As any of you that have read this blog since the beginning (THANK YOU!) know, my divorce was rough.
You know the marriage was rougher.
Ward and June Cleaver we weren’t, that’s for damn sure.
I wasn’t spectacular to him. I’ll take responsibility for my share of blame in the collapse of our marriage. To be sure, he wasn’t spectacular to me. The only honest thing he did before he left with that other woman (I’m working hard at reining in my Bitter Bitch) was to admit that he had spent 16 years emotionally and mentally abusing me.
Yes, he admitted it. Shocking, no?
And, here we are, over two years since the separation and almost two years from the divorce and I’m still dealing with that crap.
How frustrating is that? I know that I can’t expect to be over it immediately. I know that I will feel the effects for years. But I have made so much progress in coming back to life that it is so defeating sometimes to know that I am still trying to untie myself from his definition of who I was.
It is so very hard to recover your self-esteem, your sense of self, when you spent 16 years with the person that you pledged to love and who pledged to love you, trying to do the best you could and it was never enough.
You were never smart enough.
You were never skinny enough.
You were never sexy enough.
You were never a good enough mother.
You were never a good enough housekeeper.
You were never…..
Nothing I ever did was good enough for him.
When the man that you have married tells you that you are subpar at every level on a daily basis, you don’t just get over that in a snap.
So, here we are, two years later, and I’ve met this guy. He’s pretty terrific. OK, he’s more than pretty terrific, but we’re not going to go into massive details. Let’s just say that he’s very sexy, very smart, extremely witty, a talented storyteller and so much more *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.
He’ll tell me that I’m beautiful and sexy and smart. He does so with regularity and ease. You can tell that he means it, that he’s not lying to just get into my pants. I can tell he means it. Truly means these things that he says.
And I want to believe him. I do. I want to see what he sees. I want to feel that I’m beautiful, sexy and smart.
Sometimes, when we talk or when I’m with him, I feel it. I feel like I’m all of those things and more. I feel like Superwoman having a man as great as him think those things about me.
But, when our conversation is done, or I go home, or even sometimes when we are chatting, I wonder what it is that he sees.
I know he can’t be seeing the same woman I see. That woman isn’t smart, nor sexy, nor beautiful. She doesn’t have anything to offer to a great man like him. Why does he still talk to me?
For 16 years I was told that I wasn’t beautiful, sexy or smart. For 16 years I was told that I wasn’t enough. So, how can I be enough for this man who has everything in the world to offer a woman?
And therein, my friends, lies the issue.
I have to stop wondering what I should do to “be enough” for a man in my life and just be me. Be myself in all things.
I have to just be me.
I have to be that woman whose eyebrows are never plucked quite right, whose roots constantly need touching up, whose house is never clean enough, who feeds too many stray cats because she’s a sucker for them. I have to be that dorky lady who laughs too loudly at lousy puns, who thinks science jokes, Doctor Who and Cosmos are pretty awesome. I have to embrace my almost bottomless pit of trivia about nothing that anyone in the world cares about. I have to appreciate my love of all things J.D. Robb, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, and J.K. Rowling. I have to be political and care about what is going on in the world. I have to be all of those things.
Because all of those things make up the person I want to be.
If somewhere along the way I happen to be lucky enough to find someone who is willing to accept me with all of my quirks and my dorkiness and my lame jokes and my obscure passions, and also finds me sexy and beautiful and smart, then that will make me a pretty lucky lady.
It doesn’t mean that I will not ever have periods of self-doubt. Bouncing back from a bad relationship isn’t easy and it takes time.
But I have to stop wondering what he sees in me, why he likes to spend time with me, what the attraction is. Instead of questioning it, I need to just accept it.
It doesn’t matter why. It doesn’t matter what.
All that matters is: He does.
That’s good enough for me.