Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Happy "Anniversary" to ME!
Today is February 14th. This is a very special day to me. No, not because of Valentines Day, that's just another holiday, no big deal in the grand scheme of things. No, today is special because today marks the 11 year anniversary of the finalization of my divorce! Probably the single happiest day of my entire life occurred 11 years ago today. Some people might think the birth days of their children were the happiest days of their lives, and they were extremely happy days for me as well, but nothing will ever top the day of MY birth.
No, I wasn't actually born on Valentines day, but MY life started that day. When the judge signed off on those final papers he gave me far more than a divorce from a worthless, soul-sucking parasite, he gave me the right to control my own destiny for the first time in my life. That's how I saw it anyway. Before the divorce my life was a disaster, I had always allowed other people's thoughts and opinions limit me in every conceivable way. Even when I knew they were wrong I would set myself up for failure just to prove them right. I lived in a constant state of chronic, severe, self-imposed depression for 2 decades, and it ended that day.
When I was married to my ex-husband (and even for years before that) I had one constant recurring dream (i.e. nightmare) that I would have all the time, sometimes as much as 2 or 3 times a week, it was a dream where I was driving a car, I was the only one driving, but I was always sitting in the passenger seat! I haven't had that dream once in the last eleven years! It was as if by signing those papers that judge gave me my drivers license for my own life. He gave me permission to move into the drivers seat for what was really the very first time in my life, and I will never go back to being in the passengers seat ever again.
Its funny, my Father yelled at me one time, a couple of years ago, telling me that I needed to quit repeating what my husband says and learn to think for myself, or some such nonsense. I literally laughed out loud. First of all the LAST thing my father wants me to ever do is “think for myself”, he wants me to just agree with every thing HE says. Second, I married this husband BECAUSE he not only “lets me think for myself”, but actually encourages me to do so! If I say the same thing he would say it is because I agree with him, not because he thinks it. I would have to say I have probably changed my husband's views on the world far more than he has changed mine, but my parents don't want to hear any of that. They only want to hear their shallow little narrow world views parroted back to them, and I just can't do it anymore.
When that judge signed those beautiful papers so many years ago I took control of my life and finally began living my life MY way. And since that day I have done just that. No matter who tells me what I “can” or “cannot” do, I just keep living the way I want. So far it has worked out fairly well over all. I have lost a lot of people from my life, some of whom I miss dearly, but I have found myself and I am not willing to surrender myself to anyone ever again.
The man I am married to now is an opinionated asshole who will never fail to let you know if you have done or said something stupid, and being married to him definitely puts some “limitations” on my “control” over my own life, but he is the sweetest, most devoted husband I could ever imagine and he loves me for who I really am and not just who he wants me to be. He allows me the freedom to be myself, even when he doesn't like it. He supports me in whatever I choose to do, and while he may express his frustration with anything that takes time away from whatever it is he wants me to do, he will go out of his way to make sure I have everything I want, need or desire to do whatever it is that I want to do. He has his flaws and his failings, just like me, just like everyone else. But he values me. I think that is the biggest gift he gives me. When that judge signed those papers so many years ago I made a promise to myself that from that day forward I would always remember to value myself, I would not place myself beneath another person ever again. I came first. Not my kids, not my family, not a husband, ME. That might sound selfish at first glance, but its really not. I learned the hard way that if I put everyone else first I was run ragged and miserable, and I made everyone around me miserable. When I put myself first I was much happier and much more able to give my kids what they needed, even if they didn't always like the idea that I could have my own life. So when I actually met a man who values me as much as I do, well that is something worth hanging on to, whatever the baggage that comes with it.
My life has changed 180 degrees in the last 11 years. The difference between who I am today and who I was then might not seem like much to the outside observer, and some people might even think that my life today is worse than it was back then, but for me the difference is everything. The difference is happiness. I found my bliss, and it was inside of me. I had hidden it away for so long in the attempt to please everyone else, that I had almost forgotten it existed. When I took control of my life I found myself, and the depression that had plagued me for so long was left behind with the marriage from Hell. The days of pain may have only just begun on that day, but the ability to feel joy again more than compensated. I can honestly say from experience that no matter what the costs, loving yourself for who you are is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself. And if you can find someone else who can love you for you, hold on for dear life cause they are truly few and far between.