Lost in the World

Writing to you is tough. Maybe ironic for someone you used to say “talked too much.” I think of a lot of things to say to you, but then I sit on it for awhile and dismiss it as too angry, too dark, too rambling. I’d like to think as I’ve gotten older I’ve become wiser about choosing my words carefully. You still hold onto things I said years ago, as do I, so the consequences are real and necessary to consider.

I tend to focus on the negative a lot, because I’m not thrilled with the way my life has gone. But there’s good too. I saw a post from someone awhile back that you should thank God for three things before you go to sleep. I started doing that, and some nights its tough, but I always find at least three things, and I think that helps counter a lot of the negativity. The argument that it could always be worse, ie “there are children in Africa who would beg for those brussel sprouts”, never really registered with me. But finding those things in your life that you really do appreciate and are grateful for has been good for me. I’ve started working out a little, nothing crazy, but for the first time in my life I really appreciate how much better I feel when I am done. I’ve got a long way to go towards living a physically healthy lifestyle, but I’m starting to try. Financially, I’ve paid off all my old debt, only taking on some new token debt to improve my credit (more than 100 pts this year so far!). I’ve started investing a little, not real successfully, but I think this is probably a bad time for beginner investors to be getting started. I am reading a lot more about it, and realizing just how much I need to learn.

When I think about some of the positive trends in my life, I don’t feel so down about myself. Indeed, the first few drafts of this letter were a lot more negative and dark. The biggest downer for me has always been the loneliness. I’ve gotten so used to it I’ve become a recluse, which has actually made all this stay at home and social distancing pretty easy for me. I think about you, and I know you’d want nothing to do with my current life. You’ve made it pretty clear over the years that without many substantial changes you don’t want anything to do with me at all. I guess I can’t blame you. I think you buy into what other people think a little too much, but your interests and choices are no less valid than mine. I do wish that you could just accept me for who I am and not what you want me to be.

I’ll leave you with one thought I had recently. Its no secret I fell for you, hard, very early on. The first thing that really stands out in my memory was you admonishing the person who ate your pasta. Really laid into them. And maybe I told you this story before, but there were three of us together, and while your back was turned, the other two started talking about eating your pasta, I guess as a means of flirting? Idk, I thought it was dumb. And then the most attractive, the most physically in shape of us (and the one in the modern day who is the most objectively successful) started eating your pasta like it was no big deal. And when you saw you flipped out. The other two in my group slithered away leaving just me. And you started talking to me, the least of the group. All my life I just wanted someone to see me and value me for the things I value and the way I try to live my life. And you did. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve changed a lot since we met. But all these years later and I look at you and I’m still happy with my choice to want to be with you. Even if it never happened, I’d take zero days as your lover over a lifetime with someone I despised.

The Deep End

Tonight, I told my husband I don’t want to be with him anymore and I meant it. I don’t know if he is a narcissist or not, I’m not a professional. But I do know I have dealt with him moving the goalpost, stonewalling me, and gaslighting me for years and I have finally had enough. I stayed for the kids but my marriage is killing me. I am of no use to my own kids right now. To me, it could all be so simple. He brings up very simple grievances that I understand are big deals to him but they have simple solutions. And the moment I meet his expectations, it’s something else. It is always something else. There is always the promise that if I just do this or that, then he can show me affection, engage with me, connect with me, be intimate with me. And I try until I am weary and when I finally crumble, he pulls a “See? You’re just not consistent enough”. You’re right. I’m not consistent. I’m depressed and I want to blow my f***ing brains out. For months and months and months I give and try and give and try and when I finally become discouraged and feel that he will never connect with me as my partner and husband, I start to withdraw and become depressed. He then uses my depression against me as a way to justify how cold he is. I feel like I have been living in a funhouse for years and I don’t even know who I am anymore. I don’t know what’s real and what’s not. The most amazing part of it all is when I get that rare moment of detachment and clarity, I can see how crazy he really is. I can see all that I bring to our marriage and our family, weigh it against what he has to offer, and know that the scale tips in my favor. I have been killing myself to be this perfect person for him because I naturally try to improve, always reaching upward trying to be better than yesterday. But he remains the same man he has always been. I think about what his ideal woman must be. How perfect she is, how beautiful, smart, and driven. And then, I think of what he could possibly offer her. What in the actual f***ing hell could this man offer her? He can’t even offer his heart to a woman that has been 100% down for him, his #1 fan since day one and THAT sh** IS FREE. And then, I remember that I AM THAT WOMAN. I am beautiful, smart, and driven. I am also kind, funny, adaptable, discerning, encouraging, pretty f***ing selfless. I am a great mother and every time my kids spend hours talking to me, draw me pictures, write me poems, cuddle up to me, ask for my help and advice, cry to me, and not my husband, it is so clear what is actually taking place here. This man cannot and will not do better for himself and the only way he will ever feel like a bigger man is if he makes me feel like a lesser woman. When I can just get out of the tale spin he sends me in long enough to see it, I realize what has always been happening. How he always tried to one-up me when I achieved something, rather than congratulating me and sharing in the success. How he would take pictures of the f***ed up house when I was in the midst of depression and use it as ammo against me to our friends and family. How he made my last attempt at getting a college degree an actual f***ing nightmare. How he used to throw it in my face when girls would hit on him just to get a reaction out of me. How he always let me cry alone and then blame me for having actual feelings. How any time I tried to do something nice for him, I either did it wrong or he didn’t ask for it. How he has criticized literally everything gift I’ve ever gotten him because it was the wrong model or I could have gotten a better deal or whatever other reason he thought the gift was worthless. And so I would resort to buying him clothes and he would accuse me of trying to tell him how to dress. My God, does it ever end? And the sick part is there is still a big part of me that questions whether I am seeing things clearly or not. Is this actually the way it is or am I imagining things? Am I really the terrible person? Am I the one to blame? I have always taken the blame because that means I can fix it but I don’t think I can take the blame anymore. I have tried everything I can possibly think of to make it work and be the wife he claims he needs but that woman does not exist and if she did she wouldn’t f***ing be with him. I hate even saying that but it’s the truth. How did I allow this to get so far??