Another night of not sleeping lies ahead, I am afraid, or maybe when I am done with this I will fall right to sleep. I don’t know just yet. What I do know is that after tonight, it has got to start getting easier. I cannot feel any worse than I do right this minute, I don’t believe the pain can go any deeper than it is right this minute. I have talked a lot about processing, over and over again, and it feels like I am smack dab in the middle of all this processing-and it is ugly and painful and horrible, but I know that to get to the other side I have to simply wade through it, do the work, feel the pain.
Have you ever woken up one morning and just known that you were done? It wasn’t in the morning, but the feeling was the same-Steve called me on Friday to confirm plans with Owen for the weekend and he was drunk-and in that instant, everything just seemed so clear, it was almost an audible click. “Done,” I heard, the last little piece of that which has been our relationship finally falling to the ground and shattering. I could hear it; it made such a small sound for such a huge, monumental thing, that bit of knowledge that you have gone as far as you can go, given as much as you can give, and there is nothing left. It echoed, the reverberations still being felt now a week later. “Done. Just-done.”
The mind and heart don’t always take the same route, so it has taken a week yet for both of them to be in the same place at the same time. I had gotten together with Steve to talk last night, and still wasn’t ready to say the things I needed to say. You see, my mind was reminding me just how done I was, but my heart even last night was still lagging just a little bit behind. So I saw him, and we talked, and I said nothing that was in my heart OR my mind; I couldn’t. That little bit of me that still believes I am unlovable wouldn’t let me-I needed to preserve a tiny shred of hope, I needed to be in denial, my heart looked at him and said no, I am not ready, I still think that if I do this or that he will love me! Maybe…Maybe…any one of you who struggles with abandonment and/or abuse issues, the ubiquitous legacy of an extremely violent and unstable childhood environment, well, you know that feeling, right?
Tonight, though, the end result of all of this processing somehow made it so my heart and mind were finally united-done. And I prayed and cried and prayed again because I knew what I needed to do and still didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to take care of myself and take responsibility for my own life and happiness because then, of course, I wouldn’t have anyone to blame. And oh, this is something I still struggle with, after being sober all these years and working a program and trying daily to live an honest life, this propensity to need to be the victim. thankfully it doesn’t last nearly as long as it used to (um, years?) because I know it doesn’t get me anywhere, and doesn’t coincide with the life I DO try to live. so I prayed and cried some more, and then Steve brought Owen home and I knew that it was now or never-that in order to be true to who I am and what I believe, I had to tell him everything I had been thinking and feeling without counting the cost.
It wasn’t pretty; I yelled, I cried, I behaved terribly. I told him that I hate him, that I hate that he did this to my family AND that I let him. I told him that I used to believe he could do anything, but now I don’t believe in him at all, and that he is a pathetic loser. I raged at him in a way I haven’t raged at anyone in years, even knowing as I was raging that it was serving no purpose other than to help me get some of it out. I don’t say that because I am proud of it, not by any means-but in some ways it felt necessary. And then all I could do was cry when I told him that he keeps in the back of his head that good old Kori will still be waiting for him but that I am not. That I love him so much and still think there are really great things about him but that I just can’t stand at the edge of the whirlpool because it will suck me in-the only thing I can do is step back from it. Weeping, and oh how this hurt, I told him that he is not good for me, we are not good for each other, and I have written it here before but told him that the kindest and most loving thing I could do for me and my family was step away. All that and more, all of this stuff that I have been working out in my head until my heart could catch up.
At one point he told me that he left because I am a mean, hateful bitch with an ugly heart, and I have to say he has a valid point there. I AM mean; I do have an ugly heart. I don’t like a lot of people, I am afraid of people on some very elemental level, and I know this about myself. I wouldn’t want to live with me either part of the time because I don’t trust easily, I am a hard person in many ways. It still hurt me so much though, because I think everyone has some ugly bits inside, I think that I have made tremendous progress in the years since I got sober (and some would definitely argue that), and-I think maybe I can give myself the tiniest little bit of credit for the growth I have made. I am not mean all the time, I work really hard at keeping an open heart. I do fail most of the time. So he was right about that part, and I freely admit that. But man, talk about a big punch to the gut; more of the “you are never going to be good enough.” Doesn’t matter where you came from or how hard you have worked to even GET to this point, still not good enough.
Still-done. I wept as I asked him to please keep Owen first and foremost when he starts dating, because he is having a really, really hard time with the whole situation-at which point he accused me of trying to manipulate his love life and I just shook my head. Owen is struggling; I don’t think it too much to ask to not introduce him to his new girlfriend until he (Owen) settles into the new routine a little bit. He doesn’t have one yet, but he will-I think he already has one on the line. Which,yes, of course it hurts me, but it can’t matter to me-I just want Owen to be doing a little better before Steve starts bringing another woman into his life. I asked him, too, to please make sure his family knows that as Owen’s mother, I need to know if he goes to jail or gets hurt; see, it is inevitable that it will happen, at some point.
Mostly, though, I wept when I hugged him and said goodbye. It is so hard to let go of someone you love, even when you know it is the right thing to do. I want him to be happy, I truly do; how heartbreaking to know that I fell so in love with someone who really just wasn’t happy with me. Heartbreaking for everyone. I am just so, so sad, and embarrassed that I even thought for a second that I would be the one he chose.
So. I sit here and type and cry and wipe my nose on my sleeve because we are out of paper towels and I feel that mean, hateful heart of mine hurting and hurting more. Doesn’t matter if I know what I need to do, doesn’t matter that a year from now I will probably be wiping my brow thinking,”whew!” Knowing that doesn’t make it easier to deal with the grief and the pain, to say goodbye and mean it. I keep thinking, and I said it to a friend earlier, that this right here is why I was reluctant to date or fall in love with anyone-I never wanted to feel this again. I just want to curl up into a ball to protect my vital organs, to weep with the sadness of dreams and hopes gone. I know, and can see more and more clearly that he was not good for me, we were not good for each other. This is supposed to be one of those things that make you feel good for knowing it and taking action to prevent the cycle from starting all over again, but I don’t feel empowered today; I simpy feel sad.
I can’t write much more; I am NEVER up this late, and I have to be up in a few hours to get ready for work-you know i am going to be a mean bitch tomorrow, right? But I have always kept in my mind this quote by Anne Lamott and I will share it with you before I leave:
“Sometimes I’m so hungry for a partner, a lover. One thing I know for sure, though, is that when you are hungry, it is an act of wisdom each time you turn down a spoonful if you know that the food is poisoned.”
Tonight? I set down the spoon.