Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Different Life

I am struck frequently by how different my life is now vs. where it was. Throughout the journey of the last year I have often had people ask me why I look back. Why don't I just let it go and move forward. And the truth is, if it was that simple I would do it. It is often, in fact most of the time, not a conscious choice to look back to where I was.

Usually I am going about my daily life and I will be struck by something. A slap upside the head of where I have been and where I am still going. For the most part I have now learned that M is not J. Nothing he has ever done and nothing he has ever said has lead me to believe that there are any similarities there aside from the fact that they both do, in fact, possess male genitalia.

Yet, every once and awhile he will say something that will strike me wrong. At first I reacted to those things. I would say something or do something and he would have to reassure me that he was different, that my life was different. When we were about four months into our relationship there was an e-mail conversation we had about this. I alluded to it here but wasn't comfortable at the time giving details.

The basis of that e-mail was an exchange between M and I about where our relationship was going. We had been dating for four months and were still basically like a new couple. We saw each other once a week, we never talked on the phone, and on any given day I had pretty much no idea how he spent his time. I knew I was starting to fall for him, despite all of this, and I sort of wanted to know how he felt about it.

During that exchange he said this to me:

I wondered if you were simply excited because I wasn't J. I didn't yell at you, cut you down, throw things at you and on and on. Really, I don't want that to be the basis of why you're with me. Because I don't do these things should not be flattering or impressive to either of us.

I knew that I should have known this, that he should have known this. And the fact that I was unable to convey to him that I did not like him simply because he was not my ex husband made me realize pretty quickly that I had to change some things in my life.

Two months later, M is VERY well aware that the reasons I like him have nothing to do with him not being J. I like him because he is him, I appreciate a lot of what he does for me so much more because of where I have come from. I think this much I have finally made clear to him.

But sometimes those things still sneak in. The other night we were texting and he said something to me that triggered that response. The difference is now I know it. I recognize it and I can also stay quiet long enough to sort through why I'm reacting the way I do. When he finally asked where I had gone this was my response:

The difference between me and several of the other women you've dated that you thought were crazy is not the lack of crazy thoughts or neurosis, it is my ability to keep my mouth shut.

I'm not sure he got it, I'm still not sure he does, but I do. I understand that I am saving my relationship by no longer setting him up to fail. I found this song this weekend, while going through old posts and moving the blog. This song was my life. The lyrics are what ran through my head over and over again when J was out using but the way she sings it, as if she has been there too, as if she fully understands, are what make this song great.

When I heard this song again this weekend it was one of those moments. A time when my breath caught in my chest and my heart sank. I was transported back to sitting on the couch, rocking back in forth in bed and praying that the phone would ring. A time in my life when I was trapped in my own personal hell.

Yesterday M and I were texting during the day and he said he would call me when he got off work. He was off work at 9:00 and at 9:05 my phone rang.

I need to remember today and every day to be grateful for where my life is now. To know that M is wonderful and perfect just as he is and that he has never been and will never be anything that J was.

Sometimes I just have to look a back a bit and remember so I can truly be appreciative of all I have now.

1 comment:

kbreints said...

I think that it would be a sad waste of experience to not look back. You are SO right. It is the times that are bad when we realize that the times of good.... are SO good.

I am so glad that you decided to move your blog... I can tell that you are happier here by the way that you are writing.

Really good stuff :)