Today I am feeling like a broken chair.
You can own and use a chair for years without issue. A hardy chair can be passed down from generation to generation, sitting just as solidly in your dining room, as it did in your grandmother’s.
But once a chair is broken, no matter how careful the repair, it is never the same. What once was the most reliable, steadfast and cherished piece of furniture, is untrustworthy, precarious.
“Wait, don’t sit in that chair! It is broken!”
Having been blindsided by the demise of my first marriage – that may have been my breaking point. At 31 years old, I had made a thoughtful decision to marry. I idolized my first husband. I thought he was compassionate, handsome, intelligent, and insightful. He met all of my family’s expectations too, college grad, never married, non-smoker. And the icing on the cake, he was Irish Catholic! All the boxes were checked, only cherry-coating the red flags. Shortly after we wed, my ex informed me that he had “made a mistake” and no longer wanted to be married to me. I was devastated and depressed that my dream marriage was shattered. And I was embarrassed and ashamed that I would be the only family member to divorce.
Whether that was my breaking point or some heartache earlier, I am not sure. If I were truly sturdy, would I have entered into that marriage?
Today I am broken. I am unable to stand the pressure that a love relationship brings. I look fine, good as new maybe, but sustaining a long-term love relationship has been beyond my capabilities. I patch, I repair, I bond, and still I collapse under the pressure. Additionally, age appropriate, eligible men are often broken as well. Time brings injury and heartache. Two broken chairs in the dining room and someone surely will end-up on their ass. Bells and whistles, emotional alarms are triggered, one broken chair to another. “Run! Run before you fall!” Not the most promising combination.
You would think that I would have learned my lesson. No more chairs for me. I will stand thank you, alone! But our human condition continues to taunt, poke, and prod us toward companionship and union. We do it. We fall in love again. We hope again. We take all of our insights and hard knocks into a new relationship. We roll the dice and we brace ourselves for a fall. Just like Goldilocks, we keep looking for the chair that is “Just Right”.
As for me, I have made a decision. I’m giving up on chairs. I’m sitting on the floor! I am sitting criss-crossed applesauce, looking myself and my partner squarely in the eye. Maybe if I’m “grounded” in who I am, open and addressing my issues, and confidently sharing my needs… maybe, just maybe…
And if nothing else, by sitting on the floor, I won’t have as far to fall.