When I moved to the shelter, I was petrified. I couldn't believe what I was doing or where I would end up next. I was so full of adrenalin coffee was not an option. But it was in the little graces, I found peace.
I picked up a book and read it at night, for as long as I wanted, with no interruptions and no comments from anyone about it. I did this nightly and it reminded me how small freedoms added up.
I bought myself flowers, flowers I liked and for no other reason than they make me feel good. Too often flowers and the like were given as apologies and served as reminders of unpleasant situations. I wanted to break that pattern. So I did, they smelled wonderful, I brought them into every room I planned on spending time in. I put them on the night stand in the evening and while reading paused to smell them.
I brought my kids into bed with me. We all needed a bit more love and security and the bed didn't seem empty and lonely anymore. It was an interesting metaphor for how much more space and energy I would have in my life for them now that I was no longer trying to make it work with my ex.
I cleaned and organized things at my own pace in a manner that suited me. I savoured the fact that I need not consult anyone else about where my possessions would be placed. My space would be MINE.
I crocheted myself a beautiful skirt. I deserved something beautiful, I also needed something to keep my hands busy. It was a bit meditative which calmed my nerves, but it also served as something new, that my ex had never seen or touched. My time and energy once again was focussed on something for me only.
I wrote. I wrote. I wrote. No one interrupted me because they understood how important writing was to me. I wrote for up to a whole hour at a time. It was bliss.
I ate cheesecake. Good cheesecake. I savoured the silence of the evening in which I ate it, pure undemanding silence that no one was going to break.
I reduced my presence on social media, blocked my ex, unfollowed his family members and close mutual friends. This was more for stress reduction, not necessarily because they had done anything wrong. I just needed a break from all things him.
I'd like to say it was a clean break, but it wasn't. We were on and off for 2 months after I moved to the shelter. However, it was focussing on these small freedoms (and the realization that these basic acts had become luxuries to me over the last 4 years) that had me ending the relationship for the last and final time.
So, why blog about this now? It's been two years. I tried having a relationship one year later, but it was too soon and I talked myself out of it. I have blundered my way through a couple dates here and there. Practised full abstinence (not even lustful thoughts allowed) for 3 months, mistook an awesome friendship for a possible relationship and have since happily realized we are way better together as friends than as romantic partners. There's potential out there for something. I'm not quite sure what, but something. I want to be able to make decisions about relationships and not panic and bolt. That said, I want to be cautious as well. In order not to let your fears rule you, you must first know your fears.
I fear giving up my ability to read, write, create, clean and set up my space as I wish, when I wish. I fear that I will allow another person to dictate what I can spend my time, energy and money on.
Reading those last two sentences, I can tell that it's not that I don't trust men, it's that I don't trust
myself. I associated falling in love with giving up freedom.
However, after two years of living on my own and these luxuries becoming daily routines, I can't see myself giving them up easily for anyone or staying with anyone who would make these things
inconvenient for me.
I have discovered that love can exist without any power or control, that neither person needs to possess the other or demand attention/time/energy in order to feel love.
Love is a feeling that you have for another person, not the feeling of the other person loving you.
I think I finally understand this. I can love someone without changing them or myself. I can still feel love even without their support and attention reaffirming their feelings for me. I can enjoy the love for another even if the relationship doesn't suit me. My feeling of love is non-dependant on the other person's actions, as such, I can adjust my relationship with them according to my own level of comfort and independence. Love is not defined by the relationship, or the degree of seriousness of said relationship.
Love doesn't hurt, the need to be loved by someone does.
I'm sitting in bed with my Harry Potter book beside me, my mister noodles mug on the floor. My room is messy and no one is going to get on my case about it. I've been writing for over an hour and I'm going to sleep in tomorrow. I like living this way. I see now that my heart is not going to put any
of this in jepardy.