The significance is not lost on me that exactly a year will have passed since the time Steve left and the wedding. Memorial Day weekend last year was a shattering time for me, and yet here I am now, a year later, getting married to the same man who crushed me then. How to describe the process of changes in a year to explain how this happened? I am not entirely sure I have all of the words, and maybe none of the right ones. There is no pat answer to tell you all that has happened, and maybe there doesn’t need to be one.
I know this, though. That Steve was gone and I was broken, for a long time. And he went through the things he went through, made the decisions he needed to make at that time, and so did I. The funny thing is, him being gone and then wanting to come back was-well. Let me put it this way. when someone comes to you and says “I am sorry, I was wrong, I made a mistake,” it somehow frees you to admit the same thing. That maybe their problems or issues were more obvious and so easy to pin all the blame on, but that it isn’t, wasn’t, just them.
Here’s the thing. I bring my own set of issues to the table here, and while I can easily say “Steve’s drinking was the problem” and have that be the truth, my truth is that my baggage is just as harmful to a relationship as his drinking was. Want to talk about control issues, commitment issues, the inability to connect intimately with someone? Yeah, I got those in spades. And sure, it would be so easy to blame all of that on my last marriage, but those problems began long before that. I like to think I have dealt with them, but it is so easy for me to get to a point where I say,”ok, I have made this amount of progress, therefore I am fixed.” Slap a coat of shellac on it all and call it good. And that is the core of my alcoholic thinking, that enormous ego that gets in the way of everything! It’s a process, a journey, NOT a destination.
In order to be able to get married at our church by the priest, I had to write to the Bishop of Idaho and answer six questions, four of which had to do with why my previous marriage ended (I need to clarify here that we would still have been able to get married in the church itself, by a person like a judge, and the priest could have given us the blessings, but it wouldn’t be ‘official’, so to speak). In my case, then, I had to answer the four questions for both marriages. In picking apart, on paper, for someone else to see, the demise of my marriages and how and why I think that happened, I was given an opportunity to examine in my heart of hearts what really happened, and how much responsibility I bore in them both. It was really, really difficult, but also freeing, much like doing an AA 4th Step Inventory on each marriage. And at the end of the day, I realize that I am not the same person I was when I was married either time before, and I no longer have to allow the same problems to have free reign over me.
I often listen to this guy called Pastor Matt on the radio while coming home from work at night; he does a sermon at 5:00 every night, and a lot of the time I hear just exactly what I need to hear. Some months ago, like maybe before Christmas, even, I heard him talk about commitment being the willingness to be unhappy for a time while we figure things out. He wasn’t just talking about intimate commitments, but also ones to children and jobs and friendships, and it really resonated with me. Another key issue with( my) alcoholism is that desire for instant gratification (and I think that is a societal problem, not just an alcoholic one), and god, that is my pattern. Things get sucky so I leave-and while Steve may have made the physical move out last year, but you know? I did the emotional retreat before that. the “I am going to hurt you before you hurt me” thing, the
“things aren’t great and I am not happy but I don’t know how to deal with it so I am just going to build another fucking wall” thing. And that isn’t making a commitment; that is imposing a jail sentence on someone.
At any rate, I think I know now that things aren’t going to be perfect all the time, or even part of the time. Steve and I are going to fight and have conflict and not always agree, and while I can’t dictate how he reacts to those inevitable stumbling blocks of life, I can sure dictate how I do. I don’t have to do things the same way I always have, and the blessing is that I no longer WANT to.
There was more I wanted to say, and perhaps I will examine this further in a later post, but enough of that. I did want to share that we had our ultrasound on Friday afternoon and the baby is growing absolutely perfectly. The technology now is amazing; the tech said “well, it looks like it weighs in at 1 lb 10 oz right now!” which is really quite delicious, isn’t it? We got the sweetest shots of a hand and the two feet and everything in between. She said my placenta is still really low which may be cause for concern, but she couldn’t tell whether it was still covering my cervix or not; we’ll have to wait for the radiologist to read it to know for sure. Oh, and we did find out the gender…we are having a girl. It seems like things come full circle then, with both my first and my last being girls.
All in all, I would have to say that I feel really, really blessed right now.