Guerrilla Aging: Becoming A Reinventionista

Posted on April 10, 2014

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The following is a guest post from Sherman Bedford. She usually writes poetry, and I am grateful that she has taken a departure from that to write the following. Her blog is in process.

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My life is nothing like I ever imagined it would be.

A year ago I almost died, but I didn’t, I survived.  Two surgeries later, with strength that I never knew I had, I am here and I am grateful for every single day.  At fifty-three years old, and divorced with an uncertain future this is not the plan I had set out.  I had an easy life..sort of.  Three and a half years ago, I was married had a married social life full of country club friends, traveled, shopped, dined out whenever and wherever I wanted, in the finest hotels and resorts.  Now, I am selling my house.

I met my husband when I was nineteen and he was twenty-four, my dad introduced us.  I came from an emotionally disruptive family and met a guy who wanted to woo me. Our second date he took me up in an airplane, this was the early 80s. He seemed like a Prince Charming. He swept me off of my feet. We had a blast together.   I fell in love with him, hook line and sinker.  I didn’t know any different, then he proceeded to take control once he knew he had his hooks in.  Not all at once, it was little by little.  A little push, a shove, a curse…  Walking out. It’s how it starts.  But I was hooked in, I was in love, we were already married, I had a baby.  Fast forward, I couldn’t leave….

I went home told my mom and dad I wasn’t being treated the way I should be, my mom said I should work it out, I have a baby.  So I did.  I sucked it up.  I accepted less for myself. It’s how it started, how my self-respect dropped to reflect his control and temper tantrums. I tried hard, I loved him.  He has a funny side, a warm side, a loving side and he is quite magnetic. We had another child.  However, he could not contain the dark side nor could he control  his temper and anger issues  which grew in proportion to his unhappiness with his work situation and his depressions. I had to row the boat.

So I worked to help out, I always helped out.   He made a good living, but I did better than he did.  I worked hard, really hard.  I couldn’t be at home when the kids were young because I had to pitch in.  I regret that . He couldn’t do it.  I had to. I had to do it all. He simply refused to help.  I had to be responsible for the house, the groceries, the laundry, the kids, my work.   It was a lot.  It didn’t matter that I made the same amount of money or more than he did, the responsibility fell on me.  He did not help. Not until the kids were much much older did he decide to pitch in. Very selfish, mean and hostile … I left him twice during those times, and we reconciled.  I wanted to stay a family til death do us part…. We made a vow, I loved our family unit. Our kids are awesome.

Fast forward, I started a business and became very successful and what do I do? I bring him into it, because he wants to come into it…. And guess what, he wants to be president because he wants to be president. Go figure.  I was so busy and so overwhelmed, our company was growing so fast that I didn’t care, so I let him.  Guess what, it was a fatal error…  That mistake cost me my career and livelihood. Poor choices lead to poor choices… This control freak, bully, took my company using the same tactics he used to overtake my entire life.  I set it up, he took it over.  I set myself up for a takeover, before the takeover.

Now here I am, divorced, and I am alone. I am alive and moving forward. Never expecting in a million years to be in a place of uncertainty, when I took care of everyone else.

Feeling like I am left with the rug pulled out from under my feet.  All because I was the one who wanted the divorce so I could survive, there is more than one way to die.  Because I was not going to live one more second in a suffocated life. I am alive walking one step in front of the other, it’s all I can do.

Today, I am a reinventionista.

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Posted in: aging, memoir