Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 152; How, What, When?

Where in the world to begin?  I lapsed in my writing but the roller coaster continues to surge, lurch, and breeze into the station, jerking to a halt.    The amusement park isn't crowded, so I get to stay strapped in, only for the ride to thrust me forward again.

This past weekend, we visited A's parents.   Today is his mom's 70th birthday and we were in town for her party.   Saturday was an adults only dinner, followed by a small, family gathering Sunday afternoon.  At the dinner, toasts were given and I was reminded that A's parents have been together for 51 years.  I can't even imagine.   I used to think that was how we'd be, but not anymore.  Part of me isn't even sure I'd want that.   Although, admittedly, the idea of it sounds lovely and nostalgic.

We got home late on Sunday evening and as we laid in bed, again we talked about how we just weren't working out.  Between us exists a wall and although we chip at it or step back to take a running attempt at leaping over it, we just can't surmount this obstacle.   The talk was one of our cool, calm, collected ones.  I like those.  They make breathing easy.     It was decided or reconfirmed or wait, established, that I would indeed move in with my co-worker.

The next day, with the sun barely emerging in the Eastern sky, I received a barrage of text messages from A.   He  told me he was hurt and angry and needed me to know that he would only consider a separation because I wanted it, but that he believes we should move straight to divorce.   He doesn't feel safe with me, can't trust me, and has recurring images of me with S.   We are out of sync, never being able to give one another what they need at the right time.   And at this point, he's not even sure he wants to try anymore.   Everything in his life is a failure and everything he touches turns to shit.  I tried to point out to him that I was shit before he ever came near me.  My problems were mine from the very beginning.  I'm not sure those truths were duly noted by him.

The words were gut wrenching, but in some small way, I was happy he was finally saying them.   I didn't phone him, but let him continue on, getting as much out as he needed.   I know I deserve everything he says, plus some, and I want to give him any chance he needs to tell me how he feels.

That evening, when he got home from work, I was afraid to see his face.  I don't want to be afraid to see A.  In the few days since then, nothing more has really been said.

Yesterday, our dog ran away in a very busy part of town and he was unable to get her.  I know how special she is to him, so I left work early and loaded the boys into the car, "lost dog" signs in tow, to try to find her.   Before we reached the spot where she was last seen, he called to tell us the pound had her.  Some kind soul had brought her in.

Helping him made me feel good.  I felt a soft spot for him developing and wondered what was so wrong with me that I felt willing to walk away from such a sweet, good man and the father of my children.

But, do I confuse love with friendship?  Or do I expect too much from my primary relationship in my life?  I have no idea.

We've talked on the phone today a few times, mostly about parenting things.  I can very much see us being excellent co parents.

Tonight, I hope to get him alone so that we can continue talking about the separation.  There are a ton of logistics to figure out with number one, what, and when do we tell the boys?   Talk about being left unable to breath.

Except, in my strong moments, I see me moving out to give us some space as a gift to the boys.   The gift of two parents who are not faking it has got to count for something.

I used to love roller coasters, now they just give me a feeling of dread and worry.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 146; New Normal

Long, long day here.   It began with an early morning conversation with A.  I awoke to find him sitting alone in the darkness of the living room.  Too awake to fall back asleep, I joined him on the couch and thus began our morning diatribe about our state of being.

Mostly, I listened.  I think in the past year, I haven't done enough listening.  Whether I end up agreeing with what he says or not, I feel it's the least I owe him.

He told me two things that stand out for him now.   The first one is that he still harbors anger for me.  I bristle every time he tells me that, for having someone angry with me is one of my strongest fears, but what can I do?  I deserve his anger, rage, even.   He should technically hate my guts.   When he tells me he's angry, I have nothing to say other than "I'm sorry" and "I understand".

The second thing he told me was that he has no hope for us.  He wants to just give up and call it quits before any more time goes by.    I hate hearing  him say that, although I know full well, I haven't done everything I can to make him want to keep trying.   Again, I can't say that I blame him.

Acknowledging these things does nothing for making any of this easier.   But, acknowledge I must.  I want A to know that I am deeply sorry and only want things to go smoothly from here on out.

Again, if we had no kids, we'd have parted ways months ago.  But we love our boys so very much, we hang on, in hopes of rekindling something, so that they might hold onto whatever semblance of normalcy is left.

I suppose it's time to create the new normal.   The new normal.  That is what I called life after my mom died.  What else can you do?   Life doesn't stop, even when you want to crumble in a sobbing heap on the ground and wait until strong friends or angels come to lift you up.   Life moves on and so must your aching, dirty, dusty feet.   Maybe you drag your steps for a while, but either way you move.  No caving now.

So, onward I go.   Onward.  I smile because the visual of my onward is about the same as a toddler taking its first tentative steps.   One forward, two back, and then, boom...I fall.

I get up, move on.   Over and over. 

It's time to start formulating the plan for the move out.  

Yes, it's time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 145; Dust

I'm falling out of love with my blog.   More and more it feels like a chore to me, but I can't figure out why.  My love for writing  hasn't diminished.  I think it's just that I feel trapped here too,  much like I do in the rest of my life.

I know the track to what I *should* say and feel, but most days, I'm somewhere off the beaten path.  I don't want to confess things here for fear of disappointing or sounding like a broken record.

Beating the proverbial dead horse is my specialty.  

So, I shy away.   What more is there to say really?

I've had many thoughts of late, but none of them resolute or powerful or enough to change my life, or so it seems.

I can't find a place anymore that brings me peace.  It used to be my classroom, but this year is so weird and different from last year, that I can't quite get comfortable there.   Sometimes I think it's home and oddly enough, I was happy tonight cooking dinner.  Bizarre.  Cooking rarely, if ever, makes me happy.

And even though A and I had talked on the phone today about very serious things, there seemed to be a break in our tension.  That is, until he came home.

As soon as he walked in, I felt myself bristle.  I can't explain it, which is one of the reason's I shy away from here now, but he just irritates me.    The way he looks at me too long to gauge my expression, the way he makes such noise when he eats (even with his mouth closed), the way he tries to tell me about something he heard on the radio on the way home but doesn't explain WHY it happens to be important to him,  the way he only half way listens to me.

And yet, more than once today, he told me on the phone how nice my voice sounded. 


I'm just confused.

Tonight, while looking for some drawings that youngest son did a few years ago, I stumbled across a box of old photos.   Talk about stirring the emotions and pulling the heartstrings.

Years ago, I must have had a camera tethered to me, much like a baby wears their pacifier on their bib or a librarian keeps her reading glasses around her neck.  Picture after picture emerged of A with our oldest son in all sorts of amazing, touching scenarios.   Also present were pictures of my mom, her wrinkled, smiling face peering at my lens.  I can feel her softness and smell her smell, even tonight.  

There was even a picture of S in the mix.   It was a snapshot taken at a wedding shower hosted for me and A, and there in the picture we all stand, smiling.  My best friend, S, A and me, another dear friend and my mom.   Who would have ever known 19 years ago that the two loves of my life would share frame time, as well as deep, profound, forever places in my heart?

I wasn't trying to dig in the past.  I was looking for drawings, which, by the way, continue to elude me.  I'm tired of the past.   Tired of who I was and all the reminders of who I'm not anymore.   Tired of seeing faces of lovers smiling at me, precursors to the pain and hurt we'd all suffer at one another's hands.

I'm tired of not knowing and worrying and being afraid.  Most of all, I think on many nights, I'm just tired of being tired.

Lately, my happy place is my bed.  At least, for the most part, when I'm sleeping I don't have to worry about pleasing anyone, including myself.    I don't have to face anything other than my subconscious and lately, that's been tolerable.

The pictures are put away.  The only thing stirring still is the dust I roused.  Well, that and my heart.  The dust will settle soon, but what of me and my feelings?

I'm not so sure.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 143; Tired and True

Monday, Monday. Already here. How do my weekends fly by? Not sure, but they do.

I have tomorrow off. I was going to go to Dallas to go with 'Dallas' to a doctor's appointment but she shrugged me at the last minute.

Part of me was dejected. I wanted to be there for her, prove to her I'd be there in tough times.

The other part of me was sadly relieved. I'm so exhausted, the thought of sleeping in tomorrow is thrilling.

Instead of supporting her in person, I'll be taking time to recoup and relax.

Nice, on a very guilty level. I was happy to be there for her.

On Friday I visited my co workers house. It was very nice, organized, well appointed. I could sort of see myself staying there for a few months.

She's said it's okay for my kids to be there, but I could barely imagine it myself. Either way, she's my only viable option at this point. I'd have to buy no furniture, nothing household related. That is very nice.

I suppose move out day would be closer to November 1. What we will tell the kids, I've not a clue.

But more and more it feels right.

Here we go!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 139; Baby Steps

Last night A wanted to make love.  I couldn't.  I just felt so wrong and guilty doing so.  Back when we were in counseling, that was one of the things the therapist talked to us about.  Establishing our boundaries and not being afraid to say 'no' or 'yes' as the case may be.

No was what  my heart and head was telling me, for a myriad of reasons.

But the no led to some talking.  Talking I knew needed to come, but was putting off indefinitely.  Yes, I wanted to email or send smoke signals or telepathic thoughts.  Wait, scratch the telepathic thoughts, I'd hate for him to know everything I think.   Either way, I wanted to avoid the inevitable.

As he reached over for me and I resisted, the time had come.   Without fanfare, drama, or even tears, we talked about how neither one of us are happy any more.  We are worn down and burned out.   Nothing makes sense and while we both feel like failures, there is no readily available path to overcoming where we are.

Selfishly, I want physical distance from him to see what that does to the emotional chasm we are already free falling into.  Maybe absence truly does make the heart grow fonder?   Maybe being away from him will open my eyes to the gifts in my life?   Without a doubt, there is a part of me that hopes and prays for that.

There is also a part of me that hopes that being away from him brings clarity and a sense of validation.  I long for the time in my life where I know I've made the right choice or done the right thing.

And yet, how silly am I?   My 4th graders are doing a poetry unit and yesterday we talked about metaphors and Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken.   We discussed how neither path was right or wrong, better or worse, they were just different.

Why is it so hard to translate from the pages of a book to the pages of my life?

Partially it is because of the kids.  I cannot imagine our new life, being away from them in any other way than a few nights because I'm on a girls trip.     But I can't continue to model the life I'm providing them now.

Sometimes I wonder what they think?  What their level of stress or worry or fear or even realization is about this all.   I fear it is far greater than I imagine it to be.

So,  we laid in bed last night, loosely mapping out our next moves, for they are precariously perched and interwoven with many things, including the children's well being, finances, fear, and so on.    Our first and best idea in the here and now for was for me ask a  friend at work  if I could rent a room from her.  We'd discussed it before and I'd sort of tossed the idea out to her and she was fairly receptive.

She lives alone, has a two story house and her bedroom is down stairs.  I could inhabit the upstairs pretty easily and rent would be far cheaper than an apartment.  I wouldn't have to lock into any sort of lease and the house would be already furnished.  It's close to work and not too far from the boys. 

I decided I would ask her today and be willing to accept 'no' as an answer. 

This morning, I didn't make it to her classroom, instead I got sidetracked and busy, but during my first class, there was a knock on my door.  I halted my teaching and walked over to let the person in.

Imagine my shock and surprise when it was the very same friend A and I had talked about last night.   She was stopping by to fill me in on some major life changes of her own and when I mentioned the living arrangement, she immediately thought it was a feasible and good idea.

You have to understand, our campus is really big and we can sometimes go a week or more without crossing paths.   The fact that she intentionally walked out to my classroom floored me.   I suppose the superstitious side of me wants to believe it was a sign.   I like that thought.

Now, she hasn't said definitively and I will be fine if she decides it's not the right situation for her, but I am hopeful.  This may be my way to ease into the next phase of my life.

Those are the only details I have thus far.   I don't know rent, I don't know how A and I would split the kids, I don't even know what we'd do with our money.  I just know this journey has begun and I have to take it one, careful, tentative but determined, step at a time.

Baby steps, for me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 138; Weddings

Wowza!   Eight days!!   What in the world is going on with me?   I haven't blogged in eight days and in doing so, I lost a follower.   Oh well, c'est la vie!  

To begin with, I was out of town over the weekend.  Well, not technically out of town, but away at a wedding and was super busy and very, very much distracted.    Maybe I'll blog about it in depth later.

The things I will say are this.   I did not cry at this wedding.   Typically, at weddings, I weep silent tears.  Either because I'm overblown by the romanticism or I'm mourning the loss of the love in mine.    Not so on Saturday.   For one thing, I was helping my friend with her son, so I had to exit the wedding a few times because he was doing the whole cough/puke thing.

But mostly, I just felt neutral.  That alarms me a bit.

The wedding was beautiful, though.   Outdoors,  flickering candlelight, a cool, Texas breeze.   It was amazing.   And there I stood stoically.   What is happening to me?

Since returning, I've felt a distance from A.   I've contacted an apartment location service.   I've checked my finances and started working on my budget.   Actually, at this point in time, it makes more sense for me to keep the house and for him to move out.  I'm the breadwinner here.

I admire this man and do love him, but our marriage has run its course and the next step is to move on and move out.  

Thing is, I can't say this to him.  I'm petrified.  I want to send an email and I know that is horribly wrong.   One of our strengths is communication, so an email would be a slap in the face.  

Being at the wedding, seeing new love and happiness, brought home how short life is.   I am tired of feeling hostage here because we are too poor to do anything, not to mention too scared.

I just don't know how to do it.  I want someone to do it for me, but I also know that a huge part of me being ready is also being able to say the things that need to be said.

That is my plan for the upcoming days.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 130; Weird

Today has been a weird day. It started off when I awoke early this morning after a bizarre dream about my favorite rock star. I fell asleep last night after watching several YouTube videos featuring him, so he was fresh on my mind. The dream found him fancying me, engaging me in deep conversations, secrets shared between us, intimate moments and laughter. Even as the dream progressed, some sliver of cognizant mind knew this was too good to be true. Just as the dream reached the stage where we found ourselves alone, his desire for me obviously brimming forth, I could contain myself no longer.

I reached for his pants, unzipped his zipper and helped him wriggle into the glory of his manhood. Imagine my surprise, no, horror, when I discovered his manhood was actually a well coiffed vagina!!

Yes, my most beloved rock star was not the well endowed power player I'd dreamed of since adolescence. He was a chick, sporting hardwoods with a throw rug.

In the dream, I kept asking, "But where is the cock? I need cock!!"

It was more than my subconscious could bear. I tried to will a penis onto the most beautiful man in the world, but it was a no go.

In utter frustration, I gave up and woke up, wide awake, left to ponder the meaning of such a dream.

I'm not homophobic. If anything, I probably have some unrecognized curiosities. But, ultimately, I'm into guys all the way.

The other option is that I am newly undersexed. Since deciding we were mostly friends, A doesn't want to have sex with me. I understand, but it doesn't make my physical needs just magically disappear.

Maybe tonight I can get lucky in every sense imaginable! Wouldn't that be nice?

Either way, I hope the MAN of my dreams dares to make an appearance.

Sweet dreams,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 128; All of Me

As usual, I'm tired.  I feel like I've been fighting a cold all weekend.   I've been wiped out every night.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm anemic.   

Today I went shopping to find something to wear to a friend's wedding next weekend and a family dinner in a few weeks.   I knew I'd gained weight, but hadn't really shopped for new clothes in a while.   I was TWO dress sizes up from what my normal size is.  Not one, but two.   OUCH.

I'd like to say it was very dejecting, but in all honesty I can't.  I've not been doing anything for my size to be anything other than what it is.

Food has been a comfort this past year, or, if I'm being honest, a  pseudo comfort.  It really hasn't made me feel any better and I'm bigger to boot!   I wish I could get my act together and start taking better care of myself.

I was smaller when I was having the affair.  It was easy to work out and eat sensibly even though S lived 2.5 hours away and I never knew when or if I'd get to see him.   I liked looking at myself in the mirror, smiled all the time, and could slide into anything in my closet.   Shopping was fun when I could wear almost anything I wanted.

I realize my happiness was born out of something bad.   The good feelings I was experiencing shouldn't have been based on anything related to him.

I gave him power over me and when he took his attention and love away, I lost the ability to feel good in my own skin.   Heartbreak has broken me, literally.

The other day, as I peered into the bathroom mirror, I said to myself, "Oh, you better move that hair from your face, it might get into your eye."    As I reached to swipe it away, I realized it was a wrinkle!  

The biggest change, though, is the weight gain.   You'd think I'd feel too sad to eat or use the anger to channel a new, improved, hot body.   Nope. 

I eat to escape and I know it.  For those  few minutes that I am eating or if we go out to eat, I can think about something else.  I physically relax and let go.  Then, I find myself in my closet on Monday morning trying to get dressed for work and nothing fits.  Literally.  

Being too poor to buy bigger clothes, I shop at resale stores to pay a fraction of the cost of something new, hoping and planning to only wear it for a short while.  I love thrift shopping, so that's not the problem.  The problem is having wonderful clothes in my closet and not being able to squeeze into them.

I'm due for my annual well woman exam this month and I plan to call tomorrow to make my appointment, but I am going to make it for December.

That is the goal I am setting for myself.  I have 15 pounds to lose and I think mid December is a realistic time frame to get this weight off.   I have to.  I can't stand myself any longer.  And being disgusted with me will get me nowhere with the work I need to do on myself.

Plus, I want to wear all the cute clothes just hanging forlornly in my closet.

One last thing.  I despise the broken record nature of tonight's blog.  I've said and thought all of these same things before.    When will it finally sink in?   

Today.   I pray today. 

I want to say today, but this is how I feel...