Yesterday I posted a scattering of feelings and thoughts that have been springing up. Much came to a head over the weekend when I woke up and realized my current position in life. There isn’t one.
Oh yes, I am still a daughter, sister, mom, aunt, friend etc, but things are suddenly very different in my head.
It used to be that any decisions I made had to be weighed against how it would impact my spouse and children. At 22yo I was divorcing and a single mom, trying to keep my head above water and had a little boy that was very dependent on me to keep it all together and balanced. I wish I could say I was a smashing success but the reality is many days I was functioning on auto-pilot at best. Sure I had lofty goals as a mother, early to bed, bath every night, healthy foods and lots of quality play time with my baby boy. Reality was more in line with “here, have a Twinkie, please just stop hanging on mommy’s leg and whining for 5 minutes so I can make dinner.” I wanted to be the greatest mom walking but I was lucky if I made it through the day with minimal dribble on my shoulder and the poor kid had on a clean diaper.
I remember one night, after being sleep deprived for weeks, when I finally snapped. He was in bed, crying, dry diaper, well fed and I was beyond my last reserve nerve. I was a rattled zombie. I checked on him, closed his door, picked up the phone book and stretched the phone (days before cordless) out on my apartment balcony and shut the door so I could not hear him. I was crying my eyes out and flipping through the phone book for a frazzled parents hot line. Nothing there, go figure. I ended up calling the suicide hot line. I wasn’t suicidal, but I was getting to that moment where I knew how parents might snap and really smack the crap out of a kid. So I did the only thing I could think to do, remove myself from him and call someone who cared or could at least pretend too. Guess it was a really slow night in the ‘hey I wanna off myself’ realm, because the nice guy talked to me for well over an hour. I spilled my heart out about my frustrations with being divorced at 22, a single mom, at a job that had just cut our pay 10% when I wasn’t able to make ends meet as it was, in an upside down loan on a new car and more debt than I knew what to do with. I told him how frustrated and tired I was and how I just wanted one glorious night of sleep, but this toddler kept crying and kept getting me up and I just couldn’t take it anymore. He listened, said all the right things…then after about an hour and a half suggested I go check on the baby. I came back to report he was sleeping soundly, at which point the nice man suggested I go do that same and wished me well.
Later I’d remarry, have another child, and find myself the bread winner during an agonizing 17 plus surgeries with the ex hubby. I hated my job, hated carrying so much responsibility and hated my life. I couldn’t blow my nose, it seemed, without wondering if it would be a good thing for my family. Jobs, homeschooling, doctors, college at night…everything had to be weighed. Even divorcing there were so many decisions to make that had to be in the best interest of my daughter more than anyone.
I have been the victim of the economy 3 times now when it comes to employment. 26 years at one job, then barely 8 months at the next 2. It is why I opted for childcare and Avon.
Because of my current living arrangements, I am fortunate not to have to be so concerned about what I do. I just need to make enough to pay my bills. I have no spouse, my kids are adults, and no one is depending on me, no one NEEDS me. Yes the Divas would miss me but if someone erased Marti from the face of the earth, on a financial level and responsibility level, there would be little if any impact on anyone. No one’s life would change dramatically over it as far as their standard of living.
It was a piece of cake when I went to college at 37, I knew what I wanted to do. Then life threw a curve ball as I was one class away and we ended up kinship foster parents to 4 kids for a year. I lost the drive and desire to be a sign language interpreter. I love the language still but just not sure I could ever do it for a living.
Right now I am in a new place in my life, and I’m terrified. No sense of direction, no clear path, heck no path at all. I am free to make any decision I want for my life and for the first time it is all about me. No way to see what is around the bend, and yet no real need to know. I am sitting still and not sure what to do. No sense of anything big or small about to happen….just nothingness. And I have NO idea what to do. I should relish the stillness but it is not something comfortable for me. I NEED direction, plans and goals. And I got nothing.
I do not like this at all. 😦
Nothing wrong with just doing the “survival float” for a while. Maybe it’s like love. The minute you relax and stopping looking for it, it falls right in your lap. Could be that all the Fates are gathered at the conference table, and they are studying YOU right now and deciding what to send your way. Yeah, I bet that’s what it is. But you’ll be ready….
I always worry they will want to see just how much I can take before I crack! lol
Wow . I think we all dream of free-floating when we’re swamped, but don’t really consider how freaky it would be in reality. It sounds like someone changed up the question on you and asked “Now that you’re all grown up, what do you want to be with your childhood?” since kids don’t have that sense of being needed or having identity either. Weird. I say have fun with it – get dreamin’ !
Just trying to get my bearings and then figure out what I want to do, try, etc., next 🙂
If only I had the time to comment on more of your posts- they’re always good, eve the wine and cheese but whenever I read something that hits home, I’ve got to take a moment and tell you how amazing you are.
Your ability to be so open and direct- with the “it is what it is” details about the things going on in your life. The realization that after having spent so $uch of your life being there for everyone else, taking care of the kids, the husbands. Now it’s time for you and as frightening as it sounds, somehow you have to prepare yourself to embrace the changes, the unknown.
It’s interesting how I read different blogs and think how different we all are, backgrounds, upbringings and lifestyles but in the end- we all go through the same crap in one way or another.
Thanks again for sharing and make it a great week!
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