weirdness…

As I sit here this morning, cold medicine coursing thru my veins and rendering everything a bit off-kilter, I am contemplating the weirdness of life in general. How random it all is; the choices we make, the ramifications of said choices. Once upon a time, I met a man with whom I fell deeply in love. We made plans, a home, a baby and friends. In doing my best with the baby, I gave up myself, MY plans, MY dreams, MY goals and desires. I willingly did so, I can assure you, and he willingly lead us in the master plan, as dictated by our religion and personal convictions of how to “do it the right way.” How naive we were, in our convictions and dreams, how obnoxious we were to others who did not see the deep meaning and sacrifice in what we were doing.

Fast forward 12 years and here we are, smiling at one another over coffee, making small talk because anything big would put too much strain on our newly created and hard-won shred of a relationship, and the only thing worse than having a tiny bit of something with someone you love, is having nothing at all. Having grown out of the need for oppressive religion and an unhappy marriage, we are walking down a very shaky, winding path. He is building a life with someone new, someone who did not sell out, and is totally unapologetic for the fact. He is also holding my hand, trying to make this new life a place where I fit in as well, as a friend, confidant and perhaps, someone who can laugh at our pathetic attempts, one day.

It is weary-making, but exhilarating at the same time, this shift in who he is, who I am , and what we can be together, but apart. It is exciting to build new roads and castles out of thin air, but sad to leave behind all that I imagined we were. Each day, there are fewer of his shirts hanging in his closet and the video game pile is now small. His coat no longer hangs on the far left hook near the door, his shoes do not clutter the doorway. It is heart-wrenching, this disassembling of our togetherness, this piece by piece reminder that my choices did this, as surely as his did. It was an abrupt onslaught of pain, for me to realize that I was to blame as well. I will not take responsibility for his choices, but will acknowledge my part in this macabre dance we once called our life. So we sit here, watery smiles breaking one anothers’ hearts. Trying to heal, not apart, as it always has been, but together, like the knitting of bones broken… stronger than ever before, because of the trauma.  Trying to build something new and precious, different, but good. Can this be done ? Has anyone ever managed to make it work, this new life, after one built on so many painful compromises ? In a perfect world, I would want my husband, faults and all, to be my partner until the day I die. Life is so goddamned far from perfect, however… Can we make something worthwhile, something worth sharing, after all ? It can never be as simple as friends, our daughter has assured that. But can it be real, nonetheless; a life built on friendship, sharing, support and mutual respect ? Can he look at me thru new eyes, seeing not the disappointment and withered love, but who I am really, inside, after all this time ?! Intense, powerful, motivated, funny, capable, devoted, a woman who is worth getting to know. Only time will tell if he will choose to see me, faults as well as strengths, and choose to stand by my side.

No one ever tells you, on your wedding day, that you may have to fight for your love one day. That you might have to choose between yourself, your love for your partner, and the parent you never had but always wanted to be. As you stare into the eyes of the one you love above life itself, above yourself, no one screams for you to stop, put yourself first and rethink the idiotic ideal of marriage in the first place. No one tells you that husbands sometimes choose not to fight for you, but to walk away because the fight is too much to comprehend, that the mountain is just too damned huge for them to scale without loosing themselves along the way. No one tells you that, despite all the love in the world, things change… shit happens, and 14 1/2 years of crumbled dreams is too big a mess for any girl to clean up on her own.

But they sure do have a lot to say after the fact, platitudes in spades, how they JUST KNEW IT…

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