Welp. I’m freaking out again. M. popped The Question. His parents will be here in a few days. Inhale… 2… 3… 4… Fuck. And out… 2… 3… 4… This kinda shit isn’t supposed to happen after your mom dies. It would be in the rule book if I had a say in these things. I did marriage already. My brain is threatening to reboot. Redirecting to a shorter thread. I’m scared. That’s what’s happening. I’m afraid because the last time I got married, it didn’t work out.
Since I haven’t shared anything about my marriage, I’ll give the summary. I got married when I was 19. I got divorced 25 years later. My ex-husband was also serving in the Army when we met. I’ll always love him. I smiled all the way through when I typed that. He was (later) diagnosed with schizophrenia. His medications had severe side effects resulting in his eventual refusal to take them. Most people with schizophrenia are nonviolent, but that’s not the case here. I suspect his spec ops training and combat exposure didn’t help.
Unmedicated, he began self-medicating, first just with alcohol, then he started using meth. Things got bad. I left when he got violent, but you can’t actually leave an Army Ranger. You can move a lot, lose a lot of deposits, waste time with restraining orders and unbelievably misogynistic cops in small towns, get a divorce and beg, but you can’t leave. I’m going to cut this short because this story sucks. He’s in prison now and doing well on a new medication. His mom gives me updates a few times a year, but that’s the only remaining contact.
I struggled with the man I married vs. the man who is very ill. They’re extremely different. I’m so in love with the man I married, and always will be. He no longer exists. It took time for me to accept that. The first time he hurt me, I was more shocked and confused than any physical suffering. I was also government property, (GI = government issue.) I think that spared me the agony of deciding to leave. (I’ve read lots of women go back to a mate after the first time he hurts them.)
I don’t blame my ex for being sick, of course. Mental illness fucks up relationships all the time, I’m sure. My mom told me I don’t need a man to do anything I want to do. She told me I can be anything I want if I’m willing to pay the price required. That nobody is better than me or can tell me how to feel. My mom had an incredible record for being right. I’m missing her right now. I told M. I want time to process and think. He said he expected as much, so that’s a relief. At least he didn’t spend money on a shiny rock glued to some metal (that I would lose within 24 hours.)
I don’t believe in spending tons on a wedding, either. Fuck paying lots of money to be anxious in front of people. (I just want a cake and to be the DJ.) So I guess I’m going to say yes, even though I’m so scared I think I may hurl. I’d like to sleep on it, but that’s laughable tonight. I’m going to go commune with Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, and Beyoncé while I pace. When I’m relaxed and empowered, I’ll know what to do.