Myopic Autonomy

I can’t seem to get myself together. I change the music, I change my clothes. The days get away from me by leaps and bounds and there’s no grasping them even by a hair. My own mortality, my lack of wanting to move on, or even know where to go or how to get there is overwhelming. I stood in the garage the other day for what seemed like hours, frozen by the not knowing. Why do I have any of this stuff? Who will care, who would want any of it, if for some reason I stopped breathing tomorrow…? I have no children, no husband, not even someone who cares to hold my hand or talk to me as the day ends. I want to say I miss that purposeful vulnerability so much, but did I ever really know it, for any longer than a few days at a time? It’s been almost 12 years since my divorce was final and I am still in the same place, still by myself; still painfully alone at times it knocks the wind out of me. There is no one to lean on, no one to help me through. There never really was—with the exception of that short, precious pocket of time when the man came into my life and fell so deeply, totally in love with me; I had to tell myself daily I did deserve it. But it took so much trust for me to accept it; and when I did, when we were finally on the same page, he turned and ran. And returned. And left… again. I can ask the cards, pick runes, dangle a pendulum, but to what end…? I can’t look at myself in the mirror with my glasses on—I see old, wrinkled, sad. That lovely veil of far-sightedness makes me out to be far more attractive than what I am when I really see me for who, and what, I am.
Zen KittiesWhat does he see?
What did he see, and why did he work so hard to finally win me over, only to come to some realization that I am not what he needs, what he wants. I was a liability. Far more than his children ever would be? Or are? I have to wonder if his children—and they are still children, grown as they may be—had come to accept me, that maybe this whole painful rollercoaster ride of whatever it is we’re doing would have been avoided. I can’t change anything about him. But I can try to accept that I will never come first—though I did for a brief time—until he felt the consequences; I will always take a back seat to his being “the parent”. He has said as much. And proved it.
That is so foreign a concept to me—being chosen, being favored. As a parent, or a daughter. And he knows that. Does he feel any empathy about it? Perhaps. Not.
So all this time, the years I wasted being married to a man-child of an addict; the failed attempts at the few relationships since then—what have they amounted to? I have made some huge mistakes along those lines. But from it, I have learned to depend on no one. I have learned how to fix my plumbing, build a fence, patch a wall. I learned how to do without because there is no “other/second income” besides mine—indeed, in its place for so many years there was a massive sucking of my resources by the addict, no support in any definition of the word—no one to lean on in times like now when I am back to wondering just what I’m going to do with my life; if I’m ever going to find any kind of meaningful employment ever again, for one thing. Meanwhile, there is no one to come home to, to work out the puzzles of life with, to seek shelter in that warm safety and comfort of understanding, loving silence.
God, I want that.
But, if I got it, would I find it hard to get used to? For years now I haven’t had to answer to anyone, I talk to myself, I make the bed, or I don’t. I steam broccoli or eat a hard-boiled egg for dinner. I don’t know if I would even know how to live with another person anymore. I secretly bristle when I have a house guest. My home feels too small. I feel like my life is being invaded; anywhere they are is too close. It seems such an effort to make conversation, to “entertain”. I want to do what I normally do—walk around in my underwear, or switch gears every few minutes, or just waste time—could I ever be good company to anyone and still live that way? I am spoiled by my own autonomy. I heard that phrase somewhere, and it stuck to the inside of my eyelids like a grain of sand.
That’s why the way he lives his life, his work, seemed—seems—like such the perfect fit for me, for us. I love that he has the same independence, the same need for autonomy; and he is traveling the world more often than not. And for once I wouldn’t have to take care of everything, to make sure I could cover all the expenses of OUR life, or be the one responsible for holding everything together, sometimes barely by a thread like I did for so many insane, stupid, intolerable, wasted years. He could, but wouldn’t have to, take care of me, if it came to that. And he did, for a while. I didn’t want him to leave my house. But neither of us were ready for it… whatever it is.
And he loved me. At least he thought he did. I ached to share that non-conformative life; to be there—not to be needed so much as loved—appreciating the silence, the space, the differences, the similarities, the autonomy.
To be liked.

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