Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things left unsaid

As is common for me, I've come crashing back to earth. I tend to be reactionary, emotional and a little crazy. The past month has been ripe with new ideas, new people and excitement for me. In a way, I feel as if for a moment I left behind all of the wreckage of my personal life for bigger things. But, still I know myself well enough, and perhaps even accept myself enough, to feel it coming on and I'm ready to listen to what the lessons are this time around. About a week ago, I could feel this "spell" a-coming on. So what's eating me?

I'm not entirely sure. I think part of it has to do with trying to figure out some balance with my ex-husband, and still feeling ill-equipped to get it all ironed out in my mind. To my chagrin, I've discovered that some days I miss him. That seems strange to me, to even say those words, but it's true. Not that I've said those words out loud to anyone. It might be that I think it's strange because I chose this road. I made the decision that both of us feared. In the end, I decided for both of us that we would no longer be together. As I was getting misty-eyed listening to some Amy Grant last night, a line from one of her songs struck me, "the road of life is rugged, any road you choose, when I find the other side...I'll wait for you."

I suppose I didn't really get how hard this would be. To be alone. To feel alone. I find myself feeling sad that no one is "waiting for me" anywhere. And yet, I don't feel ready or able to love someone the way I loved my husband. I don't feel ready to admit my own neediness. In many ways he was my first, my only. It still hurts too much. The loss is still fresh in so many ways. I find myself envying those around me who move onward and upward so quickly. My fears are too great. I find myself silent.

I sat in the emergency room with my daughter Friday night after she experienced an allergic reaction to something. I called her dad on my way to the ER. I'm not certain what I was hoping for. Regardless he asked me to call him when it was over and let him know what was going on. The difference for me this time is that I was just left sad. So many words left unsaid.

Back when our son was an infant and I was sitting in hospital rooms with him - holding him for hours, quieting his tears, pacing the hallways, praying that he would be all right - I was alone then, too. My ex-husband hasn't changed in the past year. Back then I was so consumed with anger at him for not being who I wanted him to be in those moments, I could barely look at him. And yet, I was quiet.

And just so I don't appear the martyr, I don't believe he ever meant anything by not being present. I think he figured I had it handled. After all I never let myself crumble with him. I was stoic, in control and edgy when it came to our children and their crises. Even now, I'm not certain how to talk about being scared. I expected him to know, to understand, to see past my bravado. And when he didn't or couldn't, I was angry.

I still recall with more than a little bitterness the night I labored with our son. We left for the hospital around 10pm after my water broke unexpectedly. My parents met us and took our sleepy little girl home with them. I was determined to have our son naturally. As the hours came and went, I grew more and more scared. I was in pain, my labor wasn't progressing and I was becoming increasingly tired. In the midst of all this, my husband decided to "take a break" and left me alone for 3 hours. I had a mini-breakdown. Here I was, in a hospital room, in intense labor with our child and completely and totally alone. And yet, when he returned, I said very little. Some days I believe that was the beginning of the end of our marriage.

There are so many things I never said. And so I feel sad today. I wonder if any of those things would have made a difference for us. I've made tough decisions. And while I can't honestly say I regret those decisions, I also am still left full of sorrow in some ways that I had to make them. So many things left unsaid.

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