The Road to Bitterness

I used to work for a very sad, lonely, bitter woman. You could almost taste anger in the air around you when she walked into the building, and the days were always longer and more difficult when she hung around the office. She didn’t come around a lot, thank goodness, as she had more than one business she ran, & preferred to spend most of her time at the other place.

While I worked for her, I knew some of her story…how she’d lost her husband to cancer the year I graduated high school, and that this was the reason she was so isolated from others. 

But, I could never really wrap my mind around how much his death had affected her, & how she’d let it change her so.

Not until this year’s changes in my own life started affecting me.

You see…

I finally figured out, that when M lost her husband, her whole life came to a screeching halt. 

Because she couldn’t bear to let it move forward. 

He was her everything. He was her balance, her other side to her life’s coin. She was the saver, the conservative, the grounded, down-to-earth realist…while he was the spender, the dreamer, the up-in-the-clouds risk-taker. He lifted her up from the doldrums, and she brought him back to reality.  They worked together, really, really well, but apart, they spun out of control in opposite directions.

And once he was gone…she ground to a halt. And resented that the world around her kept spinning.

She took it as a personal attack, a total offensive affront, that life didn’t just stop out of respect for his death.

As the years kept flowing past, she refused to acknowledge the truth, & held fast. Hoarding things, trying to fill the hole he left behind with stuff, even though it never worked, she kept at it, & still tries to this day, clinging to the past. Bitter & angry, isolated from the people who would’ve helped her move through her loss.

But she didn’t want to.

Without her Balance, she lost her Passion, her Reason to move forward with the rest of the world.

And so, she moved into Bitterness, and remains there to this day.

My story is different than hers, in that I haven’t lost my life-partner to death.

But, I have lost some of the same Balance…some of my Passion…and my Reason to move forward every day. 

My family, my children, have all scattered  into the winds to live their own lives. Natural, and expected, true, and I knew this day was coming. My caretaking days have always been numbered. Children are not meant to live with their parents for their whole lives.  They are, however, meant to grow up, become independent, move out, seek lives of their own, & leave their parents behind.

This, is right, and good, and natural.

However, this also means that I need to search for a new Balance. A new Passion. A new Reason to get out of bed, to move forward with the world…

Or I risk becoming like M…

I can feel the bitterness seeping into me, some days…

I can sense myself becoming short with others, isolating myself from the world, because I can’t bear to witness their happiness, as I sit outside it, alone, and chafed with the cold of that loneliness.

I’m not angry, yet, that they’re happy…truly, I’m not.

But I envy what I do not have, & I can envision a future where I could hate them for it…if I allowed myself to take that road.

This…

This – terrifies me. That I could become such a hateful thing. 

This is not who I am.

I am a woman who loves.

I am a woman who is a Caretaker.

It has always been one of the deepest purposes of my life. To help others. To take care of those I love.

And to contemplate the possibility that I could actually become so bitter towards others for simply being happy ?

I can’t let this happen.

This – is why I need to leave this place.

I need a fresh start.

All I have here anymore is my job.

And, even though I still love what I do…

It’s not enough.

It’s not enough to get me out of bed every morning, because my job is not my Passion.  It’s not my Balance. And it’s not my Reason.

It’s not enough to keep me from the Bitterness…

And that’s frightening.

This is why I’m making my plan. My one-year plan is to save enough money so that I can move. I will sell the house in which I currently live, & I am going to move to another part of the country for that fresh start. 

I know that it will be scary, starting over at my age. At 47, it’s not always easy to start afresh with the job market, but I have skills that I can take with me to, hopefully, help with that. I have worked in my market for 17 years, & have earned the respect of lenders & realtors alike for my work ethic & skills. And, if I have to start somewhere else at ground level, so be it. I’m humble enough to know that “dirt don’t hurt”.

I just have to get there…

And that means getting off the Road to Bitterness, and on to the Road of Acceptance.

I accept that this is where I am right now.

I accept that my life has changed.

And I accept that I will continue to change every day from here on out because I will it. 

I do NOT accept bitterness.

I do NOT accept stagnation.

I have to continue to free myself from the things which are holding me down, or my wings will never lift me off the ground.  

Fearless #FamChallenge

Beloved Nephew and I are doing a writing challenge for a little while, to get the creative forces moving. This is my first installment.

*******************†********************

I’ve found myself wishing lately that I could live my life fearlessly, as I used to be able to…

To not have to worry about things constantly, to feel the constriction of anxiety wrapping itself around my chest and throat.

To be able to simply get up and go when I want to, where I want to, without fretting about how I’m going to get there, is it going to be crowded and dangerous, will I get lost, what if something does happen, then what?

I used to be able to live like that.

I sit here, shaking my head and ruefully laughing under my breath, remembering how crazy it seems now…

On a whim, I would pack up my daughters, toss overnight bags in my car, and we would drive 12 hours to Iowa.

Yes, on a whim.

We would make pit stops at the various “scenic stops” along the way, play, take pictures, get out of the car for a few minutes, chase each other around like hooligans…then back into the car, and down the road we’d go.

We always stayed with family at the other end, even if it was on a couch, or in a sleeping bag on the floor, but it didn’t matter to me, or to the girls, we all loved the away time, & getting to see Gramma, the aunts, uncles & cousins.

Visiting, I called it.

Escaping…is a little more accurate.

Luckily, gas was much cheaper back then, & my girls were happy little travelers, loving our “road trips”.  They ate healthy food from relatives with as much gusto as the junk food from gas stations. And would help clean up any mess they made with our stay before we left again.

Irresponsible, some would call it.

Free-spirited, others would say.

Young…is the terminology I use.

But, I’m not so young, anymore.

Still… I live alone now… And my weekends belong to just me once again. 

Maybe I need to “plan” a Fearless Weekend… And get the Hell out of Dodge.

Get in my pickup, pack an overnight bag, and drive…somewhere…other than here.

Hmm…

*wanders off humming to self and grinning from ear to ear*

Drive Time

I had a lot of drive time today, having had a doctor’s appointment in a city about 2 hrs away. 

It gave me a lot of time to think, since I like to do these drives & appointments on my own, independent little cuss that I am.

(Pain Management Clinic, went for shots in my hands – yeah, both hands)

Anywho…

I know that I write a lot of “dark” posts here on the blog. At least lately, anyway. There hasn’t been a lot of sunshine and unicorns popping up between the lines…not that there ever really were… I mean, really I’m not much of a glitter and frappuccino kind of gal.

I’m much more of a sarcasm and cigarettes kind of sort, you know?

But, honestly…

There are happy, good things in my days.

I laugh at work.

(Usually dark, self-deprecating laughter, but hey, a gal’s gotta start somewhere)

I love my cat.

(The other cat in residence is my son’s, & yeah, OK, I somewhat like her too…but Sally is my baby) ((and they’re both assholes anyway))

I have lilies growing in my flower bed that I planted last fall with my own two hands, and they’re almost ready to bloom. 

There will be many different colors, & I can’t wait to see them! (Cause I can’t remember exactly what I put in!)

I talk to the Beloved Nephew a few nights a week, & love the hell out of him. He’s my best friend, and some days, the only thing that keeps me off the emotional ledge.  We do that for each other often.

(OLLLD picture, from my redhead days, back from before he moved. I miss that kid!)

And, I have my plan in place, and begun, for my transition next fall.  Early stages yet, baby steps. Not quite ready to reveal all yet, as it’s still so new and fragile, but I’m certain it’s what I want. What I need.

But, in the darkness, there are glimmers…

And, while driving, I had a lot of time to reflect on those glimmers of hope, those sparks of light, those small coals of fire I’ll need to hold onto in the days/weeks/months to come.

The 5 day silence was broken today.

I received another email from E, trying to reach out to me, & got a phone call right before I would have normally been off from work, from a strange, unknown, international number. I’m assuming it was from him, letting me know that he’s once again back on this side of the ocean, back on his Caribbean island, and now much closer to reaching me.

I know he’s not finished with me yet…but I can only hope that my continued refusal to interact with him or respond to his overtures will show him how futile his gestures are.

Once trust is broken…

So, I hold the hope, and release the broken.

And the hope glimmers…

Background Programs

I suppose I should feel grateful.

My stats have gone haywire over this last week. My post about Doc Hordinsky must have been shared over Facebook again, because I’ve been receiving mass hits on my blog because of it over the last few days.

Exposure is supposed to be good for writers, right?

Ok.

Instead, tonight, I’m sitting inside my house, in the dark, isolating myself. My anxiety has me in near-panic mode, for some unknown reason, and my evening has disappeared down a dark, seemingly endless well of nothing.

I’m numb to everything but the panic, and I can’t decide between flight or hide. “Fight” isn’t an option, since there’s no opponent, so it’s either “flight” which means medicating myself into oblivion… Or “hide”, which is to try to ride it out curled up in bed, hoping the morning will see it gone.

……..

I haven’t heard anything from E (my stalker) since Saturday… This, to me, means he’s either out of his normal phone service area, or he’s making his way overseas… At least when I was seeing the auto-rejected phone calls, I knew where he was located. Now, he could be anywhere, & I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

No wonder my anxiety is so high.

Rather like this post about Doc, which is years old, still garnering so much attention even to this day…

The programs running in the background always seem to carry the biggest surprises… Not always good ones.

Thanks, Though







And the stray gets put to the side of the road once again on the journey of life…

I’m used to it now.

The pain of being left behind…

The confusion as they leave, with no explanation, no thought of anyone else’s feelings, & just a merry wave…because, hey… She’s resilient… She’ll bounce right back & find someone else. 

They think that because they don’t see the brokenness that follows… The destruction of self I never allow anyone to see.

All they see is the mask & the automaton that goes through the daily motions, existing until I can rebuild from within, slowly, excruciatingly, piece by piece.

The only one who never left me…is the one I had to push away, because he was a toxic liar & chronic breaker of promises. And, is still stalking me to this day. 

Something seriously wrong with this picture.

And DON’T tell me “Well, maybe you just need some time alone”. 

Fuck that.

I’ve been alone for 6 years, considering how many times I’ve been dumped, ghosted, benched & dusted.

But, I’m fine. Just tired…

Thanks, though.