What it was supposed to be, and what it is.

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans, right? Well my first post was written BEFORE I knew my marriage was over, when I thought we were going to make it work. It’s unfinished, unedited, and now serves as nothing more than a reminder of my failure… my too little too late… the worst day of my life… my lost Love. I hope one day I can look back on all this and think of it as a beginning, rather than the end.

Wife Life

I sat down to write a piece on “How I learned not to sweat the small stuff” and ended up with no direction. I thought about how this piece would fit into the book and what I liked, wanted it to feel and sound like…. And came up with nothing. Maybe before you can write about a lesson, I need to know why I’m teaching it? So why am I teaching it?

I’m a 34 year old, married professional who gave her 20’s and early 30’s to her career… and almost lost her partner in the process. You hear all too often “life got in the way”, and it sounds like a cop out, but it’s true.

When we first married my goal was to be the best Wife and Worker EVER! Type A, older child, over achiever, self-proclaimed super woman (who don’t need no man)… shiiiiiiittttttt. I had this in the bag! I was focused in every which direction, but things eventually spun out of control. As my positions got more demanding of my time and efforts, I had to pull that energy from somewhere.

I slowly but surely siphoned time from my personal life to give to my work life, hoping that at some point I could move it back. For anyone who works in business, you know how that worked out.  Yea… it didn’t. I was working 60+ hours a week, I was preparing to take in my elderly grandmother, we were moving into our dream house, and my life began a full death spiral.

I failed. I failed myself, my husband, and my marriage. My partner, the man with whom I pledged to Love, Honor, and Cherish above all others was at the bottom of my list… ALWAYS. All the reasons I was “the best wife ever” had disappeared, and all my husband was left with was my salary to keep him warm. Something he never wanted in the first place…

The D word, yup, that’s come up from time to time but was never a real threat until something worse happened. My husband fell out of Love with me. The words literally broke my world apart. How did this happen? How did I not notice that the man I had been in Love with for years fall out of Love with me and I not notice? How did we sleep in the same bed, have sex, joke around, and function without me realizing the Love was gone? How was I looking into those eyes and seeing Love that wasn’t there for a WHOLE YEAR!

You guessed it, life got in the way. I lost focus on the one thing that mattered most to me in the whole world. And for what?  Money? A title? Material possessions? I would have traded it all away, and went millions into debt for that Love back. I failed, plain and simple. When I stopped hiding behind “how busy I was” I realized just how badly I fucked up. How many times I put everything else first, and him last.  I needed a hard Reset button, a do over, another chance… but I already got my second chance before we even got married.

He was planning to leave, honestly he still has one foot out the door, and still isn’t in Love with me. He has love for me, and loves me, but it’s not the same anymore. Due to our “unique” situation (which I will get into later), I was granted a final “Hail Mary”. I wanted him to see that I was already making moves in the right direction. I wanted him to see my changes and see who I really was, not what I had allowed myself to become.

Back to the beginning again, so why am I writing this? Well, my husband and I have been through IT ALL. We have always wanted to write a book, but never had the time. Bitch I ain’t got nothing but time for what WE want to do. I want to finally use my skills for what I intended them for, to help others. To help my friends and family, and to have fun with my best friend. So I am writing this for you, for me, for my marriage, and for fun.

I am not sure if I will be writing the chapter on divorce alone, or all the chapters alone. I don’t know if my husband will ever fall back in Love with me, or leave me. I don’t know anything except this: I am in Love with him, and our marriage is worth it.  I have never been so unsure of anything in my whole life, especially when it is attached to the only constant. Yet here I am…

 

 

Brunch

He climbs into her car and inhales her sweet body splash. The adrenaline rush from sneaking around makes them both shake as they embrace.

“We have to leave, we can’t stay here she’s shopping nearby. Let’s go.”

The driver takes off to the motel as he pulls together the cash he carefully squirreled away without his wife’s notice. They only have a few hours together and can’t waste a second, so the typical area traffic makes them both even edgier.

“Two hours please” she says as they grab the room key. The place is what you expect, a shitty roadside motel. The kind of place built for affairs and day hookers.

The room itself is gross but they don’t care. They have been talking, dreaming, writing about this moment for over a year and won’t let anything ruin it. It’s not about the room, their spouses, or anything else other than their own passion and desire.

The hours fly by as they entwine themselves with reckless abandon. Not a care in the world as they shower off the stench of their betrayal. He texts his wife as they leave and head to the diner for their cover story.

They cuddle up in a booth, play footsie, kiss, and chat. Relive the memory of their deepest darkest secret, the one they will take to the grave. He knows her husband won’t stand for this, even if caught he’ll deny this ever happened. He must protect her and this at all costs, even if it means he loses his wife, he cares not.

No one will ever know the details, even they will have different versions of the same stolen moments. However I like to think that the reality of the story, is far more scandalous than I could ever dream up.

Tied

Tattered and tangled I pull from my pocket

A length of string, but don’t know where I got it

Red in color and as thin as a hair

You almost can’t see it, but I know it’s there

It twists and it turns before kinking in knots

Still have trouble keeping it from my thoughts

Impossible to release and unable to forget

The ending of this story seems to me: dead set

Press me for details and none you will get

For I have secrets here that are too delicate

Sharing with you just doesn’t make sense

I’d rather be elsewhere, please don’t take offense

For that string in my pocket is fit to be tied

And the other end I know I must find

Destiny and Love might await my arrival

But to be truthful I’d be content with survival

I’ll take up this voyage, and set my course

Untangle the line, and discover it’s source

My Love I am coming, it’s frightfully true

There is nowhere to hide, “I’ll find You”

The Wound

First time I anticipated the cut and saw the steel of the blade before it ever pierced the skin

The second time I was not so lucky,  it entered next to the first while that one was still barely stitched together

One puncture was now two gaping holes, and neither one given any time to heal like it needed

I was undeserving of medical care and left alone to lick my gashes, given salt from time to time to remind me

Years passed in the same cycle: pick till it bleeds, rub, pain, remember your mistake, punish yourself

Over and over again until the scar still shows the thick keloiding that comes with a repeated assault

A reminder so large now that there is no way to ignore it and no way to pretend you don’t know what caused it

The size and shape make it clear to all those who glimpse it what came before, and how I healed it

The horrors that brought that reminder, the actions of mine that brought on the attack and how I felt I deserved it

I remember every moment in exquisite agony every time I pick at it, I punish myself by making it bigger, adding to the layers of scar tissue

But no more, today I have finally been given the tool needed to lop off the entire scar

It will cut deep into my skin and free me from the prison of my own obsessive need to relive the trauma

This is the chance to finally let go of the raised ugly scar and behaviour that imprisons me

It will be a painful complicated surgery without anesthesia, going possibly down to the bone

Every possible bit of scar tissue will be removed, no chance taken this time with the proper doctor in tow

Surgery will leave a permanent mark but this scar will be different, stitched together with precision and given the proper aftercare

Allowed to heal the right way, in a calm relaxing environment and with an attentive nurse to watch over my progress

I’ll trade the old complicated oozing scar that plagued me, for a deep red line across my heart

You’ll still be able to see the scar, but now you’ll see the aftercare and love that proper healing brings to a wound of this nature

I’ll be able to display this badge of courage as a reminder of the unconditional love that fixed it, rather than the evil that caused it so long ago

Sea Glass

Tall violent waves crash onto the black sand shores of your lashes as I set sail once more, this time in a gale so great I risk both our lives

The seas I’ve become a master of exploring are calling my name again, and I can’t deny the siren’s song as it beckons to me

I’ve charted what I thought was every nautical mile in that expanse of wilderness, but still there’s more there than before

A new island on the horizon, one brought forth as only land masses can be: By great violence of the earth

The plates heave and press against one another causing quakes and fissures, all while underwater volcanoes erupt, spewing molten rock and smoke into the air

I know someone has been here before me but I do not care, they were not the dedicated explorer I am, and I will not give up so easily

Not because I’m the best one to do it, not because I’m the most intelligent, or even the most talented one to try, but because I am made for the job

Every failure has taught me a lesson for the journey, opened my eyes and put a brand new tool in my kit, giving me strength

It’s my passion, it’s my life’s work, it’s my purpose in this life and I refuse to give into failure, the potential reward is greater than any of the most precious gems

“Do you know even what you were looking for?” I whisper to the wind as I leave the comfort of the dock

Rain pours down in large droplets all around our vessel, and the smell of cooling lava tells me exactly what direction in which to head

Those dark amber pools flickered with bright shots of gold and red, the dark brown smoke around each, and the deep black portals might scare you, but I see the future…

… and I am not scared.

Glass Shards

It was like a slow motion replay

I knew the bullet was coming

I could see it in the distance and yet I did not move

I felt the words on your lips before they passed through them

I knew the answer to the question before I even asked it

and yet still I am shattered

Still this glass heart broke into tiny shards

When you think it can’t be more broken

Just when you think the light is coming

That is when you realize that the light was not the end

but merely the eye of this terrible storm

Hang on tight my dear,

this is going to be a big one.

If I never get better

What if, it never gets better. What if this is all there is? Can I learn to accept that I might never feel better? I might never feel worthy or worth it, I might always feel like a burden. Though this happens less, it still happens. Dealing with my trauma and healing from it makes it wax and wane, but it’s always there.

It’s there in the smile that I missed, in the kind words I didn’t hear. The feeling has nothing to do with my actual worth, and more to do with my illness, but still it remains. As I heal it can get better, but the truth it it’s like any recovery: it’s forever. No matter how good a handle you think you have on it, the universe finds ways to throw you that curve ball.

So I ask myself again, can you live with yourself? Can I go on forever knowing that I will always have this feeling that I am not good enough. That I may never believe anyone will love me unconditionally? That because I don’t have the ability to trust myself, I won’t be able to trust others? What if this is who I am now?

It’s not, right? It’s not because even as I go back now and look at my writing the weak caterpillar, yes woman, blinded by success and money is no longer there. I’m in flux, I am changing, I am capable of change… and I have to see that. If I am ever to break free from this cocoon I must remember a few things:

  1. The only constant is that everything changes
  2. That recovery is forever but it gets easier with time
  3. The time it takes for you to grow is the time it takes, it cannot be rushed or forced
  4. Before you can feel unconditional love from another, you need to have it for yourself
  5. I am a flawed human and will make mistakes
  6. That in the cocoon only at the very beginning and the very end do you know what you are
  7. The in between is just messy goo, self digested and ready for rebuilding
  8. Until I can digest all that was, I will not be able to start putting it back together

Back to eating shit for a while I guess… but hope renewed. Even if I never feel better, I will at some point learn to love and forgive myself for issues that will come up. That I will learn from them and move on. And that even if my trauma wins, I have already done so much good work, and so much good for others, that I should be proud.

If I can learn to have half the compassion that I have for others, for myself, then I am going to make it. You will too.

 

 

Sister

I wish I could peek in your mind and see what you hide

There are moments I see where the real you resides

My dearest half-sister we are so far away

not just in our age, also in how we behave

But there are actions of yours, opposite of mine

that lead me to think it’s finally time

For me to reach out and actually ask

about the awful things in our past

But your telling me no, and refusing my help

saying I need to leave you to yourself

So now that the past is affecting your present

you want me to be there, but I won’t consent

I too am broken, and need some healing

I just can’t be here when you aren’t listening

I’m afraid that what I’ve done is just too much

that you’ll never be open to my rules and such

But I want you to know, if ever that changes

that I will be here to listen to all of the rages

Not just to theirs, but to mine as well

even when I hurt and the tears start to swell

Should that day not come, and our bond break

I hope you know that it is never too late

I am still broken, but now I am ready

to be the support you need to be steady

What happened to us, is not our fault

we don’t have to pretend our heart is a vault

That the lies we’ve been telling are not the end

that we really are worthy of the love that we spend

You are a human with faults and trauma

who always seems to be starting the drama

but if you ever decide to give that up

To open the vault and let it erupt

I’m here to listen and honestly say

that I’m sorry our family treated you this way

That the shit in our past doesn’t negate

all the awesomeness we have innate

You’re strong and great, it’s time you know too

that Ashlee I am actually very proud of you

The fact we survived, is more than most

and I will never forget the hurt we host

This gift I give you is the wisdom of time

even if it came in this strange rhyme:

Don’t let your past define your future

You dear are stronger than our abuser