This Life of Mine

I have hesitated to write for so long, for a few reasons. I am still navigating the chaos of my new life. It’s scary. It’s really fucking scary. I don’t even know what happened, really, and whatever it was, it happened fast. I think. But, here I am. New house, new job, new income, new life, and I am holding on so tightly to what feels like nothing. My shoulders seem to always be up near my ears, my breath comes in shallow bursts and there’s also that elephant that will not remove itself from my damn chest. I have tried running, traveling, wine consumption, anti-depressants, talking with friends and talking with my therapist. Next stop is a fun little thing called brainspotting. But,it still hurts. My heart.
Let me rewind my story. My marriage fell apart. It was the perfect storm. Health issues, third baby, very little help, and then we both just wanted the pain and stress to go away. So we let go. There was the push and pull that went on for a while, but we eventually both tired of that pain, too. It’s apparent when we communicate now, a year after our divorce finalized, that there is still confusion, pain and love between us. But, it’s done, nonetheless. I often wonder if I will ever be loved in the way he loved me. The good and the bad, he genuinely liked me as a friend, and a person, and I felt the same for him. I accept our relationship is over, and appreciate I had love that I believe most people will never experience, but I fear I will never be loved again. I fear I will never be as happy as I was with him. Because he was once my everything. Our home, our life, our friendship, our kids, our business. Everything.
I have been dating. I am dating someone who is good and more gentle than I thought at first. But, he is mid-divorce after many years of marriage, and has his own Everything he is trying to disengage from, and it constantly reminds me of my own pain. We have been seeing each other for 10 months. It’s been quite a ride in that time. He wanted a relationship, then he didn’t, now he does. His soon to be ex wife was stalking/harassing me for a while; showing up at my house, yelling things at me in my driveway, texting me incessantly, telling blatant lies about me, chasing down my ex husband to bad mouth this man. This is a woman who set her husband’s clothes on fire and had him thrown in jail after he violated a restraining order she filed. She was apparently so afraid of him, she called him incessantly, invited him to dinner many times and threatens to keep his kids from him if he doesn’t give her more money. In all of this, I have kept my mouth shut for the most part. Even after her 52 texts in a row to me (over 2 or 3 days), threats of taking me to court multiple times (for what, I’m not quite sure) and the texts from his 12 year old daughter that I must be a horrible person (why, I’m not sure). For the record, the restraining order was thrown out, and he bought new clothes. Oh, and during this entire time, she has had a live-in boyfriend.
We have clearly had some challenges. He is integrated into my life completely, but it has been a challenge to get into his. I have yet to meet his family, who live in town. However, I am now getting invites to spend time with him and his friends, and that does make me happy. He also recently invited me up to his daughter’s gymnastics meet, which is a five hour drive away. I have never actually met her. He suggested that he let his ex-wife know that I will be traveling with him, so she will be prepared. Apparently, she can have a live in boyfriend, but if the girl’s father has a girlfriend, it’s “bad for the children.” I told him I would merely stop in at the all day event for only a few minutes, so his daughter isn’t distracted, from the nonsense her mother has fed her. My problem is clearly that there is a suggestion to get clearance from this woman. Restraining order, fire, jail, stalking….remember?
I have not been able to write, because I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know how this situation has any energy from me. I don’t know how to have relationships like this. When things became too dysfunctional within my own immediate family, I bow out. I have such sure moments that this is not my truth. I am not living the life I am meant to. I am unsure at times if the love, joy and hope outweigh the WTF moments in my current relationship. Is it fair to my kids to let them see people like this? This is crazy stuff.
Yet, there is such goodness in this man. He genuinely cares about me. I know this. I know he has spent so many years in a severely dysfunctional relationship, it is all he knows. I see and feel him making herculean efforts to find healthy ways to communicate. He speaks of being healthy together and makes choices proving it is his intention to follow through with that goal. He is smart. Funny. Kind. Generous. Beautiful inside and out. And I love him. But then again, when I love, I love hard.
I have struggled to write, because once it’s in black and white, it’s real. My once charmed life is now moments of chaos and confusion, insecurity and fear. Not always, but they are definitely feelings of familiarity now. Perhaps this is how many relationships start at my age. We all have a history. But, if I am having such a hard time letting go of my past relationship, how can I expect him to? And am I up for more pain? My recent doctor’s visit showed that I have high levels of carbon dioxide. It was suggested that I become cognizant of taking deeper breaths. Unfortunately, It is virtually impossible to do while supporting the weight of an elephant.

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