A year!

I’ve now been living in my little rented cottage for a year.  So much is different from the trauma of a year ago and yet some of it is the same!  I’ve gained readers here on my little blog. I’ve lost readers – those whose lives have changed for whatever reasons.

The way I write has changed!  The focus hasn’t though!

Do I still think about Alex?  Clearly yes or I wouldn’t pose the question.  Do I miss him?  Yes and No.  I’m honest.  No point in not being!

Anyway in honour of my year here in this wonderful little home.  This building which has somehow protected me these last 12 months when protection is what I needed.  Protection from myself as well as from the all the pain,  I’ve thrown together a rather bad attempt at a few poetic lines!!!

A year is so much more than the days it contains
A year passes fast and heals – though some sadness still remains.
A year moves us from where we were to this place of here and now
We blink, it happened. It’s surprising to question “How?”

So be careful, dear friend, the one who visits here
Time moves fast – soon it will be now again –  this time next year.
Although we wish what happened hadn’t been the way it was
We must grab time and use it – Not say “I can’t….because….”

The spotlight

Finally this morning I experienced a feeling of incredible relief.

Relief that the spotlight of “marriage failure” has been removed from on me and transferred to the latest casualty – my brother and his wife.  (Not that I wish it on them).

But that’s how it’s felt these last 32 months.  As far as the people living close to me – my neighbours, family and friends,  I’ve been the one who has been the local casualty.  The one who needs nurturing and caring for.

The one in the spotlight.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been stunned and humbled by their kindnesses and concern. The way they’ve been there for me to help me through. The hours they’ve spent listening to me go over and over the same ground – especially that first year of indecision and trauma – as I  floundered around lost in my own despair.  Then the encouragement and nurture as I fought my way through to where I am today.

The fact they thought I was worth it.

But today the sense of relief is incredible. A big weight has suddenly gone – one which I hadn’t realised was there – I am no longer weighed down by being the latest statistic.  Someone else has taken my place.

I have now moved up a rung on the statistical ladder.  I am a survivor.

In this new place I feel released from the limelight.  I have learnt so much.  And actually hope I still have more to learn.  I’m finding it all too fascinating to stop now!

I can turn to my sister-in-law and listen and listen.  I can empathise like no-one else near her can.  I know what it’s like.  The fact that my experience is still so new.  OK I’m not in her shoes. She will react differently to the way I did.  We are, after all, all unique. We will react in our own unique way. But hopefully  I can help.

I also know what NOT to say or do!

I hope she allows me to be there for her.  I don’t envy her.  I wouldn’t wish the spotlight on her at all.   But I hope her ‘journey’ is enlightening as mine has been and still is.

I still have my goals to resolve – which with Stephen’s help and guidance I hope will truly make me buzz.

Today for the first time I felt that my own personal mountain top is finally in sight.  And when I get to the top I’d like a new spotlight turned on and a banner across the sky saying “Sensational Survivor” – because for my sister-in-law (and hopefully my brother) that might be the incentive to get the help I feel will help them both!

There’s a space..

There’s a space between me and the rest of the world. At least that’s how it feels.  That gap which separates me from those who appear to have what I’ve lost.  I say appear because who am I to say if they have or they haven’t.  I don’t know what goes on behind their closed doors.

I have no idea if they sleep side-by-side each night content and happy just to be together or are they separated by their failings to communicate and protect each other. Still in the same bed but left with the isolation of being close and yet not. That feeling that ‘something is missing’ , something which they had but now seems to be a shadow of its former self.

People can be just as lonely together as I’m feeling apart.  They can go through their lives not meeting each other’s needs and failing spectacularly to understand each other deeply and yet still remain together and give all the appearances of being happy.  Maybe they are happy. That’s not for me to judge.

But there are those who do have true happiness.  Passionate and loving marriages.  Not perfect ones.  Will someone define perfect for me!  I know my marriage wasn’t perfect. But Wow it wasn’t bad.  At least that’s what I thought at the time.   What’s been a bit tough to accept these last few days is if the ‘new me’ I discovered this week, had been around in my marriage would Alex have gone?  And of course there is no answer to that!  But there again maybe the ‘new me’ couldn’t have happened in my marriage because to be truly me I had to feel safe.

Well I feel safe now!!  So…………………..???

And knowing what I now know, understanding what I now understand and believing in what I now believe, I know things can be different for me. My outlook is a great deal ‘sunnier’.

Yes in all honesty it makes me very sad – and mad – that I couldn’t be looking at this with Alex committed, as I am,  to doing, understanding and believing in a different way, but together.

But that’s not to be and I do know that. And that’s where the space is.

Now I want to close the space between me and the rest of the world.  And by that I mean I’d like to have what I think they’ve got!! Rather than the reality of what some of them have actually got!

And I know that sounds selfish because it appears I want to cherry-pick. But maybe, thanks to Stephen’s guidance and persistence, I now have the tools to be able to do that!!  I hope so.

And anyway we’re all entitled to dream!

How do you stop loving someone?

This is the question that seems to dominate my mind.

All the rest I’ve learnt over the last 6 months I understand and can relate to.

I do respect and care for me.  I know and want to live by my values (those that I’ve understood!).  I  know 100% I cannot go on as I am.  I know 100% that there were issues in my marriage that needed addressing and weren’t.  I know 100% that Alex has issues he has to address on his own and in his own way.  I know he is still seeing the OW.  I’m also pretty sure he isn’t that happy.

I don’t know if he is happier away from me or not. Maybe it’s just different (only he truly knows).   I don’t know if he has confronted his own ‘demons’ and seen a route out to being the person he wants to be.  I don’t know what he’s thinking or doing.  And actually that’s OK.

I know all these things.  But what no one can tell me is how in hell’s name do I stop loving this person I married and care for unconditionally.

Perhaps I do just acknowledge it (Yes AJ I have taken your suggestion on board!) and allow that warm glow that I get when I think of him just be the warm glow I have and accept it as the part of life I cannot change as it is part of me – as much as being funny is part of me! – as much as seeing double meanings in too many situations is part of me! – as much as my loving, giving, caring nature is part of me. So it’s not because I don’t want to change it, not because I refuse to change it, but because it is the way it is.

Maybe this is like grieving when someone dies.  Time is the healer and time and time alone will allow that glow to be something one accepts and remembers with great fondness.  I don’t want to live in the past. We are all living in the present and the present is what it is today.

The future will be what I make it – as I learnt on that momentous day when the 6′ and 30″ exercise showed me what I could have.  The day I left my Chilean Mine!

Maybe I do come across as ‘stuck’.  I don’t feel so.  If I am then maybe the glue is there for a reason.

I do know I am in a far better ‘place’ than I was 6 months ago.  I’ve come a long way from last August.  I know this as I feel it within me – and everyone tells me so too!  So life is OK!  It can get better.  It will get better.  It has to – this is just a staging post!

(And for those who are interested this is where Alex and I ended up – and yes the comment is mine!:  click )