Sunday, October 14, 2012
I fell off my path when I listened to my fear instead of my own heart. I was surprised by the urgent loneliness that day when I could smell the dying leaves. I wanted so badly to believe that I was finally healed, finally whole, and then there was John, touching the small of my back as we walked into the gallery. His fingertips ignited a passion I'd forgotten existed.
Every week, though, I sat in Lori's office, terrified and crying. Something wasn't right. And every week she said so kindly, "This is your own distress talking." And I wanted so much to believe her and her sparkling eyes. But then of course it happened: I met the real girlfriend in the driveway. I was stunned. This shabby, downcast girl? Over me?
Driving home, I took a deep breath. "Fuck it, never mind, whatever, doesn't matter." But I knew I was lying and I let myself cry. All night, all day, for weeks. Another rupture. Proof that I couldn't fucking get it right, no matter how calm and measured and careful I was.
And when I was lying there, raw and aching in my apartment, certain that I was and would always be fat-old-ugly-alone, David moved in for the kill. The man who sounded, when he spoke, as if he was gargling his own phlegm. His lopsided house reeked of animal urine but he showed it off proudly and his dirty children made my skin crawl. The night he wanted us to stay for dinner, I wanted to go home instead and cut my own toenails down to the bleeding quick.
But again, I was weak, stupid, and so willing to give others what they want and ignore my own voice. These dominoes have tumbled thanks to my own hand and now I live without my son in a town that is not my own.
I think of them together--the twin mistakes of JohnandDavid--and an ulcer of wrath opens slow as an eye. But I know that the blind knot of rage is looking for me.
There is so much fury and grief and still, again, as always, it is tied to my father. Can't any fucking thing be separate from him? I just want to get over this nonsense and get on with my life. But. But. I have to give the grief its voice. It's the gag that causes these unplanned eruptions that threaten to sweep me away.
My joy and success are separate from him. I have succeeded in many ways despite him, not because of him. I must stop believing that I owe him any debt of gratitude.
My feelings, my life, are not nonsense.
I must let the grief wash through me. I'm still trying to be "cool" and "good" and move right on to forgiveness but the sorrow and rage boil underneath.
It's so much easier and more convenient to blame myself and be angry at myself. I can flay myself open as much as I like with no one to stop me. But it's misplaced. Yes, maybe he was victimized too. Yes, maybe his brain truly has blocked access to the memory of what he did--but he still did it. He made the choice that broke me.