The End of the World, Not So Much, and Where to From Here?

biteme

I haven’t been here in awhile.  I have posted on my other sites that are mostly on things theological but as far as my personal life and the transitions I’m going through, I haven’t commented much.  It’s been a lot to process, and continues to be a lot to process, so I really haven’t put the words together yet.

My silence might sound strange given the rather cynical nature of my commentary here, and also a bit critical because there really is no compartment of life called a “spiritual life.” Spirituality is everywhere- from the sacred to the profane and everywhere between, so why can I write about spiritual things but not so much on others?  I am well aware that while by the grace of God I may be a saint, but I am most certainly still a sinner too.   Given that, I realize that what I write here may or may not be spiritually edifying to others even though it may be a.) funny and b.) cathartic for me.  Perhaps I have needed a bit less catharsis than usual, which is probably not a bad thing.

As far as living in my grandmother’s old house, I have never felt more at home.  Possibly it’s because I can (within budget and reason) do whatever I want with décor as well as with my time and- this is key- who I spend my time with.  I am almost afraid to even mention that someone has found me (because trust me, I was NOT looking) and suffice to say life is different.  Interesting.  Purposeful.  Alive.

prettykitty

I never bought into the princess stories as a child.  I knew I wasn’t the princess.  I was the leftover, the consolation prize, the last choice, the one who shovels the shit when the parade is over.  I still don’t buy into fairy tales.  But it is a gift and a welcome comfort to have someone in my life now who doesn’t see me as a whipping post, or as a built in maid, or as interactive furniture.  It is a welcome change to be a part of at least a symbiotic relationship, but dare I admit- it is much more than that.

Of course being one of those once bitten, twice shy people I am moving with caution.  I don’t need a man.  I certainly do not need to be a substitute mommy for anyone.  I’ve never been in this position before and I’m 48 years old- where I want to be with someone simply because it feels good and right when we’re together.  And that’s all I want to say publicly for now.

As to the macabre business of dealing with dead people’s stuff, that’s not so pleasant.  Just a couple of weeks ago I finally boxed up the rest of Jerry’s old stuff- clothes and various kitsch- and gave it to the Salvation Army.  I kept the tools and a few momento type things, but not much.

cantmakemecat

I wanted to make the spare room nice for my granddaughter when she spends the night, so she can have her own special place. There is no sense in keeping old crap around that’s not being used and taking up space when someone in need might get some use out of it.

I am still going through the shit of getting his truck title and bank accounts released to me through the court.  Not that any of that stuff is horribly valuable, but I have been pursuing it since October.  I don’t know if it’s the lawyer’s office that is pokey as hell or the court itself.  Probably both.

I don’t know how common it is when someone who survives a person who was terminally ill actually feels more relieved than grieved when his or her spouse dies.  Maybe it’s normal in some circumstances.  He’s been dead since October and I really can’t say I’ve ever been the classic grieving widow.  Granted, our marriage was never a terribly happy one, to put it mildly. It was pretty much defined by Jerry’s alcoholism and gambling, and then the pulmonary fibrosis.  Maybe that’s why the primary emotion I’ve been feeling is relief, as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me.  That’s not to say I am completely heartless.  There are things I miss about him, but on the whole I have a better life.  I am no longer making a game out of how many times he can call me a bitch between 5 and 6 AM as I’m getting ready for work.  I certainly do not miss that. Should I feel like a total shit because I am no longer being bitched at and browbeaten every time I turn around?  At least I am being honest, and that should count for something.

I am not sure exactly what my life is going to look like moving forward.  I know my boundaries a lot better.  I know I enjoy quiet, a simple existence, a tidy home, autonomy and my dogs.

laxative action

 

 

 

Dancing in My Mind, and Memory is Bittersweet

snow white yeah right

No, I don’t believe in that “Happy Ever After” shit.

I’m one of those people who does a lot of living behind my own eyes.  I can be remarkably scatterbrained when it comes to things such as “where’s my stuff?” or “what’s that dude’s name?, ” but when I happen upon an experience or an event that I want to remember, those memories remain vivid and in living, breathing color.  Believe that.

For me the garden of memory is almost more alive than the real thing, if that’s possible. Sometimes that’s not so good, especially if I am stuck on a scene of disappointment or rejection, or mourning, but some trips to the garden of memory are positively magical.

Over the past few years I’ve allowed myself to fall into the pattern of being constrained by what I see as the limitations of my circumstances.  Admittedly being married to a chronic boozer who has ED and a laundry list of other physical and psychological issues is a huge downer, and not exactly good for one’s self-esteem.

drunk

Jerry enjoys his beer drinking- and isn’t compelled to do anything about it.

I’m not referring to self-esteem in the vapid sense of “feeling good about yourself,” as in the phenomenon where some people treat their kids as though they deserve a prize for remaining vertical and continuing to suck up valuable oxygen.  I’m talking about self image in a realistic way: I may be scatterbrained and wired differently than most people, but I manage to function somewhat effectively.  I might be plain and proportioned like a mutant troll, but fuglier people than I still manage to have relationships, and fuglier people than I still manage to get laid from time to time.  So I may not be “normal,” but I’m not that screwed up, I hope.

TorridTeaser

Old, yes, but I’m really, really, really low mileage.

It’s as if his dysfunction colors my outlook, and to a degree it does.  I can’t say that going years without participating in the horizontal mambo is a good thing.  I didn’t ask for the celibate life, and I truly don’t care for it.  Being treated as a glorified maid and gopher doesn’t do much for feeling feminine or desirable or any of that business that I would like to say doesn’t matter, but deep down on some level it does.

A big part of me feels like a failure because in the back of my mind I guilt trip- what if I’d done more?  What if I’d been more perceptive, more loving, or maybe less frumpy and boring?  I guilt trip because maybe I shouldn’t feel the way I do (and I don’t acknowledge my feelings all too often, and when I do, I try not to give them much credence, which is probably a good thing) and that I should just suck it up and be glad Jerry can still dress and feed himself-for now.

turbovibe

I don’t think I could handle the guilt trip if I just picked up and left, and that’s messed up too.  I said I would stay with him, though it’s been a very long almost 20 years.  I feel like the life has been sucked out of me- to the point that a mere acknowledgment from a ghost from the past left me almost euphoric yesterday.   Someone still gives half a shit!  A half of a drink of water in an endless desert! It’s a sad state of affairs when I get that little affirmation.

But there is life beyond my limitations.  I did have a life in front of my eyes, at one time.  And I did enjoy myself for a moment in the garden of a particularly sweet memory yesterday and it did lift my spirits more than it probably should have.

There was a time- and maybe this is just my own wishful thinking- that I was desired and wanted and pursued.  As much as I don’t want to admit to having a need to be wanted by men or even by a man (this reminds me way too much of the fairy tale bullshit shoved down little girls’ throats as they’re growing up) even I want to be more than just the one who gets to clean up the cat puke or dog shit, (Jerry’s really good at spotting it, but apparently unable to pick it up for some unfathomable reason) or the only one to run errands because I’m the only one who’s sober.  Living like that – as a sort of an indentured servant- doesn’t do much for one’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing.  I’ve said it before that my marriage at best is sort of a symbiotic relationship, but at worst, is more like a parasite-host relationship, which is sad but often true.  I try to regard Jerry’s indifference in context because he really does care more about beer and football and cigarettes than pretty much anything else.  Therefore I need to stick to my own agenda and interests- and fantasy life if that’s all I have, if I have any hope of staying remotely sane.

drawing butts

I wish I had the courage to reach out to an old friend (though paramour would probably be a more accurate word) and lay it on the line.  Even if I risk rejection (oh, and believe me, I do,) my heart hasn’t changed in over 20 years. I have to come clean with how I felt then and still feel today, and admit it, even though the time and the circumstances probably aren’t any more “right” than they were back then.

That sort of honesty has always seemed to me to have far more risk than reward.  I am so terrible at reading the motives and behavior of others.  I have enough trouble with my own motivations to try to figure out what sort of mischief is brewing in other people’s minds.