I need to revisit the past to make the present more clear. You know how you look back on your life at times and realize that God was giving you important lessons along the way and suddenly it all comes together and makes since in the "now"? I'd like to make my "big picture" a little more clear because I've made a few revelations recently, so I'm going to do a quick synapse (majorly simplifying) some of my past and see where it goes. I'm probably going to share entirely too much of myself but I like to put it out there because you get more back. Feel free to ask me anything or give me advice along the way. I'd love any feed back!
I've always been strong willed, but in my teenage years I really embraced the "tough girl" persona and did everything I could to project that I was a strong woman with direction. My parents both praised me and told me how wonderful I was like good parents do (they had me young and neither completed hs) and I wanted to make them proud. I had plans to attend college and be that career oriented woman. I had a great role model in my own mother who made being a hard working single mother in previous years seem empowering, (later working for a HUGE well known company and being praised for her work and even having her ideas become protocol) I liked the idea of not needing a man for anything and I dared anyone to challenge me or my ideas. I had a big ego. I believed I was better than most other people my age and not only was I going to be "somebody" someday, I already was.
(oh the invincibility of a teenager lol)
But even unknown to me, it was all a farce. I was extremely scared to fail. So scared in fact that I started to seek out an escape. I didn't know it then, but that is exactly what I was doing. I got pregnant, and became a married mother at the age of 19. He had a future in the Navy (had already enrolled) and this would buy me plenty of time to ease into my "after high school plans". I don't think I even loved him. I loved the idea of him. He was a great guy (with endearing characteristics I now enjoy in our daughter) but we didn't have a chance because we didn't even know who we were then. We knew nothing about life. I thought I had everything planned out perfectly but something happened that I didn't expect. I looked into my baby's eyes and I completely and utterly changed who I was at that very moment. I opened my heart to real unconditional love. Love deeper than any love I had ever felt in my entire life. (It was a true gift from God and the first tiny taste of the love he feels for us.) With my heart so open, my life started to hurt. Just after my daughters birth, we moved far from friends and family to Norfolk VA. Things I could have easily "pushed through" with a closed heart, like lack of true respect and love in my marriage, started to feel like gaping bleeding stab wounds that I couldn't heal on my own. With a taste of unconditional love I had started to have a hope that I could love him and we could be happy. I started to wonder if I could make this marriage work and be a perfect little family for our daughter. But being young, happiness meant perfection and I put a lot of pressure and impossible standards on us, unknowingly pushing us further apart, and as I pushed, any love we had started to go, and as it went, any hope we had was gone. Hopelessness made us behave in ways that were not really us and we became really pathetic excuses for human beings. We separated and I went back home to TX. He followed and we had a brief reconnect, that just verified that the love was no longer there, and I moved out and got a place of my own with our daughter and that was the last of our marriage, although it took years to complete the divorce.
What did I take away from it all? I would have been better off had I never tried to open my heart up to a man. Opening your heart leads to heart ache. I lost trust in "love" and believed it was a thing they made up in books and movies. The real "fun" part was the chase the idea of your future together. In movies, it always ends at the "happily ever after" because if they continued on past the wedding day you'd find out about all the monotony, bickering, becoming bored with one another, etc...the reality after the chase is not fun and makes for a bad story. I didn't want it anymore. Marriage was not for me.
**Now in retrospect, this is not exactly what I should have taken away from the experience of my first marriage and being an adult looking back through wiser, less pained eyes, I know more about what went wrong and why. I can also remember a lot of fun and loving times that were over shadowed by pain, guilt, and hurt that was still so raw and fresh after the final split, but for me to understand why I did particular things in my life, I have to remember how I felt then and remember that I didn't know the things I know now. **
I went without a boyfriend or love interest for about a year, and if you count the last year with my husband, I had not had love or sex in roughly 2 years. We were roommates there at the end and I don't think we even spoke. I can't really remember much about the short period where we tried to make it work a second time, except were we lived and that I hated my life. I didn't miss the intimacy. I actually hated the thought of it. My ex cheated during our marriage, and although things were never perfect between us, it still shocked and hurt me immensely. I had body image issues and felt overall unattractive. I was damaged goods in the love department. This made it easy to avoid relationships for fear of rejection anyway. I devoted my time to my daughter and to work.
I was happier than I was with my ex. I enjoyed my job and I enjoyed my time at home with my daughter. It's when my ex started to take her regularly (on weekends) and I had free time after work without her there, that I started to get extremely lonely. Having moved away right out of high school, I didn't really keep in touch with many friends. However, a cousin of my ex's lived as a single mother in my apt complex and I'd been blowing her off but as I sat there bored with nothing to do, I started taking her up on her offers and we'd go hang out with her friends (guys and girls) and it was a casual party environment that I had never been a part of. (I was never a very social person and really my ex husband was my first long-term boyfriend and I met him at work.) There weren't any drugs or anything like that, just some card games and maybe a little drinking which I never participated in. She was there to snag a man, but I had zero interest in that. I might crack a joke here and there but I still stayed to myself more than anything. My friend moved back home with her mother and we started spending more time together, doing girly stuff like clothes shopping, tanning, and letting our daughters play together. I ended up being over at her mom's when a neighbor came by offering her a babysitting job. She couldn't take it, but once I heard he was needing a live in nanny (he provides food and gas money etc..) and that he would only be there a few days a month(oil field), he had shared custody with his wife so his kids were gone 2 weeks out of the month and I'd be making almost triple the amount of money I made at my current job, I gladly took the offer. It was a dream job. I got to spend every available moment with my daughter and the 3 kids I watched were fun and easy to entertain. It was like I was playing house, but in a BIG house with lots of spending money and no husband. I loved it. My daughter started to spend longer periods of time with her dad and the kids I watched also spent extended times away at their mom's place during school vacations and I found myself spending a lot of time at these little social gatherings with my ex's cousin because that was all there was to do. I still wasn't really participating in the conversations much, or having that much fun until one day I was sitting on the couch and in walked a new, extremely sexy, muscular and handsome guy that came and sat smiling, right next to me.