Wednesday, December 05, 2012

To Him

It wouldn't surprise you, baby, to know that I've been having trouble sleeping lately. Always did, always will. But it's as bad as it's ever been. Can't even blame it on your snoring, anymore.

I don't wear the necklace with our wedding ring on it anymore. I flew out to see you, the week before last, and I found out then something I didn't expect: I don't really want our life back. Not the way I used to. Being there, I remember how it felt, sometimes. You get so angry, so often, and I don't react to that well. My new life, well, that's not a part of it.

It was refreshing at first. To feel like I made all the right choices. To feel like I was starting to get past it all. To think, maybe, you and I are on our way to whatever you and I are going to be, when we're not married anymore. When it's part of our past. Maybe, I'm on my way to being someone who can be completely with the person I'm with, without reservation, without regret.

And most days, since then, it's been pretty much like that. I had a great time out there with you, but it didn't feel like home anymore, and I was glad to come home.


Except, I've barely heard your voice since then. I've barely made the effort to hear it. I've grown complacent in this new world of mine-- or not complacent, but when I break down from missing someone, it's not you, most of the time.

It is, tonight.

I was laying in bed, not thinking of you, not thinking of us. And then it hit me, all at once, that I wasn't. It hit me, all at once, how little time I've spent lately, remembering the life we've had, remember that you're our there somewhere, without me, and that that's by my choice, and that that would have seemed unspeakable to me, a year ago.

I imagine, sometimes, it hits you that you're alone now. You probably can avoid thinking of it way better than I can, when I am alone, which isn't as often as you are. But when it hits you, it probably hits you hard. I can't stand that. My whole adult life, all I ever knew how to do was to give myself to you so you'd feel less pain. It's all I want to do now, when I imagine you realizing how far away I am. When I imagine you realizing that I decided to leave.

I don't know how to describe the discomfort I feel when I write that-- "I decided to leave." How hard it is to keep that reality firm in my mind sometimes. The best way I can say it, really, is that it's sort of like graft versus host. I've had part of me removed-- part of me that was sick, that was starting to make the rest of me sick-- and replaced it with something new, something that can work. But sometimes, my whole body rejects it. Me, getting over you, making the choice to sleep apart from you? That's...that's not me. That's not how I remember myself.

It's so disorienting. To remember that I've made a decision that I can't go back on, and I'm not yours anymore. It makes me dizzy and lonely and homesick, because, honestly, it's the only thing I know how to be.

Most days, now, or for most hours of the day, I can want what's best for all of us: for you, for me, for him. I can want you to get the job that will make your life easier, even if it keeps you far away. I can want for me to love him forever, for him to give me children, for my life to stabilize and grow happier. Most days, now, most hours of the day, I can want you to find just enough help that you can get better, that you can be in a place where you can love someone again, and for that to last.

But some days, some hours of most days, I look around at my life, and I feel so confused. Why did I make this decision? Why did I give up on absolutely everything my life was made of? From the walls I was living between to the man I was sleeping next to. I went from one coast to the other in every way that a person can. And I spend so many hours alone now, and I spend so many hours awake.

I know that I can't go back. Because I had all the right reasons for going forward. Because I'm here, and I've started to try to build a life, and because I've told him I'll be his forever, and I can't break that promise twice. I know that I can't go back.

But I also can't keep going this way, where I forget, most days, most hours, to grieve in earnest for everything that we lost. Where I tell myself, I don't need to wear that necklace anymore, the one with our wedding ring on it. Where I tell myself, that ring has already been replaced, if only in spirit, for now.

I can't keep doing that. I have to remind myself that it's okay to look back on everything we had, because so much of it was beautiful. I have to remind myself, it's okay to miss you as deeply as I miss you right now-- it's okay that, right now, I'd give anything in the world to hear your voice, to hold you. I'd give anything in the world if you could be crying with me, like we did in the hotel that night, just before I left. I'd give anything in the world if you could be here to tell me, you loved what we had, too, just as much as I did, and you remember it, and you'll always remember it, and it's okay that it hurts this much.

I wish you would do that, sometimes. Feel the pain, for me, and be there with me, in it. I need to grieve this loss, the loss of our growing old together, the loss of children, the loss of our home and the happiness that we never quite caught up with.

Some days, you took such good care of me: the last day of my visit, I was sick, and you packed for me, and you were so good to me. No one ever made me feel so safe and at home as you, when you took care of me. It'll be a while before anyone ever does.

I wish you were here. I wish we could talk about how badly it hurts, together. You haven't died, and neither have I, but we grieve alone, like we're at each other's graves. It feels like that. Like I'm talking out loud, to a ghost. But you haven't died. You're out there somewhere, right now. Snoring.

I just want to be able to talk about the pain with you. I know that's hard for you-- to hear me out and not feel attacked, to feel my pain and resist the urge to numb yourself. But I wish we could do it, sometimes. Because I need to know that we both grieve.

It was beautiful, you know? Our life together. It was tumultuous and painful and gritty and frustrating, but it was beautiful, it was so beautiful. We stayed much longer than so many could have, under those circumstances. Because you opened me up to depths of love I'd never thought I would know how to feel. And that's something I benefit from, every day.

I don't regret it. I don't regret it at all. Just, tell me that you don't. Tell me that you never will. And hold me. And cry with me. I don't want to do it alone, anymore. I have so much grieving left to do.

And so little sleeping.

On with it.