Autobiography · Poetry · Relationships

Sail

I.
The boat arrived elsewhere
by the time you showed up.
Yelling back to the current
that now you have enough.

 
Strength.
Persistence.
Dedication.
Resistance.

We fought the tide together,
but eventually you sunk.

“I’m sorry,” slips from your fingertips
and never found its way to your tongue.
“I’m different now,” is a charming thought,
but I have to interrupt.

Fight.
Lose.
Try.
Refuse.

We said we loved each other,
but I guess we got stuck.

“I’d take it back if I could,” shines
in the dark room.
I turn off the screen
and dismiss you.

II.
You ask if I have a minute after you call.
Send emails, texts, keys in the mail.
It’s over, but you’re not leaving.

I didn’t mean to dissolve you into
smoke signals and shouts.
You’re not broken,
you’re just grieving.

You know what this is all about.
It was our future I wasn’t seeing.

And, yes, I should have done things differently,
but that doesn’t delude the words.
When I say what I mean
you need to know
it doesn’t matter if you believe me.

III.
Movies don’t make better entrances
than when I was standing at your door in the rain.
Hands outstreched, smile on,
palms placed against my face.

Slip shoes off, drop coat down,
press me hard into the wall.
Murmur something sweet into the space between us
then make sure there’s no space at all.

Electric and magnificent.
All the lights powered up.
We created something beautiful
just by using trust.

You tell you love me too early
and it still feels like you took so long.
I exchanged the words and understood
we belong here from now on.

Autobiography · Mental Health · Personal Development

Nurture

"pink wooly love" © Dorky Mum, 2010. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
pink wooly love” © Dorky Mum, 2010. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

In November of 2013 I was happy. I like to hold onto that month in my memory as proof that it’s possible. Evidence I can shake this ache from my bones and stand up strong. I carry that idea around with me like a seed, try to supply it with what it needs to grow. But it’s mostly guesses as to how this all works. How to properly nurture it.

I know I was getting up at the same time every day and exercising at least forty minutes. Mason and I were doing a Whole30, so we were eating well and I was cooking most of our meals. I was also participating in NaNoWriMo. But that’s all I can remember about that month. Those things and the fact that I was happy.

Could happiness be so simple? Something that wraps itself into our daily activities like brushing our teeth or checking the mail. Perhaps it slinks in and out of our lives attached to simple habits we didn’t think made much of a difference at the time. Maybe it’s not all just the whim of brain chemicals and hormones. Maybe it’s the day-to-day things.

It both needs to be simple and couldn’t possibly. Could I get that feeling back just by working out, cooking, and writing a book? If I think it’s that easy, why I can’t I get myself to do those things? The strong hand of depression closes around me so tight I can’t seem to make the movements I need to free myself.

All of it sounds so easy in theory. Get up in the morning, go run, go to work, write, cook dinner. But each one feels so monumental when you’re wrapped up in it. When you’re in the midst of depression, nothing seems like it would make a difference. The things you know help don’t matter, because you can’t make yourself believe any of the things you know. But maybe I could start.

Maybe I could get myself to remember it’s the little things that make a difference. Maybe I could get myself to remember it’s simple steps in the right direction that get you to where you’re going. I don’t need an entire garden, just a little bit of soil.

Autobiography · Mental Health

Cheated

"Umbrella + Light - 16/365" © [Flávio], 2012. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Umbrella + Light – 16/365” © Flávio, 2012. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Two cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I think that’s how I knew Jon was cheating on me. I’d had my suspicions before, but when I came home that night from my second job and there were two empty cans of PBR on the counter, I knew. He was already in bed. Sound asleep. His twists and turns of slumber disguising anything that had happened there earlier in the evening.

Later Sheldon would send me a text about Jon being out with Stephanie. Would tell me about confronting him at the bar. A lot of people would tell me that. And I asked Jon what he was doing out with her. Asked him if there was anything he needed to tell me. He wouldn’t confirm or deny, just say, “Consider your sources.” As if everyone but him was full of shit. That’s probably why I was so angry with him. Because I asked and he acted like I was the one who needed questioning.

I was giving him an out. He didn’t have to sit me down and tell me that he was sleeping with his coworker. He just had to say, “Yes.” Nod his head. He just had to tell me that all those suspicions were valid. That the smell of perfume in his truck was exactly what I thought it was. That when he said he was working late he wasn’t. It would have been easier, wouldn’t it have? To not have to make anything up. But he didn’t. He just said, “Consider your sources,” and kissed me on the forehead. Like I was the crazy one. Gaslighted before I even knew what the phrase meant.

After finding the beer cans I crawled into bed next to him. Cried quietly into my pillow like I usually did in those months. The next morning I got up, went to school, and signed the papers to drop all my classes. Called my mom. And, with my parents help, packed up all my belongings. Sent a text to Jon that just said, “Moving out.” I didn’t bother telling him that he couldn’t deny it anymore. I figured he’d figured it out by then. And I wanted to kill myself. Not him. That’s the interesting part. I wasn’t angry with him. I was angry with myself. Angry for being the type of person that would be cheated on. As if it had anything to do with me at all. As if it wasn’t just about him.

Months later we’d meet at a bar and he’d ask me to move to Arizona with him. He’d tell me that he wanted me to be his girlfriend again. “Don’t you know I know you were cheating on me the whole time, dude? Why do you think I would run away with you?”

He flinched. Like maybe he thought I hadn’t put it together yet. And then he looked me right in the eyes and asked, “What was I supposed to do? You were crying all the time and cutting yourself and… I need a companion.”

I should have slapped him, but instead I apologized. Apologized like I was something broken that had failed him. And I really thought I did. Thought I did to the point that, to this day, when I catch myself on the floor crying I think my husband should be leaving. That’s depression for you. That’s mental health. That’s low self-esteem. That’s… It.

But I can unlearn it. And he can go to hell.