A week or so ago, I was commenting to my daughter about how short-lived true, unadulterated peace lasts, in my life at least. It isn’t that I don’t actually feel pretty peaceful about life in general normally. I do. But on those rare occasions, I literally have no big problems weighing on me, and that’s the time I’m talking about with Rebekkah. For a time there, I was making enough money to pay ALL of my bills, had a home I love, dogs were happy and healthy, a great friend, a legal driver’s license, love my job, etc. All of this is still true, but Friday, the newest fly came to land in my peace-soaked ointment. Actually, it is a fly that visits my ointments pretty regularly.
I don’t know if it holds true for other ex-wives, but for me, Chef often presents a problem. He is always right on the cusp of something really bad, and my nature is to be a fixer. Even when he was living with the other women, using drugs, and being a complete a$$hole, I would still bail him out of things, give him money, and generally put aside what he was doing to me, to do something good for him.
Don’t bother deciding I’m a good person, either. There are a lot of selfish reasons a person can have when they are busy traveling the High Road. For several reasons, I liked that he wasn’t doing all that well without me, or that his girlfriends were turning out to be more of a problem for him than a solution. I felt vindicated every time they would fight about me, which knowing my ex, was a lot of the time. He did the same unfavorable comparisons between me at his exes before me. He only stopped when I stopped being bothered by it.
In 2012, I lived for every phone call, text, or knock on the door from Chef. In 2013, I both longed for as well as dreaded his efforts to reach out. In 2014, he was more of a frustration dotted with just a hint of feelings of responsibility towards him. I would have to say, though, that 2015 has been all about putting an end to that chapter. Over the course of this year, I’ve teared up a few times over what he once was and what we’ve lost, but I haven’t wept at all this year over Chef. The reason? I’ve moved on.
This time, the impending disasters in his life are pretty much the same ones they always are. Chef’s life, it would seem, has taken a harsh turn for the worse…again. Illness. Homelessness. Loneliness. Regret.
As is our sick custom, he did what he always does. He called me with frightening news about his health, and worked in the other sad circumstances he’s now facing. But, instead of the normal reactions I have tended to have these last few years, I felt…well, almost nothing. To quote Pink Floyd, I felt comfortably numb.
I seriously am not sure how I feel about this new, almost callous approach to that part of my life. On the one hand, I feel just as peaceful today as I did before he called me Friday. On the other, I am wondering if I’ve officially become a cold b***h. I hope not. I really want Chef to be happy. I don’t want him homeless, or sick, or lonely. The difference is, I just don’t want to be the one to have to make that happen for him. I don’t want to be his home, or take care of him if he is sick, or talk to him so he won’t be lonely. And that makes me feel selfish. Who knows? Maybe I am now.
I only know that when that chapter was closed, it was firmly so. I’m not going backwards. Not anymore. I believe the fly might have actually drowned in the ointment this time. The long road to letting go has been traveled, and no amount of history or memories can bring that path back again.