Tonight I called my mom. Because eventually, when all else fails, that’s what I do. Because she’s been married for 41 years and knows some stuff. And knows me. I know my parents’ relationship wa…
Tonight I called my mom. Because eventually, when all else fails, that’s what I do. Because she’s been married for 41 years and knows some stuff. And knows me. I know my parents’ relationship wa…
Tonight I called my mom. Because eventually, when all else fails, that’s what I do. Because she’s been married for 41 years and knows some stuff. And knows me. I know my parents’ relationship wasn’t always easy, that there were years where they were split and the divorce papers nearly signed, and I also know that they are so in love with each other. They are happy. Happy people. Happy together. It’s not a fairy tale, but in a time when the divorce rate is over 50% and where people between the ages of 18 and 29 are mostly single (just 16% married, and 14% living with a partner…. Yes, I know I’m fucking 37 but I’ll update these stats with more relevant ones later), it seems like a fairy tale. And in relation to my own string of crappy serially monogamous and sometimes polyamorous because hey I was giving it a shot and didn’t know what else to do relationships, it feels like something beyond even a fairy tale. It seems like a fantasy. Like a Unicorn. Like the ending of Princess Bride, or Snow White or whatever Disney movies we were spoon fed growing up. It seems like a miracle.
We talked about my current relationship. I asked her the burning question that’s been on my mind ever since my on again off again partner threw a Hail Mary and told me that he wanted to stop all the back and forth and go all in. Ever since I didn’t give him a straight answer but let his offer sit, and watched him carefully to see if he would do all the things he said he would. Watched like a hawk, and struck with perfect righteous precision anytime I saw a glimmer of him stepping out of line.
This relationship has had problems. Major ones. I am not discounting them, but will write about them some other time. The focus of this entry is different. It’s the question: Is it just me, have I become perpetually unhappy and closed off, or is it that this relationship is just shit.
Since the Hail Mary, I’ve been watching. And I’ve been seething with rage. Actually that’s not true. The rage started earlier, in my previous relationship. Before that I was “spiritual” and could never admit any negativity, especially within myself, and sugar coated everything and kept my feelings of being hurt or downright trampled at a distance. Everything was always my fault, and that was self-imposed. If only I could be a better person, then bad things wouldn’t happen to me. It was deep denial and if that previous relationship gave me nothing else it did give me my anger. It beat me down so low I had no choice but to push back. I finally pushed my way out of it, and the guy was gone, but the anger stuck. Never again would that happen to me. I got in the habit of being angry and blaming everything on everyone else. Somehow in the process of pulling myself out of the shitty relationship, I became a huge victim. Everything that happened could be blamed on someone else. The pendulum had swung too far in the other direction. Yes, my ex did terrible things to me. But it felt so good to have a righteous reason to blame someone else that I just kept doing it. I strengthened and polished my Cancerian shell and made it so that anyone who wanted in had to figure out the secret entry. And fuck them if they didn’t know the password. Not my problem, not my fault.
I got into the habit of being really fucking righteously pissed off.
There is a fine line between standing up for myself, not taking any shit on the one hand, and being a princess who only ever gets shit thrust upon her and how could this happen to me, I’m so good and so sweet and if anyone could just see that and treat me well enough then they would get that version of me and until then they can go fuck themselves.
The anger was necessary. Is necessary. I never in my life had let myself be angry. It is useful. It is powerful. It is righteous, and there is a place for that. I’m grateful for it.
I told my mom all of this. I told her the good stuff and the bad stuff. About my anger and where it comes from and that it is valid at times, but that lately I just feel mean. And punishing. And that I am terrified that if I don’t find a way out of my anger and hardened self that I will never be able to be happy. How I feel like this is the moment in my life to choose between being open hearted or closed off. That those things felt separate but intertwined with the relationship itself. I wanted to tell her what my horoscope recently said… Cancer, when you refuse access to your heart, no amount of crying or processing will ever soothe you. And the strength you feel inside your armor will be a temporary strength borne by isolation. When you open the door and let your loved ones in, you will find that you let yourself in, you get closer to yourself. (Galactic Rabbit, always brilliant). These are the things she said to me (in her words and my own):
You need to figure out what it is that you really want. What you are willing to concede and what you are not. And then you need to say it to him. That’s your responsibility.
If you do decide to try to make the relationship work, you need to allow yourself to be vulnerable. You can’t build a relationship behind a wall. If you decide you don’t want the relationship, you don’t want to try, that’s fine too. That means you need to end it.
And the anger? The finger pointing and fighting and blaming? You both need to cut that out. You need to decide. It’s a choice. It’s easy to hit below the belt. Don’t take shit, either. Say what you need to say, but without the heat. You’re adults.
Everything can’t be his fault (quoting her journal, talking about my dad during a rough patch they were having).
And finally, if it doesn’t work, you need to get out. If you’re not smiling and happy you need to move on. Don’t stay miserable.
When I was 23 I got married in a stone circle in Scotland. My ex husband and I wrote our own vows, and the ceremony was witnessed by a few close friends and family. Aware of the magnitude of making a vow in an ancient fucking stone circle in Scotland where I had probably stood before in a past life, and warned to be careful about what was said there by my psychic friend because my words would carry power that would echo throughout my life, I said only, carefully, “I vow to always honor Love.” That means I must acknowledge and express my true desires, I must allow my soft underbelly to show, I must not use my anger as a weapon (sharp and satisfying as it is), I must take responsibility for my side of things, and I must get out and release us both if the love is gone.
Ok, enough of the pity party. I am thankful for the part of myself that keeps watching, that keeps searching, that lets my body and spirit drift down until the light is almost gone but never gives up. That part of myself is my unending resiliency, and it is part of my Story.
Last night I saw a movie, and the movie included the words philanderer, and engage. Not much to anyone else, probably, but the night before, I had dreamed I was playing Scrabble, and was about to play the all time winningest Scrabble word ever: philanderers. Just as I was about the put down my tiles and sweep the game, I got distracted by a boy. He saw what I was about to do, and then kissed me. I am so easily distracted by a kiss…. Then he disappeared. He stopped answering his phone and wouldn’t text me back, and even though it showed that he read my messages on Whatsapp, he wouldn’t reply. Philanderer.
And then the word engage. I’ve been screaming it in my own head for years. Especially the last 3 years. Engage! Engage! What are you doing?? Wake up and ENGAGE with your life!!! While I watched the movie, I could feel that not so subtle stirring. The call to action that has also always been a part of my Story. I heard a voice in my head clearly talking to me. Telling me what to do. It was telling me to tell my Story. I had hoped that starting this blog would be enough, but it’s not. The voice was telling me to engage. To stop being distracted and engage. It knew my pain. It didn’t diminish it, but it showed me pictures of deeper pain, and said, I know, I know, but look! If he can heal, if she can heal, if they can find the way back to life, then so can you. What you’ve been through is. It is. It happened, but it’s not bigger than you are. Nothing is bigger than anyone. There is always a way forward and it’s always waiting for all of us. It’s time, the voice said. Now, now, now. Tell your Story. I don’t have anyone to tell, I pouted. I don’t have a group of people I can go and tell my Story to. Then no one else does either, and they need it, said the voice. Create it. You’ve done it before… remember? It’s time to serve.
Why, after everything that I’ve been through and experienced, am I sadder, more closed off, lonelier, more angry and afraid than I have ever been? I have a great job, lots of money (but I spend more than I have), lots of people who love me (but I am far from them), a friend/partner/roommate who cares for me (but not in the way that I want). I have the key to health (but won’t turn it). I don’t understand how this happened. The shock of Jerry, maybe. Which was just a bigger shock, but the same, that I experienced in my marriage, in my first relationship. Maybe I’m not meant for relationship. Why did I choose a life where all I want is to be loved. To be in love. And have gone through a series of failed relationships and now find myself unable to love and be loved. I can’t feel love from anyone anymore. But, no, I do still love, sometimes… when I see that baby who gets hearing aids and hears his mother’s voice for the first time and it makes me feel such a swell of bittersweet pain and joy that my throat closes, or when I see my niece and nephew on a tiny screen, them dancing in their living room halfway across the world and they are so happy and my sister is such a good mother, and I remember that that kind of sweetness exists and I love them for that. Or, when I am behind him, walking through the isle in the grocery store, and for a second I can see him. Without my filters, without the words from our last fight ringing through my head. And the enormity of my love for him hits me in the stomach, and I excuse myself to the bathroom to cry. Or when he plays the guitar in the morning, and he loses his mask and for a second I lose mine and I see him again, and I love and want him with an indescribable ache. And then I wonder if he ever looks at me that way, when I’m not looking, and then I tell myself that he doesn’t, and huddle down into my nest of anger and indignation and woundedness.
I don’t know how to get myself out of this. I come up with plans, and never follow through. I dig down deep and know the truth and when wake up the next day I forgot everything. I watch spiritual movies and listen to kirtan and pray and meditate (sort of… I at least listen to guided meditations), and make resolutions and then fall into apathy, anger, stress. I hold onto that fact that I no longer drink, as my only achievement. I don’t know how to relate to people anymore, and spend my days alone, with my roommate/partner/friend, but alone. I take myself away. I have no breath. No light. No spark. I lost it when I met Jerry and let him take everything that I had built up with my own literal blood sweat and tears. I lost my yurt, my health, my yoga practice, my sobriety, and my confidence in myself. I lost it, but that makes it sound like it happened to me. In truth, I gave it up. I traded it for someone who seemed interested. I traded it for the promise of maybe because I had been so lonely, and then I looked past all of the glaring scary red flags, and then became a victim of it all. Curled up on the edge of bed for months so that my back ached and I never could unwind my body. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know exactly what happened. But it broke me.
I have theories… was I supposed to be that broken down so that, like after someone is through with bootcamp, I am to rise up a stronger, unbreakable version of myself? If so, I’m apparently still in bootcamp, cause I ain’t risen up yet. Or maybe I’ve just never been loved right, and it isn’t my fault (but that feels like a cop out and victimy). Or maybe I’m going through a series of experiences for an as of yet unknown reason. The Uni and me picked a path long ago and I’m supposed to surrender to it somehow and I’m not supposed to be happy or feel loved or be healthy and vibrant and then something will happen and it will all click into place and make sense. Or maybe I’m supposed to at some moment realize in a blaze of LIGHT that I am as broken as I agree to be, and then rise up in a dramatic Rocky moment and take back my life and health and love and passion and vibrancy. Or maybe none of it means anything and, just, here I am….
I don’t have the energy or clarity to come up with another plan. I want to plan to be awesome. To do something awesome. To be a person worthy of falling in love with. Someone attractive to someone else. I want someone to be in love with and I want someone to be in love with me. I feel like I am so closed down and show the world such a small sliver of myself that that will not happen until I open the aperture as wide as it can go. I don’t even know what it would feel like to be authentic. And I don’t know how to get there. I don’t know what my dreams mean anymore. (Last night I dreamt of a flying polar bear and a white wolf who trotted by, staring at me with fierce intent.) I don’t experience miracles anymore. Or I can’t see them. Somehow in the middle of this winter I do have in me an indescribable Spring. Maybe I have found, again, that core, that iron, that place nothing can touch. Maybe I am set to rise again, again, again, like a Phoenix, again. Maybe I’m so tired that I can’t muster the energy, but maybe it’s coming.
Maybe I need to listen to Aubrey, a guide who visited with me briefly 3 years ago, and told me angrily to QUIT WAITING. YOU DON’T HAVE A SOULMATE! And I asked, sad and scared, quietly, Really? Is that true? And she said, with a small bit of compassion, but still mostly anger, It doesn’t matter. Live like you don’t.
The thought of that literally hurts my heart. It gives me chest pain. It breaks me and makes me sick to my stomach. Maybe I just need to turn and face it, and listen to Aubrey. Just rip it off like a bandaid and wake up tomorrow free of feeling the ache and desire and need and want and fear and lack of attention and touch and love. Gone. Not my life. Not this lifetime. Really integrate that. Swallow it. Let it cleanse my body like a poison until there’s nothing left inside that looks like woman who wants to be in love. Yeah, that’s my next plan.
Last night I was scrolling through old journal entries, and the dream from the last post came up. It was not familiar to me. I didn’t remember dreaming it or writing it until I’d read it three times. Then it came back to me. How emotional it was, and how I really had sobbed when I woke up and felt like I’d lost someone that I truly loved to the unfocused dream world. Rediscovering it, it was immediately clear to me what the dream was really about. I was me, and my father (authority, judgment), and the center (society, normalcy),and the men who dragged her away to be fixed, saved, shocked, tamed (the empowered demons of my fear). And most importantly I am her. She is my wild desperate vulnerable self. The dream was about me being ashamed of her, hiding from her, trying over and over to send her away, while secretly, drunkenly, surrendering to the bright unsuppressed life that she represented, and her always returning, hopeful and desperate to be seen and allowed. In the end when I finally admitted to myself that I loved her, it was once again too late. I’d already sent her away to be rehabilitated. But we both knew it would be different this time.
I understand that I’ve been looking for her, for that part of myself, since I lost her, who knows when… When I quickly and shockingly swallowed my own bright self the first time I swallowed my voice in the face of a man’s anger and entitlement. When I started to realize that the world around me would eat me alive, that I would be forever unloved, unless I shifted and warped my own natural growth to accommodate everyone else around me. I’ve been looking for her in every lover, in every drink, every smoke, every drug, every new town, every desperate all night prayer. That I did not damage myself and my loved ones far worse in my search for her can be contributed to nothing but grace, and by grace, the survival of an indestructible core revealing a final stone boundary that I only knew existed once I had already sold and traded every other part of myself. And from that foundation I would rise, over and over, until I was just bright enough to go back out into world, only to once again crumble against whatever I thought would finally give me love.
The biggest thing that happened to me in 2016 was not moving to Hawaii, not breaking my ankle, not quitting drinking, not selling my house, not falling in love again. The biggest thing that happened to me was that I lost my desperate, entitled need for someone to love me. I quit looking for her in the outside world,and seeing her reflection in that journal entry, that forgotten dream, coupled with the knowledge that she can’t be found or expressed in any of the dark alleys I know so well, reveals her to me. Sitting curled up in a corner, with just a little light illuminating her shape. Waiting for me. Knowing that I love her and that I will come and take her by the hand soon.
(Apologies and thanks to the brilliant Gala Mukomolova, who gifts us with monthly magic at Galactic Rabbit, from whom I stole the title of this entry. I read the phrase in an Aries scope she wrote not quite a year ago, which I forwarded to a lover, whose heart broke open when he read it.)
She sent me gifts. Gorgeous handmade robes, and visions of rivers. The robes were made of many colors and cloths. So beautiful, stitched together by hand, while she was away. She got out, and would come to see me. Would show up out of nowhere. I would be nervous for her, embarrassed of her craziness. She would stay long enough to go crazy again, and then someone would call the center, and the men would come get her. She would be strung out on drugs, or manic, insane, fighting them like a wild animal. I would watch them take her, not knowing what else to do. She would get out again (escape) and come to see me. She was homeless. Beautiful. Thin, tall, wild. In her moments of lucidity, she was like a poem. Beautiful and heartbreaking. She could make me laugh. But I was always afraid of her. The time before last, she came to me. She was high. She was flying next to me, watching me, her body flowing out behind us, while I watched her. She was so beautiful. We got drunk together. I barely remember… The next day they came to get her, and I was the only one she would talk to or trust. When she saw that I had held her, tricked her, so that they could come, she flew into a rage. I held her and held her and she finally went cold and angry and silent. Catatonic if not for the seeping rage. I led her by her frail wrist to the assembled council of the center, me begging for someone to give her another chance, while they all looked away, one by one. Finally a man looked back at her and me and agreed to try to help. He wasn’t scary or menacing. He truly wanted to help, but his methods were terrifying. Drugs, shock treatment. She turned to me and pleaded, grabbing my hands, screaming, as 6 men pulled her away. She fought and fought, her eyes on mine the whole time.
Once she was gone, I started having dreams. I had a new tattoo on my left breast that I remembered she had given me the night we got drunk together. I dreamed about that night and what we had done. How close I felt to her. How ashamed… how I had used alcohol to free me enough to be with her. We laughed like little girls and she gave me my beautiful tattoo and at the end, in the black out darkness, I kissed her.
Eventually she came back. Escaped again, but came back to me. My father was there, and he was terrified of her wildness. He wanted to catch her and hand her straight over to the center. I told him if he took one step towards her she would disappear. He wouldn’t listen, and we spent a long time in a standoff with her 30 feet away, always keeping an exact distance from every step he took towards her. I finally convinced him to leave so that I could talk to her. We sat down on the steps, and she showed me a coin purse she had made out of an old blue bikini top. I told her she could keep it, but she looked confused and told me I’d asked her to make it for me the night we got drunk together. I showed her my tattoo. She laughed and said, “I was nervous about doing that, but you begged me. You insisted you wanted it.” I told her yes, I had wanted it. We sat on the steps, and she showed me memories of drinking a milky white substance that made her fly. Of men who had trapped her and hurt her. She showed me all of the beautiful robes and dresses and silk patchwork clothes that she had sewn. I told her she could sell them and make money and not have to go to the center. I saw my father standing off to the side, and knew they had been called. I told her that we needed to walk up the hill, to go to see a show together. She said, why are you doing this? I said, No, it’ll be fun. I want to see this with you. She knew I was tricking her, trapping her, and her eyes went dead. She following me up the hill, but turned into a deer and tried to escape. I held onto her, around her long thin neck, while she bucked and shuddered and struggled to get away. I finally was able to put a thin white rope around her neck. She struggled and her eyes were huge, and she was ready to bolt at every step, but she slowly followed me. Another family member came to stand with us, to help if she tried to get away. She kept looking at me with her giant, terrified eyes, asking me why? I told the family member to give us a moment, and they reluctantly left. I got down on my knees and looked into her eyes. She turned back into a woman, and was so afraid. Why are you doing this? (I could see the men from the center closing in). I have to, I said, they’re coming. They would have caught you the hard way, and hurt you. But I know you’re going to be okay this time. Why? she said. Because — and it came to me in a huge flood of emotion — I love you. I am in love with you. Her eyes went cold and hard and angry like I was fucking with her. I held onto her face, and stared into them, and she saw the truth. The men from the center came to get her as I was kissing her. On our knees, clutching each others necks. I was crying telling her again and again that I loved her. They were dragging her away from me. She was fighting to get back to me. Finally she surrendered, being borne away by, head bobbing, being carried, looking directly into my eyes. And she smiled. We both knew that my love would heal her.
I woke up and sobbed and sobbed and held onto her face and feeling for as long as possible before they slowly started to fade.
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