Loving With A Limp

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 PIXECT-20130315055221returning 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.

broken heart birdsMy 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 brokenremainder 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 forimages 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.

hurt motherMom’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 theimages (1) 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.

 

– Bird

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44 Comments

  1. I wish I had some words of advice but I’m about the last person who should be giving relationship advice. Heh.

    Follow your heart but keep in mind that it’s not your job to decide what it is that makes The Guy happy. (I’m sure of that bit).

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    • Very good point, Grainne. I forget sometimes that other people’s well-being isn’t my responsibility. I’ve told this man several times that I’m kind of a hot mess right now, but he’s turned out to be more tenacious than I would have ever guessed. …Hope he doesn’t turn out to be a stalker..LOL!! Just kidding. He’s really, really patient with stuff that should make his head explode. He’s better than I thought was possible. The cynical part of me is just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hate being like that! But I am what I am. Ahhh. Fodder for another post one day. :-) Thanks for the sweet words!

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      • Lol. I’m like that too. When things are going well I start to get suspicious. :) Taking it one day at a time is the best advice I’ve heard.

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  2. I wish I had words also. I do know that I like it that you acknowledge you are not ready for another relationship. I would suggest moving one day at a time. If Guy is patient he may be able to walk you to the end where you will be healed

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    • From your lips to God’s ears! I have been doing much better in comparison to how I reacted to all of this stuff 7 months ago, but this time I was having trouble shaking the fear. I love my dad, but I’ve only discussed what this divorce is doing to me with him twice. Both times it turned quickly to my mom, and I sometimes feel like I really have no family I can truly lean on. I know I depend on this writing thing too much sometimes, but it is what it is. I ALWAYS feel so much better when I’ve written about it. Weird, huh? I’m pretty positive tomorrow is going to be a much better day! Thanks for the encouraging words, Terry!!

      Your First Follower :-)

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      • the writing for me has been very healing and also a place I can fall gently……..it is amazing how our words and the screen between us can be so powerful. I have always felt such a closeness to you. maybe because you were my first. lol

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    • I will tomorrow, if that is ok. I actually fell asleep after I wrote this. It was the first real sleep I’ve had in days. I always feel better about stuff when I write about it. I’ll touch base with you in the morning.

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  3. You have some heavy issues and I don’t pretend that I will likely have the words you need…..but here’s some thoughts… You’re dealing with trust and fear I believe…Not able to trust Chef for sure and fear because you don’t know whether you can trust yourself to be what you want to be and what you think someone like ‘the guy’ needs you to be. ..that’s a mouthful… I think that you feel you can trust him but that the baggage you’re carrying will never be ‘left behind’.

    I think that our past definitely colours our view of what a good or bad relationship is and you remember your Dad never being able to get past your mother leaving …that he couldn’t or wouldn’t be happy after that.

    But Catherine, that doesn’t have to be the same for you. Trust is the biggest issue I think for you to deal with…trust in yourself to dare to be happy again… trust in yourself that you can love again…trust in ‘the guy’ to be able to handle your baggage ( which incidentally you will bit by bit leave behind and it will take time) and something I struggle with lately with a couple of things going on in my life…to truly truly trust God… in your case that God loves you and wants you to be happy and free…. free to be yourself and freedom to move on with the rest and best of your life…. In case no one has told you lately you are a very special, warm, caring individual.. and that is in spite or because of your childhood…There is happiness again waiting for you whether it’s with this guy…who I think sounds pretty nice…or with someone else… Grab hold of whatever is ahead for you…. Love Diane xoxoxoxoo

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    • You always make me feel better, Diane. I hope your issue is being resolved, too. I was thinking about that today at work. How you do make me miss my mom! There’s a lot of motherly stuff about you, but you talk like my mom did. Thank you for always taking a moment for me. I do love you so much!

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      • Thanks …the issue that I have is not really resolved but there is communication about superficial stuff…I don’t know when or if…I certainly hope ‘when’ it will be but that’s one of the ‘trusting” issues I have with God…
        I think of you and you’re always in my prayers even when you’re not blogging. I’m sorry you’ve been let down once again but perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise because he has really shown you who he is.That’s why I think you can move forward now with now hesitation (except for some baggage that you’ll get rid of as I said piece by piece)….You take care…Love Diane xoxoxo

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  4. Yes by all means get rid of the guy who is interested because you are still in love with the deeply damaged one. I’m sorry sister. I just keep thinking we might be related. And just in case that is true I have two words for you…..STOP IT!!!
    This is from the woman who has composed two letters to the man who is happily back with his ex girlfriend and not thinking about me at all. Just sayin…..

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    • Only two? Oh girl, I’ve written hundreds!

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    • I too was a writer of letters! Sometimes they angered, sometimes they melted. Either way, the situation didn’t change. We can only do what our heart tells us to do in that moment – we can’t predict the outcomes but we must accept the consequences. Know that every trough in life is heading for a peak! :)

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  5. Oh Bird, we love you. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and let us into your life and your feelings. You are already loved, by God, and by us. We all love with a limp. God is faithful, He will speak to you, and lead you forward. The Lord is your husband. He is jealous for you, you are His Bride, His Princess.

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    • I love all of you, too, Diana! God is showing me daily how He wants more for me than I want for myself. I can’t really say I’ve ever asked Him to heal these broken pieces of my life, and yet I was important enough to Him that He is doing that anyways. He’s a good parent, isn’t He? Thank you for your unconditional support and love!

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  6. Bird, I’ve been lucky in my life, in that my grandmother has been a huge influence on my choice to “choose to love again”.

    My gram- has lost in her life- 4 husbands, 2 sons, and 3 grandchildren. That’s a lot of loss. And yet, every time, she EVENTUALLY came to the realization that- Love exists. In more than 1 form, and in infinite measure. She chose… again, and again, to allow love into her life after loss.

    Allow yourself the time. Allow yourself the grief, the anger, all the stages that are necessary to find your “light” again.

    And when the time is right, and you are ready… love will find a way. Whatever form that takes- family, friend, relationship, whatever.

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    • Thank you for the encouragement, Brea. While on the one hand I worry about my ability to be happily partnered again, the other part of me knows that I’ve never been a coward, and it is unlikely I’ll start now with something that is so important to me. It helps to remember that there are people that have risked much and been rewarded with their hearts desire – to be loved back. I appreciate you sharing!

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  7. You can’t pray demons away, Bird. They need to be cast out.

    Ask the Holy Spirit inside of you, what the demon’s name(s) are, and then cast it out in the name of Jesus. You can say it under your breath, so no one nearby hears it. (Don’t worry, the demons WILL still hear it, and so will the angels around you!) Say “Demon of depression (or whatever name you think it might have,) I cast you out in the name of Jesus Christ!”

    There may be several demons trying to affect you, (they rarely work alone,) So you might try several names. If it was a demon causing the distress, you will usually begin to feel relief within a few minutes. Know that sometimes demons can try to increase a negative emotion within you. FIGHT BACK! (We are in a war.) Tell them they must leave you alone instead! Use scripture and read it out loud if you have to, to back you up. (My favorite is Jeremiah 29:11.)

    I know it may seem silly to do this, but after all, what do you have to loose? Please just try it a few times and see what happens, o.k.?

    May the Lord bless you and keep you,
    may His face shine down upon you
    and give you His peace.

    Praying for you to remain strong in Him,
    C. Dunamis

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    • I do understand about demons, and how to cast them down. Thank you for the reminder. However, while I do know that they are involved here, I don’t believe they can reside inside of a Christian. They are always involved in the schemes of the devil, but they tend to get blamed for everything. I’m more inclined to believe that in my case, this sadness, which may be a slight depression, is just my reaction to having to address things about myself and my life that I’d hoped to leave in the darkness and never deal with. Healing itches some times, and I truly believe the Lord is bringing about healing in areas of my life that I never wanted to think about. You can trust me when I say this — demons tend to steer pretty clear of me. I do recognize them, and I’m not afraid to cast them down. Thank you for the wise advice!!!

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  8. What a great title – thanks for sharing your story.

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  9. Oh Bird, it’s been a while since I visited. I wish I had those miracle words for you but I think your own words were the miracle. You can only keep moving forward one tiny step at a time and life will unravel before you. The words of Neale Donald Walsch spring to mind when he said: ‘In order to experience something in this life, the quickest way is to enable someone else to experience it first.’ They’ve always helped me, including through my own divorce and susequent relationships. Many years later I am on a journey to be married once again. It can happen. It does happen. Thinking of you Bird. Love and hugs. Stu x

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    • It is kind of a relief to hear from those who are further along on the same road I’m on that things are going to be okay. It’s like letters from the war front! I don’t know what it is, but the minute I wrote this, everything in my head kind of calmed down again. I guess seeing the issue in black and white takes some of the fear of it away. Are you in a relationship now? You mentioned you are on a journey to get married again. Are you afraid?

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      • I’ll be married in October this year – and I’m thrilled. That fear passes, trust wrangles its way back in (if you let it) and you learn to open up once again. Time and introspection, that’s all. Always here Bird. If you want I’ll add you to my Ponders, Quotes and Questions daily email list – just email me at: stuart.young40@googlemail.com and I’ll add you immediately. :)

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  10. Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.

    DS

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  11. Rocketdog

     /  March 20, 2013

    Why don’t you tell that POS to kiss your ass and F**K OFF. I’m getting really tired of the way way he his manipulating you. Change your number, and if he comes by the ghetto, just poke that firestick through the door opening and tell him to never show his face on your door step ever again or you will blow it off! Yeah…. I need to go by and visit him…. and you can bet your ass he won’t like the outcome. Give the new guy a chance… don’t shut him out or push him away. Dammit girl…… go get laid! Love ya’ Ernie

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  12. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless– it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” C.S. Lewis

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  13. Bird,

    You’ve been as upfront with this guy as you can be…he knows who you are. If he’s willing to stick around while you heal…and if you enjoy his company, then by all means keep the relationship open…give yourself a chance at love.

    I can say this because I’ve been in your shoes. I was married for almost 24 years to an abuser, a narcissist…writing a memoir helped me to heal, but when men showed interest in me, I closed up like a book. Until one very persistent man came along. I’m still learning to love again….I won’t easily be fooled again (and that is what I was afraid of the most). But I have finally admitted that are some good men in the world. I deserve a good one. You deserve a good one.

    Take care,
    Danita

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  14. It took me 15 years to trust and love again… We have been married for 22 years now, and although it was hard to love and trust again it has been worth the risk. It took a long time to forgive my 1st husband. I had to learn to love myself and to live with myself. Your pain will lessen in time. Live your life for yourself! Learn to LIKE yourself. Once you can do this you will be ready for a relationship. Hugs and best wishes.

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  15. I have not been in your place, but in a way my parents have. Both had loved and lost before they found each other, my father lost by divorce and my mother her fiancee was killed. They both acknowledged that they had true love before they met – and yes they did work at their relationship but it did work. You got some great support and advice from everyone here, and although I have no advice to add, I do have hope to offer you. Hope that if “guy” is the one it will all work out. And I have hugs…hugs for encouragement as you continue to move forward.

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  16. Hmm, toughies there, Bird. Trust issues plagued Chris his whole life, and his bio dad was his abuser. You know, when I finished that Loss Recovery workshop the dude conducting it drew a big heart and filled it with words like ‘Anger, Bitterness, Depression, Anxiety, Unresolved Guilt’… all kinds of things. Then, he started to erase them one by one, talking about different ways to rid one’s heart of these things. I don’t think anyone is baggage free, ever, but how great to have a lighter heart to give away.
    God is constant, thankfully, and does keep his promises. I think your healing is proceeding apace, and you’ll have a lighter, scarred, wiser heart to give away to The Guy, or whoever God wants you to spend the rest of your life with.
    Love you bunches, girl.
    V

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  17. Dear Catherine,

    First of all let me start by saying that it is not a woman’s job to make a man happy–quite the contrary–it is the man that makes a woman happy. Men are happy when they know they have made their woman happy. You can take my word for it or you can spend $2000.00 on “Understanding Men” seminars. What men want from women is to be appreciated for what they do and to be respected and not taken for granted. That is what it will take to make the guy happy. If this man is happy in your company and appreciates you for who you are, who are you to say to him that you are not enough? If you don’t have feelings for him that is one thing—but do not color what he may be thinking and feeling based on your hurting heart. Maybe the Guy was sent by God to help you heal—-just enjoy the blessing. And you are not loving with a limp you are dancing your way into love. Do you know how to merengue? It’s a latin dance in which you take a step out on the right foot and then shuffle the left foot to the right, so it kind of looks like a limp—so think of you as dancing your way into love. It’s awesome that you can be so thoughtful of The Guy’s feelings, but don’t feel his feelings for him–that is kind of rude. Not getting down on you just want you to enjoy the silver lining of the storm cloud that you have been living for the past year.

    lots of love to you,

    Ivonne

    ps I would love to weigh 110 ok maybe 125 at my age.
    :)

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  18. This sentence stood out for me: “But in the back of my mind, I have an uneasiness about The Guy.” –> Everything else you wrote about the reasons WHY you have uneasiness doesn’t matter. It just is what it is, and you can feel in your gut that this isn’t the right fit for you. For whatever reason, it doesn’t matter. Go with your gut. Hugs, Bird! :)

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