Welcome to my last day of vacation or what is more commonly known as Easter. What a relaxing vacation it has been, and I can tell I needed some time to just be me, in my little space in the world, doing what I want to do, when I want to do it, and not having to answer to anyone except myself.
Sometimes being an adult isn't hard. Sometimes it's exactly what we deserve. This time of year is always a bit more difficult because it's the time mom died. Easter came early that year. And my life forever changed when she died. I think she'd be proud of who I am now, but I know she wouldn't be proud of who I was when I was grieving her death. I made a lot of mistakes then, out of fear and loneliness and utter despair in my grieving. Destroyed more than one friendship when I starting drinking too much once the numbness wore off. And trying to hide my fears in a bravado of going out and getting further in debt. Eventually I allowed a married man who I thought was a good friend, take advantage of my vulnerability, and instead of thinking about how his wife might feel, I allowed myself to be treated in a way that I didn't deserve. But you see I wanted to feel something. I was still numb. And the love of my life was strangely absent having found the love of his life he was on a road to marriage and kids that now he . . .well that's his story isn't it? That's his right to say how he's feeling and he does, to me, as often as I let him. Grief at losing all we love and cherish can make us try to do stupid things. Sometimes it can make us feel like cheating with someone we know or a complete stranger will make us feel better about ourselves, or make us feel something. But it's a trap. And not for the first time, in the decades I've know him, I turned him down.
At first his offer to come and see him, I'm assuming on his dime, made me feel something. It was that spark of love and excitement that he used to give me when he looked into my eyes. It was that hopeful little girl of ten or eleven that still believes her prince will come. It was that sigh or relief that maybe this time he means it. Maybe this time he really wants to choose me. (that was Freudian....that last sentence. Hugely so I'll leave it. but what I meant to say, was: Maybe this time he really will chose me. ) But fortunately for me, even at the late hour with little sleep and after a day of good times with friends; I still found the strong willed woman I know my mother raised, to say no. Somehow, no matter how my heart feels, or what it may think it wants, I found the strength to say, "No. That's not what this is about." Because it isn't. He doesn't want me or love me, he wants to use me again, to make himself feel better about his wife cheating on him. Again.
I can't say much for other peoples love lives. Well, that's not entirely true. I can say a lot but it might not mean anything to anyone but me. And it might not be true, because we can only guess at others lives even with the information they give us. But I can speak to what I've lived. And while I believe in giving loved ones a second chance, there comes a time after repeated betrayal, where we have to have a line that has been crossed. A straw that breaks the camels back, if you will. And the amount of self respect speaks to where that line is. In times when I have hated myself that line was so blurred that it didn't even really exist. But now in my life, where I've started to really heal from the rapes and the poor choices in partners, (for me, not for the ones they actually are happy with now), and the guilt at the mistakes I've made or the people I've hurt, even if they don't know I've hurt them. It's the sins we do in secret that are the worse. Even now, when I like myself much more than I used to, I found myself tempted by his offer. And I'm not proud of that. But I am proud that I refused. Lets just say a larger part of me is proud. There is a part of me, that is curled up in a ball in the back of my brain, holding herself and hoping that it all goes away, while she wants to run into his arms. But, see she's young and hopeful and believes the lies of the heart he's telling. She doesn't think about the reality of life or situations, or families broken apart. Hell, she's the part of me that still misses her mom and doesn't believe she can do it alone. She's the little girl I promised in the "Letter to My Twelve Year Old Self" that I would protect and never let feel hurt again. And she's the one that usually runs headlong into that hurt.
Not today, dear one. I will save you from yourself.