Are You MIA From Your Own Life?

Lately, I have been very aware of a couple of women in my atmosphere who have gotten in to a relationship and are now MIA from their own lives.  It’s as though they think they have to choose between the relationship or her own life.

The most extreme example I’ve seen is a friend of mine…  She jumped in to an instant relationship several months ago, becoming engaged in less than a month but has yet to set a date.

Things seeemed well at first, despite the initial rush towards each other but now her life seems to be falling apart.  She stares and talks about it in complete bewilderment.

She’s a natural beauty, my friend.  She’s slim with long blond hair and a mischevious smile, in her late 40s.  She’s making her way through this dating thing same as the rest of us…  She’s made mistakes.  She’s dated men that drink too much or lie too much, or just can’t committ to anything.  She’s been married and divorced and raised two teenage girls.

Well, The Natural Beauty built herself a good solid life.  She owns a home in a small town.  Her youngest daugther still lives at home and attends high school.  Her elderly mother lives at home with her too.  She’s got a few small dogs and a great big yard that needs to be taken care of.  So, here’s the rub…  her man lives some two hours away.

At first all seemed fine.  They spent their time at her place, which seemed to make sense since his children are grown and on their own.  He lives alone.  Then, some where along the way things changed.  I don’t know why but suddenly her daughter was getting in all sorts of trouble.  She was missing school.  She crashed two different cars, and was having screaming fights with her mother about having to take care of her grandmother.

The Natural Beauty, as sweet as she is, made it seem like her child was simply being irresponsible and ungrateful.  Turns out, that’s not all there is too it.  It seems she’s spending all her time when she’s not working, 2 hours away at the boyfriend’s place.

The poor kid is begging for some parental supervision.  She has been left to maintain her mother’s life in her absense.  To care for her ailing grandmother, maintain the house, care for the dogs and the yard.  The Natural Beauty talks about the situation like she’s totally mystified at her daughter having trouble.  Is she really that unaware?  To me and many other mothers I know, it seems clear as day…  I even want to shout at her…  “How about you try taking care of your fucking kid!  It’s not her responsibility to care for your mother and your dogs and everything else!  She has literally begged you to spend more time at home!  Do you not see the problem here?!!”

This strikes me even more intensely as I see The Sweet Tri-Athelete becoming more and more involved with her man, and also being seemingly MIA from her own life….  Not nearly in such an intense fashion as The Natural Beauty.  She isn’t leaving her children behind, but instead taking them along and allowing them to become attached and super involved even though her gut is telling her it won’t last.

She’s happy.  She’s deeply in love with her guy… and who I am to judge?  But, I can tell you, that kind of thing is not right for me.    I don’t want to melt in to someone else’s life.  I enjoy the life I have built for myself and my kids.  I don’t know why two people can’t come together and walk side by side, instead of one of the partners having to jump off their own path and walk someone elses.

I don’t want to be like The Runaway Bride where she seems to become a different person depending on what man she’s with.  Meets a hippie guy, suddenly she’s a flower child.  Meets mountain climber guy, and suddenly she wants to hike Mt. Everest.  She just becomes whatever she thinks will fit with that particular guy.   Poor girl doesn’t know herself at all.  She doesn’t even know how she likes her eggs.

Maybe The Sweet Tri-Athlete doesn’t feel like she’s MIA from her own life, after all, I’m not inside that relationship.  All I know is I’ll be keeping my eyes wide open in my own life to make sure I’ve not diving off MY path to walk someone elses.

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Published in: on August 17, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (12)  
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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post! And I’m soooo Runaway Bride…sigh…

    Pink.

    • When I first dated The Mechanic I went along with all his 4 wheelin’ junk. I didn’t pretend to be outdoorsy girl but I didn’t tell him I didn’t like it either. Not only was it dishonest of me but also how is he supposed to love the real me if I don’t show him who that is? Biggest problem with the run away bride, though, was that she didn’t even realize she was doing that. Becoming conscious of a behavior is the first & most crucial step.

      OMG and KUDOS for admitting that. You’re a warrior for growth, Pink!

      • Awwww… love your anecdotes.. Yeah.. I recently had to end it with a guy as I realize I was giving, molding, sacrificing way too much of what I wanted and felt a sad relief that I could just be me… thankfully it only took a few weeks to realize this, but the damage had been done as I’m sure he’s wondering who the heck am I, as I betrayed myself and therefore appear dishonest to him. this is tough.. to just cut it off when you don’t feel the chemistry, or see a future with someone.. I thought maybe I should give it time.. but time only confirms your gut instinct.. sigh…

      • Sometimes when you know, you know.

      • I absolutely agree! 😀

  2. It’s such a balancing act – to be open and willing to try new things yet to not lose your sense of self. It’s important to soften yet not melt.

    • Very well put… so much of life is trying to keep a healthy balance.

  3. You’re nominated for the One Lovely blog award by 
    http://counselforliving.wordpress.com/#!/cover

    • Thanks a bunch 🙂 I think I’ll check out some of the other bloggers you mentioned there.

      • OK, great!

  4. I have a close friend who I met because our daughters were in the same 2nd grade class. They graduate this year, and now my friend is always MIA. She has jumped into 3 relationships in the past year, and with each one she just leaves her daughter alone more and more. The daughter feels so lost without the mom who used to do everything with her, and when I spoke up to my friend, she actually said “she’s almost grown, what’s gonna happen next year when she’s on her own?” I was so baffled because I thought, enjoy this last year while you can! I have younger kids, but this is her only child, and I can’t imagine pushing her out the door like that. Worse, my friend is a 9-1-1 dispatcher and now she’s even managed to get a DWI, something she would have never done! It’s such a sad situation, but you coined it exactly right, she’s become MIA in her own life!!

    • My mom freaked out my last year at home too & so is one woman I work with. Its a huge change coming for them… its aloneness staring them in the face, I guess. That excuse that she is almost grown is a bs justification tho. At that age children need their parents. They now have the ability to make choices that can have a life long impact on themselves and others. It’s scary & they are still young. They *need* guidance. I know I certainly did.


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