A Leap of Faith

Dive inI’ve been online dating—or perhaps what could be more accurately described as attempting to online date—for a couple of years now. When I began to tentatively consider dating, back in 2010, my biggest fear was that I would meet (and fall in love with) another alcoholic like my ex-husband. If you spend an hour in any kind of twelve-step program then you know this happens a lot. As in: All. The. Time. I did not—I repeat, DID NOT—want to make that mistake again.

I also didn’t want to meet (and fall in love with) another manic depressive. Again, just like my ex-husband. Or someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Again, just like my ex-husband. Or someone … well, you get the idea.

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: I am an over-achiever in many things, but I am a seriously over-the-top, super duper A+ over-achiever when it comes to dysfunction. My ex-husband was a lovely man in many, many ways but he was a train wreck in the emotional health department. How I, as a presumably intelligent twenty-eight-year-old woman, could have missed the numerous red flags remains, to this day, a total mystery. Or failed to see how a childhood filled with as much trauma and loss as my ex-husband’s might have a few, umm, repercussions later in life. As one of my good friends has said on more than one occasion, “It’s kind of a miracle he turned out as well as he did.”

Yes, it is, but at 28, I was oblivious to all that. Totally oblivious. This is rather embarrassing to admit, which is why I take great comfort in the documentary Catfish. At least now I know I am not the only one foolish and naive in matters of the heart.

Then again, maybe the Universe, or what is known in twelve-step circles as my Higher Power, had a master plan. Because the truth is if I hadn’t married my ex-husband then there is probably no way I would have met my daughter’s birthparents back in December 2003, and even if I had, I never, ever would have gone through with the adoption. It was my ex who talked me into going to the hospital to meet Katie after we learned the birthmother was in jail for a probation violation stemming from a prior drug conviction. He had to work pretty hard to convince me, as I recall. And if I hadn’t gone to the hospital in the middle of the night nearly ten years ago, then I wouldn’t have met my daughter—my beautiful, intelligent, funny, talented, and incredible daughter.

Even knowing how things turned out, I would still do it again. I would. That doesn’t make a tremendous amount of sense to me either, which goes to show that logic can only take you so far. Sometimes life (unplanned or otherwise) requires a leap of faith.

Until next time,
Cynthia Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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