Summer is coming. It’s supposed to be the time of easy living, relaxing and when things just slow down. For me, summer has always been the biggest time of change. I picked up and moved to Gainesville in the summer. I left 10 years in Gainesville to move to Houston in the summer. I had an itch to get to Chicago so we turned our 2 year plan into a 1 year plan and made it here. I lost my teaching job in the summer and months later became a nanny.
Recently, summer has signaled a time of intense pain. All I can think of are all the painful anniversaries from the last 3 years alone:
*my friend’s death
*my uncle’s death
*my dog’s death
*the decision to get divorced
Today as I scrolled through Facebook seeing all the “Happy Mother’s Day” wishes, all I could think of was an entire life I gave up. I don’t want to be married to Charlie and I sure as hell don’t want to have kids with him. I can’t help, though, but think about the path my life was supposed to be on. I was supposed to be married and I was supposed to have kids. I quit my job for freedom. I quit my job to bust my ass and retire my husband. The life I have now is so drastically different from what I pictured. I just start to wonder, “What if I’m not supposed to have kids? What if I can’t have kids? What if I was just supposed to love other people’s kids?”
Today was a painful day. I was bored. I was lonely. I didn’t want to do anything productive. By 1:30 pm, I was curled up in bed to nap and stayed there until 3:00. I woke up to extreme hunger pangs and had no desire to get out of bed. I thought back to the days when I was in a severe funk, calling my dad crying. He used to tell me, “Anne. You’re going to get out of bed. You’re going to make your bed and you’re going to eat something.” I did just that. I got out of bed and I made my bed. I heated up some food, no matter how small the meal may have been. Then I left. I walked to the park and just sat in front of my favorite weeping willow again. I thought about all the loss I’ve experienced in the last few years and I just sat and cried.
Sometimes I fear I’m slipping into a depression. I sometimes fear telling others what it truly feels like because what if they think they need to intervene? Then I think about what the last few years have been like and I think “fuck it”. I was silent for almost 5 years. When my uncle died, I silently cried myself to sleep because the man in the bed with me had no desire to comfort me. We went to Minneapolis for the funeral, he was more concerned with going to a soccer game and spending time with his friends. It’s too bad my uncle died at such an inconvenient time for him. When my friend died, I again cried by myself. The funeral was live streamed, which I was so thankful for since I couldn’t make it back to Gainesville. I’ll never forget him sitting in the living room watching soccer while I sat in bed by myself watching it and crying.
The weekend I went home to tell my parents my marriage was falling apart, our dog died. I woke up the morning after I got to Iowa to a text from Charlie, with a picture of our dead dog: “He had a good life.” What the fuck? A couple days later I returned, wondering what our relationship would be like. Yes, he was still sleeping in another room but we went out for dinner and drinks with his friends and actually had a good time. Clearly, we were going to talk about what we wanted to do, right? Nope. We got home and he said, “I’m going to do a couple things on the computer and tomorrow we can talk about the end of the lease.” Wow. That was it. I walked into my room that night, called my dad sobbing (as I had done so many time in my life) and told him it was over. It didn’t matter to me at that point that I had previously kicked him out of our bedroom and was done with our marriage, he was more than willing to give up everything from the previous 4 1/2 years.
To an outsider it may look like I’m in a depression that needs to be addressed. To me, I’m finally feeling all the pain I’ve pushed down for so many years. I’ve been strong. I’ve been strong for longer than anyone should ever have to be strong and day by day I’m choosing to release it.
“Just leave myself to me
cuz I got where I am
by just getting back on my feet
And I am tough as nails”
-Melissa Ferrick, Nebraska