Friday, June 28, 2013

Land of the Living

It’s been a long time, blog world. It’s been a year or so since I’ve posted, and a year or so ago my life became part of the tsunami that is divorce. No matter that this is the second time for me, no matter that I am now a 4-kids-two-dads sort of mom, no matter that I still knit and make things. No, what has happened is the beginning of a complete and total transformation, a change that needed to happen. The transformation is a recovery, a becoming closer to who I truly am, an uncovering and emerging. None of this is light stuff, you see. It’s downright painful. To face yourself? To take responsibility? To stop living as a partial victim? These questions shake your very core.

The stories we tell ourselves are powerful. Along the way in my relationship, the biggest story I told myself was a lie. I told myself it was ok to suck it up and accept certain hurtful behaviors. I didn’t want to fail TWICE. But the hard fact was that I chose wrongly. I chose someone who did not have the capacity to love me.
The end of my marriage was like we were driving a car, my chosen "driving" partner gets out of the car, takes out a knife and slashes the tires, and walks away, kicking the tires as he leaves, cursing the car for not going any more, unaware of his actions. He goes looking for a new car and sends me bills for the old car.

This was me last summer. I lost so much weight. I remember how I cried every day and was devastated. I did not want to lose my marriage, no matter how bad things were. I wanted to repair the car and make it better. My ex fared much better than me and part of me is glad he is happy to be free.
Now my focus has become healing myself and embracing a completely new life, and I'm doing this by the following means:

First of all, I go to therapy. I am in the process of gathering a support group of women who have been in relationships with similar personalities as my husband's, and I'm finding that his traits are not uncommon, that there are predictable patterns, and that I'm definitely not alone in my experience. I am being gentle with myself….lots of aromatherapy baths. I am facing my part in things, and that is good, hard work too.

Secondly, I’m going back to school. In obsessing over finding out what label my ex had, I discovered I had a real interest in psychology. I thought if I were studying toward a degree, my energies would be better focused. Also, I want to help others who have been in a similar situation. Emotional abuse can be insidious and difficult to detect.  Women are routinely silenced by such social beliefs as “it’s both of their faults” or “it’s just between the two of them”. These kinds of messages make it easy for abusers to avoid responsibility for their actions. So, to that end, I signed up for school! I’m accepted and will start slowly, for I am a fully employed single mom.

The big thing I’m doing is buying a house. The house needs a LOT of work, mostly mechanicals and aesthetics. It has a humongous back yard. This will help me transform. Clearing land for gardens and animals, building, being busy with work, school, and home will help me transform and discover strengths and capacities I never knew I had. It will be a metaphor for becoming me, for emerging. I NEED to get into a piece of land and dig and create beauty. I have this strong impulse to do so. My gifts this way were seldom appreciated in my marriage. More often they were stifled and resented. Now I don’t have to walk on eggshells and can be free to embrace myself as woman, mother, artist, learner, teacher.
I hope to write more here, even as busy as I'll be. It's part of coming back to the land of the living.