Friday, October 30, 2009
Peter Pan Syndrome
It occurs to me that I possibly, will never feel grown up.
And I don't mean this in a good, happy-go-lucky, being able to emulate the joy of a child sort of way.
It concerns me that I don't seem capable of dealing with the issues right under my nose, that, as someone of empirically mature years, are ultimately down to me to resolve.
It is one year since my husband and I separated next week. On the surface we appear to be doing a stellar job of being amicable and flexible and 'friends'. However, under my surface lurks a creature in an almost permanent state of anxiety. "It's Time!" I announced a couple of months back. Time to sort out the finances, progress a divorce, sort out the move back to the UK. Grow some fucking balls.
Or not, as the case maybe.
It's not as if I haven't thought long and hard about it. My God, it's never off my mind. I live each day in a permanent state of terror of where growing a pair of balls will ultimately lead me. Of the tension and confrontation it may provoke in my life. (Because, of course, living in a state of anxiety which causes my chest to feel as if I have the dead weight of an elephant on it, compounded by an imaginary pair of hands slowly tightening their grip around my throat to the point that I have trouble breathing, is so much easier to handle.)
What could be the worst case scenario? That I will be even more financially vulnerable? That I risk losing the love and respect of a man who hasn't harboured those feelings towards me for three years and counting? It doesn't make any sense on a logical and rational level. But my fears aren't logical or rational. They're emotional. They're tied deep to the need of not wanting to go outside of my comfort zone. Of always wanting to be liked, loved, respected. Of being the person who likes to keep the peace and not being the one who upsets the apple cart.
Things came to a head financially a few weeks ago when I went overdrawn and in 24 hours incurred $375 of overdraft charges. After days of deliberating I reassessed my budget with a fine tooth comb and addressed the issue with my ex, also taking the opportunity to raise the subject of both the divorce and plans for moving home. I got a knee-jerk stroppy lecture about financial management, which I'd anticipated, but also an assurance that he will deal with all the issues and that there was no need for me to be stressed.
And of course, since that last communication the subject has been dropped like a hot potato on his part and it is now back down to me to address again - which just feels like an exercise in lobbing a hot potato at a stone wall, just less satisfying.
I don't want to have to deal with any of this. I wish there was a little 'money/divorce/relocation' fairy who could sprinkle the air liberally with magic dust and - poof! - resolve all this for me. And that's the crap thing about being a grown up. I no longer believe in fairies. And there is no one else that can sort this out except for me.
If only I didn't still feel so ill-equipped to do it 'properly', like a real adult.
I didn't mind not feeling like a grown up when I was in my 20s. But in my 40s? It's a real pain in the arse.