Friday, March 16, 2012
With intense trepidation he summoned me toward him, lightly patting the large, blue, pillow-backed sofa. On his face was an expression I'd seen before; an expression I knew meant nothing good, but couldn't quite place. I felt fear and tension embrace me as I pulled the laundry unto me like a shield. I intuitively looked to the sky and took a deep cleansing breath in and then out. I could hear my heart beating. Fight or flight? I could feel my inner Self-- as if disjointed from the present Self-- frightfully pounding from within as if she were trying to break out and away from the impending doom. Such is the deep silent omnipresent worry of anyone living with mental illness. But, there was no time for escape or disassociation, here I was before him shrinking inside as his lips began to part and utterance befell me. "I've been thinking..." he said, when my eyes widened in insurmountable fear, having just placed that... "I know that face, oh no...I know that face!" I began to shiver and brace myself with another deep, albeit labored and broken breath.
My heartbeat is so loud, to hear him I shake my head and adjust my footing, like an old TV antenna. Squinting, I direct my eyes on his and begin to hear his words escape, in forced crackling sputters from his own personal stranglehold of pain. "...unfulfilled...break...sep-a-ration". From his lips to my ears and through me like a fire gavage, engorging my chest and belly before reflexive rejection violently forces it back up where it wedges tightly in my throat. I close my eyes and will my heart to stop beating, or conversely that I might open my eyes in full view of a cat's ass and have this have been a terrible, horrible, very bad dream.
I sit, having dropped the laundry somewhere during the first blow and the present moment; time is dragging at warp speed. Now, with my hands suddenly free, I place one on my throat and one on his leg as the first tear begins to fall, followed by so many others. One, for all of the many years of tireless, endless love, hard work and commitment. I know what he said, I know what I heard, but what I feel is "shame...pain...dev-a-station". Silently, we sit before each other and while on the outside I'm visibly imploding, on the inside I'm planning and constructing strategies, compromises, sacrifices- an-y-thing I can will my troubled mind to piece, because I am a fixer.
But, this time-this time is different and, there are many layers deep beneath the surface which warrant repair-self repair. Selfishness: the caveat of married people may be our only saving grace. It is with that recognizance that I retreat, not in surrender but in search of the answers that are buried beneath the piles of photos, milestones and memories amassed through the years: under promises and obligations, at the naked core of who we truly are as individuals.
"For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning."-Gibran
This post, titled, "One" was originally written and published to a select audience on January 21, 2011. I opted to re-post publicly in response to The Scintilla Project's Day 3 prompt:
What's the story of the most difficult challenge you've faced in a relationship? Did you overcome it? What was the outcome?
In short, the most difficult challenge I've ever faced was the acceptance that my 20+ years marriage was irretrievably broken. It was also at this time that I realized the resulting razor-sharp shards were bleeding me of my purpose: a passion for life and the courage to love freely and deeply. The outcome? On the surface-- divorce, but what has transpired within me escapes articulation; I am experiencing a paradigm shift that is simply other-worldy. Did I overcome it? No, but I have accepted it, and that may be all I need...for now.
Peace and the power of one
at 10:22 AM