Tomorrow Is D-Day

Panic-attack

Panic-attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, tomorrow is “the” day. I am absolutely resolved to end this farce of a relationship and reclaim my happiness. I firmly believe that I was in a better place mentally before this relationship than I am now. Although, that may be a perception colored by sadness and anger at the demise of a marriage that was supposed to last for life. I have no idea. All I know is that I cannot sleep well, am not eating, am ignoring my appearance, and all the other hallmarks of severe anxiety. I know that this is the right thing to do, and probably has been for quite some time, but actually initiating a separation from someone you once were madly in love with is extremely scary. It means I will be alone with myself again. Just me and my cat. Although, if i am honest about it, I have been alone with my cat for a long time now. But, there was still someone to talk to. When you have nobody to talk to except your cat, then life gets a little weird. Cats are great little furry healers, though. Having a dog or a cat or whatever kind of pet you prefer gives you something to nurture that in turn helps you to remain okay. I digress because I am really freaking out. 

I do not understand why this particular separation has me so anxious. It’s not like I have not gone through this before with previous relationships, one of which lasted about 9 years. When that one ended, I did feel like I was going through a divorce due to the length of the relationship. However, I had somewhere to focus my attention during that breakup. I was finishing college and working full-time so I had little time to sit and ruminate on the loss of my significant other. This time around though feels like a failure. I feel like I failed somehow. Like I didn’t do something right, and that, perhaps, everything I did do was in some way wrong or not enough. I didn’t feel that way with my other breakups of relationships. The toughest was the nine-year one. The saddest was one that lasted almost as long as this marriage did. It was only about three and one half years, but I felt a tremendous amount of loss and grief over that one.

I am not good at dating. I am in my early 40’s, and I am pretty well set in my ways at this point. I know what I want, what I like, and what I don’t want and what I do not like. That’s going to make dating difficult. That and I am feeling like somehow being mentally “interesting” is going to be an encumbrance to my meeting someone new. It’s not like I can get away with not being straightforward about the fact that I have manic depression, PTSD, occasional bouts of Agoraphobia, and Panic attacks. They are going to rear their ugly heads at some point just as they always do, and then, people either freak out and want to get away from me, or they try their best to understand but inevitably just cannot handle it, or they are supportive and try to learn what they can about the various challenges I face daily. It’s always one of the three. I think the one that hurts most is the person who tries to understand but ultimately just cannot handle the sometimes intense emotions that I feel. Then they leave. Either be supportive and educate yourself and stick around or freak out right away and be gone. That’s how I prefer it. Two options, no grey area. 

I do not mind living alone. In fact, I may prefer it, but you cannot be alone all the time. A person will go nuts, literally, without other people. That’s another thing. I have to find a place to live that I can afford on my little SSDI check, and find a part time job to supplement my income. People take a look at my resume, and the first thing they ask is why I haven’t worked in 6 years. That’s a tough one to explain. It takes delicacy and a lot of inferences and innuendo to having been ill, but being better now. Then, they ask why I only worked two years in previous positions. Hmmmm, because I had uncontrollable mood swings and severe reactions to stress that were sometimes debilitating and I simply could not work for several days? This is where the Agoraphobia and Panic attacks live. i would try to get out the door, even going so far as to get ready to go, and at the last minute realize that the world was too scary that day, and I would call in sick. I was sick, in a matter of speaking, but not in a way that anyone would really understand unless they had had a similar experience. So, that should be fun. Not. I really want to try to finish my Paralegal degree because I think I would make a good one. I love research, I enjoy the legal profession, and I like to be support staff. However, that involves getting funding and getting to school. 

I know I shouldn’t feel like a failure, but you reach 42 and your only accomplishment of note is that you finished undergraduate school, you kind of feel like you just didn’t meet your “potential.” There are so many highly functioning Manic Depressives, i just wonder if I am one of them. I do not feel mentally impaired in any way, I do not feel that I am not smart enough, I guess I feel like somehow I have deserved everything that life has thrown at me, and I have either caught the ball and ran with it, or I didn’t. For me, there seems to be no grey area. I am either manic (like I suspect I am now) or I am depressed, but I seem to reside mostly in the middle with mixed episodes: manic and depressed. I know that I am not depressed because the crushing weight that is depression is not sitting on my chest. Probably slightly manic: not eating, not sleeping, thoughts racing, restless and irritable. 

I am very scared and sad and glad at the same time. I cannot live with someone who simply refuses to educate themselves about my “disorders,” I do not like that term. It is debilitating, and requires that you accept yourself as less than. But it sure is hard not to feel less than when you are ackowledging that you have lost. I intellectually understand that this divorce is not all my fault, that there is a role that my husband played, but I am experiencing the familiar heart-mind split. If i keep it intellectual, I am less sad, more pragmatic, and more realistic about this. If I let my heart into this, i will be a slobbery mess. 

Okay, feeling calmer and more certain than ever that this is the right choice for my health both physical and mental. It has disintegrated to a point where verbal and emotional abuse is common. I grew up that way. I do not have to live like that as an adult. As an adult, I have a choice. Exercising that choice is a whole different world. I warned him that it would come to this, and all he said was don’t threaten me. It wasn’t a threat, it was a certainty. It just got accelerated, that’s all. Okay, I think the anxiety has passed. Maybe I’ll go throw some makeup at my face so I do not look so plain :)

 

4 thoughts on “Tomorrow Is D-Day

  1. I could have written that back in 1993-1994 except it would have been about my whole family. I did end the relationship, so people now say that I’m “estranged” from my family. I guess so. I don’t necessarily see it that way. I have simply chosen who is in my “family” and family isn’t family right now!

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    • I have a similar situation with my father. He has “stepped out” of my life seemingly voluntarily. I feel a great deal of sadness about this but realize that I cannot change him or his opinions. I can only move on with my own life, and like you, choose who will be a part of it and who won’t. I actually feel bad for him because he is never going to get to really know his daughter due to his own (insert problem here). And I will never get to know him, although I have days when I am not sure I really want to know a person who abandoned his family (long story), and just picked up and left. But, I think the main thing is that he will never understand me, or find out that despite the way I have lived parts of my life, I am “worthy” of being loved by him. All he sees is the bad and the ugly in me. He doesn’t see the person who would rather help someone else with a problem, or tries their hardest every day to be compassionate, respectful and understanding to every person I meet that day. Or the person who has made it her life’s mission to make people smile at least once a day. His loss.

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      • As Louise Haye (self help author) says, “You didn’t get to choose which family you were born in but you can choose the family you associate with.” I read a lot of Haye and other self help authors in 1993-94 when I was going through my struggles. Haye’s sentence, though, was the one that really stuck with me and, I think, the defining moment when I turned things around.

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        • There is always a defining moment or “breaking” point. I agree with her assessment. I do not really like my paternal family, and therefore, I choose not to associate with them, and they do not seem bothered by that. It really isn’t something that I think about on a daily basis because it has been going on for so long. It just hits me in moments of weakness, or if I am in one of those “what if” moods. Then, it bothers me that my dad took off emotionally without bothering to really get to know me so he could make an informed decision. He just up and left without saying a word, but then he has always been that way.

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