Added to that, I have several deadlines approaching (gasp! rather quickly!), so my stress level keeps rising...higher, and higher and higher. I try to tamp it down, telling myself, I can do it, I will do it all, I always come through...at least I always have before.
Overloaded at work right now, because I will be gone away from the office for ten days, and my program has money left over, lots of money. So, I'm trying to intake new clients as fast as possible. Which is a good thing. I love being able to offer services to family caregivers, and since I have lots of discretion on how the funds are used, I can supply families with a wide variety of needed items...I like that part of it. What I don't like is the paperwork, for every new family, there is a minimum of two hours involved inputting all of the data into the program, creating files, and authorizations...I often end the day with a major crick in my neck, and my bangs standing on end, from the way I grip them when I become frustrated. But...I am joyfully happy to be able to provide...I do love this part of my job.
Plus, due to my insane need to procrastinate, I have so much left undone in my personal life, which currently has me in a tumbling mind numbing mind spin. I know I will get it all sorted out, and completed before I leave next Saturday... I know I will. Except...except it all takes money, which I don't have. I have decided I need to learn an easily barterable <-- (yeah not a word, I know blogger!) skill, I think life would be so much more enjoyable that way. I just don't know what it would be. Maybe I could polish up my writing skills, and sell personalized erotic fantasies, (I was joking, but now that I think about it, maybe I can advertise myself on craigslist), tis a thought, since I am sadly lacking in any other marketable skills.
Betwixt and between my current uberbusyness (blogger says that is not a word either, whodathunkit?), I am also playing Miss Lovelorn for three friends... a regular Dear Abby I am. Sigh, we humans make life so complicated.
In the midst of all this relationship madness though, I have learned a few things about myself...which could have been the Universe's intention...or...not.
* * * * * * *
Earlier this week my friend DR, and I, spent hours on the phone, actually many hours off and on, since the conversation would occasionally be interrupted by his Ladylove's latest toing and froing, sometimes she loves him, sometimes she thinks they need to end their relationship, all within a few hours. While, at the same time, I was in the midst of a senior picture photo shoot with Miss Daughter, (we got some absolutely amazing shots). Anyway, I would be setting her up for the next shot when my phone would ring, and it would be...DR, needing my input into Ladylove's latest bit of craziness, all of this is also very bemusing to me, since he is a shrink...he knows this stuff...he just can't shrink himself. I listened, sometimes cajoled, sometimes teased, sometimes mothered him, but mostly just listened, occasionally adding in my two cents worth. By late evening, I had him laughing, and had soothed his worries. In the process though, he had me thinking, and thinking, and thinking.
The portion of our conversation that filled me with so much ponderment, in which I currently still don't have any answers to, centered around love of course, and...missing.
At one point when we were discussing Ladylove, he said, "You two have so many similarities, it amazes me sometimes. How alike, yet so different, you are."
"Yes darlin', I know, you have told me this soooo many many times. 'Tis a fact, I've been told this very thing quite often about other men's lovers. Sometimes, I think I'm just a generic woman or something."
His reply, "No, never that, you are you, a very special to me you, , I haven't been a very good friend, calling you at odd hours of the day and night with my problems. Thank you though, you're always ready to listen to my incoherent ramblings. Plus, you're very insightful when it comes to her."
"Like you said, we share many of the same characteristics, I just think about how I would feel, how I would react, in similar circumstances."
This very similarity often sets me to wondering, how we each end up the way we do, so messed up when it comes to love, yet dealing with it in such different ways. I feel a lot healthier than her emotionally, even though we are the same age. Her similarities to me, the similarities of our marriages, and the dissimilar way we deal with them, had me pondering my own loss.
He said, "It's your turn now, how are you doing? Really doing?"
"You know me, I muddle through. Even on those days when I feel so lost. And...I...there are some moments...when I can't seem to find it within myself...to...make it all seem right."
He asked, "What do you want? Right now, this minute, what is it that you want?"
"It doesn't exist."
He asked, "What doesn't exist, and why not?"
"My want, it doesn't exist, not anymore. What I want, is something that once was, but can never be again. What I want...are only memories now...and...even though he gave me those memories, I miss them, not the memories themselves, but the feeling...yes...that feeling is what I want to feel again. I miss it..."
I let out a huge sigh, "I can't have what I want. I will probably never have it again. Which makes me feel very sad."
Putting on his shrink cap, "What was it, what is it, that you think you will never have again."
"You were married for a long time too. When it was good, hell, I bet even when things weren't so good, and you had days when everything just seemed to go wrong, when everything was...messy? Work, the kids, one of those topsy turvy anxiety days? With all of those years together, the two of you knowing each other so well, she knew didn't she? When she saw you, she knew you'd had a really rough day. She knew you needed something special, and she gave it to you, just like I know you did the same for her. If you needed a hug, or some quiet time, just the two of you, she provided it. Right?"
He said, "Yes, we did have that, sometimes we still do, we've been able to stay close because of the kids. What did he give you, I mean, I know what he did to you, and I don't like him for that, but on your bad days, what did he do that helped you?"
Sighing over the maddening lump appearing in my throat, and fighting tears, I tried my best to answer him, to answer me. "Sometimes, it was...this...this heart, mind, body enveloping hug. If he was home when I was having a bad day, or if he knew I was really worried about someone. He seemed to know this worry carried a higher need. Of course, this was before we became pretty much lost to each other, but even during those last few years, we could still...sometimes...give that added encouragement, that little bit of caring to each other. Sorry, I'm rambling. Anyway, he would hold me, he had a special hug for those times, he would turn me around, stand behind me, sometimes rub my neck and shoulders, and then he would simply wrap his arms around me, I mean really wrap his arms around me, it was a meaningful hug, you know? He would rest his head on top of my mine. And...we would...just be there in our little circle of...of...caring support. We were...home for each other. Other times he would pull me down on the sofa with him, he would settle his back against the arm rest, legs outstretched, and I would lie back against him, with my head resting on his chest, and, again, he would wrap his arms around me, sometimes we wouldn't say anything at all. But I knew I could let go, just let it all go. His hands are rough and calloused, but they felt right. He would run them up and down massaging my arms, or his fingers would softly sift through my hair. Those few moments, I knew I could be free of worry, I was safe."
His shrink self again, "Do you miss him, or the feeling of being home with him?"
"It's funny, those moments never lasted long, and when he was disappointed in me, he would never remember that I could be full of worries too, in fact, he would often accuse me of not worrying about anything. But really, I just don't express my worries out loud like he does, at least not until they're overwhelming me. Anyway, there were times when he seemed to know...I just needed to feel it, to feel that he wanted to hold me, wanted to soothe me, wanted me to feel better. There were times, when it seemed like he wanted me to realize that I didn't have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. With those gestures, he told me he was there to share it all with me. We could soothe each other. Those hugs told me we could handle anything, find the solutions...together."
He asked me again, "Do you miss him? Do you want to go back?"
"No, its not really him I miss... Oh, you're good at this shrinking business! No, that's an easy answer. I don't want to go back, I don't miss him so much, it's the loving touches, it's the feeling of the shared life, the intimacy of that very sharing. He knows the right buttons to push to have me feeling really bad about myself, but for a long time...he also knew the right buttons to push to let me know he was in it with me. I miss that part of it. The sharing, our minds in sync, and most especially being held, feeling secure and safe for those few moments...he was my home."
DR then ask, "Sunny? Why do you think you will never have that again?"
"I don't know, maybe it really does take years and years of living together to reach that point. I...I don't know. Will I have that with someone else? I just wonder...will I ever feel... maybe it is possible...but, right now...I just don't know."
"We've known each other for so long. There were times when we...we worked, you know? Anyway, it doesn't matter now. If I am really lucky, eventually he will forgive me, and we can be friends, maybe, because of our history, because of the kids, maybe some of the warm feelings will return. The thing is, once that happens, I know that side of him well enough to know, that if I were in trouble, frightened, badly injured or ill...he would be at my side in an instant, in fact I think...he would now. I hope he knows I will always try to be there for him. Is that love? Is that the result of our growing into adulthood together? Is it just the memory of the love we once shared? The family we created? I can't answer my own questions, and maybe it's just wishful thinking. Because, I know, I will always hold love for him in my heart, and he holds that same kind of love for me in his...at least I hope...once he lets go of the anger he will again. "
"What all this boils down to is the fact that I am a needy little wimp sometimes, and, at those times, I really miss and need those gestures of love and caring."
"You are NOT a wimp! We all need that, you deserve to have it again, and if someone tells you they don't need it too, I'm not sure I would believe them. "
"Anyway, I don't have it now...so...I gotta learn how to do it for myself."
"No, you don't, even though I have been a really rotten friend lately, you know you can have a hug whenever you need it. You do know that right?"
"You have not been a rotten friend, I like being needed...anyway crazy man you keep me amused, and, you're the needy one yourself right now! Anyway darlin', I appreciate the offer, and will probably take you up on it sometime, but it's still not the same, and you know it."
"I know darlin', I know."
* * * * * * *
Missing, missing something that once was, and will never be again.
It's funny, once I let some of my guilt go, then I started missing those rare and precious moments. Then, I began to remember the moments he cherished me. Then I remember soon-to-be-ex didn't always dislike who I am, he didn't always wish I were different.
I fight anger sometimes, anger at him. Because his life is so much easier than mine right now. And, then I feel guilty for the anger, because this was my choice, my way of saving me. I know I've hurt him. I really wish I hadn't. He hurt me too, for so many years, but, I really don't think he has any concept of that. He once told me he doesn't know how to empathize. So, how could he know? How can I blame him for something he has no concept of? But, I do, sometimes, I do.
Even with the anger, even with the pain, maybe because of the pain, I miss what once was.