Saturday, November 20, 2010

let it rain

[your soundtrack]

"you see the struggle on my face, you see it storming in my eye; you see it heavy on my shoulder, you see me swaying on the line..."

there was a time when i was better at hiding this. this girl was a master of disguise. i mean, hell, i could dance for you even when i was bleeding inside. i lived a double life for so long that i got really used to the feeling of being split in half. and then a funny thing happened: the strain broke through the mask, and i lost the capability to hide the hurt anymore. i don’t know what it was. maybe it was watching the end turn so ugly. maybe it was finally being honest and owning up to the insufficiency of the friends-with-benefits setup, coming clean about my feelings, and (to my great surprise) getting exactly what i wanted. whatever it is, i can’t keep how much it hurts, how angry i am, inside anymore. if you look at me, you’ll see it.

"bring on the troubles of the morning and the stories of my life; look up above, the clouds are forming and i’m not gonna hide..."

so why not own this? my life is hard as hell these days. everyone can see it, and i’m apparently the last person alive to acknowledge it. bring on the struggle. let me take it on with arms wide open, and if the pain shows through, i should have the decency to own up to the fact that i’m hurting. making myself a martyr only hurts me. well, me and everyone who has to deal with me while i’m carrying on like this. (see also my beloved boyfriend for the last few weeks.) the only way to keep it from swallowing me whole is to come out from behind the front and own it all.

"i’m not getting any younger, i took the longer road; and i know it’s made me stronger out here on my own..."

the man (as well as my friends and family) always says he’s proud of me for everything i’ve done and earned in my life. he tells me how strong i am, how tough i am. not only that, he tells me that i’m tougher than i think i am, and certainly stronger than i give myself credit for being. i think i’m finally starting to understand that he’s right. the things i’ve suffered through, as he told me, would have destroyed weaker people. funny how it’s taken him to finally drive that through my thick skull, but it’s true. i have struggled – oh, lord, how i have struggled – and i’m better for it. i’m far more of a complete person than someone who’s been through nothing.

"let it rain on me, let my shelter crumble down; take it all away, don’t need no one to save me now..."

i will rely on those who love me to support me. i’ve seen the results of the stubborn insistence on standing as the lone wolf in front of them and “proving” how “independent” i am. it is not pretty. but at the end of the day, no one can save me but me. i have to be accountable to myself; there’s no way around it. so let the walls fall down, and bring on whatever challenge there is. with the help and faith of those who love me, i’ll make it through everything. i will win. there’s no other choice.

Friday, November 19, 2010


foreigner once sang, "i wanna know what love is; i want you to show me." lord, is that song sappy. it's a FABULOUS long road-trip jam, when you're totally alone in the wilds of tennessee with nothing around you but trees and gratuitous power ballads and can totally let your vocals rip.

i mean, not that i'd know this from experience or anything.

but it's creepy how sappy little things here and there can morph into these GRAND, OVERARCHING TRUISMS. i really thought i knew what love was from a very young age. as you've probably noticed, i was a very confident kid, and when i was seventeen, i just knew that this. was. it. there was no going back; i'd met the man i was destined to marry, and we were gonna live happy ever after in our little fairy-tale world, with no worries or cares.

enter adulthood. enter growth (or lack thereof), refinement of goals. a very wise fellow blogger said that "i was a very different woman at 29 than at 23, a woman i liked a whole lot more." heh. turns out. so i'm taking steps to undo the damage that blindness and overconfidence caused, damage that reveals itself to be more serious and scathing than i even realized possible. this process is long, and the rage that takes over every single time he drags his feet and makes this take longer threatens to swamp me completely. it's not going to be easy to overcome this.

but lo and behold, through the forest, there's a small beacon, a single ray of light. as it happens, i'm really, finally starting to see what love is. it's been here all along, beside me through up and down, and the late unpleasantness, to say the least, has brought it forth in the most sweepingly obvious manner possible. when i've been at my lowest, my saddest, my most desperate, all i've gotten is absolute and unconditional love, poured over me when i've needed it most. i don't know what to do but worry, he says. i say back, this breaks my heart - i don't want you to worry. i'm sorry. and then, the three sentences that move me to tears, stir my very soul: don't be. it's not your fault. and you know i only worry because you mean the world to me.

this is what love is. this is the gift i've been given in the undoing of my life. this is the privilege with which i've been bestowed: the true, pure love of an unyielding partner. this is real. this is the cord that binds us. and i am beyond honored to finally, truly know what love is. there just aren't words.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


you looked at me with an expression i can't characterize. i don't even know what the name for that emotion would be, or even if it has a name at all. the whole thing only lasted eight hours, four of which were spent sleeping, but the destruction was nearly complete. your eyes still haunt me, shake me to my core. i didn't realize i could have that kind of power over you, demonstrate the risks of opening your heart in such a stark manner as i have tonight. but you let me in, and now you see exactly what that means. you see the fractures i've tried so hard to conceal from you. you see the bottom, clear as day, even in the dark of night. and you're scared.

what do you fear? you tell me, i don't want you to feel this way ever again. i don't want you to ever want to do this again. you ask me what i need, what i want; what can i do? any idea? anything i can do, i will. and most poignantly: you're scaring me. you never confess fear. you're strong, untouchable. you never show me your vulnerabilities... until i push you to the breaking point.

the break nearly came in front of me, your inability to change it, to fix it, to make it better. i can't stand the thought of what this does to you. so i'm going to handle it. i'm going to fix this. i'm going to make this go away. you always tell me to lean on you, to use you to soothe myself when i need to. but when i'm this broken, this bruised and bloodied, the reality of what you invite me to do becomes sharply, harrowingly clear, doesn't it?

you're my strength. you always have been, you always will be. but have i finally seen the limit of how strong you can be?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

well. that happened.

so a follow-up from yesterday. not to scare anybody, but as it happens, i was due for a freak-out, and it came with a vengeance after i left y'all. i'm OK, first off. nothing life- or limb-threatening happened. but it was a long, dark night.

some things i'd like to say:
1) there is a long string of counseling appointments in my future, starting tomorrow. (i've already been to speak to the nice folks at the counseling office here at school, before you ask.)

2) i am officially off alcohol for the rest of the semester. that's something i just do NOT need. it does not help anything. and for a red-wine lover like myself, this is a big damn deal.

3) to the man, if he reads this (and i don't think he does, but it's worth saying): thank you, love. things will be under control. i will handle this.

strangely, though there's a lot of work yet to do, i feel a lot less... pent-up, i guess, after last night. the dam burst, and though it's messy and there's a lot of cleaning up that'll follow this, the pressure i was feeling, building up inside me, has eased. i may be a little more all over the place than usual, a lot less linear, but at least it's all coming out. and that's a good thing. that's a very good thing.

one step at a time. and this too shall pass. i feel it now more than ever.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


it's dark. it's really, really dark. i try so hard to be positive, to muddle through the pain, the anger, the annoyance and the stress with all the resolve i can muster. but by god, this hurts. i am starting to feel the old rebellious streak rise up in me, the one who says, y'know, why the hell SHOULD life be this hard? what the hell is the point of trying to maintain, be on an even keel? this world does nothing but throw curveballs at you. and that, my friends, is a place i'd just as soon never see again.

see, i have a double-barreled challenge to overcome here: 1) my mother's serious mental health issues, many of which are supposedly genetic; 2) a history of... allowing the darkness to control me, so to speak. i have done so well over the past decade or so at keeping my head above water, managing my emotions. but with stressor upon stressor upon heartbreak upon fear piling up, my carefully-arranged psyche is starting to crack, starting to show signs of wear.

i know what i need to do. i know what i should do. but by god, i can't be the only person on the face of the earth who is seriously, intensely incensed by the fact that life has to be so much work. really. why the hell does this have to be such a struggle all the time? why is it that i have to fight so incredibly hard just to get through the day without succumbing to the forces that are trying to destroy me? i look around at most of the people in my life, who i know don't have perfect lives, but at least seem to have okay enough lives, and i am seethingly jealous. it makes me so angry. i have to try so goddamned hard just to get out of bed in the morning these days. it's so much fucking work. my emotional life is so much in tatters that it's cutting me to shreds. compounding this is the fact that i know people with real, life-threatening challenges who are so much more successful at staying... sane, i guess. the guilt of that compounds all of this even more.

so that's where i stand. it's a damn cold night, and i'm here, alone in my room, doing everything i can to keep my demons at bay and my angels close by. i will make it through this. i know. but sometimes, i get so goddamned tired. the test is whether i drop my hand from the wheel and let things go, or whether i somehow scare up enough resolve to keep it going.

Monday, November 15, 2010


in the devil's dance that is my psychic state, the darkness has been winning. that has made me nothing short of unbearable to be around, as i've chronicled earlier. but, as usual, the man comes through for me. there's been a little tough love wielded on me lately - he's called me on things that, frankly, i've needed to be called on.

yesterday i talked to my grandmother. i will never understand for the life of me how that woman can push so many emotional buttons in the course of one conversation, but she has always had that talent. good for her. heh. i waited until the night fell and the man and i were alone to tell him what she said, and from there, the whole sordid story of my emotional state came tumbling out. he listened, offered some encouragement, and held me close against him. the soothing took longer than usual. a lot longer, actually, and it was nowhere near complete. the issues that bother me are just too big to be settled in one night.

the edginess eased, but not entirely. something was missing. so i decided to soothe myself. i pressed in close, wrapping myself around him, and sought comfort in his body, not just his words. his hands found my curves, my lips found his neck. we've always been more than compatible in this regard, but there's always been a level of recreation to it. fun. nothing too heavy. yeah, that wasn't really the case this time. we didn't speak a word, just lost ourselves in each other. and when he held me in his arms and loved me, he made it totally obvious that love was precisely what he was giving me. his eyes met mine. his lips met mine. he gave of himself completely, unconditionally and passionately.

i've written extensively about the learning process that this relationship has triggered. i've said a lot about observing, accepting, and understanding the way he loves. i thought i got it before, but this weekend showed me how wrong i was. i learned it through missteps and bad actions, which resulted in conversations that i'd rather not have had. but finally, when it was most critical, i learned it through the silent openness of his embrace. his love is deep, bigger than words. to feel it so broadly, so completely, is all the lesson i'll need.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


well. that happened. turns out i'm not the only person who was aggrieved in my life last night. i mean, that does stand to reason; it's no secret that i'm a challenge to love from time to time. but it seems that there was a lot i was doing that was bothering him. it's the first time in my life when i've ever been told by someone that "anything i say will make things worse, so i'm not saying anything."

whoa. that's not what i was expecting to hear at all. but talk about a wake-up call. so we had it out. i mean, i know i'm on edge. i know i've been tough to be around. but the implication that i can't be spoken to because of my potential reaction to it? oh, no. that's not going to work. so we talked it out. it was good, in its way, to argue for once. at least i was finally, after pulling it out of him, clued into the fact that he wasn't happy with me. things were resolved.

i've had better weeks than this one. i've had better months than this one, so far. but i apparently needed to be called out for the way i was acting. (so did he.) better to know than not, i suppose. facing the bad and the good is part of having an adult relationship. and i'd much rather have a real, true relationship than a shallow, fake "happy" situation. so i'll take my medicine. just as long as he takes his too, that is.