Jumping ahead…

May 7, 2010

It seems strange to me to call a 48 year old man my “boyfriend”.  How odd!  Though I am only 35, having been married and having 4 children makes this very uncomfortable for me.  And the word “boyfriend” does not even begin to explain the meeting of hearts that is our relationship. 

I have heard, time and time again in my life, of brides saying they “just knew” they wanted to be with their intended.  I never had this experience.  My experience was more along the lines of trying to convince myself that I knew.

Now I know.  Boom!  Bam!  Pow!  I knew very shortly after our conversations started that I loved him more than anything in my life, that this love was special (what an inadequate word!), irreplicable, irreplaceable, unfathomable.  I have that now…I now have the “just knowing” feeling.  My every thought is of him.  My day waits each day to see him.  My night waits for my eyes to open and see his face.  My ears wait to hear the lullaby of his voice.  I tried for a long time to be sensible about love.  Love makes no sense.  There is no sense in not being able to breathe when you are apart from another person.  The modern day woman would scoff at me…what is this fairy tale I think I am in?  Fairy tale it may be, it is my fairy tale and it does not have a happy ending, but it is instead a happy beginning in my life.  For the first time in my life I look at moments as precious…I look at my relationship and not my to do list.  My floors are not getting cleaned often enough, but he knows how much I love him and that is what is important.  He is teaching me and I hope I am teaching him, we are learning every day the value and gift of loving another so much that we MUST be together.  Back to the modern day woman…modern psychology or life coaches or whathaveyou would tell me my identity cannot be so wrapped up in another person, that I must make my SELF happy, etc etc.  What a load of garbage.  I am a firm believer now, the other half of your heart exists somewhere in the world and you are not alive, truly alive, until you find it.  Maybe it is not another person…maybe the other half of your heart is an animal or a career or anything else, I don’t know, but it exists and you must get to know yourself and wait for it, it will come to you.  Stop trying to force love, get away from the notion that you must have a marriage to a certain person who looks a certain way or has a certain career or comes along when you are at a certain age.  Follow your heart, follow it because you will find sublime joy one day.  Perhaps my joy is exaggerated because of all the years I spent convincing myself that love is not about feelings but about a choice…what an eye opener to realize it is about BOTH!  Love is out there that makes you feel good every day, that lifts you up, that cares for you and supports you and loves that receives your care exists!

Everything in my life is improved.  My self care, my love for my children, my appreciation of what is important and what bs I will and will not put up with, my ability to stop and smell the proverbial roses…everything is different and good and easy.  No money to pay bills but so what?  That strikes me as an easy hurdle to overcome, this is particularly strange as money trouble previously threw me into a state of panic beyond reason…you have your own things that get to you, I’m sure.  Nothing is difficult except the waiting during the hours we are not together…those hours crawl at a pace that would put the slowest, heaviest tortoise in the world to shame…and the moments we are together I just want to stand time still…STOP…let me have this moment for a little longer, but they fly and flutter faster than the wings of a hummingbird.  Oh my Eddie….I love you is so small but it is the biggest thing in my heart and in my life.  If only all the people who said “I love you” really, truly knew what it meant!!!

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1999

February 22, 2010

A little note…I am not doing well at giving myself time to write as I intended.  I need to work on this!

Happy Christmas!  This year has been one of changes for us.  Our baby girl turned 1 this summer, but the summer was difficult as we split up for 4 months.  It was agonizing to watch my baby girl as she missed her daddy.  I chose to see someone else…someone I thought would solve all my problems.  I came to the realization that another person cannot do that for me, that I had a lot of work to do on myself.

This fall as the weather turned cold, I became overwhelmed with providing a home and heat for myself and my daughter, and in the heat of my overwhelmed state returned to her daddy.  We have started this Christmas season happy.  We attended a couples retreat and I fell in love with God and accepted Christ.  Also, I told him I wanted to marry him.  I do not see now that my euphoria is about my relationship with God and God alone, not about my happiness with this mortal man.  I wish so badly now that I could have seen it then…but again I return to knowing that I had to be with him to birth my children.

Not much is different this year.  I spent the first half of the year focused on my baby girl and trying to ignore my nagging feelings about her dad, the summer months taking action to end things, and the fall and beginning of winter returning to my relationship with him.

1998

January 27, 2010

Happy Christmas!  I hope this holiday season finds you all well.

We welcomed a baby girl in July of this year.  She is perfect.  I am amazed that the moment I held her I was completely in love.  She is 5 months old now, and like her perfectionist mother just has to do everything early.  She sat up at 4 months, so strong!  I stayed home for 6 weeks after having her, and am blessed to be able to cut my work hours in half and take her along with me each day.  We are inseperable.

Another important part of having my baby girl is that suddenly my viewpoint of my own mother is changing.  I am realizing that it is impossible to do everything perfectly all the time as a parent.  This has given way to forgiveness in my heart and we become closer and closer, my mother and I.  I am completely floored by this experience, motherhood….I suddenly realized that the way I feel about my own daughter is a mirror to how much my mother loves me.  I am so grateful for this experience, so grateful for this realization.

We bought a house this year and moved on Thanksgiving weekend.  The house shares a driveway with my mother’s house, and we are able to be actively involved with one another and my daughter has a close bond with her grandma already.  My mother is helpful beyond words, and magically seems able to balance helpfulness without butting in.  I know this is a rare thing among mothers and I love her for it.

The house, while structurally sound, needs a lot of help in the cosmetic department….it’s just got a lot of ugly.  The work seems slow and I am sometimes overwhelmed.  Years from now I will look back and think the time flew by, and be impressed with all of the work we did.  I know I am blessed…not many people at this time are buying their first home at the age of 23.

We are still not married.  I am not exactly happy in the relationship but I deny myself that and move forward.  Our lack of connection in any emotional or mental level is becoming apparent but I push it away repeatedly.  His rages show themselves a few times, he becoming angry with me because the house is not clean enough…that’s a big topic.  I confess that I don’t know what I am doing.  I don’t really know how to be a homemaker and a working mother.  I am learning, and my drive to do things well will eventually overcome and I will get it right.  Mostly.  Right now, though, I put my baby girl’s needs above those of the house and it does show.  I am working on the balance, and it will teeter back and forth for a few years until it becomes manageable for me.  It does not occur to me at the time that when we are both working, perhaps we should also both keep house.  I take it on myself, continually mentally beating myself up about my imperfections.  I use the words he speaks in this brain-lashing…and he will tell me over and over again that it is all in my head, that he doesn’t expect perfection.  If I knew this year that it would take me 11 years to see his manipulation, I would tuck and run now.

God has a different plan for me though, including more children.  My hindsight, while helpful now, also allows me to see that I had to be with him to birth the amazing people I have as children today.

God Bless, and best wishes for the coming year.

1997

January 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!  This year has been full of changes in my life.  I started the year still in a relationship with an insecure alcoholic and spent the first half of the year trying to make him love me and traveling back and forth between Atlanta and Baltimore.  I spent a one week vacation with him in the spring in Atlanta and had a wonderful time, returning to Baltimore expecting to move to Atlanta at any time.  He continually blew me off and even stopped answering my calls or calling me, and I could only assume it was over between us.

On the 4th of July, I met up with a man I have known casually for years, a good friend of my brother’s.  We hit it off and spent a nice night watching the fireworks and getting to know one another.  At the time it seemed like everything he said was agreeable and/or thought provoking.  I was excited, as we often are when we meet with someone new who stirs up our fermones.  He romances me, sends me flowers and tries to speak my love language, doing little things for me like washing my car.  Why doesn’t it occur to me at the time that he only does this once during the summer and that should tell me something?

Things progressed quickly between us, we discussed the future very early, going so far as to discuss a baby name for a female child.  By November I was pregnant.  I entered into this Christmas season frightened.  Only 22 in years and miles younger in emotional maturity, I am sharp enough to know I am not ready and am unsure of committing to this man.  He wants to marry me, but I am refusing…I cannot marry him simply because I am pregnant, I must marry because I want to.  I am hesitantly moving forward with him.  His friend has abandoned their apartment and I have moved in.  I am steadily piling pounds onto my previously size 4 body and it disgusts me.  I cannot stop eating.  He works all the time, sometimes for 24 hours straight, and I am alone.  My friends are busy finishing college and pursuing higher degrees, and I am working full time managing the company I have worked at since I was 15.  I love my job, but it becomes a chore when I am incredibly tired and increasingly impatient.

I enjoy this first Christmas together, however.  His family is welcoming to me and even gives us a car seat as a Christmas gift, relieving us of a major expense.  Receiving that gift, I think, starts my excitement and my need to gather things for the coming baby.  Time is crawling by, each day an eternity.  This follows for all my pregnancies to come.

I wish you all great happiness for the coming year.  You will see, in a few years, that while I kill myself to be Suzy Homemaker and Martha Stewart, my good intentions will fade and while for many years I will go crazy making handmade cards and remembering all of your birthdays, it will eventually wane and the job of running a home, a business, and raising children on my own will overcome my need to be perfect.  You will also see that this man will become one of my children, instead of being the partner I am convinced he will be.