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4:36 p.m. - 2014-04-29
stress update
I finished my lifespan development course last night -- a month early; love those online classes -- with an average of 97.something. Tonight I'm trying to finish all my pharmacology online work, though I still have to take a test at the end of May. These are two of my three online courses, and the instructors were nice enough to post all the coursework through the end of the semester this month. Love those online classes.

I still have a feeling of impending doom all the time. Even when I can hear my kids' voices outside, I worry that they're being kidnapped because I'm not physically watching them. I just noticed that my car is leaking oil on the driveway. M is moving into a 4-bedroom house with the Whore at the end of the month and I worry that my kids will like it better than here. (They don't particularly like his apartment, right now.)

Mar wrote a poem about me at school that says I'm a great mom, "the freedom mom" (because I give her freedoms she earns), fun to be around, and an "awesome lover" which I suppose should worry me ... OK, those of you who are parents know it means I'm loving, right? Not that that is necessarily true, but I try.

I've been doing better with my kids lately. I've realized that the good thing about not having M is that, like it or not, I have to deal with myself head-on and not hide behind someone else. I always let M make all the decisions and think for both of us; I was his support and backup. Now I'm completely in charge of my life and my kids'; I get support from A and M (and a lot of undermining from M), but I'm in charge. It scares me, but as my mother would say, "Them's the brakes." You do what you have to do.

My relationship is very different with A than it was with M. I do a lot more emotional caretaking. M was the sort of person who rarely doubted himself or needed encouragement. A, like me, doubts herself all the time. A, unlike M, is very good at the mechanical aspects of keeping life sane; she budgets, she is a compulsive laundry-doer; she will tell the kids 10,000 times to turn off the bathroom light without once letting it slide.

But emotionally, she's the one who needs more caretaking and reassuring. I shouldn't say "needs," because she has taken care of herself her entire life and she could do it without me. But she's had a lot of losses in the past year -- her grandma, and Sadie -- and a lot in the past that she's never really dealt with. Plus she is really out of her comfort zone in a lot of ways -- loving people, taking classes, having someone she can be safe around.

I'm an oldest child, and I've spent my entire life -- except with M -- being the protector and comforter, so it is easy for me to slide into that habit again. I'm not sure if it's "the genuine me" or not. I know I keep a lot to myself because I don't want to upset her and dump stuff on her. But I also keep a lot of stuff to myself because I want to. I don't like revealing myself. It's embarassing.

Also, there is probably a small part of me that questions my own integrity in the relationship ... if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn't. See, I didn't date A or marry her because I was madly, blindly in love with her. I dated her, and married her, because she is a very good person, she's great for my kids, we "get" each other, and I love her. And ... she needed me. I was the only person since her dad left when she was 8 who ever made her feel safe.

Is not being intoxicatingly in love in the beginning a reason not to marry someone? Of course not; I married her for all the things you should look for in a lifelong partner. But I'm scared that I'll realize someday that I was wrong, and regret that I married her, and break her heart whether I leave or stay. I know I'm not M and I'm not LIKE that; it's just I worry and feel guilty.

I am very lucky to be married to her. I know that. I just worry about being like M.



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