The Song of the Lark

There are always two stories to tell, the wreckage and the repair. And the difference between the two can be so small, they are actually told with the same words.

I’ve spent a year searching for the words that describe my journey out, or perhaps my journey in…to a life I could actually call my own. I’d spent a decade of my life so angry and so lost, that I knew I needed to be still and slowly sift through the anger that fed my ability to stay.  When I lost the anger, the path unfolded before me. My walk was slow, and I gathered many treasures along the way. But I listened, learned to love, and was loved, for the very first time.

But searching for the words to define the difference between the pain and the recovery is like peering into a mirror and expecting the image you see there to be somehow more beautiful than the object of its reflection. It isn’t. Because as I keep looking inside, I begin to see the wreckage that lies beneath the surface. And slowly it begins to stir.  That anger…deep inside me. The only thing that kept me alive for 10 years, hungry as hell. Like truth, it wills to be known.

The Song of the LarkI was searching for a box sturdy enough to store all that happened. And when I couldn’t find one, I built one myself–out of my own responsibility. And with each nail I pounded, I kept remembering more. And that anger, that perfect, honest, destroyable anger…it kept stirring.

I was searching for a forgiveness pure enough to harbor the hate even while I remembered to forgive myself. I spent a lot of time taking deep breaths, turning my attention away from the rumors I just couldn’t fight anymore. I kept asking myself the question, “what does it really matter anyway?”

I was searching for a story patient enough to have a happy ending.  Where he could lie, I could leave, and we could remember that there was a day where we loved each other.  But there wasn’t.

And so the journey out is as full of destruction as the journey in.  And when I see them, the wreckage tells the story. The past comes screaming out of me with such fury that it cannot be controlled.  These are words of course, and they are carried by the momentum of his actions. They’d be strong enough to start a war, except the war began the first day he lied away their relationship. I’ve been fighting it so long, I can’t remember if I’ve even won a battle. And so I ask myself the question, “what does it really matter anyway?”

Because just when I thought I’d be fighting this forever, they went and ended it. This entire blog has been about boundaries, about me sitting in the middle of two worlds so paralyzed from past mistakes and future fears that I could only gaze up and out of the valley that became my home. I never would have imagined, it would be them that would release me.

I thought I would hate him forever, but the night he laid his hands on me, pulsating from rage and his own wreckage, released the final story.  They think I need to win. But I am too busy loving the loss. They think they beat me up, they forgot they did that two years ago.

You can step over my bruised body a thousand times. You can hit my face until it bleeds. You can brag in this town until one person finds the stupidity to believe you. But you will not write my story. Not with your fists, your lies and your own pain. It is mine.  All mine.

And so when you said I deserved it, you gave me the words.  There are always two stories to be told, the wreckage and the repair. And the difference between the two can be so small, they are actually told with the same word.

The word I’ve searched for with bed sheets clenched in my fists of rage.

The word I’ve searched for when I chose to be silent instead.

The word I’ve searched for when I couldn’t prove your lies.

The word I’ve searched for when you begged for my return, even as she waited for yours.

The word I’ve searched for each time you told me no one loved me.

The word I’ve searched for each time you called an ex girlfriend or never came home.

The word I’ve searched for each time drywall fell from your fists.

The word I’ve searched for each time you recreated my life in your own vision.

The word I needed the first time you lied, the first time you cheated, the first time you threw me, the first time you loved me, the last time…the last time…the last time.

Goodbye.

The Road

It’s gray outside, and I’ve spent the day watching the sun struggling to give its final adieu to 2010.  Like an old friend you don’t want to watch leave, the sun keeps peeking through the clouds, even as it sets.

This year, unlike any before it, has been a complete story.  A beginning that hinted at its end.  With each passing day, I could no longer ignore the signs that my life, whether I liked it or not, was changing.  I couldn’t tilt the earth off its axis, make him love me as I needed, or say goodbye without the lingering feeling that I just might love him forever.

But 2010 taught me something else as well. The life you save, may be your own.  It was the first week in January that I admitted to my therapist I had but one fear.  What if, while I work to save my marriage, I end up discovering that it isn’t worth saving.  Nodding, he replied with 2 sentences:

1.  First you figure out where you are going.

2. Then you figure out who with.

Each passing month predicted the same outcome.  I was going to leave, and he was going to make me.  Once I made my final decision, he was going to stand in opposition for the first time in months.  Living life in reverse…it is easier to beg forgiveness than it is to ask permission.

But by that time, 7 months after I began paving the road I would some day walk upon, I knew it wouldn’t be his hand I held on my journey.  He had taught me to walk alone, taught me to love myself more than him, taught me to trust my instincts.  With each brick I laid at my feet, it became more and more possible that I wasn’t going to love him forever. And perhaps, if I must really tell the truth…it had been many moons since I had really loved him at all. We teach people how to treat us. And he had taught me that loving him was like mixing a unique batch of poison inside of yourself.  The mixture would both mesmerize and intoxicate you.  If you loved too long, it would kill you.

2011 is here in just a few hours, and I am not dead.  I’m busy picking up all those broken tiny pieces and seeing what I can create from them.  A new me? An old me? A little of both?  This time, I don’t think I will use so much glue.  I think maybe I’ll simply keep them stashed away in a transparent vase filled with water.  Where they can move and dance, swirl and dip with each bump in the road.  I’m still laying bricks…but I have a new hand to hold.  And for the first time it is leading me down the road I’ve already paved.

Vows

And so I place one foot in front of the other…less deliberately than I did before. The path is finally cleared, and I no longer walk backwards.  It’s coming easier now.

The final words that I ever spoke to him, linger in my head…but they aren’t in my heart anymore.

“I hope she is worth everything you just lost.”

I think I am most surprised by the fact that I don’t care about his answer.  My breaths come easier now…and as I look around at this world. I’m struck by its beauty.  My body feels full of life as my lips have nothing left to say.  I am both empty and full all at once.   As I relinquish the final pieces of anger, I also say goodbye to the poison that I called love.  And I make a promise to myself…I will never confuse the two again.

I’ve come to discover, there is a rhythm to this all.  The passing of time has a melody…and the sorrow and the happiness spin from the same chorus.  This is, in fact, the life I chose. And it is painful and joyful always and forever. 

The lessons that hide behind the circumstances are both fruitful and relentless.  And they will keep coming.  But for just a moment, I will linger on the best lesson of all…That the vows I promised him were never more important than the vows I promised myself.

 

 

The Newest Season

The moment there is nothing more to say is its own season.  It lasts less than a second, but fills my entire body with longing, regret, anger, and remorse. I find it most confusing that I didn’t see it coming. In the way a falling leaf articulates the coming of fall, only the calendar spoke of the end drawing near. And it wasn’t enough.

This moment chokes me, and strangles every piece of strength I have left.  It twists my heart up and sucks on its pulp.  I feel light and heavy all at once.  The lightness just a symptom of the numbness in my body. I float on air, and then have a thought.

This moment…the one I’ve feared, ignored, dismissed…gives way to something entirely different.  Hope.

The dictionary says hope is the belief in a positive outcome. I think it is more than that.  Hope for me, is the air.  I do not need to verify it…it is faith and love, movement and silence. It is the place my future redeems my past. It is honest and the most truthful apology to ever leave his lips. It’s the moment he admits he destroyed me, and the moment he agrees he did so on purpose.  I am closer now to this hope..a new season, a new beginning.

If I am hanging on by threads, then they are made of silk.  My body wraps up in them, tangled to my core.  And though I find myself teetering helplessly, it is enough to sustain my weight, and I will not fall.If I am hanging by threads, than they are made of Silk.

And while I hang here, I offer you my soul.  I beg you to unravel me, to peek inside and see what you find. I can promise things you only have ever heard of, and I can sustain love even while I ponder horror.  I ask you to walk tenderly, to touch softly…I have pieces made of glass, and others as round as the sun. It’s up to you to discover the difference.

The wonderment of pain, I suppose, is its ability to heal.  And so I take a deep breath, watch the moment pass, and revel in the newest season.  Please come with me, I am going to need your help.

All the Tiny Little Pieces

The moment I return to most often, is the moment he told me “it’s too late.” The finality that exists in those words is numbing.  Mostly, I remember how the bottom half of my body felt.  My legs went 3 shades of numb…first the tingle, then the burn, finally the numbness.  I remember looking down…staring at the concrete floor my feet rested upon.  I don’t think I realized I couldn’t feel them.

When I looked up, he wasn’t looking at me…he was staring where he always stared…out in the distance I humorously refer to as “Kellyland.” I believed somewhere out in that cold distance, she waited for him. He wanted to go there, but I wasn’t ready to let him.

Just like now, he couldn’t admit how deeply he wanted to leave, and i was OK with letting him lie.  I asked 3 times what I could do to make him love me again. When he said it was too late, I didn’t believe him. If Steve taught me anything in the last 10 years, its how to walk away with the realization that some things just cannot be fixed.  Preparing my relationship with his family was my first lesson, and sweeping my marriage under the proverbial carpet, was my second. I was a slow learner both times.

It was January when I realized just how long it had been since he loved me.  It was February when I realized how much he loved her. It was April when I realized the life I lead was not my own. And it was May when I realized how much I loved myself. I grabbed ahold of that carpet, and I let her fly.

Walking away breaks my heart a tiny piece at a time.  When the screenplay of my existence over the past year rolls slowly through my mind, I feel a calmness that finally can let me cry. I mourn the person I used to be even as I don’t want to be her anymore. I mourn the moment I fell in love with him, even as I fall in love with someone new.  I can be both places at once…learning that with each piece I let go, I create a new one to take its place.  And I can’t help but wonder, how long will these pieces encompass me…when will I let them go…and start all over once again.

It was June when I asked him to fight for us, July by the time I realized he couldn’t.  Even as I turn my back to him, I cannot help but glance back.  One last look into the clearest eyes I’ve ever seen.  Searching for that piece of him I’ve never seen…searching for the truth.  He still can’t say it…denial is the bed he sleeps in each night. I long for him to trust me enough to let me see what he did, what he felt. But he cannot do it. And this is my fault.

It’s November now and I keep forgetting to check the calendar.  Like the sunlight, the days are leaving too quickly and the end is growing painfully close. My body tells me it’s getting cold, and I’m mesmerized by the flocks of birds heading south. I read a few weeks back that birds do not migrate south for warmth, but instead for the ease of finding food. I can’t help thinking of my own migration…that which i need versus that which I want.  As I search for nourishment, I cannot help but seek the warmth as well.  My fear trips on excitement when I realize this life is now my own.

I know I’ll keep looking back, and sometimes I’ll stare longer than others.  And I’m OK with knowing that all these pieces will not fall away.  Some I’ll keep tucked away, reminding me that deep inside, I know how to love someone enough to stay no matter what they do to hurt me. And while I look at him, I’ll imagine my hands touching his face one last time, my eyes telling him that one day, I’ll forgive him.

But not today. I think I’ll save forgiveness for January.

 

Watch and See

I think its time to start adding the laughter.  Watch and SeeThe person I most often share on these pages, exists in the deepest core of my heart.  It’s the part I have a difficult time showing when I see someone face to face.  I mention my blog frequently because while I fear what it reveals, it’s perhaps the most necessary aspect to knowing me.

I named this blog “Partlyme,” because I’ve understood for quite some time now, that I am not whole.  Each piece of me, dances in opposition of the other.  This excites me actually. I think we are all like this, but most of us forget to celebrate it. Starting today, I’m living a celebration of myself.

Doing so, requires the addition of the humorous, vibrant, confused, control-obsessed, scared, exhausted, energized me.

I began this morning, like I begin all mornings…late and tired after a 6am fight with the ex.  These fights sadden me more than I can adequately articulate. And I don’t understand why. But I’m beginning to find them necessary to leaving him. Every 24 hours I get the smallest snippet of what life was like with him.  Angry. Defensive. Accusatory.

My new life will not be like this.  Watch and see.

I’ve had a thousand experiences…and I can laugh at them all.

Forever Young

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.

It felt like it would be the last time he held me. And as I focused on how that felt, I was struck by the stiffness in my arms.  They couldn’t find that familiar place~ the place they always rested during an apology.  They would lie lightly at first, afraid to touch too deeply. But as he squeezed tighter, I would latch on again…let out a deep breath, and all would fall away.

That didn’t happen this time.  I didn’t want to touch him. I know how his body can pull things from me, convince me to believe, turn me into dough.  And since I can’t go back, I must find new places on his body to touch…nothing familiar. I found a hip bone…and I rested there awhile.

May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong

But he squeezed tighter still. He knows me and he’s relying upon that knowledge…but I have changed.  Every time he pulled me a little closer, those breaths came out.  And so did the sobs.  Finally. My dreams came feverishly now, the ones I’ve always had and must free.  The ones that confuse me and trick me to stay.  Say goodbye.  The sobs were growing, taking over the silence, and at times I actually gasped for breath. I didn’t want them to stop.  I wanted the tears to fill the bedroom and wash away the lies, the past.  And those dreams…take them too.

May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

And without a warning, his sobs came last.  Mine and his together, the only thing left to be shared.  The sobs danced with each other, slowly sifting the songs of a dream that never quite came true.

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young



Murder

There is something cruel about the way he looks at me.  I think he is searching for that piece of me still willing to believe him. He won’t find it. And this will be my fault.

When he lies,  he kills a piece of me. It won’t be restored.  And he never even says goodbye.

As in death, these pieces don’t lie restfully. They churn and haunt and destroy. I question who I am and this doesn’t seem fair.  He begs me to not tell. He murders and begs to run free.