May I get emotionally naked and honest with you? (Stand clear, my Spanx may ricochet.)
Every year I have a really hard time emotionally as the anniversary of 9-11 approaches, and in the aftermath. I think it's depression, albeit with a small "d."
It's something that hit a lot of Americans very hard, even people who aren't Americans. A lot of people died, much rage and loss and tragedy unfolded in front us, in real time on the TV screen.
But, it's been 11 years. I did not lose a loved one; I never worked in the Towers (though one summer I lived not too far from them). I decided to deconstruct it and figure out WTF is going on, that this anniversary should plunge me into a blue funk, any more than other painful anniversaries. Even though I avoid, as much as possible, the media coverage and History Channel specials.
When 9-11-2001 happened, I was working at a job that once had been okay/good, a mommy track job, but my boss had been growing erratic and weird (alcoholic, perhaps) and it had certainly become a Hostile Work Environment. (I was fired/laid off in May 2002.) When 9-11 happened, I'd been in love with a married man for roughly a year.
Yeah, I know, that sounds horrible. Well, when I started seeing him, *I* wasn't looking for anything serious. And he'd been separated and living apart from the wife for over 7 years. They had two kids together, so they weren't divorcing for insurance reasons, at least that was the official story. Anyway, I truly didn't feel like I was poaching, at the time I started dating this man. She had kicked him out, and he told me, for the first 2-3 years he was devastated, and wanted to reconcile, and after that, he began to truly enjoy his freedom.
I continued to see other men, and let Married Guy know I was seeing other guys. Realistically, I was head over snatch in love with the guy, and I'm pretty sure he knew it; I was just trying, fruitlessly, to keep some emotional distance.
BUT... during the months leading up to 9-11, it seems that wifey experienced a change of heart and wanted to reconcile, and they did have those two kids together... I tried to hang back - I wanted him to choose me because he loved me, not because I was pressuring him.
So, when 9-11 happened, he and I did a fair amount of emailing back and forth (this was before texting, 'member?). I wanted nothing so much as to feel his arms around me. But, I was super-understanding, and offered, before he even asked, that of course he needed to go be with his kids and his estranged wife. Brave and self-sacrificing, that was me.
Or, did I push him away? I may never know. But, eventually I met up (again) with my OCPD now-ex boyfriend, and he seemed... available. So I broke up with Married Guy, finally, and fully committed myself to OCPDman. Our first 9-11 anniversary, together, OCPDman held me tight, told me he loved me.
But once we moved in together, it seemed the more I needed him, the farther away he pushed me, emotionally. We would watch the anniversary news recaps of 9-11, all those people in the offices and planes, knowing/fearing they were about to die, calling their husbands and wives and parents and leaving a last message of love. I wanted somebody to love, too.
I had somebody, who, on paper, I could love, and who loved me. But it sure didn't feel that way when he wouldn't hold me, when he told me he thought I was fat, stupid, sloppy.... the list went on and on.
This last month was the third 9-11 since I've moved out from OCPD ex. And right now, when that anniversary rolls around, in addition to the pain and horror of watching those towers come down, I am reliving the hurt/pain of being pushed away by not one, but two men. Men I deeply loved.
Maybe it feels different to them, but that's what it feels like to me.
My parents are dead, my siblings have their own partners, even my offspring has a partner. I got nobody.
I was SO tempted to try to contact him, to show him the way out. To Rescue him.
But, I did hold back. That is not my job, now - that was never my job. And I realize that I need to figure out how to be happy on my own. Even without somebody to Rescue. Even on emotionally challenging anniversaries like 9-11. Even if [gulp!] that means I am alone [add alone-alone-alone reverb here] for the rest of my life.
And I'm not that old, dammit!
|Sundaes (Photo credit: On the White Line)|
I "get it," intellectually. But oh, it is so hard to move that knowledge from head to heart.
I am getting to the point, now, where I want someone to hold, to kiss, to be with... and it would be SO easy so slot an ex into that role, rather than hold out for someone new.
I am, however, resolved to hold out for the real thing. There's a reason why all the relationships with my various exes didn't work - why go there again? I am clinging to the memory of my aunt, who married a widowed man at age 59 and enjoyed more than 25 years together. If she could find true love at age 59, there's hope for everyone, IMO.
And if it's not true love - for now, at least, I'd rather be alone than accept a cheap substitute.