Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hitting the wall

Have you ever tried it? If you haven’t, don’t. It hurts. I've tried it with my head and I've tried it with my heart, and I still can’t decide which one is more painful.

I didn’t actually mean to run my heart into a wall. I didn’t see it coming. Ever since I left my husband and moved back home, I’ve been completely occupied with taking care of everyone else. I’ve been taking care of my son and his ADD and his behavioral and developmental problems at school and his emotional issues and outbursts of anger; I’ve been taking care of my sweet daughter who has been extremely clingy and never wants to leave my side; I’ve been taking care of legal paperwork and making sure that my custody of my children is secure; I’ve been occupied with the busywork of planning a party for my son’s birthday and an anniversary celebration for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary; I’ve spent weeks sorting and organizing the life that followed me here from Oregon in the form of a U-Haul truck filled with oddly packed boxes and bags representing a marriage that is never going to be what I wanted it to be.

And I did all of that happily, because it kept me from going over an emotional border. I didn’t want to see what was on the other side of that fence yet. I wasn’t ready to accept that there would come a point when I would have to work on Anne Marie instead of everyone else, because quite honestly, Anne Marie is the one person I really wish I could avoid. She’s flawed. She’s not quite right in the head, and she has too many dreams that will never work out right for her but that she can’t seem to let go of, and she’s doing her best at being a mom but always feels like she’s falling short because her kids need so much from her and she just can’t keep up with it all, and when you really listen to what she’s thinking within herself, she’s pretty sure that no one else on this earth will ever want Anne Marie to be their partner in life and that she’ll have to be a single parent and grandparent and great grandparent and eventually a lonely old cat lady who will be unloved and unwanted until she’s 99 even though she may only live to be 85.

But the thing that scares her most is the one thing she really doesn’t have much control over. There are lots of things she can control to some extent, of course. She can work on how she disciplines her kids and continue to mold and shape them into loving human beings who are productive members of society. She can work on her weight so that she doesn’t always feel fat and unattractive on top of everything else she always feels about herself. She can get a better job, eventually, because she really needs it, and because at least she has a college degree, and because if nothing else at least she can write well enough to put together a resume that isn’t a total embarrassment to all resumes, and eventually some employer out there will see her potential and hire her. And she can continue to help her children cope with their different emotional, psychological, and physiological issues, reassuring them all the while that they are loved and that they can depend on her to be there for them, no matter what else comes their way in life.

But the one thing she really wants is the only thing she can’t do anything about, and that’s having someone to do all of that with her. More than anything, she wants a partner in life. She wants someone who she can laugh with and watch movies with and cook dinner with and take family trips with and give hugs to and share drinks with and enjoy parenting moments with, someone who compliments her abilities and helps her be better at the hundreds of things she’s no good at so that life doesn’t always have to be so overwhelming, someone who is her best friend, someone to love. But there is no to-do list that she can check off for finding that person. It’s something she isn’t even ready for, and she can’t find until she is ready, but in order to be ready she will first have to pay attention to herself and build up her self esteem until she can manage to believe, even for a minute, in the possibility that someone like that may exist for her, and even more unbelievably, he might actually like her. She doesn’t believe that yet, can’t accept it, no matter how many people tell her that she’s wrong and that she’ll be amazed at what life has in store for her.

And that’s when it happened. When I finally took the time to slow down for a few minutes and think about myself and what I hope for in my life, I hit the wall.

Yeah, it hurt. Pretty badly. And it probably will for a while. But I do have wonderful friends and family who love me to help me through this rough patch, and hopefully I will meet a more confident, self-assured woman on the other side.


Kim V. said...

Hitting a wall is hard. It does hurt, but at least it denotes that you are moving forward. It is also hard to have your dreams die like yours have with your marriage. Knowing that it is ultimately for the best doesn't always help right now when we feel so awful. Just because that dream died doesn't mean that your dream of a real loving marriage has to. It will happen. Just keep your hope alive. Keep tending the fire of hope and don't let it die out. Hope is your lifeline.

used2chaos said...

You hit that wall pretty hard. That's good, because you knocked some of those bricks loose. We'll break that wall down, brick by brick. We're all here to help you, babe. One day you'll be able to step over the bricks that are left on the ground and go walking jauntily down the road, singing a song about love.

Yes you will.