Words escape me now. I find myself trying to grasp at the english language helplessly as the words to describe feeling whole are hard to find for me. As I sit at my desk, the aroma of his scent lingers in our bedroom. It calls me into sweet memory of only hours ago when he kissed me and departed for work.
“My heart is breaking to leave you”, he says. His nose pressed against mine. His breath on my face.
I lay in the bed, surrounded by his pillows, his scent. His presence. And I miss him. In my selfishness I want to keep him all to myself today. A dark room, a quiet moment. Just the two of us. Bathed in nothing more than sweat and satiation.
We have been lucky. We have had the girls more and more and more lately. The time they are gone is fewer and far between. We love having them with us. It feels good to feel more like a full time family. But there are moments when I long for just a moment. We had one on Tuesday. When my crazy ex decided that his procedure he was having done for his continuing ailing health would render him incapable of taking care of the girls. So despite the fact that I hate upsetting the girls schedule I let them go. My oldest submits to go the first day but not the second. She didn’t even want to do that.
Joseph and I both worked the morning shift too. Which lately is unusual since we have been working opposite schedules and then having different days off from each other. So we went out, and ate and came home and spent the afternoon wrapped up in each others arms. I know, I know. I am spoiled. Most people don’t get that kinda time with their loves. We needed it. It had been weeks since we had more than an hour together, before bed, when I have to get up at 3am.
It was indescribably wonderful to just lay there. When I was married I honestly would never have wanted to lay there with my ex. He wasn’t a very affectionate man, and honestly I have no idea how I managed to stay so long. How doe someone whose love languages are touch and quality time marry and stay married for nearly ten years to a man that neither kisses nor touches, nor hugs, nor loves on? How do you survive when the meat and potatoes of who you are, what fills your love cup is affection? Surely I must have been crazy, or very dedicated. Or on the days when I truly admit it to myself I was just scared. I must have felt like I didn’t deserve it. Maybe part of me believed him when he said I was a bad wife. That I wasn’t good at making him happy. And maybe that part of me decided that being denied something that to me is as fundamental as breathing is for love, that I deserved it.
I have been through 4 major love cycles that I can pinpoint currently.
The first one was unappreciative. What I mean by that is that I placed myself in a position to be emotionally used and not appreciated or cared for. I wanted nothing more than the image of the boy I had created in my mind. Regardless of the way he treated me. The way he used me emotionally, and the way I grew up thinking that someday he would realize that he should be better to me, and choose me. This I think was the worst way that I could have started out. I started out thinking that it was okay to treat someone this way and I think it colored the healthy way that love can start for you in your teens. I believe that for the most part most of that was my fault because I spent very little time with the crazy boy of my youth. So, even though he was a huge dirtbag, he didn’t create the myth in my mind. I did.
The second one was my ex husband. Destructive. He admitted in the last year that I lived in his house that he did things for our whole marriage to keep me in a sort of emotionally crippled check. He flirted all the time with one of my best friends, he would start fights and pretend he was going to leave me so I would beg him to stay, he would create situations where I would pick him and alienate my family so he could feel like he was number one. These are only a few things. And I never noticed. I thought maybe I was paranoid about the flirting thing. But I was appalled when he told me that he had manipulated me for years. He said he was sorry. But it sounded hollow, as if his admission of what he had done and his fake apology meant that it didn’t matter that he had chosen to manipulate instead of love me. This cycle would have continued had I not succumbed and been rescued by a long distance love. Which I feel like at some point everyone must have had.
The long distance was my delusion of Richard. He saved me. There is no doubt about it. If not on purpose, he did something that awakened the fire of a sleeping me. A girl who had always had a glimmer of a wonder about him. That glimmer did something to me. Perhaps it awakened the girl who had been sleeping her whole life. Who had never truly loved a man. I think that I must have been much like sleeping beauty. Only instead of a kiss that awoke me it was a letter. A letter that I told myself a married lady should never write. A letter that by all means I wish that I could see again. I wish I could get him to copy and send me everything I ever sent him. So I could see it. See the transformation. But alas, I know that I don’t need it. The words that I had wanted to scream from roof tops. That I didn’t love my husband. It was such a hard admission for me because I had tried to be the perfect wife. Tried with all of myself only to always fail. Then to find myself awake and trapped in a prison that I had unknowingly helped create. Locked down, suffocating. Surrounded by disdain and discord everyday. The only problem with waking up from a deep slumber and now knowing what it is like to love, even from afar, is that you can’t miss it. You can’t want more. And now that is all I wanted. More than this life of prison and shame.
Then comes the third kind of love. The love of a friend. This is a dangerous kind of love and I am pretty sure that if it doesn’t last it is the kind that can hurt the most. It is a courageous kind of love. That is what I had with Carlos. He gave me courage. I may not have had the courage to leave, to strike out on my own without him. HIs support, encouragement, his love. Gave me a fearless ability to try to do it alone. Because I didn’t feel alone. He built me back up when I had been taught to feel the lowest. He was an important part to who I am, and how I have made it to where I am now. I can even thank his ex wife. Who made our lives hell while we were trying to be together. She also taught me how to fight back. Even though that battle was lost, that love not meant to be. The lessons that I learned were invaluable. The things that I gained, the insight into myself, the way I learned to hear God, the way that I learned to look at who I am and be happy with the flaws and the problems. I needed it. I never realized how important knowing how to fight for yourself is. He taught me that, she taught me that. I learned that even though there are people in my situation that are more important than myself (i.e. My girls, my nephews) I am important too.
Something we as moms, and especially as single moms sometimes forget, is that it is okay for us to want to be happy, and it is okay for our kids to have to adjust to something they don’t know.
These lessons were priceless. If someone asked me if I could go back and change the things that hurt the most, that took the most of my life up in a type of emotional misery I would tell them no. I needed those things. I am a stronger woman for it. I am a fighter. I learned that there are things we pray for that we feel like we should get. Things that seems noble to pray for. My marriage, my ex husband to get well. Things that seems like they would totally be something that God would give me. It wasn’t his plan. I know there are people who will disagree with me when I say that God didn’t want me in my marriage anymore. But I know he didn’t. He gave me all the ways out. But unlike if Satan himself had helped me, it wasn’t easy. It was hard, it was an emotional struggle, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I doubted myself for a while about it too. I worried that my ex was right and I was showing my kids how to quit. I instead realized that I showed my girls how to be strong. How to choose to do what is right, rather than what is easy.
Which leads me to now. Amazing love. Perfected to me. Same love languages. Which makes us both needy for the other! Which is good and bad. Which is where this strange no direction post ended me up writing about everything.
Because when he is gone I miss him. When he is here and we are spending time together as a family I am at a loss for words at the amazing man he is, and how much watching him grow and watching him continue to be a brilliant father figure to my daughters melts my heart everyday. When we are alone the completeness I feel. The grateful, bursting heart that cries out to God with the overflow of his blessings on me. There are things in this life that I don’t have. I am pretty broke most of the time, and every time I feel close to catching up I fall behind more. My apartment is almost always messy, and I feel like I never have enough time to get things done, or do the things that I love. Or spend time with my girls, or spend time with Joseph. I literally wouldn’t change it though. Let me stay this broke if I can feel the complete love of my girls and my Joe. I feel whole. I feel like I finally can breathe.
Breathing is wonderful by the way.
While I didn’t intend to write so much, I guess I needed to. I still find myself at a loss to tell Joseph how much I love him. It transcends words and descriptions. I try to pour it into him with my arms, with my heart, with my lips. I press my forehead against him and try to mentally focus this feeling and drown him in it. The best part about being overwhelmed with this feeling of love for another human being?
That he has a hard time describing it, that he pours it into me, with his actions, with his arms around me, with his kiss.
And until I can find words, that is enough.