In the early spring, on a wild jaunt after work with my friend Melanie (at the time at least), after a few drinks at the Blue Monkey- I decided to run up the hill and have my fortune told. She read my cards, but what I most wanted to know was could she see me in my palm. She told me many things about myself- things she couldn’t know about my deepest hidden away things. So I honestly don’t care if you believe this story or not, my friend, because I tell it earnestly. And what is anything that the mind doth not make it so?
She read my palm, and then offered to read my cards for me. I figured, why not? And she read the cards in a way that told a story I understood. She said to “remember who you are in the universe”, and that I would “have to face my past to receive my blessing; I would have to get over a pain I have held onto, and that I need to stop swallowing my words.” I thanked her for her reading and pondered it, but be it power of suggestion or divine intervention- I care not what you believe- I began to wake up. Something happened and I can’t describe it now to you even if I tried. I who am never at a loss for words; words fail me here.
I’ve lived a life of a lot of pain. It’s been pain I compartmentalized and shoved away and refused to feel, and I built strong strong walls so that I could be the strong one to protect others. Like a dragon or a fire bird, my skin had to be THICK. So I can truthfully say that by the time I met my husband at the tender age of 18, I had never loved. I had never really let that kind of love in. So many things I did on autopilot then. I just followed what felt like the natural order of things and I was grateful for the reprieve of being taken care of for a change even though it came at the cost of my freedom and at many times; my dignity.
But I longed for a child. Yearned. Ached for a child. We had been married 4 years and he had basically told me after that he didn’t want children, he just wanted me. He had told me he would have kids because that’s what it took to get me to say yes. I was devastated and isolated and I didn’t know what to do, because I had access to nothing.
So I prayed. Every morning on the way to work, I prayed the same prayer with my whole heart. I was more mainstream back then; more what I thought people thought I should be. I still pray to the same higher power, just differently now. But anyway, I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to change my husband’s heart. And for one brief shining moment, he did and I got pregnant IMMEDIATELY.
And my husband hated me for getting pregnant so quickly, but who cares about him? I never loved him. I’m sorry, I tried, but I never did. I had never loved. Not like this.
The pregnancy was a dream, and I glowed like I was lit from within. He made fun of my weight gain and cravings and called me a “pregnant yak”, but again who cares about him. I wasn’t falling in love with him. The birth was difficult. I don’t remember much of it. The weeks following were worse because my husband had no interest in being helpful to a now wife who had major surgery and an infant he hadn’t really wanted.
(I tell my TRUTH HERE- it is MY TRUTH. So if you are lurking know that always.)
It took me 3 weeks to bond with him because I wanted to be PERFECT for him, and it felt like I failed left and right in the beginning. I didn’t deserve him. What had I done? He was so perfect, and I had brought him into this mess. The guilt, oh my god the guilt and depression that set in. His birth was the undoing of our marriage, because I loved our son. Not in a romantic way of course, but as he grew and developed and began to talk and point and speak I fell madly in love with every layer of him. He fascinated me. He frustrated me. Sometimes he made me want to pull my hair out, but oh my god how beautiful he was. How smart. How absolutely perfect and handsome in every way.
When we divorced, I only wanted to come home with my son. I wanted to be fair. I didn’t want anything from him but child support, but he was angry. How dare I think I was going to leave him. HE was going to leave ME, and it made him more angry that I didn’t really care which way it happened, just let me go and we’ll make a fair arrangement for time with our son. But that wasn’t good enough. That wasn’t harsh enough. That wasn’t punishment enough. He was going to humiliate me and take the only person I have ever loved. He succeeded.
And I’ve worn his absence like a Scarlet Fucking Letter for 10 long goddamn years. What kind of mother doesn’t get custody of her child? A crackhead? A child abuser? What are you not telling me?
I’ll tell you the kind of mother who has her 5 year old son ripped from her arms.
She’s the kind that was naive.
She’s the kind that had no access to the money or even knew what the bills were.
She’s the kind that may have fought like a demon with him, but did as she was told.
She was isolated.
She was stuck in a state of arrested development clinging desperately to her child.
And they took him, and I could tell you the rest of this long ass sad story of mine, but I won’t because I can skip it- for now. It’s not a part of THIS story.
For 10 years my sorrow over the loss of my only love- the love I let in- the love that feels like my own heartbeat- has hung over me like a pallor. I have clung to every moment I could have with him. I have tried to impart to him the most important of my life lessons that I can impart in the shortest of times. Skip the small stuff; focus on the real life lessons. You only have a minute and they are grown. Now divide that down to a second. That’s me.
This year, my 40th, has been a year of extreme breakthroughs and transformations. I haven’t seen my son in 3 months. He won’t come see me. He’s mad about his PS4 game system that I’ve grounded him from indefinitely. His father isn’t helping, but who cares about him? He’s never been helpful. No, I’ve clung for so very long to my baby boy; my dearest love. I have feared to love again, for fear it be ripped away from me again. I’ve essentially closed myself off from love. My son is the love I have to let go. Not that I have to stop loving him. Of course I will never stop loving him. I love him eternally and unconditionally. I have to let go of the hurt of loving him. I have to let go of the time that we missed that I can’t change and will never get back. I have to stop clinging. I have to let go. It’s tethered me here for so long and for what? I have to trust I have used my time with him wisely.
If you don’t want to see me, don’t.
If you don’t want to forgive me, don’t.
If you don’t want to be my friend, don’t. It applies to so many areas of my life, really. If you don’t want to be in my life, don’t. I’m going to start living it out loud. Be in it, be out out of it, but make up your mind because things are about to start to get really interesting now that there are no limitations.
So don’t miss out.