Sunday, November 23, 2014

Post #700

I think this will be my last post. 

I took this picture of myself at a time last year when I was at my lowest. I think the look on my face tells it all, how full of sorrow I was. I spent hours and hours every weekend and evening laying on my couch, crying, thinking, hoping, ruminating. I went over every little thing I felt like I did wrong in my relationship with Jeckyll, 18 years of doubt. Every inch of every argument, along with every second of every happy moment I could remember. Even thinking, perhaps, letting him know about and read this blog, that could have been a big part of the demise. Being too honest, too open, and so finally after years together he started to know the "real" me, and that was enough to make him go. I'll never know what really drove it home, what really went bad. An accumulation of things, to be sure.

I couldn't take anything back. We don't get to do that in life. We can apologize and make amends, but it doesn't change the past. It doesn't put the words spoken back in your mouth, it doesn't erase past actions from memory.

He couldn't take anything back either. He could say he didn't mean it, but I know better. Sometimes words spoken in haste are the most honest of all. Most times words spoken in anger have a ring of truth to them. That's been my experience. If I temper my words it isn't making them more true, it's just an attempt to make them less hurtful. The painful truth is still lurking in the background, behind a calm delivery.

It's been 17 months since he faced his truth and decided to leave me. I had read someplace (many places) that it takes about 18 months to get over a long term relationship. I guess I'm there. I guess I made it through the toughest parts of this.

I no longer worry that I cannot take care of myself. My level of self-care has soared above and beyond my wildest dreams. I don't wake up at night and worry how I will make it through another day, another week, another month. I look forward to seeing what life has to offer me now. I look forward to opportunities, or just the hum-drum of a rainy Sunday with nothing, or anything, to do. I don't need another person to fill a hole inside my heart, I am full. I guess I'm finally an adult woman, whole.

I have re-invented how to spend time with friends. I have learned to date again in this freaking Century. I have let go of some people that needed to go and I have opened myself up to others that support and nourish me with their presence in my life.

The man I'm dating now, oh so fresh and new, we are taking it slow at my request. I don't know if I'll fall in love with him, but the ember is there. The possibility. I am different now in how I assess a relationship. It's about how I feel day to day. Am I worried over it? Am I over-thinking it? Am I obsessed? Does it feel bad instead of good? Can I trust? Do I look forward to seeing him for the right reasons? Do I really like him, or is it just a need to be liked?

I already ended one dating scenario over the summer, and it felt good to take control of my feelings and just pull the trigger. "you make me feel like a chore that you have to fit into your schedule". I actually told him that, and it felt great! I wasn't cowering or begging for more time, I am finally in a place where I will not settle for less than I feel I deserve. I know I am older and more wrinkled and flabby than I used to be. I am also beautiful and talented and a very nice person. I sincerely give of myself and I do it because I enjoy it. I know I have a lot to offer a partner. Perhaps some of that comes from Jeckyll. I know I was there for him. I know I did my best at the time, with what I had, and what I knew, and what I thought was right. I know I am kind and considerate and fun. I give from the heart, and when I get kindness in return I cherish it.

Moving forward I can just take those experiences, and add what I'm learning about myself in therapy, and just keep going. It's true that the older you get the more you know you don't know anything. You DO know more, you just realize all the things you DON'T know. Different things. I think I've figured out how to not make the same mistakes again. I think I'm learning to take things at face value. I don't need to try and read between the lines. If I'm asked to read between the lines, I'll refuse. Say what you mean, mean what you say, act as you profess to feel.

So far it's working. I know this man cares about me, and we are learning about each other in a slower fashion. It's meant to be fun, and doesn't need to be intense. I'm not looking for intense, I'm looking for comfortable. I don't want to be swept off my feet. I want to be blindsided eventually with deep caring feelings for someone who is a lover but also a friend. I don't want to trauma-bond. I don't want to "fall in love" with a stranger. I want to know him first.

I do still spend time with Jeckyll here and there. We keep in touch regularly. He was over the other night to watch a basketball game, and I felt no urge to scoot over on the couch and cuddle with him. We talked quite a bit just about stuff happening in our lives right now. I did at one point look in his eyes and wonder, what happened? That face of his so familiar to me, over the years changing with age, but I can still see the Jeckyll I met at 25 peeping through. It still makes me sad that we didn't get a forever-after story, but I accept what was, how our lives changed, and I'm not certain I would have had the guts to leave.

Am I happier now? I have no idea. It's not a matter of happy or un-happy. It's just....different.

Thanks to those of you that have stuck with my blog all these years. If I eventually start another I'll let you know. Meanwhile I think my regular commentors have my real email anyway. I'll leave this up for a bit, but that's all folks. This one is done.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Huh, been a long time

Well I guess this blog really is pretty much over. Almost a month without a post, yet many things keep happening in my life, I don't feel the need to write about it.

I finally broke down and decided winter would be a good time to join an online dating site, just see what's out there. Meeting available men my age in real life was going to be way more effort. This way it was like walking through a grocery store. Available men presenting themselves on a shelf. A full list of likes and dislikes to peruse like ingredients. Photographs that were often confusing. Looking great in one photo, looking completely different in another.

Men who are available, they are looking too. In my zip code no less. I could even search by distance from where I live. Search by age. It was daunting.

Then after a few days they were looking at MY profile. I was getting messages from men who wanted to know more about me, wanted to meet me for coffee. Wanted to meet me for drinks. Just wanted something. Looking for sex or for love. They were mostly my age. It was kind of thrilling.

I dipped my toe in the water. Didn't go any further than online messages with most. Text messages with one guy and we were trying to meet and he caught a cold. Then whammo, I finally see a profile that interests me so much. Everything he had to say about himself resonated with me. I sent him a message.

We had our first date on Halloween. Our second date two days later. Then we deactivated our online dating accounts, because truly I can only date one person at a time and he just fell for me. I wasn't sure if I was falling for him but deactivating my account was little effort. There wasn't a whole lot of interesting things happening, I was willing to take a small leap into monogamous dating.

So now we're dating. So far dating the way I want to date. He cooked me dinner at his apartment, I got to meet his cats. I cooked him dinner at my place, he met a few of my friends. We cuddle on the couch and watch movies, with the dog and a blanket. I think to myself, "how did we get this comfortable this fast"? It is exactly what I was looking for. Someone to do things with, but it doesn't have to be exceptional. It doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to be roses and champagne, I'm good with being showered with kisses and affection and hugs. We can just hold hands. We can spend three hours talking on the phone.

Next chapter of my life is happening. Jeckyll is happy for me. He claims to be. I have no reason to doubt his sincerity. He wanted me to move on, I'm finally trying to truly move on and have a new relationship with someone who wants to be attached, wants to fall in love. Someone who wants a girlfriend. Someone I truly enjoy being with, but it's not a crazy imperative.

I don't wonder what he's doing when he's not with me. I don't wonder if he's thinking about me because we message each other in the morning, and also in the evening to say good morning and goodnight. We're a couple of dorks, wearing our hearts on our sleeves. We are not immediately spending every day or night together, because we are adults with other responsibilities. We have jobs and pets. So we proceed with caution and trepidation and it just feels like the right pace for now.


Monday, October 13, 2014

This and That

I sure haven't been here much lately. Life just moving along like a slow river. Summer over, Fall settling in.

I am not dating "that guy" anymore. He was very nice and lot's of fun. We got intimate physically and that was good for me in a way. I had worried I would never be attracted to someone ever again post divorce. I was very attracted to him, enough to sleep with him several times and with robust energy.

The first time I was a little afraid I'd flip out afterwards and have a massive sweep of guilt. Or a giant depression over the loss of my partner of 18 years. I was afraid of the difference, and that it would make me feel bad or make me cry. None of those things happened. We had fun joyful sex without any deep feelings, just appreciated each other fully in our human middle-aged bodies. So now I know, I can do that and not feel bad. As long as I feel respected, it can just be about exploration and desire.

But all in all he was not the guy for me, I was not the girl for him. He had some big tough walls, intimacy issues, and not enough time for me. He didn't want a girlfriend, and didn't seem to even really want to make time to see me consistently. There were red flags the whole way that he would not be a partner for very long. We ended it mutually because I didn't like how it was making me feel, wondering all the time when I would get to see him again. Long silences between dates. He was always busy, too busy to date me really. He admitted he had too many other things going on in his life to "date" right now. 

We ended it friendly and it wouldn't surprise me at all if we got together once in awhile just to hang out. Perhaps another roll in the hay if neither of us have any reason not to. 

I suppose as far as dating goes he was a good first step in knowing what I want and don't want. I wanted a little more connection and a little more of his time. I don't want to be crowded, and he didn't crowd me at all. Perhaps something in the middle. Someone I could rely on to be in touch and would want to make time to see me instead of squeezing me in here and there. He kind of made me feel like a chore, that's not the way I want to feel.

Onward, well not really. Just floating along and not making any serious efforts to meet people. Focusing on work, trying to get a promotion, dealing with a new person at work who has an attitude problem.

Looking at almost a year has passed that Jeckyll moved out. It was November 1st. What a year. What a long and serious year. Things have evened out at this point. Jeckyll and I still friends, we stay in touch. We get together occasionally and it no longer sends me into a two day tailspin. He really is a friend to me and I hope I'm a good friend to him.

I'm good. We're good.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Visit "Home"

I ask the question of myself, what is home?

I went to visit my parents last week. Hadn't been there in maybe 4 years? For reasons.

It's the last place I want to "vacation".

But I went and just told myself I was performing a welfare check. They don't tell me anything, so I can't trust that they are doing as well as they want me to think they are.
My father is in pretty good shape, except for still driving as fast as ever and having not very good vision.

My mother has osteoporosis, has for years, but seemingly now better than last time. No wheelchair, just the walker. She is all of 4 feet tall now, hunched and lopsided, but mobile to an extent. She tries to take a walk every day with her walker to keep exercising. I admire that.

Her complaints range from the usual old age complaints. All her friends but one have passed away. She doesn't sleep well and has random aches and pains. She can't do everything she used to be able to do, and I think pretty much she's bored. A little housebound. My Dad is not a whole lot of fun, prefers a book and the TV.

Her complaints also range on the absurd. She likes to order at a restaurant and then complain there's too much food. When they always bring home leftovers anyway, and don't have to cook the next day.

She complains about my brother. Something that would normally have me in the middle, because for sure she's going to put me in the middle, but this time I stayed out of it the best I could.

One day she wanted to know if my shirt was on backwards because "the pretty part is in the back".

Another day she wanted lobster rolls for lunch, so we bought a steamed lobster and I showed her how to get all the meat out (something she'd never done before). It was just over one pound, not a big lobster by any stretch, about the same amount of meat as a can of tuna fish. She accused me of throwing all the meat away, after she stood and watched me clean the whole thing. I almost pulled out all the shells and showed her but thought better of it. Just said, "you just saw me take it all out, it was a very small lobster".

Little things that tick me off. Little things I cannot change. I had to take deep breaths and just let it all go.

I think this was the first time I saw so clearly how manipulative and nuts she is. Very passive aggressive. She wants everything her way and behaves like a child. So I treated her as a child. Just ignored insults, ignored any snide comments, took her love and affection when it was given. Waited out the week until my plane ride home.


To work, friends, dog, life.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Going Slow?

I've never dated someone in this fashion before, going slow.

We had our second date over a week ago and our third date is tonight.

To be fair we probably would have seen each other sooner except for both of us being busy most of the time. I was busy all weekend, he had late work nights this week, so suddenly it's 9 days later before we connect again.

I think it's just what I need. Something casual where I'm not pressured into forming a bond with someone too quickly or too intensely. I like him, but I'm not going all head-over-heels and that's just fine. It's too hard for me to trust anyone yet anyway. It would take a long time for him to gain my trust, only because that's how I am now. No fault of his.

If I met a man now who pressured me into getting together every day or even every other day I would run screaming for the hills. I wouldn't be ready for the intensity of falling in love. That's not to say I couldn't fall in love with this guy eventually, the potential is there, but I'm not trying and neither is he.

I think he's treading lightly anyway, because he knows about my recent history. He's asked about the divorce, but politely has not asked why we divorced. I'm not even sure I have an easy answer to that question if it comes up. The easiest thing to say would be that we became incompatible, but that doesn't really cover it.

I guess I don't know where this is going. I'm looking forward to my date tonight and all that entails. It's enough to just go a day at a time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No Therapy

It's been very weird these past few weeks with my therapist on a month long vacation.

It's like I really truly get to make my own decisions without checking in with anyone. A-ny-one.

Life is still messy with loose strings here and there I'm supposed to be attending to. I started a house project that is going to (of course) take five times longer than expected, but it's not keeping me up at night worrying over it. I'll get to it.

I'm supposed to be working on the details of my last will and testament, and there it sits at my desk, half done. But I'm gonna do it eventually. Halfway there.

Things feel good right now. I'm so busy with friends, and it's not just the comedy stuff which I've once again ratcheted down. Just dinners with friends, and now apparently I'm dating again.

First date went great, have a second one coming. I don't know if this is a rebound for me but if it is, so be it. He's very nice, a total gentleman, and I enjoy his company. That's all
I need to know right now. Can't make it any more than it is. Just someone I have fun with and we're attracted to each other at this moment. He may turn out to be an asshole, or he could turn out to be the nice person he portrays himself to be.

I still need to shut down this blog. Coming soon. Fall will be it, when I am cooped up and have time to edit it to book form.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Moving On

The anniversaries are over and I'm no worse off than I was before. In fact Tuesday was the bad one, feeling sad at work. I stayed home that night and went to bed early. Got a random text message around 9:00pm from a man I met two weeks ago, asking me out on a date. Somehow that made Wednesday quite a bit easier.

I met him through a mutual friend and a group of us had spent the evening together drinking beer and talking up a storm. As the evening wore on he said a few things that were making me attracted to him. He's close to my age, he likes to cook (as a hobby), loves dogs (loved Otto), he's employed, and he's NOT a comedian but he does have a sense of humor.

I kept thinking I should ask for his number and I kept chickening out, the whole evening. When we were all saying our goodbyes he gave me a hug saying, "it was nice to meet you". That hug stuck with me, then he was out the door and gone.

So I asked our mutual friend to give him my phone number. She said she would, but sometimes she's a flake. Then I just didn't give it another thought.

Two weeks later, we're going out tonight. I know I already had a first date after the divorce but that felt like a blind date. It was uncomfortable and awkward. This feels more like a real date because we've already met and spent some time together.

I'm not nervous yet. I'm excited. It's just opening another chapter in my life. I don't want to fall in love again, not yet. I'm definitely going to be wary and probably mistrustful. But I have to try not to stay that way forever, or I'll never connect with anyone again.

So perhaps we'll have a fun evening. Perhaps we'll hit it off. Perhaps I'll get a goodnight kiss. We'll see.