Thursday, January 24, 2008
I have spent a lot of time lately not allowing myself to feel too deeply about anything. Especially the fact that my marriage failed. Because when I feel it soul deep, the message I receive back isn't yet a healing message. The inner me feels lost, she is still telling me...I am the one who failed.
If only...if only...if only...
If only I had done things differently, if only I had been different. It goes on and on sometimes.
I remember when my sister's first marriage ended. As I sat with her trying to soothe her, listening to her sobbing, feeling so helpless, knowing she felt so lost, and unable to do more than hold her, at one point she began to repeat over and over how she had failed. Failed at marriage, failed at keeping the relationship with the love of her life together. My response to her was, "You haven't failed, it wasn't just you, it was the both of you, it was the circumstances you found yourselves in, it was a long history of inner angst inside both of you, it was his alcoholism." She didn't listen to me then. Just as I can't seem to now when someone tells me I wasn't alone, I wasn't the only one who failed.
What she finds the hardest thing of all to reconcile herself to, is she will never find what she and her first husband had in their first ten years together. They were a team, they meshed, they wanted the same things out of life. Most amazing of all, there was a palpable connection between them from the very beginning. Even when they fought it, the connection was there, even now it is still there. Today, they fight it even harder, they can only allow their anger to lead them in their contacts with each other. As alcohol and drugs took over, all but that ended as well. Their mutual dreams ended. Even their dreams for their daughter ended in many ways. Three lives FUBAR. Same story as so many others, only the details are different.
I was told today that I am grieving, that I will continue to grieve, there are years of grieving ahead of me. I was told I must live through all of the stages of grief. Fully dive into them, allow them to overwhelm me, to ride the grief out until I am wrung dry. Only then will I feel the healing power of real tears. The healing power of saying that final goodbye.
I am not ready yet.
I am two women.
I am the rational woman who knows there were many reasons her marriage became a magnifying glass that enlarged only our faults. A woman who knows it takes two to make or break a marriage. A woman who knows she made the only decision that could be made. A woman who would have only sunk deeper and deeper into depression, failure, guilt, and fear if she had not made the only choice she had left for the salvation of herself.
But, I am also the irrational woman who doesn't want to face her failure, the years and years of failures and fears. Who feels guilt filling her very marrow. Who is unable to open up completely to the pain of ending the one thing that was supposed to last forever.
It took me so many years to admit we would not grow old together, it was a hope that lasted longer than it should have. A hope that we would both eventually reach a truce between our two personalities, a hope we could create a cease fire zone, to find a mutually acceptable peaceful loving coexistence. A hope that we would find within each other the person we thought we once loved. Alas, it didn't happen, won't happen, could never happen.
So I keep reminding myself, I don't feel lonely anymore. I don't feel the deep abiding loss I felt for so many years. Maybe I am grieving, but it is not a new grief, it has been with me for over ten years. I believe I have already been through some of the stages, I think most of the denial is gone, the anger and resentment, but there is so much more I have to feel first before I can truly feel whole again.
For a time long ago he was my best friend, for an even longer time he was my ICE. I still miss that.