Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Mind Field

So...four days ago my husband moved out of our house.
This is what I wanted. Freedom. A chance at joy. A time for growth and peace and healing. But this is not what I wanted. I want to be with him. I want to have a family. I want to have a future. I want a husband. I want HIM. I don't want to be alone. I want to be curled up in his arms and to feel safe and loved. I want to love him. I want to shower him with love. But the truth is that there is no such vessel for my love. It's a fantasy. I miss the best of my husband. I miss the house of cards which is the hope I have carried for over ten years. And I have watched that house crumble more times than I can count. So I'm a fool. So I'm in love. So I will always love him. And my love will float. With no place to land. With no chance of return. I know this but it still hurts. Man, hope is a gut buster.
I love my husband. Shit, I adore him. It seems impossible after everything. For I have hated him too. I have begged God to take the burden of living with him from me. And now that the burden is lifted I am floating somewhere between the fantasy, the dream of the life we were supposed to have together, and the memories of loss and despair and abandonment. It definitely sucks. I won't kid you.
But, I am proud of me. Of the me who found the strength and courage to face the life I really had. It was nothing like the fantasy. It was not a dream. It was mostly a nightmare. It was a one-sided marriage. I carried all of it.
Yesterday I was remembering (because memories can safely come to me now) a time maybe a year and a half ago when my dh was raging for days on end. I was scared. Sad. Angry. Confused. Depressed. There really isn't a word for it. I was frozen. Totally unsure of what to do, how to proceed, how to fix it. Helpless times a hundred. Anyway.
After the kids were asleep, my dh would rage for hours and then completely retreat and I would be left holding the emotional baggage. I couldn't sleep. I would try to sleep on the couch. Sleeping in our bed was an impossible thought. I'd lie on couch wondering what am I doing here? WHAT AM I DOING HERE? On this couch. In this marriage. In this life. Hard to sleep. Go figure.
I'd grab my grandmother's rosary and just pray. And try to pray a prayer that was empowering. I knew I couldn't just pray to be saved anymore. The saving wasn't coming. A miracle was not going to drop in my lap. Jesus wasn't going to appear like a mirage in front of me and pat my hand and magically change my husband and my marriage and my life. But how could I do it? I couldn't change him. I had grown to know that all too well. My love wasn't enough for both of us. And my past, my babyhood abandonment, had left me with easy, victim-y excuses for my life during a dismal, dark night: I was un-loveable. There was something wrong with me. No one cared. No one loved me. No one could save me. NO ONE WAS COMING!
So I did small things. This was what I remembered. This is what I had pushed back. But I can tell you now.
I could only sleep for short spells on the couch. I had to get in my bed, despite the fact that my raging adored husband's peaceful snoring was like a slap in the face. I needed to sleep in my soft bed with my special pillow and my white noise humming next to me. I had to sleep. I had children to care for. So I wrote myself notes. Simple notes on small squares of white scrap paper, folded and tucked under my pillow. The notes sometimes said: "You'll be ok. This too shall pass. Tomorrow is coming. The sun will rise on you."
Sometimes they were forceful: "You can get divorced. Fuck him. Hold on. This is your life. You get to decide."
But most often they said this: "You are loved. I love you. I love you Erin. I see you. I hear you. You're wonderful. You're loved. I love you."
I'd sleep with them under my pillow, along with my grandmother's rosary, hoping their strength would imbue my sleeping mind, my dreams. If I woke during the dark, troubled night my hand would find the note's soft crease and I would remember: I'm here. And I loved me. And that was enough to make it through the night.
Turns out though, that's enough for always. For all nights. That's all there is.
The next morning, I'd hastily jump out of bed and throw these notes away before the bed got made. I didn't want my dh to see them. I don't know why. I'll tackle that next time. This is enough for now.
It is what it is.
No judgement. No good. No bad. It's way too complicated for that.
Or is it just too simple for that?
Is it just life? Just humanity. Just breathing. Just loving. Just living.
Thank you Jesus. Cause you were there.
I know.
Cause I'm here.
Here I am.

I love you.

13 comments:

Durable Goodz said...

as a child from a broken family I have no words... but oh how I feel you! My legs are strong... you must lean on me when you are feeling weak. Whatever you need... our door is open and we are here... TC

Anonymous said...

tell it. tell your story, erin.
we are here and we are listening.
speak it.
love love love love love love love love to you.
holly

dancinfool said...

we are here for you always my beautiful strong friend. You loving you IS all there is - it's all that has ever been...for all of us. It seems like a big gip, but it's really a huge relief, right? because God will never let you down in that area... I look forward to the day your dh loves himself too. I love you madly - you are an inspiration! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Lisa P said...

Thank you for sharing this personal journey. This is what I know: You are loved. I love you. I see you. I hear you. You're wonderful. You're loved. I love you.

I am so proud and inspired by the mama bear in you that rose up and said "no more", not to me, not to my kids. Your precious babies deserve love, peace, grace and goodness all the days of their lives. Coming from a broken home with 2 ragers, I can still hear the screams. If only they would have decided when I was young (like your babies) that the rage was not going to stop and was only going to hurt a family of 7 that still hurts today.

You are the one. Thank you for showing us what it means to be a healthy, sane and stong person. I adore you. Lisa P. 'ij

Anonymous said...

My heartfelt apologies for not reaching out to you when we last saw each other. I felt something in the air, yet the time and place didn't seem right...I am at a loss as to what I can do or how I might be able to help you, talk is cheap. But know that I miss you and love you and will support you in any way you want/need/ask for...Thank you for including me in your journey, I feel honored. Mi casa es su casa anytime you need a country escape and a home cooked meal that you didn't need to cook yourself! A multitude of hugs and kisses for you and your young ones. I will be thinking of all of you. XO, BB

spielbee said...

I am blown away by your love and comments. Thanks to you!!!! I am so blessed by beautiful friends. Please keep reading.
erin

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and your children. It is a truly courageous thing you've done.
My mentally and verbally abusive father left when I was 6. Although watching our family fall apart was extremely difficult, our lives were so much better because of it. Releasing him allowed the space for love and peace to come in.
Despite the fact that we all live in an illusion of separation and loneliness...we are all one...we are all love...we are never alone.
You are surrounded by love...
Bri

Anonymous said...

God, I am sorry that I have been so wrapped up in my own stuff that I didn't even realize this was coming. I wish I were there to hug you and support you as you have supported us this past year. I just don't even know what to say. Even from afar I am thinking about you and sending all the good vibes possible. When you smell incense know that our love has reached you from the other side of the world. Since it has traveled so far it will be strong in your times of need. I love you girlfriend!
Shelli

Anonymous said...

Erin, thank you for feeling safe enough to share this with me. You are so courageous to speak with such candor. I have nothing but love and enormous respect for you. I can only imagine that this feels like a blow to the gut or maybe a constant, dull ache. I know there are no words that can heal your pain. What I can offer is unconditional support and my time. I am here for you and your beautiful kids in any way I can be of help. Need a beak from the kids so you can cry with abandon or scream at the top of your lungs, call me and I will take those babies into my home and heart and give you space to heal.

You are loved by so many people and DESERVE nothing short of peace and happiness. Jamie

Anonymous said...

I love that you read me. I love that you wrote me. And now I return it, in one piece.

missbubbles said...

I am here because of Holly. That is our link. And I am sorry to hear of your pain. This post brought tears to my eyes. Not only for you but for myself as well. I am stuck and find comfort in your unstuck-ness. We all find our truth when it comes and I appreciate you sharing yours. Maybe it can guide me to mine.

spielbee said...

Miss Bubbles - I am SO glad you are here! come along and post comments often. Share vent reveal collaborate.
All my love!
ellen

Jenn said...

Oh, Beauty. Listen to you. Look at you. You give me courage. Thank you for being so brave and so real. My insides lurch to you, in your direction. I know. I do. I send love.