Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Not Just Me.

Yeah, yeah. I started school a couple weeks ago and pretty much forgot I had a blog. Forgive me.


When I first left Agent M's Dad, I only knew a couple other parents who didn't "make it". Literally, like, 2 other people. I felt like a failure, but I also knew that what was going on was not right and that if I didn't leave, it would only get worse. It was a decision I had to make and I am proud that I had the strength to do it.

I still felt like I was on uncharted territory for the first few months though. I'd silently scan crowds of parents for other parents that were "solo-looking". When celebrity marriages crumbled, I took note and consoled myself that even with their beauty, money, and star-lit lives, they didn't "make it" either. I needed to know that it wasn't just me or that I had not done enough.

Slowly, over the past couple of years, I have seen and heard of more and more friends and friends of friends unhappy in marriages and figure that is just how marriage is, or cheating on each other because they are unhappy but don't want to go through the divorce process, or separate temporarily and get back together years later, and even a few who divorced in record time. I don't know if it is just that I am more aware, slightly tuned to notice these things more than the average person would notice, but I notice it and let the news linger each time. No matter who the "bad guy" (or gal) is, I still feel for both sides usually. It's not a fun process, it's painful, and it brings up a lot of uncomfortable questions. It makes me think of my own still on-going divorce, and wonder over what I could have done differently and what lies ahead still.

For some silly reason, celebrity breakups get to me. I am not a celebrity stalker, I don't own a t.v., and the most "gossip" I get is from reading magazine headlines at work, and then maybe an article or two if I see someone I think is talented mentioned. So I'm not talking about the Bachelorette-known-you-for-8-months breakups. I mean the big ones. Heidi Klum and Seal, John Mellencamp and his wife Elaine, Shakira and Antonio de la Ru. People who had built long standing lives with each other. When it was announced that Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed were separated, a friend and I sent messages back and forth to each other that there was no hope for love in this world if those two couldn't "make it".

But even more of a punch comes when it is closer to home. When it is someone who is a real person, but still slightly above the rest of us. Local well-knowns, bloggers that I have read for years. So, it was with a lot of sadness when I read last night that Dooce is the latest one hit with the baseball bat to the stomach that is separation/divorce. See, she is in that borderland between "everyday person" and "celebrity". She is famous to me, and many others, and yet, she is totally human at the same time. She is real in her posts, doesn't hide the gritty stuff, and celebrates the joyous. She is someone I can picture waving to or chatting with here and there if our kids went to the same school. I feel for her because I know how hard that bat hits, and how hard it is to pick yourself up when it keeps swinging. Having someone "like her" announce that now she is part of The Club brings it closer to home. The reality that no matter how awesome two people are, no matter how great their lives might seem, sometimes it just doesn't work.

It makes me scared to let myself fall in love again. Things are a little choppy between the Swede and I right now - between school, work, and time zones, it is hard to chat with each other some days, we have had a couple big hills to overcome lately, and we have some big things to talk about on the horizon. The reality of us is that one of us would need to plan to move to another country if we want to make a decent go of this - and until Agent M is 18 years old, moving out of country is probably not going to be an option for me. That leaves the ball in his court and the idea of asking someone to move across the world for something that might not work out terrifies me. I have a horrible habit of wanting to flee the relationship when things feel this serious, but, I have to say he is a trooper and he does not let me give up. I adore him for it. (I also slightly question his sanity, for putting up with such a nutty American girl...)

I think it is harder after you have been through the heart-wringer to trust that you can do it again. When you have ripped out your heart, or had it ripped out in a fit of rage, or had it quietly shattered, or just had the flame in it go out, it is hard to even want to pursue someone again. I have craved being part of a cute, happy family, but I am terrified to have another ten years end up in a mess of his-debt/her-debt and resentful words spoken behind backs. The small comfort I find is in the others who have been there and tried again, or who are figuring out how to pick up the pieces with me. Seeing that is not just me, that this can happen to anyone, is a reminder that there are things out of our control at times and love is anything but controlled in the first place. I know it is not just me who is hesitant, scared to let someone get that close again. I know that even with the bills paid, the house clean, and the kid well-fed, at the end of the day it comes down to the two people involved. And with that in mind, I just keep hoping that every time I get scared, The Swede will still be there to tell me I am being silly.

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