I went to bed really late because I had a lot on my mind. Still, I woke up at a decent hour so now I am very tired and have a headache. I have done even more contemplation since last night. And quite a bit of rumination. I have looked back on previous notes I have written over the years that have been just for me.
One of the common themes I see is beating myself up for being neurotic, which is quite ironic. The other is my emotions have become remarkably more subdued since I separated (and ultimately divorced) my ex-husband.
Also, the way I have seen people who’ve been in my life has remained unchanged. That is, ultimately, my feelings/gut/intuition about individuals in my life is relatively stable. I neurotically obsess about what people think of me and how I think of them and yet…underneath the tumultuousness of my mind and how complicated I like to make things there is simplicity there. If only I’d listen to myself. My neurotic mind likes to complicate everything. And I am truly addicted to my neurosis.
Underneath my waxing and waning emotions, underneath the intensity, the neediness, the desperateness that is me I am constant. The complexity and neurosis come from this fact: I simply don’t accept reality. I hide the truth from myself because it is uncomfortable. And there it is, folks. I know, deep down, what I need and want but out of delusion and denial I pretend things are other than what they are. I realize this is not exclusive to me — we all do this.
I recently had a dream that revealed something to me. Got me in touch with myself again. People say dreams don’t mean anything. I don’t believe they are a revelation from a divine being, but most often for me, they expose what is truly in my mind and heart. I feel like for the past few months I’ve had a barrier around myself, a shield, a block of my mind so that I can face reality. Which is harsh indeed.
In my bedroom, I have a frame full of pictures that I put together 7 years ago. One of the pictures in the frame is of me, my ex-husband, and our now-16-year-old daughter when she was a baby. We are smiling and we are in the snow, visiting my parents in New England. And I feel affection for my ex-husband and sadness that things didn’t work out.
Yes, sadness. There is no way in hell I’d ever want to get back into that relationship, so it’s not about that. I feel like I clawed my way out. It was so many years coming, being stuck. But I just realized the main reason I divorced him is not the reasons I often tell myself. Despite all the MAJOR problems we had, and the general level of codependence and toxicity, the main reason I left him is he did not have a joy for life and did not grow.
And there you have it, folks. I have grown by leaps and bounds over the years. I have clawed myself out of hell. And I think if I’m going to be in a partnership with someone I need that person to desire to grow as a person as much as I do. Or, if not as much as I do (because I’m quite ambitious in that area) then to enjoy living. What I mean is not being constantly happy, nor never experiencing depression, but more so they cling to hope and they pursue it, that they can find at least some things around them that make their heart happy.
And no excuses. Well, we all deal with excuses, and I’m usually lazy AF, but what I mean is that I need to be with someone who has courage, and who takes risks to make their life better.
The truth is, I do want a partnership, but I don’t want to date. And I fully accept that it is extremely unlikely I’ll find one without the other. And I’m totally okay with that. I suppose that just means I’m not ready. I’d rather be lonely than make myself vulnerable right now. That’s just the truth.
I do miss my ex-husband in some ways. Things progressively got worse over the course of years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the good things. I cannot say we are quite friends because there is too much pain there, but we do still enjoy watching some of the same shows together, periodically. About once a week I’ll go over to his house and watch a couple episodes of a show with him. We’ll have snacks, discuss the show and discuss current cultural things that are not going to be a source of tension between us. And we’ll also talk about necessary topics about our kids, of course. About once a month we’ll go out for lunch or dinner. There is always some tension, but there is some good in there too.
I am currently sitting in my messy apartment and even though it is well into the afternoon the kids have not woken up yet. They have gone to sleep progressively later and later this summer, to the point it will be nearly impossible to get them back into the schedule for school that starts later this month. I was supposed to take the kids over to their dad’s for the week this morning, but he has not called me yet which makes me believe that he is also on the same overnight schedule and is still asleep himself.
So, here I write. And, like I said, my apartment is very messy. I have not made the kids do chores. I have not done chores myself. I would say that it’s gotten this messy because I’m deeply depressed, but that simply isn’t true. The reality is I’ve been avoiding reality due to anxiety, so much so that I’ve neglected my physical surroundings.
What parts of reality am I too anxious to face? Well, to explore it publicly would make me feel too raw, so I’m going to keep those to myself. Perhaps when I’m feeling less raw I will write about them.
Overall, I am glad I had that dream because I now feel like I’m back to myself. I remember my values and what is important to me. I think that shield around me these past few months was useful, but I can’t just shut myself off like that for an extended period of time. Time to start living my life with heart again. Time to, once again, buoy up my courage. The same courage I had to get out of the house, get a job, be social, make friends, to leave my husband.
Also, the courage to allow myself to be sad. Sadness is an emotion I often ignore. I don’t mean clinical depression, I mean a sense of loss. Expectations that are not met. Hopes that have been dashed. I’ve had a lot of those. It’s time to allow myself to be sad. Not to wallow in it, but to feel it.
I am sad. I am very, very sad. And that’s okay. It’s just an emotion and it won’t be here forever.