They Can't Take That Away From Me

Man. I’m a nostalgic mf’er these last couple of days.  I made it past my old anniversary without thinking of it.  Part of it is that I’m not really paying attention to the date, what with being on summer break. Part of it is that I think it FINALLY settled. I don’t feel the strong hurt I felt around my divorce, and the way my ex acted. I don’t worry about him as much. I even sort of accept my daughters not being in my life.  It sucked. Of course it sucked. But it is what it is. It’s sad that it ended the way it did, and sad that my ex was that person.

But.. I’m okay, and I’ve been okay for a long time now. The wounds are old.  I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they don’t sting.  A few weeks ago I teared up in the kitchen with Quinky and Traveler. A song Evan loved came on and I hadn’t heard it since we’d parted and I teared up. I realized it was the first time in a long time that I’d teared up about him.  I teared up more maybe because it was a moment when I remembered how much we loved each other, dancing in the kitchen.  I don’t really think about him much, and I don’t think about how we were really at all these days.  I’ve fallen in love again, and I’m a lot happier most of the time.  I love my ex because it’s the way I am built. But it doesn’t hurt anymore.  It’s more just that I hope he’s happy.

I think it’s healthy sometimes when long deep loves change.  In monogamy we stay because of duty, and security, and comfort. In poly sometimes we don’t acknowledge a relationship that isn’t whole. It can hobble along indefinitely because nobody has to be EVERYTHING to anybody, but really because it can be a crutch for not looking at how we love and are loved by THIS one person and how it’s not a whole or functional relationship. Other people fill serious gaps. Continue reading

Somebody that I used to know

I was just reading old messages to my blog and a link I missed a million years ago, to a blog I wrote a few years back and it linked to this song.

———-

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

———-

I had my biggest break up a few years ago, and it’s taken me a while to sort it all out.  It was like when my father died and I found myself thinking of things and feeling things I hadn’t thought about since I was 14.  His death just kinda shook our snow globe.  

Did you ever notice how things we don’t deal with come out sideways?  I find the great lessons are like onions for me, and I peel back layer after layer after layer.  I learn about being vulnerable over and over, or about extending trust again and again, just in new and deeper ways. 

It takes a while after a break-up to sort out reality from hopes and habit.  It’s hard to see a relationship for what it is when I’m in it.  I spent too long in some relationships, trying to make myself happy with what they were so I didn’t have to do the work of being true to myself and leaving. 

I spun sugar out of air, making connections where they didn’t exist and seeing the best in everyone at the detriment of the truth.  I overlooked that selfishness or that drinking problem or that inability to be honest. I put up with his utter inability to handle emotion and told myself I was a good person for helping him learn, except.. did he learn?  I said “he’s just tired” and “she’s just feeling stressed”.  I tried to be agreeable when I was stood up or pushed off or managed.  I forgave so easily because I just wanted them to go back to them loving me.  Breaking up after that feels like waking up.  

We repeat the patterns we’ve learned over and over again, don’t we?  We are always trying to work out those first relationships.. make them love us, prove we can stay, show ourselves and the world how great we are to make this work.. we’ll make this work dammmit… 

And the thing is that this isn’t a dress rehearsal.  We have one life. What are we shutting off every time we do this?  Why do we plead and pour and cajole and beg to make things that really shouldn’t last?  And when they do come apart, why is it so hard to let them go and handle all the remnants.  And why do we run away from taking the real chances at love because we don’t want to lose our security? Continue reading

A Million Years Ago

shrek far far away

From Shrek- The Far Far Away Sign

A million years ago….

  1. I kissed you in the vacant lot and ran home breathless.
  2. I broke your heart because I wasn’t ready.
  3. I thought this was what relationships were and I didn’t know this was rare and special.  We danced all night.  We made love and when I called it that I didn’t giggle.  We said shit like “soulmates” and “forever” and I didn’t doubt for a second they were real.  Nobody had ever loved like we loved.  We sang songs to each other.  We took baths together and sat there until we were pruny.  You fucked her.  And you lied.  I felt worse about the lie because it meant we weren’t what I thought we were.  I walked away hurt and insecure.  I spent a decade feeling the image of you in an Indian blanket in our cold apartment, silent, as I dropped the key into your lap.
  4. I got her note. She was gone.  She needed to be with him.  She had a family back home. Wouldn’t I please understand?
  5. I fucked him at some party, the entire time wondering if the pool table took quarters… “mmmmhmm.. yes.. oh baby”.. does that pool table take quarters?  What is the mechanism to drop the balls if it doesn’t take quarters?
  6. I wondered if she’d ever love me back.
  7. I wanted to break it off but his dad had just died.  So I cheated. A lot. I felt more and more sick and when I broke up with him I thought I was doing him a favor.
  8. I couldn’t sleep with him because it would have been too real.
  9. She played with me next to my bed and I thought she liked me, but we never talked again.
  10. I liked him and he liked her and she liked someone else.
  11. He was a lot worse than I thought.  He was a lot worse.  He left a scar on my back from the event that changed my life.  He committed suicide years later, after hurting a lot more girls, and eventually going to prison.  He got out and killed himself.  I felt relieved that he wouldn’t hurt more girls and ashamed I’d been silent and hurt those girls.
  12. I waited a long time to touch him because I wanted to do things differently and when I finally touched him it just didn’t work and we couldn’t make it work so I broke his heart.
  13. He was my friend.  He was deeply honest and really flawed and fucked like a demon.  We talked about EVERYTHING with utter and complete honesty that wasn’t brutal because we bore no brutality.  It was the most comfortable I’d ever been with my body in his pure love of it.  You’re supposed to learn to love your body but I loved mine because he did.  We kept the lines really straight and loved each other for years, around and in between all the others, coming home.  We’ll never be lovers again, but I still consider him a friend.
  14. He left me for groupies and I met the women he’d cheated on me with when her boyfriend was cheating with me and I didn’t know it.  She and I were great friends for years.
  15. I loved him for his letters and got swept up in them and the things he created in them.  It was too late when I’d realized my mistake and I spent a long time trying to stick to my mistake.  When I could no longer be faithful and couldn’t be unfaithful, I left.  I like seeing his happy pics on Facebook.
  16. I never thought it would happen again, but it did.  I met him at Starbucks.  We shared a humor and a passion and loved each other through a million challenges and rewards.  We wrote love poems and songs and gave each other gifts of 100 kisses on post-its and notes hidden in lunches and suitcases and pockets.  For years I knew great love and great passion.  He was my best friend and I was his.  And we grew and grew and grew.  I wish I made him dinner more.  I’ve only learned that these past few years and I wish I’d learned it with him.  Some of the greatest and the worst days of my life were spent with him, and the love we had carried us through them.  With the end I wondered if I’d imagined it, but my box of letters tells me I didn’t. The passion never died until finally, that last year it did.  He told me she was too much and there was nothing left.  He wrote a poem based on a speaker we’d heard together when we were first dating, and redid it at times over the years to delight me. He used it again with the next women, which did not delight me. I don’t understand what happened really.  I make up theories and live with them and discard them because I’ll never know why.  I’m trying to accept that but it sits uneasily without ever having had my closure.  I read the things he said, to me, and later to others, the lies. He was intentionally cruel and admitted it.  And I’ll never understand.  That is not the man I loved. He replaced me and then replaced her.  He lied a lot to them too, and I’ll never understand it.  This is not the man I loved.  He is not the person I loved for so long and so well.
  17. In the midst of all of that I fell for him.  He seemed sweet and honest and clear, a relief in troubled times.  I loved his dazzling mind and the force of his love.  I fell hard and had a hard time letting go when the mask fell.  But I did.
  18. I fell for him so slowly and so well, my love sneaking in on quiet cat feet.  It took a long long time to know him and I’ll always be learning.  His kisses stayed dizzying, and his arms became home.  I love our adventures and our quiet nights and that we can get lost in each other doing absolutely nothing.  And then he told her he’d leave me if she asked him to.  I’m still not totally sure why it changed either, but suddenly all the things we were talking about for our future were different.  All of the little plans we were playing with were off the table.  He didn’t want what he said he wanted anymore.  Or he wanted it differently.  I wondered if I got this love wrong, if it wasn’t what it seemed.  I didn’t get it wrong.  It’s just complicated to live with all of our commitments and honor and complexities of life and history and it’s hard to navigate for women with a past.  There are a lot of moving parts.  It’s beautiful and hard sometimes, but he’s worth it.  Eventually it came that he would not trade me for the wishes of anyone on Earth, and I know it in my marrow.  He’s part of the family I’m making.  I sometimes miss the surety of when I was a girl, or think maybe other ways might be easier.  But then reality reminds me that relationships are always complicated.  Grown up love is complex and beautiful and long-awaited and deep… if you’re lucky.

I’m lucky.

shrek and fiona in love

Shrek and Fiona ride off into the sunset. From the movie Shrek and found at http://basementrejects.com/

 

Playground

August 10th is a hard day for me.  I wrote a very long very rambling blog about this anniversary last year. It was the day my ex-husband and I got married, and the day my father died (different years).  My father died on my 10 year wedding anniversary.  And a year later my ex-husband and I opened our marriage a couple of days after our anniversary.  And a year after that we were separated.  And a year after that we were divorced.  And this year, well.. it’s been a while.

It took a long long long time, but I finally accepted I’ll never really understand what happened with my ex-husband and me.  And it’s been a couple of years longer than that with the loss of my father and I accepted I’ll never fully understand that either.  Thinking about both of them isn’t the white hot poker of pain it once was.  I suppose my active mourning is over and I’ve moved on.  But some associations are so huge they’ll never be erased, and so.. August 10th.

For some reason this week I was thinking of the little things I miss about my ex-husband.  I’ll just say that I’ve been nostalgic and not bore you with a list.  I had this vivid memory though, a time I’d nearly forgotten.

playgroundHe and I took a walk in our neighborhood.  We were just wandering around at night like I like to do.  I still do this sometimes, get driven out of my house in the dark to wander.  I’ve done it my whole life.  We were walking in salt lake Hawaii, a million years ago, some time in 2000.  We walked into a park and played on the swings and the slide and the jungle gym.  We crawled up into this kid’s play thing with the bridge and the rope net and laid on our backs looking at the sky and talking.  It was late and we were just talking and talking and talking.  We knew it was something like 2am, and we were both in the military and knew we had to get to work at 530am or so, but we just weren’t ready to stop talking or to head home.  I had this moment where I knew laying there with him that I’d love him forever.  He was talking about something with his job and telling me his reaction to things and it was about how he wanted to do good and how someone kept getting in the way of this task, and how small it made him feel, to struggle like that at work with someone.  He wasn’t thinking about what he was saying to me. He was just so unguarded.  He talked about his fear in the situation and I remember seeing him then as he must have been as a boy.  I saw right down into his marrow.  I loved every drop of goodness in him and I teared up with love for him, thanking the stars it was dark so I wouldn’t break the spell.

We ended up kissing and talking and petting each other until just before dawn.  And we made love on that jungle gym with wild abandon.  We forgot where we were and paid no attention to anything but each other, fucking long and hard and fast and slow, completely naked on a playground in a big empty park.  We kissed and kissed, sharing breath with each other, looked into each other, got lost in each other.  I could not breathe but I could not stop kissing him and I could not stop moving with him.  When we both came he was still hard for a long time, and I rode him again, slowly, with our eyes locked together.  He couldn’t come again that fast and I didn’t care about an orgasm for myself either.  We just wanted to keep the spell.  We stopped after a bit because it was getting light.  We dressed in the chill damp morning light, giggling at ourselves staying up all night talking and fucking in a park.  I didn’t shower for work that day.  I wanted to smell like him.  God that was a long time ago.  It was a whole other universe ago.  After the divorce I dug up the letter he wrote me that morning.  I had forgotten all about it.

In the letter he’d talked about the night we’d just had, and told me that he knew on the jungle gym, when we were talking and before the sexy stuff, that he would love me forever.  It was about the time I’d known that about him too.

And it’s true.  I think I’ll love him until the day I die, and not being with him and not having contact with him and being divorced from him doesn’t change that a whit.  I think we were right.  I know I’ll love him forever.  And I hope his new life makes him happy, and I hope he is surrounded by love and life and happiness.  I hope he lives a long long time and is always well loved.

There is a selfish part of me that hopes that someday he will remember me with fondness too.

But even if he doesn’t, I have to thank him from afar for all that we were.  I’ve said this a lot.  All relationships were meant to be.  They just weren’t all meant to be forever.  Maybe things ended because they needed to.  Maybe it was just our time.  As much as it hurt and as hard as it was, I think we are both okay.  I think maybe we are even both happy.  I probably would have stayed with him forever if I could have and I don’t honestly know that that would have been the right thing for us.  Maybe it doesn’t really matter.

I’ll just love him.

Seasons

handsSo I haven’t written much because I was processing stuff internally and because I don’t like to communicate via blog.  Cleveland doesn’t read this a lot, but still.

I think we are breaking up.  I said I’d sleep on it, and I will.

It’s hard and shitty and sad. And I’m not sure.  But it’s been a long time coming.  We started to get frustrated talking and decided to sleep on it.  It’s murky.  I know I love him.  I know that I love spending time with him and talking to him and doing things with him and fucking him.  I know I love his sweetness and his intelligence and his lovely dirty mind.  I love podcasting and talking about bloggy things.  I love how good he is at so many things.  And I love his interests.  I’d like to have him in my life.

But I can’t keep doing this.  And I feel TERRIBLE for it.  But it is simply the truth.  This hurts too much.  We don’t really have the room to have a relationship and it just doesn’t work.  I want it to, but it doesn’t.  We’ve had this talk before and I asked for things, the bare minimums for what I thought I needed.

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