Thursday, March 24, 2011

Growing up a little...

Change. That's what growing up is all about, isn't it? You change. For better, for worse, to adapt...

The bitch about change is that you rarely choose to do it. Life and situations will force it upon you before you realize it's happened.

My childhood made me grow up and become (emotionally, anyway) older, faster than I should have had to become. I keep finding myself in situations that make me grow up.

Yeah, yeah, that's life and quit my whiny bitching and blah blah blah.

My point (and I do have one) is that this is what I found myself on the outcoming end of this summer. Growing up. Being a changed person. Before I realized it was happening, it happened. And it was a big one. I realized that I was a different person. And I struggled with it. I didn't want to be a different person. Particularly because the person I became didn't love her husband as a husband anymore. I hated myself for this change.

I hated myself because I was hurting Erf. Things got really difficult between us. There was no intimacy because I lost all my libido. There were talks that basically consisted of me sitting there while Erf talked for (literally) hours. Seriously. Four hours is a long time to barely be able to get a word in edgewise.

And I thought about it. This new person was my constant companion. And I began to see things through her eyes. I began to see that everything was a constant struggle. And recently I've realized that it was because we were acting like kids playing house. It's a hard truth, but that's what it was. We had a child together, and we all deserved better.

He deserved someone who could love him completely. I can no longer do that, and I can't explain just why. I tried so hard to make myself believe otherwise. Perhaps I took the coward's way out, because I didn't want to try therapy. My reasons are because A) we couldn't afford it and B) I don't see how anyone can make me fall back in love with someone when, frankly, I didn't want to anymore. I realized that we were very different people. I love him as a friend, and I want him to be happy, but I wanted to be happy too.

That feeling of wanting to be happy? Felt like the most selfish thing I could feel.

Things were so strained. And they still are. There are so many things I want to say, that I wish I could say. Things that only my closest family and friends have heard. But in the wise words of Aunt Becky, "Sometimes, those words remained unwritten because they cut too close to home; because sometimes words, feelings, pain, reactions cannot be explained away by logic. The kind of criticism it would open up would pour salt into an already-festering wound. Others remained unwritten because I didn’t want to cause drama or pain."

To cause him more pain would be horrible. I can't cause him any more pain than necessary.

But I wonder how much of his pain I need to take. His hatred toward me, his lashing out - because of me. Where do you find that balance? When you hurt someone as deeply as I know I hurt him, you need to expect to be the proverbial punching bag for a while. But when do you get to stop it?

My wondering, I think, stems from the fact that I'm done simply reacting to whatever is thrown at me. The cheesy alliteration I'd insert here would be some dramatic comparison to being an actor on stage, waiting for my cues. But I have realized that I have totally been out of it, not paying attention to what goes on around me. I've been keeping myself out of it. And I'm trying not to anymore. I'm trying to be proactive instead of waiting until things can't go any longer without being dealt with.

And for the first time, I'm being as independent as I can handle. I'm asking for help when I need it from people I can trust, because I'm not a dumb enough former blonde to think I can do it all by myself. Particularly when I've got Erflet part time. But I'm doing things that are making me feel proud of myself for the first time in a very long time. The last time I remember feeling this pride was when I realized that I was a good mother... Because I worried so much that I wouldn't be.

Now I have my first apartment, I'm fixing things, I'm assembling furniture... I'm the owner of a coffee maker for the first time in my life! These little things are bringing me so much joy, because I can be self-sufficient.

I can handle this. I've got it. I really can do this, and I believe in myself. :)

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