My beloved told me (shortly after we met) that a psychic she saw (shortly before we met) predicted that she would meet her soul mate in the form of me (my description per the psychic: younger than her, has a child, VERY responsible).
Ta-daa! Here I am! It’s all true. My soul was made to love hers, and it does. I am younger, but not so much that it’s creepy. I have a child, yes I do. And I am responsible… very responsible. And being responsible has its perks. Besides being a beacon to my love to help her know when she had found me it also keeps me and my son clothed, housed, and fed. It gets me jobs. It lets me travel through life feeling like I’m contributing. I have even learned how to balance it with impulsivity so I can still take risks and reap the rewards
…but it has its downsides too.
I tend to take responsibility for things that aren’t mine… (read: other people’s feelings. I think they call that co-dependency, but I think I invented it and cured myself and now live in recovery from it so I’m not going there) and taking responsibility for so much often puts me in an impossible position. The other night, when tucking my kiddo into bed, he pointed at a picture of himself, his father, and me tacked up on the wall and said “I wish it was like that. You and me and Poppa together.”
Ouch not because I’m perceiving it as any kind of attack, but ouch because I want my child to have what he wants. It’s hard enough to say no to chocolate and carrying his backback all the time because I want him to learn healthy habits and be self-responsible… it’s a constant struggle over even the littlest of things. I lean towards enabler-he leans toward opportunist… we are a dangerous combination and I am hell bent on getting us both out of this healthy. If it’s so hard with chocolate, imagine how much it hurts not to be able to give him the life that he wants (and society tells me he “deserves”).
I ended up in this version of my life because at a certain point I decided I was going to choose to be myself and it was the best choice I ever made. I have never been happier. Never felt more fulfilled. Never experienced so much joy and love. Leading up to that point I got married. Had a baby. Left my husband because I wanted to. Got back together with my husband because I wanted to. Told my husband he could leave our marriage to be with the woman he was pursuing because that seemed like what he wanted to do. All of those choices were attempts to experience happiness, fulfillment, joy, and love but didn’t result in them quite as profoundly as the choice to be myself did.
So when I hear “I want it to be like that” and “that” is a way that #1, it cannot be, and #2 I wouldn’t want it to be even if it could… I take responsibility. Somehow this is all my fault. Even though my husband chose to emotionally exit the marriage when it ended the last time, I believe it must have been my leaving the first time that drove him to do it. If I can swallow the guilt of believing I’m selfish for knowing that’s the best thing that ever happened to me then I go to the marriage and choice to have a child in the first place. I hear it takes two to tango, but I don’t dance. It doesn’t matter that he asked me to marry him or that we started trying to have a child because he said he was ready and wanted to… he told me he did those things for me, and I believed him; I take full responsibility.
Responsibility likes to take long walks on the beach with guilt and while long walks on the beach are nice, guilt is a lousy companion. I learned somewhere along the road that I needed to be responsible for everything and everyone because I (thought I) was the only who would or could be… then I designed my life to reinforce that belief by surrounding myself with people who and putting myself in situations which I was responsible for.
Now, I get to be lucky enough to let go of that belief by sharing the load. With a partner, with friends, with teammates, with Life as a whole…
Remember that scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams is repeating to Matt Damon “it’s not your fault. it’s not your fault” until he breaks down in tears because he starts to realize he had thought it was his fault all along and he might have been wrong.
That’s where I am… next step: upswing.