Stages of Grief All Over the Map

For the last several days as I’ve spiraled down I have not tweeted my daily posts on Twitter. Why would anyone with an interest in swimming or fitness want to read about the hell I find myself in now? Disbelief over the end of my marriage and now physical health problems.

I know that we experience the same phases of grief with the end of a long term relationship as we do with a death, the anger, denial, blah, blah, ending with acceptance. But I’ve also been told it’s not a direct path from one to the other. We zigzag and we put ourselves in reverse. I’m a textbook example of that.

And I may say that I don’t want to play games and that I am not playing games, but I am. Even yesterday, as I acknowledged that I am at the end of the humiliation I can take over my husbands inability to make a decision about our marriage, I was of course secretly hoping he’d quickly toss the other woman aside and come to me on his knees. Nothing even close to that happened. What happened is during a text he wrote, “I got your email.” And that was that.

Last night and this morning I entered a new phase, the ANGER phase. Perhaps that’s good because it means I’m hopefully leaving one phase for another, but I am still far from true acceptance.

The problem is, I think the anger phase is the worst phase of them all. I don’t want to think about how badly he’s wronged me. I don’t want to think about him choosing someone else over me. I don’t want to hurt myself by thinking about how she’s no doubt younger and skinnier than I am. I don’t want to hate myself for being so gullible. I don’t want to be filled with hate.

And I am still so incredibly hurt that he found it so easy to discard me. As I’ve mentioned before, the co-dependent man I knew would never have been able to do that. It must have been because his heart was full of emotion for another woman. Sadder still, he just may be using her for her money. Although it’s hard to imagine she has anything if she’s living in my home. But he could be using her for rides, for sex, whatever. Almost every night I am still tempted to drive over there and find out who she is and what she looks like. Thankfully I have not done that and I pray I don’t.

I hate also, to think that I am just a victim in this, and that perhaps there never really was a relationship or love. He is and was a desperate man, even though he was brilliant in his own way. Without me, where would he have lived? How would he have managed this past seven years while I cashed in everything I owned so that we could just live day to day?

The anger phase has me mad at him and myself. I think the reason I want to be with him is that if I admit it’s over then that means I’ve been an idiot the entire time. It means he didn’t love me; he fooled me. It means I’m incredibly stupid.

I wanted to be back with him because I enjoyed our physical relationship. I enjoyed his exoticness; his differentness. I’ve written a great deal about acknowledging my faults and how difficult it is to live with me, but I’ve barely said a thing about his own bad behavior.

He is right about everything. Literally everything. He incessantly complains to clerks, checkout people, waiters and people in general who are not in a position to change things. He’s called me the most horrible names I could ever imagine being called. The fact that they were laced with truth made it even harder to take.

He is incapable of working for someone. He insists he is too good for anything menial and in my view he is too insecure to apply for jobs he is qualified for which  he may be rejected for.

He’s right. He “never asked me for a thing” but he did in his sideways way. He was always so needy. Our quality of life would have been considerably worse if I had not liquidated my assets. Who would have kept him in French goat’s cheese and Irish butter?

I could go on and on about how he’s wronged me. It would be an enormous list.

But he also taught me a lot and gave me a lot.

Because of him I lived half of the last seven years in London and even though we were dirt poor, I got to really experience what it’s like to live outside America. Part of me wishes I were still there now.

He taught me how to not be ashamed of my body because he loved it. When we met we were awkward lovers, but in time we really hit it off sexually. Of course, then he kept getting kinkier and moved out of my comfort zone.

He was physically affectionate with me, while I tend to be a bit standoffish. He liked to cuddle and stoke me; it came naturally to him. While I had to force myself to be that way.

He was incredibly inspirational. Sit him down with some young minds, students usually, and he’ll have them reaching for the highest and best they can be.

One thing I miss ended some time ago. He would talk to me endlessly. In the early days I’d ask him to talk to me while I fell asleep and he would. Philosophy, poetry, and complex issues. I loved how his brained worked.

Except when he was denying we ever walked on the moon. Or that 9/11 was an inside job. Or his obsession with Nazis.

When I met him I was taking many pharmaceutical drugs and he helped me as I kicked the addictive ones. It wasn’t pretty but he held me, fed me, comforted me.

He taught me how to take a joke and how to have thicker skin, something I still have much work to do on but I have made strides.

He’s a complex man, both brilliant and cruel. I can’t altogether regret having met him and experienced him. I just can’t. In fact when I think of all the things I like about him I get overwhelmed and want him back.

I miss what we could have been and might have been. There was always a dream that was just out of reach. He insisted he never wanted to be just well off, but bloody filthy rich. Poor guy.

Look at him now. He does have a legitimate lawsuit, but it also appears as though he plans to make a living by suing people.

I feel sorry for him.

I have no idea if I love him.

I miss him, but he is overwhelming. His life may continue this way. Blaming others, spinning wheels. I tried to jump off many times.

I fear that not only will there never be another man in my life, but that if there is, he will be boring by comparison. Not that I need that much excitement again, but the reason I liked him is that he made me experience other feelings and believe that anything is possible. I’ve always been discouraged from thinking outside the box or in an entrepreneurial way, but he taught me that it’s all possible, even though it didn’t happen for us. I’ve known smart men, but he is a different sort of smart, and a renaissance man.

I’m not as bad as he claims I am. I’m not as innocent as I think I am. Neither is he.

I have to find a way to let go now and I’m finding it so hard. After 56 years of life and four marriages, I have never been left before. My ego is incredibly bruised. I might have been able to handle it ten years ago when I still felt youthful, but I feel so much older now. I’m entering the invisible phase of a woman’s life even though I feel young inside. I don’t know where I fit in. I do not know who I am.

Thankfully there is still a part of me which comes and goes and peeks around corners at me and says, “You are fascinating. You are a good catch. You are beautiful. You are not hard to love. You have so much living to do.” Those thoughts are fairly fleeting, but they are there.

I have nothing monetarily to give anyone anymore and that’s so shameful for me. I admit I felt smug because up until I met him, I thought I had done everything right and was so proud of my high credit score.

I have an idea for a website that might actually make me a small income. I’ve run a few websites before, but could not figure out how to make money from them. This idea is different. It will not be over night, but it has a lot of potential. Also, I can do it all from home with very little investment.

If it succeeds it will not only help me financially, it will help me to get into a whole new social group here in my town. I’d be affiliating myself with organizations and people who care about kids and families. I might find someone really worthwhile in that mix. One can hope. If I don’t, I’ll still have the pride in my website.

Unfortunately I need my husband’s help to get it to the point where I can take it over. I’ve asked him if he’s up for it. If he’s not, then there will be no website.

I’m frustrated because our beautiful town is covered in snow and now everything’s come to a screeching halt. I need to do four years of taxes. I need to get to the bank. I need to begin to figure out how bad my finances are. All the while I am waiting to find out what’s going on inside my body.

If I sound extremely pessimistic and down, it’s not as bad as you think. It’s just that this emotional roller coaster is exhausting.

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2 responses to “Stages of Grief All Over the Map

  1. It seems like you have a lot to be angry about. It’s hard being overwhelmed with so many different fluctuating emotions. Be kind to yourself and take time to care for yourself. Now is a time when it’s ok to be “selfish” and put yourself first.

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