I’ve been asking myself this question quite a bit lately. It seems that I should have a running list of moments that grip my heart tightly, bringing hot tears to my eyes, as I remember what it “used to be like” and miss it intensely.
Memories viewed through a misty filter, and in slow motion, with heartbreaking music.
I should have days that I walk through my life like a spectator, lost and broken, asking “where is he?” only to realize that he’s gone. An emptiness, a gaping hole, a space that nothing, and no one, can fill.
The song ” One less bell” plays in the back of my brain some days. Sometimes I find myself humming it. Or singing a couple of bars…”I should be happy, but all I do is cryyyyyyyy” I can’t hit the notes quite the same as she can, but I still put my heart into it. And while I sing along I don’t feel that depth of despair, that sense of emptiness. I almost laugh at the absurdity of the lyrics.
It all feels odd, the flatness of it all. The “shoulds” that go undone. The expectations not being met. I feel like I should keep it to myself because, obviously, I’m not doing it right.
I should be angry. (I am sometimes, just not always or as much as I expected)
I should be devastated. (I was for a short while, I guess. But the newness has worn off)
I should be sad, and lonely. (sometimes I am sad, not about him really, but never lonely)
I should be…but most days, I’m not.
Maybe it’s my meds…
What don’t I miss? That’s a better question these days. There are things that crop up without any intention, moments that I stop and think “wow, this isn’t so bad” or “finally, I can just do what I want, without worry or judgement, without seeking permission”. When I am not dwelling on the negative possibilities that can affect my future and my children, I feel pretty good and pretty positive to be honest.
I feel released, unleashed, set free!
I don’t miss having him sleeping next to me, mouth agape flat on his back, snoring.
I don’t miss that one. lone. cereal bowl. and spoon left in the sink DAILY, with two (yes, TWO!) dishwashers flanking either side of our kitchen sink.
I don’t miss that question that came at either 6:30am or 10pm:
“Do you have any of my t-shirts in the clean laundry?”
This is the main staple of his daily attire, but for some reason he would never notice – or inform me – when he took the last one out of the dresser drawer. I guess I was supposed to be on “t-shirt watch” to refill his dresser like a personal valet.
I don’t miss watching him lay on the couch on the weekends, all day long, watching whatever sport he could find to avoid doing anything with his wife and family.
I don’t miss cooking a meal only to find out that he ate something similar for lunch, so he’ll just eat cereal (followed by above referred to cereal bowl and spoon in the sink)
I don’t miss the dismissive way he ignored me while I was talking, checking email as if his life depended upon it. Or the way he would walk out of the room while I was still talking.
I don’t miss having someone around me that makes it an almost daily practice to bring attention to any and all of my faults or mistakes, and enjoys it more when other people witness it.
I don’t miss being treated like an employee in my own life, expected to meet someone else’s expectations and fulfill their needs, without any return or appreciation.
These are the things that I need to remind myself of when I want to curl up, cry and give up. These are the moments, the reminders, that this will all work out and I will be better for it. I will be happy again.
And while sometimes I am scared, I am sad, and I am overwhelmed I always know that I would never want to go back to the way it was. Not even for a minute.
Because now I am free to just be me, the way I want to be.