It’s in the stars
It’s been written in the scars on our hearts
We’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
My last post made my husband rather anxious because he very much likes living in the present and I know that revisiting a very difficult time in our lives certainly had the potential to bring up some very unhappy memories and create a lot of angst. I remember that there was a time when I thought that the scars from that time would never I heal, I believed that even though I could hide them they would always be lingering at the surface of my well being ready to open and bleed out all over my life.
I wrote some fairly detailed accounts of the three and a half weeks we were apart. When you say it out loud it seems like a short enough period of time but I can assure you a lifetime of events happened during that time. Not just in the time that we were apart but in the time it took us to truly find our way back. We used to be friends and lovers and now we were suspended in the uncertain place in between, feeling lost and unsure. There was a whole world in between us and if we were truly ready to fight for our marriage we needed to prepare for the fight of our lives.
A lot of my writing is in my drafts folder. I contemplated which parts were really important to this story. To me every little bit of it is important in it’s own way but I decided to save the insane drama for the movie 😉
It goes without saying that we decided to work things out. We absolutely had the best of intentions in wanting to keep our family together and fix our broken marriage but I think both of us were naive with respect to the amount of time, work and patience that would require. Neither of us was ready to be together but the thought of being apart was scarier. I know both of us considered what would happen if we took too long to figure things out and the other moved on. We were having an extremely difficult time fitting into each others present but ultimately we were certain that we belonged in each others future.
During that time I became someone I didn’t recognize. Instead of focusing on what we needed to do to move forward my gears were focused solely on Kirk leaving and how much that hurt me. I was consumed by hurt and anger and for a very long time I refused to let go of any of it. I held unto it the way a child hangs on to their blankie. I thought it protected me. I thought if I protected myself from loving again I would never be hurt. Much later I would learn that the real strength is in allowing yourself to love and be loved.
Eventually we started to make a little progress at least being honest with each other about our fears, insecurities and where we felt we stood. Something about honesty catapults you into a fearless place of acceptance and allows you to either walk away or move forward. We felt hopeful but I was definitely not ready to live in the moment. I felt a little lost, sometimes like I was on the verge of breaking down.
We had started to go to marriage counselling early on and I loved our therapist. She had been through similar martial problems and her experience was valuable to me.
She had gone back to school when her kids were older and was now running a successful private practice. She recounted to me how hard she worked for it and that her husband, initially proud began to feel lonely and not needed which led to an affair with their riding instructor.
That was so telling for me. Men instinctively want to be needed and depended on. Men often have a hard time with strong, independent women. It is a constant struggle of balance for women to maintain their strength while being just vulnerable enough to allow ourselves to be loved.
We graduated marriage counselling way to soon. We had all the tools and promises to fix us but I was still stuck. I just refused to let go of any of the pain and anger and I tortured myself with it for years. I wasted several years caught up in the blame game. Kirk never ever expected or asked me to be accountable for anything that happened but I think until I did admit to my own part I was not being honest and I was hurting myself even more then I hurt him.
A memory that sticks in my head of this time is how I worked 12 hour shifts and I would be driving home and as soon as I would get to the driveway I would get that heavy feeling in my chest. Another uncomfortable night trying to force ourselves to enjoy each others company.
I checked on the kids snug in their beds and busied myself tidying the kitchen. Kirk came upstairs and coaxed me downstairs. He wanted to show me something. I had told him once about this old song my grandmother liked by Don Williams (below), Kirk put the song on and he asked me to dance. I was hesitant at first but he insisted. I wasn’t allowed to talk, just dance. There is something very honest and intimate about dancing in someones arms with no words exchanged. I think more was said between us in those few quiet moments as we looked into each other’s eyes then had been communicated in months. Our eyes both welled up a little, there is no doubt mine started first. It felt like we made a silent promise to each other to try harder.
Late Sunday night we were sitting in the back of Kirk’s truck listening to 80s tunes on satellite radio, cause we are that cool…and when this subject came up Kirk said how happy he was that we made the right decision all those years ago. I can talk about it all now because I know that the past can’t hurt me. It was a damn long road to happiness and we earned every single mile. It does however bring me a tear when I think “what if?”