I think I’ve been separated since 2014… no, wait, I have… wow. Who’da thunk that?
After all the travel in the Fall and Holiday season of ’14, our plan as a couple was to reunite and tackle 2015 and our list of goals and challenges for the year together. No more alone time, no more separations, just us again… because neither of us were particularly happy with that situation, even though we both understood the reasons.
For the record? God laughs when you start making plans. Loudly. Because if you’re a friend on Facebook then you already know that our household is currently ripped apart, again, and this time it may be a while before we’re back in the same state, let alone same house. Because while I came home from my trip rested and refreshed, Bob came home with the knowledge that there were serious health concerns with his Mother and caregiving was needed ASAP. And at the airport, when I went to pick him up on January 4th, he told me this, and he told me he was volunteering to take this on. For however long it takes. Because that’s what his Mom did for him.
And I understand.
But a week later he was gone, and I’ve been alone ever since. Alone again. With all those challenges for 2015 staring me down, and no partner to help me sort them out. Of course the problems he has out there were and are so all-consuming that I just don’t feel right about sharing all the silly and ridiculous shit I’ve got going on with him. But for me this is like losing my other brain. My sounding board. I am constantly providing support and reassurance to him, but I’m trying to remain self-contained and keep my fears, worries, and concerns to myself. And yes, I know I sound like I’m whining. I am in fact doing exactly that. Because I’m allowed. Because I can.
This is hard y’all.
I realized the other day that I’ve been married/living with someone for most of the last 20 years. I never thought of myself as the type who needed someone around. In fact, for a long time I’ve prided myself on not being one of those women. I was lying. And the thing I struggle with the most? The thing that’s the hardest? That thing is someone just being present. Someone to talk to. Someone to argue with. Someone’s weight on the other side of the bed, even if I don’t reach out and touch them. Someone to just be there.
I miss that.
And for those of you keeping score at home, no, we’re not having any out-of-the-ordinary marital difficulties, beyond our usual “did you really just eat an Everything bagel on my clean countertop and not wipe up any of the crumbs?” level of crap anyway. And I think those issues will likely continue until one of us (I’m looking at you Bob) can no longer eat Bagels, or any other solid food for that matter. But I can tell you that even if a relationship is rock solid, this is hard shit. Because every day I’m alone is another day that no one is there for me or him. And it’s another opportunity for me to make yet another minute adjustment toward a solitary life. A life that we got by default, and that I resent even as I embrace it ever reluctantly.
This is hard.
I’m angry but I’m conflicted because I would do the same thing. Even if I resent the hell out of his sense of duty and love. I know this will pass but I just want this to be over, even if I’m not sure it ever will end. And even as I simultaneously learn that there are things about being alone that aren’t as bad as I thought they’d be.
All of that… at once.
So keep us in your thoughts. Growing older is not for the faint of heart. We’re struggling with it. I keep looking at my wrist and the two twin bracelets there that say “It Is What It Is” and “Everything Happens for a Reason” and I know these words are true. I just know that there are times when I don’t like accepting them, and now is one of those times.