I’ve Been Afraid of Changing….

Have you ever heard the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac? In the live version, Stevie Nicks begins it by saying “this is for you daddy.” However, I have read that the song is more about relationships and sacrifices. And as of late, I find myself listening to this song, and thinking about my own life.

There has been tension in our house over the past few months. I am not sure where it is coming from, but I feel that the inevitability of it has been brewing for years. Regrets and mistakes have led to a distance in my marriage that may never be able to be fully fixed. We met young, and in two completely different stages of life. He was a rebel, and I was not. He had been in trouble with the law, and I never had. He liked to party, and I despised it. Not that I haven’t had my fair share of party failures. Too many drunk nights, and too much daily drinking all before turning 19, was enough to turn me off from alcohol. Between all of our differences though, he and I had one piece of common ground. We were both lonely.

So amid our differences we were able to find each others company enough to stay together. Over the years we have been through a lot. Addiction, and recovery. Giving up dreams, and holding onto regret. Job changes, and home changes. Being incredibly poor, to now sitting comfortable. And it is that regret and animosity for past choices that lingers in the air always. More from my side maybe? Though I would like to think that I am more of the forgiving type than he is.

His regret lies in his own choices that put life on hold for a while. Though I stayed strong through it all, and tried to hold everything together when it was all falling apart, somehow I am always at the root of his animosity. I put school on hold after our daughter was born, because my life was spiraling out of control so fast, and I was the only one of sound mind to try to slow it down. All of my time became devoted to making sure he stayed alive. I took on the role of caretaker, to him and our child.

Now, eighteen years later, we have grown comfortable with each other. I no longer need to be his caretaker, but it is hard to let go of the role I played for so long. Our children are older now, and I am finally going back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree I have been so longing of having. And among our successes, including sobriety, home ownership, three amazing children, great jobs and accomplishments, there is that hidden resentment. Feelings of a better life if a different road was taken. And in each argument we have, more hurtful words are spewed.

I’ve heard that when a person is drunk, they will speak their truest feelings. I also believe this to be true in times of anger. When you are filled to the top with such hurt and madness, you just spew out everything weighing on your heart. I was called a micromanager of the family, and “just a mom.” I have been put down for being unsupportive, and told “I just stay with you because you only work part time.” Like I am a burden, or a child that needs to be taken care of. Maybe I am a bit co-dependent, but then again he could be too. Because we both just stay……stay in the confusion and hurt feelings. Stay in the same room, but never say a word. Phones and computers are our new companions, as we have grown tired of fighting, and found solace in just not speaking at all.

We do still have good times, but they usually revolve around the kids. In two short years, our oldest will graduate high school. The other two will soon follow. Then where will that leave us? If we remain with no common goals but to raise good kids, what happens when that goal is achieved, and the kids are making new lives away from home? It will be just the two of us. And if we do not change our attitudes now, it will not be the best years of our lives.

So, as the song says, “I’ve been afraid of changing, “cause I’ve built my life around you. Time makes you bolder, children get older. I’m getting older, too.” It is time for us to wake up and decide if we are together out of comfort, or if we want a better life, together. I am getting older, and for the first time in forever, I am doing things for me. Things that inspire me, and build me up. In that, I am getting bolder. I am not a caretaker anymore. I am aware of what I want out of life. Maybe the landslide will bring us down.

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