Friday, August 30, 2013

Divorce Times Week Eight: Help! I’m Kind of Stuck

I had a dream this morning that I was walking along in my favorite park and all of a sudden the trail got way too steep and became a rock-climbing situation. I realized I’d gone too far up and when I looked down, I saw an enormous dried up river that must’ve dried up fast because there were abandoned kayaks and all kinds of other detritus in there. I couldn’t go up, I couldn’t go back, but then I noticed a light trail someone had trod in the grass right near where I was. Animals were playing two-by-two in the riverbed, and yapping dogs heckled me as I headed off into the woods.

That little trail is exactly what I need right now, because I feel trapped. I feel so stuck in this living situation and I have no idea how to get out. We’re getting along fine as roommates and friends but the sadness of the apartment is just so draining, it can’t possibly be healthy. I don’t know how long it will take us to save up and get out of here, but right now it seems like forever. My job isn’t enough hours and she still has a long commute that eats up lots of gas and money and time.

A friend at church suggested just taking my time, getting used to this new job before I keep pushing ahead and try to find a second one. It sounded AMAZING when she said it—such an awesomely simple solution.  The idea of being gentle with myself and just having time to breathe and settle in seems foreign to me—so much of the past few years has been about powering through. Student teaching, my first crazy classroom, the urgency of trying to save the marriage in various reasonable-to-misguided ways, it’s all taken a lot of strength and determination, such a commitment to unraveling negative thought-patterns and undoing habits. It’s been very hard work and I’m tired. I should be okay with the idea of an easier job for a while and sometimes I am, but I still feel trapped on an impossible path where I can’t see the next turn.

A few days this week I felt optimistic, felt like everything was in its place to eventually work out. There are sometimes clear windows of faith to look through, and I’m so grateful for those days. My favorite thing that happened this week is that, for the first time in years, I painted wholeheartedly. I wasn’t forcing myself to paint through the grief or trying to fight boredom or stress. I just settled all the way in and let the shapes define themselves, let the colors make their own kind of sense. Also, there was glitter! Maybe that’s what I need to do with my life as well, just sink in and let it form like art.

Even though Cute Glasses Place Guy wasn’t the right sort of guy, it was so much fun almost venturing out again into the world of dating. I love the feeling of seeing how far a flirt can go, of putting a new number in my phone and giving it a whirl. Subsequently taking the number back out, but still! I don’t think I’m ready yet, but it’s nice to know that those kind of experiences are out there for me. I paused my OKCupid almost as soon as I put it back up, because I really think that IRL is the way to go.

Just like the not-quite-conscious thing that figures out the paintings, there is something in me that knows how to go forward. I know it’s there because if I do something, even something little, to fight the current (Say for instance texting a certain unavailable dreamboat muse…) a terrible feeling comes over me, like I am annihilating myself. It’s nothing anybody does or says, it’s just my intuition being really pissed off at me for going backwards—my own personal pillar of salt. The way ahead feels lonely without some of these characters, but the way ahead is the only way and I’m trying to listen to myself about that.

This weekend a lot of the people I like are away at a festival, romping around being kinky in the woods together and it’s hard not to feel sad and left out. I feel like the project of divorce and saving up for my own place takes me out of so many good things. On the other hand, I’ve got three get-togethers on the calendar for this weekend and hopefully also some time to rest. I’ll see Cute Master and Pretty Slave on Sunday and I am SO EXCITED to just enjoy the heck out of them. I hope that taking that little risk and letting myself try some new pleasure and adventure will make the path feel clearer, will help me open up a little more to whatever happens next.

A few weeks ago, I made this list of the reasons we are divorcing, to be read during the times when I feel the most despair:

Ten Reasons Why:

1. Being able to do whatever I want in my own bed.
2. Learning to love myself.
3. Remembering how to take care of myself.
4. Breaking my family’s cycle of abuse.
5. Finding myself a partner in crime.
6. No more second-date crying. (The bad kind, I mean.)
7. Following the lead set by joy.
8. The amazing confident feeling I get sometimes.
9. Because I want a family of more than two.
10. To truly honor my poly self.

In the course of typing up this post, I clicked over to Fet and posted a thread on the local rope group’s page. The heading is a sad six-word novel: “Free Ropes (To a Good Home).” I’m doing my best to let go of a little more every day, and I hope it works.

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