|Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on July 10, 2022 at 11:55 AM|
I can’t even express how painful the past two years have been ... understanding that all thirty years prior to that were nothing but narcissism and grandiosity.
The only good thing I can notice about that is that the years I believed in that dream were mostly so motherfucking miserable that at least that dream gave me hope. Without that hope, I don’t know how I would have survived.
At least now I’m finally doing well at work. In terms of my career, I am finally where I should have been twenty years ago … which, in terms of today’s prices means I will be okay, as long as I can still work.
Before, I felt so inept in my career I expected to be fired and unhireable any day, stuck working for minimum wage somewhere with $50,000 in student loans and more than that in hospital bills. At least that won’t happen as long as I can still work. Fears of being homeless were plentiful and real. But now I know that I won’t be homeless in the near future as far as I can tell. (I've been fat for many years so I could always have a heart attack tomorrow. You never know.)
So, now I don’t need that wonderful dream anymore. No writing miracle is ever going to break me out of a poverty-stricken old age. I live among a lot of people of color, poor lower-income renters, and my future looks a lot like theirs.
My dream of my future NOT looking like that is over.
I think it goes without saying that my long-ago dream of being thin and fit and having a body that looks like the culturally prescribed body women are “supposed” to have, or of ever feeling like I did in my twenties and thirties or even my early forties ever again, is over with, too.
I used to dream I’d have people to spend my life with. My husband, who’s been gone nearly nine years, and some small handful of friends. I’m proud to say I’ve toughened up to the point I don’t really miss that anymore.
I’ve changed so much I don’t think many other people would understand me now, and I’ve learned to enjoy my solitude. If I die one night of a heart attack and no one’s around to call 911 … so, what? It’s better than a long, slow, miserable, unaffordable death from cancer or Alzheimer’s, that’s for sure.
I used to dream that one day I’d have a new person to walk through life with … the person this website is about. I used to go to the pool and imagine he’d be there one day with me, or that instead of attending gatherings at my coworker’s home alone, he would be there and we would be two couples, like normal people. How nice that would have been! Her boyfriend wants to get into computer science. They could have talked about that, and we could have talked about work, like normal couples getting together to share a meal ... the sort of life other people have always had and I never had.
Once upon a time, we took one walk together. Just one short walk, and talked. He cut it short, because it upset him so much to be doing that he got an upset stomach. But that was the thing he wanted more than sex, he said. Just to have someone to take long walks with and talk. (Of course that makes sense. The guy was lonely!!) I used to think one day we'd do that.
No more. I don’t dream any of those things any more.
I don’t dream about anyone else either. As I said, it would take quite an understanding gentleman to look past these legs, this stomach, this rear, and these saggy old breasts, and I’m given to understand the dating market is shallow as ever and still into looks. People in their late 40's, 50's, and 60's still want to feel like they're twenty-five and have a sex life like that again. Well, fat chance. There's only one J. Lo. And I imagine even she is in menopause.
In any case, why would I want to put myself through that? I have NO desire to sit in restaurants risking covid, struggling to make small talk with strangers I really didn’t want to meet, kissing frogs for no reason. I had the best relationship I could ever have and was ever going to have with my late husband, anyway.
We were the same sort of person then ... obsessed with writing, thinking we were supremely talented (at least he was), working like dogs, supporting each other, cheering each other on toward dreams that would never come true.
I'm not that girl anymore. I can't even imagine the person I would want to be with now. It used to be this guy ... but this guy will marinate in a miserable marriage for the rest of his life (as far as I know). He will never wake up, never grow up, never be a person who doesn't think something is wrong with him, who doesn't grovel and grovel in every close relationship he has because he needs their approval.
Because he doesn't have even so much as a sand grain of his own. Kind of like my mom.
I can't imagine anyone else like that person. The healthy parts, I mean. The sly and wicked sense of humor. The brilliant mind. The fascinating conversation. The sparkling interest in so many things. The well-rounded knowledge and competence (in everything but his emotional state and his personal life, that is), and just the general fun of talking to him. He was so talented and creative.
Even that is fading, though. After enough years of no contact with someone, it isn't true that only the good memories always remain. In this case, the good stuff is getting harder and harder to recall, but the bad stuff is still front and center.
Because I've lived the consequences of it for seven years now. And there's no way to see any evidence if anything's changed, so oh, well. And anyway, all that was just the stuff he escaped into so he didn't have to face and deal with his marriage, his ACoA problems, his codependency, and his low self-worth.
No wonder he was so good at all those things. I used to listen to him and feel inferior. Now I think he got the short end of the stick. No--HE GAVE HIMSELF the short end of the stick. Anybody that smart is smart enough to apply himself to his problems and get the fuck well. He just didn't want to deal with the pain.
Kind of like my mom.
Besides, I'm old, I'm fat, I have no sex drive anymore, and I don't need a parter. The whole business of this last seven murderous, miserable years was to grow me up out of codependency to the point I'd be fine by myself. And I got there.
Now, I'm fine by myself.
At any rate, at this age, it wouldn't be very long before I'd be going through the whole caregiving-the-final-illness thing again. Thank God I was in my early forties for that. I don't have the energy to do it again. All the old-people-need-caregiving is out of my life now--finally!--and it would have to be a very, very special person before I'd volunteer for that again.
There will be no one to do it for me.
Boy, does it feel weird to be alive now.
I look back at all those years gone by, and they were so stressful. There I am, galloping furiously through life, workingandworkingandworking and rushingandrushingandrushing, panting and gasping and struggling for the time left over to just sit and concentrate on writing whatever I thought at the time my magnum opus would be. My husband defended his time fiercely. We used to fight over it.
Although, if you are developing a brain tumor and you're going to get diagnosed shortly and be gone in two years, I guess time really is of the essence.
Now, I don't have to worry about it. I have no talent. This world is never going to want anything I have, so I can just stop now.
And the even-funnier thing is, I have no ideas anymore, and feel even less enthusiasm. Well ... I did read an article about Room 8, the cat, and have the thought that this would make a GREAT family-oriented movie, and how it was shocking no one had done a movie about this yet. Since a screenplay is only about 90-120 pages it would be a short project. I could dig up my old screenwriting notes and do that.
Except I have NO ideas, and NO enthusiasm.
It isn't fun anymore. It just seems like a big waste of time.
I'm much happier these days writing short articles here and on Medium and YourTango. YourTango does a "Top 20" email once a month, and I've been in there every month since they started doing it. So, that's something, I guess. I don't get paid for it, of course.
But, it's definitely less of a time-and-energy sink than thinking you're going to be a full-time novelist one day. I just don't miss the constant anger that Life wouldn't give me the time to work on a novel and being angry at everything else I had to do that kept me away from it.
That kind of enthusiasm only lasts for as long as you can believe the sun rises out of your ass, and there's only one J. K. Rowling, only one Stephanie Meyer, only one E. L. James, only one Patricia Cornwell that's true for. And none of them are me!
I think what I'm doing now is actually much more constructive. Instead of blowing my ego up on so much hot air, I'm just being a regular person. An average little old fat lady.
I never realized how nice it feels to just come home, lie down on the couch, and put a movie on. Well--correction--I did, I just always felt like I didn't have the time because that was the Only Time I had to work on my Magnum Opus. (Unless me and my husband were watching a movie together that touched on topics we were covering in our novels and we could have a long and interesting conversation about it. And laugh our asses off about stuff while we were doing it. And then screw. ;))
I mean, think about it. I've spent a lot of time now in nursing homes. And the people who had enough marbles there, my relatives in particular, missed the good old days where they could go under their own power out to eat, shop, etc. and when their schedules were their own and they didn't have to go depending on when someone else could get off work and had the time.
Well, covid ended going out anywhere, I don't have the desire or the energy to anymore, and I don't want to live that way when I'm old anyhow.
I want to just be able to peacefully accept my circumstances, instead of being bitter that I got old and now I can't do anything but sit there in a wheelchair and watch TV. If all I'm doing is sitting there watching TV now in my old battered condo, and in a decade or two I will be sitting there watching TV in my old battered local nursing home ... I haven't lost anything but geography. There will be no more big changes or sad losses in my life.
I'm already widowed and single, I've already lost everyone, I'm already adapted to being old. I Have Nothing Left To Lose, and I have the time to goof off that I wanted to have as a kid and was always so angry that Homework and Cleaning Half The House for a stay-at-home mother who didn't want to do anything and yet called ME lazy never allowed me to have.
Now, I'm closing in on 55 and I have it, finally!! (Except I can never retire.) And life gets harder and harder the older I get, so why push myself harder and harder? I can never get those goals anyway.
These days my tarot readings talk about Some Big Thing I was supposed to do, now that I'm UNcodependent and free of romantic hassles.
If there is one, someone is going to have to explain it to me. After fifty-four years of saying NO to everything I ever wanted to be, do, and have, the Universe is going to have to stop scolding me for finally ACCEPTING its NO.
I really don't think it's fair for the Universe to put unclimbable walls in front of one all of one's life, and then imply there's something wrong with one when one finally accepts those walls and gets comfortable inside them.
Wasn't this all supposed to be just an exercise in finding humility and giving up narcissism and grandiosity?? In accepting ordinariness and seeing myself as okay even though I will never be thin, beauty is over, sex is over, and I will never publish a bestseller??
'Cause if it wasn't, you sure could have fooled me.
Universe ... SHUT UP.
And fuck you. If I was supposed to have some remaining enthusiasm for achievement at this age ... a little help, a little earlier would have facilitated that quite a bit.
I have an opportunity in October to start NCGR classes and study for my Astrologer Level One. If I can afford the $800 at that point, that is. I did have an idea for a book I could write if I can at least get some certification.
Is it worth the trouble? Fuck knows. These days I am happy to swim in the pool and sit on the couch, and doing things like that seems like an awful lot of work and trouble for nothing. Although, I did visit a tarot reader a couple of weeks ago who saw that bearing some kind of fruit.
I've worked and worked and worked and worked and rushed and rushed and rushed and rushed my whole damned life, and most of it was for nothing. And I have to say that I HATED ALL OF IT.
I'm still by myself, still fat, still in debt, still going to be poor, and still going to be the same little old fat woman in the same dumpy nursing home I would be even if I did some stellar thing. Only now--I'm okay with that.
If what I do from now on can't be enjoyable, than FUCK IT.
Just sitting in my leisure time and happily goofing off sounds a-okay to me.
Postscript: 7/5/22 at 1 am, supposedly from Detroit, Client Id 110041649.1656997259 comes directly in on a cell phone to the blog and then skips several entries to read, Why Did It Take Seven Years for Me to Give Up on My Affair Partner? THE PERFECT ONE, at this point in time. In the past, when this person disappears, he has shown up again approximately two months later. So, he's on time, and I have never known any other visitor but my therapist to come directly to the blog.
All thought and no action is nothing but that ... all thought and no action. How unhappy ARE you, anyway? Wait--don't answer that. Without W-O-R-K, it really doesn't matter. .