03 February 2010

Tired of being owned by people

I shared the below story on a message board about two weeks ago… now a new audience gets to see my life…

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Well, I’m back on-line in the cyber world. I apologize for not being able to find time to check in a bit more then I have… it looks like I have a lot of reading to catch up on. A little background… I moved out of my home on Friday the 8th and finally got all moved in this past Sunday, the 17th.

It was actually a pretty stress free move, even though at times I’d stub my toe on an unpacked box. The first couple of nights I slept on a couch, which for me, being 6’4” made me feel like a sardine. So, for three nights I stretched out on the floor and slept a lot better. Then finally broke down and bought a bed and now even sleeping better.

Been catching up on some reading and cleaning up my computer. I had gotten to the point of having so many files that a lot of stuff I don’t even remember writing.

I am going to stick with my plan of no TV. I’ve got one to watch old movies on or to rent a movie… but my TV watching will be done on the Internet. And it’s amazing how much more I “listen” to local radio to catch up on the news and the weather.

The two block walk to work has been wonderful and I’m looking forward to a little bit more warmer weather to walk the eight blocks to meetings. The best part though has been coming home… to a quiet home. No drama… no pity… just a nice quiet calm when I walk in the door.

And that helped me realize that I am tired of being owned by people.

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On the day I started moving I made a post about being tired of being owned by my job. Now I realize that it goes beyond the job. It is people in general. I spent many years trying to fit in with families where I never truly felt wanted… I may have been needed but not wanted.

It started as a child, being needed to protect mom from dad. Or protect dad from himself by making sure he ate something so he wouldn’t go into a diabetic shock. Then I was needed by brothers, who wanted nothing to do with me, yet they needed me to help take care of dad after mom died. And I did it all freely – just so I could try and fit in and be a part of the family.

I took this “training” into my last marriage with a woman who was a sex addict. But somehow I knew I could “fix” her and make her just mine. I helped raise her four kids, even adopting the youngest young… just to prove to her that she needed me. And she did, but she never wanted me. She still wanted other men and the best way for her to have this was to encourage my drinking. That marriage ended in 1994 and she is still the same way. And the three step-children no longer need me so I’m out of their lives. While the youngest (my daughter) and I are trying to rebuild a relationship… which is hard to do when our lives together was built upon drama.

Now, I’ve walked away from my present marriage with every plan to get a divorce. I was owned again in an entirely different method this time. We were the “perfect” working couple. I mowed the lawn, shoveled snow and did home repairs. It didn’t matter if my back hurt, if there was snow on the ground, it was my duty to shovel it.

It didn’t matter that allergies made mowing the lawn pure torture, it was my job and that was that. I think what hurt the worst was that I was never asked if I needed help – just do it.

And on the flip side of that coin, it was her duty to do the laundry and cook meals and wash dishes. In fact, I was shamed when I cooked a meal, or washed the dishes. So I just gave up. And I fell into a trap that everyday my freedom disappeared more and more.

Three years ago, I knew that a “healthy” marriage was over and had turned into codependent nightmare. I knew before Thanksgiving that this would be my last holiday with this family. I couldn’t live this lie anymore. I was tired of being owned.

My wife just past her tenth year of being cancer free. The trial program she was in is now complete. By all practical viewpoints her cancer has been cured. I didn’t run from that responsibility of being her caretaker during that time.

But along the way, the lady I married turned into a very needy person who demanded more of me. At 52 years old, I began to feel like I was 80 just waiting for one of us to die.

I was tired of being owned by that nightmare. Early in our relationship I told her that my biggest fear of was dying alone. She threw this at me when I was moving out. My response was that I was already dying alone and I wanted to live a little more before my time does come to an end.

Will I cut myself off from the outside world and relationships? No. But right now I need to regain ownership of my life. The biggest thrill this past week for me has been wondering, “What will I make for dinner tonight?” I’ve enjoyed every second of this past 10 days. The silence has been golden and those close to me through AA, Alanon, coworkers, and a few other close friends, have all noticed the change…

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