Monthly Archives: November 2015

I’m Single; Not Incomplete

Okay, folks, I get that there are people out there who are partnered, or grouped, or happily, ecstatically in love. There are people who are happier than they’ve ever been since getting divorced and remarried or involved with a new special someone. People who didn’t realize what was missing until they had it. I’m not one of them.

You know what? It’s okay.

I’ve got well meaning friends and family who think it’s oh-so-sad that I haven’t found Mr. Right yet. Who think that I’m not looking means I’m hung up in the past. That I should just dive back into the dating pool. They don’t get it and I’m sick of trying to explain it.

There are a lot of very good reasons for me to be single and I can’t think of even a mediocre one for me to get involved with someone.

I am Healing

I still have nightmares about my ex-husband. Sheet shredding, bolt upright, cold sweats nightmares. They’re not frequent anymore, but they still happen. My psyche has not purged its fear of the man who was supposed to be my trusted partner and best friend. My brain is still working out the shattered illusion of my marriage. Until that is reconciled, no healthy, long-term relationship can happen.

My Children are Healing

They don’t need a replacement daddy. Or a newer, better model. They need space, time, and therapy. They also need mommy. They need my time, my love, and my attention. They were abused and they need the freedom to work that out and become people who will neither be abused again, nor become abusers themselves. That is a lot. They don’t need someone else to be a priority in my life. They don’t need someone to question our unusual habits or coping mechanisms. They especially don’t need someone with enough baggage to understand them.

I Don’t Like my Body

This is a self-esteem thing, but it isn’t. I don’t like the way I look and I don’t like the way I feel about the way I look. It’s not that I don’t think I’m attractive enough to land a good man, it’s that I have this very real, unresolved body loathing. I’d either have to conceal it or bring it into a relationship with me. There is still work to be done here and I am not entering into a relationship with a negative body image. I will not grease the slippery slope.

I am not Financially Stable

I may be working my ass off, but money is a nightmare. I require a solid foundation here. It’s too easy to rush things or commit to a bad relationship because someone can help pay the bills. Also, I will never be dependent on a man again. NEVER.

I am not the Me I Want to Offer

Nope, not a self-esteem thing that can be cured by the love of good man. It’s a legitimate appraisal of my situation. I have work to do. I have healing to complete. I have wounds to scar over. I have pains to release. I have damage to repair. These are mine and mine alone. These are the things that caused my ex-husband to prey on me to begin with. I will work them out first. If I’m ever willing to get involved with someone again, I will bring a healthy me to the table.

I Attract Married Men and Creeps

I am like a magnet for these two groups. I still have a lot of work to do when the signals I’m sending out are “I’d make a good side piece” and “I’d be your softest punching bag.” I’m nowhere close to a 10, so it’s not like I have a ton of slack-jawed suitors and am just singling out some knuckle-draggers. My creep tractor beam is what brought my ex into my life. I need to shut that fucker off.

I’m Ready for a Me Phase

No part of my life has ever been about me. I’d like to do things my own way for a while.

I Just Don’t Want To

Look, I don’t want to be in a relationship right now. It’s not some sad thing. Every day, I move my life forward. Every day, I work to right the wrongs of the past. I’m healing. I’m getting better. My children are healing. They are getting better. This is my journey. Not one I need or want to share.

I’m single, not lonely. I need some time for myself. And those who can’t understand it, don’t have to. This isn’t their journey.

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Anxiety Meets Hope; Anxiety Crushes Hope

I’ve been applying for a new job like mad. I work in a truly toxic environment and everything that has happened over the last year has incinerated my coping skills.

And, really, I should not have to rely on coping skills to earn a shitty paycheck.

I got a response yesterday and it has me twisted up in knots. It’s a job that I wanted and a job that I know I’ll feel good about doing. It’s local, so the commute is good. The response included compensation and benefit information and a request for confirmation that I would like to proceed. All good, right? I was so excited.

The pay is 25% less than I’m making now.

I immediately started compromising. If I can get them to go up this many pennies and I reduce my medical coverage by that many, I can manage, etc. I want out and I had set my hopes on this particular job for some reason. Now, I have the response and I’m working myself into a frenzy.

So many what-if’s. Logically, it’s simple (cue inner monologue):

Interviewing is not committing. (Isn’t it wrong to waste everyone’s time if I know we won’t be able to eat on what I’d make?)

I can negotiate for a higher starting salary. (I just have to prove I’m worth it. But, I have nothing to offer. Seriously, why would they think I’m worth anything more?)

I can make it work financially if I have to. (Why? Why take a pay cut and hurt my family just to escape? I’ve survived this long. I have outlasted so many others who just can’t cope with the dysfunction.)

I can ask if the salary is flexible. (Oh.My.God. What if I get blacklisted?)

A couple days ago, I had put a lot of hope into this job. Now, I’ve thrown all of my fears into it.

Meanwhile, on paper, this is not the job we need me to have.

 

 

Update From the Trenches

I’ve missed you, my friends. It has been a long year since we last met.

I couldn’t be here because I needed to be alone. I’m an introvert, an abuse survivor, and a woman with PTSD. When bad things happen, I need a hole to crawl into and be by myself. I need a fucking cave after this past year.

My father had a severe stroke and nearly died. He was disabled and I became both his caregiver and his voice. As an extrovert, he craved attention and social simulation. As an introvert, I can’t deal with them for very long. In my new role, I had to accept having people around all the time. People all the time.

My boss found the post-stroke recovery period to be the perfect time to become offended by who knows what and spent three months trying to get revenge. I seriously still don’t know what set the whole thing off, though I have a suspicion. Ultimately, it was a bruised ego. That much I do know.

After recovering as much as he could, my father fell into a rapid decline. We began hospice and I lost him soon after. That hurts so much more than I can put into words.

But I am coming back. This isn’t going to keep me down for long. I allowed myself to grieve rather than forcing it into a hole. Hopefully that’s good for me.