As you can see, some changes in my outlook are desperately needed.
Yep, it’s sad that I’m currently all alone. I have no close friends, no family, and Simon has been gone almost four years.
This is all made worse by what’s happened to me.
When I was growing up, relationship—all relationship—was just a trial. As I’ve written, I had a mother with borderline personality disorder. To say that this person was not capable of healthy parenting and healthy attachment to a child is a colossal understatement. (It’s not just me saying this, BTW. My therapist concurs.)
Because of how things were at home, I was different from other children. I was trained to be a carbon copy of my mother and to believe what she believed about everything. To go to school in 1977 saying that Star Wars was a stupid movie (when my parents wouldn’t even take me to see it!) didn’t earn a kid many fans. My behavior was too much like hers, earning me the “Kick Me” sign, constant hazing from peers, and NO friends, from the years 1977-1981. I’d go home from this to a mercurial mother who didn’t know how to help me fit in, blamed me for not fitting in! and was overly invasive, explosive, and expecting me to be her and support her. There was nothing there for me.
Then when I turned fifteen I found out about the childhood sexual abuse in my mother’s family of origin from my grandfather—who treated me like a princess by comparison!—and had to live through my mother’s frequent marital blowups and meltdowns with my stepfather, and that made for a very unhappy home life.
Oh, and did I mention that my father died in a plane crash when I was twelve?? That was the only thing that stopped the kids at school from picking on me!
Suffice it to say that I longed for loving, supportive, happy relationships MY WHOLE LIFE. And when I finally went away to college, I found some.
From the ages of eighteen to about thirty-eight, I always had a supportive friend around, usually more than one. And it felt great!
And then I met Simon. And we had a wonderfully happy marriage.
I lost it all.
Elder care happened, taking all my spare time. My friends all moved out of state, and I was too busy and overwhelmed to make new ones.
Then Simon got brain cancer, and then he died.
(Was this all a trick on the part of the Universe to get me involved with Chi in the first place?? Because I NEVER would have considered a married man otherwise, and before I understood just HOW dysfunctional his marriage was, I STILL wasn’t. No matter how adorable I thought he was.)
It’s very hard to go from a state of being so happy, of having all your needs for companionship so happily fulfilled, to having NO ONE, and not being able to find any more like-minded people you click with in almost four years—despite trying to get involved in groups, just like you did when you found your first group of friends.
The fact is, I was so happy then, that all I can do now is look back in sorrow and grieve that certain people are gone, and I will never have that happiness in my life again. When I am alone—which I am ALL OF THE TIME now—my brain is back in the past, grieving and grieving and grieving and grieving.
It’s hard to forget all the good times that happened. It’s hard to forget the wonderful people I knew who aren’t here anymore.
And I’m not meeting any new ones.
(Except for Chi, and…well… you know ….)
The fact is, adjusting to change is an important life skill.
The fact is, if you are going to spend eighty or ninety years on the planet, growing and aging in a human life, NOTHING IS GOING TO STAY THE SAME NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT HAPPENS.
Even if you’re married and have a wonderful family, you’re going to get older. The children won’t be babies anymore. They will graduate high school and (hopefully) move away. Your parents, no matter how loving they were, will age and die. If you are always looking back to “that time when the kids were little and I was a happy, healthy, glowing young mother, and our family had such good times,” you’re going to be an unhappy camper when you hit my age. If you can’t adjust, and the time comes when you, like my great aunt, live in a nursing home at age ninety-four, and can barely get up on your own anymore, well…
You see how important it is to ACTUALLY ADJUST TO CHANGE. Adjusting to change doesn’t mean the life and the people you loved don’t matter anymore. They do. They will. They made me the person I am.
But, when you stand to totally screw up your own, or another person’s chance to heal some serious mental health issues if you don’t adjust to change, it’s even more important to step the fuck up.
It’s totally understandable to feel the way I’ve felt for the past three and a half years.
I’ve been through one hell of a lot.
But new relationships aren’t the answer, else I would actually be able to find some.
If the world is withholding something from you, it may be that the reason is you need to learn to live without it, and for that reason the world won’t give it back to you unless and until you develop that ability.
(And if that ability is the one that’s going to avoid Chi ruining his life and my life, then me being alone so I finally develop that ability is a damn good thing.)
(What about Rory, you ask? She has the chance to avoid ruining her life right now. Is she? Fuck knows she had quite the heads-up two years ago, and at my expense, too. So is she??)
At first I got very angry at life for taking everything away from me and not ponying up with any replacements. I have a notebook in which is scrawled, in a crude and angry hand,
“FUCK PEOPLE, FUCK GOD, AND FUCK LIFE.
FUCK ALL OF IT. FUCK THIS SHIT.
I’m giving up on people.”
And, in a way, I do sort of have to do that. I have to give up on people to “provide” me with happiness. People aren’t here.
I’ve looked, and they’re still not here.
I am not meeting anyone to be with. Close friends, lovers, anyone.
I’m here. Me. That’s it.
My error seems to be in telling myself that the only way I can be happy is if I have the same sort of companionship I lost.
And companionship would be nice.
But, look. At work the other week, I met an eighty-four-year-old woman WHO HAS BEEN WIDOWED FOR FORTY-EIGHT YEARS.
It happens. And it could happen to me!
Then this weekend at work, I met another woman who looks like a GODDESS. I mean, you can tell from her face that she’s about my age, but she’s tall and blond, and her body could EASILY pass for twenty-five. The kind of woman all mature men dream about (since we all know how concerned most men are with looks, size, shape, and weight.)
And she’s been widowed, and she can’t find anyone, either!
You see the problem.
I need to be able to enjoy time for what it is. Right now I am at the pool, typing on my laptop, and it is okay that I am alone in my life. It really is.
I know I am typing something that will mean something to somebody, and I’m interested in what I’m doing. I have the sense that I am “onto something.”
And I had this sense when I was writing years ago, long before friends and lovers came into my life. It will only die when I do (or maybe when I get Alzheimer’s.) No one is here to be a companion to me, and here it still is.
(Note to self: Remember this??)
It’s called, Self-Containment.
I don’t need to be a little girl who needs good parents and schoolmate friends forever.
I also need to rethink the way I see this thing with Chi. I’m told and told and told and told that it COULD be happy ever after, but it doesn’t have to be, and it will not if either of the participants remains emotionally unwell.
And that needing the relationship to “be” happiness for me is going to push that away—Jesus, that’s what Rory is doing, for Chrissakes! And ya know what--I've got transits that talk about that, too. As a factor in why Chi and I don't make it--IF I see him ever again.
And I’m warned that trying to force the relationship into a socially acceptable corset is going to push that away, and that Chi needs a lot of freedom from me.
And he does. He’s been bending over backwards trying to make other people happy his whole entire life. He’s so good at it that any HINT of neediness from me is going to destroy his nascent sense of self.
And no relationship can survive if both people in it don’t appear as who they really are.
I used to see it as, “We’ll be best friends forever just the way Simon and I were, and then I will feel secure and be happy.”
Simon and I worked that way. It’s even all over our Davison. And I needed it then.
I was still a child in a lot of ways, from the way I grew up. Simon taught me so much in a lot of ways about what I am really capable of, and that I don’t need to go around with my head down, doubting myself.
And in a way, he had to die on me to do that. I never knew I could handle all the stuff I’ve had to handle around that. Simon didn’t have a choice about whether he was going to die or not. And that was one situation I would not have backed down from. I threw myself into it because I loved him so much I would have done anything for him.
And I learned a lot through that, and so did he.
And none of that would have happened if we hadn’t enjoyed an especially happy relationship, which is probably why our Davison is telling us we planned to come together to have just that relationship!
Chi and I are different. I am slowly sifting through Chi’s chart, but it would appear so far that he has a GREAT deal of C-H-O-I-C-E in how much he decides to grow and how his life turns out. He’s prone to blaming fate. But it’s not fate. Make no mistake about it, the person deciding how things turn out is CHI.
I need to think of Chi as a troubled relationship that’s in my life for a number of years, that is probably going to end around a certain date unless B-O-T-H parties reach a conducive threshold of emotional health. I’m going to spend that time evaluating it—if it shows up again!—and if it’s clear it just isn’t going to be healthy, it will die of its own accord, and I’m told when and how that’s likely to happen.
If the relationship passes those tests, it’s solid, and I’d be happy for it to stay. If it doesn’t, I do need to dump it, because I WILL meet someone else, and I’ll miss a potentially healthy relationship if I’m hanging onto Chi even though it isn’t working, because I don’t want to hurt him and I feel guilty leaving him. (Sort of like what he’s doing now, perhaps?)
So, making a relationship the center of my life just has to be a thing of the past. I need to get back to writing and being me.
And I had given up on that, because the world said NO to me writing for so, so, many, many, many, many years.
First, I couldn’t come up with anything I could actually publish. Then when I did, I got elderly relatives dumped in my lap instead. Then my husband got brain cancer.
I finally accepted that writing was just a daydream that wasn’t meant to happen in my life. I was supposed to be a wife and family caregiver after all, and that was it, and I gave up on what I wanted, accepted that role, and I actually became happy in it. It became my life.
And then the world took it away and gave me writing back again. Writing, and NOTHING ELSE.
(I actually have three yods in my chart that look like they’re talking about this. At least, it seems like it. Yods are hard to interpret. But I got some help from Australian astrologer and yod expert Alice Portman. If you have a yod in your chart, Go Ask Alice. Do NOT ask Anne Ortelee of New York City!)
Life would be so much easier if it would be a little more clear about what you are and aren’t going to be allowed to do. This bait-and-switch technique is exhausting!
But the fact that I have to be able to exist, be happy in life, and feel centered, grounded, and as if I have some reason to exist whether I have any close bosom friend or lover in my life or not, is not in dispute.
It’s understandable that I miss people and feel lost. I was happy then. And the grief you feel for those no longer here is directly proportional to how special they were, and how lucky you were to know them, to have them in your life. And Chi was one of those people. I’m at the point in my novel where I have to start writing about the love affair, and I just fall in love with him all over again. I really do.
But life is about more than just relationships, and we need to be able to survive without one.
For a number of good reasons.