Saturday, January 26, 2013

What Makes a Successful Life?

Steve called me a failure today. And while I know that I should not be taking judgment from someone who can't heat up food without setting off all the smoke detectors in his building, that word hits close to home.

Because I do feel like a failure. My life was supposed to be far more settled now than it is, and I can't totally blame external circumstances for that.

Still, I didn't have to buck my career (and risk my life) to have his child. I didn't have to spend the past five years parenting two people. I didn't have to sacrifice my last to ensure that someone could keep drinking.

I feel like I'm constantly being held responsible for not preempting someone else's abusive behavior. When everything hits the fan, it seems like the only focus is on how I couldn't have seen it coming. Silly me, where are my super powers?

My soon-to-be ex hurls a lot at me. He wants me to trust him (after all he has put me through); he wants to be friends. He's "working on" (or so he says) the issues that have made his own life a mess to date. Okay, so I don't have my own place and a fancy job title. To be honest, those are the only two things that I lack. Yes, they are large, but the absence of them is not permanent. At least I'm not an addict with a criminal record. Doesn't that amount for anything? In my family, and with my had I gotten pregnant as a kid, ended up in jail a few times, and have reason to go to some sort of Anonymous meeting today, I'd get more respect from these people. To be honest, I think they hate me because I have never stopped looking for a safe way to get off of this merry-go-round.

While I understand that he does not like it when I tell him things about himself, those things are true. They are proven fact. There are court records to back them up. That doesn't mean that he (or even my family) should feel they have the right to call me psychotic, a failure, a malingerer, or evil. I am none of those things. Yes, I struggle with depression.You would too if your parents abused and abandoned you. It kind of does something to you, such a situation. Yes, I am out of work. I am not alone. At one time I thought the reasons for it were legitimate, but apparently no longer. And it doesn't seem to matter that I don't intend for it to be that way for long. Yes, I am sick. But my illness is not fake. Imagine, being blamed for a doctor's unwillingness to do a few tests. It's taken me five years to get the answers I have now. No, I am not evil. I am setting boundaries. In fact, I have been laying them down all my life, but I live amongst a truly enmeshed group of people. They have no idea what it means to allow someone their individuality, everything is caught up in covering up the dysfunction of this family unit (and I mean my mom's side).

No one's ever really called me a failure before. And though this came from someone whose addiction has cost him his family and his friends, the accusation hurt no less. Because when I am alone, that is exactly what I feel like.

I'm not going to let it sit within me, though. I will get up today, like every other day, and try to keep moving. So it's a snail's pace. It's progress. That may only count for something in my world, but it's something.

I just wish someone could tell me the secret to a successful life. I'm ready for it.

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