"I've lived on hope
Just like a child
walking that mile
faking that smile
all the while
wishing my heart had wings
well from now on I am gonna be
The kind of woman I want my daughter to be
I'm gonna love myself
More than anyone else
Believe in me
Even if someone can't see
There's a stronger woman in me
Won't lose myself again
Cause there's a stronger woman, a stronger woman"
When you think about it that way, it really puts things in perspective. If my daughter were in my shoes, what would I want her to do? Why do I not choose for myself what I would want for her? If I am to teach my children to live happy lives and follow their dreams, shouldn't I lead by example? Is there, somewhere, a stronger woman in me?
I come up with all these reasons why I CAN'T end this. I read a quote the other day, though, that really made me think. We were talking about working out and my cousin said, "If we really want to do something, we'll find reasons. If we don't, we'll find excuses." (It was something like that, maybe not exactly) For example, it took me three years to leave my son's dad, and it was a similar process then. I would say, "Oh, I can't leave because I don't have any money, I don't have a job, I don't know how to do anything for myself, I don't have a car, and my son needs his dad because he's so young." But, I was surprised to find out what I was capable of when it really came down to it. I suspect I still have that inner reserve of strength somewhere, I just need to tap into it somehow. To stop making excuses and start finding reasons. Of course, it's harder this time because my husband is a much better person than my son's dad was. Everyone was happy about me leaving HIM, but this time, I'm not so sure I'll have that support.
Here are my excuses and why they shouldn't stop me.
1. I don't have a job, and I don't think I can find one. -- This is true, I have applied for about 20 jobs a month over the last 3 or 4 months, and no one wants to hire me. The most recent work experience I have is not something I can put on a resume, and I have not worked in an office in 5 years. Furthermore, I left that office on bad terms, so if I put them on my resume and they are contacted, they would not give me a good reference. In the fall, I will be going to school full time, so how would I even find time to work also? Okay, well I could apply for FIP until I get a job, but one of the requirements for cash assistance is that you have to apply for a certain number of jobs per week and if you are offered a job, you can not turn it down. I will have class on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday during the day and my son will be in kindergarten. What if I get offered a job with a schedule that conflicts with my class schedule? Option 2, I could keep applying for jobs and work something out with hubby that we will continue to cohabit until I am successful. I mean, he will need to save up money before he can just move out anyway, so this arrangement could be mutually beneficial.
2. My son will suffer. This may be the case, but I realized something yesterday while I was arguing with my husband. My son is suffering NOW. I was being bitchy and moody, he blew up at me for my attitude, I told him I don't want to be with him anyway, he said I probably never DID, and I said I never should have married him...at that point my son started to cry and ran into his room. I felt horrible, I didn't even realize he was standing there. I want so badly to protect him, but at the same time, I'm exposing him to all this negativity and discord in our home. It's like 6 of one, half a dozen of the other -- either way, he's going to be hurt. Shouldn't it at least be a hurt that will have a foreseeable end instead of an indefinite, prolonged pain? I don't think there's any way around this one. I have thought long and hard, but there is no easy way out. I just need to be as gentle, supportive, and loving to my son throughout this whole process. Hopefully my husband can still be involved in our lives somehow and will still spend time with him from time to time. I don't know how that will go over if he starts a new relationship, but this whole thing isn't my son's fault and he is really close to my husband.
3. My family will be disappointed. This was the reason that made me go through with my first marriage, even though I didn't want to. This was the reason that kept me there for 3 years, even though I was unhappy. When I finally left my husband, I was shocked to discover that my family was much more supportive and understanding than I had expected. I thought that I was letting them down, but they completely encouraged me to pursue my own happiness. They are still friends with my ex-husband, but they stand behind me and my decision 100%. I'm a little more nervous this time because this is my second failed marriage, but they are my family. In the end, I think they will be there no matter what, even if they don't agree with my decisions.
Looking at all these reasons and knowing that I can overcome them, I still don't know if I really WILL. I still can't picture myself ALONE. It's so scary, and things are so easy right now. Except they're not, and I'm kidding myself if I think they'll get any better. I have run from relationship to relationship all my life, existing to be someone's "other half" for so long, that I don't know how to be myself. I don't even know who I am, and I'm kind of scared to be all alone with this person -- me -- that I don't even know. Doing everything for myself, thinking for myself, doing what I want, going where I want, when I have been so used to letting everyone else make the decisions and I just follow along. How will I even KNOW what I want? I've never really thought about that before.
The longest period of time that I was alone was after I left my son's dad, and even then, we were still hooking up here and there, talking on the phone, spending time together, and he'd tease me with the possibility that we might get back together. In fact, the last time I had a romantic conversation with him was Christmas night that year, he told me he still loved me and wanted to be with me and that he was going to come spend the weekend with me. I met my husband just one month later. However, from the time I left my son's dad in March and started the on-again-off-again thing until October when he got another girl pregnant, until December when I realized he wasn't leaving her for me, until January when I met someone new...that time was the most intensely painful that I have ever experienced, and I WASN'T EVEN IN LOVE WITH HIM. I hated that guy, he abused me, he criticized me, he cheated on me, he stole from me, he was an alcoholic...if I had such a hard time leaving HIM, just WHAT is going to happen when I leave a good husband? I was suicidal after I left my son's dad. I don't want to go back down that road. But, is it fair to use my husband as a crutch, just because I can't be alone? Nope.