Why after almost 16 years do I still have some anxiety over seeing and dealing with my ex-husband? I don’t normally have contact with him at all since he moved to Alaska (I know, who the heck moves to Alaska??? But what a blessing!) but he has graced us with his presence for our son’s graduation ceremony. I feel very fortunate that he did move so far away, because we had a very contentious relationship and ongoing battle over custody and parenting. Let me just sum it up for now: it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t in our child’s best interest, but I did what I felt I needed to do to protect and nurture him.
Anyway, I imagine part of the anxiety is for my son. His relationship with his father is strained since dad moved away. My son had some say in where he lived when his dad decided to move, and he preferred to stay in Ohio, close to family and friends. His dad didn’t handle this well, and hasn’t managed to stay in close touch. He hasn’t seen him for about a year, and now he comes into town just for the graduation ceremony and is leaving tomorrow. Like my son said, it’s almost as if he just feels obligated. I mean who spends twelve hours flying just to turn around and go back in a day?
There has been a lot of acrimony and hurt between us too. At least that is how I feel. Our failed marriage was the result of his infidelity during my first episode of Depression (how’s that for a kick in the teeth?). He subsequently married the woman that he had the affair with, and had another family. Because of the depression, I found it an extremely painful time of my life, and he is still associated with that pain. I have grieved the loss of the relationship after all this time, but the darkness and despair of that episode of Depression still scares the heck out of me. And I associate him with being abandoned at my time of greatest need. Perhaps that is the source of my anxiety, I just never thought of it that way before. Writing is therapeutic too.
So, wish me luck as I put on my game face and do my best to confront my anxiety/my ex. It does get easier over time as my son gets older, and as I become more self-aware. At least it’s only for a day.
Despite all the things conspiring against me, such as the endless rain, financial concerns and misbehaving dogs, I’m feeling not so bad as of late. I have absolutely no explanation for this, as I have made no changes in any of my habits, etc. Still not eating as well as I should, would benefit from more exercise and socialization, etc. I can only claim to have definitely been sleeping enough and have the affection of two mischievous dogs and one well-worn cat.
No complaints here, I’ll take it. I may not be Sally Sunshine, but I don’t mind being with myself, so I’m sure I’m better company than I have been. Will I ever get past this point I wonder? Is there any more than just feeling OK? I can remember happiness, rather vaguely. It’s been a long time. Will I know it when I see it again? I continue to be hopeful that I will.
Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead. — Tennessee Williams
To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. — Fredrich Nietzche
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. — Kahlil Gibran
Depression has also graced me with a brain like a sieve…my memory of events past is just horrendous, and my day-to-day concentration and memory tend to be a bit fuzzy at times too. I have a good friend who remembers detailed descriptions of events that occurred 25 years ago, and could probably tell me what I was wearing that day too. I don’t know how she does it, she has amazing capacity to remember. I’m lucky I can remember to return books to the library and get the clothes out of the dryer.
My mind feels like it is always cluttered with information that needs to be sorted out. Like the houses on “Hoarders.” Stuff everywhere, just clutter, some useful, some not, but piled to the ceiling. I have this theory about the brain. I think it is like a sponge, it can only hold so much, ya know? Then something gets squeezed out to make room for something new. I just don’t believe we were meant to retain every detail of life. I have no explanation for my friend, except she is incredibly bright, and must have a bigger sponge, haha.
Anyway, I find myself more often than not, getting easily distracted or sidetracked when trying to do something at home like clean/organize. Then I find myself backtracking from room to room, thinking, “What did I want in here?” Sometimes actually retracing my steps is the only way to “jog” my memory. I feel pathetic sometimes. This is not supposed in my forties, but maybe I can blame it on menopause too. I think the medication makes be a little foggy as well. Besides taking antidepressants, I take anti-migraine medication which contributes to brain funk. I just don’t have much going for me on the chemistry side!
It is embarrassing though, when people ask if you have read anything good lately, and you can’t remember the title or author of anything you have read in past six months. Not only do you feel like you have Alzheimer’s, but you feel like an ignoramus too because people think you don’t read!
I try to exercise the gray matter with word games and such, not really sure if it helps, but at least it’s fun. I also look for challenges at work that are off the beaten path of what I usually do. I hope these things keep my brain somewhat nimble and in working order. In the meantime, I’ll just have to put up with the lapses.
Serial monogomy…what do I have to show for it??? Well, the marriage produced my son, but besides that, I have plenty of broken dreams and missed opportunities. And here I am at another breaking apart. Were we ever really joined? That is the million-dollar pick the right suitcase/door/strategy question. I think he was always holding back, and such a troubled soul to begin with, I could never love him enough to fix all the hurt and resentment and anger he carried around inside him. Maybe others knew that already, but I wanted to try so hard to make things good, to make things right for both of us. Two broken people, not the thing on which to try to build a happy relationship. So the past seven years have been a raucous emotional rollercoaster at a nightmare themepark. Oh, there were certainly good times. But not enough to sustain. The ugliness of the past, just subsumed anything good we had, kept it down like we were struggling in a tar pit.
So, now I am alone. This is something new, I have not been alone, sans relationship as an adult. But I already felt pretty alone in my relationship, so I don’t know that it will be a big difference emotionally. I just wish I didn’t feel like I keep failing. I feel like time is passing me by, and perhaps I will remain alone because no one will want to be with me. That is the scariest thought to ponder, maybe it’s the reason for the great delay in breaking up in the first place.
This is when the Depression creeps in and makes you think negative thoughts like perhaps you are unloveable, or just too difficult to get along with; maybe I’ll just stay in bed a while and consider my options. Chocolate is always a good option, and I do have the loyalty of one obnoxious dog.
Wonder if he ever thinks about this day? We would have been married 21 years if he had been able to handle my Depression. Sadly, instead of supporting me in my darkest hour, he selfishly got involved with someone else. Looking back, perhaps our relationship would not have lasted because he has always been an essentially selfish person. But the trauma of how our relationship ended and the years of acrimony that followed have contributed to the chronicity of my illness and my negative attitude toward relationships.
I think by this time that dates should mean very little. I don’t really have any “feeling” about this particular date. Although I truly don’t appreciate that he chose to have his second marriage on the 31st of December either. He is just that selfish and insensitive. Just like I don’t really think about his birthday or any other date. It just happens that so many negative things have occurred around the Christmas/New Year holidays. We split up at this time of year too.
What I do recognize and acknowledge regularly is that something very special came of those circumstances. I am blessed with a son, who is now maturing into a young man. He has been my challenge and delight, and I love him more than anything. So regardless of any bad memories or emotional pain I have suffered, I know that my son was part of the plan. And I can celebrate that.