i’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and bought my lover gifts for christmas. he has money, so it’s not like monetary things mean anything to him, so i am hoping that he will understand the thought process behind what i am giving him. he is an avid runner. without fail he runs 10k every morning at 5:30am. when he is home, he runs outside all winter long, even through the worst and coldest of extremes; including sleet, rain and snow.
it’s a source of stubbornness and pride for him that when everyone else stays home in their comfy beds, he freezes to death and gets soaked to the skin and he ‘wins’ against the harsh weather and gets his run in, no matter how much personal discomfort it causes. when he is away on business and staying at a hotel, he goes on the treadmill, even when he is with me. and he always wears the same white cotton t-shirt. his running clothes are just his favorite lounging around type gym wear. they are inadequate to the climate or season we live in.
i was never a runner, i am not currently a runner and doubt that it will ever come to pass that i shall take it up as a hobby. but i do have a great deal of survival experience and have known since i was a child, that cotton kills. once it gets wet, it gets heavy and it takes forever to dry. you should not wear cotton to work out. ever. so i’ve bought him the high end gear that runners wear; a complete outdoor winter set of pants, long sleeved shirt and winter running jacket plus a new running white t-shirt all made out of the magical material that professional runners wear.
i’m hoping that he see’s the reason i bought him these things is because i care about his personal comfort. i am not trying to change him. i admire his dedication to running, as well as his tight runners physique, and i want him to understand that while i may not be with him as a constant partner, that i do care that his needs are being met. so while he is taking care of his body, he is also neglecting himself as he is equating his discomfort to something positive, and it’s not. i admire his tenacity and drive but i don’t want him to suffer through the elements, when there are options available to him.
in my mind, this change to appropriate running clothing, is a little thing that should have been noticed and taken care of a long time ago. i’m sure that if he thought about it, he would have bought them for himself already. he doesn’t ask for anything and expects nothing, as when it comes to his role as provider, he is used to being the one who meets others needs and to be financially responsible for everything. he doesn’t think about himself. and yet because of his position, both from a personal and business side, no one ever stops to consider that he needs, what he wants, what would make his life easier or better. i’m hoping that when i give his running gear to him, he sees that i am different. that i noticed.
i have rarely bought a gift for my spouse in the last 5 years. i can’t say it’s not been a thing. as i know i still made a point to get something from the kids to give him on occasion. he never appreciated anything i got him or reciprocated with any gifts to me and so once i mentally divorced him, i simply stopped. the funny thing is, he HAS noticed and over the last 18 months or so, he has bought me the occasional card and bought me random gifts. i’ve even got Christmas gifts 2 years in a row.
i don’t know if he left things too late to repair with me or not. i know he has given me nothing that held value to me or made me feel like he did it because he wanted to express how he felt. a gift from him is a stone to throw at me later, to prove he did something for me that cost him something. i can even hear the tone of voice he’ll use later when he uses it as a weapon, so even when he does give me something, i don’t ever want to accept it. he gets nothing from me because i stopped caring when i moved on and accepted that the only way i would have physical touch in my life, was through having a lover.
now that i know i can have a domestic life with one man and a quality, sexually fulfilling relationship with another man who is not my spouse, it means my spouses actions or lack thereof hold very little power to upset me in the singular way they had in the past. his neglect is completely mitigated because there is someone all too ready to step into the role he decided he had no interest in fulfilling. he can no longer make me happy because he can no longer make me sad. the neutrality of the relationship is the real reason that i think things are truly finished between us.
it’s funny how buying gifts for another man has made me think about my marriage again and about the spouse who has not been there for me over the years. i wonder if he thinks i’ve accepted what’s between us, even though i periodically tell him that things aren’t normal between us, just because i no longer mention it as much and that i have my needs for sexual gratification, companionship and communication met by another man. just like everything else, he is willfully blind to what is explained to him, simply because it suits his need to maintain a family facade.
of course, part of me still wishes he would open up one day and be honest with me. that he would want to touch me and kiss me again. that he would seek me out to spend time with me. when ever i see a man reach for a woman’s hand or when i see a man pull a woman close to hug her to his side or to dance with her, it gives me a lump in my throat as my nose tingles with the sudden tears that come to my eyes that i desperately try to hide.
it still hurts. knowing how much i have lived without. that i never had what i needed because i stayed with him. it didn’t matter how many times i told him, he chose to neglect me. nothing i did made anything better. because of him i don’t trust. i don’t believe a man won’t hurt me, that he won’t lie to me. i pretend to, but my truth is, i simply don’t believe it. the real reason i live in the moment is because it is all i have. it’s the only thing that’s real.
the moment it’s gone, then all the possibilities are there for hurt and betrayal and fear and pain and i am not willing to live worrying about it. so i only focus on the present and i don’t think about the future because the future is full of pain unwritten. my life is simple because as complex as it is, i only live one day at a time. there is no pressure because i don’t worry about the things i can’t control, which are things that aren’t happening right in front of me.
i don’t have to get through anything. i don’t put up with anything. everyone can be strong in the moment and that is all i’ve ever done. there is nothing special about what i do because it is simple survival. part of me wishes i would not be so optimistic. i wish i would retain some bitterness that would allow me to stave off the potential inclusion of people who will come into my life and eventually hurt me. but i am wired to trust until an individual disproves themselves to me.
and once the trust is gone, there is absolutely no chance for redemption. ever. the wire in my head, once severed, is unable to build new pathways around the emotional damage someone causes. it’s irrevocable. it was part of the coping mechanism i developed as a child to deal with an abusive mother. the only reason i am strong is because beneath my softness is a steel core that was beaten. and like a well honed blade i became stronger instead of breaking.
i folded inside of my mind so many times as i was beaten, that i have a core of refined, cold steel and it has protected me my entire life against the damage other people try to cause, either on purpose or through carelessness. i’ve been cut deeply and scared permanently but no matter the trauma i endure in my life, i KNOW that nothing will ever destroy me; survivors bend, they don’t break. survivors don’t run, they fight back. they win because losing is not an option and dying while fighting back, is.