I don’t care if he reads it: Tuesday Night

I cried to that ceiling. Overwhelmed at the realization of my own selfishness. Suddenly very aware of how awful it must have felt. Every ounce of heartache I had couldn’t justify it anymore. Hormonal or not, I had see it. Felt it. Spent the past months empathizing and trying to rationalize the feelings away. But they remained. 

Just moments ago my dad called me to tell me someone I had lost touch with was separated from their spouse. He didn’t have details. I didn’t need them. They were the last two people on earth I would have guessed to not make it as a couple. My tears dried instantly. It was all broken. Everyone. Everything. 

As humans I think we have an aspect of selfishness we dedicate to our empathy. When we hear the worst we try to feel the worst. Either that or we ignor it. I try to feel things with them stemming from my own experience. I’m not much for ignoring things. I put myself into the place of greatest pain I had ever felt, selfishly wanting to relate, and then I stay there until I can put myself in their situation with those feelings too. As if they felt what I did. Forcing my emotions on them. This time it was easy, because prior to the call, that’s what I was reliving. My greatest and most raw pain. 

Myself. 

To put it in more context, myself nearing the end of my previous relationship. I’m an analyzer. I started looking at what went wrong, and yes I found a great deal of things, which is overwhelming enough for one person. It wasn’t until I stopped looking at the him and us stuff, and started looking at the me half that I realized…most of it was me. I was the one getting in the way of us. I was the one who was fearful of our future. Fearful of the money and the bills and the medical stuff and the employment and the distance and the flaws and the family and the drama and the potential children and the struggle…oh the deepest darkest fear of all…the struggle of everything all at once. Then the fear after all of it…having him just leave, because I would be so wrapped up in the issues of me…I would have forgotten there was even a him.

I had forgotten there was a him by the end. In my mind, I had him leaving me 5 years into the future of our marriage. It was so fearfully ingrained in my mind that my soul believed it. Circumstances reinforced it. Things fell into place. Or rather, we seemed to be falling into different places. So I guess, rather, things were really just falling apart. I had told myself that it would hurt less now than it would later. 

It struck me here. At 9:43pm on a Tuesday night. Alone in my apartment. Tears in my eyes and lightning in the sky.

I lay here crying to a ceiling I hope isn’t keeping God from hearing me. Wondering if I will ever be loved again or if I am doomed to that painful loneliness that struck the moment I hung up that phone on the one person who knew me the most of anyone else in the world…and still cared. I had been so wrapped up in me, that I forgot he existed.

That is so painful to admit, especially over someone you told you loved them.

We aren’t getting back together. I know that much. I have more of me to work on. He has his life to get together. I have mine. In my mind he already left…and that was how things would stay. It isn’t fair for a person to have to live with a person who was running away from the fear of being run away from. He’s better off without me. I just hope he is out there having realizations of his own. Trying to mend those broken places with God instead of me…or even more painfully for us both…someone else. Because you can’t fix an open wound with broken glass. 

In the morning this will all be a painful memory. I will learn and grow from it eventually. For now, I’ll let it hurt a bit more and try to sleep. 

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I’m afraid he’ll read it.

That’s what I determined after every word I typed met my tearful gaze. I don’t want to confuse him if he reads it. I don’t want him to think I want to get back together. But admitting you miss someone can have a lot of connotations. Pairing that with admitting you were wrong about something only muddies the waters further. 
I left the post in my drafts. Staring up at the ceiling I contemplated. Why was I so afraid? What would it hurt to post a personal failure? Especially one that pertained to a break up? If I needed to get it off my chest what harm would it do to me? None. I could only grow from it. 

Part of me was still nervous though, while also combined with angry. Ironically it wasn’t until after we broke up he started reading my blog. Like he was trying to keep tabs on me. Sneaking. He stopped talking to me after I posted one particular post, and texted me to tell me so. Which was hard, because I had assumed we were going to try the whole friendship thing. I was really trying too, that is until things got super complicated. 

“You realize he has been working his way up to hating you to get over you. Most guys can’t find another way once they’re in love. They can’t be friends. They can only hate you to forget you.” One of my guy friends told me. I wasn’t sure that was true until my ex texted me that he was deleting my number. Then again, the post I had written had come at a stressful time in my life, and he happened to want to get back together at the most inappropriate point of that several week long series of unfortunate events. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with his terrible timing, but it doesn’t change the fact that I now find myself fearful of posting things. I’m untrusting of him. Fearful he is waiting for another reason to hate me. 

What difference does it make anyway? I already broke his heart. Not sure I can break it any more than it is already broken. Besides, it isn’t even about him. He’s mentioned, yes, but it’s more about me. My realizations and failures as a human being, because I’m not perfect. Nor do I pretend to be. 

I suppose the reason I’m afraid to post it is because if I do then he not only will read it, but it will mean actually having to do something about my own realization. If I keep it inside I can ignore it. I can pretend that it isn’t there, and maybe I will work on it quietly within myself. But if I post it, not only will people know, but he will, and it leaves another opportunity for vulnerability. A place where someone can hurt me.

Admittedly I have been hurt enough over this late relationship. Hurt that it didn’t work. Hurt that he wouldn’t keep boundaries and tried to get back with me when I was hurting from other things. Hurt because I didn’t really feel listened to. Hurt when he told me he was deleting my number, when he pushed so hard for us to stay friends. Hurt that I thought we could have a friendship, thinking things could be different. Hurt by my own belief that it could be. 

Now I just want to get over it and move on. To not have to think about things. I have the kind of mind that has a hard time turning off and wants to learn from the situations I have experienced. So I torture myself thinking things to death, which was why I had gotten myself into that mess in the first place. 

I don’t know if I will post what I wrote last night. I haven’t decided. I suppose I will have to pull myself together first. Think this one to death too.

Sameness Suffering

Phone in hand and rain pattering its journey upon and down my slinging glass door, I found myself with that all too familiar feeling of dissatisfaction. That same pestering feeling of wishing I was doing something much more remarkable than reading blog posts on my phone and eating left over orange chicken (my first attempt at making it on my own). My cat watched the droplets trail down the window and the splashes they made on the softening plywood that was my balcony floor. I popped a bridle sprout in my mouth and chewed it. 

How did this even happen? 

I’m not looking for fame. Not even a little. I am merely looking for small successes. I’m looking for a mentor at church. Someone to invest spiritual time into me and won’t be overly busy to do so. I’m looking for my women’s Bible Study to grow instead of the shrinking it has done. I’m looking to make some spritual revelations and to feel compelled to be a different person because of those strides in my faith walk. I’m looking for a relationship with a God honoring man, who falls in love with my strangeness and wants us to be a couple happy with small successes. 

Now that I put them into writing, I can see the irony of calling them “small” successes. I suppose they come across as really selfish too. Lots of “I’m” and “me” implied when not said in those sentences. Things I should be wanting for God. Not wanting selfishly.

It’s really discouraging when you see people you know out having adventures and doing cool things. Friends of mine are in Ethiopia right now. Working with a women’s ministry and an orphanage to build communities of safety and teach them life skills to make a living wage for themselves. How cool does that sound? Spending time having cultural experiences and crossing bridges and barriers to help out other human beings! It’s like a dream! 

Here I am eating leftovers as it rains. Suffering the sameness.  

I know much of it is my fault. I have had those opportunities when I was younger and didn’t require employment. Then I let them go. Now it’s harder to take time off work to do those things. That and I deal with such fear around my type one diabetes that I talk myself out of adventures and into uselessness. Which is ironically my gretest fear fully realized and manifested. That my disease would render me useless.

The problem about all this, is I don’t know how to change it. I look at my skills and wonder how people seem to be so comfortable finding their niche in the midst of so much uncertainty. Where do they even start? Do things just fall in their lap? What did they have to do to get things rolling? How do those entrepreneurs get their own nonprofits rolling? How do people find ministry opportunities these days? What’s out there other than the Peace Corp? 

I have no idea. I feel miserably stuck. Maybe I’ll feel better when the rain lets up. 

Corporate Creature

Blah blah blah….Meaningless words 

crackled electronically

Through the icy speaker

Backed only by

An even more icy voice

Asking those questions

That wouldn’t matter

Hundreds of years from now

Asking about numbers

That didn’t exist in the past

Nor would they in the future

I imagined that tie

Tied around the neck 

Of a grotesque creature

Sitting at a desk that

Was scattered with paperwork 

And doughnut crumbs

That face aged so drastically

Eyes tired and voice growing 

More and more hoarse 

With every broken record word

Falling from his tired and dry lips

I felt bad for the creature

Wondering if his blood red tie

Was a symbol for how badly

He wished to slit his own throat

Perhaps in a deep sadness

For not having become a farmer

Like his daddy wanted him to be

Or to become the fireman

He dreamed of as a child

But he pressed on all the same

Voice raising and lowering with

The kind of intensity a circus announcer

Would for his audience

That passionate growl in his voice

Over something he really

Didn’t believe in anyway 

Shelby’s Metal

Usually my cat is terrified of certain sounds. Anything loud or sudden becomes a moment to instantly flee or freak out over. It’s a matter of life and death to her. Even things such as birds suddenly chattering on the porch manages to make her little heart flutter faintly. Turn on the water faucet in the kitchen too quickly and she’s under the bed in my room. Flush the toilet without her knowing you’re in the bathroom and you can watch the inner conflict on her face, wondering if she should check on the flusher, or flee in terror. It’s one of her endearing qualities that makes me want to love and protect her, because clearly she would be unable to protect herself.

When we moved into my new apartment, I found myself reluctantly experimenting with her adjustment. Testing sounds to see how she would react. Peering around corners when dogs outside would bark. What I was most concerned about was my downstairs neighbor. He has excellent taste in music, and plays it very loudly. 

I’m not bothered by this noisy neighbor. He saves me the expense of playing my own music. Besides, I love ACDC and Black Sabath as much as the next metal head. What I was concerned about was my little Shelby. How would she react to thumping bass and the occasional scream of a hyped up middle aged man with everything to prove was only a guess. 
Our first week was quiet. My neighbor informed me he was going to head about an hour away to spend the weekend with his grandchildren. So I had nothing to worry about. The week after I kept a close eye on her. Wondering when the day would come, and partly hoping to have a camera ready just in case she jumped and hit the ceiling. 

The day came. At 10:35 am on a Thurday, he blasted his music. It was “Crazy Train” with its mighty cord progressions. Bass pumping out through the floor as the intro began. I sat on my couch eyeballing the cat as she stared at the floor beneath her four paws. 

I was in shock. 

She laid down. Calmly. Bearing her belly to the ceiling and pressing her ears to the floor. Then rubbed herself all over the floor, as if she could absorb the sound within her fur. It was like watching a cat on a heated seat with catnip strewn everywhere. Only, this she chose for herself. It was not a drug induced mosh pit of drunken joy. She actually liked it. 

I had not ever really played any of my metal music in front of my cat. I would usually wear headphones as I worked on design projects, so as not to disturb her. Had I known she would enjoy the sensation of thumping bass I would have played it for her. 

Now, to experiment with dubstep.

Ancients

We are not ancients

Made of stone

To crumble over time

We are not ancients 

Of water

Tossing aimlessly 

Within boundaries

Carved in the earth

We are not ancients of fire

Hot with irrational hunger

To consume all life within our flames

We are not ancients of earth

Letting life feed off us

Letting life take from us

We are ancients of the air

Having ever been

An intangible presence

Ever felt

Perfect Strangers 

You tripped a moment

Your flip flop caught

The edge of the stair

You quickly looked down

Embarrassed and apologizing 

As if your stumble 

Was the worst first impression 

You could have possibly made

But stranger 

With the way you carelessly

Tossed your shadow self

On the sidewalk

I could have sworn 

You were merely dancing 

Daffodil 

Walking up the staircase took far more effort than it should have. Especially since I had only my purse in hand. A long weekend at my brothers fiancées Bridal Shower had me broken down to my basic human functions. I was tired. Three days of human interaction and 18+ hours in cars. It had been too much. 

When I got to the top step I had to do a double take. I don’t know who left it, but it came precisely when I needed it. 

  
To whom ever it was that left this little ray of sunshine on my door, thank you. Thank you that it was unobtrusive and sensitive to my introverted nature. Thank you for the quiet kindness it offered.

Thank you. It looks great in my kitchen.