The Milady Reflects: A Year Later

A year ago today, my beloved dog, Melbourne, passed away. It’s taken me a year to summon the wherewithal to try share any thoughts about it on this blog. When I look back on it now, this day a year ago was really the turning point between my “old life” and my “new life.”

It was also the day that I knew my Mark was the one for me. He supported me in such a perfect way that day. We’d been together 4 months, I was already in love with him, and we had exchanged those words, but it was his actions on that day that solidified us as a forever couple in my mind. And even though it was one of the hardest days of my life, I look back on it as a special day too, almost as if Mellie had passed off her guardianship of me onto him. If dogs could talk, I could imagine her saying: “You’ve got this now, Mark. Watch out for her.”

And he did! He asked me to marry him last month, my house where I lived with Melbourne for 11 years is currently on the market, and I moved into a new house with my new fiancé!! These are all HUGE life changes that I NEVER thought would happen for me.

Obviously, these are amazing, tremendously welcome changes. I’m very happy and very excited. But I’ll admit to being very nervous about failing and scared about messing up, hoping that Mark won’t wake up one day and exclaim that I’m just too hard to live with.

My “old life” was very comforting. I was used to it. But, maybe I was holding on to that life a bit too hard. Perhaps I needed a dramatic event, a traumatic loss to propel me forward out of just where I wanted to be at the time for all those years. I really did use my dog as a shield from a lot of things: not going to happy hours, not spending the night, leaving to go home early…not really fully committing to anyone or anything.

I wrote a blog post about accepting my bad relationship patterns, that I have to work every day to break the cycle of compulsive repetition that has been ingrained in me. I’m still doing that daily work, trust me! And now it’s even more difficult for me because I don’t have my comfy little shell to crawl back into. I’m IN this relationship now with Mark. We are becoming partners for life. When I find myself trying to push him away and being hurtful, it is so damn painful for me. I hear myself saying these shitty things or giving shitty looks, and I cannot stop myself. It’s another outburst of a bad pattern.

So, what do I do about this? The shitty things come out of my mouth, it takes me a few minutes/hours to process, and then I talk to him about it. I don’t really know how else to handle it. It’s a bit like trying to unbreak a cup that’s already fallen on the floor and broken, but hey. I guess the key is that I’m acknowledging it. I hope one day to be able to prevent it instead of acknowledging it! Fingers crossed I’ll get there!

“New” is exciting, “new” is a jolting change, “new” needs to be broken in, and “new” needs time to learn, grow, and heal. And as for right now, it’s definitely where I want to be. I miss my “old life” and my crazy, darling dog every single day in this “new life” of mine, but I know she was thrilled to have been my partner and guardian all those years so I could get to this point and continue on without her. It was an honor and a pleasure for me to have been that for her as well.

Now, on to my new partnership and the next new year (filled with donuts)!!

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