Half a Lifetime

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI promise, you and me, I will not be maudlin through this time of rediscovery.  I might now and then be some of the following:

  • Pissed right off
  • Sad
  • Scared to death
  • Okay, even a small bit maudlin

However, I promise, you and me, I will not allow this change in my circumstances to take over my blog or my life.  Perhaps this is not quite the truth, this change will indeed take over my life it is in fact my new normal and thus instead of being part of a twosome my life is different, I will join the millions of women over 50 who are living alone, by choice or otherwise.

Things you and I should know about me as I begin this journey toward my new normal.  Things that are incredibly difficult to admit.

I have truly been in a long-term partnered relationship or married my entire adult life.

When I read that statement, it sends shivers up my spine.  The sad truth is, I do not know how to be alone, I have always had someone in my life.  I have always been the ‘other half’.  Usually, I have been the half that takes care of things, cleans up messes and ultimately is left holding the bag.

How strange, how very strange.

Since I was fifteen (15) years old, I have not really been alone.  Not really been on my own to determine and decide my own fate without having to consider how my choices might affect others, some of those others have been spouses, while others have simply been those who claimed the title (Texas is funny like that).  In some cases and through my own choice, I remained legally bound to a man with whom I did not share a bed, did not enjoy congress yet continued to shared a roof; I did this so his children would be provided normalcy.  My ‘husbands’ and other partners, in a nutshell;

  1. Beat the hell out of me, nearly killed me more than once and destroyed my ego – 3 years.
  2. Saved me from myself but could not convince me to love him or me – 5 years.
  3. Simply was a stopgap measure to convince myself and others I could marry ‘normal’ – 3 years.
  4. An addict and more, who hid his crimes from everyone far too well, robbed me of money, time and much more; gave me my sons, so I can forgive him all the rest – 14 years
  5. Dearly Beloved, yes he is still this despite it all, the last sixteen (16) years I have given him everything there was in me to give.  I withheld what he told me to withhold, each time he said to me, “I don’t want anything from you”; I withheld a little more if myself.  I honestly thought he was the one I would grow old beside  – 16 years

That is forty-one (41) years of my life in those five (5) men; I am fifty-six (56) years old.  Those five men represent more than half of my life.  Since I was fifteen years old, I have been entangled.  I have usually met the next man before I am fully untangled from all the legal wrangling of the previous relationship; I haven’t stopped to think how vulnerable I might be.

Now to the rest of what I wanted to say about not being maudlin and wanting a new normal.  DB and I separated once before during our marriage in 2010.  That separation was for 6 months, it was hard and he was the one to leave that time also.  Though to hear him tell it he left because I asked him the following:

“If you are so unhappy, why are you still here?”

His answer was to leave.  That six months was hard, it was sad, it was miserable in truth; but, by the end I had gotten to happy, gotten to a new normal where I was starting to enjoy life and my independence.  I should have known when he wanted to come back while refusing marriage counseling and refusing to acknowledge the core issues between us, it was not going to get better.

I have a friend of thirty-five years who says at heart I am a romantic.  I suspect she is right.  I wanted desperately for his, “I love you”, to be the truth without strings.  It wasn’t, it never has been.  But I wanted it and I put my blinders firmly in place and reminded myself of the vows I took, when I flung the door open wide and let my husband back into the home and the marriage he so firmly rejected once already.

Victorious

My new tattoo, as of yesterday. Yes, Victorious and yes my high-heeled combat boots were the model!

I knew, even then while I held that door open there would be an end somewhere in the future.  I had tasted independence and gotten to happy and it felt light and wonderful.  Don’t misunderstand me, being loved is also wonderful, I want to be loved someday in the future before that happens though I want to try living for me for once in my life.

I have a few more choices to make before too very long.  Choices on where I live.  Choices on how and where I work.

These will wait for a few weeks at least.  For now, I will simply try sinking into the idea of the new normal and how to get through the day.

Yes, it hurts today.  Yes, it will likely hurt tomorrow.  It will not hurt forever though; I know this.  I suspect I will share some of this journey with those of you who want to ride along.  I promise you though I will not change course, I will continue to write about other things that interest me and hopefully you, I refuse to get to mawkish.

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