House of Paula

Life on Hold

Posted on: February 1, 2009

We’re coming up on the first anniversary of R’s father passing and the 15th anniversary of my father’s passing just occurred a few days ago. I have to admit, this has been a year where death has affected the people I love and myself. It seems like every time I turned around, someone I knew had lost someone or someone I love was 1) in the hospital, or 2) having to deal with some health crisis that made me realize what little leeway there is between life and death. So the subject is there, whether or not I want it to be.

This year has been especially hard for R because he’s had to make the transition from fulltime caregiver for his father to something else. This was supposed to be the year that he got back on his feet and doing the things he wanted to do. But that hasn’t happened. The problem is that he doesn’t know what that something else is supposed to be yet and his life has been in limbo and slowly spiraling downward. It’s been really hard to watch – especially since I know what the feeling is like.

I lived in the downward spiral for about a year and half after an ex broke off our engagement. Right after I got engaged, I went from having multiple projects that I worked on to just having one so I could focus on the wedding and then I lost the one job I had. And I couldn’t find another one because of the crash in the markets due to Enron. I looked, but no one was hiring. And because I was engaged, I wouldn’t consider moving. And things just devolved from there.

As my self-esteem plummeted, things just got worse. I barely kept my head above water by working for someone who kept the carrot dangling in front of me. I found out through an acquaintance, that my ex was telling everyone but me that we weren’t getting married. And then when I confronted him about it and he confirmed that he had been doing that, he didn’t understand why I felt so betrayed. At this point I was so numb that I chose not to makes choices and shut down completely.

It wasn’t until I met someone who lived in southeast Houston that I started to become my old self again. Although that relationship didn’t work, it forced me to see what a putz the ex was and to make some changes in my life for the better. One person believing is all it takes to turn things around and I try to remember that when I am frustrated with R.

R does recognize that he has to start moving forward again in order to make things better. We also have a standing agreement that we are honest with each other no matter how much it hurts (it really does cut through a lot of the relationship BS). This afternoon I had to get tough and tell him that most people don’t have the opportunity to sit still like he has after the death of a loved one. They have to keep on doing the day to day of life regardless of what just happened. And that it’s time to get on with that. Life is to be lived.

It had been getting better. We went to Iowa so R could meet my family back in November. But it’s time to stop living a life that on perpertual hold and move forward.

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