The Seeker

For most of my life, at least what I can remember of it, I’ve been a Seeker.

A Seeker of knowledge, in that I love to always learn new things. I have a gift for remembering seemingly useless trivia, earning me one of my many nicknames. “The Queen of Useless Knowledge”. But, I also constantly search for new wisdom to fill my brain, of all sorts, be it historical, medical, scientific, supernatural, esoteric, you name it.

I used to seek for affirmation and approbation, as well. Other people’s opinions of me were almost more real than my own, and would color how I viewed everything, from how I acted, to how I felt about myself, and the world around me. I don’t do that anymore, because I discovered that I was never going to receive what I needed in life that way – SELF acceptance and love. I had to learn, over and over, that no one else’s opinions of me mattered, only my own. It took me a long time to realize that, but I’m better now for it. 

And, I’ve always been a Seeker of love. Love of family and friends, as well as that of romantic love from someone else.

That’s…been a lot harder to find.

I thought I had it in both of my marriages, only to be proven wrong. The first one, well, I’m not sure he knows what loving someone else means, that you have to give up a part of yourself to the other person, and that it’s about being there for each other, not just when things are easy, but most importantly, when things are bad. He never seemed to get that, so I had to walk away. Twice. It took me over 20 years, and 2 attempts at a relationship with him to get that through my head, but it finally stuck.

The second ex-husband…well, he hoarded all his love for our son, thinking that, well, since he married me, he didn’t have to actually love me anymore, since marriage says forever, right? All the hard work was done while we dated, so now he could sit back & watch me do all the work in the relationship. No. Just – no.  

And, I’ve had other relationships since, which have all fallen apart, for one reason or another. 

So, I’ve been doing some hard contemplation, lately. 

About what I truly want.

About how I’m going to get it.

And about what I’ve been doing up until now, that’s prevented me from truly Finding what I’ve been Seeking.

I settle.

Because there’s still a part of me that feels as though I’m not worth it. That…if all these men can leave me, that the fault must be in me, somewhere.

And, to a certain extent, that’s correct.

The fault does lie in me.

Because I settle.

If I’m truly going to find Love – yes, with a capital letter – then I have to make some changes.

First – no more settling for less than what I want.

If I want real love, the kind that will stay, will fight for a relationship with me, the kind that will work with me to keep the relationship a good one…I HAVE to act, and believe, that I deserve it.

No more “hanging out and hooking up”.

No more accepting relationships that have no future.

If I want Love, Marriage and Forever, and I do, (no pun intended), then I have to stop letting myself settle for anything less.

I will find Love again, someday. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, next week, or even within the next year.

But I will stop settling for its pale cousin.

Because I am a Seeker.

And I will Find another, someday.

My Generation

OK, this subject is a touchy one, I know.

And I’m going to piss off more than a couple people, I’m sure.

But, I truly want to know…

What the hell is wrong with my generation?

I’m a Gen-X’er. 

Born in 1970 (yes, that makes me 46, I don’t lie about my age)

And it seems to me, that there is a seriously messed-up issue with my generation when it comes to relationships.

Yes, I know there are throwbacks to other generations – folks who found their “one”, married them, and have lived happily ever after.

But, most of the people I know from my generation have married, divorced, or never married at all. Maybe there was a long-term relationship in their life, marriage or otherwise, but it doesn’t last.

And, I’ve found a lot of men who just, simply, want to “hook up”. No dating, where you actually go out, with one or the other paying for both people to have an enjoyable night out. (yes, I believe in full equality of the sexes, and have paid for dates when I was the one doing the asking) No real relationship, where you are introduced to the other person’s friends, or their family, after a suitable amount of time spent getting to know one another.

Yeah, I’ve been the “dirty little secret” before, and I resented it. Whether we’d stayed together or not, not being introduced to the other people he chose to spend time with felt as though I wasn’t worth mentioning. It felt awful.

Men who thought that paying for dinner meant they’d be getting sex in return, only to find out that I’m not into prostitution, and went home, alone, never to return another phone call or text.

Women friends who can’t seem to find “Prince Charming”, perfect in every way, and they aren’t willing to even try to work through differences, compromise, communicate.

Wait…that one goes for the men too. Except for wanting “Snow White” instead of a prince. 

Instead, we seem to be the generation of Throw-Away Relationships.

Red flag? Recycle.

Quirk? Disposable.

Stone in the path? Whether small or large, personal or relationship related, the relationship is the first thing chucked out the window, so that the person struggling is left to do so alone.

Nevermind sticking by someone you care about, nevermind working through something together, which means it gets resolved quicker, oftentimes in ways you wouldn’t imagine, because 2 heads are better than 1 at solving problems.

Yes, I’m twice divorced. Does that make me a hypocrite?

In the case of the first marriage, probably. We were both young, headstrong, and he hit me. Not hard, just a light slap across the face to “prove a point” to a friend of his. But I wouldn’t put up with it. Wouldn’t talk calmly about it, and he could never believe that when he left to go to work (out of town, often overnight) I wasn’t secretly screwing his friends. (No, I wasn’t. I was totally loyal, but he could never believe it)

In the case of the 2nd marriage…No.

Our marriage slowly eroded from good and loving, to distant, resentful, and emotionless (except for anger and disdain, there was plenty of that). 

I’ve written about my 2nd divorce before, won’t do a complete blow-by-blow here. (If you really want to read about it, click here for Part 1)

So, for me, yes & no. I’ve acted the same way, in the past, but I worked really hard on changing those bad habits after my 2nd divorce. I’ve tried being the loving, compassionate, supportive girlfriend. I’ve been loyal – I call myself a Serial Monogamist.

But, what’s lacking?

Someone who is willing to fight for a relationship. Someone who is willing to work with me towards that goal. Someone who actually wants to spend thought and time on me, rather than money. Someone willing to trust that I can be that, well, not a freaking princess, that’s for damned sure…but maybe partner in crime suits the situation better.

Why are we Gen X’ers so afraid of commitment? Why do we just toss in the towel and give up at the first sign of wavering off balance?

Are we really that weak?

And now, here we sit… Middle aged, and so many of us still alone, whether willingly or not. Where is that “Happily Ever After”- Hell, at this point, I’d take “Happily in the Beginning, and Pulling Together When the Shit Hits the Fan”.

Because I do know the value of my time, my company, and Myself. I’m worth it.

If I could just find someone willing to take the time to see it.

(Well, I guess I found something to talk about today, after all)

Small World

Today after work, I performed a commitment ceremony for an older couple who, for various reasons, couldn’t marry with a legal ceremony. I’d been talking to them for a couple of months, having “met” through a local rummage sale site, of all places.

When I reached their house, they invited me in, then introduced me to the Groom’s son. ..who looked at me and said “Uh, why do you look so familiar? ”

Smiling, I replied, “Because I officiated at your wedding a few years ago.”

Just a Muggle

I’ve been taking care of other people since I was 20 years old.

Ever since EldestDaughter was born, I’ve been “in charge” of someone else’s happiness, comfort, security.

EldestDaughter, YoungerDaughter, OnlySon, the ex’es.  Always, it’s me who ends up being the caregiver in the situation.

And I don’t resent it, really, I don’t.  At least, not when it comes to my kids.  As their mom, it’s MY job to take care of things, so that they could grow up and become independent, capable, well-rounded human beings.


Once in a while, it would be nice if someone would take care of me.

It would be nice to have someone to turn to, who would put their arms around me and say “Everything will be fine, let me take care of it.”

And I’m notoriously bad at asking for help when I need it.

My parents have been there in the past for me, helping a lot, throughout the years.  Recently, though, I decided that I had to stop asking them for help.  I won’t go there.

I have had help from friends when I’ve needed it, whether emotional support or actual things they’ve done for me.  I have some really good friends.  I try to help them as well, when I can, as I can.  But I hate asking.  I hate having to put an obligation, a burden, of that type, on them.  I don’t ever want to be an obligation to anyone.

But it would be nice to have someone in my life who would be there.  Yes, I want to get married again.  Yes, I want someone to belong to, who would belong to me as well.  Someone who I would know would be permanent in my life.  Someone I could take care of, who would also take care of me.  There is someone who has offered to take that position… but, it’s been a lot of talk, so far.  And I can’t live on “maybe”.  I can’t hang my hope on it.  Because it’s too painful when promises are broken.  When they disappear into a mist of silence, never to return.

This year has been extraordinarily difficult.

And I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore.

Not enough coming in, too much going out – as it were.

In previous tough times, I’ve always been able to make it through, somehow.  To pull the metaphorical rabbit out of the hat, sometimes, at the very last minute… and get us through the rough spots.

This time, however… all I’m finding are dust bunnies.

The magic has disappeared.

And I just wish…

Nothing up my sleeve... nothing in my hat...

Nothing up my sleeve… nothing in my hat…

The End of the Chapter

I got a surprise tonight from OnlySon.

The ex is dating someone.

And he went to a birthday party for one of the new girlfriend’s sons with his dad, tonight.

Kinda threw me for a loop.

Basically, because the ex was always so anti-social, and almost rabidly, anti-teenager.  I wasn’t sure that he’d date again, much less someone with 2 teenagers, and a pre-teen, all boys.

My first reaction, understandably, was a sort of numb shock. 

Of course, I had a million questions, none of which I felt comfortable asking OnlySon.  I don’t want to put him in the middle between his father and I, and I don’t want him to feel like some sort of “spy” for one side or the other. 

And of course, I had to ask at least a couple of questions.  I found out that his dad has only been seeing her for a “couple of days”, according to OS.  She has 3 boys, ages 15, 13 and 12, and she was nice to OS.

Good enough. 

Then I had a talk with EldestDaughter.  We went out tonight to pick up some baby shower invitations for her big day a couple of weeks from now, and we both had to hash out how we felt about this.  ED and the ex had a rocky relationship, especially towards the end before she moved out. 

And me?  Well, I told her that I wished him well, and wished the new girlfriend good luck.  I think she’s going to need it. 

On the way home, ED told me something, that she “didn’t want the other person to be happy after a breakup”.  She wanted them to hurt, like she did. 

Understandable.  I totally get it.  I’ve had those feelings in the past, too, but I came to some realizations tonight after talking to A, and having him ask me how I felt about the ex dating.

“Are you hurt?  Jealous, angry, upset?”

Nope.  Mostly what I feel is relief.

I know, that might sound strange.  Most breakups are painful, my divorce was painful in many ways.  Not because I wanted him back, I hadn’t really had him for a long time, as I told a friend.  The marriage had died long before we formally ended it in court.

I felt relief, because this meant that I didn’t have to worry about the ex’s feelings for me anymore.  I didn’t have to worry that he might be “stalking” me, like my first ex-husband did for a while after our divorce, until I threatened him with calling the police on him in his own hometown… with the proof of his actions clearly dug into my front lawn, and my landlord aware that it had been him doing it. 

But then, after I got off the phone with A, I started thinking again. 

Do I really wish the ex well?  Do I really want him to be happy? 


Not really. 

See, here’s the thing – I don’t want him to be happy, but I don’t want him to be unhappy, either.

I just don’t care about his feelings at all.

Because the opposite of love isn’t hate.

It’s indifference.

The same indifference I lived through while we were still legally married.

I don’t feel anything toward him… nothing at all.

And so I can close that chapter.  Finally.

And that’s a huge relief.




Yeah, I know there was no post for “Eighteen”.  I’m skipping that because of the blackout for opposition to SOPA/PIPA.

Straight to today.

Life has changed so much in the past year, it’s barely comprehensible to me that I could have had so much occur in so short a period of time.

I mean – really.

The beginning of the year of 2011 saw me in a failing marriage, struggling to figure out where I was going, if it was going to be salvageable.  With 2 kids still at home, and 1 semi-grown up, having issues and troubles of her own, it was a festival of drama, trauma, stress and pain.

A couple of months later, saw me divorced, living as a single mom again, and dealing with my EldestDaughter telling me she was pregnant at 20…. just like I had gotten pregnant for the first time at 20…. just like my mother had gotten pregnant for the first time – at 20.  History really does repeat itself, hunh?

The summer saw a multitude of things happen, as my city flooded for months on end, many lives were irrevocably changed forever.  My own life was changed already by the divorce, but I also started dating again.  Friends, family, co-workers, all have at some point come up to me and told me that I’ve changed immensely.  I’ve lost weight, starting to feel healthier again; I smile much more often, and I generally just seem “lighter” emotionally, physically, all around, really.

And the end of the year saw changes as well, as I started getting some of my own independence back.  Regaining a portion of who I was “before” I let myself get swept away by my ex’s overwhelming attitudes and personality.

And the beginning of 2012 has seen a continuance of that.  Little by little, I’m feeling stronger, more sure of myself and the solidity of the footing underneath me.  I have started putting my foot down more and more in my own, and my family’s, defense.  I’m figuring out more of What I want, Where I want to go with my life, and Who I choose to have surrounding me as I travel this path.

My children are, right now, all back in the roost.  And while it’s nice having them all close, I know too, that I’m going to have to schedule times where I get to be alone.  I still need that “me time” that so many people talk about.  Time to decompress and recharge my emotional batteries.  It may be that I actually go off somewhere, by myself, or I may choose to spend it with someone special.  Me time doesn’t always have to be “Me Have To Be All Alone” time.  It’s just a chosen escape from the constant flow of emotional demands…

My thoughtful moment of the day:  You can cram a lot of life into 12 short months.  After all, it only takes 9 months to make a new one.

Just Another Day In The Life

I know it’s been a while since I posted, and the few I’ve put up have been farther between than normal.  But life’s been rather hectic here this summer, and I’ve been either too down, or too busy to really keep up here.  Hence, a small blog-cation.

And boy, has there been a lot going on!

Of course, the longest-lasting story, is, of course, the flooding in my city.  It’s still going on, but the water levels have begun to drop slightly.  People are being allowed back in their homes, to assess damage, try to begin cleanups, or… salvage anything they can before the demolition begins.  There are a lot of homes here that will have to be torn down, as the local government is going to have to “mitigate” a portion of the lands in town to offset the possibility of future flooding, and build new, or larger dikes.  I’m lucky in that my house is on top of one of the 2 hills of Minot, so my house is safe.  OnlySon will be attending next year’s school at the local auditorium, as his school was completely inundated, but he still has his home.  YoungerDaughter’s school is up high enough on the southern hill that it wasn’t affected, so she will graduate next spring from her own school.  We are blessed.

I’ve been… *gasp*… dating someone for a little over a month now.  I’m taking my time.  He’s funny, sarcastic, and makes me feel good about myself.   I’m not sure, though, if we’re really right together, so I’m keeping my options open.  Time will tell.

BUT, the biggest news of the summer…… is concerning EldestDaughter.


Due in March, EldestDaughter is now baking up my first GRANDCHILD.



This means I’m gonna be a…..



Wow.  I’m still rather processing this fact.

EldestDaughter is also going to be getting MARRIED next summer, and she and her fiance’ have started telling everyone their news.  I had to wait till now to be able to share our news, since she wanted to tell all the family members in our area herself.  It almost killed me to keep my mouth shut about this, but I did it.  Phew.

I’ll be blogging more about this later, but I wanted to fill everyone in out there in the blogosphere on the major news of the summer so far.  It’s been pretty wild!

Hopefully, this will be the last of the major life-changing events for a while, and I can get back to just laughing about some of the little things.  Like OnlySon’s and my conversation about monkeys, kittens, and opposable thumbs.

But that’s a story for another day.


Diary of a Divorce – Part 3

And so we come to the last chapter of the trilogy.

A few months ago, an old friend found me on Facebook, and followed a link on there to this blog.  She was my best friend from high school, and I’m ecstatic to be reunited with her.

She also brought another person from my past, back into my life, through a series of coincidences and some sneaky-ninja Facebook tactics. 

And talking to them, reliving old memories, rehashing old stories, was wonderful.  But it also brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings, like regret, and questioning why I put up with all the things that I’d let slide over the years of my marriage.

Was I happy? 

That was the hardest question in the world to answer.

And it shouldn’t have been.

And I’m not saying that either one of these people “talked me into” getting divorced.  Far from it.  Both of them simply wanted me to be the “real me”, the one that didn’t put up with crap from anyone; the person that stood up for herself and what she believed in, no matter who was facing me.  They both wanted me to be happy, and were willing to do whatever it took, whether it was talking till the wee hours of the night, or simply offering a shoulder to lean on, to get me to a place where I could say that “Yes, I’m happy”.

And when I stated that I wasn’t happy, it really snowballed quickly.

There was no attempt to “fix” anything, because my ex wouldn’t admit that he’d ever done anything wrong.  He wasn’t willing to work on the relationship, thought it was pretty-near perfect, in his eyes.  Because he was always getting his way, basically.

And I wasn’t willing to go back to the way things were.

So it was a stand-off, and I decided to just get off the ride, altogether.

The divorce process itself, was fairly quick.  I gave quite a few concessions in the divorce agreement, simply to get out.  But I also ended up with both children, and the house.  And that was the important stuff, to me.  There’s a very lenient visitation schedule for OnlySon, which I readily agreed to, since I want my son to have his father in his life.  I know how important they are to each other, and I don’t want to stand in the way of that.  But I also know that he needs a better structure in his life, and I can give him that.  After all, it worked with the girls.

From the first meeting with my lawyer, to yesterday’s judgment from the courts, the whole process took only about 2 months, give or take a few days.  Fast, I know.  But, since we had worked out the agreement, and no one was contesting the divorce, it fairly flew right through the court system. 

And sitting here now, I’m relieved that it’s over, while being sad that I failed.  I’m happy to start this new phase of my life, but depressed that I have to start off on this, alone.  Someday, maybe there will be someone to share this with.  And I am willing to take a chance again.  I have my grandmother to thank for that willingness, and I’ll tell about her story another time.  But for right now, I’m on my own. 

I’ve cut the ties that bind.

I’ve removed the rings.

But that doesn’t mean that all the marks of this finished relationship have faded.

Some scars take time to heal.

Diary of a Divorce – Part 2

I am good at “making do” with what I have. 

My dad taught me when I was very young, that you use what you’ve got on hand, usually duct tape or WD-40, and you can fix just about anything.  Basically, his motto was “If it moves, and it shouldn’t – use duct tape.  If it doesn’t move, and it should – use WD-40.”

He was a real-life “MacGyver”, and showed me that if there’s one way, there’s at least 5 more ways, you can rig something to work.

But that doesn’t work with a marriage.

You can’t make someone “stick” to the way they were at the beginning of a relationship with duct-tape.  Not without being charged with holding them hostage.

And you can’t make them “move” out of a stubborn, built-over-time and stagnated mindset with WD-40.  That gets you accused of trying to poison them.

And Richard Dean Anderson was just an actor, reading a nerd-written script for a fictional television show.  Much as I love his acting?  He couldn’t have fixed this marriage, either.

That… was supposed to be up to us, as husband and wife.

When we went into this, we pretty much worked out who was going to handle what, by what we were each good at.  And since I was rather handy with fixing things, I ended up with all the handyman chores, while he either sat in the other room, or watched… and  offered his own special brand of “helpful advice”.  Which most always ended with me being frustrated, and angry, because his idea of “helpful” was more critical of how I did things.

And it crept outward, into the rest of our relationship.  Whenever there was a decision to be made, he would use passive-aggressiveness to get his way.  I often told friends and co-workers that “If it wasn’t his idea, it’s stupid and not worth it”.  One of my co-workers teased me about taking “NO” lessons, so I could learn to say that word to him, and make it stick.  It almost never worked, because I’d simply tire of arguing my side, give in, and let him have his way.

Even when it came to decisions about the children.  Which, believe me, I should have stuck to my guns quite a few times, and put my foot somewhere that he would understand my meaning clearly.

But, I got my “revenge”, I guess you could call it.  Never thinking that I would be that kind of petty person, I would do little things… irritating things, that I knew drove him quietly crazy.  I’d rearrange the dishes in the dishwasher to how I liked them, and he hated the configuration.  I’d do it right in front of him, so he couldn’t “fix” it, before I started it up. 

I stayed up late, partly because it was just my favorite time of night, and partly, because I knew that it irritated him to come out when he was ready to get up for work, and find me, either watching tv, playing a game, or on the computer.  I wasn’t hurting him, or anyone else, and I was quiet, but it bugged him all the same. 

It was petty, it was small, but I was “getting back some of my own” in my own mind.  I thought of it as “standing my ground”, in the only way I could.  By quietly defying how he thought I should act.

There was also a level of isolation in our relationship.  Because he didn’t like being around people.  He was, and still is, almost totally anti-social.  He hates crowds, and doesn’t like having his “personal space” invaded, so I was almost never allowed to invite people over.   If I did, I usually had to do it on a day he had off, so he could clear out and take OnlySon somewhere for “father-son” stuff. 

He also found fault with most of my friends.  Judging them on first meeting, and being pretty critical about it.  There were very few people over the years that were ever told to “come back anytime”.  Matter of fact, I can count them on ONE FINGER. 

One of the warning signs of an abusive relationship, is when one partner works to isolate the other person from their other relationships.  Friendships, family, all are judged and found to be “wanting” in some way, so that you are left not being able to spend much time with them at all, for fear that you’ll have to listen to the laundry-list of that person’s faults for a very long time afterward.

I’ve lost more than 1 friend, simply because he was so critical of them, they refused to come back, and I couldn’t bring myself to start an argument with my husband about the other person.  It wasn’t worth it to fight with him all the time, when I had to live with him all the time, too.  And I was supposed to be in love with him, not with the friends, right?

That’s not even getting into the decisions on how we raised OnlySon.  THAT would take Dr. Phil about a year’s worth of therapy and brow-beating to work through, from my perspective.  And even Dr. Phil wouldn’t be able to out-shout the ex when it came to OnlySon.  That’s a kettle of worms I’m not going to touch, right now.

The girls were easier, seeing as how he was their step-father.  He left most of the parenting decisions about them, up to me.  Of course, there were a lot of critical… oh, yeah, “helpful” comments about how I raised them, which I ignored, because I could.  But there were times when I should have put my foot down there, too, and didn’t.  Again, because it was easier to “make do” and get along.

It was all about “Not sweating the small stuff”… until it wasn’t Small Stuff, anymore.

Whew… I didn’t realize there was so much I needed to say, till I got in the middle of it.  I’m going to have to stop here for now, and continue this again, later. 

Thanks for your patience.  Your call is important to us.  An associate will be on the line with you shortly….

(To Be Continued, Again)

Diary of a Divorce – Part 1

My divorce was final on the 25th.  Yesterday.

I am, once again, a single parent.

And I’m not sure quite how I feel right now.

I took a break from blogging.  Mainly, because I was feeling a little “burnt”, between the frustrations of work being hectic, school ending for the kids, graduation for a friend’s child coming up, trying to finish writing my book before my birthday-deadline, and the whole “divorce in limbo” thing, I’d had it up to my eyeballs, and couldn’t think of anything interesting, entertaining, or even semi-coherent, to say.

I’m still not completely back, but I wanted to let my friends out here in Blogsville know, that I’m breathing, I’m upright, and I’m still here.  I will be back, full-time, soon.  Just not right now.  I still have a few things I need to deal with, before I can really get back into the swing of 5-days-a-week-blogging.

And this has all happened so fast, that I’m just now starting to get a handle on how to process the things that have happened, just in the last 2 months. 

When I started realizing that I needed to be single again, to not be married, I was terrified of what was going to happen.  It was so overwhelming, and I kind of fell off the deep end, emotionally.  What that meant for my friends and family, was that they were dealing with an extraordinary amount of radical moodswings from me.  I would be manic-hyper-happy one moment, and super-depressive-moody the next.  There was also a lot of repressed, snarky anger and guilt thrown in the mix.  I never really knew, myself, when the mood-swings would strike.

I cried.  A Lot.

I vented.  A Lot.

I fell into moody depressions where all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner, somewhere, and turn my face to the wall.

There are still times, like just in the last couple of days, where I contemplated simply packing my bags, and checking out.  Running.

I question people’s motives, their actions, and their words.  I may not say it out loud, and I know, somewhere inside my head and heart, that I’m reading too much into everything, overanalyzing – but I still wonder… if maybe I’d be better off simply starting over somewhere that no one knows me.  No past.  No judgments.  No preconceived ideas about how things should be, or how I should be acting, Only future.  I’ve had people tell me that for as much as I’ve changed over the last few years, they wish I was how I used to be.  Happy, outgoing, carefree. 

I wish I could be that person.  But I’m not her. 

That person was happy, yes.  Mostly because she was so focused on the present moment, and the fun to be had, that she didn’t stop and take a look around at the consequences of her actions, most of the time.  A great deal of the time, the only person that ended up getting hurt, was her.  And she dealt, and moved on.  But, sometimes, the fallout of her “present-mindedness” hurt others.  She didn’t see it, blew right past it, on to the next thing.  She was young.  It’s over, and I don’t have many regrets from that time.  But there are a couple that linger.

That person was outgoing, definitely.  She could talk to just about anyone and didn’t worry about social class boundaries, or age boundaries.  She could talk to adults, teens, and children, all with the same candor, humor, and respect for whatever group she was in.  She was a chameleon and a social butterfly, flitting from one group to another, able to talk, at least a little, about almost any subject.  She still lives within me, and I treasure her ability to help me blend in and get along.  Her skills have been invaluable to me in my line of work, making me able to talk to lenders, realtors, and customers alike, and do so in a professional and honest manner, while still being friendly, helpful and pleasant.  Sometimes, even funny.

That person was carefree.  Well… I don’t know about that moniker, so much.  If by “Care- Free” you mean having no cares, no worries?  Well, yeah, I suppose.  Mostly, because she simply didn’t face the problems.  She ran from them.  So, yeah, she was care-free.  But not “Problem-Free”.  Those came back like a boomerang.

And even after I got married, I was pretty happy.  I can admit that.  There were a lot of good years, happy, content years.  I had a good job, a nice house, 3 wonderful children, and a man that supported me, accepted me, and was affectionate with me. 

And honestly?  I couldn’t tell you when it started to fail.  It was a slow descent, an erosion of what brought us together in the first place.  And I know that it was not all his fault.  I was in the relationship too.

But it wasn’t all my fault, either.

And when I realized that the wine was turning to vinegar, I tried to reverse the process.  But, hints weren’t enough.  Stronger measures, coming right out and bluntly telling him that I needed more, wasn’t enough. 

I’ve never thought of myself as a “high-maintenance” kind of person.  I’m pretty low-key most of the time.  But… if you don’t ever work on keeping a relationship going, much less strong, it will fail.  Every time.

And he was content to sit (literally) and watch me do all the work.

That didn’t work for me.

 (To Be Continued)