• tired

    by  • March 14, 2016 • * Safe for Work *, Frustration • 1 Comment

    Dearest H, We have been together for so long, more than half our lives now. I wish I knew what happened, why I was not enough for you, why you needed him, why you after 20 years decided to finally let me know that you changed your mind and did not want children. But you cannot or will not answer these questions. I wish I was stronger. I wish I wasn’t like my father who has stayed with a mentally ill abuser for 60 years. For some reason the men in my family just stay, no matter how bad it gets. It’s what we do. I want to leave. I want to start over, but I can’t. I’m too old now. There’s too many things wrong physically and my youth has passed. No woman wants a washed up 40 year old to have kids with who might not even make it to the kids graduation. I’m stuck with you. It’s a gilded cage. I can have whatever I want, except a loving relationship with someone who is open and shares with me and wants a family. I can come and go as I please, but I don’t. You will let me buy anything I want, but I can’t have what I need. You share your workday with me but keep your heart closed. I have grown cold and bitter. I share no more. You have made it clear don’t need me. So why do you insist that I stay? Why do you want me here? Why didn’t you just run away with him? Why don’t I leave, couldn’t I find someone? I don’t know if I could open up again to someone, and I know I have closed the doors tightly against you. When you betrayed me I was shattered, even though my heart was already growing cold. I cannot trust. Was the embrace of your childhood boyfriend worth the pain you caused so many people in your life? I wasn’t the only one you hurt. I love your family. They have shown me love like I never knew as a child. They included me. They held me up when I could stand no more. I do not want to lose them. If I leave, I lose everything. I am old and I am tired. In the time I have known you I have went from a youth with dreams, to an old man who just wants to become a hermit and wind out my days fishing alone by a small creek. I pray for the answer. I pray for an ending. I am tired.

    One Response to tired

    1. Peter C
      March 14, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      It sounds as though every door is closed for you, including the door to your heart that you closed yourself. You are aging into despair, and so you have lost all the energy that might yet free you from your slow motion spiral downwards. Your life sounds futile, your escape sounds impossible, and the rest of your life seems bleak and grey.

      And yet. The problem is not with ‘H’, though she has caused a lot of damage in your life. The problem is that the person blocking the door, is you. You are your own shadow, standing in front of a bright portal to a different future, a fresh new life, saying “you cannot, it is too late, there is no hope, it is futile.” You ask questions of yourself without power, but not because you have no power. Only because you have let your power drain into a hundred channels of dry futility. So – what can you do now? Old and tired, what do you do?

      You begin by embracing your valid anger, the emotions that you have disowned. You begin by doing one thing, two things, ten things where you take charge of a part of your life, you take back the control you have relinquished. You begin by realizing that there is only one person who truly owns your future, and that is you. You are not the tired old man with shaking hands casting out his fishing line in a sad tableau of loneliness. No, you can be the racer in a sports jersey, the strider of mountains, the one who fearlessly strikes up conversations on street corners and in grocery stores. You can be the person who finds that one thing he is grateful for each day, and who fans it into a roaring fire that purifies the dross and burns the threads that hold you to ash. You!

      There are many ways to start this journey. Some can do so just by starting. Others do so with a guide, a sherpa, which here would be a caring therapist. Others can learn the right techniques and so haul themselves off the island and back into the mainstream. For these, CBT (like ‘Feeling Good’ by David Burns) gives them the tools they need.

      The point is – it was always you. You have always been in charge, whether you’ve know it or not. You CAN act rather than react; you can seize rather than be pulled. Good luck and good fortune!

      Peter C

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