Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New beginnings

This post was prompted by the wondrous minds at Studio30Plus.

The expiration date was past due.  It was time for the four-year relationship to come to an end, but she simply couldn’t capitulate to giving it up. They’d been together for practically a lifetime -- in dog years anyway. A previously hot and heavy connection becomes habit at a point. Seeing each other had long become rote on both their parts.

So she ended it. There was no closure, mind you. One night she just said goodbye and that she’d call, then never did. He didn't either. No closure at all.

In the end, there was only more blatant rudeness to each other. It was a shame really. Four years spent together was left in empty, blank stares with each one trying to make a point of more effusively ignoring the other. The town was too small for such subtle feuds. 

Unfortunately, a division of the friends also came along with the split. She consoled herself those weren’t her real friends anyway. Couple friends stay couple friends and move along to the next girl in the succession, just like his family. Loyalties and all.

Certain rites of passage mark new beginnings, though. Getting a different haircut or style, going on a shopping spree, planning a road trip with girlfriends. “That’ll show him," and “Wait ‘till he hears about this” resounded in her mind. He’d get word of all the changes she’d made and rue the day he didn’t call her back. It would be his undoing.

The goal in all these actions was to boost an otherwise plateaued sense of self-esteem. Confidence too easily becomes dormant when in a long-term relationship gone cold. Turning into a supposed half of a whole means finding a way to become one with herself again. It’s not a time to look for another but to enjoy friends and seek their help in getting it all together again.
In reality, he didn’t give a shit. He was out living it up with his buddies in their own celebration of his new-found freedom. He hadn’t shown if he cared for quite awhile. You know, actually cared enough to show it with his actions. Sure, he might go through the motions of regular weekend dates, saying “love ya” when hanging up the phone, but not through kind or appreciative behavior. She could’ve been any other girl in the group, as far as his actions reflected. Anyone from the outside wouldn’t have realized they were together. She’d been the one to witness all the drunken card games and resultant gunplay, but she was also the one relegated to voyeur left shaking her head on the couch and watching MTV by herself.

If hearing demands like “you’re supposed to do what I want, that’s how you take care of a man,” and “it’s been long enough since your wisdom teeth removal to give me a blowjob” don’t melt a girl’s heart, who knows what words possibly could. She should've punched him.

Of course, he was stoned all the time. It was no excuse but part of the tough guy facade and his role as pack leader. He had to keep up that appearance as well as his addiction. Cool guys sat aloof with everyone wondering what was next, when his highness would speak or even fly off the handle over that final hand of Pitch. And they all took his lead, the Prince of the Potheads. As far as she'd heard, his habits became full-blown later on, and she was glad she wasn’t there to watch it happen. 

It's funny how the community seemed to look the other way, though, and wished him and his future family well. She's told he still carries on to this day.

Eventually the fishbowl disintegrated, or maybe she simply swam out. She left that glassed-in existence and expanded her horizons beyond what his so-called love and that life had to offer. Dear Abby’s quote repeated in her head, “If you’re not happy with what you have, be happy with what you have escaped.” The goal was to disprove the statistical odds for a child from an alcoholic home and not perpetuate the stereotypes. She would live the life she had imagined and make her own future.

Years later she wondered why she continued to seek male approval. Staying single was a point of pride but relationships still carried a measure of self-worth. Education, work, hobbies, adventure -- it all added up to not enough. She pushed herself to achieve, to reach those aimed-for heights, ever striving. Forever searching ... even reaching out for professional help.

Following the rules was important. Keeping the dosage monitored to ward away the deeper, more dangerous doldrums. She had the tools, knew how to stave off that stinkin’ thinkin’ that used to drive her nuts and keep her insides twisted. Anger turned inward. She heeded healthy suggestions like,“Get outside of yourself. Look at the bigger picture, the greater good. You’ll see how lucky you are when you help someone less fortunate.”  It helped but didn’t make all the jumbled thoughts go way.

Wherever you go, there you are," was another clique she couldn’t turn off from continuous playback in her mind. But a change of scenery didn’t hurt. She kept her hair highlighted and thought she looked different, younger but less vulnerable. She kept busy, never stayed stagnant. New beginnings and a new life. Seeking solace.

Closure was yet a little more elusive.  


  1. Oh god... been there done that! Thanks for reminding me (burk!)

  2. Nicely-said! I was stressed-out, just reading about her cage, even knowing that she had already escaped it. And I can relate to the lack of closure. I keep trying to tell myself that closure is overrated.