't even remember that until I read this entry. You will get there, i promise.
I have watched some of the episodes of Jon and Kate and I watched it through to the wedding in Hawaii. It was hard for me to watch and it brought back some of my memories. It is going to be hard to watch this season, for me and you, i do believe.