The Feeling I Never Expected To Feel
I have been married to my alcoholic husband for over 20 years now. (So hard to believe and comprehend where that time went.) I have felt SO MANY things in these years of marriage. Disbelief. Rage. Acceptance. (Fleeting) Regret. Hostility. Resentment. Forgiveness. Grief. Deep, searing grief for what was and for what will never be. Hopefulness. Hopelessness. Nothingness and the opposite of nothingness - an anger that permeated me to the bone. I've cried. So many times I have cried. I have hid in my car and cursed God like a madman, daring him to "do something" about it. I have felt my spirit rise up like a wild stallion challenge the approaching storm and I have felt myself defeated like a gladiator laid on on the dirt floor of the Colosseum, ot even the lion's threat enough to will movement. I've held his secret and kept my own pain buried and I've shared his cruelty and my anguish. What haven't I felt/ It would seem that my list exhausts all the possibilities of human emotions and feelings. What more could I possible feel?
Boredom, that's what was left. Missing from the list. A restless boredom that is, in some ways, more frightening than everything else I have ever felt. At least the anger and the rage and the resentment and the grief and all of it said I still cared about something. I still cared about my life and I still wanted to fight for it. (Maybe I never felt like I was fighting effectively but fight, I still was.)
But for the past couple months, I have a general sense of boredom. I don't want to walk my dogs or work in my garden (I did not plant a SINGLE flower this spring where as normally I am spending all my spring-time and money on gardening.) I've been taking more naps than I care to admit. I spend the early morning hours, often til two, three, FOUR o'clock in the morning, watching YouTub. I send myself to a primal fear for humanity over AI to the unbridled joy of soldier-reunion videos. I watch ridiculous celebrity videos and search the net worth of once-celebrities, worried for their financial outcome. (The way our minds can trick us into avoiding our own lives! As if I really need to know if the surviving Gilligan Island cast members are financially solvent.) During the day, it feels like I am just going through the motions of living. My children will be out of the house in the next few years and yet I can't find the energy to truly embrace this time. I wanted it to be SUCH a fun summer...but mostly we all are just living separately together in the house.
One of my all time fables is the story of the two frogs that fall into a vat of buttermilk. Try as they might, they can't climb out because the sides are too slippery. One frog says "It's no use and sinks to the bottom and drowns." The other frog, though with no idea how he will save himself, continues to swim. He swims and swims and swims through the night. By morning, he has churned the buttermilk into butter and hops out.
I always saw myself as the swimming frog. Until now. I am sinking to the bottom of this blasted vat of his-alcoholism and I don't know what to do. I feel myself giving up and giving in. To the emptiness and the nothingness and stagnation of life with an alcoholic husband. I still have friends with whom I do things with. Is this my destiny: to escape through my friends only to have to return home each time to the loneliness and emptiness that is my marriage, my home, my life?
I thought all the rest was bad but perhaps this boredom is the most frightening.