Tuesday, March 08, 2005

eternal uncertainty


Once I decided that some things just aren’t appropriate for a public blog, I lost a lot of juicy material. This is not the place to lay into your Husband, or your MIL, or your friends, no matter how pissed you may be at them.

That said, I should note that things have been bumpy at home of late. Without going into details, let me just say that the bumpiness resulted in another intense conversation last night after Duckie was convinced to go to sleep (sometimes you just have to resort to the Chair – the rocking chair, that is.) Given that I’m at a loss how to get over this 3-4 year slump that Buffy noticed several years back (in other words, I can’t seem to maintain a relationship longer than 4 years), I suggested a marriage counselor. Not just individual counseling – we’re already both doing that (I’m going back to Brent next Monday.) But a marriage counselor, who will hopefully help us learn the tools we will need to use to heal our relationship and enjoy our marriage again. Yeah, I know it’s work. I know it’s not all fun and games – believe me, I know. But right now I think we’re both pretty miserable and neither of us can really put a finger on what’s causing it specifically.

Maybe it’s a habit thing. I’ve heard that it takes about three months to establish good habits – brushing your teeth, eating better, exercising, etc. And three months to banish bad ones (smoking, perhaps?) We were separated for about three months. Over the course of those months, I went from panic (oh my God how I am I going to do this on my own?) to determination (OK you wimp, you can DO this already) to solid decision-making (let’s get a routine together, folks!) to some level of comfort (ah, same old same old – just the way we like it.) Husband has been back for just under a month now, and I don’t think we’ve given things enough time to really percolate or settle down. That’s part of it. Other things are also affecting how we connect and relate to each other, but that’s for counseling – not for this blog.

Along those same lines, I reminded myself last night that it has only been four months since the shit hit the fan Election Night. That’s not really a long time to heal from something so large and ugly. I haven’t forgotten it. I am still horrified by my own intent that night, and horrified by the effect it had on Husband. You can’t just “get over” something like that in a couple of months – not unless you’re totally numbed out, not really dealing with it, and kidding yourself to boot. And I am anything but numb these days.

Maybe my difficulty in adjusting to living with someone again is partly because I was an only child. I’ve been used to solitude most of my life. It doesn’t bother me much to be on my own – at least, it didn’t once I got past the initial shock of living off-campus and paying my own bills. (Do you remember that afternoon, Ebby? When we had just moved into the Royal Palm duplex in Sarasota, we were talking about electric deposits and security deposits, and I burst into tears, completely unable to cope?) Maybe solitude is my natural state, and I will have to really work to learn how to live happily with someone else.

Duckie doesn’t count as “living with someone” at this point. I know – she should – but it still feels like she’s so much a part of me that taking care of her is like taking care of myself – just something that happens, and really doesn’t disrupt the routine. Which was, after all, created based on her habits and preferences. Later that will change, I know.

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Matters are not improved by another oncoming illness – mine, in this case. Yesterday afternoon my running buddy and I attempted a circuit around the lake. After three or four intervals, during which the wind and rain joined forces with the pain in my joints to de-motivate me completely, I gave up and went to pick up Duckie. Over the course of the evening the aches really set in, I started running a slight fever, and the chills showed up to join the party. I wasn't able to get warm until I ducked under the covers with a heating pad. Woke up this morning with a nasty sore throat and more snot. God, I am so sick of not feeling well.

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Found out this morning that while I was freaking out to Buffy on the phone yesterday about multiple life issues, she was (and is still) going through her own hell. Brett’s father is dealing with serious health issues – this, right on the heels of losing his wife, Brett’s mother. The situation is obviously more complex than I can go into here – if you’re close to Buffy & Brett you will likely be seeing them this weekend anyway for Brett’s birthday party. I’m mentioning it here so that if you’re not in close contact with them, you might could send some strength and/or prayers their way.

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The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.
Ursula K. LeGuin

2 comments:

EB said...

I am so sorry to read that Brett's mother passed- I knew Phyllis had been seriously ill.
And now his dad is ill? Sheesh. Poor Brett. Let him and Buffy know when you see them this
weekend that they are always in my thoughts and prayers, even if I don't talk to them nearly as often
as I should.

I do remember that afternoon at Royal Palm. It's a wonder I remember anything at all from
Royal Palm, but yes, I do remember it. Living with another human adult (aside from just being one)- not your own child, because I agree with your observation about Duckie being a part of ourself,and therefore caring for her is just an extension of caring for yourself - is by far the most difficult thing we do as human beings.

Love (not that John Lennon or any other Poet was wrong) isn't
all you need. Loving someone doesn't pay the bills or scrub the toilet or make crock pot
chicken. Loving someone is just the gravity that holds the planet of your life together in orbit. The rest is up to you and your own sheer will and determination.

Marriage, although in many respects hasn't changed my life with my own Husband, has a
strange way of making me think a lot more about death than just cohabitating ever did. C leaves town on business a lot- three to four times a month- and every single time he goes on a plane, I think I could be widowed and good God what would I do without him?
This has a lot more to do with my own fear of flying than statistical reality.

Funny how I used to think about how much I wanted him gone, to be on my own, and now I just can't imagine not having him around. On the flip side, I think about all the crap he would have to deal with if I die. All my debts, all my books, clothes, trinkets.
I have no Last Will and Testament, so although he probably knows what I would want done, it is overwhelming to consider all the loose ends a life leaves- even when you think you have all your s*&t together.

But, for me, anyway, in the face of Death (work is beckoning, so I'll have to come back to the related issues of God and Evil you mentioned in a later comment post), I constantly CHOOSE, every minute, every hour of every day, to be with C. This is not always an easy choice, or a savory one.

He has,in fourteen years together, said "Bless you" ONCE when I sneezed. I almost passed out from shock when he said it. He has a tendency to play up any illness into major proportions- I
find this particularly annoying, having watched Mom try to kick down Death's door a few
years back. He is KING, no EMPEROR of emotional withdrawal and retaliation if he perceives some offense, insult or rejection.

There are days when the snoring, bedhogging, smelly feet and the occasional bout of self-righteous a$$h0leness he is prone to make me wonder what his head would look like with a cast-iron skillet embedded in it.

This usually passes pretty quickly and I remember that he makes me laugh, he makes me come,
he makes me dinner and once, he painted my toenails- well, my toes, really, but A for effort.
These things, tiny as they may be, accumulate into a life well-lived with a man well-loved. I am humbled by these gifts, and wish them for you as well- minus the smelly feet. I'm sure you have your own Husband's to contend with.
I wish you and yours all the good things life has to offer, my dearest sister and friend. You deserve it.

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