I believe it to be the hardest thing a parent / grandparent, a husband / wife, a friend, a family member, ever has to do. Tough Love.
When someone becomes so stubborn and intent on having their own way, and literally every thing you say or do is wrong on some level, when the one will not listen to reason or explanation ... Tough Love.
I have had to implement this on several occasions thru the years.
Always breaks my heart and takes me to my knees.
I can do it. I can appear to be cold hearted and uncaring. Guess I am really good at it, too. Been told many times just how "rude", "hateful", "bitter", "cold", "uncaring", "unloving", etc ... that I am.
I smile. I walk away. I find an alone spot (usually the bathroom), and I cry until I lose my breath, until the tears just won't run down the cheeks any more. Wash my face. Take a deep breath and face life yet again.
Waiting. Tough Love.
Every time I tell myself that this is not about "me", this is not about this moment in time. This is about life lessons that need to be learned, even in the most difficult of ways. Life lessons that will serve a person well later in life, even tho they hurt like hell while getting them.
More times than not, I have been told (long after the lesson) - "Thank you. For standing firm. For being strong. For forcing me to face this. You helped me to become the man (woman) that I am today. Thank you. I know now what it cost you to make that decision to practice Tough Love with me."
There is a risk always when exercising Tough Love. The risk of losing that person from my life is what causes me to suffer more than I should ... causes me to lose hours upon hours of sleep wrestling with the should I do Tough Love, or should I simply continue the way we are? Sigh.
I wonder sometimes if you truly can care too much? Can you care too deeply?
Every day seems to bring new challenges.
Even a strong woman gets tired & heart weary.
It's hard not to wonder what I have done so wrong that it makes me deserve this punishment that life has become.
More of the days that feel like 1 step forward & 3 back.
Nights that are increasingly difficult.
Loneliness that is almost too much to bear.
Questions without answers, questions upon questions.
Tears of frustration that want to fall, yet are misunderstood when they do - so, holding them in to the point of physical pain.
It's human nature to wonder "why me", we all fall to it.
Many years ago, Rick and I were talking about this, and he stopped suddenly and said, "Why not me? Why not us?"
I just looked at him and waited, knowing he was thinking out loud.
He continued, "Who do I think I am, or who do we think we are, that we would go thru life escaping the pain, troubles & grief, that others have to endure? So, why not me? Why not us? If we weren't strong enough for the battle, we wouldn't be sent in."
We didn't always live those words out loud, but we tried.
He died trying.
I am living still trying.
That's about all I can say right now ... I'm trying.
I breathe. I do my best to move forward in this "new" life I have been given.
I know that more changes are coming. I can feel those winds of change beginning to blow. Wondering if they will blow up a storm in the process. Sigh. Change doesn't come easy to me. Never has. I seem to get caught up in the vortex of it all, and it takes a while to stop the spinning out of control.
There are so many things I miss. I know everyone is tired of hearing me talk about them, or write about them. But that is part of this life now - missing what was, missing what I had. Realizing the emptiness of it all today.
Rick was my anchor in the storms. I miss the stability he gave. Of loving me. Of always accepting me, no matter what.
I also miss having a vehicle. That is really beginning to irritate me, annoy me, keep me awake at night. I miss the freedom and independence it brings. I miss knowing that if I want to go somewhere, or if I need to go, that I have a way - without having to wait on someone, without having to borrow a vehicle, without even having to rent one. What so many take for granted ... and many even complain about. Having a vehicle. I miss that - intensely. Working on changing it. Having a most difficult time finding anyone that will offer a hand up. Not asking, nor expecting, a hand out. Big difference. Did you know that in order to get a vehicle financed you have to have a "permanent residence"? That makes sense, right? Until you find out what having a "permanent residence" means. It means having at least one major utility bill in your name. That's it. It would not matter if I owned a large mansion, or a small cabin in the woods. Would not make a difference if I was renting a 2-bit apartment, or a swanky place on 5th Avenue. If there is not ONE utility bill in my name? NO LOAN. Sigh. I haven't had a utility bill in my name, in let's see ... EVER! All the bills were in Rick's name. And now? Since I have been staying with my kids and friends? Yeah ... not happening now either. Sigh.
Being a widow sucks in more ways than one. Sigh.
I think what I miss the most is being a part of something that is greater than just me. A home. A family. Thoughts and plans for the future. I am not afraid of being alone, now or for the rest of my life. (Even tho I have been accused of being afraid multiple times these last 3 years.) I can do alone. Simply? I just don't want to. But I also don't want to be where I am not wanted, where I don't belong. I think being alone would be better.
I have been working on some things ... and will continue to do so.
Thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
Judgments and negative comments are not.
Everyone has their opinion, I get that.
But until you are actually living MY life? You don't have a say in how I live it.
I am not seeking sympathy (I know where to find it in the dictionary, thank you).
I am not asking for someone to swoop in and rescue me.
I am sharing my thoughts & struggles, because more and more I find ... it is a universal language that many widows and widowers speak.