Day 223 - Happy UnAnniversary to Me...
Hard to believe that 27 years ago today I was supposed to get married...the first time. I was young. I was also very, very messed up. This day usually comes and goes without notice for me or perhaps a casual remembering and then I am off to my day. However, this year it hits me squarely between the eyes. Perhaps it is because life has slowed down and I can reflect, perhaps because I see this day differently than I ever have before, perhaps the passage of time has made it more important. Age has a way of causing events from the past to take on new meaning as the years fly by...
Whatever the reason, I am thinking about the alleged wedding (that is what it came to be known as in my family - I had just completed my first year in law school at the time). All of my family still came for the wedding and we had a kind of reunion that was replete with a great deal of alcohol. It was a shitshow.
Besides being totally wasted this night, 27 years ago, it is hard to recall what I was like as a person because I was so very different than I am today. Perhaps it is hard to recall because I don’t want to remember. I don’t want to think about how awful I was. I don’t want to remember how terrible I treated someone I loved. Perhaps I do not want to remember how I handled everything that came my way with drink in hand. Perhaps I do not want to think about all of my parents money that was wasted on a day that was supposed to be filled with love and light and instead was filled with drunken despair.
I was not upset about not getting married. I felt like I dodged a bullet to be honest. I was NOT ready to get married. I didn’t have any idea how to be a functioning adult let alone a wife...It was a bad idea all around. Still, somehow in my most messed up state, I had found someone that loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. While I have remained forever grateful that I cut him loose (mostly for his own good) I am pained today with the thought of how much I hurt him and others that were so happy about our pending union. I was cold. I was aloof. I was gone.
I made amends to him many years ago...in letter form as I was instructed to never contact him again. I have remained loyal to that instruction. I know that he went on to marry, have a couple of kids and then divorce. I only have seen him once in the last 27 years at a Panera with my then husband and children. I am not sure whether he saw me or not. Regardless he left quickly and without making contact. That was hard to think that I still engendered in him that kind of response all those years later.
As I review this day 27 years later, I can see how much I have been an ass. I can see how much I fail to see my own impact and import on people’s lives. I have this tendency to just go away, with and without clueing you in on my intentions. I just go and you are left to deal with my sudden departure. I kind of did the same thing five years ago when I left my marriage. It was coming for a long time but once the words were out of my mouth, I was done and then summarily moved on.
So it is with pain that I write today that I am still a cutter and a runner. Having made less progress than I would have liked in this area. I am not sure what part of me can just up and leave and move the fuck on without really seeming to care. I do care but I think I have forever not let myself. My exits almost surgical for me, not such a clean break for others.
This leaves me with this fundamental issue that I know I must address. It has stood in the way of all my relationships, intimate and friend. I am always and forever, one foot out the door. I always have an exit strategy and I am always looking far enough into the future so that I can see when you might hurt me, so I can ensure that I can make plans to leave you long before that ever happens. Not a very nice way to go through life...
I used to feel that because the way I left John was so awful that I was cursed and would never meet anyone and get married. That kind of ended when I actually got married. However, I can see now that perhaps a better, more realistic notion would be that I have some serious issues with intimacy. True, deep intimacy. I am still not at a place where I can let you all the way in. I still have one foot out the door - always. This, rather than a curse for past bad acts, is what plagues me today in my quest for a partner and other half. I have karma that I need to work out. The teachers (men) keep appearing to teach me what I do not want to learn...the issue is with me. John was fine. Tom was fine. Many others were fine. I am not fine.
Trouble is that I am not sure how to get fine. Which is why I remain alone. This is why I feel that partnering is off the table for me, at least until I can learn the lesson that I seem to keep getting but am admirably adept at sidestepping: you have to fully invest yourself in another - their thoughts, their dreams, their lives. You have to dig in and build a place where love can flourish which is no place where either person is running for the door. I came pretty close one time, but unfortunately two runners are hardly good partners for each other.
It seems sad on this day to see the passage of many years and still find myself so far away from where I would like to be...however, I remain hopeful given how much I have changed in the interim. I am not drunk today and it has been a long time since I have spilled, drink in hand, through my day. I am much more able to let you see me and hear me and feel me. I have people that I have tried to deploy my exit strategy with, who have refused to accept it or my impending exit (Thank you my Tribe). I am not the person who refused to walk the aisle today. I am someone who regrets not being a better person then and who has worked really hard to not be that person anymore. Today I can see how far I have come as well as how far I have to go. Intimacy and risk such a hard lesson for me to learn.
So Happy 27th UnAnniversary to me. I remain saddened by my past actions and grateful I have been able to change. I remain hopeful that I can use this past awfulness as motivation to change and not just a stick to beat myself up with...the choice is mine. I do know for sure that beating myself up never really helped me learn much of anything...so I will continue to try to correct the past by not repeating it. I am going to keep going...