Anniversary and numbers ramble

September 8, 2008 at 6:39 pm 2 comments

Back to the good old numbers. I have a thing about them, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before. I just like to count, add things, whatever. I love helping my kids with their homework. They think I’m crazy because I think it’s so much fun to solve equations. But what I have in mind is much simpler than 8th grade math.

I slept three hours last night, so today is a tangent kind of day. The day before yesterday was my 18th wedding anniversary. I didn’t think about it until the day before, when I called my parents on their anniversary, and they reminded me of mine, which I promptly forgot again. The next morning at breakfast I heard them announce it on the radio (just the date, NOT that it was our anniversary), and I only squirmed imperceptively, so I think it went right by my husband.

18 years ago I also had my last real (=paying) job. Tomorrow my next one starts. 23 years ago in the middle of August, I moved to Europe. I was really cool about it, because I knew it wasn’t “forever”. I am still convinced of that. It was just before my 23rd birthday, as a matter of fact, and I’d been born when my mother was 23. She called me on that birthday and asked if I was happy. I was terribly homesick and quite unhappy, but tried to be strong and brave. I thought I just had to hold on. To what? For what? It’s only 23 years later that these simple questions occur to me.

They say that we marry one of our parents in our spouse. Years later I look back and realize that I married both parents. The qualities that drive me crazy in both are beautifully merged in one perfect being. And I’ve been wondering lately if that’s why I held out for as long as I have. Think about it. I was very unhappy, things were tense from the start. But I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, abandon him, or make a mistake. After all, maybe he really did love me!? I spent half of my life figuring out that he doesn’t. Not the way I need. I worried way too much about his feelings and neglected my own well-being. For the certain realization that I am not tied to someone just because they think they love me, I have invested half of my life (23 years) doing research in an extremely difficult setting. Now I know that if I don’t love them, that matters, too. Good grief! This sounds like first-grade math on a different level. Well, I can’t be good at everything right off the bat!

In case anyone is wondering, I am not talking about this to be pitied, to get yelled at for not leaving sooner, or anything along those lines. I’m just mentioning it because if someone is in the same situation, it might sober them up a bit and give them courage if they realize it could go on like that for decades. And perhaps I want to plea for understanding. How quickly we sometimes judge someone from the outside, or think we would cope much better in a similar situation. Each person has their own special difficulties and Sisyphus rock to accompany them for an indefinite amount of time in their lives. Through this personal experience, I have more compassion and understanding for others, because I truly KNOW how difficult it is to change the situation even when we know better. 

From a distance, I wonder if it wasn’t still the hurt child in me seeking to please her parents, and hoping that if she tried hard enough, eventually they would bestow their love upon her. Unconditionally. It never happened. In my marriage I mean. This may seem insane, but I’ve just been wondering lately what it is that motivates people to stay in a bad relationship for many years — like, say, 23? Or even longer? What are they looking for? What do they expect after 10, 20, 30, 40 years? For myself, I was in denial. I was certain things would magically change, though I have no idea why or how.

I am not a proponent of divorce. I do believe that people should try to work things out, and that many divorces occur much too quickly. But I also recognize that there are unfortunate people (us included) who just never should have hooked up in the first place. Okay, okay, the other day I said my kids wanted to be born and specifically chose us. Well, they’re here, so that’s been taken care of.

So much for anniversaries. The good thing about them is, they generally cause some kind of reflection, and maybe that reflection can provide the necessary impetus that had been lacking up til now to make a much-needed and much-overdue change. I’m speaking very generally here, but I think this might have something to do with me! 🙂 I was going to say that I would give it some thought, but to tell you the truth: I’ve thought enough! It’s high time to take action! (I almost said “to act” — but I’ve been doing that all along.)

Eating disorders are another embarrassing thing. We certainly know better, but that takes what it takes as well. Oh, by the way, there’s another anniversary coming up. In the next month or so, I’ll be symptom-free for 20 years! I don’t know exactly when, because I forgot when I last threw up. That’s how vitally important “the last time” is, in case anyone is curious. In the year I turned 26, I realized bulimia had taken up half of my life. If I continued, it would be more than half. That was one darn good reason to stop. But you know what I think? Any reason is good. It just has to be real.


Entry filed under: Family/Relationships. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Tramps like us I am a survivor

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Njord  |  September 9, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Since Njord didn’t feel like prying, he didn’t bring this up. However, he is glad you finally see the light.
    Nice to see you back and at ’em
    ~Njord the Wise

    *PS* Good job telling me you were back in the first place. >=|

  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  September 10, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Thanks! It feels better to be back by the day. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! 🙂


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