alot of nothing to say
sometimes i feel like i've go so much to say, and so i come here, open a page, and....nothing comes out. i don't know exactly what it is i'm feeling right now...that isn't flowing out onto the page the way i expected, but since i'm here...i figure i'll write a bit about my marriage. i tend to avoid the topic, for many reasons...but it's part of this road i'm on....wherever it's going...at least at this point.
it took me years to realize that my husband isn't good at deep. meaningful conversations. i know that sounds stupid, so i'll try to explain? we aren't each others first spouses. we were both previously married, with children. so, when we got together, "family" was an immediate thing that we sort of just fit our "dating" life into, if that makes sense. we never had those periods of getting to know each other, "without" the involvement of our kids, and our lives were very busy with our kids. but we got along well, had a great time together, the kids blended well (in the beginning), and we were each well loved by the others children. we just "fit". we were together four years before we got married, so nothing was rushed. but in those four very busy years, we we had already fallen into the routines that happen when homes are busy with children...most things revolve around them and most conversations are about who needs to be where and when and who's getting them there and back. parenthood. 6 kids between us, so alot of activity.
once we married, we moved in together, of course. his two kids stayed with their mom, and three of my four kids lived with us. my oldest child was already out of the house (he's a story....or many stories, that will eventually come out here...for now, i'll just say, it's complicated). anyway....my three still kept us very busy, but life was easy, and i felt like we had a loving supportive home, that was good for my kids and helped them find the happy places in their own lives. of course in those years, there were issues, falling outs, medical dramas....all the normal things with any family....but we were always good at getting thru things together. i guess what i'm trying to say is that i feel like i had a good marriage...and a healthy family. life was pretty good.
until a few things began happening at the same time. my oldest child (the complicated one) caused some issues the were the beginning of my descent into depression. i really wish i had a life story out here already, cause it would make so much more sense to understand why this happened, if the history between my son and i was more well known. but in any case...he'd come to stay in our home, during a rough patch in his already very rough life. my oldest daughter had recently had her first child and was having complications with the father of the baby, and it was quite stressful. i'm not and have never been the kind of mom who is able to step back and accept that these issues are for them to work out. i don't but in....that's not what i mean. what i'm saying is that when they hurt....i hurt. like most moms. and maybe i hurt too much, because at times in my life when my kids have struggled....i've found myself in small bouts of depression over it. almost like i take on their feelings? anyway...
these two things...my son coming home and my daughter struggling, both came on the wings of a previous depression pretty common to alot of moms....the beginning of empty nest syndrome. my son had been gone, my oldest daughter had moved out, my second daughter was in love and soon to be married, and my youngest was in high school...pretty self sufficient at the thime. i went thru a hard period of "not being needed" after being SO needed for so many years. after devoting pretty much my entire adulthood to raising my kids....they no longer needed me the same, and i really struggled with that, and with the "what now?" feeling. that was the beginning of my realizing how lost i was, but i never really got to venture into it at the time, because the depression slammed me. so....
those two things...the issues my son was causing, which were harsh and awful (he lives a life that causes me to constant worry over his life), and i was going thru something on the feminine level that the doctor was trying to remedy....i had begun bleeding, non stop....and this lasted for months, until a test finally revealed polyps in my uterus that were troublesome, which led to a surgery....which stopped the bleeding, but also forced me into an early menopause, even if only by a few years. and the symptoms of that menopause....turned me into someone i didn't know or like. it was hell. and those tentacle like arms of depression just kept wrapping themselves around me...trying to pull me into dark depths.
one of the worst symtoms for me was that i literally could not stand to be touched. at all. i didn't want to have my hand held, or be cuddled, and i certainly didn't want to have sex. i felt like a raging out of control bundle of hormones, but not a one of them was making me feel anything pleasant. i was moody, mean, distant. my body was doing things i couldn't control...like weight gain,etc...i literally just hated myself, and i think that was the final straw that allowed me to just submit to those tentacles...stop fighting them, and let myself be drug under into the numbness of depression. my older kids were struggling, my marriage was not in a good place cause i'd pushed him away from me to the point that he'd stopped trying too, and i hated myself. not good ingredients.
as i sunk into depression, some things around me continued to spin. my son left...but it was not in a good way, causing more pain. my older daughter resolved her issues and things got better for her, so there was some emotional mom stress lifted there. but...it was during this time that i was struggling with the depression and menopause, that i realized how much i needed someone to talk to, and it's what made me realize that my husband was not a good communicater. all the previous years, i guess you could say that things were just always too busy for us to truly have a need for the kind of communication i was finding myself needing. when it came to things with the kids...we communicated well, but it seems that when it was "me" struggling....he just couldn't cope with it. but i needed him to cope...i needed his help. i needed him to hear how far i'd sunk, how dismal i felt, how scared i was at times for my own life. and he didn't want to hear that. none of that. maybe it scared him...i don't know. i'd always been the strong one, running the show, balancing everything. and i was a mess, and he didn't want to deal with it at all. it felt to me, like he just wanted me to get over it and get back to normal, and he'd just wait until that happened. this is putting it in very short terms, of course. but basically, i realized how alone i was...even while sitting next to him, and that made the depression even worse.
the thing is...neither of us expected that it would take me more than 8 years to get thru that depression, so the waiting he was doing....without allowing me to communicate my pain to him...really did some damage to our relationship, on top of the damage caused by menopause and the complete elimination of a sex life. at one point, i scared my oldest daughter with how sad i was, and how long it was lasting, and she extracted the promise from me that i seek therapy. therapy was another ride...intense, tearing me open to dig into things and face things and remember things i'd blocked from my past and trying...trying...trying to mend the parts of me that i could. it was hard, and i never left a session without crying. in those days...i cried daily. it was awful. i'd begun drinking.....alot....to numb pain. and that led to other escapes, like cam. i was in this awful cycle of attending therapy, being cut open to bleed out things that had fested inside me, and then turning around to drink away the pain that the healing was causing. i just couldn't get a grip. i was constantly spinning...trying to get away from myself, and not understanding how impossible that is....so continuing to run, run, run. drink, drink, drink. cam, cam, cam. oddly enough...sex with cam was easy....i still don't really understand why. but it was. maybe because by the time he happened, i'd been three years into the menopause and alot of symptoms had lifted, while others persisted.
by the time i began to come out of the depression, with tons and tons of therapy, most of the menopause symptoms had subsided. at which point, i "should" have tried to repair the broken sex life with my husband. BUT...i was deeply in love with cam by then...and would only allow myself to be touched by him. he provided everything that my husband had intentionally turned away from me. with cam...i could share everything i felt...and so much of it was ugly as hell. but he listened to me, he heard me, he UNDERSTOOD me, he wasn't waiting for me to get over it...he was loving me thru it. he became my life line. thru all of it. HE was the only person in my life that i had no secrets from and shared my honest self with. he was my relief....my oasis.
back to coming thru the depression. i was finally beginning to feel better after 8 years of hell. by this time, i'd been thru more with son, my oldest daughter was happily married with two children, my second daughter was newly married and expecting her first child, and my youngest...had been diagnosed some pretty hard to face mental issues. at the time of her diagnosis, i was knee deep in my own depression, and that blow nearly took me completely under. but...i'd gotten her to the right doctors, on the right medications, and things were being managed as well as could be. i kid you not tho....a depressed person, trying to help another depressed person...was another kind of hell. she needed me, and i had to pull parts of myself out for her that i didn't even feel i had during that time. yet....she and i managed...we got to better places...almost together. so...while life had moved on and changed in those 8 years of depression...the thing that never changed....was the state of my marriage. stagnet. we've always been fine in terms of dealing with our family and running our home. we don't fight. we enjoy getting out once a week to dance and listen to music. but....as far as any kind of couple-hood....there was none. there is STILL none.
and then...on the wings of coming out of the depression....two more hard things hit. my husband retired, and i got covid. his retirement thrust us together 24/7, and it was NOT GOOD for us. we were in each others ways....it felt. i am not, and have never been the type to enjoy being connected to the hip with anyone. but there we were, in each others faces. covid had shut down the world, we couldn't go anywhere. we were STUCK together. for some people, maybe that would have been a good time to try to fix things. but for us....we slowly adapted to always being in different rooms during the day...doing our own things, if there wasn't family around. thankfully....we've always had alot of family around, and that means we don't have to deal too much with each other? my house is a revolving door with my children and grand kids....always busy.
then i got sick. and i ended up in the hospital. when i was finally released, i came home on oxygen, weak as shit and pretty much wasted from the effects of the virus. he literally took complete care of me. every medication, every drink of water, every bite of food, every shower....in the first two months of my recovery. i am so grateful to him for that. i've always been the caregiver....the one who doesn't need to be taken care of. me having to submit to total care....was rough. but he rose to it. and i got stronger. and finally i was in charge of my own recovery, and this is about where i've already written in this journal about my covid experience.
it's been 15 months since i was hospitalized, and for all of that time, i've been focused on getting healthy, and then even taking the health to higher standards that i'd ever been. i struggled with another bout of depression after the hospital, that involved the fear from almost dying, survivors guilt, and alot of PTSD issues. but....i've since conquered that bout, tho the PTSD remains in alot of the ways i'm so rigid with my health.
and still...my marriage remains the stagnet entity it's been for over 9 years, since the the worst depression happened. the breakdown in our marriage is on both of us. i pushed him away during a time where i couldn't control all the things i was feelings, and i literally couldn't help what was happening to me. menopause is a bitch monster that no woman deserves. but then...he let me down, by not allowing me to communicate my pain, because it made him so uncomfortable. by choosing to just stand by and wait for me to "get over it", it left me alone in ways that no married person should be. so we are both responsible for the downfall. but when it comes to fixing things...neither of us makes serious enough moves toward any effort. i asked for marriage therapy....and he refused, which again left me feeling alone.
now....today, i feel like i've come out of several tornados, and it's time to face the cleanup from the destruction. but....it's got to start with ME. especially since he won't do anything to help us...even when i ask. the only thing i can do is begin the true work on myself so that i can hopefully get myself to a place where i can do something about the limbo i've lived in for so long. either fix it...or get out of it. and i don't know which it will be yet, because i figure this self journey will guide me to a decision.
this is alot of rambling when i thought i didn't have anything to say. and it seems so long, so much writing, while still not really saying nearly enough when it comes to all the components. i've actually wanted to write about the state of my marriage and how it got here. there are so many components and so many things that happened in all those years and it's all too much to tell or i'd be writing forever. but all of it contributes to this "here and now", and all of it matters. i can honestly say that i love my husband. but i am not IN LOVE with him. he is a good man, but is incapable of providing some things that really matter to me....like certain levels of communication. my family as a whole is very important to me, or i'd already be gone. i want us all to stay together. i don't want my children hurt by a marriage ending, even tho they are adults now. this matters to me. i wonder if just loving him is enough, and can i live without that communication i now know i really need? can i make it work? right now, i think i just want out, and maybe this self work will give me the strength to leave. but also....i want to want to make it work. right now i don't want to make it work....but i want to want to, and maybe the self work will propel me towards that. i honestly don't know. all i know for sure, is that i have to do this work on myself.
i am trying not to let the pain of losing cam hinder that process, but honestly, it's hard at times to focus on myself, when i'm hurting. but as i work thru the process of grief over that relationship....i'm forcing myself to also stay the course in the self journey exercises, because damn it....at some point, i want so badly to bloom....wherever i end up.