Six months ago my marriage ended. I had been married for thirty years. We had been good friends throughout that time, but it wasn’t enough. I was lonely, and certainly so was she. We weren’t a couple that put up a good facade around friends, family, colleagues. We were just who we were, nothing extraordinary, only a married couple with children. Fortunately our kids were of an adult age, so truthfully, they are able to draw their own conclusions. As I write this I’m pretty confident I haven’t lost my kids.
For the last half a year, I haven’t known really how to write about this. I keep two journals today, one about my marriage, and how I am adjusting to our divorce, and another about a close friend. In both situations, I am confused, generally angry with myself, and often helpless to my own emotions. Throughout my life, I have forever internalized my feelings, taking things personally, and judged myself before I have anyone else. I am my own worst enemy. I need to tell my story. I’ve used the blog to write a lot of poetry, words and stories that are very close to my heart. Sometimes, playing with my emotions, more often than not trying to find some sense in my state of mind. My needs have been quite simple – I have wanted to feel loved.
My fear of being alone has been with me since a young age. I remember feeling quite astounded that a woman would actually want to spend the rest of her life with me, because in my eyes, I have always been a rather terrible person. The truth is, I’m not. I’m a pretty good person, and I have spent so many years living a self-defeating fantasy, it is rather impossible to imagine living any other way. I have been actively suicidal since I was 12 years old. I lost my cousin and have always felt it should have been me rather than him, because he was so much more popular and credible than me. I have never really given myself the opportunity to feel confident, and yet at the same time, I have been forced to put up airs of normalcy all my life.
I was raised to believe that in marriage you do find that support, that two people decide they are going to sacrifice their lives for the betterment of their partner in marriage. In ours we never quite made it to that little piece of nirvana. In fact, we failed to communicate with one another since day one. I felt judged, and she felt alone. I felt alone, and she felt judgmental. We never found a way to help each other to really feel. In marriage, I have always believed that is a major component in the success of a partnership. I watched scores of my friends show open affection and passion for one another, and there was never a time when I could feel that was the case with us. I chose to avoid dealing with that reality in the same respect as did my wife. We were both afraid to reveal who we really were. So we chose outlets instead.
I found addiction to be my saving grace. One can certainly sense the idiocy in that comment, but the truth is, addiction helped me to be alone rather than face the unhappiness of my marriage. Oh I always hoped and I would have spurts of trying to make things work – travel, gifts, flowers – even upgrading diamond rings – yet something was always missing. Our own ability to fairly treat one another as lovers never occurred, and always maintained a swath between ourselves and our desire. We lacked passion, we lacked the suggestion of going beyond our limits to make things work. We simply lived apart together.
Over the years, our focus was our children, we raised them well, their values, their ability to live honest lives, their desire to love is a wonderful reality that held the two of us together for many years. But they grew up, and they left, and at that point we became another victim of the empty nest syndrome. We just didn’t know any longer what to do with ourselves. The illusion had been broken.
So now today, I have done a lot of reflecting. I have a dear friend who knows what love means in my life, and I am eternally grateful. When I look directly at y life today, I understand that my priorities have been out of balance. I let my addictions take over again and again; however, the one thing I have learned is that I can overcome their stranglehold on my life. When my marriage fell apart, I could easily have started using alcohol or drugs, and I didn’t, so there has to be some value there.
I’m writing this tonight because I know there are listeners and I am grateful to all of you no matter how close or distant. It may seem sometimes, I only want one set of eyes, and there is truth in that notion. I am in a position where the one person I would willingly share every aspect of my life is not attainable, so all I can do is wait and hope for her eyes.
In the meantime, I am divorced elderly man starting a new chapter in life, and I am grateful for you the reader, if you are still here in my final words for listening.
© Scott F Savage 6/2020