Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Taking Myself On A Trip

Made it past the anniversary without causing a huge commotion.  I sidled around it pretty handily, and managed to effect the non-celebration I thought appropriate without tipping my  hand to the husband and starting a "discussion."   I've had it with discussions, at least for the time being.  They don't seem to get us anywhere...and I'm pretty sure he doesn't really hear what I have to say, so what's the point?

MY anniversary present to myself is going to be to take some of my hard-earned Scandi money to the beach and spend it on me.  I'm checking into what I hope will be a cozy little cabin in the woods on Saturday evening...all by myself.  It's not that we didn't get any vacation time this summer...but everyone else's vacations did not really qualify as R & R for me.  My need for solitude kept getting me into trouble.  In fact, it was during one of those very vacations, when I was icily informed that I needed to "clean up my act," that I was smacked in the face with the clear vision of the reality of my relationship with the husband.  And since then, I have craved time away where I could do anything I wanted/needed to do without pissing anybody off or getting into trouble.  So, this I am doing next week. 

It occurred to me, today, that I might treat this as a spiritual retreat.  I have gone away with that intention before, only to drop it like a hot rock the minute I was alone and spend the time, instead, in glorious self-indulgence.  But I have had a few clarifying thoughts about my marriage in the past few days, and I think perhaps I need to do some individual spiritual work on the issues if I want any chance of being happy--or at least, not unhappy, and feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin--within the boundaries of my lifetime commitment to...whatever it is. 

For example, the concept of "forgiveness" has begun to play around the recesses of my mind.  This has been a pivotal issue in our inability to mend our fences and go forward.  I finally realized, and he admitted as much, that he has not forgiven me for the things I did and said as the sleep-deprived, overmatched, going-down-for-the-third-time monster I had become during the cafe years.  I have apologized over and over again, taken the blame...tried sincerely to "man up" to my part in the destruction of our relationship.  And yet...here we are.

But I realized two things:  1.)  I apologized.  But I never actually asked for forgiveness.  Is saying, "I'm sorry" enough?  Is the request for forgiveness understood if the question is never asked?  And 2.)  Have I forgiven him?  I know the answer to that one:  No, I have not.  This is complicated by the fact that he has never apologized.  Not for his part of the cafe craziness, nor for things he has said since that have rocked my world and hurt me so deeply I did not know what to do with myself.  He doesn't say he's sorry.  When I finally break into little pieces and tell  him how much he has hurt me, his response is usually something to the effect that it is my fault that he has done or said this hurtful thing.  "If  you weren't so (blank) I would never have done (blank.)"   He makes it very clear that I bring unhappiness down on my own head, and he is only peripherally responsible for any of it. 

Still, I understand that I can't cry and moan that he won't forgive me, if I can't find it in my heart to forgive him.  There can be no weights and measures brought into the picture.  Either there is forgiveness, or there isn't.  A difficult, difficult realization to come to.  And more difficult, still, to put into action.  In fact, I'm not sure I can do it.  But if I don't, I know I'll be condemning our marriage to be forever "less than..."  Less than either of us started out hoping it would be, I'm convinced. 

I also have given some thought to how my present condition of social isolation is coloring my expectations of our relationship.  If he is the only live human being (as compared to ethereal connections) with whom I interact all day, most days, that puts an awful lot of pressure on the interaction.  It really isn't fair to expect one person--life partner or not--to bear the burden of being another person's entire community.  And I honestly don't know how to address that situation, either.  Certainly, going away by myself takes some of the day in, day out burden off of him.  But it does nothing to cure my isolation; it merely takes away my one connection and leaves me with...me, myself and I.  Perhaps that can be a good thing, if I use the time to do some productive thinking, and maybe planning. 

On the other hand, it almost feels like a golden opportunity for me to sink deeper inside my own head.  But I really can't let that happen.

Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know that can take a happy thing like a week at the beach to do anything you want, and turn it into a problem.  ;)               

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