Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A serious look at my options

I am feeling trapped by single parenthood

I love my child desparately, but a number of things have conspired to make me feel alone, unable to cope and really admit to myself that I am not doing a good job.

My work is demanding,

Running a home alone is tiring and requires a greater financial input than living with someone else (mere economy of scale)

Connor is becoming unruly and I don't have to tools or energy to address it

I am bored by my career frankly and its only purpose is to keep the money rolling in to pay the bills

I hardly ever get to relax truly. Partly due to Connor's demandingness, and partly due to my own dilligence about work. It honestly never leaves me.

I am in pain a lot of the time.

This last one is the clincher, without that I could summon my usual indomitable energy to the problem, but I really am just surviving most of the time.

Trying to think laterally about how I might get out of this rut.

Work smarter - actually get promoted, actually do a good job, get recognition, more money to pay cleaners/nannies/ a mortgage

Make Connor's dad take a larger part in his life - by fair means or foul

Run away and start a new life

Identify a new career and work steadily towards it.

Develop a sideline career

But first..... need energy....need to get rid of this pain...not with opiates....

It seems advisable to fix my parenting style before inviting a man into my life

Strange relationship vacuum

Once again I am painfully aware that I don't know myself it is similar to the feeling when I first cheated with EX23 of being able to forgive my SA. That was probably a fake feeling but I suppose I felt the table had four legs in some way. I was no longer having this done to me, but I was doing it right back.

And now Ex23 is out of my life. In rushes this craving to be with someone. Uh? I wasn't really with him, or in a relationship but somehow it was substituting for it, and I felt empowered to be single. Happy to just be me because... I wasn't. In the back of my mind, I had this illusion that someone cared for me, someone found me attractive, and someone was planning to make a space for me in their future.

I also had the illusion that he was somehow my friend and confidante. I used to email him all sorts of detail about my life with Connor, long descriptions of happy and sad moments. Often he would tell me about his family too. We'd talk about our college days and how our friends from that time were going. I thought he was an old friend.

For his part I was "the perfect sly fuck" and his reaction when I asked him not to sms or call me ( I didn't want him having carte blanche to dial into my life whether I was out with friends, visiting my parents or in bed with a new lover, but I wouldn't have minded the odd keep in touch email) his reaction was "OK will remove you from my address book to avoid temptation" . In my girlish naivite this feels like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

And I am craving closeness to someone. Sigh. Another false dawn. Now I have some real work to do to really exist on my own and feel secure in this world.

Single Parent Cling-on

Being the single parent of a single child has many challenges. On the upside we are the smallest, neatest family you can imagine. On the downside, Connor has no playmate but me, and that can be quite exhausting, so from time to time inevitably we look for alternatives.

During my five years of single parenthood, I have always been grateful for families that take us under their wing. We are absorbed by them on their day-trips, holidays, Christmasses and parties. It is lovely to feel part of something bigger, and I am grateful it is just the two of us, as we are very manageable and invites are often forthcoming. However, some element of this is starting to wear thin. Namely that I always feel like a third wheel, gooseberry, lemon.

This is just about bearable when I am with a couple I know well and like and the arrangement is made well in advance. However Connor, being a very gregarious child often picks up families at school or on holiday and gets us invited along. So I find myself hanging out at cafes, beaches, playground with couples I hardly know basically cramping their style like an oversized chaperone. Or that is how it feels to me. Sometimes it just seems it would be easier to dispense with the niceties and say "Just mind my child for a while I'm off for some me time" But that too feels socially unacceptable, unless it comes with a reciprocal arrangement whereby I get 3-4 unpredictable rampaging kids in my apartment for the afternoon. They at least get the pleasure of each other's company at the end of a day of kid wrangling.

This, as much as other elements of single parenthood, is almost enough to propel me into a relationship.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The gut instinct

Well here I am on date 3 and he still hasn't tried to kiss me. I think this is good. Because now I have this horrible intuition about myself that I fall in love too easily. The moment I get "that kiss" he will become my partner and I will rearrange my life around him. Please no! but Please how??

I also need to take careful account of my initial feelings here and record them. But before I do a little SA spotting digression

I was trying to develop a clear measure of what it was that Neil, and Ex23 did on those first dates that made me feel uneasy. Here is one example, which is of course triggering for anyone who's been with an SA. They asked me to describe to them, in detail, if I ever made myself come, and if I did how I acheived it, exactly. And they both would've asked this on the first or second date. And do you know a funny thing, I told them, even though in 16 years of marriage what we did in private, and in the absence of each other, (or anyone else!!!) remained a closed book for Simon and I. I did sometimes ask him if he helped himself out you know, but he was very reluctant to share and I didn't push it and he never asked me. Yet we had a very happy and regular sex life.

OK so here'd be my intuitions on the new man - lets call him John

(1) He's a little bit controlling.

(a) He made this remark that if anyone tells him to do anything he absolutely will not do it but if they ask him, more than happy. I think at some level that is normal, but will it be an eggshell type of thing where you have to ask in the right way for fear of accidentally barking an order???
(b) He always rings if he's like 2.5 minutes late, or indeed if you are. Puctuality is clearly very important.

(2) He's a bit repressed aka a cold fish- although anyone would seem that way after being with an SA. He doesn't give much away, and he hasn't even tried to brush my hand, let alone hold it, or kiss me, but he keeps asking me on "dates" maybe we are just friends? In the past though if a fellow thought there was no chemistry I have been summarily brushed off after 1 or at most 2 dates.

(3) He may be a mommy's boy. I actually think this is less toxic than hating your mother. However he cancelled our first date to take her somewhere, and he is again not calling today because he is with her. She is old and a widow, so I guess she deserves some support. But I wonder could this ever come between us? Simon's mother could do no wrong, but this would appear to be a new level...

(4) He's never had kids and never wants them, so very much so that he has actually had a vasectomy - we did talk about that. Which is fine, unneccessary on my account since I am functionally infertile anyway, but two questions. Is is a symptom of the aforementioned control? does he want to make damn sure no woman spawns with him and steals his assets? and most importantly, if we did get in a relationship what, if any are the implications for Connor? he doesn't want his own kids why would he want someone elses?

So for the record, that's the summary of gut reactions. Is is bad? should I run, hold hands what???

ps another thing that has helped me deal with Ex23 the last couple of days is this

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gone too far

I've often been disappointed in the way my life went. My choice of men, my infertility issues, I didn't get promoted at work, have to live too far away from my family. But overall I have always told myself that I got a "good package" I'm relatively nice looking, smart, I have a great family, I earn enough, am quite good at sport and generally have little to complain about. Then I woke up this morning, and quite suddenly realise that this is no longer true. I'm not sure if its the loss of Ex23 or what but I can no longer pretend that my life doesn't stink. I've lost my home, my love life, my child is spoilt and unmanageable, I am crippled with some mystery hip disorder which is causing me a lot of pain and not allowing me to do the things by which I previously measured myself. I am underperforming at work. It's no use, we have ticked into the red, and I really have no idea how to bring things back in line again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Letting Ex23 Go

I have finally let ex23 go. And it hurts. But in all honesty my conscience got the better of me. Surprisingly, his didn't. I can now re-embrace the sisterhood. Accept my slap on the wrist and promise, as far as is humanly possible never to do it again.

Two posts helped me. This one, oddly annoyed me, because I used to be that person, a wronged woman who would never touch a married man, I had firm lines around what I would and wouldn't do, until I re-encountered Ex23. My defenses were down, and my sense of wrong and right twisted. What started as a one night stand turned to love and besottedness. And it was shown to me, graphically, that we are all fallible.

I apparently have some sort of daddy hole it wouldn't be my choice of nomenclature, but none the less after Neil cheated, came out as a sex addict, and treated me with indifference, I had a hole in my soul that badly needed plugging by "Just a boy" (credits to Get to the inside) the thrill of reuniting with someone I had last been with half a life ago (in 1986 to be exact) was absolutely and utterly overwhelming, intoxicating. We were 23 again. How was I to know it was, in fact fake love? Actually I remain in doubt. I still harbor a suspicion that it is the real thing. But I cannot bear to be kept on a string. I said to him when I ended it, what do you expect? for me to wait 30 years for you? "Yes" he said, "because I'm worth it". That has a very narcissistic after taste I can tell you.

I will miss his daily sms, and declarations of love, and midnight phone calls. Perhaps he did truly believe we belonged together, but the facts remain, as long as it stayed as it was, he still has an in tact, functioning family to go home to, who have the benefit of his presence, love, and money. Whereas I have nothing... I'm sure a dozen married men in my own city would be more than willing to offer what he was offering when it is boiled down... occasional no-strings-hotel-sex and (fake) declarations of love.

But what of "Just a boy"? get to the inside describes him as "a boy or man who has yet to learn how to love outside of himself; a boy/man who unknowingly and unintentionally hurts others due to his inability to consider other people besides himself" awww little innocent lamb. I think I specialize in these.

I listened to quite a funny radio show about cheating today, it was a variation on the sex-addict meets love-addict theme. Suggesting women cheat because they are looking for love to fill and emotional void, and men do the same thing, but they are incapable of expressing their emotions except, as validated by society, by hitting someone, or by having sex with them. At the end of the show the panel were clearly divided between the kick-him-to-the-kerb camp and the you-shall-learn-and-grow from this camp.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Repartnering - The great dichotomy

My friends and so-called advisors fall into two categories (whether they know about the SA or not strangely). Although few could understand what it does to your moral compass, or the PSD associated with it. So this is what they say:

(1) Grab yourself a man quick before your charms fade - and don't be so fussy
(2) You are a princess and settle for nothing less than perfection

Well I got brave and went on a date. And surprisingly I quite liked him. He was nice looking, fit, not offensive to women (thus far) well qualified (if that matters) and quite amusing all round.

Surprising when I had pretty much sworn off men, to find myself with this conundrum. I find myself asking

(1) have I somehow lowered my standards? In that there is, it turns out, an intelligent, handsome and charming man out there who wants to date me where I had thought they were all overweight, hairy, dependent, sociopaths.

(2) So what's wrong with him? and why can't I see it?

(3) Am I carrying out my due dilligence - ie how can I not get trapped in the same old nightmare again?

The right time for lifestyle

I was walking home at sunset last night and caught sight of an elderly woman sipping a drink on her urban terrace, surrounded by terracotta pots and flowers. And I thought.... that's what I want to be.... And then... but that isn't so far away. In 15 years' time I'll be 60.

The only way I had believed this vision could be mine was by buying a house or apartment on my own which would involve extreme stress and hard work over the next couple of decades. Then I suddenly had the thought... why put yourself through that? save for retirement, and you can rent the apartment of your dreams.

When is the time for lifestyle? Most people want to provide a love-nest/family nest for their growing family with as many mod-cons as they can afford. Lawn/pool/family room/chef's kitchen. My time to attain this is running short. Connor will be grown up by the end of the decade. I have no lover for my love-nest. What's the point really, of enslaving myself to home ownership when I have no-one to enjoy it with and the one I can enjoy it with is on his way out?

Fast rising house prices? security? Inheritance for your children?
I spent my young married days living in downright hovels saving money, and my savings did not keep up with the house prices. Then I put my savings into a dream home and lost the small amount of appreciation to my cheating de-facto. So now at 45 when many have nearly paid off their homes. I have at best 1/3 of a house and 20 years to pay off the other 2/3 alone.
Despite my providence I am not secure.