Off-Limits

Sometimes I find blogging to be a little… tricky. This might come as a surprise, considering the things I’ve shared here over the past few years, but I’m actually a very private person in real life. (It helps that maybe only about five people I know in real life read this… as far as I know…) However, I do try to keep some topics off-limits. One of them was the trouble I was having in my marriage. I guess I posted the occasional vent when I was feeling particularly abandoned, but in general I tried to keep that between the two of us. And even so, there have been many things about our marriage and divorce that I have kept private, because discussing them here just isn’t… appropriate, or fair.

I guess it’s a fine line between sharing too much and just sharing my story. I try to walk it as best I can. I don’t want to stop telling it, because I find it therapeutic and lord knows I need all the therapy I can get, and also because I know there are a lot of you out there who follow along with all my trainwrecks of various kinds, and hey, who wants to disappoint the internet?

So, I’m about to break one of my rules and talk about one of my off-limits topics. Because I need to. Because it’s important to my story.

Men. Dating. Life after marriage. Let me preface all of this by saying that I do not involve Caroline in any of it. I don’t want her to get attached to anyone who is likely to walk away. She doesn’t need to feel any more abandoned than she will when her father moves 2000 miles away and stays there for the rest of her life.

I haven’t been seriously involved with anyone since Tyler, although, as I type that, I wonder if it is exactly true. No one I’ve called a boyfriend, anyway. Mostly it’s been a distraction. Recently, though, it was somewhat… more.

Letting people in right after a divorce is dangerous. Also stupid. Stupid is a key word here. Almost having a doctorate doesn’t necessarily exclude me from being a total idiot, if I haven’t already proved that point over and over again.

Needless to say, whatever it was (and really, it wasn’t supposed to be anything at all) is over. It happened a little while ago and to be honest, I’m fine, but it’s really made me slam on the brakes and take a good look at myself. Since I was 16 or 17, I’ve been in a relationship of one kind or another. When one would end, I’d leap headfirst into something else to distract myself. This is an awful pattern to get into. You end up with distraction upon distraction, and, if you’re like me and you suffer from a depressing and somewhat pathetic inability to keep any kind of walls up, you get more involved than you should, every time. Eventually, you end up buried under all these distractions-turned-relationships and you have no idea who you are anymore.

I might be being a little harsh with myself. Or maybe I’m finally getting it. Maybe a little of both.

Regardless, I’m taking a break. Enough is enough. I need time to deal with myself, and focus on my daughter, and graduate, and get started with my career. I need to stop relying on other people to make me feel like I am worth something. I need to be happy with myself before I can ever be happy with anyone else. I feel like if I don’t break this cycle, everything will be doomed to failure from the start. And I have to believe that I deserve more than that.

So no more. I’m calling it quits until I feel that I’m ready to stand on my own two feet in a relationship. No more distractions. I didn’t end my disaster of a marriage and take control of my life just to throw it all away again.

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  1. by MSLibLady

    On February 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I totally hear you. Before I met my husband, I was sort of in your boat. I moved from serious relationship to serious reletionship and finally I said, STOP! I moved away on my own, figured out who I was, focused on my job and cut people out of my life who weren't doing me any good. Once I figured out me (it took a few years) I knew I was ready to date and lookie…I'm really happy now with my marriage and family. Take all the time you need. Be you, find you, love you. It's all about you and Caro. Smooches love!

  2. by Kimberly

    On February 7, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I've been a follower for a bit, but never wrote before. I just wanted to say that I love this post. It really hit home with me. My son's father and I had a horrible relationship and an even worse breakup & custody battle that followed. I dated others after him just to feel wanted or accepted. Once I realized I needed to find who I truly was I backed out of the dating scene. It was hard, but finding myself and building a life for me and my son was far beyond worth it!Keep your head up, you're doing a wonderful job!

  3. by Under Construction

    On February 7, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Wow. You are completely reading my mind and heart right now. I'm a random follower, I don't blog (in fact, my blog name isn't even fitting for my life anymore)… But you totally hit the nail on the head for what I've been feeling lately… Thank you for sharing. It really helps.

  4. by MrsBaughman

    On February 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Julia, Thank you for sharing. I can't believe our girls are two! I just want to encourage you in your journey to know yourself and find yourself. Finding happiness on your own is the greatest gift you can give yourself and Caroline too. Because you will be able to teach her how to find it for herself as well. I also think it really does help to talk to someone, a professional, someone outside of the situation, not emotionally attached to your thoughts or feelings. For a lot of reasons I did this about my junior year of college after refusing for years, but I found someone not much older than me and honestly it was the best thing I ever did for myself. You are an amazing woman and you deserve the best in your life. That means giving yourself the best too. Good luck with everything and one of these days I will blog again. I am always so impressed on how you keep up with it. Take care of yourself and good luck with boards, Melissa

  5. by Anonymous

    On October 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I can’t help but wonder if the thought process in this post, about not being too attached, and the pattern of relationships that you’ve had and your perspective of them, is what led you to “simplify” your life by divorcing your husband. You say “no more distractions”. Perhaps you can only emotionally handle one thing at a time, and when your daughter came along your life became too-”unsimplified”, so you cleaned things up by making sure she was the only thing you’d be emotionally attached to. You may be best focusing on your daughter until she moves out, and then finding a relationship at that time.