I thought I was done caring. I thought I was done crying. I thought I was done with emotion of all kind. I thought I had breathed a sigh of relief and moved on.
I was fucking wrong.
Today I had one of those great feeling, all out, ugly cry, panting, sobbing kind of breakdowns that can only come from real hurt. I didn’t expect it. I wasn’t doing anything particularly special. Hell, I was folding a blanket. The next thing I know I’m doubled over on the couch wondering how my life got to this point.
That isn’t the real question or the real reason I ended up on the couch. It wasn’t even the real reason I was crying. I was bawling because I suck at processing emotions. Always have. Always will, unless I seek professional help. Here’s the truth: I’m sad. I’m hurt. I’m jealous. I’m afraid. I’m confused. I’m hopeful. I’m relieved. I’m tentative. Yeah. That’s the perfect word. Tentative.
Nothing is assured. Nothing is certain. Even past events have a way to come back at you with a new and surprising intensity and whack you in the back of the head until you see it in a totally new light. And that’s damn unfair. Why can’t the past just stay in the past? The future is scary enough to have to also worry about that person you used to be (or worse, that person you used to love). And that thing about the past is that its attack is always a surprise. It’s literally coming up from behind and odds are you will be caught unawares.
Looking back over the years which I have obviously been doing lately I have noticed a few things that really stand out. Small things mostly, like when I proposed or our wedding night. How can these be small things, you ask? Because I wasn’t present for either, really. I was detached. I was there, but I wasn’t. And it wasn’t that I HAD been there and then checked out mentally. Rather I just failed to show up. Why? I didn’t know what I was going to do when I got there. I had no idea I even wanted to go there at all. But there I was and I knew I had to react. So I proposed. And on my wedding night I fell asleep. Yup. I fell asleep. I didn't know what else to do. Sex just didn’t seem the right thing to do at the time and we couldn’t talk about anything. We had no money to go anywhere. So I slept. I was there but I wasn’t.
I could bore you with hundreds of these same moments over the last eight years but they all have that one thing in common: my failure to commit. Both to myself and to my situation. That is no way to live a life and I know that. Now. I doubt that this flash of brilliance would have changed anything in this particular case - sometimes relationships are just doomed, I suppose - but it couldn’t have hurt.
I’ve always said that I’m the most self aware asshole you’d ever want to meet and I guess I still am. I know I have my flaws and over the years I’ve more than accepted them, I’ve turned them into part of my personality. Like, hey, look! It’s Bob! And he’s being a dick today but at least he’s cracking jokes at someone else’s expense! That’s who I have become. Why? Because I wasn’t capable of making a change in me that I knew would have to be made. I would have to commit to something better than I was and something better than I am.
I know now that I need to shed that tentative label I’ve attached to every fiber of my being and embrace something new. Something scary. Something that will be more uncomfortable than anything I’ve ever done. I’m going to have to change.
I guess if this divorce forces me to face anything in a positive way it should me. Me. Who I actually am at my core. Of course, there’s only one problem with this. I have no idea who that is. But I do know one thing for certain: he isn’t going to tentative for long!