Future Performance Anxiety

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are days we can be overtaken, we feel paralyzed by a single emotion and can’t move. Usually when this happens the emotion simply rolls over us, doesn’t really matter whether we are prepared, it comes in and takes over, intelligence is locked up, pragmatism sent to sit in a corner with dunce cap on; we are reduced by our feelings to a primal state.

Do you know what I am talking about, those feelings we get every now and then in our lives? They don’t have to be the terrible ones; just the ones that make us stop everything. As a woman, I suspect I give in to these moments of madness more easily or maybe, it is I admit to them more openly. I am not ashamed I have an emotional life; my heart still beats and still bleeds. It is my hope because I can still be hurt I am also able to feel great joy and someday perhaps great love as well. I am grateful (I think) I live alone right now; this way when I am paralyzed no one is here to witness; that is unless I tell them. Usually I tell, admitting to weakness because I need a good, swift kick in my hindquarters.

Even when everything feels done, it isn’t quite over. Does that make sense? It is the absolute truth. On 13 December last year, my husband walked out of our marriage for the second time. Without a note, a backward glance or a goodbye, he had his reasons and whether they were good, bad or true they were his. At that time, on that day I was paralyzed by grief.

For weeks, I was paralyzed by grief. I mourned the loss of the future I had planned with him, a future I though we had both planned. The sad reality was of course, we were truly traveling on very different courses.

Then I started to see the truth. The truth of our marriage and that future, my grief changed and with it, my paralysis lifted. I started to breathe again. I won’t say it was immediate, I still had days of sadness, moments when the grief would settle on my shoulders. Those days though, they became fewer and the weight of the grief became less.

I rejected his assessment of blame. I rejected his harsh judgment of me. I rejected his assessment of our marriage; it was a false vision of all three. It was in fact self-serving, selfish and cruel.

I did all of those things through pragmatic reason, setting aside my emotional response to the blame game he played and I all too easily fell into.

Until last night, when I asked him to sign divorce papers, divorce papers that would sever our marriage both legally and financially. Allowing each of us to retain debt and assets that were individually ours, no division of any property. Asking him to do this without a fight so our marriage could finally end, using only one attorney which I would happily pay for.

The blame game started up again. Despite where I thought I was emotionally, it hurt. I don’t know why it hurt, my heart cracked a little again and with it, the grief came roaring to the surface. Perhaps it was the memories of before, of those early days.

Maybe it was the memory of the dreams, or maybe it was simply this wasn’t where I wanted to be and now I have to learn all over again how to live in this world without the safety net marriage creates. I admit, there are things I miss and maybe this is part of my fury, part of what I grieve for.

I miss arms around me in the night, holding me as I fall asleep.

I miss someone to talk to after a hard day, someone who listens to my rages and laughs at me.

I miss going out to dinner and talking.

I miss someone to share coffee with in the morning.

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I miss cooking for someone who appreciates that I have taken the time.

I miss having a travel partner.

I miss someone to dream big with.

I miss laughing over stupid jokes.

I miss someone to share the hard stuff with, whether it is my physical limitations or simple household stuff.

I miss someone who makes sure I don’t fall out of bed during a seizure, worrying about me when I travel alone.

I miss phone calls just because.

I miss someone telling me I am beautiful even when I am at my worst.

I miss being loved, being made love too and knowing it is real and more than just that minute, just a nut.

The funny thing is, I have been missing all of those things for more than two years. I have been missing every single one of those things not just some of them since the day he walked back in the door from the first time he left the marriage, blaming me for every failure.

I am stubborn and hardheaded; I wanted my marriage to be forever. I wanted to fix what was broken. I did not want this ending. Unfortunately, this is the ending I have written because I am stubborn and hardheaded and I deserve joy, I wasn’t joyful, not for the past two years. There have been brief moments, but not moments of paralyzing joy. That is what has been missing, all along that is what has been missing and until now I couldn’t see it.

So, he has agreed to the divorce. We will proceed and it will be an ending. I was paralyzed this morning. I wept. I suspect those won’t be the last tears. Grief is a strange thing isn’t it. I don’t grieve because our marriage was perfect, I grieve because I dreamed and wanted the dream. Now, I think we can both move forward to different lives, different choices.

285This morning though, I was briefly paralyzed and in pain. Now, it has to be about moving forward again and getting to happy.

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