Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Corner Unturned

It's quiet in my house, the girls sleeping soundly upstairs.  I sit at my kitchen table in the glow of my monitor, a martini an arms length away, and a need to write once again.

It's a familiar feeling really, the one that I need to describe.  The one that chews away at my soul and seeks to destroy my peace and contentment.  I'm getting good at loving and losing.  I'm getting good at being the losing competitor in a three way game of tug-o-war.  Or, maybe it's not that I'm the loser, I'm just the one who is expected to be strong enough to walk away.  It's a position I loathe.  It's a position I'm familiar with.

One would think that the demise of a dating relationship that is cloaked in brevity would be no trial compared to ending a nearly 10 year marriage.  But, one would be wrong.  The scars, their healing hastened by the joy and fireworks of a new start, slowly begin to break open again.  The feelings of inadequacy and rejection that hover just below the surface, squashed down under the hope that this time it'll be functional, and that this time I'll be truly happy, resurface.

It's not just a breakup...it's another cataclysmic meltdown.  It's another failure, it's another short coming, it's another WTF is the matter with me? moment.  It's more than I asked for but it's not more than I can handle.

They say it'll be okay.  They tell me to focus on my kids and my "ME" time, but what they don't understand is that my "ME" time ebbs away at my heart; My house empty, void of the sounds and needs of children, a reminder of my personal failures.  He should be here, in my kitchen, grilling dinner and laughing with me.  But he's not.  The silence disturbing.  The loneliness suffocating.  It's like my life is on repeat.  I worry it's a cycle.

It's oxymoronic, really, that I can't stand to be alone with me, because I actually love me.  And I probably couldn't drum up better company for myself, then, well, myself.   So why is it that being alone pre-marriage and pre-children is such a different animal than being alone post?  Have I morphed in to some co-dependent version of my former self?  I think not.  That's not me. 

I know me.  I'm loyal to a fault and commitment and monogamy are my bag.  It's the way that I am wired.  It won't ever change.   I'm energetic and independent and hilarious when I'm not busy being serious.  I'm keenly familiar with my good traits and the bad, and co-dependency is not one of them.

So, I sit here, holding metaphorical gauze on my wounds.  I'm doing my best to be appreciative of the ride, and the experience, and the ability to "grow" once again. 

If I'm going to date, I'm going to have to risk, and as much as the burn sucks, it's worth the heat of the flame.  Because the gift of opening one's heart, being real, and raw and vulnerable with someone new, is something I just won't sacrifice for the sake of playing it safe.  This is what life is about.  This is living.  And I'll be damned if any of my past experiences encroach on that. 

It's a corner I just won't unturn.