It’s 11pm and I can’t sleep

RegAnnGlastonburyTor

My husband and I atop Glastonbury Tor. 2013

10 Years ago I started this blog. I had just graduated with a Master of Arts in English and I missed the writing and research part of my university experience. I wanted a place to track my thoughts and not write a journal, per se, but interesting articles about my thoughts on various topics. I was not ready to give up writing.  I’m proud of some of the things I’ve written, especially movie and book reviews and my struggles with religion, namely Christianity.  I feel that I’ve lost the heady thrill of college writing and the joy of discovery.

Well, a lot has happened since. It’s been almost a year now since I moved back to the States after splitting from my husband and it’s been almost a year since he died of cancer. The former was planned but the latter was a surprise. I have not written about it except in my personal diary because it’s a long embarrassing and painful story.  What I thought would happen didn’t and what I never thought would happen did. When I left for the UK, I followed a dream. However, that proved to be exactly what it was; a dream. Unreal. Fantastical. Too good to be true. Did I mention I’ve become bitter as well?

Ironically, the only job I could find at my age upon returning to my home state of Illinois, starting completely over again and even with a Master’s degree, was a job in a church doing admin and financials. It pays better than I expected, and even though it IS a church, I don’t think I believe in God any longer even though I give it a half-hearted attempt now and then for old times’ sake. Sure, at work I can talk the talk as good as any of the pastors. But my heart’s not in it. In fact, my heart’s not in much anymore.

I no longer believe in the democratic process once a supreme corporate asshole like Trump got elected. No amount of umbrage on the part of journos, politicos, or anyone with any Washington clout seems able to change that. I tired of being outraged a few months ago. Also, for the first time in 45 years, I’m not attached to the hip to any boy/man that I’ve attempted to earn love from by jumping into the sack first thing. I’m no longer giving everything I have to a relationship that doesn’t give a shit about me. The self-sacrifice I’ve spent my life on has yielded exactly … nothing. In fact, the only thing I look forward to now is not dying of breast cancer or heart disease, both of which have visited me in my life at various points.

I now spend my time working, playing Red Dead Redemption 2, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and reading books. Those things are my favorite things (except the working part).  I don’t think I was ever cut out to do great or even semi-great things. I just don’t have the energy to invest. I’ve spent it all. I don’t have, nor will I have, any significant goals. I wish that, like Thoreau, I could find my cabin (read electronically wired house) in the woods and retreat into Nature. My best years are behind me, and if that sounds depressed, perhaps it is. Perhaps, too, it’s just reality.

Maybe I’ll write more now. Maybe that’s the therapy I need. We’ll see.

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Escape to Skyrim

skyrim

When my children were little, their father and I played video games with them. Hours racing each other in Mario Kart brought us together as a family like nothing else did. We weren’t the adventurous outdoor family like those today that take their kids hiking and biking, etc. No, we were indoor folk. We watched television, read books, saw films, and wrote in our journals. And despite all the indoor activities, my kids are all grown, healthy, and happy.

Last Christmas, my son visited and got me interested once again in video games. I bought a Playstation 3 and some used games and started my adventures all over again. I must say I enjoy them now more than I did even then. Gaming has come a LONG way since the 1990s and Turok, Dinosaur Hunter.  Most of them now feel like I’ve inserted myself into a movie.  Take Skyrim for example. I love this game. It is a huge open world that is beautiful to look at and fun to explore. I’ve started three games so far with different characters and abilities and even though the quests are the same, there is always something new and different to experience as each character.

I’m sure that my husband can’t possibly mind. While I’m in the other room slaying frost spiders and necromancers, he’s busy talking on Skype to one of his ‘friends’. I’m at the point now where it’s good that he has others to keep him busy so I can play in peace. Sounds cold perhaps? Not as cold as shunning a wife who was willing to give him everything and was rejected for fetish talk and long distance relationships. I’ll stick to Dragon Age, Skyrim, and Fallout 4, thank you very much.

The Importance of a Father’s Love

I think that my lack of a father’s love started this whole mess.

My real father abandoned my mother and my sisters, and I when I was just 3 years old. My step-father did not have a loving bone in his body and ate cruelty for breakfast.  I was ripe for someone to come along and make me feel as if I were the most important person in their world; something daddy’s do for their little girls. Normal daddy’s anyway.

My lack of a father’s love probably contributed to my conversion to Christ when I was 23 years old. Feeling out of my depth as a new wife and mother, one day I felt an overwhelming sense of love and well-being from a father/brother figure.  That sustained me for quite some years. My marriage was not a passionate love affair, but merely a remedy for small town boredom and we parted ways when our children grew up and moved out of the house. Notice I don’t say our home because I’ve never really felt ‘at home’ anywhere. We never jointly created a home like some couples do; putting their particular stamp on a place to reflect their budding love. Perhaps a father’s advice about any of this would have been invaluable.

It was almost inevitable that I dream of the perfect romance. My romance fantasies led me to a couple of affairs and later to the online ‘romance’ that landed me where I am today. All I’ve ever wanted was be someone special to someone else. I wanted to hear the words, ‘I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy’ or those coveted words, ‘you are so special to me’.  I’ve never heard that, or felt it either while growing up or in all the years I’ve been married. My sister, mother, and I have always dealt with our pain alone, probably because no one ever sought us out to comfort us.  But still one hopes.

Maybe I’m feeling a tad maudlin but when I read of other people’s marriages, of the love and care and the grief that happens when such lovers are apart, I mourn for what I never had or have never known. I worked so hard to be a good wife and failed both times. Now I just wish someone would care for me. Just a little bit. Some people say that God can fulfil that need in me, but how can you have a fulfilling relationship with an invisible person?  I’ve yet to master that, even after all of these years.

I am broken by this latest betrayal and although I KNOW that acting with love toward someone whether they deserve or not is the Christian thing to do, just once, I wish that someone would be more concerned about me than I was for them. Just once. Is that too much to ask?

Each Day a New Thing

forkMy husband wakes up early every morning to make coffee and chat with his new girlfriend.

When I came to bed last night, I felt I needed a hug. We are sleeping separately now and I went to his bedroom, hoping to get in and just stop it all for a moment. He was chatting on his phone with this woman. He usually lies when caught outright. This time he said he was chatting to a friend about a musician, but I know this is not true. I can see his phone. He is laying on our bed, dressed as he does in women’s clothing. He says it makes him comfortable. I have never minded that.  But he is compelled to share it with men or women, along with other fetishes like wearing nylons, garters, and feederism.

To say it put a damper on my search for a hug is putting it mildly. I retreated and said, ‘Never mind, it’s not important’.  Ten minutes later he joined me in my bed for a short snuggle, as we used to call it. He rubs my back for a bit and it puts us both to sleep. Later, he got up and went to his own bed.  Small comfort, but a comfort nonetheless.

Last night after my post on this blog I emailed him. We always talked best via email, more honestly when we didn’t face each other. He preferred our correspondence when we were 3000 miles apart, but now, I am just a nuisance to him if I want to talk. I asked him outright if our marriage should end.  This morning he must be too busy with his girlfriend because he hasn’t answered me yet. I can smell the coffee from downstairs, so I know he is up. My email is not on his list of important things to do first.

This is the culmination of years of getting along, me finding out his secrets, fighting, reconciling, and starting the process all over again. I suppose the question I should ask is, do I want to end it? Part of me does. The other part is the practical aspect of having to pack everything again, spend thousands of pounds again (assuming I have that), move back to where I am familiar, but to no job, no car, no health care (i.e. insurance), and no place to live? Do I want to put my already fragile health at risk with that stress again? What holds me here? I have no close friends. Which is more stressful? Which can I deal with if I work actively to ignore the stressors?

It’s not a matter of which will make me happiest. That’s not an issue any more. At my age, happiness is nice to have but not something I’ll expect to find.  It’s a matter of trade-offs. What can I live with? I suppose this is another day to contemplate that.

Water Under the Bridge

cropped-annex-clift-montgomery-a-place-in-the-sun_01.jpgIt’s been a long time since I posted here. I was starting a new life and feeling excited about a new marriage and living in another country way back in 2011. Now my life is far from what I imagined it to be. I am living in that new country, but my exciting new life has fallen from the perfect marriage to the same old song.

I gave my all to someone who has, in turn, begun to give their all to someone else. Karma is indeed a bitch. What you do to others in this life will indeed come back to you a hundred-fold.  I see that now and have experienced it.

All I’ve ever wanted in life was for someone to care for me, to love me, and provide comfort when I was down. I was more than willing to give that in return, but it always seemed so one-sided. I’ve lived my entire life without comfort. My mother could not give it because she was so wrapped up in her own pain that she had nothing left to give. My father had disappeared when I was 2 or 3 so there was no comfort from that quarter. My step-father provided only pain, not comfort to my sister, my mother, and me. My sister was in her own world, so we had no one not even each other. We each lived separately in our own house of pain.

I then married a man who provided for us and our children, yet did not know how to love or comfort either. He was depressed over lack of work much of the time and did what his father did. Retreat into himself. I spent 30 years with someone who did not know me, nor care to know me, let alone comfort me. But it was safe and it was easy. And I taught my kids to be individuals so that they don’t even turn to me or their father when in pain. The cycle continues.

Then I met a man I gave my whole heart to, because he cultivated it carefully and a bit selfishly online. He wished to be free of his spouse; or so I believe. I thought I was the only one he’d experienced this with. Despite my thinking I was smart, it turned out I was incredibly naive. I thought someone loved me, finally. I was just another in a succession of attempts to find excitement online. He seemed interested in me. He said all the right words. I fell for it. I needed love desperately. I wanted comfort.  I came into the new relationship willing to give everything that I had or I tried to anyway. I literally gave up my entire life in one place and moved to another with nothing left to my name. It wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. He wanted more and I wasn’t it. Soon there were others.

I mourn for the dream I had. But it was stupid because I was the only one dreaming it. Marriage should be about two people dreaming together.  I’ve seen some couples achieve that, but I’ve not experienced it. Perhaps at my age I never will.  It is so painful to see someone close computer windows as you come into the room so you won’t see who they are talking to. It’s like walking into the room at a gathering with a few people who immediately shut up when you come in. What were they saying? Was it about you or just something they don’t care for you to be in on? It is so painful to accidentally read the excitement in the greeting that someone else has emailed your husband. It is painful to watch your spouse wait until you are out of the room, asleep, or gone so they can continue their affair with someone else online.

I understand all that now because I’m in the exact same place my predecessor was when I was the recipient of those exciting emails and texts and Skype late at night. I remember the exciting sense of newness and feeling alive. I remember feeling a whole world opening up and someone liking what I wrote and writing exciting things back. I remember. I remember. I wish someone felt that for me now because I remember feeling it once.

I want comforting. I need an arm around me right now. I want love. But no one will ever love me like I want/need to be loved. It’s too late for me, but it might not be too late for you.

The Crash and Burn Syndrome

 

A picture of a caterpillar smoking a hookah. T...

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I’m a weirdo, I admit it. I go along almost as happy as you please and then I let things build up internally. I take an insult here and a jibe there from a coworker. I become miffed at a misspoken word or I get irritated about something. These little things add up day after day and sometimes week after week and BLAMMO!! I explode and go on a tearing bender of a fit and lay waste with my scathing wit or anger everyone who just happens to get in my way! Well, ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but it feels like it sometimes. Then, I am fine for awhile until the cycle starts up all over again.  Anyone else do that?

So what’s the answer? Religion used to soothe me. Reading still distracts me but sometimes I can’t concentrate enough to read. I’ll watch a good movie, but they only last two hours at the most.  So I’ll take a whole weekend and just become a hermit. Except I can’t do that much anymore now that I live with my daughter. But I can sure try!  Yesterday I watched the Tim Burton movie Alice in Wonderland. The movie was visually appealing and a definite work of art, but the story wasn’t so great. No, it didn’t follow the original much. Same characters, different plot. I did become very sidetracked by the glorious score by Danny Elfman:

I could listen to it all day. It soothes me.

Then I read my book for awhile:  The Gate House by Nelson DeMille. I had to put Greg Iles away (The Devil’s Punchbowl) without finishing it. It bordered on torture porn and don’t we have enough of that with all the television shows that feature the female victim of the week. I mean really! How many times do we have to see rapes and murders of young women? Aren’t there enough of those in the news. We are a world full of voyeurs.  But in any case, I don’t need that to calm my nerves now do I? My counselor once asked me why I didn’t just pray to God and, granted she was a Christian counselor, I told her that God and I didn’t communicate much anymore. She said that that didn’t matter, the very act of praying would help. So I did and right before gnawing my paws off while trying to go to sleep on the worst of the nights, I asked God to help me out here a little. Anything would do, a little peace of mind or some new insight or hey, how about some nice calming peaceful feelings? I then went to sleep and woke up feeling much better.

Now I don’t know if God did anything or not, but it doesn’t hurt to think so. It also didn’t hurt to ask. And I didn’t even have to straighten up and fly right first! Some parents could use that lesson.. ahem.. In the coming weeks when one of the most important days of my life comes to pass (my wedding), I need to remember why my fiancée and I are doing this, how little time we have on this earth to love each other, and frankly how tiny some of those seeming insurmountable problems appear from an eternal viewpoint. Whether eternity turns out to be nothing at all or some celestial kingdom, it can’t hurt to imagine one’s life in such a time frame. People get so overwrought about things that are meaningless, me especially. My philosophy should always be,  “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!” Sometimes there’s some great shit in the bible! 😀

Shabby is My New Word

It’s incredibly hard to find out you are such a disappointment to so many people. Work entails hearing from person after person about what you got wrong in the bulletin and what you failed to put in. Co-workers hang up while you are still talking or cut you off in mid-sentence. There is no office for me. I can be interrupted at anyone’s whim and expected to fix everyone’s mistakes, computers, sermons, or hear the latest sagas about their problems while the whole while you are a mess. It’s finding out that everyone your fiance knows just tolerates you or downright hates you for daring to intrude. It’s finding out that one of them tried to call your boss and get your fired. It’s hearing later how shabby you’ve acted by intruding on a close friendship. It’s hard to know you’ve failed at a 30 year marriage or that you’ve been told that your son is gay because you are an overbearing mother and your husband was a passive father. It’s hard to keep it together when it’s all so relentless and comes from all sides. Sometimes you barely have time to think or answer or do the right things.  It’s hard to be screamed at by your sister for daring to have a different opinion or told what’s good for you about religion and politics, especially when no one really cares what you think anyway.  it makes you wonder where you took the wrong turn or what small trifling thing started you down the path of most resistance. All the while you know there’s someone gloating and firmly believing in “what goes around, comes around.” She couldn’t be more right.