This one is going to be some of the same and some not so much… maybe. I knew this was going to be a weird period of time for me, these last couple of weeks. Today is the first day that we could have officially been divorced but we couldn’t even get together on that piece. So, more time, another anxious build up when a random date on the calendar looms in the background of my days that are attempting to be filled by something that others might call “living”.
This is ridiculous to me. And exhausting. And a few dozen other feelings that threaten to overwhelm me anew. Hooray. In the middle of the night when all is quiet and I gaze up at mountains and stars I not-quite-whisper to myself “Would it just be easier to “try” again?” The silence thunders back at me.
And yet, this time of year, this calendar date came rushing up to me this evening like a hyperactive 6 year old tugging at my elbow. 10 years ago I arrived in Madison, WI awash in depression and adrift in hopelessness feeling like this place was the only one I could live in for… reasons. As time proves, though, that was wrong.
However, one thing that happened shortly after that move was that I “discovered” 2 new (to me) artists by going out to shows by myself in my new town. As I’m sure it is with many others, the songs inside those artists and their albums suddenly felt exactly like what I sorely wanted to express and couldn’t.
10 years ago, I stumbled upon a free show by a band named Frightened Rabbit. I don’t know if they already knew that they were about to break out but I remember being overcome by the lyrics I heard coming back at me. Though they were just two Scots playing on a terrace in the Midwest, for me, it may as well have been both the most intimate club and the largest stadium.
“You’re the shit and I’m knee deep in it”
So, to circle back on the original reason for posting tonight, in order to try my damnedest to keep calm, I went away to one of the places I feel most at home.
sometimes nature can tear us apart and put us back together again
“If it’s the beaches’ sands you want/Then you will have them”
Yeah, for anyone that’s been reading this for awhile now I’m sure you can guess my current state of mind as it’s, roughly, the middle of the night as I write. As much as I really don’t want to think about the things that take up my mind and heart and that I know I need to stop thinking about that specific person (for both our sakes’ if I’m being honest with myself) it doesn’t ever truly stop. And I don’t know how to make it.
I do know that I’ve been able to compartmentalize and even though they and this are always there I still manage to find myself somewhat pleased and occasionally excited about things lately even though there’s still a cavernous drop-off between that and the constant lament that they aren’t around to share in these experiences. I know that this is part of healing but at the same time I’ve learned a thing or two.
One of the biggest things is that all of this hurt isn’t just on one person (myself or my ex) but an accumulation of pain over a 25 year period due to simply not being good/better at what a human relationship of this kind is supposed to be or look and feel like. I still puzzle over how one of my very best friends and I couldn’t make it work but at the same time I say to myself “what does it matter? It didn’t and that’s it.”
And when I say to myself “that’s it” I mean, it’s final. 25 years of managing to somehow screw this thing up is enough for me. I’m so tired, exhausted, and utterly beaten down from breaking my heart over people for so long that I simply can’t afford to do it anymore. “The only way to win is not to play the game.”
So, I’m going to live out my days and I have no idea how, where, or what, but as I’ve said before, I’m done with romance because I just can’t. I know that I can love people. I love my friends like family. I appreciate what others have meant to my life but… romance? I’m just no good at it. Partnership? Not with one person. Maybe with friends.
But as the song says, “I guess I had to find out for myself”….
Though every day is filled with meaning in some form or another, reasons to go on, things that affirm my own life, making a difference of some kind or other, finding that other people genuinely like having me around; I find myself, every night, feeding and fueling the demons of my own demise.
I don’t know exactly what it is but at the end of every day, and I mean *every* day, I find myself at the business end of the bottle. I excuse it by saying that it and the combination of medication is going to be the only way for me to sleep but at the same time it fuels hours long contemplations about the ex and how, why, we wound up where we are.
Those are simply answered enough. It doesn’t make it any easier to let go and move on. It’s largely due to the fact that I resolved myself to never “go after” that one thing that I “want more than anything else”. I had it and I failed at it. There’s no getting around that.
So, although, my days are spent actually making a difference, my nights are spent in the kind of existential angst we usually sneer at teenagers for going through. But I don’t care about judgments or opinions. I know what I lost. It hurts. Every night.
I wish there were some way to not think about it but it’s there. In the silent corners of my new “home”. In the aroma of the bakeries nearby or in the purchasing of items to make this place feel more like “home”.
And yet it all feels so shallow and stupid. I feel so shallow and stupid for letting my heart push me around this way. For letting… making… me care about someone who clearly doesn’t feel the same. If they did, they’d speak up.
Our lives aren’t better apart. But I’ve said that a million times. Another million won’t make a difference. And neither will I. But I keep waking up.
“holding on to what I haven’t got”…. indeed.
..one day, I want to play this with you. Just like we talked about other duets that never happened.
In light of recent events this seems apropos. The former more than the latter but still.
Every now and again news trickles through the cracks and I hear things. I’m sure you do, too. I hear about things that, if I were a far more vengeful or spiteful person, might give me some morbid joy. Something about karma this or that, but ultimately, I have too much empathy for that kind of nonsense.
A lot of what I feel I’m going to say here isn’t anything new at all but, for some reason, I feel compelled to say it again. As if it will change anything… and yet here I am. This next part sounds cliche by now, even to me but here we go… again.
The fact of the matter is that when I hear about some new difficulty or hardship thrown your way I think about how this isn’t how things have to be. Yet, they are. As positive momentum builds in my daily life it doesn’t change the emptiness I often find myself feeling at night.
I don’t know for sure if we could ever come back from this and I certainly don’t feel like you want to but that’s ultimately up to you. I don’t know if you read this blog or if anyone is sending it to you and I guess it really doesn’t matter. After all, it’s my mechanism to get some of these words out of my head so that I can find enough peace to rest on nights like these when I can’t seem to hold it at bay.
Most, if not all, of this won’t matter even a little bit in a couple more months anyway. A judge somewhere that neither of us wants to be is going to drive the final nails into the coffin called “us”. But, I’ll offer it up one more time: you can put a stop, or even just a pause, on all this.
I wish you would.
…of you. But I guess the worm has turned since you became an “award winner”…
“This is hell.”
Tbqh, I don’t even know where that award of yours ended up. I think it is where it should be so that it can be returned to you properly one day but I remember when I was so very proud of you for winning this. I told my mother and my grandfather, before he passed and you refused to go with me for the funeral, about my “award-winning” partner. I guess, like so much else about you, it proved to be worth very little.
I wish I didn’t feel so embittered. I wish I could still hold some shred of pride for you but…
One day, life will have completely moved on for both of us. One day. Again, not today. Oh well… maybe tomorrow will be different.