Posts Tagged ‘divorce’
I am confronting the concept of boundaries lately and am learning that sometimes I have to draw them out with thick, deliberate strokes. Run my pencil back and forth along the plane -point to point- so that the lines I am asking not to be crossed become the crude illustration of a child.
Sometimes underlining something over and over again is the only way to get my point across.
My boundaries have been crossed time and time again over the last few years. Frankly, it’s part of why I decided my marriage should end, why the hurt had become so very indelible… absolutely impossible to erase. Because when you give the space for something to exist, ample space even, more than enough, really… and the person you’ve given that space to casts an even wider net, arching menacingly over the lines of the agreement and into territory that would have been much better left alone, which is of course why the territory was marked, inexplicably, with the letters KO for Keep Off in the first place… when you give that space and that space gets filled up and even more space is taken?
It pisses you off.
It pisses me off anyway.
And you would think I’d have learned by now. Learned how to set the proper boundaries so that I can keep manipulative, toxic people off of my front porch and the resulting anger such situations guarantee at bay. I haven’t figured it out, apparently. Because it’s still happening.
Perhaps this situation (my apologies for being so esoteric about the details, but this is not an I-got-fucked-over-and-wanna-tell-you-about-it sitch) … perhaps this situation is the teacher I needed to slap me on the hand with a wooden ruler, a merciless reminder to pay attention to red flags. I mean, I know better than to ignore the scarlet harbingers of doom. Especially when I watch them waving, ironically, cloyingly… inside my own home.
Yes. I will remember from now on. Set my boundaries in solid graphite and keep a watchful eye out for the red.
Reminders received and duly noted.
Since my separation, and because I had an open marriage, the most common question I get asked is – Would you have another open relationship?
Ummm… I have no clue.
Part of me wants to just say yes, YES, I will be forever Open. Open to more. Open all the Way!
Yes indeed, I have a bit of a stalwart inclination to announce, loudly, that the plurality of openness (meaning my opportunity to experience sex and intimacy -of varying degrees- with different people while having a primary partner) suits me perfectly.
But maybe it doesn’t.
Or maybe it suited me then but not now. Or maybe the practice of non-monogamy is something that, like sexuality itself, is fluid and ever-changing. There are aspects of it that make great sense, or at least did to me and my husband at the time. There were parts of it that were extremely challenging, and then there were times when it seemed easy. Almost too easy. But yeah, I’ve always had an inclination towards non-monogamy ever since I started dating way back in High School. But now? The idea of finding a partner (or partners) with whom non-monogamy could actually work?
Seems like a daunting task.
Especially since I was pretty sure it was working when I was practicing it. Well, when it was working, I guess. Because it didn’t always. But nothing is seamless, is it? Every puzzle has the outline of each of its pieces, visible even to the naked eye. It’s the same with relationships; especially non-monogamous ones, where the seams are prone to magnification of such extent that ignoring them is impossible. Recognizing the breaks forces examination of the relationships.
All of them.
The hope is that they can be put back together, but that just isn’t always the case.
I don’t know what sort of shape my intimate life or future relationships will take. I can’t know that and I guess I will have to be okay with the not knowing. Since no one else is privy to such things either (dammit!) Even if we think we know… we don’t really. I once thought I knew – forever was the goal – but I was wrong. And while plural relationships have their advantages – like teaching us how to love deeply and form important bonds with others besides our primary partner and access compersion for all involved, and helping us recognize that relationships aren’t proprietary endeavors – for now, I think I quite like the idea of monogamy.
Monogamy of the self, that is.
A commitment to Me and only Me.
Singularly … single.
If you really love me, then let’s make a vow…right here, together… right now. Okay? Okay. All right. Repeat after me—I’m gonna be free. I’m gonna be free. And I’m gonna be brave. I’m gonna be brave. Good. And the next one is— I’m gonna live each day as if it were my last. Oh, that’s good. You like that? Yeah. Say it. I’m gonna live each day as if it were my last. Fantastically. Fantastically. Courageously. Courageously. With grace.
And so begins Miranda July’s movie, Me and You and Everyone we Know, based on her book of the same name.
Grace. It’s something I have been practicing for, I dunno, years now? How does one successfully embrace and embody grace continually? I haven’t figured out the formula for that. Grace and I are touch and go these days. She shows up when she feels like it but has abandoned me during those times when it seems I needed her the most.
I cried all the way through July’s movie last night while I sat alone on my couch with my cat and ordered-in garlic shrimp, pork egg-roll dangling out of my mouth while tears streamed down my face. The movie was described by Netflix as an examination of people’s idiosyncrasies. I think they should have called it Hey you, yeah you, crazy, gettin’ divorced lady, you are gonna cry your heart out tonight while you sit alone in your home and eat Chinese food that you paid way too much for. See, if they had just said something along those lines, maybe, just maybe I would have been somewhat prepared for the heart-bruising about to be inflicted upon me. But I wasn’t. I kept watching anyway.
Sometimes a girl just needs to sit home alone on a Friday night and weep over wontons.
Alone. I am learning to be alone. It hurts sometimes – being alone – because it’s so damned confronting. There are these expectations that we should be doing something, anything, with another person; fill the voids of time when we aren’t at work, or doing homework or housework or other worky work. Those expectations especially apply to a newly single person who is unencumbered for the weekend – no kid, just a couple of cats and some shitty Chinese food, including cheese wontons. I mean, what is up with cheese wontons?
There is just nothing right about cheese wontons. Nothing.
But back to confronting the empty, the lonely, the void. I have never done much of it before, so this has been somewhat … challenging to approach. I am an expert void-filler. I even wrote a book about how I filled the void – with plenty of booze, with drugs to some extent, with relationships that were toxic, with sex and with people. Using people (and sex with those people) as void fillers is the worst of such transgressions, I think, because it pulls them into your subconscious misery, invites them to dance around with you on your shit-stained floor and kick it up with you. The whole, I may be sad, but at least I am not sad alone, stuff. Everyone does it. I am trying not to do it these days.
Mainly because it’s not very graceful.
So, yeah, I am attempting to practice that grace thing. Figure out how to fill the void that exists inside of myself, by myself. Alone. Does it make me lonely, being alone? It’s diaphanous, that line between lonely and alone – I almost miss it. But, yes, I feel lonely sometimes. Not always, but enough so that my inclination to reach out to people just to make myself feel better is almost uncontrollable, defiant even. But one thing I’ve noticed? The desire to do so is proving to be -like that line between lonely and alone- just transparent enough so that I can see it.
And when I can see the inclination? I can cut it the fuck out. Stop the urge to void-fill in its shit-kicking tracks.
So I guess this is me learning how to be gracefully alone. It will take practice, of that I am certain. Hopefully I will achieve it at some point before I die.
If not, I will at least go understanding one very important thing - I never, ever needed to have another cheese wonton.