Like an old leaf on the water

drowning leaf

Via Flickr.com; some rights reserved.

My husband keeps asking me, “Are you okay?” And I keep not being okay. (I don’t say that, but I’m not.)

It feels like I’ve got something painful to realize or to say, but I’m not quite there yet. Have you ever had a niggling vague ache that you can’t quite pin down, but you know it’s not supposed to feel that way? That’s the kind of disquieting feeling I have. I don’t even know how to talk about it with him.

I’m no Neo, but Morpheus captured that elusive pain well when he said, “You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”

I know what it is, really. I have to:

  • LET GO of my reservations about my husband,
  • Live with those reservations (and quietly die inside), or
  • Stop this charade and begin the painful process of tearing down this old life so I can live a new one.

How can it be that four years have passed since his affair, and I’m still stuck with this aching heart, pressing on my wounds to see if they still bleed (no) and if they still hurt (yes) or if I just have tough, numb scars by now.

I read a term yesterday on the wonderful Chump Lady website: Hopium. That unrealistic optimism that we drum up to sustain us when there’s nothing of real substance. I’m abusing myself with Hopium. It’s like eating Styrofoam. Filling, but it’s not real food.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to BELIEVE.” (With apologies to Shakespeare.)

I don’t know how to UN-immobilize myself. And I’m afraid. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be old. I don’t want to hurt my youngest child. I don’t want to be so very poor by myself. I want someone who knows the old stories, the baby tales, the inside jokes. I want my child to have one Christmas with her family, not two. I want my old perceptions of my life and the people in it.

I need help letting go. I can’t keep holding on. And it feels unconscionable for me to let go of this marriage based on a feeling. And it is unbearably frustrating that he’s just in a waiting game, waiting for me to “be okay” again. He is endlessly patient, but he hasn’t changed.

Am I just waiting for him to whip out the scissors and cut the ties that bind, so that my hands are clean?

How important are my feelings, after all? Are they my essence, or a distraction of the pure intellectual being I am? I don’t think the latter is true; I have feelings whether I express them or not. But are my feelings ME, or they just something transient that I experience?

I’m trying to decide about my marriage and my life. Trying not to keep DRIFTING.

And I have the nagging feeling that I’m not asking the right questions, not looking clearly at the right things, scratching spots that are right NEXT TO what’s itching but not on the itchy spot itself.

It’s discouraging how much I want to just passively drift instead of taking risks.

  2 comments for “Like an old leaf on the water

  1. Annie
    August 26, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    I just want to tell you to think of your injury not as a wound in need of healing but as an amputation. You lost a part of yourself, like an arm or a leg. You lost the sweet ability to trust. When trust gets lopped off it just never grows back no matter how much you miss it. Accept, rage, and mourn that loss. Adapt yourself to work around trust’s absence. Know that no matter who you are with, your ability to trust will never be part of the equation. Maybe that’s the way it should have been all along. Fall in love with yourself, survivor that you are, and trust yourself. Take all the time you need to figure things out. It’s gonna be okay.

  2. Effie
    June 29, 2017 at 11:57 PM

    Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment! It helps. I’m sorry that I somehow overlooked it until today, but the timing hits me just right at the moment — so maybe this is serendipity. ;o)

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