These walls confine me as my flesh traps spirit. Alone, in both space and time – all I have are words to pull this from my veins. I pray it is a start. Better than stuck.
How much effort would you give to rip out the parts of yourself that keep you in hell? If this was all you’ve known, the pit, the turmoil, the rage, the outcast lonesome in her self-built cage, would you not fight back, bloody fists against it, until you find a sliver of light, and maybe, the end of suffering?
The coming weeks, months, I will be sentenced to this prison that I constructed, made to feel every bit of it completely alone, made to either succumb to my madness or rise above it giving every bit of supposed strength that remains inside my frail and crumbling frame.
I worry of a knock on the door and an envelope thrust into my hands against my will, the start of a 90 day trial before a judge seals a fate I’ve known before. I worry a knock on the door, is coming, and I will have nobody to blame but myself. I worry I’ll lie awake each night dreading it, and unable to stop it when it comes. The end of nine years, the end of a construct – marriage, family – and in this dire thought, in this choking anticipation, I am highly aware of the fact that this is a defining moment, right now, to alter that course and erase its inevitability.
Love is at stake, and perhaps the rest of my life. Love, and the broken spirit of a man that has been beside me longer than any other has been able to stand; he is exhausted, angry, sad that this endeavor has reached such a crescendo, when he has done what he could. He has done… He has… and now he is done. Can I blame him when I am honest about myself? No, but that doesn’t mean his malevolence now doesn’t rip me apart.
I’ve sat in silence most of this morning. Just, staring. At the wall. I awoke and fed my children, changed a diaper, drove the routes to school. Then, just… sat here. Praying, crying, thinking. The hour is critical, and I’ve reached the point of either giving more than I have, and doing it every damn moment, or I lose the man I love, and the family we’ve built together. He loses, though this would be a new experience for him; I’ve walked this dark road before, but this would be the first time in his life he loses to such a magnitude that it changes him forever. Why would I want this for him? What does it cost me, not to change? It costs me one of the best people I’ve ever known, and I’d have no other person to point the finger at then. It is on me, now, entirely, so to choose anything short of everything I have, and more, I am irreversibly wounding someone I claim to love.
My therapist says my soul chose to come down and walk a very hard road. From birth until now, this can only be truth spoken from another whom chose a similar fate. Why God or fate chose this for us, and not for others, one can never tell, and at times I resent how unfair it feels to struggle and be uneasy where others have peace and continuity. I thought I had it, for a while, when I was young and I met myself in a relationship for the first time, yet that was ripped from me, and this ultimately altered the course of my life that it took a very long time to accept it. Meeting my partner, in this marriage now, was the first time since those younger days that I believed someone could love the whole of me and want to stay around. I’ve about obliterated his confidence, his will to even want to be near me at all, that now a separation is the very last resort. Will I still not give all I have? In the face of losing great love, again, and this time, I’m the only one to point to…
He asked me, years ago, to write what I wanted for my future, for us, for our family. I think he wanted to compare and discover if we have the same dreams in mind, if we will work towards the same goals. I couldn’t do it until recently, but because things have been tumultuous, I still haven’t shared those handwritten pages with him. Perhaps out of some spite, in the face of him leaving me anyway, yet I know I deny him something he needs not to be vulnerable even knowing now, my efforts might still be futile.
I want to wake up every day and be thankful for the day, and use it wisely. I want to be the kind of mother that is involved, present, and engaging. I don’t want to be selfish, but learn how to give even when I am tired, even when the days have been long. I want a peaceful house, with some kind of routine that doesn’t feel too hard at first, and gradually builds up stability that we all need. I want to have kindness in my heart even when I feel dysregulated, and learn how to control my angry reactions. I want to find knowledge to discern between my feelings and reality, and really be able to listen with my heart instead of the darkness that whispers lies when no malevolence actually exists. I want to look at my partner and see my greatest ally, someone whom wants good for me, and knows I want goodness for him, and our days are spent loving and laughing, more often than not.
I want to learn discipline and actually write a full novel, even if it takes ten years. I want to have a steady and consistent spiritual practice that I allow to guide my actions, because I know the end of my suffering is met where God’s wisdom reigns, and I want to seek that more often than I satisfy my own understanding. I want to grow old beside my partner, and trust he loves me even if sometimes I am hard to love. I want to be mutually supportive of each other’s interests, and let him go pursue them when he needs to. I want to help guide my children in their own emotional journeys and be the kind of mom that is patient, supportive, and be able to stop whatever I am doing to help them. I want to support my husband’s career and celebrate his accomplishments, and find myself less and less envious of his success knowing it trickles down to each of us, so giving him the space he needs to do it is crucial. I want to work on myself, and give effort even on days when I’d rather just wallow because of how hard and painful it is to have to die to myself constantly.
I want to support John in his growth, however he comes by that, and join him in ways that are supportive and make sense to us both. I want to have a day when I realize I’ve gone weeks, then months, then years, without blowing up or making undo suppositions about why things are the way they are, but realize eventually that I really did do this work, and I really did get better. I want my husband celebrating that tremendous victory with me, when it comes, as it comes. I want to acknowledge these little victories, and the big ones, and not take them for granted, but also, not fall into despair when I take two steps back on this journey, both of us knowing and accepting this will happen and it doesn’t mean I’ve failed.
I want to be more than I have been, and show I can do it, to myself and to my family, for myself, and for my family. I want to prove I am better than my mother, when that has been the one constant worry I’ve carried over, that I am no better than the pain that was given me. I want happy holidays, traditions, cards for no reason, thoughtful gifts we give just because, and little mementos placed around the house to remind us how far we’ve come, and the rewards of us sticking it out through hell were worth the love we’ve sustained though we walked through hell to get there. I want to forgive, and be forgiven, and embody the gift that this truly is, because it is so much easier just to say to hell with you and lets split forever. I want to see the day to come when we hold each other and weep, not because it is ending, but because we are just beginning, renewed in our commitment to each other and this family. I want to hold my hand against his face, with tears of gratitude in my eyes and hope in our souls, that we made it, even when it felt like, for both of us, we just might not.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m sure I’ve missed some things, but it’s a start, I hope.
Right now, I am listing out the things that need to die in me, the things that need to change, and it is a humiliating venture to be this honest when I know some might read this and glean that I must be a shitshow to even need to do it. But fuck it, I literally have everything to lose, everything. Everything.
I don’t want to lose, again, but in order to accomplish this, so much of me has to die. Subtle addictions, big ones, whether that be addicted to pain or my past, cigarettes, and even alcohol (though this isn’t addiction at this point, more say a crutch to numb my dysregulation, but I am convicted it’s time to say goodbye to it forever… but that requires changing a lot about the way I do every day, my habits, and impulses). The part of me that has to die is this feeling that I am nothing, and that I must deserve to suffer. I’ve felt it more than I can say, that the way my life has gone has to be the result of a shitty draw from the deck, but I know the truth, that I am choosing this fate as much as I am allowing it to swallow me. The darkness WANTS to keep me here, it WANTS to convince me this is too hard. It wants me bitter, blaming, lazy. It wants me sad, stuck, indignant. It wants me to wake up every day resentful that I am now facing the next few months alone, shouldering all the responsibility on my own shoulders, and it wants me to hate John for that, instead of understanding why he had to go, and that it means he still has hope or I’d be getting that knock on the door today with an envelope…
If I had any prayer, for this day alone, to start this journey, it would be that knock doesn’t come, but I can only control what I do, though I have no clue what the next minutes hold. The truth of it is, even if that knock did come, I still have to change anyway – I’m just being squeezed now to be made fully aware in the fact that the time is now, and if I want a purposeful, happy life, I HAVE to do this, no matter what.
I am tired of words; I want action now. I want to prove to myself, to my family, what overcoming every day looks like, feels like. I want them to feel love radiating from me, slow at first, as the edges soften and my heart of stone melts to give way to a purpose greater than suffering. I want to look back on this time, with John, and hold each other as we forgive the pain we’ve caused each other in our misery, and celebrate for once in my life that love endured. That it was enough to see us through this very hard time, that it was enough because to lose this relationship when we both love each other would be a tragedy I don’t want to repeat in my life. I’ve been there, and I know how it carries over, and I don’t want that for us. I don’t want to let him go, but he had to go, for a time, for however long he decides. So, this is the hardest part, this, right now. This solitude, this time to push and give all I have – it is now. No more bullshit, no more excuses, no more fearing how hard it is to die to all my shit, and how painful it is to let these parts of myself go when it’s all I’ve known.
John can’t do it for me. My children cannot. Even God is silent on the matter, I think He waits and watches, and whispers the truth to me, disappointed every time I ignore it and act out my hell, creating the kind of place nobody wants to be, not even myself. I am tired of looking at my husband and seeing sadness, I am tired of looking at my children and seeing their eyes wondering what will come for us, uncertain, scared, and knowing I have the power to change it but I consistently do not rise to the challenge. I am tired of looking in the mirror and picking myself apart, believing I just don’t deserve goodness because I’ve so often felt broken. I am just, fucking tired of all of this pain.
So, God give me strength. To choose better. To do better. To work at ripping myself apart, letting all the broken parts be mended by purpose greater than I had hoped for when living in darkness.
God, give John strength, for forgiveness, for love to win, for his soul to seek his own healing, for him to realize that what we have is worth saving, and really believe in me again, in us, again. Give him peace, and discernment, and trust that I can make these changes, even if he is gone while I do this work. Give him direction that leads him back to me, to us, to our family, even if it takes longer than I’d like.
God, give my children strength, comfort, and peace in their hearts as their Mama works to be everything they need, and more, unselfish, so they are raised in a manner that strengthens their spirits, not abandoned and alone even when I am right next to them stuck in my own little world. Give them laughter, and innocence, and trust that in You, God, all things are possible.
God, my God. Be with me…
This will be a long road, but I am willing to walk it. I have to walk it, I know that.
Be with us all.