Attaching With Nothing In Mind

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Okay, I will admit it. I have a slight attachment issue that stems from childhood that I am working on with my therapist. This issue makes trust more difficult for me than the average bear.  It puts doubt ahead of belief and fear ahead of calmness. Needless to say, with the odd things that have been happening of late regarding my marriage; my attachment issues have been magnified. Not to the point of  extreme anxiety but enough to make me feel uncomfortable that I can trust what I see in this relationship.

You would think I would have attachment down. After all, I adopted four children and worked extremely hard on creating an environment in which attachment could occur as easily as possible. I read every book ever written on it. And I followed all the advice on how to attach to a child who has been through trauma. Turns out, I should have been working on myself in regards to my adult relationships too.

This week I told my therapist, “Let’s get on with this. Let’s not dance around the edges of these attachment issues. Let’s tackle them head on.”

“You have been,” she replied. “You are learning to attach to yourself again.”

“I want more.”

So she gave me this assignment.

Just work on accepting the moments that are good. When B reaches for my hand, don’t question the act; just savior the moment. Notice what it feels like in that moment. Accept the emotions that you feel. Don’t analyze, just enjoy.

Well, of course, I had to push back.

“Why attach myself to someone who may not want me? Surely, if we divorce it will make it hurt all the more,” I moaned.

“You need to do this for yourself to feel closeness if only for a minute,” said THERAPIST. “You become more attached to yourself when you are able to let down your guard and discover yourself through your relationship. This process opens yourself up to you. You owe it to yourself to go work your way through it so you can become a stronger you.”

And so I am giving it a try with my whole heart. Just accepting his love, his touch, his words without over analyzing, questioning, or doubting. It is hard after being together for so long and both having a way that we interact with one another.

I’ll let you know how it goes as I try to trust myself and this process.

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Why Now?

There were several times in our marriage that we might have broken up.  When your family refused to meet me not because I was me but because no girl that your mother had not picked out for you would be the “right” one. And in our early marriage in my total immaturity I would say, “Okay, let’s get a divorce” when we had an argument.There was that time in 1989. And when we found out we could not have biological children together. And when the IVF failed. When over a period of several months I could not reach you in your hotel room at 2 am…four different times at four different hotels. I counted. I remember. When I found those not quite dirty but not quite innocent texts between you and Gweniffer. So many times we could have just walked away… so why now?

Why now when we have six children depending on us? Why now when I have hit middle age? Why now when I have been out of the job market for many years raising our children together? Why now when we have created something that so many would die to have/experience what we have? Why now when we still have amazing sex… or does doing it for the 5,687 time bore you? Why now when you have  seven years until retirement? Why now when I have done what you have asked? Why now… even though I am not perfect, I have been a good wife moving so many times for your career and always cheering you on?

Sometimes I wonder how you could be so selfish and so harsh. Is that how you see me?

Sometimes I wonder how you could be so blind. Is that how you see me?

Sometimes I wonder how you could be so disconnected. Is that how you see me?

Sometimes I wonder how you can have sex with me when you no longer love me the way you want to?

Sometimes I wonder how we could have unraveled so far?

So why now? After over 30 years of togetherness? Can you just not stand me that much that you will sacrifice our family and our life together? Do you think it will be easier with the kids by yourself? Do you think you will find someone younger, prettier and better than me? Maybe so but maybe not, yet this I know… I no longer know what to think. I no longer know what to feel. I no longer know what to do. I am at a complete and utter loss…and you have put me there.

Disjointed

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Not suppose to disagree. Somehow he thinks if he expresses himself that is the way it will be and no one should disagree with him. Express thoughts = big damn parade with balloons, dancing unicorns and me bringing up the rear with a banner reading “Anything You Want Honey. You Expressed Yourself. YEAH!”

All these years of being denied what he wanted because he refused to share now it must be his way. If he shares he is doing his part. No consequences. Period.

Excuse me. That’s not the way it works. You can’t say, “I am committed to you but the deep love is gone but I hope that maybe I find it again” and expect me to jump up and down like a cheerleader. “GOOD JOB, B!” waving my pom-poms around. I have the right to say FUCK YOU, which I haven’t because I am trying to maintain dignity and grace, but I just might.

It’s hard to lay in his arms at night. Both of us holding each other sweetly but tightly like we are each other’s life jackets trying to save ourselves from the waves washing up upon our relationship threatening to pull us apart. The safety of your arms no longer feeling as big and strong as I remember. And we both talk about the pain that is pulling us under and your words don’t seem to have the meaning that they did in the past.

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I try to remember that you are hurting too. I try to remember that this isn’t easy for either of us and that it is hard to find love again when two people are so scared, miserable from being scared, and unsure of the future. I try to remember that I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that you would save my life, risking yours, if I was in peril. But I’m not sure about our marriage, which is in peril, for it seems you will save yourself and not us. And I will be left on that life raft floating all alone.

But still knowing all this, knowing that we still have something even though it is hanging by a thread, this morning I want to kick you in the balls hard enough to drop you to the ground the way you have dropped me. To kick you so hard it would be difficult for gain your breath so you felt like the air was sucked out of you just the way I feel you have stolen the oxygen directly out of my lungs. Would this showing grace and dignity I want to embody in my life? Perhaps it wouldn’t but this morning I am not sure I care.

End of story. Today.

Anniversary & Divorce

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Today is our anniversary. Yesterday was too. But I’m not exactly sure how to mark this momentous occasion. I mean, when someone says that might want a divorce and you are shooting for one year to see if you can still be together, how does one celebrate? I’m not sure even as I write this for a second time. After all, a celebration implies feeling good about something and being uplifted by it. At this point I’m not sure that the good outweighs the sad.

How does one laud the fact that B has returned to being cranky and argumentative just like he was before he dropped the D bomb signifying his general unhappiness? Do you mark that with a toast to all things surly? How does one observe the day when you are still wondering if you will ever feel good the majority of time about what you have together. It used to be that I believed you had a good marriage if you were happy 92% of the time. Now I would settle for 75%. Seems to me the only thing we can wrap up and put a bow on right now is the vague discontentment that we both feel nibbling at our souls.

So as I write this we have decided to go to breakfast. I am sure that signifies something…I am just not sure what that something is. No grand dinner. No grand plans. Just breakfast…a place to start your day together.  Warm coffee. And maybe even warm sentiments will be on the menu. Perhaps that is enough when you are together 30 years.

End Of Marriage Or Beginning of Acceptance?

Today was not one of my prouder days as a mother. Constant issues, constant disrespect, constant ways of intentionally pushing my buttons by Andre in a most difficult and autistic way. It’s a pattern and unfortunately I sometimes allow myself to get sucked up into it even though I know better. And it disappoints me as a mother and as a human being when I react while being poked with an intentional stick instead of laughing and walking away. I was downhearted due to my handling of the situation and I even (god forbid) yelled…something I have been successful at avoiding like the plague since the July.

I fell asleep while listening to a meditation and awoke to the call to dinner. Seems B had come home early and heard I had a rough time of things through Paul. He had made dinner to help out but I clearly saw the disappointment in his eyes.

Later I asked if he wanted to take a walk during which I poured out my soul about myself, how the day went and what I was feeling. As we walking and I was having this heartfelt conversation we were getting ready to turn at our “normal” spot when I said I would like to keep walking and B replied he wanted to get home so he could play his bagpipe.SCREECH! BING-BAM-BOOM. It felt as though he SUCKER PUNCHED me.  I told him I would keep walking by myself because it was obvious where his priorities lie. He said, “No I will come with you” but I sent him home. The possibilities for closeness and understanding felt broken. And for a while all I could think of was that that was the exact moment when my marriage ended because I realized the futility of it all. But in truth that is not what I really want because I still love this man even though I no longer understand him.

Yet, as I walked I began to think about all that was going on and wonder…  is this relationship as it stands now enough for me? Is half of a walk good enough or do I need more? Do I want someone who will listen to me until I decide that I am done whether that’s 2 minutes, 20 minutes or 2 hours… or… do I accept that this is all I will get? Can I just be grateful for a walk? Can I just accept a good gesture instead of a great one? Can I be happy with the wonderful things I get from this man and not concentrate on what I am not getting and being hurt in the moment due to his inability to respond like I would like him to? Why do I feel so vulnerable and raw all of the time? Can’t I just be happy in the way he wants me to be? Because that is all he wants…for us to be happy. As Nicole said “He wants happiness and unicorns on his terms because he doesn’t want to deal with any messes.”

Later when we were laying in bed we discussed the situation and of course he felt hurt (seems like we just keep feeling hurt by the other lately) I asked him when was it you realized that I wasn’t everything you wanted/needed but you decided to accept it and he replied  without a moments hesitation,”I don’t know ten, eight or maybe five years ago.” And truly, I felt shattered that he had been walking around for that long knowing and I didn’t have a clue. Because until tonight I had never thought about it that way. Maybe I should have.

 

 

Assigning Meaning To Things

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I am hurt and I am pissed and my therapist says I have no right to be. Sigh. I hate it when she is right.

Let me explain.

Right before B stated he “might want a divorce” I had ordered a chandelier from Pottery Barn. I rarely do such things. It was extravagant. It was sparkly. It shined from every angle.. And it would look oh-so-right in my dining room instead of the $25 builder installed light that has been hanging there for the past 10 years. So after much thought and angst I bought it. I am just not a big spender and this was wayyyy over my usual $50 budget for such items.

It arrived in a huge box that sat in my living room for many weeks. And then B dropped the bomb mentioning the chandelier while he listed all his dissatisfactions with me and our life together. About two weeks after his “I might want a divorce” pronouncement he said he was going to put up the chandelier and I told him not to…that I didn’t want to have to leave it in the house should we decide to divorce. I told him that if and when he felt our relationship was in a good place and we would stay together then he could put it up as a sign that things we going to be alright. And so the chandelier was moved out to the garage where it remains to this day, silently sparkling away in its huge box its beauty wasted on  all but the occasional insect who might pass by.

While I realize nine months is not a long time to deem a unhappy marriage “cured” I am beginning to resent the chandelier and all it stands for. Everyday when I back my car out of the garage I see that ugly box sitting there as a reminder that the light is the sole determinant of whether our marriage is healthy or still on the rocks and I have left it to B to make that determination. And I am mad. I am mad at the chandelier for all the meaning I have given to it. I am mad at myself. And I am mad that I have given B the power to determine the state of our marriage all based on whether or not the damn thing gets hung.

My therapist says that the chandelier is not indicative of our relationship and it is not fair to all involved that I have pinned so much meaning on it. That, “come on, you know B does not attach meaning to things like a chandelier whereas you do.” That he probably doesn’t even get its significance to you and your relationship. But I’m not so sure. That whether our marriage is viable has NOTHING to do with the chandelier. And that I should let go of this meaning I have assigned it and love myself enough to hang it up even if it means taking it down in the future because I LOVE IT. Because it sparkles in my dreams. Because it is just plain beautiful and deserves to be in the place that it was intended to be instead of hidden away in a dusty garage.

And while I know my therapist is right I also wonder if I can ever hang this chandelier or if it will always remind me of this unhappy time in my life. Can I ever trust that my relationship with B is healthy again or will I always wonder if the sparkle is blinding me to all the things that B is unable to say/do that has made him get to this point that he wanted to leave? Right now I have no clue. But someday I hope that the sparkle of that chandelier will be indicative of the sparkle in our relationship. That is my dream.

 

The Return

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When you walk into the house after a week away you expect to feel that your husband is delighted if not intoxicated upon your return. Instead, it felt guarded and a little cold with a hint of resignation thrown in for good measure. Not what I expected at all.

Yes, Paul attacked him that morning. Yes, the grand babies are crying. Yes, things are stressful at work. I get it. I feel weary too at times. Actually, often. Sometimes it is hard not to in this household.

Tonight after being reunited, as I lay in B’s arms, I asked “Do you ever think we will get back to where you really love me. Like it used to be?”

Might as well be putting a gun in my hand and pressing it up to his head.

Why do I even ask these types of things?

I guess I want reassurance that he can, that we can, get to a place of love that once felt as wide as the Grand Canyon but now feels somewhat like a sink hole.

But I don’t get the answer  or the reassurance I am looking for. I get a question turned around on me?

“Do you think we can?” he asks, which tells me he is feeling this disconnect too. Which saddens me and makes me feel even more insecure.

Why do I have to always ask the hard questions? But even as I ask the question I know the answer…I don’t want to have to continue to try to guess. To try and read the mind of a man who doesn’t even know how he feels much less knows how to try and share it. I ask these questions as a gauge as to how our relationship is in his mind. But the thing is…I am not even sure I want to know. Sometimes I think I would like to just keep floating down the RIVER deNILE. FOREVER.

 

Do You Still Love Me?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwIwwbNaFTU

Do you still love me?

Am I still your girl…?

And the woman of your dreams…?

The first person you think of when you wake up…?

And the last person you remember when you lay your head down to sleep…?

Do you still love me?

Does the thought of me bring a smile to your face…?

Do you still chuckle about the time I was knocked over

By that humongous wave on the beach…?

Can I still turn you on with just “the look”…?

Is mine the hand you want to be holding when you pass

From this earth when leave your dreams behind…?

Do you still love me?

Do you still enjoy sipping wine by the vine, just the two of us…?

Or listening to me play the piano…?

Do you still like the way I touch you “down there”…?

As you slip hot and slick out of the shower…?

Or do you love me because I am the mother?

Of your children

Their chauffeur to school and back

The one who runs everyone to the doctor

The cook, shopper, bill payer, gardener, collector of all things important

To this family now and for future generations

And the person whose name is listed as

Joint Tenant along with yours

Do you still love me?

Because it is easier than trying to untangle

All that is us…?

All that we have created together…?

Because, ultimately, I make your life in many ways easier

In ways you would rather not be bothered with

And you don’t have to leave work because autism has reared its ugly head

Making life difficult for our son at school…and then at home…without you here

Is the thought of me staying scarier than

The thought of me going my own way…?

All I know with certainty is that

You loved me once

Madly

Passionately

Completely

To the very depth of my soul

Will you ever love me like that again?

Or will we live on past memories

That carry us slowly to our graves

Missing the vitality of a new/ sweet love

Like the love we once had

Do you still love me?

Or is our time limited until

You figure out what you want to do

Without me…?