New Year’s Eve sucks…
Oh God, it’s just a month away. An anniversary, a birthday, and then — Valentine’s Day. Getting through Christmas alone was bad enough. The first year of holidays alone are the worst. I did it for more than 10 years alone, and I don’t remember it being so hard. I am so full of anger and walk around my house spewing forth my rage to the air and waiting for an answer. Anyone walking by my apartment door can probably hear me, thinking I am possessed by a demon. But I know God hears. And God listens. He may not be happy with the words I choose, but He knows they come from a pain deep inside that cannot heal right now.
When we are so full of anger and rage, we cannot hear the voice of God, calming us, giving us answers. We are too busy talking. So I stopped myself last night, crawled into my cold bed and prayed again. In the stillness, I could feel Him wrap His arms around me and comfort me into a deep sleep. When I awoke, more posts about New Year were all over Facebook. Instead of embracing the “love” and happy thoughts of others, my anger welled up again. “Yeah yeah, Happy New Year my ass. I am so sick of happy people.” I tried to push past it, gave a few, “you too” posts to friends who know of my marriage’s demise yet wished me well, rolled down the screen reading one after another “happy” post. I’m done. I’m just wishing everyone was as miserable as me…..sort of.
When you are in love and happy, you post pictures of the two of you together, happy and kissing, sickeningly sweet. You are so happy it makes everyone else envious. But when you are miserable, you wish people knew it and shared in your misery. “Misery loves company” doesn’t really work. No one wants to hear someone whine. I don’t, so why should anyone else? All they can do is tell you “I’m so sorry” and then go on with their lives. So many times I call my mom (not my dad) only because I just need to hear those little words which seem to “I’m sorry, I can understand why you would feel that way.” I love my dad, but he’s a guy. He’s on the side of the enemy. He doesn’t get a woman’s heart. He tries so hard, and he loves me, and wants to help. But he’s a guy. It’s not his fault.
One of the biggest moments came a couple of weeks ago, when I heard words from my mother which meant more than anything. She is probably going to read this, and I want her to know, those words meant so much, and are what help the most. I paraphrase, but the point is there. “We are so proud of you and how strong you are. I don’t think I could go through what you have and we both just think you are so brave.” Brave? I never really thought I was a brave person. I don’t like going to the mall because I hate crowds, get claustrophobic and panic. I have overcome that to some point. I didn’t ride the bus because I was scared. I overcame it. I told myself, “you got yourself out of a foreign country with no money and God’s help. You rode the bus in Ireland and managed to survive. You drove from New York to Georgia in a broken truck through car jack central at night. You have been through 2 divorces, moved to a strange city and you survived. YES, you are BRAVE.” Bravery doesn’t come from fighting off a gun wielding attacker. It doesn’t come from climbing a mountain or meeting the president. Bravery comes from within. Even the smallest things can make you brave. It just takes one small thing, then another, and before you know it, you can do a lot of things you never thought you could.
I have done so many things in my life that no one else in my family has. I have traveled, divorced, dealt with depression and hunger, dealt with mental illness of a spouse, alcoholism – fears of all sorts. Over the course of 49 years I guess I have done more than I realized. But I never thought I was doing anything “brave”. I just got up and dusted myself off, and kept going. I guess I just thought that’s what everyone else did too. If someone told me I couldn’t do something, I did it bigger and better than they imagined. If my husband thinks I can’t survive without him, guess what? I will not only survive, I will thrive. I will do what I do best as a Libra, I will think everything through twenty times before I act. And then I will think it all over again. I will plan and plan again. I will have a backup of my backup plan. To him my inaction is that I “never want to do anything.” The truth is, I am weighing everything and planning. I don’t do anything at random. It has to be measured and calculated to the smallest minute detail. For me, the “what if’s” are always entered into every thought, and then I plan for that too.
People ask me, “what will you do if –” ? Well, I don’t know. Yet. But believe me, if you think I am not already planning and plotting, you’re so wrong…..I have probably already planned what I will say when you ask. You never know…
Mom, thanks for telling me I’m brave. It means the world to me. And yes, I am putting my hat and gloves in my jacket right now…..I swear.