Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself

(Ghandi)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Layered, As An Onion

Sometimes it feels like I am shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic (as they say). Or maybe I'm building a particularly precarious matchstick bridge over this raging torrent I call the River Crazy. As I posted yesterday, I constantly question the point of planning, of having ideas and making choices. What if, what if, what if. Nonetheless, I went to an interview yesterday for a job so exqusitively perfect for me it should be framed and hung on the wall in order for it never to tarnish or disappoint. Three days a week - exactly what I think will work best for me financially and logistically. With a not-for-profit organisation, specialising in literacy. Great team of women, laidback office, interesting and varied work. There were 6 of us on the shortlist, and I will find out one way or another by the middle of next week. Don't you just love that expression "one way or another"... such an innocuous way to describe the beginning or the end, the heaven or the hell of things.

Mr Ex took me to the interview, as he is on holidays and a genuinely decent bloke. The office is located a fair way away, but for 3 days a week I can manage the bus trips. Having a lift there and back for the interview was terrific, and we spent a bit of time together afterwards. In a few days it will be one year since I decided I had to put the dying marriage out of its misery, in order to salvage some happiness for Mr Ex (and maybe, myself). I can see he is more himself again, and that rips at me more than anything. I always believed I was a person who added to situations, to people, rather than took away. But although Mr Ex will say I was everything to him, and brought so much to his life, I would be an idiot to not recognise the path I took him on was nothing he would have chosen or imagined for himself. Still, I made the hard choice for both of us when he was too stuck and too afraid to make it, and every piece of serenity he's gained since then reassures me that it was the right thing. For a while, I wondered if he would fight to get me back, or try to convince me we should try again. But a year later, it hurts me to look him full in the face and realise he is scared that I will ask for another chance.

I blamed so many issues for my marriage problems, and told myself I was leaving to pursue a lot of different things for myself. I have achieved none of them, and now I realise that I was telling myself stories of an exciting and passionate life full of truth in order to disguise the facts... I knew a breakdown was coming, and I could not survive it for both of us. I had to know that Mr Ex was relinquished of responsibility this time, so that I could avoid the crippling guilt and the temptation to fake my way out of it. He was, and is, my best friend, even if we were never ideal marriage partners, the friendship is still there. And this year I have been overwhelmingly relieved that his involvement with this breakdown was limited, and that he could get on with his life without the mental wife hiding in the closet.

Being alone is also the only way I will be able to fight my way back from this illness, knowing myself and my behaviour as well as I do. There are so many layers to my Crazy, like an onion I peel back one only to find another and another. There are scary times ahead, as I start to realise some of the truth at the centre of the layers. But this time I can't just put the layers back together hoping no-one will notice the weeping cracks. This is one time when it HAS to be all or nothing.

6 comments:

Elizabeth B. Alexander said...

No all or nothing. I thought that. And as soon as it's not all, then you think it has to be nothing. That's how I ended up in ICU and that totally blows. It's never nothing, your life is never nothing. Keep fighting! There are good layers too!!

Dee said...

good for you lil...to do something good for you whatever it may be to work towards you healing. safe hugz!

Anonymous Drifter said...

I hope you get the job. As for your relationship, I'm so sorry that it had to end. Sometimes I look at my husband and I realize that he'd be living a much happier life if he didn't have to deal with me. When he's away from me and with friends he's much more carefree. It must have been a tough decision for you to leave. You shouldn't get trapped in that "all or nothing" thinking. It doesn't have to be that way. *hugs

Wandering Coyote said...

I'm glad things are still cordial between you and Mr. Ex. As you know, I also left my husband coming up on 4 years ago now, and I thought, too, when I left, that all was going to be sunny for me with all my plans and dreams finally coming into fruition because the guy was actually holding me back. Alas, no, none of it has happened. It ticks me off no end. But I still believe wholeheartedly that I am much better off doing all this mentally interesting stuff on my own without the strain and pressure it puts on a marriage.

Good luck with the job! I'm so proud of you that you applied and went to the interview! Go you!

tricia said...

I have read this post several times. I hope you get the job. Obviously you have far above average intelligence and I think that makes it tougher when you have mental or emotional issues. Are you sure you're being fair to yourself when you make assessments of where you've been and where you're headed? I would never, ever want to say anything to offend you or step over the line. Maybe I should just tell you I'm wishing the best for you and let it go at that.

Anonymous said...

Life isn't "all or nothing"....if only things were that black and white.

all the best for your continuing journey.