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I don’t think this is quite the right title for this post, but I’m struggling with how to express myself this time.
I am lonely for my daughter.
I am not generally lonely. I have a wonderful fiance. My niece is a great roommate. Thunder Cat is a good snuggle companion. I have friends (if I ever reached out to them). But the loneliness of a parent for a child is a unique animal. And the sense of missing a family unit is sometimes quite poignant – another kind of loneliness.
I have always been the one in the family who worked. My ex was always the stay-at-home parent, even when I didn’t want it to be that way. I missed a lot of Kelsea’s day-to-day growing up. I tried to make up for it by spending as much time as I could with her when I wasn’t working – except for the solo vacations to try to save my own sanity.
Now Kelsea is a teenager. We are going through the to-be-expected separation period. She spends most of her time with her friends. We still have some small time together, but she stays at her Dad’s most of the time, because he’s closer to school, and getting her there doesn’t work very well with my getting to work. Some people say I should push to have her stay with me more, but that’s just not how we operate. We talk and text every day. She will be driving in a few months, and is so looking forward the her freedom. I remember that from my own teenage years.
But I miss the kid stuff. I miss our dedicated play time together. I miss our “famous chats” and our reading and snuggles and watching trashy TV and talking about anything and everything. I guess this separateion from the parent is a normal thing – just what happens when teenagers grow up. It must be preparing everyone for that day when they leave home and forge their own life, the one that you as a parent have been readying them for since the moment they were born.
Once you are divorced, and one parent is not with the child as much any more, the sense of a family unit dissipates like a wisp of fog. Gone also are those dreams you had, of being the proud parents seeing your child off to various milestone events, or attending school plays hand-in-hand. I am wise enough to realize that those visions, like many others I had, were more fantasy than lost reality – I know that by looking at the reality of my life within my marriage for almost 20 years.
Maybe I miss dreams that I never had a chance of fulfilling. Then again, I was always trying to fulfill those dreams on my own, even in my marriage, and not as part of a team. My ex and I, in hindsight, were never a team, never partners. That feels sad.
The tragic events that have happened recently in Colorado have made me all the more sensitive about how precious my daughter is, and how quickly someone dearer to you than the moon can be snatched away forever. In the blink of an eye.
I know Kelsea misses me sometimes. I know I miss her often. I know she sees the texts and Facebook messages I send her daily, even if she doesn’t respond, so she knows that I’m thinking of her always. We still have our mother-daughter traditions (she loves traditions) and we still carve out time for special things. But the days of being her best playmate, of her sitting on my foot and clutching my leg when I had to leave the house, those days are gone. And I miss them.
I loved spending what time I could with her in her childhood. It was like having my own childhood all over again.
I guess we all have to grow up. Eventually.
There is so much that happens in my mind at night.
I woke at 1:30, again at 3:00, and again at 5:30. And now it is 6:30 and there is no happy morning call. And I am left with my thoughts of Russ returning to the safety and comfort of Kim, and of myself alone, adrift. I am so sad. It is so wrong. By March, he will have made me into a memory. Why is this happening, when I had waited so many years to find him? Why should the universe put us in each other’s paths, only to allow this?
I am an amazing human being. Yeah, right. Then why is my love so toxic to the person I love? I am a woman. I am not an addiction. Just because I can offer Russ a new kind of love, an amazing amount of open, promising love, he thinks I am not good for him.
And here I was, so proud, happy, hopeful, excited, delighted to have fallen in love for the very first time – look how long it has taken me – 46 years – and look how it has turned out. When I finally put my heart out there, honestly, trustingly, it is seen as an addiction — poison — not believable — destructive. Toxic.
I am just a woman, one with flaws, one who has been in bad patterns for years and years, who is ready to break them. One who has childhood damage – who doesn’t? But I have so much to share. And after all these years, I have found the one person I want to share it with.
I did not want to live and die alone, but I had reconcilled myself to it. Now I will reconcille myself to it again. I haven’t laughed like I laughed with Russ with anyone, except for Kelsea, ever.
I wonder what I would come up with if I could count my tears. They are just leaking, spilling, like my words. No matter what I do, they seem to drip down my cheeks like raindrops on a winter window.
I want a partner I can love with all of me. I want Russ. The only partner I’ve ever had a glimpse of.
The sheets are clean now. Should I take off my amulet, take off the ring he gave me when he committed himself to me on Anegada?
I am not a witch. I did not cast a spell on him. All I did was love him with my whole heart.
We would wake each other in the night from 90 miles away. That isn’t addiction. That is otherworldly.
I want him to be happy. And selfishly, I want him to be happy with me. I still believe we can get to our dreams. I could feel them moving, even if he was too wrapped up in pain and guilt to feel it. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it was happening. And with his clarity, together, we could make it happen. We are both very powerful people. It is what I want.
I cannot live in this cold climate. I cannot die here. Today’s beautiful, disgusting, unexpected snow was the proverbial icing on the cake from the universe. I so wanted to talk to him this morning, just to complain about it.
I know I have a responsibility to Kelsea, one which I will never shirk. And I know that people make changes in thier lives, marital status, and location all the time when they have children. And as long as the children have enough love, the changes are fine. No, I cannot leave tomorrow. But I am starting to plan how to go and starting to get her thinking about how it will work. We have talked about my moving farther away, about homeschooling, study abroad, particularly once she reaches high school in 2 years. If I am living the life I am striving for, I will be travelling and writing and be away regardless. It feels so much happier to picture it with Russ as my partner. But his sensitivity to his issues around his own childhood perhaps color his views of how I should raise my daughter. But I am not his mother, playing out her issues around my own child. I am not like her.
Russ says he is going through with the divorce. Why should he? He’ll just lose everything anyway and that was a big stumbling block for him. If he were to go through with it, and I knew it would go better for him if I weren’t around, I would wait. But the whole divorce thing was because of me – and now he’s parted ways from me – so he can rebuild his old life and I will be a blip on a past horizon.
Interesting how he proposed on September 11 and parted from me on January 11. And if the star people wish to smile on us again, as they did that night under the Southern Cross, they will do so on March 11.
All the things in my past that he has added up and magnified until they take on much grander meaning and proportion than they warrant – now he thinks that is who I am, an incessant pattern I will someday revert to, even if it lies dormant now. How wrong he is. I can understand his need to protect himself from my hurting him. He just has to trust me that it won’t happen. As I would have to trust him. And honestly, he said that leaving me would never happen again. And I trusted him. Gee, which of us has proved more true to our word so far?
In Russ, I thought I had found someone I could live boldly with. Take great risks for great rewards, great love.
Turning to the concept of addiction to understand his own feelings is like turning to religion when things seem out of control. Slap a label on a big confusing feeling (regardless of whether that label is accurate) and try to make it make sense, try to fit it into a framework you can understand, even though, in reality, it’s outside of your scope of experience. Things DO sometimes fall outside of the scope of one’s experience. That’s how people grow. No one said it would be easy.
I just want to crawl back in bed and stay there. I do not want to picture him going about his day and me not being part of it. For him, moving on means moving back to Kim. I do not know what moving on means for me. I suppose it means moving into myself. There is no one else for me but me, and no other man for me but him. I suppose I can make peace with that in time.
I will be calling a couple of mediators today to see if they are a good match for me and Pat. He actually considered asking someone out over the weekend – I consider that a positive step for him. I will not tell him about this break with Russ, as it is not his concern, only mine.
Still T-60…how slow the hours go. 1440 hours to be exact.
And I told you I would be spilling….
I was so hoping I was moving past the pain, at least this element of it.
How can I do this? How can he do this? Addiction is a harsh term, representing something bad. Love is not bad. And I love him with all my heart. Causing one another pain is not right. Depriving us of each other is wrong. I thought we were helping each other grow – maybe he was just helping me grow, and killing himself. He promised he would never leave me. And yet, here we are again. I know him well enough to know that he will indeed be away from me for 60 days. No text, no calls, no emails, no letters, no Skype, no contact. I will be lonely in my cold little cottage for the rest of the winter. And there is nothing I can do about it. Except cry and hope and wish and trust that he will see that he is indeed my partner, not my addiction – and vice versa. God, I am so sad. What is so wrong with wanting to love Russ? I know it is not the perfect scenario, clearly, with each of us married to others, but neither of us was happy in those marriages. We both admit we should have gotten out years ago. And now we are. So why is this a bad thing? It’s not like I haven’t been exploring issues in therapy myself. Perhaps he should too. But I expect he will never be secure enough in my love to overcome his fears of my past, all the things I have been working on. When I think of all the doors in my spirit that he has helped to open, the things that I have shared with him, trusted him with, I just feel so lost and alone, now that he has turned away.
I cannot do this thing. I cannot stand to grieve again.
Why do I have to be right? I hate that I can feel what he is feeling.
Russ feels our love is addictive, and as I have said, that is his hot button – I know that. And so we will refrain from any contact for 60 days. After that, I am trusting in the powers of the universe to allow us to come back together, with a new confidence that this relationship is truly what it seems – a love such as no one else has ever had. He feels that I will move on to another man in this time, that since I have had this behavior for so many years that it will be easy enough for me. I thought he knew me better than that. In his goodbye letter, he said that I have been having affairs for 23 years – untrue. Such behaviors appeared periodically throughout my marriage, but not consistently. Again, a hot button for him. He has been exploring a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous Forum. I looked at it as well, and will explore more, but honestly, 12-step programs with a strong “trust in God” turn of phrase are off-putting. I trust in the Universe, its powers, and my own strength – and the strength of true love. But I will explore it. And he must do what he must do. Even if it means never being with me again. Tears fill my eyes (again) as I write that.
He says that here we’ve been working on the stuff for months and nothing has happened. I disagree. I can feel things happening. But the thing is, he wasn’t really working on the stuff. He was saying it, but not believing it. Instead, he has been agonizing over the pain he’s caused. Put the negative out and it will manifest, it’s true. I will not do that. I’m not buying into that. I want the positive. I want the love of my life. I will work hard until Spring, when perhaps I can catch a glimpse of a crocus, and perhaps I can hear his voice again, and perhaps we can move forward with our life together. I suppose that will be up to him by then. I already know what I want. And I am already lonely for him.
The 60-day countdown calendar will appear on each blog entry. God, I hate this – not just not being with him, but the risk of knowing that I can move down one path, with the vision of him at the end, and that as I am doing so, I will not know if he is moving down a similar path, with a vision of me at the end. And if he is not there at the end of the path, my heart will surely break forever.
I guess he really wasn’t happy with the prospect of it all. He kept saying that things hadn’t been right between us the past few times, but it was in him, not in me. I was – am? – so looking forward to being his wife, to having a love that endured, that was real. To having a partner.
I am lonely for him already. I look forward to our talks every night, our Skypes. It seems absurd that two people who love each other should be apart like this. I just like sharing my life with him. I like him.
But I will go on, for eight weeks, pursuing myself, trying to turn my life into the life I have dreamed of, envisioned. Including the things we had dreamed of together. A new blog will be born, One for the World, a placeholder for Two for the World, that is specific to my travels, until we can start writing about our travels together. I will include my perspective of Mexico, in anticipation of him including his. I am taking the writing class next week on Saturday, will find the pictures to submit to the contest, take a photography class so I can be up on digital, do my Scuba training (I was so looking forward to sharing my thoughts on that experience with him – and I’m scared of it too, so I was hoping for his support), and take a trip, I guess, as I have a ticket to use before March 11. Perhaps I will go home to Anegada, and heal my heartbreak somehow – but not with another man. As I have written before, that Nobodys Girl is gone. I will only be Russ’ Girl now, or my own. And that is that.
Just telling Kelsea about all this (well, not the love addiction stuff), and her response was, “Why can’t you just love each other and go with it?” A fine question.
And I suppose, as I wrote once before in a totally different context, if you love something let it go free. If it doesn’t come back to you, you never really had it anyway.” I hope he does not find that he loves his life as it is more than me and the future we could have.
I believe these writings will just spill out of me for days now, long and lingering and rambling, perhaps repetitive, but a spilling of my soul that I cannot help. Readers need not read them. They are for me. I can dream that Russ is reading them, keeping track of my life like a guardian angel, until he can share it again, if he ever wants to. I can dream.
Which makes me weep for Our Year of Dreams.
Last night was the second anniversary of my Mother’s death. As with her death itself, the days leading up to it were filled with a welter of emotions. I feel as if I relived those ten days second by second in some shadow realm where my body stores its’ physical memories. The moment of her passing two years ago, I was stroking her hair, with my hand on her heart. Tender, painful, beautiful, a pure Southern death.
Yesterday, tears spilled over from time to time. Last night, Russ called to tell me he would try to stay awake to send his spiritual self 90 miles north to comfort me, since he could not be there with me. And comfort me he did. Pat did not even call me. So I went home, lay on the floor in the little hallway and sobbed for about 15 minutes (that seems to be the spot for me to do my sobbing), then got up, drank some bubbly water, snuggled in on the couch (highly recommend the fuzzy blankets from Bed Bath and Beyond), and watched The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which spoke to me in new ways upon this viewing.
In the course of the evening, I spoke with Drew, who told me that Pat has been gambling and hiding winnings, squirrelling household monies away, at least 3 days a week for over 5 years, since Kelsea has been in school. Could this be true? Pat denies it, of course, but what reason would Drew have to lie to me? At any rate, contemplating this final betrayal as I crawled into bed last night, I felt a mixture of sadness, anger, disappointment and that I was at a turning point. Waking this morning, I feel stronger than I have felt in weeks, certain of my course. The iron has perhaps entered my heart and soul – not a good thing, but perhaps needed. I see the road ahead being bumpy, but I am choosing to be thankful for this strength today, even if tomorrow it has faded with today’s sun.
I moved out, when I think about it, partly because of the noise. I find I like still places, places where it is easier to access peace and natural rhythms. The constant noise of the TV just jangled my nerves so much. It was on when I woke up, on when I went to sleep. In my cottage, it is quiet, unless I want noise, and if I do, I can choose TV or music. But there are many kinds of silence. The still kind in which one has space to breathe and the empty, anticipatory kind that is reflected in contacts awaited but not received. I long for a text, a phone call, a letter, anything to let me know that nothing has changed since Sunday. But I get silence. The rational me says, “Sunday? That was less than 3 days ago! Get over yourself! Have a little confidence!” The neurotic part of me says, “He knows I am scared. If things hadn’t changed, he’d have contacted me. He’s got to have gotten ten minutes away from her where he could, hasn’t he? He changed things every other day last week, so what am I supposed to think?” I do not know which part of me to listen to. It is very difficult to trust and have faith today (and yesterday and tomorrow.)
I keep asking myself, “What is the lesson I am supposed to learn here?” I know there is one, but I’m hornswaggled as to what it is. Is it that I don’t need a man to complete myself? Is it that I am destined to follow my own path alone? Is it that I should settle for a comfortable love instead of one that fulfulls my soul and crosses the planes of time? Is it that no other person is worth this pain? My instinct tells me that it has some sort of Bhuddist/Taoist/spiritual character to it, about being alone and comfortable and unattached to the world and others. But at the same time, that feels as if I am doing a diservice to being alive in this body on this planet. Sigh…..