Me and My Monkey

It has been a strange start to the New Year. I’ve spent a couple of uninterrupted days with the most amazing man who I love with all my heart. I’m happier than I have ever been, more than I thought possible. And yet, for reasons known only to my inner chimp, I seem to be intent on throwing the mother of all spanners in the works.

I don’t really know where it came from, I don’t know why I brought it up, but it was obviously something that has been simmering away for a while. The root of the problem is money but it is wrapped up in so many more deeper and more complex issues.

It’s tied up with the fact that for the early part of my adult life I was only worth what someone was willing to pay for me. When I turned away from that world to try and find a more true version of me, it was the final nail in the coffin of my first marriage. Delving deeper, money was the reason my mother stayed in her unhappy and sometimes abusive relationship with my Stepdad. She was willing to trade her happiness for a nice car and exotic holidays. When she died, the money she left to me and my sisters led us to tear our family apart. All through my childhood there were constant court dates and battles over the maintenance that my Dad paid. Money, bills and the constant grind of scrabbling to put food on the table has been the single main stress of my second marriage. Throughout most of my life, all money has seemed to do is tear apart everyone that I have ever cared about. So I made a deliberate choice to pay my way. To be an equal partner who shares the burden of responsibility to provide. And that was all fine whilst I was in a world of earnings that seemed achievable.

But now I am entering a whole new universe. His life seems so stratospherically different to mine that I’m not even sure how to begin bringing my share to the table. I’m scared and a little lost. My fear is telling me to fuck it all up so then I won’t have to risk trying and failing. I’m getting ahead of myself because I want it so much and then getting myself really scared because if it all disappears I’m never going to be able to piece myself back together again.

Every time I am with him it is like entering another dimension, one painted in infinitely brighter and awe-inspiring colours. Just feeling his skin against mine, his heart beating beneath my hand, the gentle caress of his breath. My soul glows in his presence. He fills every inch of me with joy. He awakens me to the possibilities of how happy my life can be.

But inevitably I have to return to my world. And like Persephone returning to Hades, with every step the colour around me fades to grey. My kids are here so I cannot be there. My heart is torn between what I have and what I want and I don’t know how to bring those two things together. The complexity of blending two families together is proving too much for my brain. I want to prove to myself and him that I can be a mother and a provider and a strong independent woman who doesn’t need to rely or depend on anyone.

But the truth is that I can’t. I can’t do it all. And apparently, my solution is to let my inner chimp out and let it wreck complete havoc on all my hopes and dreams because if the chimp fucks it all up then somehow I won’t have failed. I will be able to tell myself I never deserved happiness anyway, that people like me don’t get a happy ending. I can go back to being a mediocre person in a mediocre life who never tries and so therefore never fails.

But having let the chimp do that for the last two days, I’ve realised something really important. I don’t want to be mediocre anymore. I do believe that I deserve this incredible love of this amazing man. I love him with my whole being. Miraculously, even though I have been a complete dick, he appears to still love me. I am no longer an island and my ego and pride need to catch up to that fact. The chimp needs to go back in the box.

I really want for us, together, to navigate our way to a happy ending. Not just for me. Not just for him. For all of us. We all deserve and are absolutely entitled to the lives of our dreams. It might be a difficult path, at times it might seem impossible. But only the impossible is worth the effort.

He is my beginning and my end. He is worth the effort.