Dried up and sick to death of love…

4 02 2013

LiverpoolStation-dWell, here it is, February 4th and already I am on the dried up and sick to death of love post. It’s from Elton John’s song, “This train don’t stop there anymore”, which has spoken to me ever since it came out, as I struggled through the last years of my marriage.

(I’d alternate between this and “The Bitch is back” depending on how feisty I felt)

There’s something quite horrid about the breakup of a marriage. It usually doesn’t end with a bang. It’s more like the years of piled up hurts gradually start an avalanche that is impossible to stop. And while it is piling up, there’s the heartbreak, the happy memories that crumble to the ground, crushed in the ugliness of what is happening right then.

It’s been many years and still his abandonment of me hurts.

He’s remarried, and I hope he is happy. I’ve not, and I hope I am. I think, overall, though there’s the need for touch, I don’t think I’ll let my heart be taken again.

You may not believe it
But I don’t believe in miracles anymore
And when I think about it
I don’t believe I ever did for sure

So what’s started this new onslaught of bitterness after my hopeful posting yesterday?

Ah. The online dating sites.

Gruesome. Totally gruesome. I don’t think I can stand them anymore, and yet, how does anyone meet anyone in their fifties?

It’s sad – all these men smiling hopefully into the camera, not noticing the gawdawful mess in the room behind them, matched by women done up to the nines, wearing push-up bras and enough makeup and hair dye to support a third world country. Men who are seriously 4’s on the 1-10 scale, demanding 10s. Smokers demanding healthy people. People who are substance-ly retired (e.g. alcoholics) sending me messages saying “Hi sexy” as if I am panting for attention and would take even them on for a night. And among them, me, probably feeling more like a loser than I ever have, being round and disabled and grey-haired in a perky breasted world.

It’s fecking ridiculous. I am worth more than this foolish tarting of my qualities to appeal to a dreg of humanity.

So I decide to back off, cancel my profile, step back, hide. Focus on the things that make me feel good about myself.

But it’s addictive. Like chocolates, I can’t help but peek, though I know it’s not good for me.

And even now I find myself saying, “not that there’s anything WRONG with the ‘dregs’ of humanity”, and it’s true, I don’t mean to sound judgmental. Well, except for about the “Hi, sexy” people who just want to get laid without having to pay for it. They need a good slap upside the head.

It’s all fine and good to get together for an evening to talk or whatever with someone totally unlike you. But there’s no staying power, and so it ends up being a waste of my time and theirs. (Although I do like to understand how people live their different lives…). And difference can add spice, as long as there is a connection somewhere, but too much spice burns the tongue.

When I said that I don’t care
It really means my engine’s breaking down
The chisel chips my heart again
The granite cracks beneath my skin
I crumble into pieces on the ground

My engine is tired. I think it may be time to close down this station for renovations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evuV-9OgiYU

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Vengeance revisited

9 04 2012

Suppose you met someone, and they hurt you, and they vanished and you breathed a sigh of relief. And then they turned up again. Cheerily. Unaware of the damage you sustained in their presence. Wanting to damage again.

What would you do?

Would you seek vengeance?

Would you ignore the opportunity to create personal ruin?

Would you go to the gym and punch something til your hands bled to release the anger?

Would you let it go and avoid the confrontation?

It’s at times like this that I truly wish life was really like the TV show “Ally McBeal”. On this program, when the characters were angry, flames would shoot out of their mouths or a great wind would arise and blow the target of their anger all about.

Me, I’d like to wield thunderbolts. Not always, and I’d probably feel guilty afterwards, but my golly it would be great to have an occasional thunderbolt in my back pocket for some people.

Of course, the thought occurs to me that if I had thunderbolts, probably a few other people might have them, too, and I might well become a thunderbolt recipient. So it’s probably just as well we all remain thunderbolt-less.

So what to do with anger, rage, fear, animosity? I don’t have these emotions often. Over the years, I have muted my responsiveness to provocation – most things don’t feel worth fighting over.

But recently I was badly hurt by someone, and thought he was gone, and now he’s back, breathing wolflike along the edges of my existence. I can ignore him and hope he goes away.

But the temptation to wreak retribution is large. I can feel it tingling along my spine, sending electric charges into my arms, readying me for combat.

Forgiveness is wiser, but the circle is incomplete without apology. So instead I visualize ridiculous scenes of physical attack on this person (who is much bigger than I) followed by demanding an apology.

It’s unwise to try without those thunderbolts. (Interestingly, when I went looking for images of women wielding lightning bolts for this blog, there were hardly any to be found. Why IS that, I wonder?)

So, my fiction-writing self steps in, and says to me, in a soothing voice – never mind, darling, we’ll just use him in a story. We’ll inflict virtual harm. It’ll be almost as good. And you can hurt him again and again until you have wounded him out of your system.

Smiling, I pick up my pen, all better now.





Autumn Leaves

16 10 2011

I love this time of year. I love the winds, the walking in the woods, the sight of leaves spiralling down to the ground like the snowflakes that alas must follow. Took Chutney for a walk through out ravine this morning and the beech leaves were floating around in circles, dancing with delight. We really are so fortunate to live where there are four seasons. Chutney loves it, too. His open wallowing in the enjoyment of it all, even the drenching rains, helps me see the good things.

I’ve been having a contemplative time of late. It must be the fall. Or the wind, which I always find thought-provoking. Like my own restless spirit, it pushes past, busily on its way, little looking back to see where it came from, little looking ahead to see where it goes. But, with the help of some thinking and guidance, I’m beginning to see some patterns of my life, some things I want to put right.

I’ve realized that certain relationships have done me lasting harm. That I’ve spent my life thinking I was not worthy to be called a friend, that I had nothing to offer except my hard work and sense of humour and perhaps some other attributes that shall go unnamed here to bring to a relationship. So I ended up in the position of supplicant. In my marriage, which had its good points, I must add, I was last on the totem pole a lot of the time. I ran into a colleague of my ex’s recently who told me he hadn’t realized he was married during the time they worked together. Ouch. We had even had our second child at that time, and I guess the ex didn’t mention that either. Hurtful, that. Perhaps I was embarrassing. Perhaps I was something to be ashamed of. But I don’t think so. Most of the time. Although I do know I have my moments.

I have other “friends” who treat me as a bother, too. They screen my calls, they refuse any suggestion I make for getting together, yet they call me their friend. It hurts like hell. I feel confused, and the sore bits left over from the rare evenings when my ex would curl up on the couch with me watching TV only to stand up and say, “Another evening wasted!” get pounded again.

It’s not that I’m needy. I’m busy with my own life, I have multiple interests, I enjoy solitude as well as company. But approach/avoidance love is too hurtful for me to take now. I’m going to have to stop trying to make contact.

Of course, it’s been eye-opening, realizing this. Like the typical abused person, I’ve passed on my experience to others, doing the “I’m in control” treatment to people who really don’t deserve it. Instead of dealing with things face on, I do the push away treatment. I’ve been just as guilty as my friends. Fortunately, some people have put up with me as I come to terms with the lifelong damage I’ve had from always being not quite good enough. Ever. (Maybe if I’d just grown another 2 inches? Been skinnier? Knew more? Been more polite? Listened better? Ate less chocolate? Dated less?)

I love my gang, I do. I know that some people just have to be in charge of the parameters of the relationship for their own reasons, and I am working to be good with that. It’s part of loving someone to accept their being the way they are. But maybe, like the autumn leaves, I should enjoy just watching them as they blow by on their own course, and not seek to hold their beauty in my hand.





How to kill a friendship

24 05 2011

Once upon a time there was a happy girl, one who had the whole world ahead of her.  She met a happy boy, who said he loved her and asked her to marry him.  She ignored the warnings she felt as he said some hurtful things, as she met some of his family, as she sacrificed her career to follow him. She smiled as he took her to a big city and left her there, arguing that just being there was a honeymoon, not realizing that the honeymoon part was to be the time they were to spend together, loving each other.  He couldn’t do that.  He’d already taken too much time off work.

She gave birth to their firstborn, a daughter, after a long day of labour.  The child was huge, and she needed an operation to get her out.  He came to see her when he could get some time off work. The child screamed a lot. He brought her home and went back to work, came back for lunch that first day and found her crying. He never came home for lunch after that. He was too busy.

They moved, lots of times, and he would look after himself.  She looked after the family, sorted out doctors, dealt with their health crises, smoothed over their hurts, sorted out their schooling, found herself a job.

He worked.

She worked, too, knowing they needed the extra money. She would come home and find that all the children were still up, the house was a mess.  He would be working.

Her parents died, long, suffering deaths.  He came to the funerals.  He didn’t understand how fundamentally her life had changed. He never asked.

He forgot her birthday. He didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day – “after all, you’re not my mother!”.  He waited for her to remind him to call his own parents. He lengthened his overseas tours without asking her. He worked late, late, without telling her where he was.  She’d waken at two AM, wondering if he’d been in a crash somewhere, call his office, and there he’d be.  Working.

She tried to be like him, to find a parallel, working hard, taking a graduate degree at home, being busy, hoping they could find their way back to each other. He’d schedule work trips without telling her, so her plans would be destroyed.

She couldn’t leave the kids so much, and stopped her degree. She got mad and stopped supporting him so much. She grew to hate his work.

After 23 years of being told she and the children were less important than the endless work that filled his days, she left.  It wasn’t unexpected. They’d talked about it years before.  She’d told him she was tired of living alone, with laundry. She told him she had been diagnosed as being clinically depressed. She tried to tell him the children needed him.

Still he expressed surprise, shock even. He struggled to survive without her at first, because she’d done so much, and like many, he hadn’t noticed. She was kind when she left – leaving him with the home, the appliances, and more, all in the hope that it would disturb him the least, that it wouldn’t affect his work. They split their debt 50/50, though his salary was much more than hers. She rented an apartment nearby, so that the kids could see her. She felt awful messing up their lives, but she realized she had to save what was left of herself.

She tried to forget all the reasons she’d left, tried not to mention it to the kids, since she knew she’d said too much before, and she knew that was wrong.

He told them she was trying to steal his money.

Still, she tried to stay friends, for the kids’ sake. And for theirs.  She did miss what few times they’d shared. Some of them were good. She didn’t ask for support, she let the child support payments lapse.  She had her own money, she reasoned.  There was no need to push him.

She started building her career, climbed quickly, and was suddenly felled by illness, and could not work anymore. She went off on disability and lived on low-income for 3 months while she waited for the payments to come in.  She raced through her savings, paying off bills, settling debts, some of which were from their time together.

After a few years like this, she realized she needed help. She needed that spousal support that was rightly hers when she had left. So she asked for it.

She vowed that when she got it, she would only ask for the little bit she needed to keep the wolves from the door. She didn’t want to hurt him or take from him. She just needed a little help, in exchange for all those years she’d helped him.

He ignored her.  He refused to give any information; he delayed. He treated her with disrespect. He lied to her.

The months went by. She asked, politely, again and again for him to at least complete one form.  He told her he was busy looking after his new wife, and couldn’t find the time. He was working too hard, he said.  There were important deadlines to meet. Hers was not one of them.

She was initially surprised, though why, she couldn’t understand.

And, finally, her heart broke.

However, she had good Irish blood in her. A few tears later, it was stirred up. Now she was mad. And her friendship with this man was irretrievably over.

Julia Cameron says:

“Anger is a call to action. It is challenging and important to let our light shine. It is important to name ourselves rather than wait for someone else to do it, or pretend that we can continue to bear it when we can’t. When we complain that others do not take ourselves and our values seriously, we are actually saying that we don’t. If our aesthetics matter so much to us, we must act on them in a concrete and specific form.”








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