In the last couple of months I’ve noticed I’ve blogged less and less and have been okay with that. It’s not like I have wisdom to impart or amazing wit to awe anyone with. This blog was for a time, one of the few things I had to keep myself alive. That’s no understatement — it kept me alive.
I began it a little over a year ago and at that time still had some hope that my husband and I might reconcile. I didn’t know there was another woman.
I began it to be able to show others how to rise up after a devastating event and come out the other side a better person. I wrote about what I ate. I wrote about exercise. I wrote about my husband with a lot of spackling.
Mostly, however, I was just in extreme pain dealing with the idea of being alone and broke at 56+ years of age. These pages are filled with raw pain and raw realizations and are not for the faint hearted.
Occasionally I’d get comments and they meant a lot to me. The World Wide Web is an enormous place and I’m grateful for anyone who managed to find their way here to offer their support, or just to read what I wrote.
In the end I didn’t “show anybody” anything but I do finally grasp that while my pain may seem overwhelming, I can and must hang on. There will be a brighter day if I just hang on.
I know I’ll continue to have setbacks and I’ll also continue to recover and grow. Recovery and growth will trump my setbacks, I can see that now. Even with the most recent setback of finding out more than I wanted to know about the Other Woman. I thought the pain of that was unbearable, yet here I am — I withstood it.
I have reached out and now I have a team of people who honestly care that I survive this. From the Chump Lady website and all the people who comment there, to my doctor, psychiatric nurse practitioner, therapist, family, priest, the place I volunteer at, and anyone who has supported me here on this blog.
I’ve got a long way to go before I consider myself passing as normal but in the meantime I’ve been able to see that I am liked in spite of my oddities. I don’t have friends yet, but am working on it. I feel socially retarded, but I’m working on it. I’m signing up for things at church. I rarely say no when the kids center asks me to do something. I’ve kept myself busy.
The people who are in my life are good people. People I’m honored to be associated with, unlike my husband, who only thinks about what that person can give him or do for him.
I can see a happy future for me that I make up as I go along. Here are some thoughts I’ve had along those lines:
I see a very long dining table, both inside and outside, that seats many, many friends and my dear family for special events or for every day. I see myself welcoming someone new to the table and making sure they feel welcome.
I see myself winking at the new man in my life (no, I haven’t met him yet) as we make a huge batch of spaghetti for our company. I welcome his family and they become my family.
I see us eating popcorn from the same bowl, watching a movie that makes us tear up, our dog between us, our hands touching. Being so grateful to be able to reach over and feel the warmth of someone we love.
I know that both of us will have survived hurt and shame in our lives but we are better people now and trying to make up to those we’ve hurt including the harm we’ve done to ourselves.
When I stumble upon this mystery man someday I think we’ll both know fairly quickly that the person we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. There will be relief, joy, and gratitude. If we don’t feel those things, then we aren’t well suited. I can wait for that.
But I also see that I am my own person and have a solid foundation and am comfortable in my own skin and with my own company. I will have my own friends. I will have my own spiritual life. I will be creating art. I will run my own business. I will care for my parents. I will help my daughter in any way I can.
If you had asked me a year ago what I wanted in my future I would have said I want a man who will take me traveling to see the world. That would be nice, don’t get me wrong, but what I want most is to nest. To have a sanctuary of my own and be surrounded by love. Anything beyond that will just be icing on the cake.
And by that time my memory of the pain of the last few years will feel a little like it happened to someone else, not me. I will be living in the present, grateful to be alive, and proud that I overcame what I thought was impossible.
Thank you, dear readers, for accompanying me on this journey.