Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Counting Down to Nothing

Was it only seven years ago that I hid my face and you pulled my hands away and kissed me so deeply and my toes curled and my head floated and everything was possible and it was all before us spread like wings ready to carry us into the glorious sunrise?

And was it only seven years ago that I lay like that beside you, curled into your side , you arm wrapped around me and I was safe and warm and slept like I hadn't slept in years and nothing could touch us and we were incandescent and unstoppable?

And was it only seven years ago that I listened to your heart and your murmuring voice and we watched the night slide past the window and never counted the minutes or hours because we were outside of time wrapped in sheets and blankets and each other and music?

Was it only months later that your rage first burst through the veneer and shattered everything with hateful words and drunken slurs and for hours paced the hall and rooms and circled itself and us and snarled and glared and accused and finally left me ignored and alone wondering what the hell happened so I could be sure never to do it again, but it wouldn't matter how hard I tried, would it?

Was it only six years ago that I told you we'd made a life and asked what would we do and you walked away for a few minutes and came back and wanted to keep on and a moment more for you to find the joy in it and me wondering if I'd done the right thing in telling you and should I have been quiet and made it all go away but I can't do that, it's not in me to do that, and anyway didn't you say yes, let's do this?

And was it only six years ago you put your shaking hand on my swollen middle, grossly distended and writhing with the child within and felt her press herself against it and give a mighty shove as a hello to her Papa and you wept and grinned even and I felt utterly alone because your smile was for her but not for me and the only reason you wanted to touch me at all was to feel her and you had been so angry, spoken such angry words, had such angry eyes and when you were done touching her through me you turned your back on me and left me bereft beside you?

Was it five years ago that she came into this world, a lithe, wriggling, howling little girl who immediately became the focus of everything until she kept you awake at night, until she needed attention that stole from your pool and you shouted at me to keep her quiet and goddammit, you were so sick of the whining and I answered yeah, and the crying baby doesn't help, either and you exploded into dark fire and I turned away and sat with her, rocking, rocking, rocking, listening to your vitriol and letting it wash over, wash past, flow through this house like a river, holding her close and singing endlessly while she slept unaware of what you used to be or what you'd become and just so small and perfect and ours?

And weren't there those days, those few horrible days, when it could have been cancer, or not, and we'd find out, and there was a procedure that meant no sex and somehow that turned into me rejecting you and you were angry, resentful, bitter and I was left alone to wait for the results while you stared at the computer screen and wrote sweet, secret words to some other woman who mocked  and jeered at me without my knowing and fed your ugliness so it grew large and threatened to smother me and I couldn't even give voice to my fear because somehow that would mean I didn't care about you and was just selfish?

Was it only four years ago that you had to go live in another place, still tied to us, still of our life yet of your own because your anger had become another resident here and we couldn't survive or thrive with it crawling through the walls and oozing around our feet?

Was it three years ago that you began to disintegrate and I didn't understand why but I knew what I saw wasn't right, wasn't you, but you, but something else was shaping you and it wasn't love any more and your eyes were wild and your words accusing and spiteful and everything and everyone was against you and there were lies and secrets building walls around you and somehow, somehow, somehow it wasn't your fault and everyone else did it and I was the chiefest among them, never knowing what it was I did to make this monument of misery that caged you in?

Was it two years gone that you called me and I didn't recognize the number but took it anyway, against my nature, and heard the recording from the jail and went cold and couldn't feel my legs or face and my mind went numb and I accepted the call and you told me you'd been arrested and it was wrong and all the things you needed from me, that I had to do, and I cried for days and you raged at me over the phone because I didn't know how to do this and tried but it wasn't good enough?

And was it only two years ago that I forewent medication so the money would be there for you, for bond and books and snacks and phone calls to me and phone calls to other people and I drove every week with our daughter to see you but you still insisted that I didn't care about you and nothing I said or did could convince you and I started to lose the feeling in my toes but it wouldn't have mattered to you so I didn't mention?

Was it only one year ago that I couldn't see the end, couldn't find my way out of your anger and hateful words and looked forward and saw only a bleak future trying to protect my children from your addiction to anger, the bitterness and horrible words, when I chanced to look into the mirror and saw a worn, grey, tired face staring back out at me, dead eyes telling me everything that I already knew?

And now...now that it's over and I've been alone, alone, alone all this time and fighting to stem the tide and finally given way and let yet more anger crash over my head like storm-built waves and cried damn near every night as I thrashed restlessly in the bed that was once a haven and a joy but now is a reminder of how alone I am, cried because there's no arm to hold me, there's no one to lean on, lean against, tell my dreams to, laugh with, touch and love and it's me and these kids and now you have sweet words and see the pain you've caused and want to make it right, but now, now, now I am empty and trying to see myself but I can't look in the mirror because I still see that used up, useless person and I need to be someone else, I need to shine and I cannot shine in my own eyes and I wonder if I will ever shine again, for anyone, ever, and will there be an arm around me that is the warm, loving, cherishing, comforting arm that I so need, desire, want, offering a few minutes' sanctuary from the world, from my mind.

2 comments:

Momlady said...

You will shine again.

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