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.


  1. Right here beside you if you need me :)

  2. Thank you. Was just about to add a post script saying how scared I am and how I have this sick feeling in my stomach.

    It's paralyzing.

    I feel too scared NOT to do something but terrified TO do anything.

    Where's the crystal ball when you need it?

  3. Wow...that is a big step. Figuring out how you'll each interact with the kids will be another big step. Good can do it! You only have one life and it's too short to waste on being miserable.

  4. i'm proud of you.

  5. Yes! Step by step, my dear.

    And maybe that is just it: neither path is right nor wrong; each is just different. My Ex acknowledged that he still had feelings for me and that, in retrospect, he should have waited for me to come back to France. But it was too late. He had already chosen something else for himself.

    As I learned this week, the French equivalent of "out of sight, out of mind" is "loin des yeux, loin du coeur," which means "far from the eyes, far from the heart." Absence is about the mind AND the heart.

    Things will improve, Kate. Just give it some time!

    -Your Cheerleader