On Monday morning at nine o'clock, I told my therapist the truth. I felt amazing. Strong. Stable. I did. Until three o'clock this afternoon. I'm not sure what happened. Thoughts of him and Bambi have battered my brain since I discovered their relationship, but last Friday, after my O.M.G. moment, serenity and happiness settled within me, welcome companions.
This afternoon, I am faltering.
No worries. I'm not contemplating an exit strategy this time around. But neither am I feeling amazing, strong, or stable.
Now, I remember.
I read something on Twitter about authors assigning character flaws to their characters as opposed to allowing flaws to develop organically. This reminded me of his list of reasons why he wanted a divorce. None are painless to recall. Each and every one sent me on a one way guilt trip. The one on my mind today involves my illness. Bipolar.
Why? Because my symptoms, and their effect on him, played a vital role in his decision to separate and divorce. I have PTSD on top of bipolar, so my ability to travel, to be around people, or to enter stressful situations is highly limited.
He wants to travel. Try new things. Meet new people. Branch out.
I like to stay close to home, though I'm no longer trapped by my agoraphobia.
I guess maybe I held him back.
Thing is, I haven't always been this way. Used to be, I could go to concerts, travel, talk to strangers like they were my oldest friends.
So what happened? What changed?
I changed. Looking back, I think it must have been after my miscarriage in 1998. The loss devastated me, and the need to conceive again consumed me. When I found out I was pregnant in November of that same year, I was ecstatic and terrified. My baby became my whole world, long before she entered this world. The fear never went away.
I now have two beautiful children, and while the fear of losing them is not as overwhelming as it was when they were babies, it still lives and breathes inside of me. Maybe that terror simply transmuted itself into something more, something bigger. I became afraid of pretty much everything. Going a mile down the road to the Dollar General for a gallon of milk requires a degree of self-encouragement which most would find strange. For a long time, walking down the driveway to the mailbox nearly sent me into a full blown panic attack. Traveling terrifies me. Every second, I am anticipating sudden death.
I don't know if I will ever change back. Can I return to the me I once was, outgoing, exuberant, playful? I'm not sure. One thing is certain, it's too late to change my marriage, to save it. Still, I will keep taking steps forward even knowing there will be days like today. Days when I go back two spaces and feel like I'm starting over.
About a week ago, a frog made its way into our house. I captured it in a jar and set him free in my backyard but not before wondering why he'd chosen to enter my home. My first thought was forward movement. I searched Google for the meaning of a frog in the house. Sure enough, a frog is a good omen and can symbolize forward movement. I stumbled today. Fell on my ass. Tomorrow, tomorrow maybe I'll take a leap forward once more.