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.

Tweet-tweet memories

Early morning,  birds chirping….so many memories…

She was a junior in college, working the swing shift at a casino in Mississippi…driving home with Jennifer at 4 am, laughing,  feeling so brave, fresh, young, self-confident, and maybe just a teensy bit cocky!  Arriving home at daybreak and lulled to sleep by tiny spirited chirps.  Birds chirping sweetly mean freedom and independence and they whisper softly to you in your dreams that life is just beginning…

Later, she was married…waiting and worrying through sleepless nights for him to arrive home safely.  Sitting up with exhaustion night after night as she heard the birds sweetly start chirping, like an alarm clock confirming another full night of his absence…wondering why…  Wondering what…  Remembering his stories of frighteningly excessive cocaine use and bird chirping confessions regarding his first wife.  Realizing that this alarm clock no longer brought happy thoughts of freedom and a life unwritten, full of opportunities to create future happy memories.  Now this charming sound indicated it was long past time to lock the door.  Yes.  Lock the door.  Birds chirping sweetly mean your husband is still using drugs and your marriage might be a terrible mistake.

Some years and a nasty divorce later, she often stayed at his house.  Him….the only him for her.  The one who brought joy to her simplest thoughts and hope from her worst fears.  The one who showed her how  to smile while sleeping and taught her to wake with excitement and promise…the only one. She loved that he would wake early and go fishing…  Birds chirping sweetly as nature’s background music as he made love to her.  He hated leaving her alone in his bed and simply had to have her in the wee early mornings when watching her sleep made him want her more than anything else in the world… Sometimes it seemed more like a dream and the gentle chirping reassured her this was no dream….he was real and he loved her.  Kissing her softly on her still sleepy mouth before he left, she would linger in the land between dreams and reality waiting for sleep to return….knowing that when she next awoke it would be to his adoring smile and passionate, I-missed-you-so-much-before-the-sun-came-up this morning wake-up kisses.  Birds chirping sweetly mean that you are the luckiest, most loved and adored woman on earth and bring millions of kisses….kisses that taste like falling deeply in love  and smell like the fresh ocean breeze.

Pink Converse Conversation

Spring cleaning and preparing for the big move and naturally, my (self diagnosed and labeled) Nostalgic Disorder clicks into high gear!

Pink Converse:   Remember us?  Don’t put us into that donation box!  NOT us.  Look at us… Date #2:  You met him at the boat dock to go fishing wearing us. You looked so cute in whatever else you wore that day, who really remembers?  But..but..but….  you could never forget that huge grin that spread across DK’s face as you walked up to his dock, just a little nervous, and with that gargantuan gorgeous smile, he said and we quote,  “You wore pink Converse!!!  Oh my God, I LOVE it! You are truly just too  beautiful!”

Remember how every teeny bit of your nervousness just instantly vanished?  It made it worth how much you struggled to put us on.  Wearing us was worth every swear word and every minute of the 7 minutes it took you to put us on.  And you fished and fished…and laughed…and kissed…and looked at each other with those knowing looks of a long, happy future of these fishing escapades…and the happiest ending that was ever written!  You even caught a gigantic (or so it seemed!) salmon – your first EVER, we might add!  The very same salmon which he cleaned and cooked for the romantic dinner you had that very evening.  Candles flickering, wine flowing as fast as the laughter and as smoothly as falling in love. 

Look here!!  We perfectly represent the perfect date.  You must keep us forever.  Even if just for the glorious memories.

Holding them up in the air to admire them I say, “Oh shut up you stupid shoes!”  Into the donation box you go…..

Thank you and good luck.

The space between

In a wild weekend of inner silence, I woke today with the song The Space Between by Dave Matthews Band singing its haunting melody in my head.  Like Let It Be, this isn’t a song I hear often and haven’t heard recently.  Makes me wonder where  in the world they come from so suddenly in my mind!  I googled the lyrics…

What a wild weekend of silence this has been.  I believe I suffer from some sort of neurological nostalgia syndrome.  I got mad at my kids Friday night.  I can’t get mad at my kids about anything without being tumbled to the ground with guilt at the way I handle it.  I have the most incredible, bordering perfect children any parent could ask for.  How dare I ever get angry over the ridiculous little stuff?!??!!  Even if my anger is appropriate, the way it runs through me feels not so much.    If I could just find a way to sort through what’s what inside my chaotic head, maybe I could better handle these things?  I don’t know because I can’t separate anything anymore long enough to test that theory out…

The strange sense of peace that comes when Dave stays away for brief periods of time is confounding!  I can relax to a degree and I cherish that feeling, but there’s also a twisted chronic sense of the opposite.  The way it has always gone is the minute I start feeling safe that he’s really gone from me, no matter how long it’s been (a variance between 1 day and 3 months), he’s sure to show up at any moment after I relax with it.  Therefore, relaxing in it and/or believing it’s true, just adds to the shakiness that sets in the minute he shakes the snow globe which is my life.

In addition to that, there is also the sadness that comes in that maybe all of the negative horrible things he’s said and done since our break have been the only authenticity he’s demonstrated to our relationship.  The fear that all of that is true and all the wonderful, even before,  has been false manipulation.  I’ve written before about why and how unsettling that frame of mind is!  My mind begs to relax and believe he’s gone.   My crazy nostalgic sense runs  through every kindness in word or deed and questions it, feeling angry that I believed and accepted ALL the guilt and responsibility that came with ruining that for us… pissed off that in addition to my willingly accepting such things, he has also shoved huge portions of it down my throat so much, for so long and laughed while I choked on it all…as I already had far more than a mouthful all on my own.  I feel angry and it seems as though I can’t turn off these thoughts with any amount of focus and mediation.

All of that and I’m just scared about the current situation I’m in.  Scared out of my mind and feeling so completely alone.  But I have these wonderful children and I’m embracing them and my gratitude for them.  So when things get tough there, as things will at times with children, then I’m overwhelmingly just frustrated!  It’s as though my mind just circuits out and I’m so frustrated that I want to give in completely; that I ache for apathy, or some peaceful safe place in my life where I have a few minutes free from a million doubts and second guesses, free from the pain and regret that nostalgia weighs me down with…  and I can’t find it. 

So when I get frustrated or angry with my children, I wonder how much is actually that situation at that moment?  How much is mental illness, tricking my brain into believing thte gravity of it all is too much?  How much is the job and other situation?  How much is the fear and muck surrounding the chronic issues with Dave?

I don’t know how to sort through it all!   Even if I did, how much could I repair or adjust to a level I can tolerate and cope through?  What needs to be done when you carry so much worthless and needless guilt and anger that it’s eating you alive, but nothing alleviates it for even a moment?  I’ve read so many books about this, talked to counselors, ran away from it, ran straight into it, talked myself out of it, logically reasoned it’s lack of authenticity and accepted that which was earned…  nothing brings forgiveness to me.  Not prayer, not being told, not validation, not pity, not belief in the kindness of a higher power, not intelligence, not emotion, not rectifying and un-doing.  I think I was born with this and it sometimes feels like there’s  no possibility of ever being free from it…  how do you free yourself from yourself?  I am without a doubt my own worst enemy and torture-captivity genius, cruelly refusing to free myself from anything great or small, intentional or not. 

What is this?  How do I free myself from it before it swallows me whole?  I’m already missing huge chunks, I can’t afford to part with much more and maintain hope and faith.

More prayer.  More meditation.


The Space Between Lyrics by Dave Matthews Band
You cannot quit me so quickly There’s no hope in you for me No corner you could squeeze me
But I got all the time for you, love
The Space Between

The tears we cry Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more
The Space Between
The wicked lies we tell And hope to keep safe from the pain

But will I hold you again? These fickle, fuddled words confuse me Like 'Will it rain today?' Waste the hours with talking, talking
These twisted games we're playing

We're strange allies With warring hearts What wild-eyed beast you be The Space Between
The wicked lies we tell And hope to keep safe from the pain

Will I hold you again? Will I hold...

Look at us spinning out in The madness of a roller coaster You know you went off like a devil In a church in the middle of a crowded room
All we can do, my love Is hope we don't take this ship down 

The Space Between
Where you're smiling high Is where you'll find me if I get to go 
The Space Between
The bullets in our firefight Is where I'll be hiding, waiting for you
The rain that falls Splash in your heart Ran like sadness down the window into...
The Space Between
Our wicked lies Is where we hope to keep safe from pain Take my hand 'Cause we're walking out of here Oh, right out of here Love is all we need here

The Space Between
What's wrong and right Is where you'll find me hiding, waiting for you
The Space Between Your heart and mine Is the space we'll fill with time
The Space Between...