Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Still suffering

So... suffering... I'm still on a rant about this.

In addition to thinking about work that I would do even if I had to suffer for it, and work that I flat out won't do even when I'm suffering, I also thought about ways I've suffered in the past and why the heck did I do that.


For example:

Twenty three years of a bad marriage. I knew it was a mistake the day I did it - but I didn't want to admit I was wrong about something. Of course, over the years, being married to a pompous asshole, I found I could be wrong, I could admit defeat, that I could "eat crow," and I could indeed admit to having made a mistake.

But by this time, my reasons for staying in the marriage had changed. It was now all about not having to get a "real job." I told myself it was because I wanted a stable home for the kids, that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but the truth was that I was afraid. I was afraid of a number of things, (being a "bad mother" for one, being "unloved" for another) and I was willing to endure a fair amount of suffering and even outright agony just to avoid facing those fears.

The day my marriage ended was the day I went out and found a job. The divorce didn't come for several more years, and there was a fair amount of agony and angst over it - but the truth is, I knew it was over the day I picked up the want ads and started making calls. So what happened?

It was obvious that I was a failure as a mother, clearly I was unloved, the things that I was afraid to face were now in my face - staring at me from the bathroom mirror, crawling into bed with me at night. I HAD to get a job so I could get away! All that suffering, all that endurance, it was all a waste. I was wrong. I was a failure. I was defeated. I was a bad mother. I was unloved. I was nothing, no one, and nowhere. It was the end of the line.

And so now in retrospect, I'm wondering what would have happened if I hadn't followed that road all the way to the bitter end. What if... and here's the mystery... what if on the day that we got married I had turned to Mike Janner and said:

"Hey look. I know this is going to sound really off the wall, but I've changed my mind. I'm not marriage material. I love you, and in this moment I'm committed to a relationship with you - but I want it to feel good all the way to the bone - and this doesn't feel good. I feel like I've just given away my power. I feel like I am now a prisoner in middle-class America. I feel as if my free spirit is about to be squished. Let's get this marriage annulled, and then let's just live together like a couple of 60's flower children - let's make our relationship work in a different way."

Wow... How different would my life have been had I the courage and the confidence to say that! I was thinking it... I do remember thinking those exact things as we drove off for our honeymoon.

What if I had believed in my self that strongly?
What if I had been willing to suffer the consequences of laying it all out like that?

And what about right now? What choices could I be making? Where am I giving my power away? What am I afraid of losing? How am I not being true to me? If I stopped right now and said... hey, wait a minute... this isn't right... what would I be referring to?

It's a mystery!
What about you? What's your mystery?

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