Friday, October 02, 2009

Dying Alone and Childless: Day 23

First of all, I must thank each and every one of you for your support, emails, text messages and comments. I am truly overwhelmed, and literally brought to tears. *sniff*

This is going to make no sense, but the decision was both easy and incredibly difficult. At the same time. But I am also alternating between the two, especially now, after 3 weeks. It's so obvious we are wrong for each other! No, wait! Oh my gawd, did I really do that? Am I ok with this? Yes. Yes, I am totally ok. No, wait. etc. etc. Those of you who love the Voices in My Head have no idea what the cocophony has been like for the last month. I feel like a very, very strong woman..........but also like a murderer. I killed my dream. I killed us. But I am proud of myself for recognizing something and doing something about it, even though it made me sad and hurt someone I still care very deeply for. I have pride and shame. Mostly shame.

The thing that is really strange about this whole process (and it makes sense if you think about it) is how similar this feels to grief. I imagine it must be even worse if it's in the context of going through a divorce. That must be excruciating.

Like grief, I have good days and I have bad days. Some days I am feeling fine, and almost ready to put it all in the past and move on. Other days, I am really bummed out and wondering, "What if I just blew it?" I mean, you only get so many chances in life, right? What if I am being too picky? No two people agree on everything, so you have to have compromises, right? Do people really get married after the age of 32, or is that just what tv wants you to think? If I were to meet Mr. Perfect today, there's no way I would make it down the aisle anytime sooner than 32, let's face it. I am in a race against crow's feet, y'all. It's getting serious now. Have I officially reached old maid-dom? Are my ovaries vestigial organs at this point, and I might as well start planning my trip around the world -- solo? Because that is my Plan B: Become a World Traveller. Are all the men in my age range as confused, damaged and gun-shy as I am now? Or worse -- are all the good ones taken?

...and then there's the obvious question......

When and how do I try to re-enter the world of dating? Do I try online dating again?

*shudder* Because I am in a town where I don't really know anyone. So my dating options are pretty much nil. Ugh. No. Not yet, anyway. Maybe in a few months. I gotta get a feel for this town through the eyes of a single girl first. I don't know if it's full of jackasses who will only waste my time or if it's just a matter of separating the wheat from the chaff.

This is really all moot, anyway, as CN and I are now......roommates. Yes, we are 100% broken up. We've even had the, "Ok, are we really really broken up? Or is there a chance we might get back together?" talk. There is no touching beyond hugs, I put a robe on when I get out of the shower, etc. We are in separate bedrooms and are rarely home at the same time. So good. I don't have to cook, and he doesn't have to take me out to dinner. We each have our own couch, and if we don't want to watch the same show, one of us just goes upstairs. No harm, no foul.

I wonder if you are thinking this sounds incredibly awkward. It isn't. It's funny how comfortable it has been so far. I guess when you have dated someone for 2 years, the time to feel awkward has passed completely, no matter the circumstances. We are both pretty laid back people, and we have agreed not to bring any new significant others over until further notice. (Repeating this rule aloud just makes us snicker, because both of us go for loooooooong periods of time between relationships, so it's humorous to even think about dating a new person right now.)

At first, we talked about him moving out, but it would be difficult for me to afford this place on my own. Especially since his job pays for Internet (yay!). And he was not excited about the idea of moving again after we JUST got here. So for the time being, we are roomies. The Czarina does NOT get this and doesn't like it. I think she is worried we won't be able to move on or avoid sleeping together. I see her concern, but unfortunately, I don't make enough money to kick him out. Well, I do, but it would seriously impact my clothing budget. :) And he's saving a lot of money by staying, too. You can't live in a decent neighborhood in Savannah for under $800/month, and right now, we are each paying $500/month -- essentially a steal. And to be honest, I don't want to have any other roommate right now. CN is a really good one. Except that he doesn't seem to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher -- a minor concern in the world of roommates.

He has told his job that he wants to be put on what is called "detail". This means he would travel a LOT all around the state, to different towns to do his work. If he gets put on detail, he will be gone periodically for as long as a month at a time. Obviously, this would be good for both of us. He's still waiting to hear back from them.

For the first time in my life, I wish I had a PR assistant. Someone to break the news to family and friends, field any questions, deal with the backlash, put out a press release for me. Because explaining it is one of the worst parts about this process. I dread it. And it's big news, too. I can't just do a facebook update. I have to email or call all the important people in my life. Individually. It took me about a week just to tell you guys, and I don't even know most of you! I try to get other people to spread the word for me so I don't have to repeat my sad story over and over and over. I elected one trusted coworker to put the news out to everyone at work. I even managed to change my facebook status secretly, so there was no horrible broken heart icon in everyone's news feed. (Whew!)

Then again, part of me feels like this is what I get for what I did. The punishment for my crime. Like Sisyphus, I am doomed to repeat my story over and over and over forever. Endless questions. Endless pity. Every time I tell it, I get more and more bummed out. Luckily, it comes and goes in waves. And work is REALLY busy right now, so that helps a lot.

I have gotten a mixed bag of reactions to the news, from shock to confusion to relief to pity -- and everything inbetween. What has been surprising to me is how invested some of our friends were in "us". A couple of them are having a hard time coming to terms that we broke up. For real. And no, we are not getting back together. I've been really surprised at how many family members were relieved to hear the news. They could tell we weren't a good fit. But they kept their mouths shut. I do not blame them. Telling someone they are with the wrong person is very difficult.

I am worried about the long term effects of this living situation. I have a friend who is in a similar situation. She's been in it for about 6 months now, and they are waiting for the house to sell before they can part ways. Ugh. I feel for her. Anyway, she said to me the other day that she's thinking about getting back together with him. I am worried that as time passes, I may start thinking like that, and fall back to where we were, and end up dragging things out or making a mistake...ugh. So I am a little concerned about my future and my ability to stay strong for a long period of time (we all have our needs -- *ahem*) and still move on despite the fact that I am living with an ex-fiance.

But I have to say that we are both being respectful, mature and flexible. So I'm kind of proud of us. Most people would turn this into a vindictive, painful and petty living situation. We are not.

I don't think he would admit it, even to himself, but I think he feels some relief, too. The pressure to be someone he's not is all gone. He doesn't have to try and understand me or my needs anymore. I think he may be starting to see how this is a good thing. Or maybe I just tell myself that to alleviate some of the mountains of guilt I am experiencing.

More than anything, though, I feel really really alone and lost. For the first time in my life. For two years, I have been a part of something. And now it's gone. Who am I? Why did I put myself in this situation? Am I pushing people away? How do I get in touch with myself again, when so much of my identity is wrapped up with him? What's next?

I guess today is one of those bad days.


Virginia Belle said...

p.s. the ultimate irony? today is my parents' wedding anniversary. Well, would have been, anyway.

The Popcorn Bowl said...

Ok, take a deep breath.

You had good valid reasons for ending it. You wrote them out here in the last post. Refer to them when you are second-guessing yourself.

It's hard having to tell everyone "why". I think part of that brings you back into the relationship and may be stirring up some of the "did I make the right decision" questions. When I broke up with my last BF I was living with, I told my sister everything. I told my family members "we broke up" and if they pressed for more, I said "Just talk to [sister]". That helped.

Don't worry about dating or next steps yet. Give yourself some time and a lot of credit. I still think its better to do now, then finding yourself unhappy 9 years down the road (or at least that is what I told myself when I ended my relationship)

Fluffycat said...

Just a note on getting married over 30 or whatever. Almost all of my friends who are currently married met guys when they were 30 and over, and ended up walking down the aisle and now have kids. It happens. A lot. With far less issues than the media would have you believe.

Ultimately, it is your life and you did the right thing for you. How other people deal with it is really their problem and will show more about them than about you.

Megan said...

Ok-I had to laugh at the wheat and chaff comment because It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia used that last night.

But the last paragraph made me sad. It sucks to feel alone. You have lots of friends and family so you are never truly alone.

Best wishes for you...

NancyM said...

first things:

being comfortable 'roomies' is great - but it won't last. you'll each feel less need to be mindful of the others wishes, and the small game of 'I don't need to do that anymore' WILL begin. Just know that it will. It's perfectly natural, each reclaiming their own independant 'ways'. That said, this 'roomie' situation will not be ideal for very long. Set a target date for resolution. Bite the bullet. Try to deal with it before next Valentine's Day (see? I told you I knew a shade of your pain!)

Don't scramble to get back up on the horse, either. You need some time to decompress, and reassess, and all those 'ess' words. [grin] 32 is NOT an old maid. I divorced at 28, was single (with near-marriage dalliances for 12!! years). I came SO close to a really, really, REALLY, poor choice, because I was a) in a new city, and found a connection b) really loved the affection we had, truly - but c) realized, thankfully, that our images of married roles, and concrete life aspirations were NOT on par. It was a hard discovery, but a good one.*

If you need to, HIRE that PR assistant! Recruit one cousin, or one holiday greeting letter, that gets the message out in one fell swoop. Briefly. Followed immediately about your excitement about your new career opportunity, and how much you're looking forward to the next challenge. Folks will be respectful (to their capability).

Most of all, take the time to reconnect to YOU. You made this decision bc of the core elements of you, so really acknowledge and celebrate them, in your own personal ways, right now. This is who you are, and she is fabulous. She is strong, and insightful, and optimistic, and most importantly, real. True.

And, since you offered up that 'first time ever!' real-life glimpse of this wonderous creature I've called 'VB' for oh, three+ years? She's beautiful, too. Very.


*that almost-the-one? friended me on FB. I hesitated, but did, after a good while of mulling it over. Yes, he's married with a son, but I know that those details have nothing to do with me - they are his Now. I have my own rich, delicious, emotionally challenging Now that isn't as easy to describe in holiday letters to the relatives, but that's not the real goal, is it? Also, the ex-h tried to friend me on FB as well (FB can be somewhat dangerous this way) and that one I replied in email, politely, but declined. Another small reminder that the emotional trials we subject ourselves to are, in many ways, our own choosing. We can always choose NO! [grin]

My absolute best wishes to you, VB, I (perhaps oddly) feel such a sisterly connection to you right now, but it's only in that I want you to feel support for your decisions, hope for the future, and strength against what I know will be waves of doubt that come crashing in, when you're feeling most vulnerable.

You're an incredible young woman. I've known it from the first day I came across your blog, hence why I pop back, now and again. I wish incredible things for you, and having a glimpse of your personality, I have no doubt that they will be. Life is an incredible ride, non?

don said...

My gosh. In the end CN is going to be the one alone and lost. He's crazy to loose you.

Capricorn Cringe said...

It's good that you can get along and be roommates for a while - I know how hard that is. But I also agree with Nancy in that sooner or later, you'll need to make some new plans.

You don't owe your acquaintances anything other than "we weren't right for each other." Your real friends will understand (and maybe saw it anyway).

Be good to yourself :)

cmk said...

In no way, shape, or form can I relate to any of this. I married a year+ out of high school to someone I met on the first day of kindergarten. We knew each other and were friends all through school and didn't even begin dating till after graduation. In two days, we will celebrate our 36th anniversary. I do believe we will be together till 'death do us part.'

We have had times that I never thought we would get through. We came close to splitting up several of those times--and I even left for a few weeks, with plans to stay away for good. There are still things in my husband that make me feel as if we shouldn't have gotten together, but I have adjusted. ;) While the years have brought us closer together, in some ways we are further apart. But we still love each other and are very, very comfortable. I would never want to try and 'raise' another husband after all these years.

All that being said, when I read your post about the breakup, I was concerned. At different times in the post, I wondered if you weren't being a bit 'picky' and not willing to compromise--as if you wanted it all to be perfect and would settle for nothing less. (And we ALL know, there is NO such thing as perfection.) But after reading THIS post, I can tell you are a mature young woman who hasn't rushed into this. You gave this a lot of thought and made a heart-breaking decision. The fact that your family is on board with this and saw the potential problems, should make you feel a bit more confident in your decision.

I have an online 'friend' who is a single mother and has had some disastrous relationships that have devastated her. I will give you the same advice I have given her many times: everything happens for a reason--and we may never know WHAT that reason is. You WILL pull out of this and something better is out there--it just will happen in its own good time. Take care, my dear. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jonathan Zero said...

My parents were in their mid to late 30s when they met and married so it does happen. I think things will be more clearer to you once you and CN are no longer roommates. Give yourself time.

Smug said...

Sometimes meeting the right person takes time. I met my husband when I was close to 30 and we did not get married until after I was 30. We are sickningly happy and expecting our first child in Feb.

We are mature, we know how to be in a relationship with out losing ourselves. We love each other and are ready to be a partner to each other.

This would not have been the case had we met when we were younger. Things happen in the time they are meant to and you will find your true love when you are ready!

We all love you and are here for you - you are not alone!!

teahouse said...

Two quotes:

"Being married to the wrong person is like being in prison. Except you have to cook your own meals."

"Maybe I'll find someone, maybe I won't. But when I look back on some of the loneliest times in my life, there was usually someone lying next to me."

BIG HUGS. Did you check out that website I emailed you about? It was a godsend for me when I was going through something similar.

Oh, and I too married after 30. And I'm so glad I waited. Your heart knows. The relief you feel says it all.

Becky said...

man it just keeps piling up. work being SO busy. getting a raise (yay) but more work. and then secondn guessing yourself..then being sure about yourself. craziness. i hope that soon you get to the point where you don't second guess yourself. and i hope your job lightens up a bit!

Len said...

DO end this roommate situation as soon as possible. If you guys have something like a decent libido, you ARE going to end up in bed sooner or later. 100%. Even if you can't imagine it right now. And that's going to be very, very bad. (Yes, that's my experience talking.)

Sam said...

I started dating TB when I was 32. Don't give up!