A rambling post, most likely. And one with no pictures!
Friday it was quite rainy here, so I aborted my attempt to bike to work after two blocks (I'm in a very conservative, professional firm so they frown on me arriving sopping wet!) I decided to take the bus in and let fate decide how I'd get home.
It was beautiful around 5:00 pm, so I decided that I would run the three miles home. I always keep a set of running clothes at work in case I ever need to exercise mid-day. This planning paid off!
As I was running home, I realized that I am currently the happiest that I have ever been in my entire life. And then I started thinking about how my life had changed so much in the past few years. I was near suicidal when I found out that Thomas had been cheating on me. I really thought my life was finished. I'd put all of my attention into him (misguided!) and I'd neglected myself. Never again! This entire journey has shown me how I have amazing parents, wonderful friends, and a great life. I never would have left him if he hadn't cheated on me. Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like had he just remained faithful. I would have stayed and had just been a shell of myself. I may have even become an alcoholic.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a day off of work, spent the night at my parents' house, and the day shopping with my mom. I had such a great time! My dad keeps the wine flowing, so we started having some interesting conversations (after some cards, of course!)
I had thanked my parents for being such great parents. I've observed that I'm truly lucky in being born to my mom and dad. I grew up super poor, but I always knew I was loved, and had essentially an idyllic childhood. My dad started talking about parenting, and said, "I think that the best thing your mom and I did for you kids is..."
At this point I expected some sort of profound announcement -- "...the fact that we emphasized education" or "...the unconditional love that we had for you" or the equivalent. Instead, he said, "...introducing you to movie musicals!" And he was serious!!!
So then I started texting my siblings so we could see what everyone's three favorite musicals were. It's really hard to choose, but I think mine are "Guys and Dolls," "Singing in the Rain," and "The Sound of Music." Except "1776" should be in there as well!
In any case, Friday evening I had dinner at my best friend's house. One of our mutual friends was involved in an organization that hosts international visitors. There were two from Georgia who were spending a few days in my town. They came over to my friend's house, and we had dinner together. It was fascinating learning a bit about Georgia (I really want to visit Tbilisi someday after hearing them talk about how beautiful it was!)
I ran a marathon on Saturday morning. It was a race that Thomas and I had run together in 2011. Because I'm finally healed, emotionally healthy, and in a happy place, it was interesting for me to note the differences. I could talk to people! I didn't have to revolve my race around his pace! No one was mean to me! (Thomas was ever the only person who was mean to me, but I made excuses and lived in a fantasy world where I pretended he actually loved me.)
I went directly from the race (after showering) to the funeral of my work friend's brother. I've read that you need to keep professional contacts professional, etc. Maybe it's good that I don't listen to the rules. I have become fast friends with one of the ladies at work. I will call her Monica. She's closer to my mom's age than to mine, but we are kindred spirits. I have only been at this job for about two years, but she has become an amazing presence in my life. We tell each other, "I love you," and it's so true. I get along so well with her husband, kids, and extended family. It's strange what fate has in store for us!
Then, I went to my friend's house to watch the basketball game. Of course, I was rooting for Wisconsin, and my heart was broken when Kentucky won after we were leading almost the entire game. I should just be happy that we made it to the Final Four, but I still feel cheated. A bit. I walked home (how cool is it that I live just a few blocks from my best friend's house?) and was just about to fall asleep, when I got a text.
It was from one of my very good friends, who is the husband of one of my coworkers. (We also tell each other that we love each other. Why don't more people express their true feelings? I love being authentic and honest with everyone!) They were vacationing in Florida, and their cat sitter called them to tell them that their cat was not doing well. I felt so honored that they would call me to figure out the situation! Even though it was about 11:00 pm at night, I went over to their house, packed their cat into the cat carrier, and went to the emergency vet. Everything went well -- the cat is stabilized -- and my friends will be back on Tuesday.
I went to bed around 2:00 am. Do you ever feel like you're living this crazy sitcom life?
On Sunday morning (today), I met two of my good friends to go for a walk. I didn't feel like running since I was still recovering from my marathon, and one of my friends can't run since she is recovering from an eating disorder. We had a great talk.
When I was married, I didn't really have friends. I had acquaintances, but I couldn't do things with other people or I'd incur the wrath of Thomas. I'd learned to walk on eggshells, and normalize his aberrant behavior in order to keep the peace. After all, I believe in marriage, and was determined to make mine work.
Now, I have so many friends! My acquaintances have turned into friends. I've made new friends. People who I barely knew were there for me, and still are. And vice versa. I've learned to be authentic and truly happy.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to say by this, other than abusive relationships suck. I didn't think I was in one, even though friends of mine told me that I was. He didn't hit me; I'm intelligent; things are OK; right? Not so much! I was emotionally and verbally abused. The stories I have told have brought my friends (and me) to tears. Why did I think it was OK for Thomas to treat me so poorly? And the truth of the matter is that I believe so strongly in marriage being forever (no one in my family gets divorced) that I would have stayed with him.
Which brings me to the end of this message -- I had an amazing first date today. Since I've been single, I've gone on approximately 40 first dates. I tell my friends stories about them, and they double over in laughter, asking me to write a book. Perhaps someday, though I suspect my experiences aren't that different from other people trying to date in their 30s. (There are a lot of weirdos out there! But also a lot of really good people!)
Things are looking up -- if anyone is reading this and is in an abusive relationship -- things get so much better! Surround yourself with only good, loving people! You're worth it!!!