It Takes a Village to Raise a Woman

This has got to be one of the hardest weeks of my life, if not the hardest. I sat in front of the counselor today and told her my woes: husband cheating, wants me back, hasn’t left her yet, changes his mind, doesn’t want me back, etc. And then I said through tears, “I know this sounds ridiculous. But I am reminded of the movie Dangerous Liaisons with Michelle Pfeiffer, and there’s a part at the end where she realizes she’s been betrayed by the person she loves most in this world and she simply lays down and dies. That’s what I feel like doing. Laying down and dying.”

My counselor said even though I may feel immature, and I may make some mistakes, I have a wise voice that’s pretty reasonable and strong. She said I’m grieving and it’s a process and there’s no quick way around it. I told her I fear I may never love or make love again. She said, “Do you have a crystal ball?”

We agreed that nights are the most difficult time for me and that I should find a way to occupy myself at that time by getting involved with a craft, a book club, anything to distract me. I’m going to look a few things up and see what I find.

It made me feel better that she said it was indeed cruel that my husband said he was “testing me” by saying he wanted back together. I did tell her, however, that I believe we do both love one another, but we realize (especially him) that we just can’t make it together.

I also told her that our relationship is terribly co-dependent and dysfunctional and that I know I’d be better without him, but my heart won’t come along with my head. It’s as though I miss what we could have had and could have been.

I told her that I wanted to give him the space he needs regardless of our future but I have a really hard time not texting or emailing him. I told her that my goal today is not to contact him in any way. I could not promise I’d continue for the weekend, but I would do my very best for today.

I’m so grateful I was able to see her. I don’t think I could have faced the weekend. I’m hanging on a thread. I also left a message with my psychiatric nurse practitioner that perhaps I should increase my Wellbutrin for now. I’ll hear back later today.

I also told my counselor that I want to get involved in hiking and she recommended the Obsidians or Volkssports clubs so I will look up some local groups and maybe try to join some of the easier hikes. The weather still isn’t very good for that sort of thing, but who knows what I might find. I told her I felt I need nature the same way I need the water in the pool, it’s very comforting to me.

Then I went to the pool and swam reasonably well for an hour and another quick half hour in the deep pool. There are times, not that often, but they do happen, when I’m truly unaware of anyone else around, or even myself for that matter. I’m just moving, alternating breathing, getting to the end and turning to go to the other end. Yes, I’m considering learning the flip turn.

It’s now 4 in the afternoon and I have managed fairly well because I’ve been busy. I think truly that boredom is not your friend when you’re trying to cope with a breakup. I need to find a way to be busy every day.

Oh, and I went to my GP for the STD test and will hear next week. I’m pretty sure that part of what I’m feeling isn’t an STD from my husband and his new woman, but probably me just being agitated by chlorine. And yes, she’s going to send me for an ultrasound sometime in the next week or so for the other issues. Why does it feel that our female parts betray us later in life? No fair.

Now I’ll attempt put that aside and not dwell on it.

I miss him and feel as though an arm is missing or there’s a cannon sized hole in my gut. But for today I will leave him alone and distract myself as best I can.

I thank God for the pool that I love, for my new swim suit, for my doctor that I’ve known for over 20 years, for the mental health support that I have, for my parent’s love and generosity, for the love and support of my daughter. In the end I’m a lucky Western woman. I am clothed, I am not hungry, I do not fear for my life. Things could be a whole lot worse.

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2 responses to “It Takes a Village to Raise a Woman

  1. I’ve just read all your posts. I found my way to you because you commented on a swimming article in The Guardian, thought what you read so moving that I had to start at the beginning (when I should have been out running!) and read to the latest post.
    I too am in my fifties and only started swimming properly last summer. When you write about the joy and comfort you feel in the water I recognise those feelings so well.
    Stay strong and dignified. Keep swimming, your relationship with the pool sounds so much healthier than your relationship with your husband. Some partnerships are toxic and although it takes immense strength to walk away, in the end it is actually the easier path.

  2. Flissh (Great name. Does it have something to do with fish?), I can’t thank you enough for reading my posts and now commenting. It’s wonderful to connect with someone who also feels that pull to the water.
    Thank you for your encouragement. In my heart I know you (and my wise voice) are absolutely right. It is a toxic relationship, no doubt about it.
    I really enjoy The Guardian’s swimming blog. I can’t find anything else like it on any other mainstream media.
    Thank you for commenting and for reaching out to me. There really aren’t words to describe how much it helps me.

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