One year

I’ve been telling myself for a year straight all of the reasons my marriage is over. All of the negatives. Almost inflating them in my mind so as to disconnect from the stabbing pain in my heart.

At first things were crazy. Trying to find our footing. Flailing around, wondering how this could have happened to our perfect life.

There was the initial pain. There was sobbing alone on the ground on my birthday last year, just not understanding how I could not have been enough. I would rationalize and tell myself there was no way it could be broken. That we would absolutely fix this and make it through just like everything else over the last 12 years.

I quickly learned that I did not have the power to put it back together on my own. I couldn’t force the warped puzzle pieces to fit the way they once had. But don’t kid yourself, I sure as shit tried my hardest.

Then came the part where I would try to tell myself it was all in my head. That somehow I was wrong. That I could live with this new normal so that I didn’t have to tear down the walls on the beautiful life we had.

Next I blamed myself. If only I had done this or that I would have been what she wanted. If I was more fun, more sexual, not so serious. If, if, if.

When we finally got to therapy I knew we would fix it. We would certainly not throw away all of these years, memories and love. All therapy did was explain to me why things fell apart. But even the best therapist in the world couldn’t make her choose me, us.

Then the realization that we were done. That we couldn’t put our story back together. We couldn’t unsee what we saw. And we couldn’t unknow what we now knew.

Those months were the most painful I have even walked through. I had support but nothing could take away the pain of losing my best friend. Even if I did know it was “for the best”. Having to keep it together inside these walls was excruciating agony.

Then she left. Fuck. I could breathe in my home again. I could sit on the couch. I could turn the corner without seeing the glaring reminder of all I ever knew.

I was now alone for the first time in over a decade. Not only alone. Lost. Heartbroken. And trying to hide it the best I could. After all, this was my decision. How could I bitch about it now? I couldn’t. I had to be solid. I had to keep it together for the two boys and all of the adulting left for me to manage on my own.

I told myself and others, “Look at me, I’m making it through without the breakdown!”

Im not. I’m down, and I’m broken. And it has come to mind that I need to honor that. I need to stop fighting it. I need to accept the fact that while I may be able to keep up with the day to day, that is clearly no indication of what is going on inside.

I can keep this show looking good on the outside. I can manage all the things. I can make sure noone thinks I’m losing it. I apparently successfully had myself believing that lie.

Today, on my birthday one year later, I am being honest. With myself, and anyone who cares to know.

It kills me that while we are still quite amicable, there is a lot of pain in this for me. I tell myself I need to set boundaries for her. They aren’t for her, they are for me. They are to keep my heart safe. As safe as it can be today.

We will continue to love each other and our son. That will never change. But if I’m going to get past this, I need to feel it with honesty. I don’t have to be a bad ass day in and day out. I’m allowed to feel hurt, even if I don’t always believe that myself.

Uncertain

Nothing is certain. Absolutely nothing.

I know this. I’ve been shown this time and time again. Yet, I continue to allow myself to get comfortable. I let myself feel secure and safe, when the reality is that anything and everything can be taken away at a moments notice.

The only thing that has been certain all of my life is uncertainty.

This year has been one long lesson. Teaching me, the hard way, that I truly have control over nothing. And once I think I’ve learned enough, the universe laughs and says “You wanna bet?”

I like to think I could never be the type of person to lose faith or to quit. That it’s just not in me somehow. But I’ll tell you what, give me one more thing that I am in love with that I cannot have, and I’m thinking I just might find out what it feels like to give up.

I have always loved with all I have. I’ve never learned how to tamp it down or hold back. I’m in, or I’m out. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I’ve always known that in the end I pay a price for it. But my heart and soul come in one piece, not just a little here and a little there. It kills me to feel now that I want to be able to filter it all somehow. To at least reserve some of it so that when the walls come tumbling down on this house I’ve built I won’t be obliterated.

I let myself believe I wouldn’t lose these things. I let myself believe I valued all of these precious gifts so much that they could never possibly be taken away. I left myself wide open for this. And again, there is no one to blame but me.

Inaction

It is my belief that we do not get to sit back and simply let life happen. That’s not how it works. That right there is how we end up waking up, looking around and wondering where the heck we are and how we got here.

When we find ourselves in a world we aren’t meant for we are going to feel it. It is going to rip us apart like a wild animal caught in a trap.

We don’t belong here and our souls know it before we do.  They start screaming at us from deep within.  We may be able to muzzle them at first, but eventually the sound becomes impossible to ignore.

It is at this point that we can either choose to sit in this, or act.  Accept it or don’t.

There isn’t a magic wand out there that will take us out of this.  We can trust, pray and wait all we want.

What I have found is that action is the only way out of the hell our inaction has lead us to.

Denial & Isolation

I’m in a heavy place.

I don’t particularly like the grief cycle as it is known. They say this thing has no rhyme or rhythm to it. It goes from phase to phase as it pleases with no warning.

I’m far too linear for this.

Wouldn’t it just be better for everyone if we could go through this is an orderly fashion? Come on?! Single file please!

I’m not sure that I have the capacity to go back through any of this again. I don’t want reminders, and I don’t want pain. My tub will overflow if there are any additional sobbing fits on the floor of the shower. I mean, that is so 10 months ago! It’s my feeling that I have had enough.

Guess not though, right? It would appear there is still more to learn. Some lesson left on the table.

I thought some wounds had scabbed over, but they hadn’t. This new-normal is so uncomfortable, and so goddamned lonely that I dropped some boundaries in order to numb it out. Problem is, my head isn’t healed enough to allow that, and my heart is still sliced right down the middle.

Luckily, I was reminded vividly why I am where I am, and was able to do an a·bout-face and go back to picking up the pieces.

You know what, on second thought, I don’t want those pieces. Why the hell am I breaking my back to pick up these dusty, broken shards and trying to put them back together? They will never fit the way they once had. Not even a little.

This empty space hurts worse than all of the combined pain from the first 33 years of my life along with any nightmare I could summon to my imagination. I’d sure love to stuff the hole closed with anything I can find and move on.

Although it may take a little longer to fill the void, I think I’m going to go ahead and build all new pieces.

Clean ones.

This go around, I’m going to take my time. No rushing. Carefully crafting and positioning them. A foundation built with my own two hands, that I can be proud of, that I know will last.

Real

Was it real?

No, it wasn’t.

It is.

Nothing has ever been more genuine.

Something like this, no wait, that doesn’t exist. There is nothing like this.

No more truth has ever lived inside of a soul.

Or two.

It could never have stayed in a box.

There is no question.

Unforgettable.

Love well lived, lives on indefinitely.

Life Raft

When the main vessel capsizes our only remaining hope is the life raft we may have been lucky enough to find. Maybe we had to build it with our own two hands with anything and everything we could scavenge up for materials.

That dingy becomes our most prized posession. It’s the one thing keeping us from a cold, dark, agonizing death. We rest our head on it when our body’s collapse as the adrenaline leaves us. The rafts firmness gives us a sense of security in an otherwise morbid sea of fear.

But what happens when our lifeline springs a leak. First we fill with panic all over again. We may even become angry that this one thing that had allowed us to feel so safe and secure and whole, could fail us too. Next comes the thought that we are going to die out here, all alone in this frigid water.

If we are lucky, I mean really lucky, we find hope. We rummage around for anything we may have brought with us that could repair the damage. And with all we have left we replace the fear with determination to live.

Just as we ourselves are wholly imperfect and needed that raft to keep us afloat, it too has weaknesses. We just have to be willing to set aside the initial gut wrenching, immobilizing fear in order to put in the work needed to fix it.

Now that we’ve done this, now that our life line has been restored, we can rest assured that when the next leak comes we will survive that too. All the stronger for it.

Fog

I look forward to this day all week.

It is set aside as this special time when I can finally breathe. Feel moderately comfortable. Completely and fully exhale.

This time it was different.

There is something dark and heavy in the air. I could tell myself I’m just imagining it. I know how to do that. But I’ve done that for too long.

I’ve ignored this exact feeling many times over, and eventually it comes back to haunt me. It rears it’s nasty two pronged head another day while I’m kicking myself, wishing I’d have headed the warning.

This fog is coming from one of two places. The traditional answer is that it’s emanating from within me. And only me. That’s the script that I’ve been trained to read. It says I messed up or missed something. I can correct it and clear the air.

The other, less palpable answer, is that it isn’t just me. I won’t be able to fix it. I can’t flip a switch and vanquish this darkness. It’s not mine to eradicate. This is the narrative I despise. In this version of the story I have to rely on faith.

Faith that somehow, some way, something else can mend this brokenness.

Hands in the air, no driving with my knees. Just allowing something else to take the wheel.

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

I wonder what else I could have been?

We all do that right? Run all of those “what if’s” through our brains?

I have no idea what I could have been. I do know that whomever I am today is exactly who I am meant to be in this very moment. I don’t actually want to be or do more. Right now I am and have enough.

It took me a few months recently to get myself to believe that it is okay that I am happy with my life, even if and when others are not.

Tough doodoo really, because it’s my life now.

I built this life with a whole hell of a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I could never have woken up one day and decided it was no longer the life I wanted.

Raise Me

The first thing I had written in years, which I wrote in 2018, was a post about seeing you. Seeing the hurt in you and recognizing it. Understanding you and being with you through those moments when life is heavy.

Fast forward two years, and low-and-behold people are doing that for me today.

They see my racing mind at 5:30 am and raise me a phone call at 5:35. To me, not from me. Because they also seem to see that although I need support, I am not the best at asking for it.

They see my tension, my anxiety, and raise me a gentle hand, or even just their presence until I can breathe again. They remind me that I am not crazy, and what I feel is real and normal.

They see my path, and raise me the gift of experience, of having been here before. They don’t tell me what to do, they guide me until I reach my own conclusions.

They see my self-doubt and raise me their reassurance and reminders of what is factual, and what is feeling. They give me the ability to trust in them until I can remember to trust in myself.

They see me.

Every time I think they won’t, or think they’ve had enough, they see that too.

Maybe I’m not too much.

Maybe I am just enough.

They see me, the me that no one else sees, and they raise me still.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: