Sometimes life just kicks your ass from all directions. And if it’s ever happened to you, then hopefully you will understand how it’s taken me what feels like at least 13 years to get back on my blog. While we are talking blogs, let me just say that I am doing two other blogs now, too. And I am doing everything I can to push the mountain… I am doing everything I can to shove past the barriers and oh Lord, all kinds of obstacles too, in order to write and sell books.
Gotta remind you that all I have ever wanted in all of my life (other man my son and…well, I USED to want a husband, too) I want to write books… but on the way to this dream, I have eaten more than my share of the proverbial shit pie. First I went through lots of heartbreak… then I went through a divorce that absolutely felt like it was never going to end… it was my third and final divorce, by the way.
I am 53 years old, too old now to hope for anything even remotely healthy, as far as a relationship with a member of the opposite gender.
I have also made another huge transition… moving from Indiana to Florida would have been a test of the heart at any time, I suppose. But picking up pieces that are still too bruised up and tainted, while living an entirely new life…well it is not for the weak. It is certainly not.
Everything I thought I knew about my life is over now. I have a clean slate. I am seven months in to a new beginning. It’s exciting but scary as hell. And all of that is somehow manageable. I have lots more good days than bad, and that’s really very true!
I am beginning to see old pieces of me. I am still broken. Yes, in many ways, I will probably always be broken. I never saw this latest shit storm coming… didn’t see it til I was already gasping for breath. But I’m a tough old broad- I’ve got that goin’ for me.
It’s a bumpy ride…but that’s okay, too. It makes the travel a lot more interesting.
See my other blog please by visiting: http://www.sherriconer.com
I am SO sorry I have been such a slacker lately…
I’ve gone through huge transitions. Relocating 1200 miles from everything I know…well, it’s not for babies, I’ll just say that.
So I’ve been in Florida for six months, and here are a few things I have learned:
1) There are two categories of drivers in Florida. They are either psychotic or comatose
2) This must be the area where the U-turn was invented. Eight out of 10 vehicles in the turn lane will do a “U-ey” and they don’t give a damn how many times their passengers’ lives flash in front of their faces.
3) When I was recently stopped for speeding, it apparently made the difference between a warning and a ticket when I provided a Florida license. I’m not sure if I got a warning because I’m not a nasty snowbird… or because my sobs got on his nerve.
4) Lots of women in Florida go without a bra… and perhaps only two out of hundreds have nipples higher than their elbows….. the rest of those women…with their mammories bouncing off their knees… well, they’ve just got WAY too much self esteem.
5) I learned NEVER to sit on the beach to watch the sunset… I was attacked by sand fleas… they made my life a living hell for nine days. Next time I go to the beach to enjoy the sunset, I’ll be wearing a wet suit and a gallon of “Off.”
All the way across the parking lot, I whispered, “No big deal. Other people do it. Stop freaking out about it, you big baby.”
Then I stepped inside the restaurant.
“Party of one?” the host asked.
I did not say what I was thinking, which was something like, ‘Does it look like a friggin’party, buddy?
“A booth, please.” I smile as if I do this all the time and love it. I smile like I enjoy being the Lone Ranger.
Or hey, if I am with my friends and their husbands or my parents, then I step from the Lone Ranger role right into the one of Aunt Hazel, right down to wrapping up my leftovers to enjoy later in front of the TV. Let me tell ya, that experience is equally as much fun as this solo shit.
I have a newspaper and a cell phone… I curse myself for wanting to hide behind both of these items. But I do it anyway.
A young couple with a toddler coo at their child and then at each other. It’s sweet. So sweet. And my heart feels like it has been floatring around freely until this moment when it gets stranded for a minute on a jagged piece of 30 years of yesterday. I raised my baby alone. I have no memories of sharing his wonder with his other parent. .. probably because he doesn’t have another parent. He has me.
hmmm… it’s sad but it’s okay. It was a blessing to raise my son alone. I am fiercely proud of the amazing young man I devoted all of my youth to.
Now the Rockwell moment goin’ on behind me is a different story. It’s little bit harder to take, damn it. Grandparents, doting over their granddaughter.
To tell you the truth, that one stings my eyes. I eavesdrop, hearing the grandpa say, “She looks exactly like Joanna did at this age. Doesn’t she?”
I suck in my breath, reminding myself again that the mistakes we make when we are young …well, those turn into the huge sores and scars we carry not just into adulthood but also to the grave…
When I was in my twenties, I never once thought about what my damn photo albums would look like or how my future grandchildren might feel about having only an old solo Granny face, not a couple of wrinkled faces to smile at. I have known for many years that I will feel guilt about how my bad choices hurt my son… I will feel that guilt until I draw my last breath.
I breathe out, telling myself to just stay in the moment. But my memories take a little pre-divorce stroll, anyway. I remember the last face that sat across from mine in a restaurant.
I remember failing over and over again at my efforts to engage him in conversation. It was my third, shitty attempt to be in love, to feel loved. To have someone to share my life with. While I sat there, smothered by the silence between us, he only let me know he wasn’t comatose by occasionally blinking… he always said he wasn’t much of a talker. I knew that wasn’t true, though. He could talk for a long time, smile and even laugh, when he grabbed his cell phone and went outside to enjoy a conversation with someone other than me.
Now I know he simply never had anything to say to me. That’s all. Oh and maybe he feared that making small talk with me would somehow reveal his true self.
More than a few times I wanted to throw the napkin holder at the mute ex’s head. Sometimes I wondered if I might get a rise out of him by stabbing his hand with a fork. I always blamed myself for those deafening patches of distance.
I close my eyes now and remind myself that I just need to keep moving.. get out of those old haunting moments. Who knows where in the hell I am actually going… but I know I will not stick around here in these awful memories of pain.
My food arrives. I try to bury myself in to the newspaper and not think about the fact that I am not even hungry anymore.
I get up to leave and somehow I even force myself not to sprint out the door.
I take the top off my car, blast some favorite tunes and drive around to watch the sun setting slowly across the river.
“You hated the ‘before,” I remind myself. “You hate the now of this, too. It’s difficult to be alone amongst a sea of marrieds. But it could never, ever be so painful as what you have survived.”
I blast Christina Auguilera’s song, “Stronger.” I smile, even though a couple of old tears have dripped off my chin. And I remind myself that wherever I am going, I will be ok.
I am strong like that… and sometimes I need to remind myself that I am stronger now than ever before.
Thinking about that day a few years ago when I was standing in a grocery store aisle, realizing that I had no idea what flavor of ice cream I loved.
I was in that awful state of mind because I had spents years and years buying and doing what everyone else around me wanted, liked or loved.
“Do I like butter pecan? Or am I only picking that because I know other people who like it? What about strawberry? Chocolate? Plain ass vanilla?”
That moment was about so much more than ice cream flavors. It was a reality check… give, give and give some more, still trying harder each time to be loved, appreciated, honored or at the very least, remembered… and that grocery store moment is what happens…
we realize we have no idea what makes our neglected womanly heart beat anymore.
May we always remember never to give more than we get back…ever.
And just to keep a check on things, ask yourself if still know what ice cream flavor YOU like best.
I want to understand why I marry men who …for some reason, continue to date while they also work on other behaviors, such as lying, cheating, manipulating and grossly underestimating my overall intelligence.
It takes awhile for me to catch on, you know. But that is not because I’m a moron…it’s because my heart needs extra time to accept that my damn spouse is perfectly willing to betray me… while I treat the jerk like he’s royalty.
My roots are Southern, which means that we respect and take good care of our men… don’t misunderstand what I am saying, here… our women are NOT dish rags… the men in our family respect and take good care of their women, too.
But in my case, I never got back what I gave.
When I complained about being turned into a serf, one of my husbands told me that a woman “must have very broad shoulders so she can carry the family.” I immediately envisioned an old ox, barely making it across a field, worn down by too much weight.
Another husband occasionally did do nice things for me. But he always reported those thoughtful moments to people in my family… Weird, huh? What other guy buys his wife a coat, for example, then calls his mother-in-law to report it? He was after brownie points… and a whole lot more, let me tell ya!
the poor guy went to a LOT of trouble, moving among my relatives like he was maneuvering on a chess board….
but whoops, stupid Sherri finally put all those confusing pieces into one big ugly puzzle.
I’d say he’s still pissed that he didn’t get what he believed was a slam-dunk. He always bragged that he was a deep thinker.. I should have replaced “thinker” with “plotter” and I would have figured things out much sooner.
So I’ve been wondering…how can I meet my need to nurture but have a guarantee that my man won’t stomp my heart?
It suddenly occurred to me that if I ever again feel that need to be wed (highly unlikely), I would make an amazing prison wife! I can address that need to nurture by writing drippy love letters and sending care packages to my sweet felon. He won’t get on my damn nerve because he won’t ever live with me (I will ONLY choose a “lifer” with no possibility of parole)
he won’t be out cheating since he is behind bars.
maybe I will be lucky enough to marry into a prison family where conjugal visits are allowed. That way, I get to play sex kitten… no matter HOW many Little Debbie cakes I devour. My prison partner will always be hot for me… because I’ll be the supplier of cigarettes, magazines, candy and good old hairpuller sex!!
Yes… I’ve got it figured out now! I’m gonna switch from sociopaths to felons!!
Thinking last night about how to truly let go of old hurts. Wondering if it’s even possible. After nearly two years of this shit, I start to wonder if it’s just a part of my skin.
Maybe an old hurt is a rough place on the heart just like the scar on your knee, from falling off your bike. You touch that ridge of raised flesh and instantly recall how and why the scar got there. Maybe you bitterly remember that your older sibling was the reason you fell. Maybe she promised to hold onto the back of your bike. But didn’t.
And when you wrecked that bike, you fell hard. And now you’ll have that raised pink notch on your knee as a forever reminder.
This morning, I unpacked a few more boxes. And there it was- a little trinket my ex friend brought back to me after one of her elaborate spring break vacations.
“Hmm,” I whispered. “Thought I got rid of everything you ever gave me.”
But then I kinda realized that I won’t likely ever rid myself of the scar she left on my heart. I never knew, until she did this to me, how deeply betrayal from a friend can cut. I never knew how it would somehow just continue to cut…deeper and deeper. Sometimes it happens when you aren’t aware of it.
So I carefully removed the souvenir… one time, it had been a keepsake from a beach I won’t likely ever get to see.
But now it’s a reminder.. a forever kind of reminder, of the first time I have ever been betrayed by another woman- a woman who was supposedly my friend.
Sometimes I still feel like I want to talk to her. Maybe a telephone call would be best, so I can’t act on the urge to slap her mouth off.
But then again, don’t I want to see her eyes? Don’t I want to tell her that I wasn’t really that surprised when he cheated… but that for many awful months, it was very difficult to face the fact that she cheated, too?
I wonder if I want to ask her why. And how… especially when I was her only friend.
How could she find it in her black heart to do to me what she did…
I think about asking her questions like, “When I invited you to the beach and sat there bawling on the sand, telling you that something was wrong in my marriage… why didn’t you have the damn nerve to just look at me and say that one of the problems might just be that you were sleeping with my husband? Why didn’t you just say it?”
But women like that don’t have the courage to do the right thing. If they did, they wouldn’t be climbing into bed with another woman’s man, now would they?
For such a long, long time damaged women like me feel like fools. We have been duped. We can’t quite find a way to get up again, stand upright and decide how to put something like this behind us.
I felt that way for a long, long time… and then I realized that it wasn’t really my place to wear the dunce hat.
I’m not the chick who has no friends.
I’m not the one who has to live with what I did to the one person who befriended me and accepted all of my quirks.
I am also not the wife who continues to be betrayed just because I have no strength to be anything else.
This morning when I first saw that memory, I wanted to break the trinket… into a million pieces. Instead I stuck it in a bag for Goodwill donations. That way, someone will find it one day, take it home and make it special. That little trinket won’t have any power anymore, to bring on bad memories.
Someone will love it..because the attachment to where it came from is gone.
So I stuck it in a bag and the moment I hid that memory from myself, I felt free again.
“There’s a beautiful strength now in knowing exactly what he was and what you were… what both of you still are,” I whispered to the past. “And by the way, I hope you weren’t stupid enough to think you were the only one he was diddlying around with.”
My thoughts go back to the day I filed for divorce, the day I flew to Florida to somehow put myself back together so I could face how my life was no longer the one I believed it to be… and the day that “friend” called, acting like she had no idea that I left… pretending like she was in shock. ha I could even hear her making notes on the other end of the phone for her Casanova… now really, did you believe he wanted you with any more sincerity that he wanted me? At least with me, he had a big elaborate plan for how I would one day “pay off.”
Lucky for her I wasn’t strong enough during that call to feel the pain of telling her, “I knew you were one of them.”
Lucky for her too, that she never called back again. She never called back, of course, because she knew that I knew.
I hope she nearly choked on my tears. I hope guilt is hot oil bubbling every single moment of her miserable life.
But sometimes I also feel sorry for her. She wasn’t a good mom. She was a lousy wife, too. Maybe she truly believed the serial cheat would give her something better than the shit life she lived- in her fancy house that is empty of love.
It will someday be enough, just to run my fingers across that deep jagged scar on my heart and recall the two people who put it there.
It will be enough to recall that I loved him with a pure heart. That I adored his children. That I wanted so badly just to be in a safe place where my story was finally peaceful. That I believed in him a lot more than he ever deserved.
On those days, I will take a deep breath and whisper a thank you to God that I made it out of that blackness. That I saved myself, even on the days I didn’t really want to. That I’m not the person who has to just wait around powerless, scared to death for the day Karma shows up to kick my ass.
that realization makes look in the mirror and say, “You never deserved what they did to you. But look at all your blessings because you turned yourself around in the opposite direction. You’re gonna be just fine.”
What an amazing day… feeling more balanced than I have in such a long time.
Reminded today how strong we are… our gender gets hurt so frequently, so deeply. And yet we eventually surface, don’t we? Even when we aren’t exactly aware of when or if… one day we just come up for breath and stay up!
Today was that day for me.
What a wonderful reminder for me and for all the other women I know who have been so deeply wounded by simply loving a person who hurt them.
We know there is a day…there will always be that one partticular day.. when all of those open sores stop oozing and stinging constantly.
We get another chance to move more sweetly into opur true, authentic self. Another chance to be all that we survived and so much more.. wise, strong, determined.
I think I’m happier today than I’ve been in a long time… because somebody out there invented “divorce.” ha And I found the courage to quit sinking more into the pit of deceit. … and go… just go.
…women are so strong… we must never forget that about ourselves. We must never forget to celebrate our own courage, either. We are unstoppable!
Hmmm… realizing today how much I need to be around water… It calms me. It intrigues me. It keeps me feeling like at least one something in my life is known and constant. I need to see the water glisten in the sun and dance with a storm. No matter what, the ocean is constantly in motion. And the river is the same way. There is always movement. It is the one something you and I can always count on.
but water is mysterious sometimes, too. Where does one little wave begin? We have no idea where it’s going, either. Does it fade away once it bumps the sand? Or does it all begin again?
when I fear that I can’t rely on anyone or anything anymore… I fall in love for awhile with the ocean and the river…
No matter what, the water keeps moving- going- rising- falling and beginning again.
Just exactly like the rest of life.
No sleep again last night…but that’s ok. Just as long as no one looks at my eyes, I’ll be good!
Going to look again at the repo condo. Would love to know that I have a permanent place to be, but wish my parents didn’t have to help me get it. Hoping every day that my books take off. Who wouldn’t want a few laughs? Right. But the marketing part is really a challenge.
Oh well… when I look back at what a mess I was this time last year, I remember that I am okay. More than okay. I’m not bawling and squalling anymore. I’m not feeling lost and helpless. Yep…I am okay. Whatever happens, I can say, “Bring it on, Baby.” I can bounce again, right over the land mines of life. What a blessing!
Good grief, I gotta address my realky bad eating habits. And I gotta do it soon…no foolin’ around, either.
Went to the doctor yesterday and she sd I needed to live by an anti-inflammatory diet… vut out anything white and anything sweet…which translates to “anything you hate, you suddenly gotta eat.”
When I was working as a journalist, I worked crazy, 70+ weeks and missed a lot of meals. So I got in the very bad habit of grabbing assorted boxes of Little Debbie cakes and stuffing them on the floor board behind my carseat. Whenever I blindly reached behind me I was always surorised by what I found- oatmeal cakes, fudge rounds…all the good stuff.
And now…they want me to eat celery and lima beans and all kinds of other yucky stuff. And I gotta tell you, I just don’t know how to pull rthis off. I just don’t know if I can. I am already pissed off about it. And I would tackle The Hulk for a cookie- no joke.