The bad thing about rediscovering myself and being single is that I have been thinking far too much about myself lately. I turn the most simple of conversations into an exploration into "Vanessa." Is that not a symptom of the decline of our civilization? When one thinks about themselves over the needs of others, does that not spell disaster for the collective well-being of the world? These kinds of questions shuffle through my brain, along with more selfish concerns. I feel much like a child--wondering who will care for me, love me, hug me, hold me, talk to me, and entertain me. I wept in the shower this morning because I felt so alone. I should be worried about more global concerns, but those self-indulgent tears were comforting.
When I think about how I was before the ex, I was pretty much on auto pilot. I worried over the daily things, like the children, bills, chores, paying the mortgage; my insides largely ignored. I did not evaluate my marriage in terms of my happiness level, but in terms of "our" mutal happiness. I did not scrutinize my ex-husband too much because a fault in his treatment of me or of our relationship would have been a condemnation of myself as well (after all, I could see the ill treatment, and yet I stayed). (Come to think about it, when I was going to school from 2004-2005, I never really talked to anyone. I was going to school in the day--full time, got 3 hours of time with my sons and to breathe, and then I worked till 11p.m. at night. I did not really speak to anyone.) Now it is all I seem to do. How am I feeling? What do I want? What do I need? It is too much sometimes. I cannot answer my own questions, and yet I cannot retreat back to the automaton that I once was. It is very frustrating, delightful at times, but more than anything, frightening. I do not know who I am, and I do not know who I want to become.
But thinking about me, me, me has been tiresome. I want to get this over with already. I want to stop wondering when I will feel normal again. (Have I ever been normal?) If not normal, at least past this soul-crunching self-awareness. (I do appreciate the irony that this whole blog is just another "me, me" blog, of which I am complaining of.) And so, in my conversations with friends online and in the big bad world, I am trying to insert the following disclaimer, "If you want to talk about something else, please do." Interrupt me, change the subject, tease me, and joke with me. If I open and close my mouth like a fish for a few minutes, or turn red in embarrassment, it's okay. Blushing is my natural state anyway. *grin*
Switching the Gears --- Admist Screetches and Groans
I am not an entity all to myself. My sons are big players in the world of Vanessa. They are the witnesses to all my good and bad moments. The biggest choices in my life revolve around whether they will be adversely affected. I am Mother. I cannot just take off and do what I like, or go out with whomever, or take off on a vacation. Their needs come first. Thinking about myself is detracting from thinking about them, and that is not acceptable.
I am trying to balance this situation. I have started to extend myself further out into the lives of my children. I owe it to them to make sure they are well-adjusted and not scarred irrevocably by me leaving their father. I do not want to sit idly by and let life transform them as it will. I have written long emails to their teachers asking the teachers how they are behaving in class, their academic and social progress, and if they need to share anything with me. They have responded with long emails in return. I have been playing with them more outside, taking them on walks, having them clean the house with me. Just yesterday, I took one of our guinea pigs, George, with me to pick up my son. It made my son shine and beam with pride. Having him feel that way and knowing that I caused that made me soooo happy. In fact, I feel great knowing that I am taking active steps to be more involved.
They are usually bright and happy boys, but there are times when I see the sadness in their eyes when they ask about their Dad, when he forgets to call, or when he breaks promises. It is heart-wrenching. I am working on making sure they are stronger from the experience--not weaker. I am trying to do what so many set out to do when they have children: not make the mistakes of their parents