Dust Bunnies and Lost Socks
Wow, I wrote this in another time and place. It catches at my heart to read it now. I had set it back into the draft files because I knew that there was deep pain in it and I was not ready to address it. Today I am slaying dragons, so here goes. I trusted, I tried, I gave love and my heart and I lost and that is okay. I did not die. I still breathe. The fundamentals here are true. I simply trusted someone who was unworthy of that gift. Let me tell you, I am freer now, happier within myself than I ever was with him or before I knew he existed. Some people are set in your path to teach you things and then to be gone. Such is the case with this relationship. I am stronger for it. I am more compassionate and more understanding. There is always hope and love. Never give them up. What happened in that broken relationship doesn't matter. There simply is no room in my life for such a person and I am better for his eviction from my heart.
A strange thing happened when I started realizing my dreams. When my life was full of peace and love. I grew uneasy. I saw disaster around every turn. I was reminded of when my children were young. How after tucking them in, or some times late into the night they would cry out about shadows and monsters and in I would go, ready to do battle. I would look in the closets and under the bed, my heart beating faster for no logical reason. As I would lift up the blanket and bed skirt to slay demons, of course there would be nothing but dust bunnies and lost socks. That's exactly what is was like. I would check my partner's phone, I did not want to. I hated that behavior. And yet, I did it. Looking for something, anything that would prove that it was not real. That he did not care for me. I kept an eye on him and played private eye. But there was never a hint of trouble. He gave me no reason to doubt him and instead of relaxing into the relationship that was us, I redoubled my efforts. I looked for signs and symbols. Anything amiss. Anything to tie my fears to. It took me so long, to lay down my armor. To give up the battlefield I had grown up on. It was all I had. I spent a year, maybe two rooting around fields of daisies, looking for dandelions.
I was afraid. After so many failures and hurts. I had taken a template of all those broken relationships and placed it over this one and pretended that they matched. It was unfair. Once I realized I had done it, I had to change. It is a pact I have with myself. An agreement. When I become aware of my folly, my mistakes, when I know I am wrong, I must change course. There can be an excuse to be made for being wrong but not for being willfully so. That is inexcusable. And so, I tried to be more trusting. I tried to give him a chance. I stopped looking for excuses for not committing to our relationship. Being that he was a very smart man, he called me out on it. He said I was not all in, that I was not being serious and of course as he usually was, he was correct. I will hated that and loved it all at once. A man I could put my faith in. What a frightening thought.
Something else changed too. I lost some friends. They did not seem to fit into my new life. Some where only interested in me as a single person. Someone to fix up with other friends. With the newly divorced or the broken hearted. Others seemed to be fine when I was making my own way, but now that I had commingled my life with another's, well they seemed to disapprove. Phone calls came less often. Weekly lunches got canceled and never rescheduled. I missed some of them. Their company and insights but not enough to give up what I had found in this relationship. And so old friends left and new friends took their place. Couples. In all stages of relationships. Some falling in love, others trying not to fall out. We were happy and we wished those around us the same.
I read this now...oh goodness! I never noticed the signs of slowly isolating me. He would say that others were just jealous, he could find something wrong with anyone and whatever fault he pointed out, I would suddenly become aware of and soon I would have one less connection to the world outside of him.
We had never had a fight. Not one argument in two years. There was nothing to be cross about. The man gave no reasons. He was logical and kind. He was generous and oh was he witty. I never bored of his company. He was always dragging in new topics to explore. I learned so much from that man. He was a tinkerer, a putterer. Just like his father, he loved a project. It was the early spring of 2008 and he had decided to clean the garage. He did this sometimes. Every three months or so, he would insist on reorganizing the entire thing. And of course he wanted me to help. He liked the company. I think being in a family of seven children made him crave companionship. So, there we were moving around boxes and thingemajiggers, when he asked me very casually, if I knew anyone who might want a flat screen TV. Now, in the real world, the one that this strange man did not inhabit, this question never would come up. I don't imagine very many people have brand new flatscreen TVs just laying around their garage. But nothing about this man was run of the mill. I said that I did indeed know someone who would like it. He seemed completely surprised when I said I would like it. He asked what I would possibly do with it. I told him, never expecting him to agree to it, that it should go over the tub. This new house had a huge bathroom and an a mammoth Jacuzzi bathtub. So off to the hardware store we went, within an hour it was hanging up on the wall in the bath. And a new ritual was born. After coffee and toast in bed every morning, I would totter off to the tub for a long bath and the morning news.
I admit it took years. For me to accept our relationship. To stop looking behind me. To step out of the shadows of the past. I had read somewhere that when you grew up as I had that you were always looking for drama in your life. It was called living in the eye of the storm. And I vowed to not go back to that way of life. I would make peace with my happiness. Embrace my own life without looking for the price tag. Somethings had no price. They were free. Being loved should be free.
It is okay to say it was not what I thought it was. I loved and lost and that is fine. I will always love. No one can stop me from loving and holding close to hope, and most importantly living in Grace. Love to you, I hope you are well. Life is hard, bad things are going to happen. That is okay. Hold on, hold out, hold fast. You are so much more than you know.