Tag Archives: courage

The Fight

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An update to my “letter” post.

It goes like this for me, maybe it is the same for you:  I get so down, I feel as though I will never get up again. Then, the next day — I want to fight.

But first, I have to whine about it, moan about, write about.  I talk to whomever will listen.  And if they don’t want to hear it?  Doesn’t matter.  I will spill it, I will send that email, I will write that post, I will SAY how bad it hurts — because I have to get it out.  I am willing to shame myself if it means I’ll be free of the pain. I embarrass myself, show my failure, this never-ending battle of a marriage that on the surface — should have gone well.  It would be so much easier to see “the truth” had he been a cheat or a scoundrel.  If he’d been a lousy father or a drug addict.  He is not those things.  He is a good guy.  A good, handsome, sweetheart.  But it occurs to me that good guy or not — he’s destroying me.

So tonight — my options:  Quit my life or fight for my life. Lay down and die or get up and fight.  It’s no longer about my “marriage.”  The battle I face is not about marriage.  I don’t even know what marriage is anymore.  I’ve raised our kids by myself for so long now — what does it matter?  As long as I don’t say the word “divorce” everyone seems quite satisfied with the illusion.  So — I won’t say the word.

But the fight is within me.  The fight is something larger than a relationship.  Sure — the chips are down and stacked against me.  But the chips are against everyone.  Everyone.  Excuses are worthless.

My biggest threat?  Is giving in to sentiment.  I must be stronger than my sympathy, my self-pity, and worse — my guilt.

Years ago, I had a boyfriend — loved him, deeply — with all my heart.  But I knew he was all wrong for me, the drugs, the band, his ex-wife, his three children, his lack of direction, lack of interest in God, complete self-interest, but in the end it was the skirt chasing… that got me.  He was unfaithful.  That was the thing I couldn’t overcome.  That, and he had a vasectomy.  I wanted to have children.

One very bad day — I woke up.  From what I remember there were several bad days in a row, months of those bad days.  (I am slow when it comes to exiting “love.”)  But on the day I knew it was over, I thought my decision would end me.  I loved him.  I didn’t want to leave.

The choice had finally become clear then, too.  Who did I love more? Him or me?  If I stayed, it would kill me.  I would have nothing I wanted for my life.

But if I left, I would lose the man I loved. All I would gain would be the hope of becoming new, someday.

I left. It was horrible. Not a good end.  He has never spoken to me again.  Friendship — out of the question.  From what I’ve heard about him since, he married well.  He lives his life the same as he did when I was with him.  He plays music, has a boat and smokes a lot of pot. Good for him.  His wife makes the money.  His wife didn’t want children.  I did the man a favor.

In retrospect it was the right decision.  The wrong part of the decision was that I quickly entered into a new relationship.  Too soon.  I gave up on my dream of being an actress and replaced my love gone bad with new love, too soon.  That decision has brought me to where I am now.  I gave up on myself and devoted myself to another.

Stupid.

I should have sucked it up and endured the pain of loneliness.  I should have gone through it instead of trying to mask it, patch it — with new “love” and new false promises.  I should have given my dreams, my visions for myself a chance — but I was weak.

Tonight I ask myself which was worse?  The false promises said to me? Or the promises I made to myself and that I never fully pursued?  It is the second option that has brought me to my knees. I am to blame.  Now that I am down here — the lessons I needed to learn 20 years ago are still here.  Those lessons are much harder now.  I have mouths to feed, to clothe, to educate.  I have 5 beautiful people I need to teach, instill that honesty, gumption, hard work will go far.  I must teach them to be fearless, but wise, that they can be and choose anything they want  — but only if they put their whole 100% effort toward those goals.  I want them to know and somehow must teach that love does exist.  That love and happiness are attainable, but…

Never sell your soul.  Never give it away.  Their soul belongs to each of them and then to God – no one else.

So. Fight.  That’s what I am telling myself.  Fight.  Work.  Fight.  Reclaim my spirit and fight fearlessly.

and of course, I will pray.

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Epiphany

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A few unrelated thoughts came together when I woke this morning:  Yo-yo dieting, credit cards, my lack of discipline and my long distance spouse are all symptoms of my trapped life’s struggle.

  • Credit cards.

They are convenient, allow me to buy things I need in the moment, but they are bad for me and keep me in a financial rut.  One of my 2014 decisions was to cut all the use of credit cards.  But try as I might not to use them, I’ve discovered how many things I’ve subscribed to that automatically charge my account and shock the hell out of my budget calculations.  Expenditures that I forgot were coming.  For example, I thought I’d paid off one card for good and yet here is a 99 dollar charge.  Hosting fees.  Yeah… I guess I kind of “need” to keep that.  Now if I would finish and relaunch my website to make it worth the expense…

  • Dieting.

I’ve been back and forth with the same five pounds for well over a year now.  Can’t get past that rotten five-pound loss to get ONE SINGLE DIGIT closer to my goal of a total of a ten pound loss.  When I am one digit  from what I view as the speed bump on the scale, I over eat and gain two back.  Which for some reason means I will likely over eat for two more days, gain 3 more pounds and there ya go… I start all over.  Last night I was HUNGRY but I did not eat.  This morning I woke up hungry and I still am.  If I can remain hungry for one solid week I’ll notice the numbers on the scale drop.  But that’s not the trick.  Staying hungry for two weeks is the trick.  The fait accompli would be to stay slightly hungry for a solid month and more, throw in daily exercise and Voila!   Then let’s see what that bastard of a scale has to say.

But will I?  Hmm.  It’s so simple. Daily effort.  Daily steps. Inch by motherfecking inch.

  • Writing

And then there’s writing (slash) career.  Yes, let me be honest with myself for one minute.  I have no career because I have never put my entire effort toward this goal.  I have never, with unceasing effort, day in, day out, repeated the act of pumping out pages of work.  Nope.  And it shows.  I have been a mom, which, yeah — I know — everyone says is the hardest job in the world and it is, because the nature of the job is that the mother’s personal goals and needs (career, money, hair appointments) are always dead last in terms of importance.  But now?  Now that I “know” my children’s long-term survival and well-being count on whether I acquire a back bone?  I need to switch it up.

  • Wedded Bliss

Not quite.  I have settled into a stagnant, maddening, situation and nearly every day for years — even before his departure to La La Land — tolerated it because it was easier than facing the truth. (“Situation” defined:  waiting for him to return, holding hope for him to “come through” with his own career,  the constant state of lack and loneliness).  I have repeated these phrases or similar for two decades: “but he’s a really good guy.”  “He loves us.” “His heart is in the right place…”  All of which are true — but — I’m starving here.  We are starving here.  It’s the kind of starving that makes me do stupid irrational things like, go adopt two more cats, plus two more cats.  It’s the kind of starving that encourages me to seek comfort in a bottle of wine, eat greasy, salty or sweet comfort foods.  It’s the kind of starving that sent me to see psychologist after psychologist to ask only one thing: “What’s wrong with me?”  And though it is not my long distance spouse’s fault, the imagined security of marriage  has prevented me from seeing my oldest daughter at college, from developing friendships or from driving a mere 10 miles outside of my town for fear the vehicle would break down, stranding the kids and me on a single lane highway to nowhere.  It has prevented me from living my life — this waiting.

And meanwhile, I let the writing go to the bottom of the list of importance.  The one thing I could do simply by making the time to do it — I let go.  It is no one’s fault but mine.

Idiot.

I have not spoken to him on the phone for two weeks.  He calls everyday to speak with the kids (and me).  Before this, For over seven years, we spoke to each other daily (via phone) and of course when he came home to visit.   Now I’ve stopped talking.  It’s connected to my failed diet attempts, my reliance on credit cards, my poor discipline as a writer, my lack of gumption as a filmmaker.  But refusing to talk to him,  as difficult as it is, (trust me, it’s difficult) seems to help.  I’d like to say this clarity is something new — but it isn’t.  I’ve tried to face facts before, many times. Always for the same reasons.  2010, after my grandmother died, the sorrow woke me then, too.  He isn’t going to do it. He isn’t going to change, improve his own life or fight for his family.  I told him I wanted a divorce.  But I love him, so we found God, Joel Osteen and tried hope again.  This past year, it was my father’s heart attack that opened my eyes.  My spouse flew in, offered support and comfort – and it was good.  I was so grateful that he came home, that he was with the kids, was here to see my dad, to see me.  Grateful my spouse came home.  Isn’t that proof that he is a great guy?

I don’t know — even now as I write this my heart struggles.  I remind myself:  My life depends on my choices.  I control the action.  If my life was a screenplay I would see immediately the problem.  The story is not controlled by the antagonist but by the choices the protagonist makes.  There is no story unless the protagonist drives it toward her GOAL.

I am saying with my forced silence, I control me.  I control my time.  I control my thoughts and emotions, not him.  I make the decisions for myself, our children. Let me remind myself:  November 7th 2006.  That is how long it’s been. That’s how long he’s been gone.

And yet…

Within that time, had I not been such a coward, so weak with excuses and dependency — had I written even two pages a day, where would I be now?  Had I written, committed to my own goals and vision, daily, in spite of the circumstance — where would I be?  Maybe I would save our marriage. Maybe.

The road is still there.  It’s not route 66 and if it is, it’s closed for a good reason. There is always another road that will get me from here to there.  I have coffee in the thermos, I have the map  — now I just need to buy the car.


Strong Morning … Coffee

belcuore-flight-controllerJust like magic.  I woke up this morning with new vigor.  I did something new:  I did not tune in to listen to the news.

Today, went to http://www.withoutabox.com and found festival contests I need to enter.  Deadlines set.

Registered at http://www.producertoproducer.com and am checking out the free budgeting templates. I have had the book for a while now, this time I will finish it.

I’ve done this stuff before and usually about now is when it gets dicey.  I get excited and then prematurely make phone calls, spreading my excitement around before it becomes real on my end.

This time: vowing to shut my mouth and get the job (one at a time) done.

I said my prayers and declarations out loud and “wrote” to my imaginary friend(s) for muse support.  It couldn’t hurt.

Other good news: I stepped on the scale and I’ve lost 3 pounds — Whew!  Seven more to go!