Confession…

I was unfaithful.  I cheated myself, my children, my heart, my faith, my hope, my spirit, my character.  Not only that, but I cheated Dave and worse yet, I cheated all of these things from him as well.  I cheated every one of everything that was right and good in our lives.

As with anything and everything, there is certainly more to the story and sometimes in fleeting moments of denial, I can comfort myself with those factual, but sad and pathetic extenuating circumstances, but for the most part, I cannot.

Is it wrong to have thoughts at times which say, “Surely there was something he did wrong before the infidelity…”  I would actually attempt to distort something (anything) he once did or maybe once said even just one single time that was slightly unkind or perhaps alluded to some kind of future abuse or psychosis….

Nothing.

And many have said to me there must have been something?  There had to have been.  You couldn’t have been truly happy or it wouldn’t (couldn’t!) have happened. 

Nope.  Clear as a miserable bell, I know I was very happy.  I knew it then (can’t blame this on hindsight either).  I know it now.

Too happy?  So happy it didn’t seem possible to realistically maintain?   Yeah…frighteningly happy?  Like when you go to a horror movie and the happy music is playing and there’s sunshine, laughter, security abounding and you wait on the edge of your seat, heart beating, pulse racing, and your logic silently screaming, “It’s coming!”   You know any second something horribly tragic is going to explode on the screen.  It must.  You don’t want it to come but something in you knows you really do want it because that’s what you’ve ultimately come to the cinema to see, right?  After all, you’ve specifically asked for this tragedy with the price of your ticket. 

That  kind of happiness.  Scary happy.  Waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop-happy.

Only it never did.  And it surely had to… Right?

So, it seems I forced it to drop.  Was the anticipation too much?  Did the happy part go on and on so long that my heart couldn’t take the wait anymore?  Was logic screaming so loudly at me that I couldn’t relax in that kind of happy?  Had life taught me too well already that this was only possible in fairy tales? My life certainly had never been anything near fairy tale quality.  I was no long-lost beloved princess finally saved from all the evils of the world by my fair prince who had been looking for me all his life.  There was no way this existed on any plane of reality possible for me…

There were no signs of impending doom.  There was no cruel undertone in something he even once casually said in a quiet or controlling voice. There were no sarcastic words; no subtle insults to my character, my appearance, or my intelligence, phrased as a “joke” so as to make it acceptable to keep me in my place or put me down sub-consciously.  …except in my logic.  In my brain and my experiential wisdom there was always this little nudge.  Nudge, nudge – another day full of kindness has passed… another day of sincerely spoken compliments, loving gestures, and sweet-nothings has passed… the music of my logic is getting scarier and scarier… Da-da-da-dum, da-da-da-dum…playing faster and faster.  The bad guy is coming.  The moment of tragedy is hanging in limbo directly over your head.  It’s just hanging there waiting around till you feel so safe and comfortable that it’s definitely not coming…for full, tragic effect, you know…

I might even be able to convince myself that this is only the hind-sight story of a romantic hopeful, the rose-colored version of falling in love where nostalgia and regret fade the facts and amplify the colors of happiness to such a vibrant shade that the bad stuff disappears into oblivion.  Except, I was so overly aware of this unrealistic happiness that I spoke regularly of it to my dad, whom I knew would understand that this wasn’t logically possible.  Whom I expected to point out the tiny ugly realities I HAD to be missing throughout this experience.  And even he couldn’t.  My wise and all-too logical father could only continually remind and reassure me that I deserved this happiness and offer advice to me to accept it or else by looking so hard for the ugly, I would eventually make something ugly happen. 

What?  Make it happen??  That’s not possible!  I’m gloriously happy.  No person desperate for happiness, like me, would ever create the very unhappiness they fear and dread from a gift so pure and beautiful it must be directly from God.  That’s just some psychological mumbo-jumbo!  No one in their right mind, finally experiencing happy without a single sign of impending doom on the horizon would sabotage such beauty, such intoxicating joy of life, such a sense of security and love.  NO….don‘t be silly!

Hindsight does, though, strongly indicate to me that there was another sneaky element going on through this.  One I could never have anticipated or braced myself to handle.  The sneakiest of subtle sabotage tactics, so very tricky that it just hung out in the corner recesses of my mind, innocently playing all alone and not mingling ever with the other thoughts and fears which were obvious enough for me to ask advice from those wiser than I. Quietly gaining power and strength…

I am not worthy…

This sneaky element of sub-conscious sabotage actually came out in the light only once.

Right around maybe the sixth month marker, we had gone for a few drinks away from the crowd of friends, romantically alone, and were laughing and enjoying ourselves.  Having a nice traditional date in out-of-the-way places where we could adore each other uninterrupted by the “Ahh you two lovebirds make the rest of us sick!” And I was loving every minute of this until it dawned upon me.  Maybe this was even the first moment I ever had seen my happiness so very clearly and felt it to the core of my being, minus the what-if’s and can’t-be’s.  And I said to him, “What is this?  I’ve never known anything like this.  It can’t be real, can it?  And if it is, there’s no way I deserve this much.  Here is why….” And I commenced to tell him why I didn’t deserve this…deserve him, deserve genuine love…

And then he said one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard anyone say in my life that wasn’t written in a song, a book, or a movie…

…He said, “Every single horrible thing that has happened to you or me, every single bad choice or mistake we might have made in our pasts, every single thing right wrong, good or bad, has brought us right here right now.  And we have to just be grateful for it ALL and know that this was why it ALL happened exactly as it did.  If not for that exactly, whatever it may have been, we would not be here with each other right now in this exact moment, having this.”

I choked up. A huge lump in my throat developed, my eyes stung and threatened to cry as every horror-movie moment of my past flashed across my mind and I saw every path of it leading me, sometimes even forcing me to this moment with him.  He was so wise and so right.  He could see more broadly than I.  My devotion, my respect, my gratitude, my understanding quadrupled in that moment, with those stunning words of amazingly insightful wisdom.  And suddenly everything made sense.  Everything.  Every pain and every struggle from my earliest memory I could instantly and directly connect to the events (forced or otherwise) which led me to RIGHT HERE, directly to HIM. A million individually ugly tiny puzzle pieces of time dropped at once, snapped into place, and created a gorgeous sunrise shimmering with love and happiness.  And I could think of each one and actually FEEL each and every one of them as reasons to be grateful for it all.

I loved his simplicity…adored it even, amidst my confounding and irritating contradictions.  And it was in this moment that I realized his “simplicity” wasn’t so simple after all.  I saw him in an entirely new light of love and blessings. And it was also then that I began to fully realize that this might indeed be real…that perhaps the other shoe was not ever going to kick me in the face after all.  A most beautiful moment…  Or the beginning of the end?

Less than a year later and ironically while singing his praises, my blessings, and this very theory of deserved, “everything happens for a reason” happiness, I cheated. 

Yes………. I cheated.

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Grace

I almost think it is God’s grace that brings this to me.  You…when I least expect it.  You…when I least deserve it.  You…when I’ve so little to offer.  And the contradiction is that you don’t care about those things…but I do.  I will create a continuum of the very things I desperately want to eliminate because of those things.  I am only love but I cannot give that to you.  I am only honesty and I can’t offer you that fully.  I am only empty and I cannot give you what it is I do not have….no matter how much I wish to have it.  I beg of you patience, but I can make you no promise of what that might bring.  I only have theories and hope, concepts and dreams.  Memories of what I once was, what I once held inside to offer another.

I am raw and empty.  I no longer make promises, when there is nothing.

Hmmm

I don’t keep my own promises.  My letters and words are useless, senseless beacons of my lack of resolve.  I, who feel it is so vital to keep promise, who struggles to even make them out of reverence for their sacred sense…cannot keep a single promise to myself regarding that man.

Monday morning on Winter Solstice as I prayed, I pleaded for a sign that my heart would or would not be released from this prison, and that I would know and exercise the higher will.  Ten minutes later he called me…

He’s dropped off here Monday night.  I did say, do not come over drunk.  Just go home and I held my breath as I wrote that, scared every moment that he might  be drunk and actually adhere to my demand, only said in the spirit of maintaining some sense of dignity surrounding my acceptance of his request to visit.  I think of my heart flip-flopping even as I force myself to write such a meager request.  It does no good to beat myself up with this though….

The only thing that continuously matters is two elements.  One, that I love him beyond space and time, far away from mistakes and control, in a distant world of illusion where pride and self respect are unnecessary because they are self defeating to the soul.  Two, that I literally bubble in his presence and I can’t imagine ever having enough desire to deny that in a world with so few bubbles of joy.

And yes, I gave in in every possible way because again, I struggle to hold onto the reason why I should not.  The reason I should not is not in the moment.  It is in the future and thus, will be reckoned with it its appropriate time and not one delicious moment prior.

He was so sweet.  We laugh so much.  I tried to put him in a pretzel hold and he threatened to double-chicken wing me…  And after the joy that’s created from these silly interchanges, I feel declining him any part of me takes away from it, bringing it back to this world, making it all somehow less.

All night long I held him inside, breathing the deep depths of joy that his presense brings, giving into that energy, honoring it as it was intended  before everything got sullied by the ugliness that permeates this world.  Giving it the respect it deserved before fear took the place of love.  I want to release all the fear, breathe it out until there’s no room left for anything but love and joy.

He mentioned today, spending time together when he’s recuperated from 18 hours of working in the drudgery that is his job.    Was that alcohol talking?  I hope he is home safely and sleeping peacefully…not full of the nightmares which often plague his mind as his body rests.

When I dropped him home yesterday morning, he looked back and smiled.  Something he always did before that I’d forgotten.  One of those tiny movements of his that used to confirm everything and chase away the demons of my own fears.  His smile in a moment……filling me up with hope and the longing for more of him

apathetic persistence

Confounding… Crazy…  Chaotic…!  He came to her again  yesterday.  On his way to work, stopping over to “thank her for such a nice card.”  When she said, “You don’t have to do that.  I didn’t leave it so you’d stop over”, he replied, “I know.”  He knew.  She thought he finally knew she wasn’t baiting him for his time, attention, or affection any more.  Ironically, that card had been her good bye in disguise , carefully worded to alleviate any guilt if he needed her as he had been claiming recently… and carefully disguised as a good bye.  Disguised so as to not prompt the “visit”  to check to see if she was still his….

Sober and on his way to work, trying for sex had not been a viable option either and he didn’t even attempt it with the few minutes he had available.  He asks here if they can “go for coffee sometime?”  What??  Was he serious?  He was sober this time, on his way to work, so who could ever know?  It could have been an invitation just “checking” to see if she would, his standard maintenance check to ensure she hadn’t completely shut him out. 

She  replied, “Of course we can, but better yet, I heard about the fish ladder this morning. Why don’t you take me there?”    Having never heard about this before, she really did want to see it, but it was also fun to try to direct and guide this little game of his, just in case this was another game…

Of course he knew about it.  There are several but he couldn’t this week, as he didn’t have a day off all week.  She smiled and said, “Okay, maybe next year then?”  And he gave her the look.  That look that told her he knew what she meant and detected her mild sarcasm.  He just rolled his eyes, smiling,  and walked out.  She had no idea.  Nothing could really mean anything anymore, even the fact that he was sober today didn’t chase away the memories of all his drunken, adamant confessions of love and begging for a second chance…  Could anything ever chase those away?  The absolute disappointment of the first 50 times, and the devastation of the next 50, as well as the disgust of the last 50?  All of which never happened because he “didn’t remember them”.  So… 

Most likely this visit was a pathetic attempt to confirm the information that she was in trouble.  Certain that she would cry and confess it all, he probably came over just to get the down low on the whole mess.  She said nothing.  She wouldn’t ask his help no matter what nor ask for his friendship, as she knew he most likely wouldn’t pee on her if she was on fire.  So, why disclose the whole ordeal?  She had just happily talked about the new house and how fortunate she felt to be closing on it at the end of the month, describing how beautiful it was.  He said he’d have to come and see it.  Now, that she knew he meant.  Surely he intended to continue the drunken visits attempting to make her his plaything.  Why would he ever cease those?  And given the strict boundaries he placed their relationship in, unless he knew where she lived, those could no longer happen.

What was this?  Did he feel sorry for what had happened to her?  Guilty perhaps?  Or just nosy?  Or was it even about that at all?  In his sober state, it was hard to tell, but again, nothing coming from his lips could ever be believed again after the destruction his lies had already caused.  In a way, she almost wanted to believe and in another, she wished he had been drunk, so she could qualify the visit more easily and confidently.  This, on the other hand,  was a distinct veering from the pattern he had created and she wasn’t at all sure what he meant by it, in spite of various theories. 

Although the fact that she even allowed herself to question it was just wrong.  Her confusion and curiosity demonstrated a total lack of progress on her part; more pathetic proof of her ridiculously stubborn naivete when it came to his manipulations. 

She had allowed herself a few moments of hope and excitement, focusing on the sober, daytime factor, and the invitation.  Then slowly returned to admonishing herself for allowing herself even those few silly moments.

How would this ever end?  Badly was about the only clear intuition she had in answer to that question…  And apparently never on her account or her will power, or her respect for herself….