Some Sort of Block

Illness is still in my house. I have lost a week’s pay looking after sick children, but I feel lucky that I can do it, and still have my job. So many cannot.

I feel fine, now. I am not sick any longer, myself. I have cleaned the entire house and done the baking three days early. Which is good. I have moved on to organizing things, and if I end up with more days like this I will eventually get to fixing all that is broken. Mostly that is necklaces.

I have been trying to ease my stress, by paying attention to what bothers me. Mostly it is procrastination. You know, you walk by the piece of fuzz on the carpet or the handprint on the wall and tell yourself you will get to it later. Before later comes, you have walked past it a hundred times and it annoys you profusely. I am like that, from organizing closets to Legos to switching furniture around. I put it off. For what, I don’t know, so I stopped. Now I try to get to it right then, as noticed, and I feel a lot more content, more relaxed.

I have some sort of block on writing anything lately. The subjects I want to tackle will not settle down in my head long enough for me to fix on one. Not that I have a lot of ideas, it seems as though my brain is tired of dealing with things, trying to bat them out of my focus. Maybe it needs space to gel.

I wanted to talk about relationships, how this is the longest I have been without one, and how initially it seemed unbearable. It was ridiculous, to long for a companion, because I have not had a marriage yet where my husband remained my friend, my confidant. Each of my husbands ended up living a double life. My first husband I suppose I should forgive, we had two different cultures and he did not understand mine. By the time I understood his I was on my second husband already. The problem was that I then accepted it. Since the men I knew subscribed to this misogyny, I was going to live in a way that would enable me to keep them in my life. I did not want to be divorced again. Changing myself to suit my husband’s culture did no good at all. Once an outsider, never trusted. Not to mention that the misogynistic culture itself did not encourage trust in women. But that was not the line I was fed. Women were ¨cherished¨ and needed to be ¨protected¨ and a bunch of hooey like that. I allowed myself to be infantilized.

When I think of betrayals by my husbands I feel anger towards them. When I think of how I betrayed myself I feel a sort of hopeless rage. A slow burning perpetual disappointment at how I stood in my own way in life. I raised myself, worked my way up, and made decent money, livable money, and I supported a pack of in-laws on it. There was no reason for me to think I could not handle my own free will. I should not have laid it down for any religion, culture, or human being.

I need to forgive my second husband, not because he deserves it, which he probably does, but because the anger is eating at me. I miss his entire family to the point of pain, which is undeserved. They do not miss me. I tried to replace them, and failed. I need to forgive myself. I don’t know if I can.

I thought I was in a relationship again, but when the interest just evaporated I was really hurt. It took a lot for me to trust him, and I think it taught me that I am still too raw to try.

I had never been alone in my life until now, and it is easier. With three children it is easier, even, than it was with none. I do not have to answer to anyone. I can concentrate on my children and I don’t have to protect them from anyone else in the home. I don’t have to deal with any criticism, or any ridicule. No one is upset when I speak to the children with authority, or play with them in a silly way. I have no orders to fulfill nor any other adult to clean up after. So I have less anxiety. Husbands are also expensive. My first husband was not so bad, he gave me a place to live. But the others left me destitute. I want to spend money on my children and not on another adult. Mostly I spend it on education enrichment, classes the kids can meet other children in and learn something from.

I know it is hard for single parents to date, the logistics are nearly impossible. Also I don’t know how to date. I went on two dates, once in high school, once in junior high. I think about meeting strange men to eat with them and talk, and I recoil mentally, on every level for every reason. I think I should get a decade alone under my belt first. I need to learn how to be assertive, how to be organized, how to manage stress and control my PTSD and help my kids with theirs. I wouldn’t mind a friend. But not a date. I don’t see myself as being able to invest in that in any near future. I am not young, either. I am not beautiful. I am so practical that I can hardly claim to be feminine.

Maybe all this is just an excuse, like so much of my life, to let fear guide me and claim it is common sense. I am tempted to blame the White Knight myth that was shoved into my subconscious by every fairy story I devoured as a child. Well, Disney’s take on them, anyway. Blame that myth for making me think couplehood is the desired norm. I don’t want to believe that. I don’t want to trust anyone.

See, this is the problem. I get it all down in black and white and I still don’t know what the hell I want to say. I am just spewing.

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6 thoughts on “Some Sort of Block

  1. I’m finding that acting out of fear, and acting out of caution and concern for the parts of me that are not yet healed — have a lot of surface similarities. Doesn’t make them the same, though. And certainly doesn’t mean it’s wise for me to push myself too far too fast. Even with forgiveness.

      • I struggle with the very concept of forgiveness a lot. And I really feel like we should have a different word for the process of “releasing anger against someone who hurt me, because holding onto it is only hurting me more.” Isn’t that a profoundly different thing than “I forgive you for having hurt me — because you have owned your error, made a good-faith effort to understand me, and are committed to doing better next time. Let’s see how it goes now.” Those are PROFOUNDLY different, aren’t they??

        (For the record, I have the same issue with calling both egg-flippers and bowl-scrapers “spatulas.” It’s just less life-confounding when it’s a utensil.)

        I try to focus on forgiving myself. Partly because I am the only person in this scenario I am 100% certain I want to stay in relationship with. And partly because: if I can ever truly forgive myself, forgiving anybody/everybody else suddenly gets a whole lot easier.

  2. We cannot always see the way forward clearly. For the most part, life is not lived on the mountain top…by any of us. Clearly, you are doing the best you can. Raising three children as a single mother has to be enormously challenging. As for forgiveness, I have heard it described as a decision, rather than a feeling. Wishing you the best, A.

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