With or Without…Him

Will I ever stop loving him? I truly think not…

Things are better, but only as friends… a friendship which is slowwwwwlllyyyy developing and gaining trust (I think!?). I’m okay, no actually, I’m grateful for the friendship we are creating. I would rather have him as a dear friend than not have him in my life at all.

Just when I really believe my feelings for him have finally transformed into a more brotherly-like love, I will look at him and…

I just stopped over to his house to get a donation for a cause I’m collecting for. Coincidentally, as I’m driving over there, the song he once told me in the smack dab middle of our personal not-together-but-not-separate hell starts playing. Even as I pull in his drive, the song (With or Without You) is still playing. I can’t help but play the moment when he asked me to be sure they played that at his funeral through my mind. A thought I’ve not allowed myself to re-live in quite a few years. But I do now. It’s safer now, right? We are truly just friends. Pulling in his drive, I hesitate to turn the car and song (and sweet memory) off, but I gotta grab the donation and get somewhere else.

He’s just fresh from the gym, wearing sweats and kinda sweaty… I actually think my feelings have changed. No, I mean I really believe that.

Then he holds me for a moment and after all this time of craziness and whatnot, I feel for the first time in years, more than a mere friendly hug. His arms wrap around me just a bit softer and more tender than they did for our last few hugs. They hold onto me just a tad tighter and longer. At first, I don’t want to let go. I want to cling to him for life the minute I feel that something more from him. I do hold on, not for dear life, but like him, just a smidgeon more from my soul and not just from my trained-to-love-him-as-a-friend mind (that protection mode I’ve developed after all this time).

And I think to myself, am I imagining this? Is my eight year long fantasy running away with my rational side? I hold on for a minute right back, then gently push away from him and tell myself, Yes, you’re only imagining that something extra. Okay yeah, the hug is slightly different than he’s been hugging you for the past few years, but it does not, and I mean does NOT mean anything.

Snapped back to the reality, we continue a friendly chat for a few minutes. As I prepare to leave (no matter what type of visit/relationship/hug/whatever, I always, always hate leaving his house!), he grabs his donation to carry to my car for me. I walk next to him to grab my handbag sitting on the table. I’m not sad we are just friends. I don’t look at the picture on his refrigerator with the girl he’s dating now and feel any jealousy or even any hurt or twinge of “what if” like I once would have felt like a nail piercing my heart. No, I don’t feel that anymore. So yes, my love for him now must truly be friendly only; love coming from that pure place in my heart which loves forever when it truly loves at all. So, as I’m standing rather close to him grabbing my bag and he’s got his donation bag, I’m preparing to leave. We are laughing about something trivial and suddenly he sets the donation bag back down…(what? what is he doing? No donation after all?).. Yeah, he sets it back down….to hug me again!

tidal wave

This is an even longer hug than the first one…and just as tender..but maybe I sense something almost sensual in this one as he holds me close and brushes the small section of exposed skin on my upper back. Is it? No! I only love him as a friend… yet my heart soars, pitter-patters, skips, and plays hopscotch like a little girl. And this time I struggle with correcting my feelings and I rest my head in the nook of his neck and shoulder where it has always fit just right and I want to let go and melt into him like I have a million times before.

Oh, will I ever, EVER stop loving him?

Goodbye Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day!!!  We fly out of here with a one-way ticket….no return, no changing minds, no turning back….  it’s one-way, baby!  Scary and exhilarating.  I will cry.  Good-byes are in the realm of unbearable for me…literally.  I often find I’d rather be rude and avoid people than ever say good-bye.  I’m not even good at saying good-bye to the people I don’t like!  I just detest good-byes!  Typically, I avoid them like the plague…

There is no avoiding tomorrow…  Which means there will be crying, sobbing, heaving, the embarrassing kind of tears…the “OMG Dave and I broke up” kinda crying probably…ewww! 

I returned DK’s clothes I’ve had for a while.  I wouldn’t want the next ridiculous accusation to be that I’m a thief.  Sadly, that’s not even an absurd or paranoid fear with the way he bashes my character.  Crazy to realize that after hitting the best of the best and the worst of the worst, the man has zero feelings for me at all.  After all the nights he came running to me, crying and sighing, full of words he couldn’t get out, as well as words he never should have let out.  After it all, there is nothing.  Empty.  Void.  Zero.  Nada. 

I thought of keeping his clothes out of spite even, but realized I just don’t want them and he does, so why not take the high road?  It’s not as if keeping a few articles of his favorite clothing would ever compensate for all the cruel damage he’s done anyway…and it would mostly just serve to make me feel petty and small.  So, I dropped them at his house when he wasn’t home..nor was the new “bi-annual flavor of the month” there either. 

Strangely, I don’t wish him ill.  I almost wish I did or could, but I just don’t.  I even sometimes have little prayers and hopes that perhaps this is finally  “the one” for him..this latest strange car parked at his house down the street from my soon-to-be old house.  Perhaps this is the happiness he needed, minus any inconveniences or challenges which I represented to him after all the years and tears?  The mean part of me wants to hope he just gets what he’s dished out to me for so long – cruelty.  But, my heart would ache to think of him hurting even a moment the way he’s hurt me.  I don’t know if that makes me strong or just plain stupid..but  I’m leaning toward the “stupid” answer.

I’ll never know how someone could be and do so much good (and horrible) in my life and then just be absolutely nothing.  The two just contradict themselves.  I feel as though this sets a low-level of importance on anything.  As though the most wondrous of experiences and feelings will always be significantly lessened in my mind and heart because maybe someday that very thing will merely be a void of anything, like this whole experience was.  If anyone had ever tried to tell me that I would be literally nothing to the man who loved me so much he cried, I would have laughed at the ridiculous thought alone and been certain as I’ve been of nothing in my life, but certain that it all meant something significant.

Nope. It all was merely nothing.  Every tear, every effort, every cruelty I allowed hoping it would make things even again, hoping it would open his heart back up, hoping we could at least have a friendship…..all for nothing.  It feels as though I’m so dispensable and worthless that not even a shred of emotion, good OR bad, can be mustered up on behalf of it ALL….that just feels “off” to me…impossible actually…and yet it’s totally possible and realistic today.

And I wonder if I’ll ever bother to waste a tear, an emotion, much less an effort on any other person who claims to love me?  After all, if it’s possible to just mean nothing as though it never was or happened, then why would one ever waste even a moment on such trivial, useless-ness?   Seems pretty silly really…

And I think to myself that either he really IS a sociopath (that’s a hurtful hard thought really) or I am just a crazy person (always a possibility).  All I know is that this feels like I’m having to realize that one plus one does not equal two, macaroni does not go well with cheese, and french fries are not commonly eaten with ketchup.  Feels as though the whole world is not what I once knew; as though nothing at all is what I’ve ever thought.  It’s almost more upside down and confused than the day we broke up.  I knew he cared and I at least knew why we split.  This though…this makes no sense whatsoever.

Radical acceptance here that the grass is orange and the sky is green.  Nothing is was or will be what it seems….  I can only hope that this realization will keep things in perspective for me from here on out and I’m never again tempted  to place value (much less such precious value) on such trifling and trivial matters as this has apparently been.

What a lesson!

the home that wasn’t

In exactly one week, we head off to a whole new life…a new world to us, new environment, new culture, new (to us) house…..everything new and different!!

I am scared, excited, fearful, exhilarated, anxious, and sad…  I see the sun peeking up as I write and I think of the thousands of sun rises and sunsets which have encroached upon this world for me…  I’ve had the happiest sunsets I ever thought possible right here in this little frustrating town.  I’ve had the absolutely most phenomenal sunrises here as well.  I can say with complete candor, I’ve had experiences and moments here which were the very stuff that dreams are made of…the very fiber of fairy tales come to life.  I have made some unbelievably wonderful friends and known some interesting people.  I’ve laughed till my stomach hurt for days following and my cheeks felt like they had done strenuous Pilates.  I’ve cried more tears than I knew I had in me.  Here, my heart has been so full of love I thought it would burst and so broken, I thought I would die.  I’ve spent days on the beach about which I could have written novels, both comedic and romantic.  I’ve met pilots traveling through, partied with hundreds of people inside military planes.  I’ve gone swimming by moonlight, laughing through the waves.  I’ve skipped in the rain and laughed in the snow. I’ve sat out and I’ve danced.  I’ve lived in ten different houses here, all with unique people and experiences.  I’ve been single here.  I’ve been married here.  I’ve been a mother here and responsibility free.  I had my first real boyfriend here and my first grown-up love.  I’ve learned lessons I never even imagined as a child.  I’ve grown, I’ve stagnated, I’ve flown free as a butterfly and I’ve been imprisoned like a criminal.

I’ve played house and wife, mother and employee.  I’ve played conservative party-girl, lost hippie child, and unemployed beach bum.  When I moved away for college and a few years later my world crashed, I ran here.  This has been the only home (“base”) I’ve ever known.  The only place I’ve been able to return to (come “home” to)in the whole world  no matter what happened.  As much as I’ve often felt out-of-place here, out of sorts, and like an “outsider”, over the years, I’ve become this place; both the things I love here and the things I don’t.  This place is a part of me…a huge and irrevocable piece of my growth and my essence.  I will carry people and memories, lessons and experiences from here as though it’s part of my genetic DNA.  In spite of the fact that I did not “grow up” here, I very much did grow up here in so very many ways.  The people and things I’ve done and known here have shaped my soul in a good ways and bad.  The sand from the beaches has become embedded in my skin forever.  The memories rooted in my soul, never to be un-done, even if someday forgotten.  I carry every person, every moment, every encounter, every drop of beach water, every crashing wave, every love, every hurt, every tear, and every laugh with me for the rest of my days.   I’ve been hated here, loved here, nurtured and abused here on every imaginable and unimaginable level.  I’ve wildly dreamed of escaping this hell-hole and I’ve ached to return to its embracing shores…

I’ve never known a “home”, a home base, a place to run to…never.  And yet, I knew that here; the home of a place to go when I was lost and scared in the world (my dad).  The home where I felt I was always supposed to be, the place I walked into and realized I had been holding my breath for so many years, I didn’t realize how beautiful breathing could be (Dave).

This has been the only home I’ve ever known by any definition or connotation of the word “home”.   I am scared to the pit of my soul to leave here…and yet I’m scared equally to stay.  I fear I can never come “home” again, in the way that this is now my home.  I’m a mother and a college graduate and I wasn’t even raised here, and yet somehow it almost feels like I’m leaving the nest for the very first time.  I feel like a high school graduate heading off into the world on my own into the far and unknown beyond.

What will be here when I next return to visit, to live, to escape, to…????  What feelings will remain?  How will I be changed?  Nothing will ever stay the same as it is now and has been.

Life is scary.  Change is inevitable.  This was never my home…and yet strangely it’s also been the only home I’ve ever known.

Elephant in my living room!

I can’t talk to M about much of anything anymore and it scares me.  We are moving so soon and so much rides on him for that…. 

I keep trying in a delicate, but honest, way to point out my concerns, but just like 13 years ago, everything is an “attack”.  Every word of concern gets met with, “I AM NOT A BAD PERSON!!  I AM NOT A BAD PERSON!!  I AM NOT A BAD PERSON” screamed repeatedly over my trying-to-stay calm voice and words, until I have no choice but to hang up the phone.  Obviously, this doesn’t result in anything productive and does the very opposite of reassuring my fears. 

This experience throws me clear into full force PTSD as I’m hurled instantly to 13 years ago…trapped, scared, nervous, with a 3 month old child to care for.  My knees shake, my head spins and the frustration at not being heard, not being counted, not being considered, not being able to even TALK is overwhelming and terrifying to my core.  What am I doing?

Mark, he who I’ve watched struggle and kick for years, fighting his way past and beyond all that once haunted and controlled him, is yet again unreachable, irreproachable, impossible to reason with. And I am left feeling two options:  return to that horribly handicapping environment which threatened my sanity or continue raising my children far away from their loving father.  

Even the choices alone don’t feel like choices.  They feel like steel walls closing in on me fast, boxing me in tight, with the “rules” written in graffiti all over them in bold black paint.  Rules from my childhood; rules from my relationship with Mark 13 years ago. 

The rules:

  1.  No matter what M does or says, it’s always absolutely fine.
  2. No one is to question, doubt, or worry about M’s behaviors or choices.  They are all as close to perfect as could possibly be.
  3. No one is to point out (kindly or otherwise) any fears or, God forbid, discrepancies in Mark’s choices.
  4. If you see an elephant in the living room, no one is to speak of it, question its presence, or for God’s sake call it an elephant.  Nothing is what it appears and only M knows what it really is, so he cannot be questioned or expected to communicate with the rest of us. 
  5. It’s M’s world…only his reality counts…the rest of us are just graced with the opportunity to live in it…so SHUT UP.
  6. If you speak or imply any of the above, it is a direct “attack on M” and he will kick and scream accordingly, deftly playing the offense is the best defense game to the point that you’re wasting every word you can actually get into the conversation, trying (in utter futility) to insist that you’ve not attacked or insulted M.
  7. Every word you say that is not an ass-kissing “M, you’re the GREATEST!”  is, in fact, going to be considered an attack.
  8. Your actual words will not ever matter.  They are ALL an attack on Mark, unless they are a direct and undisguised compliment of his person and character.
  9. M will hear what M hears and it’s not up for discussion…  What M hears IS what you said, no matter how far off it may seem (to you) from what you’ve actually said.
  10. Questions, doubts, fears (authentic or otherwise) will NOT be tolerated or spoken of EVER.
  11. Unless you are complimenting M on how wonderful he is, you must SHUT UP AT ALL TIMES.

I am afraid.  I am rendered paralyzed to act and terrified to speak of my concerns…while the walls close in tighter on me.

Why NOT play Kick-the-Carcass?

No consecutive hours of sleep for what seems like weeks, although I can easily remember not so long ago when it had been more like months, so I logically know I can pull through this “short stretch”.  However, when n the midst of the sleeplessness, it feels as though I’ll pass out, die, or just maybe snap into forgettable pieces.  I keep reminding myself that it’s been worse and try to be grateful for the little bits of sleep I do get blessed with.

Stressing the move, finances, the gossip and lies (of course, as usual), THE ex, the children, packing, moving across the entire country from everything I’ve ever known, living out of district for my kids’ school out west, my ex husband, and his motives and choices, and how they’re going to relate and affect our lives out there, so far from the only  home we’ve ever known.

With all of this, I’m struck hard with acute awareness of the severe alteration of my heart, my perspective,  my very essence…  Who I once was is gone, with all that’s happening now and all I am responsible to be and do, with all the fears that are hanging just over my head like a shark’s mouth ready to swallow me whole, I really just want to sit down and bawl myself sick.  Grief hangs all around me like buzzards and flies on a  carcass.  I know, I know…  This is nothing new…I’ve been a barely-breathing carcass for years now, my only traceable movement being the slight shakes and involuntary shuffles and slides  of a dead body that’s being kicked a few extra times for good measure.  Big thanks to Dave and friends for that lovely prompt..without it, the buzzards might literally begin to feast on my mourning flesh, not just the metaphorical feastings of Dave and friends on the leftover remnants of my heart, my soul, my reputation, my freaking character!  After all, at this point, the pickings are so slim and meager that I genuinely can’t understand the interest…surely there’s not enough there to satisfy even a starving soul?

Apparently so, as I can’t even plan my pathetic, late-as-hell “escape” without a kick every once in a while for good measure.  I’m struggling and fighting this damned sense of victimization which I hate so much it makes me sick even to write of these things any more.  Or maybe it’s that burning sense of injustice and flood of unkindness and continued crucification which keeps me from withering up and dying completely.  It’s almost cost me a great degree of my voice and I do not know what I could even be after he’s fully taken my voice and my ability to write.  It just might be my lingering indignance which is holding the shell of my existence together at all, keeping it from crumbling quietly into dust. Perhaps I should stop fighting this victimized-feeling and embrace it, allow it to strengthen me out of my hopeless feeling of being powerless, beaten, and small?   Hmm….

I have comprised a plan of revenge.  In my circumstances, I have no way in which to actually carry it through, but it’s a lovely fantasy nonetheless.  I imagine that many people love me and know the truth of these past five years…the whole down-n-dirty, humiliating truth and they are so outraged and angry they begin a letter-writing campaign on my behalf – no, on the behalf of all people who have gone through emotional and mental abuse.  Upon me leaving my home, he receives hundreds of letters from people who know the truth, faceless people who are not afraid to stand up against this man’s cruel persecution of my spirit.  Each day or week he receives lovely pieces of mail from people who know what he has done and refuse to buy into his lies and bullshit, as a regular reminder that he did not just “get away with it”.  And he, like me, has no chance, opportunity, or method by which to combat the attack.  He would just have to sit in it, regularly reminded of his cruelty, its effects, and his powerlessness!  Then he might have to spend some time in paranoia, looking at every stranger who meets his eye and wondering, does he know?  Does she?  Just as I still worry with every person I meet or pass, “Did he tell them I was crazy?  Did he tell that person I’m a psycho?  A slut?  A lying cheater?  Wonder what story  that person heard?”

For it seems, just when I’ve let the worries go and have convinced myself anyone who believes his garbage at this point is merely a victim of sorts themselves and is entitled to my sympathy, when I finally get to the “I don’t give a damn what he’s said to anyone”, another lovely twisted story of his finds its way to me…piling on top of the huge pile of garbage he’s dumped on me that I’m already trying to climb out from underneath.  And the exhaustion revives itself in me.  The sense of powerlessness and damned victimization I hate SO much, gathers al around my soul to begin feasting again.

I sent him a message asking him just to please SHUT UP.  Leave me alone.   Reminding him he has not a single reason at this point in his game to speak my name even, let alone tarnish it further.  He has won by yards and miles already. The damage done is irreversible even now.  I’m leaving and his story will always stand in my place of absence; not mine, not the truth, but his sick and twisted deviation of my person. I can’t imagine any greater victory for him?  So why continue beating this broken and beaten thing?  Does he really still get that much pleasure and self-satisfaction from it…even NOW?  Why not just SHUT UP?   No, go above and beyond to make everyone always, think the person you’ve victimized is psycho crazy, then you never have to worry about being held accountable for the cruelty you perpetually heaped upon her…  After all, she’s just “crazy”.  Nothing she says will ever account to anything after you’ve told that to enough people ad nauseum.

Why am I so surprised anyway?  Why wouldn’t anyone want to continue kicking and beating the person they’ve already slaughtered?  After all, she’s dead already…. It’s not like anyone will ever find out the truth now…or believe it coming from a crazy-psycho dead girl even if they did!                                 

Ohhh it would be Christmas every day to just imagine this letter-campaign of outraged people, addressing the truth to him which he feels he has sufficiently buried beneath his heavily placed offensive-tactic accusations and insults. He could just laugh away a few letters, but if hundreds came to him long after I’m gone, that would have to make him think maybe he wasn’t really fooling everyone after all.  His mailbox becoming the screaming, lingering Tell-Tale Heart of an Edgar Allen Poe story!  It’s a harmless, but juicy thought in my weak state of stress, fatigue, and hopeless indignation…

(insert evil cackle here)

“…Ladybugs Katherine! Lots and lots of ladybugs!”

Lazing in the glorious sun in my back yard yesterday, chatting with girls and Mark about the big upcoming move, feeling mostly excited and thankfully, only mildly overwhelmed at the moment thinking of all that has to be done…all that’s to be left behind, and what’s to come…  Sweet ladybug lands on my thigh, just hanging out for a moment.  I try to recall what this means.  I have a vague recollection of some movie or some symbolic meaning of this ladybug in this moment.

 “Ladybug: Perhaps best known as an emblem of luck, the Ladybug is a love symbol too. Asian traditions hold to the belief that if caught and then released, the Ladybug will faithfully fly to your true love and whisper your name in his/her ear. Upon hearing the Ladybug’s message your true love will hurry his/her way to your side. Ancient farmers of the land have considered the Ladybug a good omen as she controls aphid populations. The number of spots on a Ladybug’s back is said to indicate the number of months to pass before the wish for love comes true.”

My ladybug flew off and then returned briefly to the same spot on my thigh.  She only hung out with me for a moment…long enough for me to curiously wonder.  Later I found the above explanation when I Googled animal symbolism.

Strange feelings stirred this weekend with Mark’s visit.  He shared some upsetting news with me and it turned my world around.  It was as if some ancient forgotten feelings were gently brushed. There seems to be a woman he has casually dated, who is claiming she is pregnant with his child.  Oh geesh…hello and welcome to the Jerry Springer Show!  What the heck is this?! I remained fairly calm at first but the feelings slowly snuck up on me as I pondered and tears threatened to spill.  I was hurt. 

Only last Christmas I asked him if we could have another baby.  He was adamantly and decidedly against this. Mostly I was teasing him, but I was really hoping at the same time.  A part of me longs to know what a planned pregnancy feels like before I hang up my reproductive abilities forever.  I love our children and wouldn’t think to change a thing regarding them, but I have the saddest sense of never knowing the excitement that comes with learning I am pregnant, in spite of the fact that I have two fabulous children.  I only know the, “Oh my GOD! I’m pregnant..what the heck should/am I going to do?”  I don’t know the, “Yay…LOOK we’re having a baby!” feeling.  At one point, I was absolutely certain I would have this with Dave, but that’s not going to ever be and I resigned myself to the mercy of my children’s father hopefully granting me the third and first expectedly planned child.  Again, not to be…

And now this…a “stranger” having a child with MY children’s father?  A half-brother or sister right in the delicate era when I’m desperately trying to explain intelligent life-choices to my teen/pre-teen girls?  Immediately following my pleadings for a planned child? It’s upsetting to me in a very selfish way and in a not-so-selfish way in regards to my daughters and the family we have created in spite of the divorce.  Mark confessed strong hunches and disbelief that this really is his child.  I admit I share these hunches, but I can’t tell if this is wishful, desperate hope or actual intuition.  Really feels like intuition, as the circumstances surrounding this pregnancy as relayed by Mark, are clouded in a dark suspicion.  Apparently he had “the” conversation with this woman and even prior to their intimate relations which resolutely explained his unwillingness and total lack of desire for any more children.  I certainly am no hypocrite and fully understand taking chances and what happens sometimes, as I have one unplanned child with this man and another one who borders between the planned and unplanned – but purposely and knowingly (on both our parts) taking a BIG chance area.  However, something just feels different with this.  Mark and I never had this conversation he had with this woman, until last Christmas…years after our two children’s births.  And keeping these children was never a thought to Mark.  He would discuss no other options with either actually.

I did finally find my voice to say softly, “Dammit, I wanted us to have one more and I even begged you last Christmas!” I was a little comforted when he replied, “I know and it would be totally different if this was you.”

Something passionate and historically forgotten (but not lost?) for this man, this unbelievably fantastic father of my children, awoke with those words. Momentarily I forgot my sadness and the- what-will-this-do-to-our-children fears and it dawned on me that there IS one person on this planet with whom it is different for me in a good way.  A place on this earth where I have carte blanche and the huge margin of error I’ve never known and always hoped to have somewhere in my lifetime…or recognized might be the more appropriate word?  Hindsight tells me I always had it here, but never fully realized or comprehended. And as hurt and afraid and sad as I felt, it was temporarily overcome by love for this beautiful man, who after everything, does love me and does put me in a position of greater respect.  This man who, other than our two terrific children, has more reason than anyone to NOT put me in this position.  The same man who knows of so many of my faults, mistakes and truly ugly characteristics…still chooses to give ME this place, this status, this beautiful acceptance and WIDE berth of error. 

I flash back to the deciding moments I’ve had with Mark.  The tearfully spoken “Ummmm…guess what?” moments in which this man responded with every support and every ounce of respect any one could offer a woman in such frightening times.  He never once veered in his choices to want and to love our children, unexpected, unplanned, whatever….  Never once.  I did.  I was confused and scared and undecided..reflecting on ALL our options.  While he, he was stout and strong and beautifully decided.  And my selfish, spoiled self rears its ugly head now to scream at this other woman, “Na na na na boo boo…I’M the mamma dammit…I’m the wanted Mamma.  He was never willing to discuss adoption or abortion with me!”  It never even occurred to me that Mark had any other responses to, Guess what?  I’m pregnant than full and total support and strength.  Seems he does.  Although in my defense, I was not a grown woman with a professional career who engaged in the I DO NOT want any children discussion with him just prior to our pregnancies.  Seems as though our accidents were more in the area of mutual accidents and never came across as even possibly planned or pre-meditated, as this situation screams.

I have not always acted honorably in our various life challenges as people or as parents with Mark.  In fact, there are many occasions when I have acted horribly and been just mean and hateful.  I can blame some of these on circumstances, innocence, and youthful self-righteousness and I have had cause to regret them anyway, but they will now always be sources of shame for me after this one little sentence he spoke like a gift from God.  Have I really given Dave K.  every chance, every forgiveness, every excuse for a million horrible and hateful beyond explanation behaviors and actions against me while being selfish and stingy with these in regards to my children’s father, who has repeatedly and thoroughly proven himself as far more deserving of forgiveness and acceptance than this, or any, other man?  Am I this blind?

I was.  I must have been.  Was the intoxicating joy and perfection I felt with Dave and never once prior so much that it knocked me senseless and blind to see the beauty of Mark’s love and respect for me?  I’ve always been admitting and openly praising of Mark as a man who worked hard to change his early shortcomings and surprisingly became the greatest father I could have ever hoped for my children.  I have almost always been open to seeing this and believing in it from the actions-speak-louder-than-words faith, but I just never really “got it” fully.  Am I part of the reason he succeeded so well in this?

I never would have guessed or presumed this.  EVER!   And it smacked me so beautifully and lovingly that I was taken aback with a brand new love and gratitude for Mark, the most beautiful father, ex, and friend any woman could dream of.  I fell just a little bit back in love with him this weekend. Whoa…life sure is surprising in its sudden and totally unexpected twists and turns!  I can’t even imagine what this will or will not bring… or what it even means…

Alexander Supertramp

Into the wild.  Wow…what a story!

A deep respect for Alexander Supertramp (Christopher Johnson McCandless) grew as I read of his solid character, his fierce determination and independence, and of course his stunningly daring adventures! Every person whose life he touched on his journey felt changed for the better by their association with him (That is one of my ultimate goals from the words of Mother Theresa).   He must have truly been a phenomenal human being to have touched so many lives of so many different types of people and earned their respect and love!!   Amazing!  I adored Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) throughout this book!  His premature ending was a  tragic loss for the world.  

I am envious of the life he lived in his final two years – an entire lifetime of experiences gathered in two short years.  I felt his self-righteousness and his need to veto all the mendacity in the world and his life as my own.  I admired his ability to make such a stand and his courage in walking away from all sense of security and achieving his dream.  As I read on though, I began to wonder many things.  In spite of his angry resentment toward his father, had he not had the kind of parents and support he did for his entire life prior to leaving it all, would he have been the same person?  Would he have had such courage?  I say no.  To have such a vast sense of independence and confidence as he did, he must have been given the luxury of a powerful inner sense of stability created at his core that allowed and developed such a firm and fierce stance. …Until I read of his parents visiting the “magic bus” 10 months after his death.

 Suddenly, I was envious of the parents he so vehemently and immaturely resented, wishing I had such loving and accepting people as the main characters in my first 24 years of life.  I gather he had some major discrepancies with his father and the deceit his parents shrouded him in for so long and I certainly ”get” that.  However, some of that was standard child versus parents stuff, that period most go through when forming their own individual identity ….if they are fortunate enough to have parents who allow such growth.  With my history, I could never take such a gift as that for granted.  We don’t all have parents like that. 

My heart tore as I pictured his mother standing sentient in that dilapidated bus, among his personal belongings at the end of his life, breathing in his clothes for any trace of scent of her son to whom she gave so very much free love and acceptance.  She loved him and he broke her heart.  The movie indicated that he might have come to a place of recognition and understanding of his parents before he passed, although I was disappointed to not hear of him leaving them any kind of communiqué specifically telling them and so we can’t ever know for certain.  He owed them both a huge apology!

As a mother, my heart aches for Billie McCandless and wants to have a strongly worded conversation with her son, Christopher.  As a child of my mother, I can’t help but have a fierce envy of this boy and his wide open life possibilities which he was afforded due to the kind of parents and upbringing he had.  It’s clear he was not nearly as stifled by them as he felt he was and it’s deeply tragic to me that he passed before gaining the maturity to acknowledge and comprehend what a priceless and precious gift that was for the very life he so resented.

I ended the story feeling conflicted among feelings of jealousy, admiration, disgust and adoration for this brave and intelligent, albeit selfish and “bratty”, young man.

An interesting personal point to me in Chris’ story is that he shares the same brirthdate as one of my best friends’.  Doubly intriguing in its coincidence(?) of their very similar personalities! (I confess: I’m fascinated by astrology.)  George was such a quiet, intelligent, and reflective type who was fiercely resentful of his parents (with good reason at times) and always far more comfortable alone than in society or groups.  He spoke often of going off into the wilderness someday and living far from what he termed the “concrete jungle”.  He dreamed of building a cabin with a huge garden and just living in relative isolation, free from the deceit of government, society and materialism in the world which deeply disgusted him.  The similarities between George and Chris’s personalities are truly amazing.  This added to my understanding of Chris (and surprisingly, George as well) as a soul who reveled in nature and shunned all things which society represents and reveres.  It definitely added even more depth and beauty to his story for me, although the story certainly doesn’t lack those things entirely in its own right.  Makes me more grateful to have the opportunity to read of this unique and morally strong man and makes me miss and appreciate my friendship with George from so long ago as well.