Sunday, May 9, 2010

When Dreams Die

I've been avoiding writing here a lot lately because, frankly, I don't know what to say. I have a sort of diarrhea of the mouth, you see; I open it, and things come out that I never intended. This is true in my writing too (what is that, diarrhea of the fingers?). Due to the somewhat delicate nature of things in my life right now, I've been trying to avoid saying anything at all.

But writing is my life. Avoiding it feels unnatural to me. Moreover, I feel STIFLED when I don't write; things feel more and more wrong, until one day I'm crawling out of my skin for lack of expressing myself.

Writing is also a form of therapy for me. It helps me work things out, work out feelings and thoughts so I can move on with my life. Blogging helps me feel less alone. And I've not felt this alone in quite a long time. I'm at a loss. I've written five mostly-private entries in my livejournal in the last 24 hours, and yet this feeling still grows. I think my small group of friends there is largely at a loss as to what to say to me anymore. So I write here, in the hopes that maybe someone out there will understand, and maybe have some words of comfort. Or maybe in days or weeks or months to come, my words will touch one of you who is going through this, and you will feel less alone. No one should have to feel this way.

This is a blog about my life, and more than anything, a blog about my dreams. I've been married for six years; I'd always wanted to find a partner and fall in love and get married. A large number of my dreams have been built around the belief that I would have a partner in life; many of them were built after I met my husband, with a vision of us doing these things together.

When you're a dreamer, one thing you inevitably have to come to terms with is the knowledge that not all of your dreams come true. Sometimes they fall by the wayside in lieu of other, bigger, better dreams. Sometimes your priorities in life change. Sometimes they aren't as timely as they once were. And sometimes, sometimes they die in a fiery, burning, painful crash, and you are left to pick up the pieces of your life and start all over again.

My husband and I are going through a rough patch in our lives together right now. We're separating. I don't know much beyond that at this point. I can't do much but deal with the day to day right now, or it feels like I'm going insane. As this is a public forum, I don't really want to get into the details here; it's not fair to either of us, and it's not likely to be helpful. Though most of the people in our lives already know it, admitting it in public is still painful. But I'm reaching a point where NOT talking about it feels worse, and I don't want to go on avoiding my blogs, my writing, my lifelines anymore.

I am, possibly understandably, having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. I toss and I turn, I'm plagued by nightmares. I feel like I'm sleepwalking a lot while I'm awake. We're still living in the same house, just sleeping apart; we're trying to get the house packed up and fixed up to rent so we can get separate apartments in the city. I am praying this all works out, that this house will rent and rent for the amount we need, because we can't afford to sell it and neither of us can afford to stay here either. Furthermore, I WANT to get into the city, where I have a good support network and feel like I have a much better chance of moving on with my life. I try to focus on the work I need to do, and tuck the emotions away, and just tackle one task at a time.

I'm having trouble with that today. It's Mother's Day, and it's killing me this year. For a number of reasons. He asked me earlier this week if he could take me out somewhere. "You're still the mother of my children, no matter what happens between us, and I'd like that very much," he told me. I said it was OK. The closer it comes, the more I am dreading it. I know he has something planned, I have no idea what it is. He and the kids are both excited about it. I'm not. I want to spend my day with my children. I want to have a husband who wants to treat me like I'm special on Mother's Day. It's never happened before, really. We've had some 'ok' Mother's Days, and we've had some downright shitty ones. We've never had a really GOOD one. I don't know what he's planning this year, and I just feel like it's all overshadowed by the pain of the past. The more he tries right now, the more it hurts me, because none of these things seemed important to him before, back when it mattered to me. Now it just brings me pain. Mother's Day feels terrible to me this year. Worse than it ever has, possibly even worse than our first one together, which was AWFUL, though I won't get into that here. It feels terrible because being a mother means you are also a partner; also a wife. To me, Mother's Day and Father's Day are days to celebrate your PARTNER, the person you picked to be the other parent of your children, because they are special and beautiful and wonderful to you, because you can't imagine anyone else raising your children. Since our first year of marriage, I've never really and truly felt like he looked at me that way, exactly. For a few years I was certain he didn't. The last couple of years have been a bit better, but I've never fully regained my confidence in that arena.
And this year, well, I'll be with him... but really, I'm alone. I have no partner. I have no hope for being a mother AGAIN, to more children. Which brings me to the other reason this day is particularly hard for me this year:

I am mourning the loss of my next baby. Or babies. I had gotten to a point where I had decided that yes, I did indeed want to have a third baby. I was back to thinking that maybe, if health and money allowed, I wouldn't even mind trying for a fourth or a fifth again some day. That maybe five kids WAS what I wanted, just like I used to back in The Day. (You know those days, The Days before you ever had kids and you dreamt about what your ideal family would be like? And then reality hit and you realized you were fucking nuts? Yeah, Those Days.)

Maybe four or five was out of the question, but three had come to seem like a definite possibility. In a year or so. When the IUD was ready to come out, when I had my diabetes under better control, when we had a bigger house and hopefully a slightly better income. I have been dreaming about being able to have a much better pregnancy experience this time around, one where I am not a slave to someone else (an employer, I mean) and one where my husband is much more supportive and kind and loving, and I could get excited for the baby and maybe, MAYBE, even plan a REAL nursery. One where I could stay home with the baby afterwards and wouldn't have to stress about breastfeeding and having only six weeks to DO it before having to go back to an office for TWELVE HOURS A DAY, where I could take all the knowledge I've gained from having two babies already and apply it to baby number three for a much happier, crunchier, babywearing experience. (I don't say 'natural' because HELLO EPIDURAL YOU ARE STILL MY BEST FRIEND.) I was doing that thing I do so well... dreaming. I was allowing myself to indulge, privately, in a dream that was growing to epic proportions. Oh, I know I've made some noises here and there about considering wanting a third baby, in time, but I really haven't let on to ANYONE, not even my husband, exactly how large I'd let those dreams grow. How out of hand they'd gotten. I thought that as the circumstances towards the goal improved, I'd open up slowly with them. No sense in sharing TOO much when it's not a possibility right now, is there. But in my heart of hearts, this desire firmly took root and I began making plans. Lots and lots of plans. I began to dream. More than that, I began to HOPE. I began to hope that everything that was difficult the first two times around might be different this time. I EVEN began to hope that maybe, just MAYBE, this third time, maybe my mother would finally tell me "CONGRATULATIONS!" when I shared the news, instead of "OH NO!" (or other general sounds of dismay). That maybe THIS time we'd have enough money and a big enough house and the right, well, everything to make her finally just be HAPPY for me. And maybe that last little bit of the dream was too much to ask for, because I doubt she'll ever be the kind of person who DOESN'T find SOMETHING to worry about immediately, but I had even grown foolish enough to hope and dream for a loving reaction from my mother too.

And it's all a moot point now because I can't even fathom how any of this could possibly be now. My marriage is falling apart. My LIFE is falling apart. When things started to go south, so many weeks ago, this dream rolled around and around in my head for a while. When I was first thinking about whether or not we should stay together and whether or not it was right, I gave a lot of thought to finding some other man to love me, to raise my children, to have more children with. It's a thought that was difficult to fathom. I couldn't even COMPREHEND having children with another man. I don't WANT my children to have half-siblings and step-siblings. Not because it's BAD, but because I married my husband out of love, out of a desire to have children with him and only him. Because we MEANT forever when we made our vows. Because we made such beautiful, wonderful, smart, crazy-special-unique-wonderful little people already. I couldn't imagine making children like this with anyone else. My children were one of the things, early on, that gave me the strongest sense of hope for my marriage. We couldn't have made children like this together if we didn't have something good going on.

Things have obviously disintegrated over time. Some truly terrible shit has happened between us. I'm facing, now, a terrible feeling that I will never be able to trust and love this man like I did, like I wanted to, like I MEANT to. With that knowledge, and the knowledge of things that have passed between us, I am faced with a terrible grief; I can't imagine having more children with this man. I can't imagine ever getting to a point where I trust him enough to believe he will give me what I need to feel safe sharing a pregnancy with him, sharing another child with him. This feeling brings a terrible grief, more than perhaps anything else in this process has so far.

Likewise, I cannot imagine being with someone else and having children with them. My own self esteem problems prevent me from believing that I will ever find a man who really wants to be with me again; I worry that I won't be interested in the ones that might be interested in me, and I am certain that the ones I become interested in WON'T be interested in me. I literally can't fathom it, and it's largely a looks-based issue. I've let myself go terribly, and I hope that I do regain confidence as I regain a thinner, healthier body. But right now, I can't imagine being with someone else in an intimate fashion. It will take at least a year to get myself back into something resembling decent shape. Which is probably at least as long as it will take to separate and divorce, if we go that route. This is assuming I am able to keep up an exercise and healthy eating schedule on top of the stress of getting divorced and being a single mother and working who knows how many jobs to support my family.
Assuming we scale THOSE hurdles, then I have to deal with the daunting idea that not only does a future man have to be perfect for ME, he also has to be perfect for my kids. He has to be good to them and love them as a father and be a good fit for our family. I can't even... I just can't imagine this happening. I know it DOES happen, to other people, but I can't imagine it happening to us. And I won't sacrifice on this point. Anyone I date with anything resembling serious overtones MUST be an excellent fit for my children, or it isn't even a possibility in my mind.
And THEN there's the time factor... meeting someone that is a good fit for me, and THEN a good fit for my children, and dating them long enough to be sure, and getting married, and then BEING married for a while before children are even a thought, because LAST time I was pregnant before I was even married and I saw how much damage THAT did to my relationship, I am NOT doing that again; it will be years before we are anywhere near a place to have children. YEARS.

I know there is no telling what will happen in the future, and worrying about something like this might sound stupid, but it's something I am mourning nonetheless. Right now it feels like I am setting myself out on a course to grow old and die alone. I am mostly OK with that part of it, it's not what I wanted certainly, but I DO have family and friends that love me, and I DO have two beautiful children who bring me immense happiness every day. I DO have dreams that I can pursue on my own and that will bring me great fulfillment. I may never have a loving partner to truly share my life with, and that makes me sad, but I can deal with that. I AM dealing with that.

But having to give up my dream of the large family, or even the 'slightly larger' family? The dream that was slowly growing within me, every day? I am mourning that loss heavily. It's hitting me really, REALLY hard.

It feels like so many of my dreams are crumbling to dust around me, and I'm having to sift through the detritus, pull out the ones that are salvageable, and tend to them all alone.

This day is so much harder for me than I ever imagined it would be. I feel a bit like I've been sucker-punched.


  1. Hey Kristi....I'm really sad to hear about you and OJ. I was fortunate enough to be at your wedding in Vegas. I can sympathize with so much of this post. I remember when my dreams died 3 years ago. I didn't have any idea where to start, let alone realize that there had to be other dreams out there besides the ones that never occurred to me could end so abruptly. Hang in there. Time will pass, things will work way or another. Dreams will come true, they just may not be the ones you dreamt of first.

  2. Hey! I didn't know you blogged too. I'm going to add your blog to my reader! Thanks for the kind words. It's all a huge muddle. Things may be turning around for us, we've been going to counseling together and are going to start going separately too, and we're working on it right now. I haven't written about it because, as you probably know, it's all really overwhelming. :/ Hope to get something like an update up one of these days, and hopefully we can keep in touch more :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails