Saturday morning feeling safe and loved in the world, I am recalling and writing about something new and exciting as I wait for my ex husband to pick me up for a concert and some overnight fun.........
"Welcome back" he said, gazing into my eyes as if he had been waiting at my bedside as I awoke from a long uncertain coma. He said it spontaneously, as I had just stopped giggling and was wiping the tears from my eyes and looking up at him. His statement could have been taken more than one way as we have just begun to rediscover our love for each other after almost 2 years apart. But I knew, he was speaking directly to the spirit of Joyce. The one who was buried with her son, and the loss of so many dreams before that when their marriage had ended. The goofy, tap dancing, beer drinking yoga pushing, veggie eating, girl. The girl who, when something struck her funny, would burst out into a laugh that sounded a bit like Goofy falling down a well was starting to pop out for cameo appearances from behind the heavy black velvet curtains of grief.
Why now? Could be that he makes me feel safe again or because he truly understands the depth of the pain I have suffered, with real empathy. If he can smile and enjoy life without guilt, why shouldn't I? At the same time, could be that I have found my way out of a cycle of helping the un-helpable and did the work, distancing myself from a few, I would call "toxic influences" in my life.
Monday morning, feeling sick, scared and remorseful....
I never get sick!! But here I sit in my bed with 102 fever and a relentless cough. Why did we drink so much scotch? Too much alcohol and un-addressed pain, not a good recipe for a nice night. It started off with the mention of Jake and then my tears pouring out as I lay on his chest. I cant deny I have been looking forward to this pity party. A safe place with someone who really gets it. I let out a gurgling whine of what I think is obvious, "this pain, I just want it to go away, and I know that wont happen until the day I die, sometimes I wish that I would just die, so I wouldnt have to feel it anymore." Not sure if it was the alcohol, the timing or the words that enraged him, but the next thing I know, he is up, ranting at me.. "you are so self absorbed, you robbed me of the chance to say goodbye to him!" I am shocked, caught off guard. "Could he honestly believe that I knew Jake was going to die and didnt tell him to get there? What about Jakes brothers? Did I rob them as well or was I just way too optimistic when I told everyone to hold off and come in a few months when Jake would need them to pump him up in rehab?" With his one comment, the lovely soft rug of comfort and safety I thought I had found to stand on, strong and no longer alone, is yanked out from under me as I tumble down into the rabbit hole of "nobody understands what I have been through" once again. It got ugly, real ugly, as he let the flood gates of unsaid rotting disgust for me sludge out. Of course, what do I do? Run. I find myself in a cab at 4am with a dead phone wishing I would have given him the compassion and explanations he needed and deserved. Maybe I am self absorbed and attached to the idea of finding someone to hand the burden of raising my spirits on a day to day basis and boarding up the abandon mine of of pain and suffering. Perhaps he needs the same from me. I call him from my bed and he is obviously shaken, sounds to me like he was just as surprised as I was to what was inside that Pandoras box. We end up agreeing that we need a safe place to express this bottled up, shoved down confusion. For once in my life, I know it is worth working on. That I want to work with him and find our safe place together. He spent his Sunday cooking me soup and feeding me vitamins then put me to bed and went home. I love him. As deep as our pain is, our love is much deeper. We shall overcome. This love affair is something neither of us expected, but neither could resist. For now, I just dont want to lose the joy I have found having him back in my life. We have agreed to keep the darkness compartmentalized with a bereavement counselor and give our love the chance to blossom in the light of family and friends. I am hopeful.
I wish I would have sent him this song months and months ago.