I wanted to write when I was in a better mood. However, since the funk isn’t clearing much these days, I’ve decided to go ahead and write about where my mind keeps returning to time and time again. I know I’ve written in length about these fears from my childhood in my journals, but I can’t remember if I’ve written here about them or not, and I’m not in the right frame of mind to sift through the 300+ posts I’ve authored to see. If I already have, please indulge me this time.
For me, one of the worst things about this whole separation and divorce from Chef is the amount of garbage that keeps washing ashore on the beaches of my mind from my childhood. I’ve written about my mother, my father, my stepfather, and my brothers and sisters somewhat, but, while this may be hard for some of you to believe, I’ve actually held back some, too. I’m notorious for being an open book about stuff, probably more so than most people, but there’s more to some of my stories than I let on sometimes. Trust me. If I really spilled every thought, every story, and every perception about my life, you’d freak. Or you’d tell me yours, and then I would freak. :-) Who really knows?
In a nutshell, my childhood sucked. I don’t say that for any sympathy or pity. In fact, please don’t pity me at all. That childhood shaped who I am now, and I’m okay with me for the most part. But I don’t like to reminisce about some of the crap that went on, and these days, I’m somewhat dismayed at my inability to push these hard memories back into the dark closets of my mind. The fear of human beings, mainly men, is back with a vengeance, and I have had a few dreams of what all had happened to me that made me wary of people in the first place. I’m mentally and physically tired from this new battlefront.
My mother and father weren’t happy people. I don’t want to get into what they did to make themselves unhappy, or write any judgments about them. All that is important is that I watched the two most important people to me as a child very carefully, and what I learned from both of them I actually used to change my own life so it wouldn’t resemble theirs. (Or, at least, that is what I tried to do). My fear is that I was destined to walk down the road my parents did, whether because of my genetics or the harsh childhood I endured, and now that I seem to be plodding along in their footsteps, I’m slightly depressed. I feel like all that hard work was for nothing. I could have gotten here without all the twists and turns in my life.
Each of my parents lost their one great love in life, though ironically, it wasn’t each other. Well, not for Mom, anyways. My father will tell you to this day that the only woman he ever loved in his whole life was my mother. They met during the Vietnam war, both of them in the United States Marine Corp. Dad was getting ready to be shipped off to do his part in this great police action, and Mom was pregnant. They married because I was on the way, but for Dad, it was real. For Mom, not so much. 5 or so years later, and with another child recently born, my Mom left my Dad and married her great love, my step-father R.
Just with that one sentence, I have an infinity of roads I could travel down. I loved my father with every fiber of my being. He was cheerful, happy, and he made me feel like I was a real princess. We were inseparable. And when Mom left, I didn’t know what we were doing, or why, and suddenly Dad was out of my life. What was once a cheerful disposition slowly over time became bitter, resentful, angry, and so very hurt. My Dad married briefly right after Mom did, but the marriage quickly fell apart, and for the rest of the 35 years since then, he never married again. He once told me he already had had a family, and lost it. He wasn’t doing that again.
Mom’s story is better and yet worse. She had a very long marriage to her great love. But, her great love molested me. I have nothing much to say about him other than I learned a great many skills about hiding, confrontation, shame, guilt, sex, love, and plain selfishness from that man. And because I was angry about my father being yanked from me, I refused to be close to her much. I wasn’t mean to my mother, and I really did love her. But I resented her decisions, and I learned early on that she made decisions on the fly without considering her children at all. I want to reiterate that these are my perceptions, which are always colored by my life experiences. My mother had her own brokenness that shaded her, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m automatically correct and she’s wrong. Life isn’t like that, and I’m not trying to throw my mom, who can’t defend herself anymore, under any buses. I write this only to show why I’ve always felt so very alone on this planet. Dad was gone, and Mom’s decisions seemed to always end up with something bad happening to me. I didn’t trust her.
My mother’s marriage fell apart at the 30 year mark when R decided that caring for a wife who had just recently had a liver transplant wasn’t what he wanted to do with the remainder of his life, and he drove her up to my house in Oklahoma and dropped her off with me. He gave her an old Jeep Cherokee, $100, and some of her writing stuff, returned home, divorced her, and married a much younger woman. Feel free to throw rocks. I state the facts, but I’m sure you can read the disgust in my typing. I had a front row seat to watching this very ill, very crushed woman cry day and night for months. It was horrible. Nothing I could do or say could comfort her, and I was lost for words. In a probably misguided effort to make her feel like he wasn’t all that big a loss, I told her about what he had done to me for years and years. It only made things worse, because she then she had to admit that she was still in love with a child molester. I did not think that one out well enough, and I launched her into another ring of hell. We were able to mend the bridges a little, though, and while she didn’t really want to admit it, she did acknowledge that she’d known something was wrong between R and me, but she had felt that she was ill-equipped to support 5 children on her own, and it was just easier to look the other way. She was very apologetic, and I can honestly say I’ve forgiven her completely. She was right, in a way. She hadn’t worked all those years. She was a stay-at-home mother which is the hardest job on the planet but the least paid.
A few months after being dumped, she had several strokes, and now she is an invalid in a nursing home. Her children are scattered in different states, and we all feel disconnected from her and from each other. Her life just makes me weep, and I just never wanted mine to resemble hers.
The question to me lately is, what if I end up bitter, angry, and am never able to love or trust anyone again, like Dad? Or even worse, I stroke out from the stress and get put in a nursing home and promptly forgotten? Oh.my.G__!
The last couple of days have been really hard. Let’s say Chef really, really showed his a$$ this weekend. I won’t go into specifics. I want to be careful about holding him up for judgments to be made. I’ll just say that I wouldn’t treat a person I disliked with my whole being the way he used me this week, and that is no exaggeration. The fact that T (his creepy girlfriend) basically helped him hurt me made it even more low-budget. I’m the queen of this whole farce, though, because I fell for his crap again after learning for the last year and a half that he can NOT be taken at his word! So, as usual, I’m the one who came out of the fiasco with hurt feelings, tears, and a little poorer for the experience. I wear my crown of shame with pride. I earned what happened this week. Hopefully, next time I won’t be such a moron.
Today, while I was at work, I had vicious thoughts about both Chef and his girlfriend. Each time a thought would enter my head, I’d reject it. I’d pray. I’d imagine what kind of person would even think about such things. It was this whole wearing process, and I ended up leaving early and coming home. I don’t want to be that kind of person!! My dad isn’t a Christian, and he’s old school about father’s shooting their sons-in-law if they make their little girls cry. While I like that someone feels that way about my tears, I also get hit with all the sadness and pain his own wrecked marriage had caused him all his life, and the bitterness, anger, and hate seep into those conversations. I don’t want be 35 years out from this and still feeling what he is feeling. I just don’t. Mom ended up leading a relatively happy existence in comparison to Dad for most of those years before it all fell apart, so all those harsh emotions didn’t achieve anything for him. Bitterness is an emotional cancer that eats the life right out of a person, and I’m terrified that I might be my father’s daughter in this respect too. Everything about me has mimicked him all my life, and now I’m scared a little bit.
Mom’s reaction was to turn over and die, and there was a time that I did want to just give up on the remainder of my life, but that is gone now. I say that, though, when I’ve been losing weight at a shocking rate. I call it the Divorce Diet. Unlike some people, I’m not a comfort eater. I’m a stress starver. The more upset I get, the less I eat. But even though I’ve been eating more than usual lately, I’m still losing weight, and I’m at about 110 lbs now. That is way too skinny for even my liking, and I can tell from my family and friends that they are concerned. Am I subconsciously trying to die? I can’t honestly say.
I have a friend who I’m seeing at the moment. We’ll call him The Guy. I don’t call him my boyfriend…we aren’t any where near that yet. I have literally tried to “break-up” with The Guy several times. If you think I’m honest with my crap on here, you ought to see what this poor man has to endure, being my first real step back into the land of the living again. I knew I was going to probably be a big pain in the ass when I got back in the saddle again, and I was right, but he just keeps on hanging on.
He knows I think I will always be in love with Chef. He not only understands that I feel like this, but he is somewhat glad to know that I’m capable of loving someone that deeply. What?? He complimented me instead of getting hurt and jealous. I find myself always in un-chartered territory with The Guy. Chef’s head would have split open and laser beams from his eyes would have melted my face. The Guy has listened patiently as I cried about the latest wound Chef has inflicted, or the shame and disappointment I was experiencing for whatever reaction I’d launched in return. He’s watched me rage around the room about the things Chef’s little t**t says to me when she feels like getting in a shot for herself now and then. He’s patient when I cancel plans at the last minute because I just want to be left alone. He’s everything Chef never was. Where Chef is charismatic, The Guy is quiet. Chef is kind of a bully; The Guy respects my freewill. Chef is somewhat selfish in all aspects of a relationship; The Guy puts my wants before his own. He isn’t intrusive. He is a reader; Chef says print is dead. The Guy has a massive education, and I find we have whole new unexplored areas of life that we can talk about to each other, and I find myself learning stuff from him; Chef likes to talk about himself. I know enough about that subject.
But in the back of my mind, I have an uneasiness about The Guy. I think he’s wonderful; I don’t think I can make him happy in the long run. I am really afraid that with all the baggage I keep hauling around from my life, I will only end up giving a tiny part of my heart to anyone again, and that has made me sad. No one deserves to be loved fractionally. We all crave to be loved whole-heartedly. But you have to be willing to be vulnerable and I’m not there. Hopefully, Chef won’t be the first and last person I’ll ever trust, but after examining my parent’s reactions to their own losses, I’m truly worried he might be. I hope that in this one respect, I’m not so much my father’s daughter.
I’m loving with a limp these days, and I am convinced The Guy deserves better than that.
I have no answers to my questions. I wrote down my fears in hopes that someone will deliver magical words to me that will make this latest train of thought dissipate and I continue to pray that God be merciful with this broken kid of His. I don’t want to be anyone’s partner in this life if I can’t bring them happiness in return.