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

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.

People Lie

Sometimes people tell themselves things.

I posted a rather stupid comment on my grown daughter’s Facebook page that implied something I honestly hadn’t meant.  I was trying to be funny and failed.  The dog walker jumped on there and called me out and said something to the effect of “shame on you.  (Ex-hubby) and (daughter) are father and daughter!”  I replied that it wasn’t her business and that I knew they were father and daughter since I helped raise my daughter since she was 7.  But I realized my comment was kinda stupid and apologized to my ex and my daughter and deleted it.

The dog walker sent a message to me saying it was her business because my daughter is her family and my ex and my daughter belong to her now.  Um. Okay.  Like they are cows.  It’s not like I think my ex is mine at all, in any shape or form.  I get that my daughter is also becoming the dog walker’s family.  This is natural.  They are in each other’s lives daily and likely care a great deal about each other.  More people loving and treating my daughter well is awesome in my book.  My daughter becoming family is awesome, but it doesn’t make her any less my family too.  And as I said here many times, I genuinely liked the dog walker.  I think she’s a good fit for The ex and she was always really nice.  I’m honestly not sure what beef she could have with me.  I never talk to her, have no dealings with her, talk to my ex (her boyfriend) hardly ever, and have never said a negative thing about her.  I’m a grown-up.  She was always amazing with my pets, and seemed like a genuinely nice person.

pinocchio

Image of pinocchio from stevemehta.com

So, here’s the thing that puzzled me with this.  When she sent her irate message, she started it with “your cheating is out in the open now”.  Um.. yeah.  I’d say me having sex outside my marriage is pretty fucking well documented.  I’ve been writing a blog about it for 3 years now and it has gotten over 120,000 hits and has 750 or so regular prescribers.  I am out to pretty much everyone.  My husband and I told our families we were open.  Even a few people at my work know.  It’s not a secret.  I had sex with others.

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Resonate

Lindsay & Austin // EngagedFor some strange reason my ex-husband has been on my mind a lot lately.  It hasn’t been an angsty thing.  For a little while now I have been able to look back with a more balanced view.  I remember all the good things and acknowledge the bad with less pain.  I would be friends with him if that were possible, because I miss some really great things about him as a human being, but I would never want to date him or any of that.  And I do of course remember the hurts, but without that fiery ember.  I’m not angry with him and I see it more clearly, the ways neither of us meant to hurt each other and the collision that was our end.

And maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking of him.  For a long time I made myself crazy going over things and then for a long time I tried not to think of him much at all.  But I can think back now.  I feel healthier.  I feel like I can see things more accurately.. all of the ways I contributed to things good and bad, and the ways he did too.  Neither one of us is a blameless victim of anything and neither one of us were evil.  We were both such fallible human beings.  Have you had a break-up?  Relate to this at all?

broken mirror couple

I have been thinking about the people that resonate with us.  My ex used to hate this, that I talk about people resonating.  I can’t help it. It interests me.  I wonder what the effect was on us of loving each other.  What did I leave there, after the healing, after the end, after all of our years, what’s he holding?  For a while I couldn’t see him accurately.  It hurt too much and I was angry.  I know it was like that for him too. I could not imagine he knew me so little.  It was crazy. But I was making him the angel and the demon in my mind when really he’s just a man. Continue reading

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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Tis the Season to Break Up

In the last few days I’ve kinda broken things off with Boss, talked to a dear friend going through a divorce and another with a long anticipated relationship that didn’t grow legs, and another who is parting from his very long-term wife.  It’s going around.  Talking to my first friend going through a divorce, and there in the thick of the most painful bits, I wished I could show her my memories and my mind like something from Harry Potter.  I so feel for where she is at.  I’m just getting out of it myself.  It still looms large in my rear view.  And it sucks, but it does get better.  I have been mourning but also mostly happy this past year.  I realized, I’m doing quite well.

In a bunch of these break up talks, the idea of all the relationships you mourn in a single break-up came up.  There’s the relationship you actually had, the one you dreamed of, the one that now will never be, and the one that really was and could have been.  There is reality, and making the best of it, and hope and dreams and history.  I agreed that it had made me crazy too.  I thought about all those years of sacrifice and sea duty and deployments and long work hours and missed birthdays and holidays and Christmases and whatever that I’d done that for “someday”, a someday that would now never be.  There wasn’t going to be a time when we’d live how we’d dreamed.  We weren’t going to build that big garage and workshop and we weren’t going to build custom motorcycles together or see the Willoughby parades from the end of our street where we lived in our cute little bungalow.  Silver haired “us” is gone.  Poof.

tattooed coupleSo much loss in a break-up.  Even a pretty small one like Boss and me.  I spent most of yesterday missing him and wanting to talk to him.  I left that up to him, as to how and when and if we’d talk.  I miss chatting here and there all day with him.  It leaves a hole.  But it seems relationship change, like so many things, is inevitable.

I wonder about this desire to have more permanent bonds and how rare they are and how unhappy it makes us to want them so much.  I think about unlikeliness that most of us will get these forever bonds.  Most of us, if we are lucky, have at least a few romantic lives.  I’m certainly not alone out here making my life anew.  LOTS of us break-up and start over and build our new lives.  It is weird that we don’t talk about this as being the way it generally IS.  We talk about trying for forever and that some of us will face loss, but the truth is that MOST of us face loss.  People grow and change and form connections and shit happens.  In fact, shit usually happens.  And then there we are feeling like we’re the only ones, like we failed.  The majority of marriages end in divorce and most relationships don’t last till death.  A lot has been said about this maybe not being the best standard to judge a relationship too.  If both people are alive at the end of a relationship, and they separate to find better ways that work for them, if they shared a time and were happy and grew, is that relationship really a failure?

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