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Excuse Me, Where Can I Put This Baggage Down?

January 23, 2018

So, I’m moving in with Mr. C and I’m terrified. I have no money. No savings. No job. No prospects. No plan. I will be completely dependent on him for housing, food and anything else I need.

Isn’t this what I did with Mr. K? We moved in together and I became dependent on him right away. He bought me a car for Christ’s sake. I was young and I didn’t believe that I could take care of myself. I ignored red flags and jumped into a relationship because I was scared. And in love, I thought.

Am I doing the same thing again? Am I convincing myself that he’s “the one,” because I have no other choice? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I’m unhappy?

“I’ll drive up there and pick you up,” Lori said to me, if that happened. But then what? I don’t know if I can face the burden on her and the humiliation of moving back in with my daughter.

Mr. C is saying all the right things. His job is to make me happy. Whatever I do with my time is the right thing to do. He doesn’t care. He can’t wait to be able to see me every day. We’re going to go here and there and see this and that. It will be fine. We will be fine. It’s the start of a long relationship. Sure I can rearrange the furniture. Sure I can paint the dresser.

I’ve interrogated him with questions and scenarios based on my previous experience, testing his resolve. It’s like I can’t believe that he can really be telling me the truth. I’m waiting for the catch. The other shoe to drop.

Can it be real? Can it be true that this man is willing to work 7 days a week, cook wonderful meals, expect nothing in return (I mean besides common decency and love), to love me just as I am, flaws and all, and be happy if he comes home and finds me with paint and glitter all over the floor, knee deep in some ridiculous, useless craft project?

I was talking all this over with Lori as we walked the streets of her neighborhood, The Baby in a carrier on her chest. She threw my own advice back at me, telling me it was ok to be taken care of sometimes. When I told her I was having trouble believing the Mr. C is everything he seems to be she said, “You don’t think you deserve to be loved like that.” Ugh. I started to protest but didn’t have any words. “Wow. That’s some fucked-up damaged girl shit,” was all I said and we laughed. She doesn’t want to go because she’s losing her on-call babysitter. But she wants me to be happy and she likes Mr. C.

I guess I don’t really think too much of myself right now. So, it is a little difficult to understand why someone else does.

And it just goes against everything in my experience.

When Mr. C answers my calls he greets me with “Hi Baby!” with this exuberant lilt in his voice. Like the best thing in the world just happened to him.

I remember how I felt trepidation at calling Mr. K. There was always tension on the other side. Like I was bothering him. Like nothing I could have to say was worth his time. I have memories of terse and dismissive ends to calls. And meals at restaurants eaten in silence on anniversaries because he was there out of obligation and stressed about what he had just left behind at work. Or stressed because he had to make the time to spend with me.

Lori said he’s in therapy and on meds now. Good. I hope he answers the phone with welcoming happiness when his girlfriend calls him.

But he didn’t with me. He conditioned me. He convinced me that it was too much to expect. Friendliness, compassion, laughter, joy….those were things I should not expect from my spouse. Especially!! if that spouse is working hard!! to provide for his family! Respect! Respect, dammit. That is what he deserved.

Aw fuck.

I am still carrying that baggage and it a large trunk of pain that I am having a very hard time putting down.

The truth is, I still think he was right about me. I proved him right. And I’m not sure anything except making a shit load of money will make me feel any differently. Not even the love of my family and this goofy ass man who told me today, “I saw a billboard and it reminded me of you. It said, ‘I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ And I thought. That’s right. I’m going to tell Marie that.”

To which I replied with one of his favorite comebacks, “Challenge accepted.”

Well, I guess if there’s nothing I can do about it then I can’t screw it up.

But we all know I’m going to give it my best shot.

I am reminded of what someone said in that weird divorce-therapy group I went to back in Lafayette. For every year that you were married, it takes 6 months to recover. Or something like that. I just remember, I don’t have that long. But here I am, over 5 years later and the wounds still hurt.

So, how am I supposed to let go of this baggage? Where do I lay down this giant trunk of damage?



From → Rantings

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