Marilyn Monroe said it best when she said, "It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone." I would not have understood that a few years ago, but I do now.
My vulnerability after Sean's death led me on a twisted journey of takers, users and abusers. My need to be anything but alone opened the door for people who just wanted something from me. Some wanted close to the latest gossip in town and I was all too willing to talk because I had a huge hole in my heart. Others made promises they had no intention of keeping, which devastated me in my vulnerable state-of-mind. Like birds of prey, they smelled my temporary weakness and snatched me up in their talons. The relationships were toxic. I see it now. Clarity has come at a cost.
Now that my life has stabilized and my confidence is back, I am letting them all go, releasing my attachment. Despite my vulnerability and need at the time, not one of those relationships ever truly lifted me up or gave me joy. They clung to me because they needed something and I made it easy to take because it was better than being alone. Like parasites, we used each other for our selfish needs and agendas. Getting back to a place of self-reliance has resulted in some scarring and a whole lot of learning.
Starting over in life is more than rebuilding a career, moving beyond active grieving and regaining confidence. Starting over means making mistakes that teach lessons about who I am and what I am capable of overcoming. Starting over means accepting current circumstances instead of trying to make the old routine work. Starting over means standing on my own without needing anyone to 'fill a void'. Starting over means knowing what I deserve and accepting nothing less...including respect.
Unless you have needed to start life over from scratch all alone with kids depending on you to make the right choices, you're not going to understand. Being suddenly widowed and an only parent is a scary thing. I made a lot of mistakes, but I forgive myself. The key is now saying, "enough" and moving on. I don't expect you to understand, but I do expect you to keep this phrase in mind before you cast judgment: There, but for the grace of God, go I.
I completely understand what Marilyn Monroe meant when she said, "It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone." Unhappy with someone means being stuck on a one way road of dysfunction and desperation where the toxic energy binds you together in an endless loop of nowhere. Unhappy alone means it's all up to me to change it. I am in control. I do not need to accept 'less than' anymore or tolerate disrespect.
Am I unhappy? Yes, in a way. Sometimes. I don't feel like I fit where I am and am looking to find that place where I do. But it's up to me to do it. On my own. Like a big girl. Solo.