The Thinking Other Woman

What you should know BEFORE your affair.


Where I'm Stuck

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on May 18, 2023 at 9:45 PM

This is part of something I recently posted on Medium, about recovering after a breakup:

After the breakup of a long-term relationship, many people live in the past and feel dependent and needy for others for companionship and love. They feel hopeless and aren’t looking at a future with any sense of goals and promise. Finding a sense of purpose means putting the past away and living in the present and feeling less dependent on other people. They also have some sense of where they want their life to go in the future and what they want to be, do, and have. They feel some hope and excitement as they set off again after their recovery. Getting from here to there takes some time, adjustment, and learning from what went wrong in the marriage or long-term relationship. 

I'm posting it here as part of therapy homework. Yes, I occasionally invite my therapist in here to see how I am doing. 

And, yep, this is where I'm stuck.

As anyone who reads here knows, I don't look at my future with any sense of hope, goals, or promise.

For one thing, I've spent a good amount of time family caregiving. No matter how hale or hearty a person is, old age gets you in the end. I'm not in any different station in life than my great aunt was when she passed, and I'm going to end up just like her. In the same nursing home, and probably in more or less the same condition.

I'm never going to have enough money to end up anywhere else. How would I ever do that? In order to pay off the kind of student loan and medical debt I have, plus put into a nest egg all that I should have saved long before now, it would take a miracle straight from God.

And no such miracle is on offer. For me to believe that, I'd have to be an idiot.

Back when I was younger and more ignorant, I used to believe that, oh, I'd write the Great American Novel, and it would take off, and once they made the movie I'd be all set. What a CHILD I was!! That simply doesn't happen to anyone. Like, maybe, two people out of the entire planet that that happened to does not constitute good odds.

This is what we call, "reality."     

It's definitely time to put the past away. It's been so long I can barely remember that other person anymore. Time marches on, and erases most memories we once held dear. I know there was something attractive about them ... but, details? Details were twenty years ago. Along with a young girl who thought her writer's group liking her fan novel meant she had a future.

Well ... I'm less dependent on other people. Other people have occasionally popped up if I really needed something, but by and large the kind of friendships and relationships other people get have never really been there for me. Or, if they were, brain cancer or some other mayhem happened. Old age is not when you're going to Find Someone. Nobody wants an old fat woman. And, chances are--I don't want them, either!

I've completely given up on bothering with any sense of "where I want my life to go." Life has shown me quite brutally that when I do that, I'm going to end up crying my eyes out. There's no point looking ahead at anything but what I know I can count on to happen.

I can count on getting old. I can count on getting weak. I can count on getting feeble. I know I can count on spending my last years in an institution. There's nowhere else I will be able to live, and nobody younger than me in my life who will have any desire or even obligation to take care of me. If we elect enough RethugliKKKans, they will repeal the entire social safety net and I will end up dying alone in here or in a cardboard box on the street; if we don't, social services will come and put me in a nursing home. THAT is what I can COUNT ON.

Pumping yourself up on a dream and trying to achieve it is a recipe for deep and total unhappiness. I'm not willing to do that again. I know what the publishing world is like. Either I write something that gets a billion hits on Wattpad and I have a chance ... or it gets less than a billion hits on Wattpad and I don't. We all know what's likely and what's not.

I would have liked to have enough money. I would have liked to be able to take care of myself. I would have liked to be able to pay for the help I will need. I would have liked to be able to do that through something I wrote, that other people thought was valuable enough that it would bring that back to me. 

But I know better. I know I am not good enough. I know that, even if I am, it takes luck, luck, luck, luck. Every single little star has to line up perfectly, and not a single thing can go wrong.

And I know I do not have that kind of life. Almost every single little thing that could go wrong for me, did. OK, not a few crucial things. If they had gone wrong, too, I would be a dope addict in a gutter somewhere. But I know I am not some world-class talent. I know I am not well-connected. And I know someone who is neither a world-class talent nor well-connected has much of a chance in this world.

And that leaves me very, very little to look forward to. I look at what's likely to happen in the rest of my life and I see that it isn't very good. I see that this is a very realistic appraisal. And it's so sickening it doesn't leave me much motivation to do anything.

Why even bother? So, so, SO much effort for so, so, so, so little. 

It's really hard to muster up any good feeling about anything much anymore.

All my life was about is coming here and having very adverse circumstances and learning very, very hard and painful lessons. And I'm about done with that. So, I've mainly done what I was supposed to do in this life.

Sure would be nice if there were some earthly reward for all of this ... but there isn't.

Life on Earth simply doesn't work that way.

The fact is, most hard work simply feels like shit. We need to be able to get enough out of it to make the shit worth doing. That's why modern life and modern jobs are so miserable: Corporate America has managed to take all the feel-good out of everything. We don't get enough for what we do to even raise our kids comfortably or meet basic needs anymore. Yet, we have to keep going or Corporate America will toss us out of our homes and throw us out on the street to starve.

If I write this novel, I'll end up there anyway, because people who write novels don't get anywhere, don't make any money, and are consigned to obscurity except for a tiny, tiny few who manage to sell billions. I have NO evidence to suggest I can or ever will be one of those people. So what makes it worth the hard work and misery to pound out a stupid novel?

Not much.

Unfortunately, that's all I ever had. And I've seen so much that looks discouraging that I just can't ever feel good about it ever again.

And I know goals can't be reached. Doesn't matter what it is: weight, finances, whatever ... Setting a goal guarantees I won't get there. So the common American way to happiness--Goal Setting--is a non-starter for me.

I need to find something else in life, and something else in ME, or I'm just consigned to a life of quiet misery until I die.

I really don't think I deserve that. But, that's what's looming up on the horizon.

It was stupid to expect a person or a relationship to circumvent this that was always coming. But that's how we humans tend to live, isn't it? Expecting a relationship to solve everything? 

Categories: Current Happenings, Post-Mortem, Now That It's All Over