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.
Cause I'm here.
Here I am.
I love you.