Dance

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Tonight I chaperoned a high school dance. The girls were glitzed and glammed, each out doing one another in the hair, makeup, and dress department.  The boys….well they were typical  teenage boys…nerdy, sweet, and 100 years behind the girls in just about every way imaginable. Most of them sat together and played video games while the girls stood around whispering to each other, laughing, and talking the talk. Meanwhile the boys who weren’t gaming, looked somewhat green around the gills, as if they were in intense pain trying to outdo one another to impress the girls with puffy-chest macho displays. Frankly, it’s a wonder that the two sexes ever come together at all.

After spending the first half of the evening checking the kids in (what do you mean you forgot your parental permission slip) I decided to head over to the dance floor in hopes picking up some new steps. Unfortunately, watching teenage boys move to the grove is like watching an elephant attempt to play the kazoo while dancing the lead in Swan Lake…there is NOTHING that can make it look pretty. Hips go one way while butts go another and I swear I saw a couple of heads do a 360 while sitting squarely on their shoulders. But the worst thing was the fact that not one of them could keep tempo to the music. It was like watching a little old man crossing the street using a walker…one speed only… with head bent and body stooped their bellies almost dragging on the ground. The ones still moving upright were sweating like Trump’s Communication Director when the President is in front of a microphone… never sure what ungodly thing might happen to destroy all their carefully laid plans.

Yet, with all the hormones on high alert things stayed sweaty but calm and everyone was having a good time, chaperones included. Something about the unchanging ways of nervous teens brings you back to your own school dance and you realize just how far you have come!

Of course, there is always some sort of drama. At our school dance this is the End Of The Night Song. It is the one and only slow dance that the deejay plays the entire night. Stomachs tense and butterflies alight and the girls begin to giggle as the time draws near. If the truth be told no one wants to dance the last dance and everyone is crushed if they don’t. As the first notes of Fade Into You began, I was surprised to feel a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around Paul was standing there.

“Would you like to dance, Mom?” he asked strong and sure in his choice.

“Me?” I asked.

“Sure. You’re the prettiest girl here.”

And as I stepped into his arms I knew without a doubt that all those years of hard work raising two children with autism had paid off.  I was obviously doing something right in this life and was finally reeping the rewards.

 

 

WE

 

We have built houses together

Planted a vineyard and gardens

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Raised six kids together

We have survived your mother

The death of parents

And your brother

We have moved

Numerous times for your career

Starting over again and again

Just knowing each other

In a city of a million faces

Finding comfort and love in that

And we have stuck together

Through so much adversity

Pain and sorrow

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We have traveled the world together

Had much happiness and joy

Done things as a couple

That brought us closer

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We have struggled

Raising two boys with autism

Put their needs ahead of our own

Done everything possible to give them

The best chance for a good life

So why it is now

After all the hard years

After all the time we have sweated and pushed

And fought the school system

After life and death

Hardships and pain

You want to abandon

Our future

And all the good times

We dreamed about

For so very long?

We’ve slogged through

The Rough Times

Taken so many wrong turns

But you don’t want to share

In the best that is to come…

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The walking along the beach

Holding hands

Visiting Grandchildren

Kayaking the rivers

And taking art classes

Working to save the river

And the seals

Old age sex

And wrinkles

And watching with a tender heart

Fingers intertwined

When one of us takes our last breath

Being there for the other

As one passes to the other side

To the unknown

The other left grieving and lonely

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We’ve been through the hard times

Why can’t we share the reward

Of all we worked for together?

When life is finally getting easier

Why should a future wife

Get all the benefits

Of our hard work?

I do not understand

I will never understand

And don’t expect me to…

Don’t ever expect me to!

 

 

Yesterday I had a private therapy session with our third and final marriage therapist. He was highly recommended by my therapist and she believes he can help because he does in depth therapy examining both partners pasts and seeing how they effect the dynamics of the relationship. He looks at attachment in childhood and how that influences attachment within the marriage.  I think he is a good fit but I was exhausted after our session. I felt like I had run a marathon and got run over by a truck at the end. Working on psychological/relationship issues is hard work if you are honest with yourself and others.

Recently I have been reading the book Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson. The book jacket says ” Forget about learning how to argue better, making grand romantic gestures, or experimenting with new sexual positions. Instead, get to the emotional underpinnings of your relationship  be recognizing that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing and protection.” It is an interesting book and I see B and my relationship on so many pages and it saddens me. But we both keep trying.

 

 

A Knight’s Myth

 

You are no longer mine

Even though you are still here

In this castle you don’t want to be in

With a woman you don’t want to be with

With children who, well,…. who knows what they realize

But soon their lives will change

Their innocence forever gone

Wiped away by male menopause

That dreams of lusty new love

Perpetual hard-ons

And fireworks that light the night sky

With love’s first kiss

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You insist you are not angry

“Look how quite I am”

“Look how composed”

Head down, eyes masked

Yet the words you CHOOSE sting

The heat charring them before they leave your mouth

I know that you will not admit the anger

Because it would make you appear

Flawed to yourself

And you cannot have anyone think you are

Anything less than

Perfect

Gallant

Charming

Noble

A Hard working

Self-Sacrificing

Christian Man

With all the Qualities

That a knight is supposed to possess

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And you have to see yourself in this way

To like who you are

Because if you really looked deep inside

You would be devastated

By the little boy inside of you

Who cries out from pain of

An abusive mother

And an absent father

And a self that has been lost for so many years

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You think you have found yourself

Now that you have found your voice

But you have only skimmed the surface

Of your deep lake of hurt and anger

That drives you to change

EVERYTHING

But your deepest self

Because you are afraid if you really had to examine

The truth of who you are

And where you came from

Your tears would flood this earth

And there would be

No one there to dry your tears

And stop the carnage that you are creating

Maybe someday you will become like

That Knight you so desperately try to emulate

By being brave, true, and loyal to yourself alone

And by slaying that ancient dragon

That lives within your soul

But you will have to cross deep rivers

High Mountains

And Low Valleys

To get to the place

Which brings you peace

But by then

The castle will be empty

The princess gone

And you will have fought the battle

But lost the war

Everything you once loved

And everyone who loved you

GONE

And you will be

But a mere man seated at

The Roundtable all alone

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Deepest Darkest Secrets

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We all have them. We guard them, we make light of them, analyze them and minimize them. They are our deepest darkest secrets.

I’ve always been pretty much of an open book. A what you see is what you get kind of girl. No pretenses. No airs. I often spoke without thinking in the name of being honest and open.  Unfortunately, it took me a while to learn that everyone didn’t have to know my business and that being honest doesn’t matter to those who do not know you intimately.

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When I met B, within three dates I told him my deepest darkest secret. In looking back I am not sure if it was because I felt I had to be “honest” in all aspects of my life or if I felt he was safe enough to share the burden, maybe even lighten the load. Whatever the reason, I never heard about it again until this weekend when he told me he felt that he needed to discuss it with our new therapist.

My first thought was anger….how dare he!!!!

My second thought was that he was trying to obtain some sort of psychological advantage with the therapist.

My third thought was that maybe, just maybe, he had to work this out for himself. That my deepest secret had effected him too. Exposed rawness in places that a boy off the farm was unfamiliar with and he hadn’t known how to deal with it 30 years ago and was angry at himself now because he had not handled it in a way that was helpful to him.

Secrets are a funny thing. They eat at you. They can paralyze you.  Or they can be used to motivate and do good in this world. But whenever you have one; you become vulnerable if you let it be known.  You give someone power over you and I can honestly say I always felt save with B knowing it. Until now.

But the fact is also that I no longer care. My secret is no longer relevant to me or this life I lead. I have overcome it and so much more. I have used it to do good things and I gave up its power over me so long ago. So if B has to discuss it, discuss it I will. For I am no longer that young girl without a voice and I can roar now if I have to.

 

 

 

Slow Death

 

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I have swallowed dirt

As you have drug me

Down this road called DIVORCE

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I have eaten pain

Which is razor-sharp

For Breakfast

Lunch

And Dinner

Stabbing and slicing

My mouth bloody, gums raw

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I have swallowed my pride

As I have attempted

To be that confident 20 something woman

I once was but am no longer

The one who gave you fireworks with each kiss

But now just lights an occasional Sparkler

Which burns out

Just a fast as a child’s temper tantrum

In the face of a Hershey’s kiss

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I have drunk in the distaste

You have for me

Like vomit…

It stinks and is rancid

Eating up my insides

As it slithers down into my gut

Which now lives in perpetual

Anxiety

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I have tasted your anger

For past deeds done to you

That I had no idea hurt

Because you were never truthful

About the feelings you had

That are now erupting from you

Like all the acid ash released from a volcano

That covers me with sadness, distaste and dislike

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I have choked on all that you expected of me

The changes you wish for

That smother my free spirit

And are against all I stand for

Things I cannot agree to

No matter what

You still feast upon my body

And soul

Saying you have no passion

Which strips away my dignity

And tears my confidence to shreds

Right now you have the power

But slowly I am beginning to grab mine back

And when I do

The Phoenix that rises from the ashes

Will breathe fire

As I claim all I am

All that I hope to be

And leave you will the shell

Of that person you destroyed

I will then be whole

And you will be left with my dust/bones

To bury inside your unconscious mind

And it will be too late

To make up for all you have done

While creating something

So much stronger

Than you

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Letting Go Sex

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Sex to you means:

Release

Satisfaction

Something to do on a Friday night

Orgasm

Happiness

Closeness

For you sex is something other than it really is

For we both know

I could be Sally or Jane

Or any number of other women

Who you would like to seduce

Any number of women who are younger, skinnier

And who have better knees with which to ride

The bucking bronco

Sex to me since you said you did not have “the love and passion necessary to sustain our relationship”:

Confusion

Sadness

Silent tears fall

Embarrassment

Thinking I’m not good enough

Wanting to protect myself

To wear flannel nightgowns like my grandmother

Anger and despair

Not wanting to move during the act

In order to reduce mutual pleasure

Building walls

Thinking about doing my nails as we engage

I don’t understand

We have always had great sex.

Still do

No fake orgasms here

But the dynamics are changing

And after 30+ years

I find that I am dreading it

That I no longer want you that close to me

To be that intimate within me

Or connected to me

Enjoying me

Exploring what is left of me

Since you have wrung me out

Physically and mentally

I want someone who will enjoy

This sexual living being

Who gives of myself

So easily and well

As we roll over the sheets

A woman who knows how to pleasure a man

And who gives all of herself in the endeavor

So the next time you look at my face

While you are indulging

Know that I am beginning to float out of my body

And into the arms of a lover

Who will once again treasure all that I have to give

Sexual and otherwise

Because while you may not appreciate what you have

There are plenty who will

Woodie 2

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You want to make love to me.

I……. see

Is this to bring us closer?

Or to confirm to yourself that the fireworks are not there?

Is this to see what you have already promised yourself?

That nothing I can do is good enough

Including sex

Or are you just horny?

A horny man with a wife

Laying beside you

And heaven forbid

You would not want to break your marriage vows

But you have if only in your head

You want all life can offer

A fifty-five year old man

The sex, the admiration, and everything your way

You want love passion and more fireworks

Yet, you have none for me

No love, no passion

Only a big fat woodie

Or do you really have a hooker in your bed

And is that woman me?

If so…

Leave the $1,000 on the bedside table

And get the fuck out

Therapist

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So this is about HIS therapist. The one we went to for marriage counseling who uses the Gottmann method and the one I stopped going to with B because:

  1. I thought he needed to see a therapist by himself’
  2. I didn’t think that she was getting into our problems just helping us talk sweet to one another.

So let me also say this. I have never written about B’s past on this blog mostly out of showing respect for those things that are his. Mostly because I do not know how I would feel if the tables were reversed and because this blog is about those parts of me I want to share. I was never completely sure how much I had a right to share about B and I still have not resolved the issue.

That said, I will admit I am horrendously confused. Those of you who have read my story for the past two years have a rough idea of my life based on those things I have chosen to share. You have given me good advice and given me pause for thought making me really look at myself in ways that have at times made me uncomfortable. But it has been worth it because I am finding myself thanks to hard work on my part and some help by you. So I am coming to you for help.

One of the things that I have always felt has impacted my relationship with B has been his family of origin dynamics. His mother especially.  For the past two years I was under the impression that B was talking to his therapist about his abusive mother but this week I have found out it is not so.  In fact, when I told B I thought this relationship needed to be examined he talked to his therapist who told him not everyone has to look back at their past. Frankly, I was floored especially when the therapist knows some of the dynamics because we talked about them when we were going to counseling together. His mother and sibs impacted our relationship tremendously early on and I fought all the fights and said the words that should have been said by B who didn’t know how to stand up for himself and wanted to preserve peace at all costs.

B told me he wouldn’t know what to say to his therapist about his original family.

So here are just a few of the things that I question, that I wonder if they are affecting our relationship because he has not worked on them. What do you think?

  1. His mother was mentally ill. When B was a child his mother was removed from the house by the police and taken to the state mental hospital where she stayed quite a while and underwent shock therapy in 1970 which is not like it is now. She was supposed to be on meds all her life and refused to take them. She went into rages, had a grandiose ideas of herself and also was depressed.
  2. There was a bitter divorce in which she poisoned the kids against their father, until the father no longer came around. B loved his father deeply.
  3. When B was in 4th grade one morning he stood up for his dad and when he came home from school his clothes were packed and his mother dropped him off at his father’s while the rest of the 5 kids lived with her. He lived with his Dad for about a year until he couldn’t stand being away from his sibs.
  4. His mother had an affair while married to his dad.
  5. All the adult children handed over their paychecks to their mother and mother decided what careers they would choose in college. They would live at home while going to college
  6. There were indoor chickens and the house was a mess.
  7. One of his sibs was in a terrible work-related fire and his mother would say to B “It is your fault. It should of been you.It was your selfishness that made your sib change dinner hour with you and it should have been you.”
  8. B put the fire out on his burning sib
  9. B’s mother wouldn’t let sib stay in hospital long enough because she didn’t like the outside influence
  10. No one could date as adults. If they tried she would comment “You sure are walking funny” after they returned home and it never seemed worth the effort
  11. When B and I were first together we took some risqué pictures and she had his sibs snoop around his grandmother’s house where these pics were found. His mother forced his sisters to look at this “big dick” in the pictures.
  12. She would send me letters talking about her great beauty and giving me her measurements, talking about B’s high school sweetheart,  how he was using me, how she knew “all about girls like you”, etc.
  13. She tried to get B to come home to her when I was pregnant after years of us going through fertility treatments and we were happily married.
  14. After we had our baby we flew back and she refused to meet her month old grandchild. She also refused to attend B’s siblings wedding.
  15. She was cruel in her words to him and always tried to make him feel stupid and weak. He could barely make a decision on his own when I first met him.

And I could go on.  But won’t  and for the most part I have truly let this stuff go because it was poisoning me. The only reason I am writing it here is to ask:

  1. Are these the types of things people can just let go and forget about while not having them effect aspects in their adult relationship? Can you really do this? Is his therapist correct? Can you survive unscathed a traumatic childhood that then goes on to create chaos in your relationship with your wife and those around you?
  2. B says he realized early on that his mother had issues and just accepted it while knowing he could not change it. He says it made him stronger and credits all his early chaos for making him the driven, hard-working man he is today.
  3. So what do YOU think?

Woodie

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He arrives home.

“I am not sure I want a divorce. i just need to be honest about my feelings. How I feel about you. Maybe like an alcoholic I need to hit bottom, tell you how I feel so I can move up and find that love for you again. It may take 6 months, it may take two years. I don’t know but I want to feel like we did when we met 30 years ago.”

The next day after many painful gut-wrenching talks.

He says: “My therapist says that maybe you should move out for 30 days. Why should it be me?”

She says: “I’m sorry. When you are the one wanting a divorce there are consequences for that. You don’t just get to go on it life like everything is okay and you are still entitled.”

Later that night

He would like a kiss goodnight. I would like one too. He thinks if he can just feel like he did 30+ years ago when we met everything will be okay. He truly believes that we can feel that youthful excitement and that every kiss will bring fireworks.

I kiss him

“Fireworks?” he asks.

“Nothing” I reply.

“I’ve got a woodie. I felt the fireworks.”

I don’t even know what to say about that. A woodie. What am I suppose to do about that? I am at a total loss.

Am I suppose to have sex with you in hopes of bringing us closer or am I suppose to not have sex because you tell me you no longer have “the love and passion to sustain a relationship.” Great sex is the one of the things we have shared all these years but it feels too painful now.

I guess to me sex has become very sacred, much more so than when I was young. When I was young sex was casual, free and everyone was doing it. Not any longer. Now it is meaningful to me. I put my heart and soul into it. Into pleasing one another.  It is one thing that is a miracle. Great sex after all these years. Yet, if you no longer have love or passion for me then you might as well just hire a hooker to please you because it feels like it is on the same level to me.

What am I to say to this? You want me to love you anyways? Still give you my heart and soul even though you will not give me yours?

What am I suppose to do with this? A broken relationship that you say you want to repair that I have worked on for two years and no matter what I have done it is not enough. I lose weight. I stop yelling. I keep a clean house. Everything you wanted and still I am not good enough. I am not enough for you.

What am I suppose to do with you? Love you until the very end or stop now to save my soul?

I have lost hope. If I keep trying, I give up my right to be a woman scorned because if I keep trying I do it knowing full well that the chances are not good for us to remain together. Perhaps I want to keep a little of that title. It provides a little measure of comfort though what I would do with it I cannot say but somehow that title just doesn’t appeal to me. A better one might be A Woman Better Off Without You.

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P.S. Thank you to all my friends who have rode my crazy merry-go-round for the past 2 years. I know it has wrung you out just as it has me. I know that you are as weary of this as I am. But thanks for hanging in for me. It helps knowing that you are there.

 

 

D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

My husband texted me from Boy Scout Camp where he has been the past week. This is what he wrote:

“I do not have the love and passion that is required for me to sustain our relationship. Please forgive. I ask for your grace and dignity.”

There it is. Thirty years down the drain.