Many moons ago, two people found each other, fell in love and started a family. That’s how I came to be, the end result of love and passion. This is how our little family started and today I am the last carrying on traditions, our way of life, what was important and even what’s in a surname. I carry the family name within my heart. I will always remember my roots and where I cane from. I feel closer than ever to these two people that fell in love and gave life to me. As you celebrate in heaven your 61st wedding anniversary, I cheer you on with a great “happy anniversary” and live and miss you more than ever.
Boy oh boy, I can only offset what’s going on today with a pretty picture of better times, passed like in this picture of my backyard, and better times still ahead. No doubt do I wish I was there right now and hopefully I will be soon, taking Cinnamon to explore this magical place.
The husband is in rare form today. Canceling services, water, trash, gas, wifi and internet. Plenty of opportunities to yell at people over the phone, I don’t know who he is anymore. I am embarrassed for him, I don’t relate, and luckily he is on the last call, before giving himself another heart attack. I always wonder if it’s worth it, how is one feeling to put another down to nothing. I had to walk away from it. Not only am I upset by his behavior, but I am sensitive to shouting and loud noises. I know there is a medical term for it, but it has escaped my mind right now. Who knows maybe I lost my mind altogether by now. Only a few more days. Sometimes they can’t come soon enough and other times the sadness of it all catches up, although I don’t wish for things to be different anymore. They are exactly how they need to be.
Earlier we took apart my bedroom which has a special build in corner piece for the bed. Of course I wasn’t doing things right and to expectations. The comments and insults flew and 5 minutes after getting it done, he is back to acting like nothing has happened. And if I don’t want to play nice and I’m short, only communicating what I absolutely have to, I end up being the guilty one. How is one to come back from this!
Today could have been a decent day. Headway’s are made each day, we are pushing beyond the pain, and it looks like we are on track, able to make the deadline. Is there even another choice! I realize I am venting and I come here to let off steam instead of keeping it in. But by god, it surely has to be this way, doesn’t it, and ever so often (daily) the universe is showing me exactly as to why we are where we are. We had a few heart to hearts, one just yesterday where I shared my feelings, how hurtful his behavior has been and how it degrades me, leaving me feeling like I am the tiniest midget alive. One second of pause and forgotten in the next. Some things just never change and I should remember that the next time I feel so sad and bad for him. After all he is a grown man and apparently he likes his actions the way they are. May karma go softly on him. I truly hope and pray for it.
I am the cause of your pain and therefore I must be punished. According to you. The treatment depends on your mood and the severity of my violation. Be it with silence, contempt, verbal abuse, threats and other nasties, none of them are pleasant.
You are unable to control your anger and you see yourself as a victim. Someone that has been discarded and is no longer wanted. I threw you to the curb you say, walking away from a life of 25 years. It’s actually 27 years, but hey…
We are both exhausted and are running on fumes, there is no time to rest, yet. You force things loading up the vehicle, causing them to break. I say, “was that really necessary to fit into this particular load, or could it have gone with the next one, perhaps in one piece, not scratched to hell or damaged.
Everything that is happening now is one major disappointment in life for you. You don’t own any part of it, and you don’t treat me badly you say. You also don’t see how much my heart bleeds, be it from your verbal abuse, your behavior, you not knowing a damn thing about me anymore, you belittling me, making me feel like I am an awful person, treating me like a child, not seeing the tears that fall in the shower or behind closed doors, or simply because you can’t acknowledge and realize how hard this all is. Even for me, the big bad Wolf that is throwing you to the curb. And you definitely don’t see the times my heart hurts for you, worries about you, feels sad for you and breaks to pieces.
It makes no sense how you hold on to shreds of hope when you have nothing nice to say about me. Why would you even want to if I am such an awful person? I realize that I am the cause of your pain and that this is how you view me. I know that it is my decision that is causing you a great deal of discomfort and that is taken you out of your comfort zone, and the familiar day to day routine. I know you are afraid and with 2 weeks left, you still have no place to go. You still dish it out and it’s because your pride and ego that you can’t consider things don’t have to be this way. Do we have to go the eye for an eye route?
These days are filled with ups and downs, a constant rollercoaster. Your mood fluctuates greatly and there is no knowing what moment are fear driven and cause those reactions. Also patience is none existent anymore and I am not allowed to not hear a thing, you’d take it as me not paying attention. I am not allowed to miss something or simply forget what you already told me. “I already told you” you shout, quickly pointing out my flaws while you are perfect. I’d say we should give each other a break. With everything going on and everything we had to deal with, can we really expect to be a 100% attentive, that nothing slips through the cracks? You don’t realize that you don’t communicate well. Things change daily you say, except you don’t tell me the change and you get frustrated when I go by the old, last known information. Things changed in your mind, but how could I know?
And when the nasties subside, sometimes a glimmer comes back of the man I married. I see you fighting your own tears. I see you struggle and in that moment everything is forgiven and my heart is heavy because even now I would do everything to spare you any and all pain. You wouldn’t understand if I said this to you, and you would question why I am leaving if this is the case. I have forgiven you many times, and you are not the only one at fault. I am not innocent either and I accept my shortcomings. Believe me when I say that I am not proud of them. But I can’t forget and the same ways, the same lies, and dishonesty has never changed since. You have pointed out so much of what is wrong with me, that I feel awful around you, constantly trying to defend my character. I hate who I have become around you and it goes against everything I believe in. I tiptoe, try to read your mood, so I can adjust my own. You do the sweetest things, things that show you care, things that take my breath away and leave me in awe, knowing deep down you are a good person. And then it flips and you drop me from that mountain top, from that high into the deepest and darkest crevice.
I wish things wouldn’t be this way, but they are and perhaps I have to realize that this is normal. I have to get used to the idea of thinking of me with contempt. Of you thinking of my name with hate flowing through your veins. It’s hard and despite all the pain I feel each day, I still choose love and patience, my two swords that got me through so much before. I refuse to see you in the same light as you view me. It is unconditional and yet I have to put myself first this time and love myself enough to walk a different path.
Prior segments to this story can be found here.
By now, dishonesty turned into a common way of life for you and the hesitation to tell a lie completely faded. If you ever struggled with it in the past, there was no sign of it left. Of course I can never say this is for certain, but it definitely felt this way. It became so easy and what I didn’t know wouldn’t cause any problems. Whether it was a lie, a half truth or truth withheld, it all went seem less and without the blink of an eye. From time to time I question things, only to you telling me that I am just like my mother. It wasn’t a compliment and you never meant it in a good way. Actually I think it’s wrong for you to say this and you should be respectful that you got to meet her, just like I have always been respectful of meeting yours. Both of these ladies have fought battles in their lives that we can’t even begin to imagine. Are we really to judge what we might perceive as a flaw that is actually a wound created from hardship and adversity!!! Perhaps we should hope that we turn out better and ace life perfectly and even here I would say “nobody is perfect, we all have our flaws.” May the next person go gently with us and not behave in this manner.
You say I am unable to leave things in the past. You are talking about prior mistakes and I wonder how I could when you give me daily reasons that send my gut feeling into a panic! I don’t know how to leave things in the past when my face gets rubbed into it over and over again, when things happen right under my nose as if I am stupid. The same stories continue. The past had no change to mend, so it remains as an open wound, not a scar but a wound in healed. There are numerous examples such as quickly putting the phone down, as soon as I walk in the room, clearing the computer screen, only to get right back to it as soon as I leave? A couple of months ago I bluffed you, asking you to show me your phone. You wouldn’t and called it an invasion of privacy. A principle that would have been violated. I asked you if you’d show it to me if this would save your marriage. Your response was “no” and you’d rather walk away. This response truly said it all, and little did you realize the consequences that could come of it. Surely it wasn’t the deciding factor but it was the icing on the cake.
Our house has sold and we have roughly two weeks left here. This should be the time of our life, filled with excitement of where the journey takes us, but in reality it is taking us separate ways. You still have hope that I am starting a new life with you somewhere and I wonder how I could do this! We can’t agree, we fight and disrespect each other daily, and the foundation of trust, honesty and love that I find is so essential for a healthy relationship, has crumbled into fine sand.
You don’t see how broken I have been, how lost, how sad, how depressed and even suicidal at times. Or do you see it and it just doesn’t matter? You cry seeing something on TV that touches your heart, yet there are no such emotions in any shape or form for me. You continue with what’s important to you, business as usual, always deflecting, never accepting any fault, and it’s heart breaking. I believe we both deserve much better. And in my heart I don’t want to spend the rest of my life merely being tolerated, I would rather be alone. And I would rather not contribute to causing you a bad day.
We will pull a substantial profit from this house. A windfall that will mainly go to you alone to start the life you see fit. Why would I do this and not take you for every penny of the proceeds? I’m not that person although many would say “money is money.” It’s enough for me that we will both be taken care of. For myself, I am going back to Germany to take care of Mom’s house, the place that is in dire repair and which you made fun of and talked poorly about so many times. Strange to think now that there was a point and time I thought we’d actually retire in Germany. Together. Many many years have passed since that original thought. It hurts to see how everything has turned out, but I know the only way now is to go our separate ways.
In the end we did accomplish something with the house many others may not in their lifetime.
In the end I am convinced that we are not right for each other anymore, nor have we been for a long time.
In the end I forgive you and don’t hold on to any hard feelings. I don’t have any grudge and remember the times we were unstoppable, inseparable and a team that couldn’t be beat.
In the end I wished I could have been closer to your family. Your brothers and your sister, but I couldn’t hide what was going on, pretend knowing that perhaps they have already heard your side of the story. I am not sure they need to hear mine. I don’t want to instill any negatives. I hope you will take the chance to embrace them at a closer level than you have been.
In the end we can’t conquer what comes next when the love has gone. I wish you the best and that you find what you need, or someone that makes you happy. I always thought that I was that person, but you have convinced me differently and I am sorry that I couldn’t be what you needed after all.
The last garage sale is scheduled for this weekend before our moving day in June. We did extremely well on the previous ones, selling some large pieces we were worried about getting stuck with. Most of my Etsy shop inventory has sold and was received with excitement. Sadly there isn’t any time to recreate more stock and soon I will have to temporarily close the shop.
Today I finally finished our taxes and luckily a refund should be in the way soon. A few more boxes got packed, an email answered, a stroll with Cinnamon, and a tasty dinner, partially left overs from a Mother’s Day surprise feast I didn’t expect. The garage has been reorganized and restaged with new items that continue to come out of the house. And more is on the way and has to be sorted within the next two days. It could be that after this weekend there won’t be a dining room table anymore or a place to eat. Perhaps no couch to sit on anymore to watch a TV program in the evening, and my lounging recliner already got axed. My bedroom which mainly got spared, providing a little sanctuary for myself, got stripped today and looks pretty bare by now. Most artwork is off the walls throughout the house and holes are being patched. Only necessities are out and the rest is getting stored away.
25 + boxes are packed so far, believe it or not mostly art supplies and crafts. There will be more, but not art, but I am getting extremely choosy. You’d think there be many more boxes and having only 25 accounts for the huge quantities of stuff I have let go off. Of course some is still in the garage up for grabs and we should know more after this weekend. The packed boxes will go into storage starting next week. What an undertaking it’s been. I hardly know anymore what life feels like not busting butt every single day. My dear body “thank you for supporting me and making this possible.” You’ve been working so hard.
The tears continue to fall freely, mostly in the morning upon waking, still feeling overwhelmed, and at night when the hectic slows and the thoughts return. Less than four weeks and it feels surreal to think that someone else will walk and inhabit these walls that were our home for so long. I think that I have to yet fully grasp this. Locking the door one last time, driving away, separate, into different directions. It still hurts. I still struggle with it and even that is surreal.
Many years have passed since our initial problems surfaced, 20 to be exact. I know you used to see them as a waste, like I stole valuable time, perhaps even your prime from you. It depends what you consider prime time and I think you might actually come around, reevaluating that belief system, realizing that it took two people to fail. At least it seems this way on some days and each day is different as we both struggle through the emotions of it all.
I used to see those years as plenty of opportunities, opportunities I believed you didn’t take, but I have come around as well. Today these opportunities have turned into opportunities WE didn’t take and the fault is nobody’s alone. Somehow, something always kept us away from making each other the priority, and we simply chased the wrong ideals, each trying to find their own way as we branches off into different directions. I don’t think it was a lack of love, but rather a sense of complacency, a taking the other for granted, and even developing a dose of resentment along the way, not getting what we needed from each other. Somehow we never managed to make that point clear, we wasted time, not stating our needs, waiting patiently, hoping, not realizing that time was working against us instead of for us, actually widening the gap between us, separating us with each week, each month and each year. The understanding, silently supporting, not being pushy approach did more harm than it did good. Who would have thought?
I also don’t think that we were ready to make it on our own prior to this point. Are we now? Financially we are, although emotionally things will take time getting used to and I can’t deny a great sadness and worry. As much as we fought, didn’t get along, or didn’t see eye to eye, I guess there was something familiar in it too, even though that’s not really life, nor should it be the fate of either. Yes, we deserve better than each other and perhaps in time we will see it as such. The sale of the house will pull a significant profit, a way for both of us to become financially independent if we play our cards right.
Despite our challenges, we are finishing strong, not driving each other into the ground, an eye for an eye, but rather as civilized adults who tried their best but couldn’t make it work. For now at least, and this could change once we get closer to day zero. I see it as a way to help each other become a better person, to bring out the best in each other like we once did, to find our way back to who we were when we fell in love with each other. Those qualities got lost and where our downfall, causing us to bring out the worst in each other.
In the end we couldn’t hold on to the love we once had, and that to me is very sad and hurts my heart. Where we are today is both of our fault. We both did things neither one of us is proud of and we both tried to find whatever was missing elsewhere. Somewhere in time we both cried out, trying to fill a void that should have been filled between a husband and a wife. Sadly the cry went unnoticed and unheard.
Last year was our most difficult year yet. You being unemployed and self retired meant that we were around each other most of the week, every hour of the day. It became obvious how much we didn’t click anymore and most of the time I felt like a stranger to you, in my own four walls. I felt tolerated with already patience in short demand from you. You faced your own struggles and the only help I could be was to endure your bad moods and tempers which you often let out on me.
We easily have made up for all the years that we never fought, and disagreements became a daily occurrence. I think it’s healthy to disagree to a point, but not when you can’t accept another’s opinion and outlook and show your feelings through contempt. Disgust in your voice, patience no longer existed and had long run out, a sense of merely making one feel tolerated, a love that took on a form that no longer matched my belief of what I thought love is. A relationship that was held together by shared responsibilities and a togetherness that seems to be held up by obligation that became a contract only.
To be continued….
Continued from here
Again, I like to mention that this post is very personal and not a way to exchange dirty laundry. It’s not a finger pointing contest and honestly I am way past those times when placing blame was a way to defend myself. This is merely my way to process my feelings and release years of trapped emotions.
Eventually I had to become the bread winner for the family. Relying on myself, I’ve always had that back up plan, that nest egg that kept us safe, that bailed us out of trouble, and that carried us through. It wasn’t a bad thing and I am not that old fashioned that I believe it’s only a man’s responsibility to provide. No, I think different opportunities arise throughout life and they are not always gender specific. The problem was that it became a given, to the point I felt taken advantage off. It simply didn’t seem to matter, nor did you seem to care about the toll it took on me. I felt taken for granted, working long hard hours, and in hindsight it feels that my hours away only provided more freedom for you to do your thing. I was working myself to death, and eventually I got sick with an autoimmune disease which I believe was caused from the physical and emotional stress of what we were going through and still are.
I was getting tired of having to be strong all the time, of being that warrior, of not being able to lean on you. Years passed and eventually I didn’t want to be strong anymore. It wasn’t until now that I realized that having to be strong is a trauma response, but the signs were always there. I just didn’t have a name for it. I never faltered believing that I could do it, but I lost the desire and the need to prove it. I needed you to step up and my resources were beginning to dwindle.
By that point our marriage was in serious trouble and had declined dramatically. We were married on paper, roommates, sharing responsibilities, bills, and obligation. Unable to walk away because there was always something. Unable to trust in what once brought us together, and unable to make it work. The foundation had crumbled away and we were never in a position to make it on our own and the time to do so wasn’t in our favor. Knowing this became a dangerous cushion of comfort for you, and you were ok with it, thinking it would be like this forever. Instead of your wife, I became someone that was around, which was better than being alone. At least you could depend on me for that and you knew that through thick and thin I would have always helped you. You thought that responsibility would keep me, forever, with no place to go. You still believe this now, and you can’t see the strain it takes of feeling tolerated, belittled and talked down to. One is always dishing it out while the other is defending themselves, and it does go both ways. You still deflect and are stuck on pointing fingers, unable to own your share in this, unable to say that you are sorry and I am too exhausted to defend my character and convince you different.
Through it all, we lost respect for each other. I even lost respect for myself for awhile, for allowing you/both of us to treat each other this poorly, for letting it go on for so long. I hated the person I was becoming. At times it did made me feel like something was wrong with me, that I was getting what I deserved, that I was a coward unable to action what anybody would have done a long time ago. And I could hear Mom in the background, as she would have never approved of the disharmony that what was going on. She would have sent Dad packing a long time, so “No, I am not actually like my mother” as you say. She would have never seen how paralyzing the years have been, she’d think I was too stupid to act and stand up for my life and my happiness. She’d probably think that I allowed it all and therefore got what was coming my way.
Daily issues continue for now, and although every day brings struggles, I still look at you and want you to be happy. Deep down it hurts and I still care that you are ok. Deep down I don’t hold grudges and I know that walking away is the last and only gift I can give to us both for a better chance, and a life in harmony.
To be continued….
Amor-Vincit-Omnia ~ Latein for Love conquers all.
This post is about what happens when love can no longer conquer. This is my story and it’s a very personal one. Writing it out is my way of finally working through it’s reality. While being transparent and an open book about many things, my marriage was never one of those things and I have seldom brought it here. Most of you wouldn’t even know that I am married, nor would the rational mind understand the complexity of it all, and why 16 years passed in disharmony. For some of you, this would be unimaginable and a lifetime wasted. All I can say is that it’s different for me, but isn’t it always when it’s your own story? Call me a slow starter, a late bloomer, one with patience that endures beyond measure, and someone who is looking back and can hardly believe it herself that 16 years have passed to arrive at this very moment. 16 years that brought change within ourselves of what once was, now not having a choice but to deal with it, 16 years of transitioning to give it our best shot, to avoid long term guilt, shame, and a heavy conscience that would otherwise have followed me for the rest of my life. I can’t speak for you as I am not sure you even see things this way. Maybe I paid the price ahead of time, I don’t know. What I do know is that everything always happens for a reason and I don’t really look for anyone’s approval or expect anyone to understand.
Another thing I want to say before I get into the meat of this, is that this is not a way to exchange dirty laundry, or to point fingers. It is however a way to release the energy of many years and coming to terms. It always takes two, and I am sure I have contributed my part to the disfunction.
Our story starts in 1994, when we first met and eventually started dating. We worked at the same place and I learned a great deal from you when it comes to retail leadership. We soon grew to be best friends and if something was important to one, it was also important to the other. Years passed and we never argued. It was almost too good to be true. I always felt supported by you and for awhile I could swear you were my biggest fan. Even more important than that, I could always feel your love and there was even a time when you were proud of me. A few years later we got engaged and married in 1999.
We bought our first house together, all because of Sparky, our dog who got too big and forced us out of the apartment world. Our house was beautiful and we made it a home, bright and colorful, always joking that it was Sparky’s fault that we ended up having to buy a house. After a home break in invasion, and myself going through a gun point robbery at work, we decided to relocate and purchased our current home. A home even more magnificent. A home that would welcome friends and family from near and afar. With it also came added responsibilities and the financial vicious cycle began, forcing us to work harder and more so we could afford the house we were away from so much having to earn the means to keep it.
Together we lost a child, an unborn baby who’s name was already picked. Down the road we raised two fur children that became our children and which we grew very attached to.
Seven years into our relationship we started to have our first problems. That darned seventh year brought issues with gambling, work lay off’s, dishonesty and abstinence from being close. You didn’t want to talk about it much, and I didn’t want to push you too much. In hindsight, we both should have pushed on, had we realized what would depend on it. I was naive and figured we’d work it out in time, but we never did, and instead we became estranged, growing apart from each other with every day. The communication started to seize and physically we weren’t close anymore. Even a friendly hug started to feel awkward at times and we both gave up doing that, not even as friends.
On the work front you found yourself struggling and went through several jobs trying to find the perfect one where you could apply your talents to. I don’t think you ever did. Instead you jumped from one to another and became bitter, as if life shortened you in some way and owed you something. You started to change, but I realize that in reality we both did, and as a matter of fact, everyone does. There is always cause and effect, action and reaction and we were no different. Life happened and sucked us in.
Today I can hardly relate to you and I often feel that we don’t know each other at all. There is no effort to understand the other and judgement and opinions run rampant. I spend my time either sad and hurt, or frantically trying to defend, protect and justify my character. Our opinions have become very different. We seldom agree on anything. We never hear each other, although we both want to be heard. It’s never good enough on either side, and instead of empowering each other, we focus on placing blame and point out the faults we think we have. I have searched for the man I once married and I know he is in there somewhere, but I can’t reach him anymore. He is not willing to listen and the friendship that was always out foundation has been long revoked. Perhaps you have felt the same about me, searching for the woman you fell in love with, and we take turns trying to hide in our protective armor when the lashes hit.
To be continued…