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1:31 p.m. - 2011-04-18
Where's Amazing Grace when I need her?

76- approximate count of daffodils that have opened this weekend.
820- reasonable guestimate as to the number of movies I own. (VHS and dvd.)
2- new books.
4- the number of squabbles Mick and I have had since Friday.

Sigh…Stress has raised its ugly head again. We're trying to be okay. And so we are in the grand scheme, but you know how it goes sometimes. Especially during vacation time. Haven't quite figured out what goes fubar, but if the guys are off from school I can count on a lot of fights. Lord help us when Mick retires.

The doozy so far was entirely my fault. I own it. And have apologized.

I must say that when we fight the result is almost always a very honest discussion afterward and coming away with a better understanding of each other and our relationship. So that's an up thing. We aren't one of those couples stuck in a hell loop where we have the same fight over and over and over.

Another up thing from the recent squabbling was my being forced to see how ugly I'm being to myself. Again. I've fallen off the wagon of being okay and tumbled back down into the gulch of self-recrimination and have an ugly distorted view of my worth. Mick fumed at me and said he'd drop down dead in shock if I ever figured out how to be as kind and caring of my self as I am of others. This was prompted by the arrival of the hard copy of my new license. I peeled it off the mailer and groaned over how disgusting and awful I looked in the pic and immediately tried to jam it into my wallet. Mick pried it out of my hand and took a hard look at it. "Goddamn it, LA! This picture is great! What the hell is the matter with you?" I stormed back at him that he must be a fool. He didn't have to blow smoke up my ass, I knew better and didn't need lies, no matter how kind and well-intentioned they were. Disgusted, Mick threw up his hands and stomped off.

Later that day in the car as we left the grocery store I started to tuck the leftover coupons into my wallet. Deciding to prove to my love-blind husband that I knew what I was talking about I pulled out my new and my old licenses to compare. And got the shock of my life. I hadn't changed at all. Except for losing the Barbie hairdo I looked exactly the same. Dumbfounded I looked harder. 17 years. The old picture had been taken 17 years ago. Taken during a time in my life when I'd felt pretty damn good about myself. I was 31. At the top of my game in my career. Leading seller in not only my dealership, but for the entire region. When the tall blonde in the custom fit Armani and the cowboy hat strode into tri-state sales seminars the whole room went quiet. I knew myself to be beautiful, ethical and strong. My marriage was a mess, but when wasn't it? Otherwise I had the world by the tail. I drove a red sports car, lived in a 27 room Victorian, had a nice kid with braces, good grades and who played a mean tuba. My house rocked with friends. There were parties, poker nights, rowdy D&D campaigns and we hardly ever had less than 10 people sit down for dinner. And there she was looking out at me from that old license.

I lost that woman somewhere.

I was sure that this would be obvious by looking at the newer version of me. The middle-aged loser with the hag's face and the dull brain. But the only thing that was different was the hair. It was still me. I am still that woman. At least my outside seems to be so, almost eerily unchanged after 17 years.

The abuse and insults I heap on myself. The shame I feel when I look in the mirror. The constant inner dialog of apologies and the totting up of all my faults, my sins, my obvious lack of worth. Why? Seems especially foolish since now I DO have a good marriage, the one thing I didn't have before. An honest marriage to a man of strength and character. I got my heart's desire of finally being loved. Mick asks nothing of me except to be happy. To let him love me.

So why is it still so hard? Why do I still get so lost?

Damned if I know.

Guess I need to go find myself again. Maybe when I do this time I will be able to keep me. ~LA

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