It has been a long time since I have written and there have been a lot of changes in my life, so I should probably be journaling more regularly. I am at the point where I have SO much going on in my head about these changes, I don't know where to even start writing. While I have been talking about my thoughts to a variety of people, it still helps quite a bit to actually write things down to help get my head together. Lately, I have also been making art that is related to my journey, which I am enjoying very much. It is good to be bringing my life and my art together and expressing my thoughts that way for a change.
So the first major thing that is going on right now has to do with my living situation and thinking about what I want in a primary relationship. I am living in the house I bought with my ex-husband. It became mine in the divorce and I still have a lot of bitterness and resentment wrapped up in these walls. It is especially challenging because the economy has the house very far underwater so I tend to feel trapped here, because selling is not likely. I know it is a decent house and I have worked really hard in the past few years to improve and make it more my own, but that is hard to do after living with someone for a decade. I have had help from my family and friends and Damascus in reclaiming this place to be my own. But I still struggle with it daily. I can go along for a while, working and living here happily, but then I am reminded that I am stuck here and it makes me unhappy and I sometimes panic.
In the past few months, Damascus has been spending more time here and we talked about him moving in. I was hesitant but we thought we would give it a try. I hate to admit it, but his moving in stirred up a lot of emotional shit for me. I am still in the process of really reclaiming this place, and have never really had time entirely to myself here, as just a few months after my ex moved out, my brother moved in, and then as he was moving out (which was a slow process), Damascus was partially moving in. Having him here with me almost all the time has made it clear that I really need to have lots of time and space on my own and am not ready to live with a romantic partner. I have frustrations of simply selfishly not wanting to share my space and stuff, and then feeling guilty about not being more giving and domestic. Not only do I feel the ghosts and triggers of my past, but I have been forced to really look at my life and figure out what I really want (as well as Damascus's needs) in a relationship.
I think I have been trying, for decades really, to fit myself into this box of what a good "normal" girlfriend or wife should be. I am child free by choice and while I have kept an open mind all of these years to all the people who tell me that one day I will want kids... I never have. And I feel some guilt about that... I feel selfish. I truly don't want to be a mother, and if I did, I found out last year that my body is not able to have a baby without surgery and recovery, so that really sealed that potential decision for me. I also don't want to be a wife again. In retrospect, I really didn't want to be married the first time around, but I gave in to the pressure of my both my ex and society. It is hard for me to admit that I don't want these things that all little girls seem to dream of. But I don't want to be a traditional wife or mother, and I really need to start understanding this and stop hating myself for being who I am. I want so badly to fit in the "normal" box, but I don't, and that should be ok with me. Others seem to accept it and even overjoy in being not normal, I wish I could.
I know Damascus wants to have a wife and kids someday. He will be a great husband and father. He is a good boyfriend and a good roommate, even. It is so hard to ask him to move out when he is doing everything right... it's just not right for me. We are still going to be together, but we both need to seek out what we need in our lives that we can't get from one another. I need independence in my living space and to explore the kinds of non-traditional relationships that I can thrive in. And I think he needs to think about his future and finding the kind of partner who is can fulfill his dreams. Our relationship is bound to change, as he moves out, but I hope that we can continue to grow together while we seek the other things we need. I love him very much and this is not easy, but clearly, the things that I need and want are not easy or simple or normal. And I am trying to accept that about myself.