I think I have been disengaged with myself for the better part of the past three or four years.
That’s a long time.
I’ve been stuck in a rut of devaluing myself and going through the motions of life.
I spend ‘free’ time escaping through mind-numbing Netflix and Hulu time to avoid thought. When I do pull myself out enough to think, the thoughts are not typically positive. I feel stuck, I act stuck, I am stuck. The replay button must have molasses on it…
I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. When I try to spend time thinking about it in a positive and meaningful way, I get caught up in all the regrets of not being present and not knowing how to correct myself…and then the disengagement comes again. Fixing my life seems daunting and insurmountable because the things I want to fix seem out of my control and impossible to attain.
I tried to make a list today of times when I’ve felt happiness in my life to see if I can see any patterns and possibly start seeking experiences akin to what caused happiness previously. I wish I had more moments from my marriage that stuck out to me as being happy.
I think that also makes me sad and want to retreat too, because of the weight of the failure to recognize that I sucked at marriage. The evidence of me sucking at marriage makes my thought process look toward the present and feel that the reason I haven’t found anyone to be interested in dating me is because of that suckiness. Though I want to believe that I didn’t suck and that I deserved to be loved for who I was and what I had to offer – the bottom line is that I wasn’t…not really.
In the past several years I have had some good friends come into my life, and also go out of it. Some due to proximity limitations when you move far away from someone, but I feel that mainly it’s because I’m not a terribly ‘supportive’ friend. I feel capable of little compassion, most likely because I think I have been so wrapped up in my own head. Close friends need that compassion and when I can’t supply it, they need to move on to others for that close friendship. I become relegated to the ‘acquaintance’ level or removed from their lives completely. Then I rationalize that THAT is what must have happened with my ex. I wasn’t compassionate enough or thoughtful of what I needed to do/be for him as a wife.
Then rational thought says WTF? as the list of random neglect and withdrawal my ex perpetrated on me comes swirling back to thought.
Then I want to disengage.
My mother often begrudges me that I don’t have some ‘hobby’ to spend my time in a worthwhile endeavor. She quilts and cleans and gardens. She has always had hobbies because she has always been a stay at home mom/wife and she needed things to fill her time. She doesn’t realize that my job and my kids are a HUGE hobby time filler. I definitely parent very differently than she did…I’m much more present. It’s not that I don’t recognize the value of having a hobby to put efforts into…I do. I just don’t know what that hobby for me would be. I try different things and there’s a level of detachment even when I’m doing it. I’m not like her. I don’t have desire to sew, or meticulously clean, or tend a garden, or other domestic seeming tasks. I also don’t run, or exercise, or do other ‘group societal’ activities that are mainstream these days.
And not doing those things makes me feel like I’m not ‘normal’ and therefore not appealing to the opposite sex. (at least not the ones I want to be appealing to) Like I somehow should be making myself into something more appealing or I am definitely going to end up an old spinster. Not that I have opportunities in my life to meet interesting men anyway…
I have social groups. There are women I work with that I consider good friends. We get together outside of work and I lean on them, and they on me. I have another group of women I was accepted into that get together socially once a month and I see them randomly in other areas of life via kids or work activities also. They’re all awesome women, but I don’t really feel connected to them directly…more of an interloper of sorts. It’s a lonely existence for me, and I don’t know if it’s my own doing, or if people just aren’t drawn to me for meaningful relationships.
I feel lonely in a crowd. Even a crowd of my own ‘friends’. Last night was one such occasion. I was the host of the evening. I prepared everything for a group of 15 and the house was full of laughter and conversations. I was there, but I felt apart. I know it’s me and not them…I just don’t know how to fix it and make it different.
I don’t like my community (not my immediate ‘people’, but the quality of those living in the area)…I often wonder if people anywhere I would go would be the same. I think not because of the strong connection I had to my community several years back before the move to this state and before the divorce changed my ‘station’. There’s a rat race that exists here with the proximity to the HUB of city and government that disgusts me. There is also a “high school” level maturity to how adults act with other adults and a lack of parenting responsibility that seems rampant. There’s also what I consider a following of hypocrites that proclaim the spirit of their savior as they go out and sin willfully with the knowledge that their sin is forgiven…and I’m not supposed to judge. Plus they act like they’ve got it all figured out and they’re happy and God is leading them and then it makes me question myself again in that why do I feel so forsaken by Him. And I’m sure it’s due to my own doubt. God can’t fully reside in a doubtful heart.
So bottom line…I don’t feel fully present. I don’t feel happiness. I don’t feel fulfilled. I feel empty and disconnected.
And I know it rubs off into my relationships with others.
And I don’t know how to fix it, and honestly I try.
Over and over again.
And then this shows up in my FB feed…
I think it is quite normal that some of the mud sticks after a divorce .One feels bad because the marriage ended and it is natural to think there must be something wrong with you. It takes quite a while for this feeling to fade and probably never does completely. I still get this feeling recur for me. Whenever I feel like that I try and think of something positive to do and some good that I can do for someone, no matter how small the deed and who it is for. That always makes me feel better about myself that someone else benefitted from my more positive attitude (even if it is just the girl at the check-out in the supermarket).
As for the hobbies … I am 62, my children have all left home, and I am no longer working. However, I STILL haven’t got to my hobbies! I am planning on getting to them soon and in fact it is something I am really looking forward to. i do not think there is anything wrong with you in that regard, it is hard for you being a working mother with children, and there simply is no time.
Hang in there. You are a fantastic mother. You are doing fine. It will all work out right in the end.
Take care …
Elizabeth, thanks for the words of support. I hope you are doing well these days. Nice to hear from you! 🙂